Monday, February 20, 2017

Quick, What's The Meaning Of This Day? Huh?



Quick: Why is today a holiday?
What do we observe on this day?
Why is the holiday February 20th this year when it was some other date last year?
Something to do with George Washington, you say? Or Abraham Lincoln? Or is it Presidents Day?
Do you know the traditionally accepted date of Washington’s birth? And what really is the relationship, if any, between Washington’s birthday and the birthday of Abraham Lincoln? It all seems rather murky. But a bit of investigation reveals an interesting tale.
According to calendars used since the mid 18th century, Washington was born on February 22, 1732. This date consequently became the generally accepted date for observances of Washington’s birth.
Public celebrations for George Washington's birthday actually predate his term as president, and were originally intended to honor his service in the War for Independence. By the early 19th century, Washington's Birthday had taken hold in the American experience as a full-fledged national holiday. Its traditions included Birthnight Balls in various parts of the country, speeches and receptions and revelry in taverns throughout the land.
The story of Washington’s life was widely taught and legends about Washington began to grow.
Then, Abraham’s Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, emerged as an important national event. The birthday of our 16th President was first observed in 1865, one year after his assassination. But Lincoln’s birthday was never officially declared a federal holiday as Washington’s was even though Lincoln’s birthday was an official holiday in several states.
For decades, February was a grand month for celebrating Washington and Lincoln, our two greatest Presidents. Schools, stores, banks, libraries and other public locations were festooned with portraits of Washington and Lincoln. The profiles of both men were instantly recognizable and stories of Washington and the cherry tree and Lincoln the railsplitter abounded.
Then, in 1968 Congress passed something called the Uniform Holidays Bill which made Washington’s Birthday a Monday holiday. Starting in 1971, the third Monday in February became Washington’s Birthday. It’s been that way for 39 years now.
But a funny thing happened along the way. Washington’s Birthday somehow became Presidents Day. Nobody declared it. Nobody proclaimed it. It just happened. And that’s what the third Monday in February has been called even though the federal government still officially lists it as Washington’s Birthday.
The result is that we now have a day that stands for nothing.
Some people actually think Presidents Day honors the current president. Some people think it honors all the presidents. Some people think it honors their own favorite president or presidents. Some people think it’s just a shopping holiday.
And the sad part is that school children seem to be as confused as anyone else. If you ask a kid today about something as basic as Washington crossing the Delaware or the legend of the cherry tree he or she would probably respond with total bewilderment.
And nobody seems to even understand how we got to this point. There has even been an urban legend that in 1971 President Nixon officially designated February 22 as Presidents Day. But it never happened.
So, here’s my solution. Let’s start celebrating February 22 as Washington’s Birthday again and give the father of our country his due. This means no disrespect to Lincoln or any other president. It simply recognizes the greatness of Washington and his paramount role in our history.
At a dinner honoring the centennial of Washington’s birth in 1832 Daniel Webster said that Washington’s legacy was nothing less than “the edifice of constitutional American liberty.”
It’s time to resurrect that legacy, acknowledge that edifice and restore George Washington’s rightful place in our national life.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

'A Serious, Vicious, Unprecedented Breach'

“Anti-government protesters seek to disrupt the work of our nation’s elected officials on a scale never seen before,” says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens. “And former President Obama says he approves,”
In fact, Weber notes, 10 days after he left office Mr. Obama’s spokesman issued a statement saying, “President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country,”
The AMAC chief points to the fact that the protesters appear to be well organized, earning the moniker, Obama’s Army. That’s how the New York Times described the phenomenon.
“It is, indeed, a phenomenon because it is a serious breach of the tradition that former presidents do not criticize their successors, at least not to the extent that the current former president is doing. By his own admission, he is part of an orchestrated movement to turn us into a progressive country. The group, Organizing For Action, grew out of President Obama’s first campaign for the office. It has been given new life in the wake of President Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential Election. Its Web site clearly states: ‘OFA is committed to mobilizing and training the next generation of progressive organizers’.”
Weber says that there is “no substantial proof yet” that paid protesters are behind the widespread disruption of the Trump Administration and its elected and appointed officials and supporters. But, there is plenty of proof that organized agitators are behind attempts to substitute mob rule for the rule of law, proof that organized agitators are taking the lead in the violent intrusions at Republican events.
“However, the vicious and unprecedented nature of the protests does suggest that these are not typical activists who show up to voice their views. For example, when newly confirmed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos showed up recently at a Washington DC school she was physically intimidated. And, it was all caught on camera. The TV news coverage showed agitators blocked her way in a very intimidating manner similar to how a visiting American official might be greeted in Venezuela.”
Weber also points out that violent protests have been disrupting Republican town hall meetings across the country recently. And, he says that even some sympathetic observers are shocked at the ferocity and intensity of the protesters.
“But, at the same time, it is incumbent upon us, the silent majority, to let our elected representatives know how we feel on the issues in a respectful and civil manner. That is why we are growing our grass roots efforts by establishing local Chapters all across the country. We must counter the efforts of these divisive groups with a show of strength and not allow them to have the center stage and create a false impression that the people are behind them. There is no place for violent protesters to be permitted to disrupt our society and we call on law enforcement agencies to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Learn More About AMAC’s Grass Roots Efforts


