|Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 10.6.14
Monday, October 6, 2014 ‚Äď
CDC Confirms: Ebola Case in the United States
Especially following the recent announcement that, for the first time on American soil, a patient has been diagnosed with Ebola, I am very concerned about the possibility of this deadly disease spreading around the globe. I will be at an Energy and Commerce hearing on the Ebola outbreak set for October 16. Energy and Commerce is a committee with jurisdiction over health care.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this patient ‚Äď who traveled to Texas from West Africa (where several nations are in the midst of an Ebola outbreak) ‚Äď did not have symptoms of the disease when departing, but developed them after having arrived in the United States. Ebola‚Äôs symptoms may take as many as 21 days after infection to appear.
There have been legitimate calls for immigration and travel restrictions involving countries with Ebola outbreaks, but CDC officials have said such restrictions may make it harder to get medical personnel to those nations if they will then be unable to leave.
To resolve these concerns, we could consider limiting entry from afflicted countries to citizens and permanent residents of the United States. Simultaneously, we could implement significant screening procedures and health monitoring up to 22 days after reentry. This would give us assurance that those reentering the U.S. had not contracted the disease.
This is a global public health concern. We in the United States must be vigilant.
At the hearing on the 16th, I want to discuss the CDC‚Äôs long-term plans for controlling the spread of Ebola in the United States!
The President is sending thousands of U.S. troops to West Africa to support health workers seeking to stop the spread of Ebola. Additionally, I will ask how the CDC will deal with returning American troops who contracted Ebola while on duty in Africa.
Is there a question that you would like me to ask? If so, please submit it for my consideration at https://morgangriffith.house.gov/contact.
60 Plus Association Confirms: EPA Regulations Harm Seniors
On October 2, I joined the 60 Plus Association (a group advocating for seniors) in Washington, D.C. to unveil a new study by energy economist Gene Trisko. Trisko‚Äôs study finds that high electric and energy prices are disproportionately impacting senior citizens throughout the United States. Among the findings noted in Trisko‚Äôs study is data from a 2009 survey by the Applied Public Policy Research Institute for Study and Evaluation (APPRISE) focusing on the situations of people able to qualify for the federal Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that:
‚ÄúEnergy costs are adversely impacting lower‚Äźincome seniors afflicted by health conditions, leading them to forego food for a day, reduce medical or dental care, and fail to pay utility bills.‚ÄĚ
Trisko‚Äôs report notes that participants in this APPRISE study reported these health-associated responses relating to energy costs:
Went without food for at least one day ‚Äź 30%
Went without medical or dental care ‚Äź 41%
Did not fill prescription or took less than full dose ‚Äź 33%
Unable to pay energy bill due to medical expenses ‚Äź 22%
Became sick because home was too cold ‚Äź 25%
This important issue has long been of concern to me. In a 2011 committee hearing, I asked then-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson about health dangers to people who are unable to afford sufficient heat. She replied, ‚ÄúThe actions we have taken under the greenhouse gas regulations are not intended to make less fuel available to Americans.‚ÄĚ
Intended or not, I believe that is what is happening. Making electricity for heating and cooling more expensive is, in fact, limiting the amount of fuel, and is further harming senior citizens already worried about how they‚Äôre going to cover the cost of food, medical bills, and yes, the light and heat bill each month. I simply cannot fathom how this Administration can continue promoting policies that raise energy costs while also suggesting that funding for LIHEAP and similar programs be cut.
American seniors, families, etc. deserve stability and security, affordable and reliable electricity, and a strong economy. I have sought and continue seeking answers from EPA officials about the impacts their burdensome regulations will have not only on jobs and the economy, but also the impacts these policies will have on the poor and elderly through increased heating and cooling prices. As I continue seeking the answers to these important questions, I will continue fighting to provide the American people with the stability and security they deserve.
As always, if you have concerns or comments or wish to inquire about legislative issues, feel free to contact my offices. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.