by 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.org
Naval and customs officers seizedabout 4.4 tons of the drug in Montevideo port. It had been hidden in four soyflour containers destined for Lome, the capital of Togo. Naval and customs officers seized about 4.4 tons of cocaine in Montevideo port, Uruguay. AFP Another 1.5 tons was later found on aranch, local reports said. The drugs have an estimated total street value ofaround $1.3bn (£1bn). The ranch’s owner and his son werearrested along with two workers. The country’s previous record haul wasin November, when authorities uncovered a container with three tons of cocainealso in Montevideo.(BBC) URUGUAY – Authorities here said theyseized a record haul of around six tons of cocaine, calling it the biggestsetback for traffickers in the country’s history. Uruguay is increasingly being used asa transit point to move drugs from Latin America to Africa and Europe.
IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods headline weekly race programs at Longdale Speedway. Shawn Brassfield, a longtime driver and former regional director for IMCA, takes over the general manager reins at the 3/8-mile clay oval owned by Jessie Hoskins. Regular maintenance on the track has continued since the last race held at Longdale. Drivers and fans will note recent improvement projects, among them a new tech building, ticket office and restroom facilities. Stock Car points earned at Longdale apply in IMCA’s EQ Cylinder Heads Southern Region. “IMCA brings a level of professionalism to all its classes plus resources for the promoter,” observed Brassfield. “There are a number of drivers in both the Stock Car and Southern SportMod division in the area. Ultimately, we hope to bring Modified drivers in and sanction that division down the road.” Nine point race dates are on the schedule for Stock Cars and 11 for the Southern SportMods. The IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing point season concludes on July 27. “Jessie has built an amazing facility. It’s just beautiful,” Brassfield said. “I think it’s the nicest one in Oklahoma.” Opening night for both the Stock Cars and Southern SportMods at Longdale is Saturday, March 30. LONGDALE, Okla. – Two IMCA divisions return this season to a familiar venue in the Sooner State. “We’re glad to have Longdale back. We have always enjoyed working with Jessie and his staff,” said IMCA Vice President of Operations Jim Stannard. “This is a tremendous facility and will be a great track for our Stock Car and Southern SportMod drivers to compete at.”
… seeks meeting SaturdayMEMBERS of the United T&T Football Association group are seeking to hold a virtual general meeting of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) this weekend to discuss what it calls the overstepping of authority and unacceptable behaviour by ousted TTFA president William Wallace.In a release yesterday, the group, which includes former TTFA first vice-president Clynt Taylor, second vice-president Susan Joseph-Warrick, third vice-president Joseph Sam Phillip, Anthony Harford and Keith Look Loy, said the situation arose after regional sports broadcaster Sportsmax revealed information concerning three crucial contracts which Williams allegedly signed off on without the apparent final approval of the TTFA board.The contracts were listed as those for sports brand company Avec, national senior men’s coach Terry Fenwick and TTFA secretary Ramesh Ramdhan.The group said according to the information disclosed, all three contracts were allegedly modified before being signed by Wallace and the parties involved without following the process of informing and getting final approval from the board. In fact, the group claims most of the information, in particular, some of the details of Fenwick’s contract only came to light via the Sportsmax broadcasts.The group said this behaviour was totally unacceptable and it was this type of activity by the previous regime which led the TTFA members to vote out David John-Williams and replace him with Wallace before FIFA stepped in to appoint a Normalisation Committee to revamp local football.The group said it was still in favour of going ahead with the lawsuit against FIFA’s decision to bring in the Normalisation Committee but no longer held confidence in Williams.As such, the group said it was calling a meeting on Saturday (June 20) to discuss the issue and how they would go forward.FULL STATEMENT:In recent days regional broadcaster Sportsmax raised the issue of Terry Fenwick’s contract as TTFA’s senior men’s national team coach – specifically, the content, duration and TTFA Board approval of said contract.“We have stated for the public record that we were not aware of the content of, nor did the TTFA Board approve, said contract, which varied significantly from what it had in fact approved. Last night, (Monday June 15), Sportsmax raised the issue of Ramesh Ramdhan’s contract as TTFA General Secretary – specifically the fact that it was two years in duration, while the TTFA Board had approved a one-year appointment.“We were unaware of this and immediately contacted Ramesh Ramdhan via Whatsapp text to enquire about the veracity of Sportsmax’s claim.Ramdhan confirmed that he does, indeed, hold a two-year agreement signed by president William Wallace. We are confronted by the fact of TTFA president Wallace’s signature of three contracts which the TTFA Board did not approve: 1) Avec uniforms, for which the Board criticised him but accepted his apology and assurance that such action would not be repeated. The contract was presented to the Board after the fact; 2) Terry Fenwick’s; 3) Ramesh Ramdhan’s.This pattern of behaviour is unacceptable. It is unilateral. It exceeds the constitutional limits to the president’s authority. It is deceptive and deeply disappointing. And it replicates the performance of former president David John-Williams. As members of United TTFA, we brought John-Williams’ reign to an end in the last TTFA election on the promise of democracy, transparency and accountability.“We stand by the principles of national sovereignty and the right of TTFA’s membership to elect and remove officers, which is the premise of United TTFA’s High Court action. But we also believe Wallace no longer holds the moral high ground. We are determined to continue the case because we reject FIFA’s belief that it could remove a democratically elected administration.That said, we have determined to immediately call a virtual General Meeting of TTFA’s membership (via zoom), on Saturday June 20 at 14.00hrs. The purpose of this meeting will be to allow the members the opportunity to speak on all of the above, as well as the overall tenure of the Wallace administration.Clynt Taylor, 1st vice-president; Susan Joseph-Warrick, 2nd vice-president; Joseph Sam Phillip, 3rd vice-president; Anthony Harford and Keith Look Loy. (Extracted from Trinidad Guardian)