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About NH Labor News

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.

Climate Change Thought Leaders Gather at Alnoba to Discuss Renewable Energy

Kensington, NH,   – Alnoba, the premier destination for Retreats, Leadership, and Wellness, is hosting a panel discussion entitled “New England’s Energy Future: The Opportunities and Challenges of Renewable Energy Technologies” on Wednesday, April 12 from 5:3-7 p.m. It will be held in the Great Room at Alnoba, located at 24 Cottage Road, Kensington, NH.
Attendees will learn about New Hampshire’s powerful solar resource, the technology advancements that make it practical to harvest that sunshine, and to learn about the integration of renewable energy with electric appliances that enable consumers to replace oil, gas and propane with zero emissions clean technology, while having the investment paid for through fuel savings.

The expert panel will include:

  • Dr. Cameron Wake, UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space & Josephine A. Lamprey Professor in Climate and Sustainability at the UNH Sustainability Institute
  • Phil Coupe, Co-Founder, ReVision Energy
  • Joe Harrison, Director of Clean Energy Finance at Community Development Finance Authority
  • Bradley Campbell, President of the Conservation Law Foundation
  • Dr. Clay Mitchell, Lecturer at UNH Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment, Community and Environmental Planning, and Environmental Conservation and Sustainability
  • With Moderator Charles Forcey, Senior Software Architect at Advanced Energy Economy 

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with light refreshments and networking, followed by brief presentations, a panel discussion and question and answer session.

The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Sign up on Event Brite at https://AlnobaClimateChangePanel.Eventbrite.com or call 603-418-7409. 

This topic is very near and dear to us so we are happy to host these thought leaders,” explained Jan Byrnes, Director of Social Mission and Conservation at Lewis Family Foundation North. The Lewis Family has long been involved in conservation, sustainability and preservation. “Alnoba, designed by master architect Matthew O’Malia at GO Logic in Belfast, ME, was built with restored New England timber frames and is the first mixed use building to achieve Passive House standard in the Northeast. In addition, sustainability is integral with the design and operation of the buildings, property and programs at The Farm at Eastman’s Corner. In addition to LED and solar-sourced energy from solar panels, there are electric car charging stations around the property. We are working toward a net zero energy goal.” 

“Climate change is now a risk we ignore at our peril. Not only does the burning of fossil fuels result in the emission of heat-trapping gases that drive our changing climate, but every year New Hampshire exports approximately $4 billion from the local economy to import fossil fuels from away,” said Dr. Wake. “The good news is that renewable energy technology now makes it possible for individuals and organizations to cost-effectively reduce the use of fossil fuels and recycle more energy dollars in our state and region,” he added. 

According to ReVision Energy’s Coupe, solar electricity costs have plunged 75% and complementary technologies like heat pumps, batteries and electric vehicles have progressed to the point where people can transition to clean energy while deriving an excellent economic and environmental return on investment. The presentations will discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with this transition to clean energy. 

Attendees will get the opportunity to tour the facility and enjoy light bites from by The Farm at Eastman’s Corner, which is the exclusive caterer for Alnoba.

For more information about this and future Alnoba events, please contact Julie Cook at 603-418-7409 or email her at jcook@alnoba.org

About Alnoba

Alnoba was built by the Lewis Family Foundation (LFF) North with the goal of creating a special place for the community, organizations and families to gather, share, learn and be inspired to change people’s lives and save the earth we share. At Alnoba, individuals, groups and organizations come to continue their lifelong journey of learning and transformation. It is a place where we connect with our higher selves and each other to create a way of being in the world that is sustainable, nourishing and bold. Alnoba is located in Kensington, NH, convenient to Boston, Concord, NH, and Portland, ME. It is available for meetings, retreats, and special events. When you hold your meeting or event at Alnoba, you support conservation, community and the development of future leaders. For more information, visit www.alnoba.org.

Global Asbestos Awareness Week Promotes Advocacy, Education

The first week of April is devoted to Global Asbestos Awareness Week, an initiative meant to educate people about the dangers of asbestos and the diseases related to its exposure. Launched by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, the now worldwide event is in its 13th year and shines a light on the thousands of people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases annually, while advocating for the ban of the substance in the United States.

