Committee proposes changes to health care reform board construct

first_imgby Anne Galloway vtdigger.org April 11, 2011 A director of health care reform would orchestrate the state’s fledgling effort to adopt a single-payer system, if a draft proposal from the Senate Health and Welfare Committee is adopted. Read the 80-page draft legislation.The director would answer to the secretary of the Agency of Administration and would be responsible for development of a financing plan as part of the coordination of the governor’s signature health care reform initiative. In addition, a deputy commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access would be hired to provide support for the Green Mountain Care board.Sen. Anthony Pollina, D-Washington, who supports the addition of full-time personnel to the effort, says lawmakers will also consider whether to isolate the board from the development of the proposals for benefit packages, ground rules for hospital reimbursement rates, a financing system and cost containment strategies. Pollina would like to see a separation of powers, in which the board plays a quasi-judicial role and does not, as proposed in the House bill, get involved in developing the proposals for benefits, reimbursements and financing. The board, instead, would have the authority to rule on those issues. He said two new staffers and the chair of the board, along with employees from the Department of Vermont Health Access and the Department of Banking, Insurance, Security and Health Care Administration would develop the proposals, while the board would make judicial decisions about the merits of the proposals for rate requests from insurers and hospitals, among other things.‘It (the new board proposal) creates more accountability and better protection of the public interest,’ Pollina said.Both of these positions are add-ins proposed as amendments to the House version of the health care reform bill, H.202. The Green Mountain Care board remains a five-member entity under the Senate version of the bill with a chair and four members. In the House bill, the member positions were ‘part-time.’ That language, which was roundly criticized, was removed from the legislation. There is now no stipulation as to the number of hours a member can work.The nine-member nominating committee for the board would include two members appointed by the governor, two by the Senate and two by the House (’not all of whom shall be members of the same party’). In addition the governor, the House Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempore would each select a health care ‘expert’ to serve on the nominating committee.The Senate committee has also changed the composition of the Medicaid advisory committee that will report to the Green Mountain Care board. The committee language now cites a requirement that three insurers be included on the committee.Health and Welfare is discussing the draft bill on Monday and is expected to vote it out of committee on Tuesday.  Anne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.orglast_img read more

Australia: 56-year-old worker dies at Ichthys construction site

first_imgA 56-year-old worker died at Inpex’s Ichthys construction site in Bladin Point, near Darwin, Australia, on Wednesday night.NT (Northern Territories) WorkSafe, a division under the Department of the Attorney General and Justice, said on Thursday that investigation was underway into the death of the worker.According to the regulatory agency, the incident occurred at approximately 8 p.m. local time, as the worker was undertaking work within a confined space. WorkSafe inspectors returned to Bladin Point on Thursday morning to continue the investigation. The Bladin Point facility is an onshore part of the Ichthys project, designed to receive gas from the Ichthys offshore field.“The deceased was working in a confined space installing insulation within a tank when the incident occurred. A prohibition notice was issued at 3.00 a.m. [Thursday] stopping all insulation work within tanks on the Bladin Point Construction Site,” WorkSafe said.Previous media reports claimed the fatality was a result of falling from a great height or falling from a height after breaking through temporary flooring. Worksafe dismissed the reports as misleading and incorrectInpex, the project operator, reportedly said that the death of the worker, identified as Carl Delaney, was the result of a “serious incident” and that no construction activity would be performed at the site on Thursday. The workers returned to the construction site on Friday.In a statement on Friday, the company said that the suspended work on Thursday was out of respect for the worker, an employee of Whittens, and to allow on-site investigation.Whittens is subcontracted to Kawasaki Heavy Industries, a subcontractor of JKC Australia LNG – the lead construction contractor at the Bladin Point site.Not the first incidentAccording to a timeline of events reported by NT News, the Inpex Ichthys gas project at Bladin Point has had trouble before.Incidents at the site started in November 2014 when two men were hurt in a car crash. In February the following year, a 43m exhaust stack being lifted by two cranes was dropped, fortunately with no injuries.In September 2015, unionist Paul Kirby claimed workers were pushed to the point of fatigue to make up for lost time and managers were “fudging” safety figures on the Inpex project.New incidents happened in March this year, two in two days to be exact. Namely, an electrician was taken to hospital after a compressor hose broke free and punctured his leg and the other incident saw 11 workers exposed to ammonia vapor.Inpex reportedly had another incident earlier this month when a worker slipped through scaffolding while working on one of the cryogenic tanks but was reportedly caught by colleagues.Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Inpex for an official statement and we will update the article if and when we receive a response.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more