Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Reactions to the Supreme Court ruling on Healthcare Decision PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Various sources   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 13:57

Schilling Statement on the Supreme Court’s Health Care Ruling
“Illinoisans deserve policies that reduce the cost of care and improve its quality without increasing taxes”

Washington, DC – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) released the following statement after the Supreme Court announced its ruling to uphold the President’s health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, in its entirety, ruling that its individual mandate is a tax:

“Like many folks throughout Illinois’ 17th Congressional District I’m disappointed by today’s ruling, but the fact is that the President’s health care law will cost trillions of dollars while doing absolutely nothing to address the rising cost of health care,” Schilling said. “The opportunity remains for folks in Washington to come together in support of policies that address the rising cost of health care and put patients and their doctors back in charge of health care decisions, without this tax.  I will continue working to roll back the harmful parts of this law so we can get health care reform done right.  We can start over and in a transparent fashion work to enact bipartisan, step-by-step reforms that guarantee folks in Illinois and throughout the country are able to access health care that is affordable, convenient, and high quality.”

Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, health insurance premiums continued to rise.  – while President Obama once promised that premiums would fall by an average of $2,500, but they have already risen by $2,213 during his administration.  Despite its major provisions not taking full effect until 2014, it has been estimated that the President’s health care reform law has already added more than 12,000 pages of regulations and Federal Register notices.  It also creates as many as 159 new commissions, boards, and programs.  

The Administration argued repeatedly as it was working to advance the President’s health care reform law that its individual mandate (which required nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance) was permissible under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, and that it wasn’t a tax.  The Supreme Court ruled today, however, that the penalty a person must pay if they refuse to purchase health insurance is a tax that Congress can impose using its tax authority.  Under this ruling, the individual mandate survives as a tax, now leaving Americans with the choice between paying either higher insurance premiums or a massive tax.   

The House of Representatives has voted 30 times over the last year and a half on various proposals to repeal, defund, or dismantle the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Furthermore, five pieces of the law have been repealed or had their funding rescinded.  Click here to view Schilling’s plan for quality, convenient, patient-centered, and truly affordable health care.

“True health care reform shouldn’t raid Medicare, ignore the skyrocketing costs of care, limit the private sector’s ability to grow jobs, and put unelected bureaucrats between patients and their doctors,” Schilling said. “The time is now to work together and advance policies to save Medicare for our kids and grandkids, make care more affordable, provide the private sector with the confidence necessary to hire our unemployed friends and family, and put patients and doctors back in charge of their health care decisions.”

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To send Congressman Schilling an e-mail, click here

Braley Statement on Supreme Court Healthcare Decision

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act:

“The Supreme Court got it right today.  This decision is good news for the middle class and affordable healthcare.  It makes me think of thousands of Iowans like my nephew, Tucker.  Tucker survived a fight with liver cancer at age 2 because his family had health insurance.  But his parents lived in constant fear of losing their jobs because Tucker would be denied new insurance due to his pre-existing condition.  The healthcare reform law ended those fears -- and this decision means many other critical reforms will stay in place.

“From allowing 18,000 Iowans to stay on their parents’ insurance up to age 26, to requiring insurance companies cover screenings for diseases like breast cancer, to saving Iowa seniors hundreds of dollars per year on their Medicare prescription drugs, the law’s positive impact on Iowa is just beginning to be felt.

“It’s not a perfect law.  That’s why I’ll be working to bring Republicans and Democrats together to improve it and make it better.”


Branstad and Reynolds release statements on Supreme Court ruling

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today released the following statements on the United States Supreme Court ruling of Obamacare.

Gov. Branstad:

“Today, the Supreme Court handed down a disastrous decision to uphold President Obama’s destructive health care law, which means a future of higher costs, higher taxes, and increasing debt for Iowans.  The current health care system is nothing but a federal takeover and continues to exceed its budgeted amount every day.  But, as Governor Romney has said many times, no matter what may happen in Court, the American people must remain vigilant in their fight to repeal the law. Our goal is for Iowa to become the healthiest state in the country and to do so Iowans will need to take ownership of their own health to reduce health care costs and lead healthier lives.”

Lt. Gov. Reynolds:

“America needs real health care reform and we need Governor Romney in Washington. Gov. Romney will enact real reforms to ensure that the future of Iowa and America as a whole can replace Obamacare with solutions that put Iowans in control of their own health care and preserve the economic future of Iowa’s next generation. “

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Loebsack Statement on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court issued their decision on the Affordable Care Act.