Current federal regulations limit the amount of asbestos in newly-manufactured products to less than one percent, but the threat of exposure is still very real. Older homes may still contain asbestos used in various applications from tar paper and ceiling tiles to caulking. Public buildings, including schools and business offices, may also contain the material, which was used as an insulation because of its high resistance to heat and durability.
Roughly 60 countries worldwide, including the entire European Union, have asbestos bans in place. Late last year, Canada joined the ever-growing group, vowing to ban it by 2018. Although the material is considered safe when left alone, if disturbed asbestos particles can become airborne and enter the body through inhalation. Once inside, those fibers settle in the lungs, causing irritation and inflammation in the organ lining and eventually allowing tumors to develop. In other cases, the fibers may travel through the lymph nodes to other sections of the body, including the linings of the heart or abdomen. Several diseases are associated with asbestos exposure, including asbestosis and mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that isn’t often diagnosed until its later stages. Because of the late diagnosis, most patients are given a prognosis of only 12-21 months.

Although anyone can be exposed to asbestos, there are several lines of work where exposure is more common due to where and how it was used. For example, a carpenter may become exposed to asbestos after disturbing some pipe insulation while remodeling someone’s basement. Military service members may have also been exposed while serving on Naval ships or maintaining aircraft. Even automotive workers face possible exposure through brake pad dust and clutch linings.

Late last year, the Environmental Protection Agency included asbestos on its list of ten chemicals slated for evaluation and potential banning under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Though a political sea of change has left the EPA in a tenuous position, there is still hope asbestos will be banned in the near future if the EPA is able to move forward and act on its findings.

The kicker to all of this is mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related diseases are completely preventable, especially when employees and homeowners take the necessary precautions to limit exposure and properly abate it when it’s found. Dozens of countries have already stepped up and removed the mineral from manufacturing and use, and the United States would be doing the right thing by following suit.

Shea-Porter, Kuster Announce 2017 Congressional Art Competition

Annual Contest Showcases New Hampshire
High School Students’ Artistic Talent

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) today announced a call for entries for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition. Each spring, members of Congress sponsor a nationwide high school visual art competition where students from across the country submit their artwork to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building.

“Our state’s high school artists have produced some amazing artwork through the years and I am excited to see what this year’s contributors will exhibit,” said Shea-Porter. 

“I always enjoy seeing the beautiful works of art that young Granite Staters create for this competition,” said Kuster. “These pieces bring joy to visitors from around the country. I thank these talented individuals for sharing their work with us.” 

The Congressional Art Competition has offered young artists the opportunity for recognition and encouragement since 1982. More than 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition through the years. The winning artwork from each Congressional district is displayed in an eleven-month exhibit in the Cannon House Office Building tunnel that leads into the U.S. Capitol.  

Art entered in the contest may be up to 26 inches by 26 inches (including the frame) and up to 4 inches in depth. Eligible artwork mediums include: 

·         Paintings: Oil, Acrylics, Watercolor, etc.

·         Drawings: Pastels, Colored Pencil, Pencil, Charcoal, Ink, Marker (It is recommended that charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed)

·         Collages: Must be two dimensional

·         Prints: Lithographs, Silk Screen, Block Prints

·         Mixed Media: Use of more than two mediums such as Pencil, Ink, Watercolor, etc.

·         Computer-generated art 

·         Photographs 

The deadline for entries is Friday, April 28, 2017 at 5:00 PM. For more information, First District constituents may view full contest guidelines at shea-porter.house.gov/services/art-competition, and Second District constituents may view full contest guidelines at kuster.house.gov/services/art-competition.

Judge Orders T-Mobile to Disband Illegal Workplace Organization

WASHINGTON — A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge has ruled that T-Mobile created an illegal workplace organization while workers have been organizing a real, independent union for a voice at America’s fastest-growing wireless company. The judge ordered T-Mobile to immediately disband the company-controlled organization.

“If T-Mobile wants to address its workers’ concerns and ideas, we have democratically-elected representatives ready and willing to meet with management to discuss how we can improve our workplace,” said Angela Melvin, a T-Mobile customer service representative in Wichita, Kan., who sits on the steering committee of the employee-backed union, T-Mobile Workers United (TU). “We’re telling our co-workers: Your voice matters. Across the country, call center representatives, retail associates, and technicians are coming together to support one another and fight for fairness on the job.”

The ruling is just the latest victory for TU, an organization anchored by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Germany’s largest union ver.di, which represents workers at T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom. From Maine to New Mexico, TU activists have won key workplace improvements, including paid parental leave and critical schedule improvements. NLRB judges have repeatedly sided with workers, ordering the company to rescind illegal policies that prevented employees from discussing working conditions, silenced victims of sexual harassment, and required employees to act happy.

