Governor Douglas Announces New Rx Drug Pool for VermontMontpelier — Governor Jim Douglas has announced he will propose aprogram to help Vermont’s employers’ pool their purchasing power tonegotiate lower prescription drug prices for their employees.”This new pooling program will allow participating employers to affordprescription drug benefits for their employees by taking advantage of bulkpurchasing discounts,” the Governor said.Governor Douglas said this effort is modeled on the multi-state purchasingpool he formed with Michigan in 2003, the nation’s first successfulmulti-state buying pool for Medicaid drugs. This pool saved Vermont $2million in the last fiscal year and is expected to save $ 3 million thisyear.”This is exactly the kind of innovative thinking Vermont needs,” Douglassaid. “Just as we have done with the Multi-State Pool, this in-state poolis a creative way to enhance leverage with the nation’s largepharmaceutical companies, and use real pressure to drive down costs.”The formula for buying pools is simple; as participation in the pool growsso too does the savings. “I’m very excited about the potential of this new program. It is a goodway to put pressure on the drug industry and help drive down prescriptiondrug costs for employees,” Governor Douglas said.”This new bulk buying pool is a market-based solution to the increasingcost of pharmaceuticals, and as more states see that this is an effortthat works, just has it has in the multi-state pool, drug costs willdecline further.Governor Douglas stressed that pooling programs demonstrate that solutionsto the increasing cost of pharmaceuticals are not artificial price orgovernment-run health care. “These pooling programs prove that usingpurchasing power to lower costs can work, and there is no need forgovernment-run health care that empowers politicians rather thanpatients,” he said.Governor Douglas also reiterated his proposals to require health careplans to disclose drug prices to doctors and patients and offer valueprice alternatives for generic drugs.COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE REFORMThe Governor’s plan to help companies to pool together to negotiate forlower drug prices comes one week after Douglas presented his secondcomprehensive plan-A Prescription for a Healthy Vermont-for makingquality, affordable health care available to every Vermonter.By including the Fit and Healthy Kids and Chronic Care initiatives,long-term care reforms, a healthy aging initiative, prescription drugprice reduction efforts, and commitments to reducing substance abuse andencouraging healthy choices, Douglas has made comprehensive and long-termreform of Vermont’s health care delivery system and improving the overallhealth of Vermonters a central component of his plan to reduce health carecosts.”We need to do more than just change who pays the bill. If costs continueto increase at the current rate, it won’t matter what pocket the moneycomes from because they’ll all be empty,” the Governor has said. “That iswhy I have offered true reforms that tackle the root causes of risinghealth care costs, opens our system up to low cost options, encourageshealthy decisions and preventative care, and attacks health concerns attheir inception before they develop into more serious and costlyailments.”Douglas says Vermont needs to maintain a patient-centered system thatoffers more individual choice and keeps health care decisions in the handsof patients and doctors, not government bureaucrats.To lower the cost of health insurance, Governor Douglas proposed a planthat would immediately reduce premiums by 15 percent for every Vermonterwith an individual insurance plan; offer low and middle income Vermontersa premium discount of up to 60 percent; reduce, by up to 50 percent, thecost for a small business to start providing insurance to employees; anddecrease the number of uninsured Vermonters by 20 percent in the firstyear alone.”But we won’t stop there,” Douglas stressed. “I will work every year tomake progress toward our goal of affordable and accessible health care foreveryone.”
