Weekly Update from Rep. Denham - March 14, 2014

Dear Friend,

I introduced a new bill this week designed to help seniors whose Medicare Advantage plans are being negatively impacted by the Affordable Care Act. The Seniors’ Right to Know Act, H.R. 4201, would require that Medicare Advantage providers inform program enrollees when they make a change to seniors’ plans in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act.

Seniors have a right to know when their Medicare Advantage plans are being changed and why. 

This straightforward legislation will serve to inform the more than 60,000 Medicare Advantage enrollees in our district about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting the healthcare plans that they rely on every day. Our seniors are suffering under the new healthcare law, and passing this legislation is a crucial step we can take to at least ensure they know what changes are coming and why.

In 2015, seniors in Stanislaus County can expect to pay an additional $90 per month, or $1,080 per year, for their MA plans. A large percentage of the 33,000 enrollees in Stanislaus County are low-income individuals earning under $20,000 per year. This rate increase may force them out of participating in the MA program altogether.

You can read more about the bill for yourself here.

I was honored to receive the 2014 National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) Congressional Award this week for my bill to provide recovery to victims of Hurricane Sandy earlier this Congress.

 

I met with Darren Van Steenwyk from Clark Pest Control in Turlock to discuss pollinator health, which is a major concern with for pest control providers and for our agricultural community.

I accepted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Enterprise award for my support of pro-business issues during this Congress. Job creation and supporting businesses small and large is always a top priority. As a business owner, I understand the harsh realities that our nation’s job creators often face and will continue working every day to help businesses in the Central Valley grow and expand.

I was honored to accept the Spirit of Enterprise award. 

One of my legislative staffers got to meet with two representatives of the Special Olympics this week. Lindsay and Stephanie, who are both from California, are two of the more than 16,000 athletes throughout northern California who participate in year-round training and competition for the Special Olympics. Their involvement has helped give them the skills they need to lead independent lives and find steady employment.

Lindsay and Stephanie shared their stories with Chris, one of my legislative staffers, on Wednesday.

Last week I sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources requesting a hearing on the bill we passed in the House to take immediate action towards alleviating our water crisis. The Central Valley can’t wait, and already more than a month has gone by without Senate action since the House passed our water bill, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act.

I’ll be joining the House Natural Resources Committee for a field hearing this Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Fresno City Council Chambers. As we await Senate action, I stand ready to negotiate to bring relief to our communities. This field hearing is designed to focus on the need to resolve differences in order to bring immediate and long-term water supplies to the San Joaquin Valley and other parts of California.

This morning I was pleased to announce that I’ve established a Pets on Trains working group with Amtrak, the Humane Society of the United States and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. Amtrak is also planning a pilot program to help them better prepare to implement this popular bipartisan legislation. Many Central Valley pet owners have contacted me to share their support for this bill, and I’d welcome your feedback – you can tweet using the hashtag #petsontrains to tell me what you think.

As I mentioned last week, I’d really like to get your opinion on immigration. If you haven’t taken my poll yet, please share your thoughts with me by visiting my website.

If you’d like to follow more of my work on your behalf, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also encourage your friends to subscribe to this newsletter.

Looking forward to a great week in the Valley. Hope to see you there.


JEFF DENHAM