“Today’s decision will bring stability and certainty to Iowans as they make critical health care choices for themselves and their families.  It maintains protections for those who have pre-existing conditions, ensures no Iowan will be denied coverage, and that young Iowans can stay on their parents’ health care plans until they are 26.  Additionally, this ruling affirms that preventative care will be provided without a co-payment, and that those who lose their jobs will not lose their coverage.  It also prevents women from being charged higher premiums simply because they are female, and prohibits pregnancy from being treated as a pre-existing condition.  Further, the Medicare prescription drug donut hole will be completely closed by 2020, through reforms that are already saving our seniors $650 each this year.

“As we move forward, the bill is not perfect and I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the Affordable Care Act is enacted in a way that will reduce health care costs and help bring stability to Iowans during these difficult economic times.”



Statement from Lt. Governor Simon on Supreme Court decision

CHICAGO – June 28, 2012. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act:

"The Affordable Care Act is a good law. It helps seniors, young adults and middle class Americans receive stronger, more affordable care. It promotes preventive care, such as checkups and mammograms. And it prevents insurance companies from denying care to people with pre-existing conditions or charging women more based on their gender. The Supreme Court ruling today upholds these commonsense protections and puts our country on a healthier path. In Illinois, I encourage our state leaders to use this ruling as a backdrop as we set policies to make our citizens healthier, train the next generation of health care workers, grow local food systems and find other opportunities to move our state forward."


Governor Quinn Statement on Supreme Court Decision Upholding Affordable Care Act

CHICAGO ­– June 28, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement hailing today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court to uphold the federal Affordable Care Act.

“Today is a great day for Illinois and a great day for our country. This decision means that millions of working families across Illinois will continue to receive better healthcare.

“These historic reforms that are strengthening our healthcare system will continue to benefit young people, those with pre-existing conditions and care providers.

“We took a big step forward today as a nation and state, and I will continue to work with President Obama to help working families get the healthcare coverage they need.”


Governor Quinn Urges Residents to Stay Safe During Extreme Temperatures PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 07:47

Temperatures to Rise Over 100 Degrees; Governor Encourages Visits to Cooling Centers, Wellness Checks

CHICAGO – June 28, 2012. With temperatures around Illinois expected to rise above 100 degrees, Governor Pat Quinn today urged Illinois residents to take precautions to stay safe and cool. The Governor also encouraged residents to visit cooling centers and to check on family members and neighbors who are vulnerable to hot weather, including the elderly and children.

“These extreme temperatures can be fatal, so it is crucial that people take steps to stay safe and cool,” Governor Quinn said. “Please avoid spending too much time outside, and visit one of the state’s cooling centers if needed. If you have children, or elderly neighbors or relatives, please check on them regularly to make sure they are safe.”

More than 120 cooling centers are open around Illinois, in order to help those without air conditioning find respite from the heat. The cooling centers are located at Illinois Department of Human Services offices throughout the state, as well as at Illinois Tollway Oases in the Chicago area. Cooling centers are open to the public during regular business hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call the Illinois Department of Human Services hotline at (800) 843-6154, or visit, for locations.

Governor Quinn and the IDPH are encouraging Illinoisans to watch for signs of heat-related illnesses. Symptoms of heat-related illness include headaches, skin that is hot to the touch, increased body temperature, loss of consciousness, seizures and irregular heartbeats.

To stay cool and avoid illness, people should increase their fluid intake but avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and sugar; decrease strenuous, outdoor physical activity; and remain in air-conditioning when possible.

The Illinois Department on Aging also encourages relatives and friends to make daily visits or calls to senior citizens living alone. When temperatures and humidity are extremely high, seniors and people with chronic health conditions should be monitored for dehydration and other effects of extreme heat. Additionally, seniors should eat lighter meals, take longer and more frequent rests, and drink plenty of fluids.

For information about heat preparedness, visit the Ready Illinois website at


News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ann Ring   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:19
Stay Cool at Christian Care’s Rescue Mission

Rock Island – Christian Care’s Rescue Mission, located at 2209 3 rd Avenue, Rock Island, will accommodate those who need a place to stay cool this summer. Anyone is welcome at the Rescue Mission between the hours of 6:30 a.m., when breakfast is served, and 7:00 p.m., when dinner ends, as well as on weekends.