ABOUT AMAC
The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at http://amac.us/join-amac.

US, France, Russia, Germany Lead Blog Visits

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Dan Cirucci Blog - Week's Top Five Stories

Top Posts - Week of 2/11-12

'Willfully Blind?' That's What It Seems Like . . .

Our Facebook friend and Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky writes:

Jorge Ramos is willfully blind
The Univision anchor on Michael Smerconish's CNN show this morning gave a new excuse for the illegals.
They come here "to make our lives better," he said.
Every year I interview a newly naturalized immigrant who came here legally. Not one has ever said they came here to make MY life better. They are here, they say, for opportunity, coupled with freedom. And that's fine. That's why my grandparents came here. Legally. It's why Mayor Unhinged's grandparents came here. Legally.
Ramos and Smerconish were talking about the sympathetic case of an illegal woman who used fake ID and was ordered deported. Ramos said her children are trying to defend her, and that parents should defend their children, not the other way around.
To his credit, Smerconish observed giving a pass to illegals with children would encourage more to come here and have children right away -- insurance against deportation.
Ramos did not have an answer.
He did say he was surprised that Trump, the son of an immigrant, would be so terrible about immigrants.
He neglected to mention Trump's mother was a LEGAL immigrant. In fact, Ramos never mentions legality because that is a losing argument for him.
He also called Obama "deporter in chief." That's partially true, so where were the marches calling Obama a racist?
We need a solution and we won't get one until the illegals and their enablers, like Ramos, admit what they did was WRONG and some measure of punishment is called for.
THEN we can seek a fair solution -- and mass deportation is not it. The majority of Americans don't want that.
But they don't want to be treated as idiots or racists either, for requiring obedience to our law.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

When It's Oh Sooo Hard To Say Goodbye!



The Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia) Event Staff shared a moment with the clowns from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to say "thank you" and "farewell" on the arena floor today. 
Shows run through Monday, February 20 and tickets are on sale now at www.wellsfargocenterphilly.com.

Do We HAVE To Remind You Of This AGAIN?

You Can Do It NOW - Please Don't Delay!

A special message from the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of ZOA, the Zionist Organization of America:

Please Call Your Senators To Support 
President Trump’s Pro-Israel Nominee 
for U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman

Yesterday, Ambassador-designate David Friedman appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his confirmation hearing.
First the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote, and then the full Senate will consider his nomination. Senators Booker, Coons and Menendez from our area serve on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Please call them and ask that they vote to send Mr. Friedman’s nomination to the full Senate. Please call both of your senators to ask that they confirm Friedman.
Please encourage your friends, family, contacts and others – in our region and throughout the nation – to also call both of their senators on behalf of Mr. Friedman. See contact information below.
Thank you.

Pennsylvania:
Sen. Bob Casey: (202) 224-6324
Sen. Pat Toomey: (202) 224-4254

New Jersey:
Sent. Cory Booker: (202) 224-3224
Sen. Robert Menendez: (202) 224-4744

Delaware:
Sen. Tom Carper: (202) 224-2441
Sen. Chris Coons: (202) 224-5042
 
Other senators:
https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Circus Gone But The 'Ringmaster' Reigns Supreme!

Happily 'Reaffirming An Unbreakable Bond'

From The White House:

President Donald J. Trump was delighted to have Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as his honored guest yesterday, and is looking forward to strengthening the relationship between the United States and Israel.