In a desperate attempt to stop TU, T-Mobile launched its company controlled organization, T-Voice, in 2015. This copycat organization was “chartered” to be the “voice” of employees and address their “pain points.” Yet management has funded this organization, handpicked T-Voice representatives, and selected the issues that would get resolved.

In February 2016, CWA filed a NLRB charge outlining how T-Mobile had adopted this anti-union tactic that has been illegal since Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act in 1935.

In striking down T-Voice, NLRB administrative law judge Sharon Levinson Steckler wrote, “Whenever an employer unlawfully establishes and maintains a dominated labor organization, that organization must be disestablished. … The rationale for doing so dates back to the earlier days of enforcing the Act: The dominated labor organization cannot function as a bargaining representative of employees and employees must have a choice to begin anew for organizing purposes.”

T-Voice has failed to stop the growing momentum and energy of the real union’s organizing campaign. One year ago, TU took a major step forward by formally electing Chief Stewards, co-workers who are their union representatives. Workers opened their first national field office in Wichita, and they continue to forge workplace partnerships with ver.di.

“Everyday, workers are seeking out TU for help tackling the challenges we face at work,” said Victoria Singer, a T-Mobile customer service representative in Albuquerque, NM. “T-Voice is not the voice of T-Mobile workers. It’s an illegal organization run by the company to create the illusion of respect for workers. Everything we’ve accomplished is the result of TU members uniting, standing up, and speaking out. We will continue pushing for justice — particularly concerning the company’s unrealistic sales metrics and performance goals.”

Women Honored On “Equal Pay Day”

Yesterday, April 4th, was Equal Pay Day, the day when women finally earn as much as their male counterparts did in the previous year.

“Pay discrimination undermines our country’s fundamental principles of equality. As long as millions of American women continue to only earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, we have to keep fighting,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “Equal Pay Day is an important reminder that, despite recent progress, we still have a long way to go to end pay discrimination. A recent study projected that the wage gap in New Hampshire will close in 2079. Waiting 62 years to close the wage gap is just unacceptable, hurting Granite State women, their families and our economy. It’s time to make equal pay for equal work a reality.”

In the U.S. Senate, Senator Maggie Hassan joined Senator Shaheen and 40 other Senators in reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, guaranteeing that women can challenge wage discrimination and hold employers accountable. Despite making up half of the workforce in the country, women still make only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by a man. The gap widens for women of color: African-American women only earn 63 cents on the dollar and Hispanic only earn 54 cents, on average, compared to white men. 

“It’s long past time for women to earn an equal day’s pay for an equal day’s work,” Senator Hassan said. “Wage discrimination is unacceptable and it strains the financial security of thousands of Granite State families and threatens our economic well-being in New Hampshire. I am proud to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act to help ensure that all hard-working Granite Staters and Americans can earn a fair pay check and have the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead.” 

The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, ending the practice of pay secrecy, easing workers’ ability to individually or jointly challenge pay discrimination, and strengthening the available remedies for wronged employees.

In the U.S House, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today co-introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act and highlighted the gender pay gap on Equal Pay Day. 

“Working women are America’s mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives. We’re America’s factory and office workers, health care professionals and scientists, business executives and teachers,” said Shea-Porter. “Women are working everywhere, but in America, in 2017, women still make only 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. Equal pay for equal work is a fairness issue and an economic issue: New Hampshire families rely on women’s wages to make ends meet, and when women are paid less than men for the same work, it affects the whole family.”

Compared to national figures, the disparity in New Hampshire is even greater – the state ranks 47th in the nation for paycheck fairness, according to the National Women’s Law Center, with women in New Hampshire losing an average of $534,120 over a 40-year career due to the gender pay gap.

One key way to start closing the pay gap is for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Shea-Porter has co-introduced in each of her four terms. The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the 1963 Equal Pay Act, close loopholes in the law, and provide effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal pay for equal work.

Shea-Porter is a strong advocate for issues that are important to women and families. She co-introduced the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which became law on Jan. 29, 2009 and ensured that Americans subjected to unlawful gender-based pay discrimination can effectively assert their rights under the federal anti-discrimination law. This February, Shea-Porter co-introduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, a bill to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program and ensure that American workers no longer must choose between a paycheck and caring for a family member, and the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act, which would boost the tax break’s value and ensure it keeps up with the costs working parents face, including the quickly-rising cost of childcare.