By Marcos Ommati/Diálogo December 17, 2020 It doesn’t matter how many times you look at it: It’s always impressive to see 23,000 pounds of cocaine and nearly 8,800 pounds of marijuana. That’s the amount of drugs — with a street value of over $411 million, according to U.S. authorities — the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter James offloaded on December 16, at Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.“This patrol highlights our crew’s continued commitment to protecting the American people from our adversaries,” said U.S. Coast Guard Captain Todd Vance, commanding officer of USCG James, during a press conference on the dock at Port Everglades. “Despite COVID, the James crew demonstrated supreme resilience, and the results of their exceptional performance are being showcased today.”Crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter James offloaded approximately $411 million worth of drugs on December 16, 2020, at Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo: Steven McLoud/Diálogo)The drug busts were done with help from partner nations’ coast guards, including international crews from France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The drugs were interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America, including contraband seized and recovered during 20 interdictions of suspected drug smuggling vessels.“The [U.S.] Coast Guard’s strong international relationships, with key partners like the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands, along with our specialized capabilities and unmatched authorities, allow for a unity of effort to disrupt transnational criminal organizations, which threaten America and our partner nations,” asserted U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz.According to the U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Office, during at-sea interdictions, a suspicious vessel is initially detected and monitored by allied, military, or law enforcement personnel, coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force South based in Key West, Florida. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the Coast Guard’s 11th District, headquartered in Alameda, California. The interdictions, including actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.“I am honored to be able to pay tribute to the successes of the team here today, and recognize the role the Royal Navy and U.K. National Crime Agency have played in this joint operation,” said Commodore Phil Nash, naval attaché at the United Kingdom Embassy in Washington. “Working seamlessly with U.S. and international colleagues, the presence of RFA [Royal Fleet Auxiliary] Argus has prevented the $54 million of drugs offloaded here from reaching the streets in the last few months; taken together with a wider effort this year by U.K. ships HMS Medway and RFA Mounts Bay, around $650 million of drugs have been stopped. This has been a genuine team effort — the key to success continues to be the close working relationship and collaboration between our nations.”Also at the event were Colonel Jarst de Jong and Captain Cédric Chetaille, naval attachés from the Netherlands and France respectively; Jean-Sébastien Conty, a political counselor of African and Western Hemisphere Affairs from the French Embassy in Washington; and Paul Jenkins, head of region for North America and the Caribbean at the National Crime Agency.
Other members are Mr. Andrew Onyearu (Group Executive Director/Chief Legal Counsel of AITEO), Mr. Ndiana-Abasi Matthew (Senior Manager, Corporate Communications of AITEO) and A. U. Mustapha (SAN).The NFF President charged the Committee to be fully focused on delivering a competition that the Nigerian Football fraternity and sponsors AITEO would be proud of.Responding, Akinwunmi promised that his team would move swiftly to draw up a revised calendar for this yearâ€™s competition, and also insist on the very best values in all areas of the organisation while working to bring new glory to the oldest football competition in Nigeria.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram NFF President Amaju Pinnick on MondayÂ inaugurated the committee that will organise the first edition of the AITEO Cup Competition (formerly Federation Cup) for men and women.While inaugurating the 11-member Committee, headed by NFF 1st Vice President/Chairman of Organising Committee, Seyi Akinwunmi, Pinnick insisted that the Committeeâ€™s membership was strategically drawn based on the core services of the two competitions.NFF 2nd VP/LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko, is vice chairman, with NFF Executive Committee members Ibrahim Musa Gusau, Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, Sharif Rabiu Inuwa and Ms Aisha Falode as members. NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi is the Secretary.
The Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) is calling on the Government to ensure that foreign companies adhere to labour laws and agreements when dealing with the rights of workers.The GTUC made this call after the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) refused to pay workers monies deducted from their overtime payments, even thoughGTUC General Secretary, Lincoln Lewisin October of 2016 a decision was made to cease taxing overtime and all premium hours worked.“The fact that Minister Keith Scott wrote management earlier this month advising mechanisms be put in place to return taxes deducted on overtime and all premium hours worked with effect from 1st October 2016 and management continues to ignore this directive sends a strong signal that BCGI is above Government and the laws of our land,” the GTUC said in a statement.GTUC is calling on Government to honour the Constitution that establishes sovereignty over the nation and its workers and hold BCGI accountable for its deviant industrial relations practices that continue to infringe the laws of the land.“There is something troubling with Guyana’s relationship with BCGI that is allowing successive governments to allow the transgressing of the rights of Guyanese labour and the violating of our laws,” it added.The workers’ representative body said the company refuses to meet with officials, and workers are promising industrial action if they are not paid their monies.