President Trump has made it abundantly clear that the United States stands firmly with our ally Israel, especially in the face of terrorism. Our deeply rooted ties reflect our shared values, strategic interests, and dynamic economic and trade relationship. President Trump is making it his administration’s duty to promote Israel’s security in order to establish a more peaceful and prosperous Middle East.
Show Your Support

Yesterday's meeting represents a key step toward strengthening security and counterterrorism operations to protect the United States, Israel, and other nations from the growing threat of terrorism around the world. The President and the Prime Minister agree on the importance of tough sanctions and constant vigilance to ensure the safety and security of all.

As Israel’s largest bilateral trade partner, the United States is eager to expand its economic partnership, which is nearing $50 billion annually. President Trump reaffirms the unbreakable bond between the two nations, and together with Prime Minister Netanyahu, is finding new ways to make our alliance even stronger.

Stand with President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

What THIS Mayor Has To Say May Shock You!

From our dear friends at Save Jersey:
by Matt Rooney

Syrian-born Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah and his fellow New Jersey Democrat mayors have gotten all the media attention as of late for their sanctuary city declarations, Save Jerseyans, and that’s a damn shame.
There’s another side to the story.
A very different perspective that’s not getting the attention it deserves because, frankly, it doesn’t fit the media’s narrative.
Meet Michael Ghassali, the new Mayor of Montvale.
He’s a Syrian-born Christian and, as of Election 2016, a political independent (formally a two-term Republican councilman prior to his recent campaign – local politics is always complicated!).
He’s the first Syrian-born Christian mayor in the entire United States.
He’s also vocally opposed to the sanctuary city push at a time when Trenton Democrats want to use New Jersey’s strained financial resources to cover any potential federal aid withdrawn by the Trump Administration.

Here’s what Mayor Ghassali said via Facecebook on Wednesday:

A word about Sanctuary Cities
I have been approached by mostly none-residents to issue an executive order declaring Montvale a Sanctuary City like they did in Maplewood, Prospect Park and Jersey City. By definition, Sanctuary City employees do not profile, investigate or report on residents for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration laws. Our law enforcement officers are hired to keep us safe and to enforce local, state and federal laws. I will not be signing any executive orders that will ask our employees to defy federal laws. A Mayor should not be advocating the defiance of federal laws; otherwise we will have Mayors signing orders challenging all different federal laws as they wish.
Montvale is not a Sanctuary City under this administration.
Mayor Mike Ghassali (a Syrian immigrant)
Wow!
By the way – plenty of other Syrian Christians agree with Mayor Ghassali’s position. You’re just not hearing from them because that’s not who our cultural overlords want you to hear.
Why do their opinions matter less than that of Mayor Khairullah? Montvale is actually more populous than Prospect Park, so it’s not a big city news vs. small town mayor thing.
Does it have anything to do with Mayor Khairullah being a far-left Muslim Democrat?
If I’m a betting man? You can count on it.
It’s always all about the narrative, Save Jerseyans. The truth be damned!

You Won't Believe What It's Costing Us!



You got that right -- nearly $29 BILLION every year!

For TWO? Really? And Only $35 Total? WOW!








It IS Gonna Happen -- VERY Soon, We Hope!

“Obamacare will be repealed and replaced. That is a certainty. Why? Because the American people demand it,” declared Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

According to Weber, voters cast their ballots in favor of a Republican Congress and a Republican President because they were fed up with the attempt by big government to control their personal lives.

“Yes, there is a faction that may like the Affordable Care Act. But, the majority knows that however you look at the law, it just does not work. It did not lower the cost of healthcare insurance, as was promised. Instead, the costs are disgracefully high. Perhaps for some people premiums are low. However, when you factor in the high deductibles that are imposed by plans offered under the ACA, for most of us the overall costs are downright unaffordable,” he said, noting that some ACA plans have deductibles as high as 10 to 13 thousand dollars.

Weber said he is confident that Congress “will enact a new, better healthcare law. One that works for everybody.”

Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a public policy research organization, is also confident that the ACA will be repealed and replaced. It will be replaced “through a step-by-step enactment of a market-friendly reform that provides a safety net for those currently on the program, gives states more authority to oversee their health-insurance markets, and provides states with revenues to help those who have difficulty purchasing or affording health insurance.”

In a recent posting on the Galen Web site she wrote: “The replacement measures will protect the people who are on Obamacare now so they don’t lose their coverage again, and they will build a bridge to new coverage that will protect others from the damage that the law has done to their pocketbooks and the quality of their medical coverage.”

Paul Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives, told reporters earlier this month that a new healthcare law will be completed by year’s end. He said that implementation of a new law will be put on a fast track.