“In 2017, it is simply unacceptable that women on average earn 80 cents to every dollar men earn,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “This is an injustice not only to women, but also to the many American families that count a woman as the primary or co-breadwinner. It’s long past time we correct this injustice, and I will continue my efforts in Congress to end the pay gap and ensure women receive the compensation they deserve.”

Since taking office, Congresswoman Kuster has been a strong advocate for equal pay for women.  She is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help reduce wage disparities between men and women across the country. In addition, she authored a Women’s Economic Agenda, a plan for Congress to prioritize initiatives to reduce pay disparities based on gender and support Granite State women and their families. She has also hosted a series of roundtables to hear directly from women business owners and other professionals all across New Hampshire about what more Congress can do to help Granite State women succeed and receive fair pay in the workplace.

The women senators of the NH Senate Democratic Caucus also released a statement in recognition of Equal Pay Day: 

“Despite decades of research and advocacy, pay discrimination between male and female workers continues to undermine our nation’s fundamental principles of equality. Today, American women on average earn just 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. That disparity increases significantly for women of color. This isn’t just a women’s issue–it’s a family issue and an economic issue.”

“In fact, research conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finds that ensuring equal pay for every woman in America would cut poverty among working women and their families by more than half and add an estimated $482 billion to the national economy. In New Hampshire, where women earn 76.4 cents for every dollar earned by men, recent studies of the wage gap anticipate that it will take 62 years for working women and men to reach pay parity in our state. And in that time, another generation of women will come and go without receiving just compensation for their contributions.”

“It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. We’re not willing to wait until 2079 to resolve the issue of equal pay for equal work. The women of this country and our state have waited long enough.”

Senator Hassan Joins Colleagues in Calling on President Trump to Protect Granite Staters from Higher Health Care Costs

Senator Urges President Trump to Protect Cost-Sharing Subsidies that Help Lower Health Care Costs for Hard-Working Granite Staters 

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan joined fellow members of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), including Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), in calling on President Trump to stop efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to help stabilize the insurance market by protecting the cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act that help lower health care costs for hard-working Granite Staters and Americans.

“As we have said, we stand ready to work on improvements to the law that would reduce costs for individuals and improve the stability of the market. But, we cannot work together on commonsense reforms without a strong commitment from your Administration to do no further harm and to halt efforts that have already begun to undermine access to affordable coverage,” the Senators wrote. “We urge you, again, to take action to protect and continue this vital financial assistance for our constituents and all of the health benefits that our families rely on today.” 

More than 6 million Americans enrolled in health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act receive cost-sharing subsidies to help reduce their out-of-pocket costs and deductibles. 

A lawsuit brought by Congressional Republicans, House v. Price (formerly House v. Burwell), seeks to stop ACA cost-sharing subsidies and raise out of pocket costs for hard-working American families. Instead of committing to protect the payments, President Trump and House Republicans further delayed action on this lawsuit – prolonging uncertainty for consumers and insurers – until May 22, 2017. President Trump could take action to halt these subsidy payments, which would force families to lose critical financial assistance and create instability for insurers that could result in plan cancellations.

“Failing to take immediate action to oppose the lawsuit or direct House Republicans to forgo this effort will increase instability in the insurance market, as insurers may choose not to participate in the marketplace in 2018,” the Senators added. “Most importantly, if your Administration stops these payments, it would immediately expose our families to higher insurance costs and could force them to forgo needed care.” 

Last week, Senator Hassan and Senator Shaheen joined their colleagues in urging President Trump and his administration to abandon efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act so that they can work together in a bipartisan fashion to improve the law and lower the cost of health care for all Granite Staters and Americans. 

The full text of the Senators’ letter available here and below.

Letter to Trump Re Cost Sharing

 

Hassan Joins Progressive Senators In Introducing Legislation To Bring Down Prescription Drug Prices

Proposal Improves Upon the Affordable Care Act By
Addressing Skyrocketing Drug Prices

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and others in launching a major push to improve upon the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by bringing down the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs, one of the main reasons why health care costs for seniors and families are rising.

The Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act would help ensure that drug companies put patients before profits and bring much-needed relief to families and seniors, including many who have had to make the impossible choice between paying for a life-saving drug and putting food on the table.

