Paulsen Townhall Event Discusses DeVos, Obesity and Tax Cuts

Campaign to End Obesity, Breakfast of Champions, May 22, 2013, Washington by www.choicephotography.com

Well, another week has gone by … and once again, Congressman Erik Paulsen must have not gotten any letters from constituents as he did not issue one of his self-promoting Correspondence Corners.

And not too surprising but another week has gone by … and once again, Congressman Erik Paulsen has not held an Open-to-the-Public in-person Town Hall event.

Heck, it doesn’t even appear that Congressman Paulsen has held another of his FACEBOOK Town Hall events … so for those that missed it here is the link to his first FACEBOOK-LIVE event … held April 4, 2017 from 8:35 AM that ran for fourteen minutes.
Congressman Paulsen wanted it to run longer but the bell rang informing him that the House was about to be called into session and there were roll call votes he had to make … the session did begin promptly but the first roll call vote did not take place for another four and a half hours.

Before analyzing the points that Congressman Paulsen made, let’s consider some of the FACEBOOK comments :

Amelia Bengtson · Where, other than on facebook, was this event publicized? Why are you not reaching out in every way possible to your constituents? Why are you not back here in your district meeting with us face to face?

Kurt Loken · Why don’t you post the times for this type of event and also do it at a time convenient for your constituents? I am working now and do not have time to participate. Typing this and going back to work. Disappointing.

Dawn Koenig · This time is not conducive to those who work. 7 minute notice before going live

Brianna Liestman · You seriously haven’t been following what the Department of Education has been doing?!

Jen Larsen Fortner · The buzzer…really? This is like being on a bad date and having your best friend call to get you out of it…

Yeah, this may have been the last one of these FACEBOOK LIVE events … but there was some interesting subjects discussed — with all the Paulsen-Spin you could stomach.

Yes, there were a lot of questions about healthcare reform … but everyone already knows his vote … so let’s delve into some of the topics that Congressman Paulsen did respond to … some even touching on healthcare … at least how his views on what government should be doing on the healthcare issue.

Congressman Paulsen acknowledged the Trump proposed budget and assured everyone that the House would not be in agreement on the funding cuts — expressing his concerns over funding for the Centers For Disease Control (CDC).

Hmmm … he failed to acknowledge that he supported the AHCA (aka RyanCare which should not be confused with McConnellCare) and what it would do to CDC funding.
Specifically, RyanCare — the ObamaCare replacement plan — would eliminate the CDC’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, which, under the ACA, receives $1 billion annually from the federal government to protect the public from potential outbreaks and bioterrorism.
In addition to protecting the public from emerging infectious disease, the funds also support preventative health measures like immunization efforts and heart disease screenings with monies flowing to the States.
The House bill would eliminate the CDC fund in October of 2019 and offers no proposed replacement.
The Senate draft legislation zeroes out the ACA’s $1 billion Prevention and Public Health fund in 2018, one year earlier than the House -passed bill.

Yep, Congressman is concerned about CDC funding !

Besides that assurance, Congressman Paulsen also touted two bills that he was presently offering — in concert with Democrats (guess that proves he is willing to “work across the aisle“.

Paulsen, Thompson Introduce Legislation to Encourage Research for Antibiotics Treatments
03/31/17
Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03) and Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05) have introduced the bipartisan Reinvigorating Antibiotic and Diagnostic Innovation (READI) Act to encourage research and development for new antibiotics that treat a serious or life-threatening infection and for the development of new rapid diagnostic tests.

H.R. 1840: Reinvigorating Antibiotic and Diagnostic Innovation Act of 2017 has 7 cosponsors (6D, 1R) along with strong support for from The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) along with 41 organizations.
Antibiotic resistance continues to be a major source of mortality in the United States. The CDC estimated that at least 2 million individuals in the United States become ill from antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year and at least 23,000 die. One of the most deadly culprits is Clostridium difficile, an infection usually related to antibiotic use — particularly in hospitals — that is responsible for an estimated 14,000 deaths annually.
The Paulsen legislation, H.R.1840 provides tax incentives for pharmaceutical companies to invest in the development of novel antibiotics and rapid diagnostic tests for infections.
Yep, another problem that can be solved by a Paulsen tax cut … of course this statement could also have been made in 2015 when H.R. 3539 was introduced eventually garnering 13 cosponsors (8D, 5R) … it was never acted on by the House Ways and Means Committee … which is a committee that Congressman Paulsen sits … so don’t got wonder why he tells his constituents about the problem that he is working on, and yet can’t tell the Republican leadership to act ?
One more thought … Replay the link and hear Congressman Paulsen acknowledge that Americans have died … so why did it take three months to reintroduce 2015 legislation ?

Paulsen, Kind Introduce Bill to Reduce Obesity Among Seniors
04/05/17
Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03) and Congressman Ron Kind (WI-03) introduced the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act to expand access to treatment options for Medicare beneficiaries afflicted with obesity.

H.R.1953 Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2017 has 91 co-sponsors (61 D 30 R) and has been assigned to the Ways and Means Committee.
Previously, H.R.2404 Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2015 died in session when the Ways and Means Committee ignored the bill despite it having 163 co-sponsors (99 D 64 R)
Oh, and that was not the only time this legislation has been introduced … H.R.2415 Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2013 had 115 co-sponsors (71 D 44 R) … so, yes, once again, don’t got wonder why he tell his constituents about the problem and yet can’t get the Republican leadership to act ?