Even the liberal cable news organization CNN has its doubts about Obamacare. An article on its Web site posted before the Obamacare debate Tuesday night between Senators Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz admitted that the ACA “doesn’t do much to help the middle class afford coverage.”

It is interesting to note that during the Town Hall debate between Sanders and Cruz one woman in the audience said that her access to care was limited because of the high deductible of her Obamacare insurance. Sanders confessed that ACA deductibles are outrageously high. “The idea that we have policies like that, like the one you describe, is clearly an outrage.”

ABOUT AMAC

The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at http://amac.us/join-amac.

Incestuous? Well It Certainly Looks That Way!


Don't tell us the Dominant Media aren't liberal or that they aren't owned by the Democrat Party.

Step Forward Now, America! We'll Have OUR Say!

Main Street Patriots is proud to announce the Spirit of America Rallies to be held in cities and towns across the United States in support of President Trump.

On February 27th and March 4th these Spirit of America Rallies, will be attended by the same cross section of Americans that propelled President Trump to victory and, will reinforce and support the current policies being put in place that will help Make America Great Again!

Leading up the effort in Louisiana, Retired Colonel Rob Maness, former U.S. Senate Candidate and Chairman of GatorPAC said, “I am proud to lead the charge here to get supporters of President Trump to show their support of his policy agenda through these Spirit of America rallies. Average citizens from across the political spectrum and all walks of life elected Mr. Trump and we at GatorPAC are especially pleased to help him with his national effort to Make America Great Again and #DrainTheSwamp priorities in Washington D.C.”

National tea party movement co-founder, Debbie Dooley states, “These rallies are inclusive, non-partisan, and open to anyone supporting President Trump in his efforts to bring back manufacturing jobs to America, put the security of our nation ahead of political correctness, improve our infrastructure, revitalize the inner cities and secure our nation’s borders.”

Main Street Patriots Co-Founder and Presidential Elector from Ohio Ralph King adds, “the American electorate spoke loud and clear this past November. These Spirit of America Rallies are a continuation of the collective voice of American’s that embrace President Trump’s policies to put the American workers and citizens first once again.

To find or host a Spirit of America Rally in your state please go to Main Street Patriots website at http://mainstreetpatriots.us/. If you do not see a Rally listed for your state email Ralph King or Debbie Dooley at mainstreetpatriots@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

You'd Better Hurry! This One Won't Last!



Not valid in AZ.
Must present or show offer at time of ordering. 
Valid for 25% off your full price food purchase. 
Excludes alcohol, tax, gift cards & gratuity. One coupon per table, per visit. Not valid with any other coupon, promotion or discount, including happy hour.
See server for details.
Limited time only. No cash value. Expires 2/20/17. Code: Holiday25%off
The Chimichurri Burger available until Sunday, February 19



Truly Unique, Both 'Trend-Setting And Forward-Thinking'


Photo by Bachrach Photography


Returning to the beautiful St. Mark’s Church in Center City Philadelphia, the talented members of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Bravo Brass ensemble will present a concert titled “Ye Olde Brass” on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. The concert features music of English Elizabethan composers William Byrd, John Bull, Giles Farnaby, Orlando Gibbons, and others. St. Mark’s is located at 1625 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA.

Paul Bryan, dean of faculty and students at the Curtis Institute of Music, is the Director and Conductor of Bravo Brass. In looking forward to this concert, he said, "the members of the ensemble have enjoyed preparing the unique music for this concert. Elizabethan England is often referred to as the English renaissance, and the music of the time was as trend-setting and forward-thinking as the works of another of the period's great artists, William Shakespeare. Performers and audience members alike are sure to enjoy the music of the evening."

There is a $15 ticket price. For more information about Bravo Brass and the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and tickets, please visit www.pyos.org or call (215) 545-0502.

About Bravo Brass
Bravo Brass, founded in 1997, is the brass ensemble program of Philadelphia Youth Orchestra led by Director and Conductor Paul Bryan. The only year-round brass ensemble in the Philadelphia area and one of only three in the country, Bravo Brass offers the highest level of individual and ensemble training and performance opportunities for the most accomplished young brass musicians in the area.