“It is long past time for Congress to put patients first by coming together and acting to lower the cost of prescription drugs,” said Senator Hassan. “This major piece of legislation helps ensure that seniors and families can afford the medication they need through common-sense steps including cracking down on bad actors who hike the cost of prescription drugs that have been on the market for years or who play games to prevent competition. I will continue working with anyone who’s serious about addressing the rising costs of prescription drugs and ensuring that all Americans can afford critical care.” 

The landmark proposal, which the Senators said they want to see included in upcoming legislative debates, seeks to tackle prescription drug costs by increasing transparency and accountability, boosting access and affordability of key drugs, spurring innovation, and increasing choice and competition.  

The Senators were joined in introducing this legislative package, which is supported by a wide range of organizations and patient advocacy groups, by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jeff Merkley (OR), Tom Udall (D-NM), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).

You can read more about the legislation by clicking here or reading below:

The Senators’ legislation is supported by:

  • The American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
  • AFSCME
  • Housing Works
  • MoveOn
  • National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare
  • National Physicians Alliance
  • Other98
  • PFAM: People of Faith for Access to Medicines
  • Public Citizen
  • Social Security Works
  • Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)
  • AFT
  • Doctors for America
  • Center for Medicare Advocacy
  • Alliance for Retired Americans

Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act

Title I: Transparency

Section 101: Drug manufacturer reporting.

To better understand how research and development costs, manufacturing and marketing costs, acquisitions, federal investments, revenues and sales, and other factors influence drug prices, this section requires drug manufacturers to disclose this information, by product, to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), who, in turn, will make it publicly available in a searchable format.

Section 102: Determining the public and private benefit of copayment coupons and other patient assistance programs.

To better understand how patient assistance programs affect drug prices and the extent to which drug makers are using independent charity assistance programs to drive up profits, this section requires independent charity assistance programs to disclose to the IRS the total amount of patient assistance provided to patients who are prescribed drugs manufactured by any contributor to the independent charity assistance program. It also requires a GAO study on the impact of patient assistance programs on prescription drug pricing and expenditures. 

Title II: Access and Affordability

Section 201: Negotiating fair prices for Medicare prescription drugs.

Medicare is one of the largest purchasers of prescription drugs in the country but, unlike Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), it is not allowed to leverage its purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices and bring down costs. This section would allow the Secretary of HHS to negotiate with drug companies to lower prescription drug prices, and directs the Secretary to prioritize negotiations on specialty and other high-priced drugs.

Section 202: Prescription drug price spikes.

Prescription drugs are priced in the United States according to whatever the market will bear and are sometimes subject to drastic and frequent price increases without apparent justification. This makes drugs increasingly unaffordable and creates significant uncertainty for patients’ and insurers’ budgets. This section requires the HHS Office of the Inspector General (HHS OIG) to monitor changes in drug prices and take steps to prevent drug manufacturers from engaging in price gouging. 

Section 203: Acceleration of the closing of the Medicare Part D coverage gap.

This section closes the Medicare Part D prescription coverage gap in 2018, two years earlier than under current law, providing faster financial relief to seniors, and requires drug manufacturers to pay a larger share of the costs during the coverage gap.  

Section 204: Importing affordable and safe drugs.

This section allows wholesalers, licensed U.S. pharmacies, and individuals to import qualifying prescription drugs manufactured at FDA-inspected facilities from licensed Canadian sellers and, after two years, from OECD countries that meet standards comparable to U.S. standards.

Section 205: Requiring drug manufacturers to provide drug rebates for drugs dispensed to low-income individuals.

This section restores prescription drug rebates for seniors who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid and extends these rebates to other Medicare patients in Medicare low-income-subsidy plans.

Section 206: Cap on prescription drug cost-sharing.

For plan years beginning in 2019 and later, this section caps prescription drug cost sharing at $250 per month for individuals and $500 a month for families enrolled in Qualified Health Plans and employer-based plans.

 

Title III: Innovation

Section 301: Prize fund for new and more effective treatments of bacterial infections.

This section creates a $2 billion prize fund at the National Institutes of Health to fund entities that develop superior antibiotics that treat serious and life-threatening bacterial infections and to fund research that advances such treatments and is made publicly available. In order to receive prize funds, recipients must commit to offering their products at a reasonable price, share clinical data, and take steps to promote antibiotic stewardship. 

Section 302: Public funding for clinical trials.

This section creates a Center for Clinical Research within the NIH to conduct all stages of clinical trials on drugs that may address an existing or emerging health need. 