“Throughout its 96-year history, Christian Care has always been about serving others,” said Dr. Elaine Winter, the organization’s executive director. “We welcome anyone who needs to come in from the heat, especially during these periods when the temperature heat index reaches 100 degrees. Our primary desire is to care for those who are less fortunate and who need help.”

Christian Care is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization operating two facilities—a domestic violence shelter for women and children and a rescue mission for homeless men. It serves homeless individuals, victims of domestic  violence, veterans, men and women coming out of prison, and those with mental illnesses.

For all those who need a meal, Christian Care's Community Meal Site is located at its Rescue Mission, 2209 3rd Avenue, Rock Island. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays Monday through Friday, and for breakfast and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. Breakfast is served at 6:30 a.m., lunch at 12:15 p.m., and dinner at 6:30 p.m. If you know of someone in need, call the Christian Care Crisis Hotline any hour of the day at (309) 788-2273 or visit online at

Iowa organizations to hold press events across the state responding to the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Matt Sinovic   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:09

Iowa couple to share how the Affordable Care Act saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars

DES MOINES, IOWA – After the Supreme Court announces its ruling tomorrow regarding the Affordable Care Act, local organizations will hold a series of press events to discuss the ruling and voice their support for improved health care for all Iowans. Progress Iowa, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, One Iowa, the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, SEIU, and Working Families Win are co-hosting the events. The full schedule is listed below.

Ross Daniels and Amy Ward, residents of West Des Moines, will speak about how the Affordable Care Act saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the removal of lifetime limits on coverage.

Schedule of Events

WHEN: Thursday, June 28, 3:30 PM
WHAT: Press conference regarding health care ruling, supporting better care for Iowans
WHO: Ross Daniels and Amy Ward, of West Des Moines
Don Brown, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
Molly Tafoya, One Iowa
WHERE: State Capitol Building, Room 116; East 9th and Grand, Des Moines, IA

WHEN: Friday, June 29, 11:00 AM
WHAT: Press conference regarding health care ruling, supporting better care for Iowans
WHO: Senator Amanda Ragan
Midge Slater, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
Matt Sinovic, Progress Iowa
WHERE: Cerro Gordo Courthouse, 1st Floor, Board Room; 220 N Washington Ave, Mason City, IA

WHEN: Friday, June 29, 5:30 PM
WHAT: Rally and press conference regarding health care ruling, supporting better care for Iowans
WHO: Sue Dinsdale, Iowa Citizen Action Network
Chris Schwartz, Working Families Win
WHERE: At the intersection of Kimball & Ridgeway, Waterloo, IA



Since being signed into law, Iowa families have received the following benefits from the Affordable Care Act:

  • 42,015 Iowans on Medicare saved an average of $616 on prescription drugs, for a total savings of $25,876,475.
  • 18,012 Iowans under the age of 26 gained coverage under the health care law.
  • 388,676 people with Medicare in Iowa received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor.
  • 1,187,000 Iowans, including 433,000 women and 311,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Insurance companies are required to spend 80% of premium dollars on health care instead of overhead.


Declare Independence from Foodborne Illness this Fourth of July PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by USDA Communications   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:05

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2012—When celebrating our nation’s independence this Fourth of July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reminds Americans that proper food handling practices can prevent their “Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness” from being threatened by foodborne illness. The warm temperatures that draw crowds of people to outdoor celebrations also encourage the growth of bacteria, and incidents of food-related illnesses rise in summer months. But four simple steps—Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill—can help families declare freedom from foodborne illness at Independence Day celebrations. logo

“We want to provide families with important information that will help reduce the risk of foodborne illness during their Fourth of July celebrations,” USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen said.  “Small children and the elderly are among the most vulnerable to foodborne illness, and this information is essential in protecting loved ones at family barbecues and picnics.”

In time for the Fourth of July holiday, FSIS has created a new infographic in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Ad Council featuring food safety tips from the Founding Fathers. The infographic, fact sheets, videos and podcasts about safe food handling and preparation in warmer months can be found on FSIS’ “Grill It Safe” webpage at

Additionally, representatives from FSIS’ Meat and Poultry Hotline will answer consumer questions in English and Spanish from the Twitter handles @USDAFoodSafety and @USDAFoodSafe_es on June 28 at 1 p.m. ET.