Surely, Third District constituents remember when Congressman Paulsen alerted them that he was being saluted for his work on obesity … accepting the award from Jeffrey Poltawsky, Senior Vice President at the American Family Children’s Hospital.

Paulsen Recognized With Campaign to End Obesity Award

I recently received the Campaign to End Obesity’s “Champion of Obesity” policy award. It’s a shame that 50 years ago, well under 15% of Americans were obese. Now that number is closer to a third of all Americans. The consequences are staggering–from increased rates of heart disease and diabetes to decreased life expectancies. Obesity is a leading contributor to rising health care expenses in our country, costing almost $168 billion per year. As Co-Chair of the Wellness Caucus, I’m working to increase awareness of the obesity epidemic and promote healthy work environments by ensuring families and businesses have the education and tools they need to combat obesity.

It’s a good thing that he got that award years ago, because his vote to support TrumpCare does not please American Family Children’s Hospital.

Children’s hospitals REJECT the American Health Care Act for failing children

Washington, D.C. — On behalf of our nation’s children’s hospitals and the patients and families they serve, Children’s Hospital Association urges the House of Representatives to reject the American Health Care Act (AHCA). While lawmakers have altered the bill since its introduction, it continues to fail over 30 million kids, including over a million disabled children, who receive their health coverage through Medicaid.

The legislation the House is scheduled to consider is a national threat to children’s health care, cutting funding, coverage and benefits for kids, many of whom have significant health care needs. The most damaging provision in the bill is a newly added block grant option for states that would eliminate Medicaid’s core benefit for children, EPSDT (Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment), which ensures children receive immunizations, mental health assessments and vision, eye and hearing exams as well as other medical services they might need. A block grant would also eliminate cost-sharing protections for children, essentially creating new barriers to care for low-income, working families.

The bill would cut state health care budgets by more than $880 billion over 10 years by giving states the option of converting Medicaid to a block grant or per capita cap system. Children, who represent over 40 percent of all enrollees yet account for just 20 percent of Medicaid costs, could see their health care cut by tens of billions of dollars over that period. Limiting future funding for states will only erode children’s coverage, benefits and access to care in Medicaid.

Congress should be looking after the health of America’s children. Medicaid should be maintained as an entitlement and children should receive their core benefits. Medicaid and improved child health have been proven to carry lifelong benefits into adulthood, and providing Medicaid coverage for children is a smart investment for the nation.

Children’s hospitals cannot support any bill that does not safeguard Medicaid funding, coverage and benefits for children. We ask Congress to reject this bill and advance a better future for our nation’s children.

That’s just the impact on children … but obesity also impacts adults … and as USA Today reported “Obesity is a disease, but the U.S. health care system fails to treat it like one, say doctors who treat obesity.

FunFact : Being overweight or obese increases the chances of developing the common type of diabetes, type 2 diabetes.
Not So Surprising Fact : The American Diabetes Association also opposes Paulsen’s healthcare plan.

“On behalf of the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes and the 86 million more with prediabetes, the American Diabetes Association cannot support the AHCA as it is currently drafted, and urges all members of Congress to oppose this bill.

OK … that’s enough talk about healthcare … there were other issues that Congressman Paulsen was asked about … like the new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos … to which he replied “I haven’t been following Betsy DeVos” but then reminded the FACEBOOK LIVE audience that he is co-chair of the Congressional School Choice Caucus (hmmm … he might want to discuss that with Luke Messer (R-IN-06) who is listed with and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) as co-chairs.)
(Gosh, don’t you wish that Congressman Paulsen was one of the nineteen Members who founded House Public Education Caucus.)

Funny thing how he was willing to discuss CDC cuts in the Trump Budget but failed to mention that the Trump Budget seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers as it cuts over $9 billion in education programs — everything from cuts to career and technical education programs to after-school funding programs.
But hey, charter schools will get more money.

So are we to believe that Congressman Paulsen hasn’t “been following Betsy DeVos” … well, the AASA, The School Superintendents Association has concerns that he should hear.
The AASA issued a press release opposing the deep Medicaid cuts in the Paulsen-backed health care bill. Turns out that folks at the AASA are finding out that many congressional members or their staffs did not realize that schools used Medicaid funds.

Yeah, so maybe we gotta believe Congressman Paulsen … if he isn’t “following Betsy DeVos”, he is probably unaware of how Medicaid provide funds for schools.

To summarize the FACEBOOK LIVE event, Congressman Paulsen has reintroduced legislation that the Republican-controlled House has failed to address before; voices support for the CDC while voting to cut funding; is unaware of what Betsy DeVos is doing (and maybe how schools will be impacted by Medicaid cuts); and has so many groups telling him that his healthcare reform legislation is harmful to so many Americans.

Yep, Congressman Paulsen has a difficult job … projecting an image as a Moderate Republican adhering to the philosophy

my priority is to provide the best representation and strongest constituent service possible. I have a plaque that sits on my desk that says “listen, learn, serve, lead.” And I truly believe this is the best way to approach my job. Listening to the families in my district is the primary way I learn about what is truly important to you and our community.

when he has other things on his mind … like attending a fundraising dinner tonight.

July 10 Leadership and Eagle Club dinner

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