Section 303: Rewarding innovative drug development.

This section amends various exclusivity periods awarded by the FDA to brand-name pharmaceutical companies in an effort to accelerate competition in the generic and biologics market. First, the bill modifies the New Chemical Entity (NCE) exclusivity period to allow FDA to accept a generic drug application for the branded product after three years rather than five. Second, this section would add in a requirement that products awarded the 3-year New Clinical Investigation Exclusivity must show significant clinical benefit over existing therapies manufactured by the applicant in the 5-year period preceding the submission of the application. Third, this section reduces the biological product exclusivity from 12 years to 7 years. 

Section 304: Improving program integrity.

This section would terminate any remaining market exclusivity periods on any product found to be in violation of criminal or civil law through a federal or state fraud conviction or settlement in which the company admits fault.

 

Title IV: Choice and Competition

Section 401: Preserving access to affordable generics.

This legislation would make it illegal for brand-name and generic drug manufacturers to enter into anti-competitive agreements in which the brand-name drug manufacturer pays the generic manufacturer to keep more affordable generic equivalents off the market. 

Section 402 and 403: 180-Day exclusivity period amendments regarding first applicant status and agreements to defer commercial marketing.

This section enables FDA to take away the 180-day generic drug exclusivity period from any generic company that enters into anti-competitive pay-for-delay settlements with brand-name drug manufacturers. 

Section 404: Increasing generic drug competition.

This section introduces new reporting requirements and financial incentives to promote and sustain competitive generic markets. 

Section 405: Disallowance of deduction for advertising for prescription drugs.

This section eliminates the tax breaks drug companies receive from the federal government for expenses related to direct-to-consumer advertising.

Section 406: Product hopping.

This section establishes a definition for the term “product hopping” and instructs the FTC to submit a report to Congress on the extent to which companies engage in these anti-competitive practices and their effects on company profits, consumer access, physician prescribing behavior, and broader economic impacts.

Shaheen, Hassan Join 30 Senators to Introduce Bill to Rescind President’s Anti-Climate Executive Order

**The Clean Air, Healthy Kids Act highlights potential threats that Trump’s executive action poses to the economy and environment** 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined more than 30 U.S. Senators today to introduce legislation to rescind President Trump’s Executive Order that reverses several landmark U.S. initiatives to combat climate change.   

The bill, titled the Clean Air, Healthy Kids Act, would block federal agencies from implementing the actions outlined in the Executive Order signed Tuesday by President Trump. These actions include reevaluating the Clean Power Plan, which is currently on track to provide $54 billion in climate and health benefits each year, prevent thousands of premature deaths and asthma attacks in children, reduce electricity bills for homes and businesses, and create thousands of good-paying jobs. 

Yesterday, Senators Shaheen and Hassan released the following statements on President Trump’s Executive Order:

“President Trump is ignoring the mountain of evidence on climate change and plowing ahead with a dangerous agenda that threatens the health and well-being of New Hampshire,” said Shaheen. “Rolling back carbon emissions rules and clean energy initiatives is a shortsighted political move that prioritizes the interests of big oil and coal companies over every day Americans. In New Hampshire, we see the effects of climate change every day and it is a direct threat to our environment, economy and way of life. We owe it to future generations to build on the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

“From our White Mountains to our beautiful Seacoast, New Hampshire’s beautiful natural resources define us as a state and I am extremely concerned by President Trump’s efforts to roll back the Clean Power Plan’s common-sense environmental protections,” said Senator Hassan. “Granite Staters know that protecting our environment while building a stronger, more affordable energy future is critical for our families and our businesses. New Hampshire has been a leader in efforts to cut carbon emissions, conserve our natural resources, and combat climate change and we need to see similar efforts at the federal level. That’s why I have been a strong supporter of the Clean Power Plan, and I will continue fighting for a cleaner environment and stronger renewable energy future that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels and helps our citizens, businesses, and economy thrive.” 

A copy of the bill is available HERE.

Granite State Rumblings: Trump’s “Skinny Budget” Is Bad For Working Families

There is a lot happening politically in Washington and in Concord that will impact children and families. Every Child Matters in NH has been focused on advocating for the needs of family and children in both arenas. This week we will take a look at the implications for kids at the federal level. Next week we will focus on New Hampshire legislation and the NH budget.

The Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have worked in unison to dramatically cut the ranks of uninsured children in New Hampshire and across the country. Because of the options available under the ACA the percentage of uninsured children has dropped from 14.9 percent in 1997 to just 4.8 percent in 2015 — a 68 percent reduction. That is impressive! 

And so are you!

With the hard work and dedication of so many who made phone calls, wrote letters and e-mails, attended town hall meetings, visited with Congressional staff, wrote letters to the editor and took a stand, the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. Thank you!!

Here’s the skinny on the Skinny (Budget).

President Trump has released his “Skinny Budget” for fiscal year 2018, and the news is not good for families. It cuts funds from the programs that are essential to low-income children and families – education, housing, job training, nutrition for women, infants and children (WIC), energy assistance (LIHEAP), legal assistance, eliminates afterschool and summer care through the 21st Century Learning Centers program, and more. All of these cuts are being made to offset an increase in money for the Pentagon (defense spending). 

Click HERE for a more detailed list of Trump’s FY 2018 Budget cuts from our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs.

Why is the President’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, making these cuts to programs that help to warm homes in the winter, educate, feed, and house our children, and eliminate care for children, making it harder for working families to work? 

Watch this video to hear his claims.

So I ask you, why is it okay to tax the single mother of two in Detroit to feed the Pentagon budget but not to feed children and the elderly? When did we become so callous?

Oh! And by the way, high quality afterschool and summer programs DO work. There is a significant body of research demonstrating the positive outcomes associated with participation in quality afterschool programs overall.

  • An evaluation of high-quality afterschool programs (including 21st Century Community Learning Centers) serving 3,000 low-income elementary and middle school students found that regular participation in high-quality afterschool programs by low-income youth resulted in significant gains in math test scores and work habits and reductions in behavioral problems. (Vandell, et.al., 2007)
  • A meta-analysis by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) that examined 75 studies of 68 afterschool programs found that students who participated in an afterschool program exhibited improved behavior and performed better academically than students who did not participate in a program. (Durlak, et.al., 2010) ~Source: afterschoolalliance.org

Should the 21st Century Learning Centers funding be eliminated, the Afterschool Alliance estimates that 5,717 Granite State children would be impacted. Across the country nearly two million children and families would be left without reliable afterschool choices.

Let’s once again raise our voices, send the e-mails and make the calls to tell the Trump Administration that this budget is bad for kids – and bad for their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, friends……..

Join Every Child Matters today to take action in support of afterschool programs. 

Click here to send a brown bag message to Mick Mulvaney!

Shea-Porter And Kuster Vote Against FCC Giveaway Of Your Private Internet Information

Republicans in Congress just sold you out. They have just voted to allow all of your online activities and data to be sold to corporations by your Internet Service Providers (ISPs) without a consumer’s permission.

Both Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02)  voted “no” on S.J.Res.34.

“Today, I voted against rolling back Internet privacy protections. Allowing Internet companies to sell personal information flies in the face of the New Hampshire ‘live free or die’ values we cherish,” said Shea-Porter. “Congress should be doing more to safeguard our Internet privacy, not making it harder for law-abiding citizens to protect their own data.”

The legislation Shea-Porter opposed would overturn Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that currently require ISPs to secure a consumer’s permission before selling their private internet browsing history and other sensitive information. It would also overturn rules that currently require ISPs to use “reasonable measures” to protect consumers’ personal information. For these reasons, leading privacy organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Consumer Federation of America, and Access Now opposed S.J.Res.34.

A staunch Internet privacy advocate, Shea-Porter previously introduced the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2014 to ensure consumers are notified quickly if their private information has been compromised, and help prevent cyber-attacks by addressing the underlying problem of lax security and a lack of accountability. She has also co-introduced legislation that would prohibit employers from requiring current and prospective employees from disclosing their personal passwords as a condition of either keeping or getting a job, and was a leader in 2014’s successful fight to defend net neutrality.

“It is unacceptable that Republicans in Congress are trying to roll back basic privacy protections for internet users. Instead of voting on a bill that will make it easier for Internet Service Providers to sell customers personal information, Congress should be working together to strengthen existing privacy protections for broadband users,” said Kuster.  “Today’s vote begs the question, who is Congress working for: Granite Staters and Americans who use the internet, or multi-million dollar Internet Service Providers? I’m disappointed by today’s vote and will continue to stand up for the right to online privacy.”

Our right to privacy should be protected, not sold to marketing firms and multi-national corporations.  

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