Freedom from foodborne illnesses starts with clean surfaces and clean hands. Be sure that you and your guests wash your hands before preparing or handling food. Hands should be washed with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Equally important is making sure that the surfaces that come in contact with raw and cooked foods are clean before you start and are washed frequently.


Raw meats and poultry should be prepared separately from vegetables and cooked foods. As you chop meats and veggies, be sure to use separate cutting boards. Juices from raw meats can contain harmful bacteria that could spread to raw veggies and already cooked foods.

As you take the cooked meats off the grill, be sure to place them on a clean platter, not on the dish that held them when they were raw. The juices left on the plate from raw meat can spread bacteria to safely cooked food.



Never begin cooking without your most important tool—a food thermometer. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often brown quickly and may appear done on the outside, but still may not have reached a safe minimum internal temperature to kill any harmful bacteria. Whole cuts of pork, lamb, veal, and beef should be cooked to 145 °F as measured by a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, followed by a three-minute rest time before carving or consuming. Hamburgers and other ground beef should reach 160 °F. All poultry should reach a minimum temperature of 165 °F. Fish should be cooked to 145 °F. Fully cooked meats like hot dogs should be grilled to 165 °F or until steaming hot.

If you are smoking meats, the temperature in the smoker should be maintained between 225 °F and 300 °F for safety. Be sure to use your food thermometer to be certain the food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature.


Keeping food at a safe temperature can be a concern at outdoor picnics and cookouts. Too often, food is prepared and left to sit out while guests munch over the course of several hours. Bacteria grow most rapidly between 40 °F and 140 °F, so perishable food should never sit out for more than two hours. If the temperature is higher than 90 °F—which is common in the summer—food should not sit out more than one hour. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers promptly and discard any food that has been sitting out too long.

It is important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods can be kept hot on the grill and cold foods can be kept chilled with ice packs or ice sources in a cooler.

Still have questions? Ask Karen!

Whether you are cooking in the kitchen or grilling out this Independence Day, make Mobile Ask Karen the first guest on your list. Ask Karen is USDA's virtual food safety representative available 24/7 at or on your smartphone. Mobile Ask Karen can also be downloaded from the Android app store. On June 26, 2012, FSIS launched “Mobile Pregúntele a Karen,” the Spanish-language version of Mobile Ask Karen. Mobile Pregúntele Karen and the desktop-based Pregúntele a Karen also are available 24 hours a day at or

Consumers can email, chat with a live representative, or call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline directly from these apps. To use these features on the app, simply choose "Contact Us" from the menu. The live chat option and the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), are available in English and Spanish from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

This seasonal food safety outreach is part of a multi-faceted USDA initiative to prevent foodborne illness. As part of this initiative, USDA has joined the Ad Council, the FDA and the CDC to launch Food Safe Families, a consumer food safety education campaign. It is the first joint public service campaign to empower families to further reduce their risk of foodborne illness at home by checking their key food safety steps: clean, separate, cook, and chill. For more information, go to

Today's action is in addition to other FSIS has put in place during President Barack Obama's Administration to date to safeguard the food supply, prevent foodborne illness, and improve consumers' knowledge about the food they eat. These initiatives support the three core principles developed by the President's Food Safety Working Group: prioritizing prevention; strengthening surveillance and enforcement; and improving response and recovery. Some of these actions include:

  • Test-and-hold policy that will significantly reduce consumer exposure to unsafe meat products, should the policy become final, because products cannot be released into commerce until Agency test results for dangerous contaminants are known.
  • Labeling requirements that provide better information to consumers about their food by requiring nutrition information for single-ingredient raw meat and poultry products and ground or chopped products.
  • Public Health Information System, a modernized, comprehensive database with information on public health trends and food safety violations at the nearly 6,100 plants FSIS regulates.
  • Performance standards for poultry establishments for continued reductions in the occurrence of pathogens. After two years of enforcing the new standards, FSIS estimates that approximately 5,000 illnesses will be prevented each year under the new Campylobacter standards, and approximately 20,000 illnesses will be prevented under the revised Salmonella standards each year.





NOTE: Access news releases and other information at FSIS’ website at

Follow FSIS on Twitter at


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

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