About the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra:
Now in its 77th year, training tomorrow’s leaders, the renowned Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization, led by President and Music Director, Maestro Louis Scaglione, is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected community music education and youth orchestra performance programs, providing talented young musicians from across the tri-state area with exceptional musical training. Students go on to excel in many diverse fields, and it is with pride that Philadelphia Youth Orchestra notes that many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra are alumni. The organization is comprised of six program ensembles designed to meet specific needs and experience levels of students selected through a competitive audition process. 
The anchor group is the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), conducted by President and Music Director Louis Scaglione, featuring 120 gifted instrumentalists who range in age from 14-21. 
Young musicians 12-18 years old are featured in PYO’s companion ensemble, the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, which is led by Director and Conductor Maestra Rosalind Erwin, who is Music Director and Conductor of Drexel University Orchestra. 
Philadelphia Young Musicians Orchestra (PYMO), directed by Maestro Kenneth Bean, is a beginning to intermediate-level full symphonic orchestra that provides most students with their first introduction to large orchestral playing featuring students age 10-17 years old. 
 Bravo Brass, directed by Curtis Institute Dean of Faculty and Students, Paul Bryan, is an all brass ensemble for promising middle and high-school instrumentalists. 
PRYSM (Philadelphia Region Youth String Music) and PRYSM Young Artists ensembles provide string large ensemble and sectional master class instruction for beginning and intermediate musicians ages 6-14. The director and conductor of PRYSM is Gloria DePasquale, cellist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and conductor of PRYSM Young Artists is Andrea Weber. Tune Up Philly (TUP) is PYO’s engagement program, directed by Paul Smith, that focuses on creating and inspiring true community by providing children in under-resourced communities with invaluable opportunities to learn and perform a differentiated orchestral music curriculum. www.pyos.org.

Landmark: A Visionary And Dramatic Step Forward!



Completing a challenge issued to the legislature in his State of the State address last month and continuing his most aggressive, innovative campaign in the nation against drug addiction, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law today his life-saving healthcare reform that will guarantee insurance coverage for people to access immediate treatment and to limit initial opioid prescriptions. S-3 addresses several clear causes of opioid addiction and relapse.

This new law provides the greatest access to treatment in the country, making New Jersey the only state in which people with insurance cannot be retroactively charged for six months of necessary addiction treatment. Upon most-recent review, two states have adopted a remotely similar framework as set forth in S-3, New York and Massachusetts, with New York providing a 14-day period of treatment without utilization management and allowing for retroactive denial of coverage starting from the first day of treatment.

This new law also establishes in New Jersey the country’s strongest maximum limit of five days’ worth of prescribed opioid pills after rigorous precautions to keep them out of the hands of children and the vulnerable. Prescribers in New Jersey must undertake a myriad of safeguards, including notification of the risks of addiction, entering into pain management agreements, and inquiring about patients’ medical history and proclivity for abuse or addiction. Most states allow opioid prescriptions to last seven days or longer.


cid:image002.jpg@01D26B75.D6EEDE10

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: “No more pre-approvals. No more medical necessity reviews prior to admission by an insurance company bureaucrat. No more denials that can cost lives. Treatment first. Hope first. Denials last.” (State of the State, 1/10/17)

INCREASING ACCESS TO CARE
This new law provides that all New Jersey regulated commercial insurance plans and the State Health Benefits Programs will provide unlimited benefits for inpatient and outpatient treatment for substance use disorder at in-network facilities provided the treatment is prescribed by a licensed physician and the services are provided by licensed or certified health care professionals.
  • The first 180 days of each plan year of inpatient and outpatient treatment for substance use disorder will be provided without requiring prior authorization or any other prospective utilization management requirement. If there is no in-network facility immediately available, a carrier must provide a facility within 24 hours. 
  • Providers or facilities are prohibited under the bill from seeking any pre-payment beyond allowable co-payments, deductibles or co-insurance. 
Specifically for outpatient services, carriers are prohibited from undertaking any prior authorization or medical necessity review for the entire 180 days of service. Under the bill, an outpatient treatment day is considered half an in-patient treatment day. Therefore, a person receiving only outpatient treatment could receive 360 treatments in a plan year without any interference from their carrier.

For in-patient services, no utilization management can take place for the first 28 days of an inpatient stay. Thereafter, a carrier can conduct utilization management reviews every two weeks.
  • If a carrier determines that continued in-patient treatment is not medically necessary, a covered person can appeal internally, and if the carrier’s finding is affirmed, the covered person can appeal to the Independent Health Care Appeals Program in the Department of Banking and Insurance.
  • If, after all the foregoing appeals are exhausted, a carrier’s determination regarding lack of medical necessity is affirmed, a covered person can be discharged, but can then undergo outpatient treatment without any carrier interference for the remainder of the 180 day period. Additionally, the carrier must provide coverage for the entire period for which appeals are pending. If a person stays after coverage has expired, the provider is responsible for the costs of treatment. At no time will any covered person pay more than their co-payment, deductible or co-insurance.
  • All medical necessity reviews conducted by carriers related to substance abuse treatment must utilize an evidence-based and peer reviewed clinical review tool that will be approved by the Department of Human Services.
  • In addition to in-person treatments, all prescription drugs used to treat substance abuse disorder shall be covered by a carrier without prior authorization or utilization management review.
  •  The law explicitly provides that a person with a co-diagnosis of substance abuse disorder and another related or unrelated diagnosis is required to receive all protections under the law. The law confirms that parity is required by providing that all benefits and cost-sharing for substance abuse disorders are to be provided to the same extent as any other covered medical condition.
  • Finally, to protect against potential waste and abuse, the law provides that the Attorney General’s Office will be tasked with investigating and prosecuting any violations of the law.

LIMITING OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS. 
This new law also creates a framework to prevent the excessive and unnecessary prescribing of opioids. Under the law, a practitioner is not permitted to issue an initial prescription for an opioid drug in a quantity exceeding a five-day supply for treatment of acute pain. Prior to issuing such an initial prescription, a practitioner shall:
  • Discuss with the patient the risks associated with the drug, including risks of addiction and overdose;
  • Explain the reasons why the prescription is necessary;
  • Set forth available alternative treatments;
  • Take and document the results of a thorough medical history;
  • Conduct, as appropriate, a physical examination;
  • Develop a treatment plan focused on the patient’s pain;
  • Access relevant information from the Prescription Monitoring Program.
On the fourth day of an initial prescription a practitioner may, after consultation with the patient, issue a subsequent prescription for the opioid drug. In order to do so, the practitioner must determine that the subsequent prescription is: (i) necessary and appropriate; and (ii) will not present an undue risk of abuse, addiction or diversion.

If a third prescription is issued to a patient for an opioid, the practitioner is required to enter into a pain management agreement with the patient. Finally, any health care professional authorized to prescribe an opioid shall take part in at least one educational credit (in each reporting period) related to prescribing opioid drugs.

This law takes effect 90 days from enactment and the insurance provisions will be incorporated in any new or renewed insurance contracts following the effective date.

What He Said. And What He DIDN'T Say . . .

What Kind Am I? Well, What Kind Are YOU, Anyway?

So here's what happened.
A friend asked me if I was a social conservative.
And I have to admit that it sort of stumped me for a moment. To be sure, I don't even like the term "social conservative." It's too limiting and it sounds too negative. And besides, I'm not in the least bit anti-social (chuckle, chuckle).
But it was still a good question that my friend asked because it set me to thinking about what kind of conservative I really am.

And so, I guess I'd have to say that above all I'm a Ronald Reagan conservative. After all it was Ronald Reagan who made me a conservative in the first place. He's really the reason why I became a conservative.
Or, to put it another way he's the person who seduced me into the conservative movement.
As many of you know prior to that I was a lifelong liberal.
Ronald Reagan was certainly a happy and inclusive conservative warrior. He made conservatism meaningful and palpable to many, many people who might not otherwise have even taken an interest in politics, let alone conservatism.
So, thinking further about that kind of conservative I am, I came to the conclusion that you could probably call me a confetti conservative.
That is to say that I'm a cheerful conservative.
I want to sprinkle conservatism on everyone, like bright, shimmering confetti.
I want people to look upon conservatism as something that should be welcomed and celebrated. I really want conservatism to reach everybody like a refreshing shower of freedom.
This is the kind of conservatism that empowers people; that puts money back in people's pockets through tax cuts; that gives people more economic opportunity in their day-to-day lives through successful, job-creating businesses; that gives people greater freedom by eliminating government regulations and entanglements; that welcomes old-fashioned rugged individualism and encourages people to pursue their most ambitious dreams; that respects and values every person, every human life; that honors deeply held religious beliefs and convictions; that strengthens ordinary Americans; that values strong families and family life.
Isn't that the kind of conservatism that we should all be striving for? Isn't that the kind of conservatism that is intertwined with the very promise of America itself? Aren't these the kind of values that our founders had in mind when they penned our sacred documents and created our nation in the first place?
Yes, conservatism should be welcomed. It should be celebrated, it should belong to everyone, it should mean opportunity for all.
So, that's the kind of conservative I am -- an opportunity-for-all conservative and a Big Tent conservative who wants to share the rewards and benefits of conservatism with everyone!