From The Hill:
Click the link above to watch the video.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) produced this video with 21 of his freshman GOP colleagues who are veterans or served in the military in remembrance of the people killed on Sept. 11, 2001.
The members of Congress recite part of the national anthem in the video montage.
“On September 11th and the days immediately following this tragedy, there were no Democrats or Republicans – we were Americans,” said Kinzinger in a press release.
Kinzinger served in the Air Force and is currently in the Air National Guard.
“Throughout my tours overseas, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with our men and women who are committed to fighting for the security of our nation and peace in the Middle East. Today, Americans stand proudly united as we pay tribute to our courageous men and women in uniform who continue to work tirelessly to eliminate acts of pure hatred and protect our country,” said Kinzinger.
His office released this list of the 22 members appearing in the video:
Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Allen West (R-Fla.), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Jeff Landry (R-La.), Joe Heck (R-Nev.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Michael Grimm (R-N.Y), Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), Rich Nugent (R-Fla.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Sandy Adams (R-Fla.), Scott Rigell (R-Va.), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Steve Womack (R-Ark.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.).
From the Whelling Intelligencer:
By PAUL GIANNAMORE
About 50 veterans heard Rep. Bill Johnson pledge Monday to continue to do all he can to ease the transition from active service to veterans benefits as he held a forum at Eastern Gateway Community College.
Johnson, R-Ohio, is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. He said he wasn’t aware until he retired in 1999 how tough the government process makes the transition from active duty to veterans benefits. He said there are 62 data centers in the Veterans Administration, involving hundreds of thousands of employees in a system that should be made more efficient.
“With the Veterans Administration, many things are going right, but there are some things that aren’t …” he said. “… When it comes to claims processing, medical records, obtaining benefits, the transition from the Department of Defense to the VA, those are some things that are not going well. I expect results.”
Johnson heads a House subcommittee that investigates fraud, abuse and inefficiencies in the VA system. He also said there are efforts to streamline the processing of claims and appeals, as well as to allow email and electronic notification for veterans benefits processing.
Johnson and Tom Moe, a retired Air Force colonel who heads the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, said the need to advocate for services for veterans grows greater as the ranks of veterans shrink and more wounded veterans are surviving severe injuries on the modern battlefield.
Moe said Ohio has 900,000 veterans, compared with 1.2 million just a few years ago, and only 20 percent of them have contact with veterans services. He said sometimes it’s because the veteran doesn’t want the help and sometimes it’s because the veteran isn’t aware of eligibility for benefits.
“Let us tell you, let the VA tell you,” he said.
He said while World War II created 16 million veterans, the ranks of modern veterans are dwindling. He said the nation has created 2 million veterans in 10 years with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“There are fewer of us, and we are less visible,” he said. Yet, at the same time, unemployment is higher for veterans, and there are issues of substance abuse, violence, post-traumatic stress disorder, life with injuries and lost limbs and mental conditions and homelessness. Moe said the needs of veterans also grow because of the dependence on return tours for National Guard and Reserve units.
Veterans in the audience aired complaints about the bureaucracy and the way they’re treated when they try to resolve issues at the Cleveland benefits center.
Johnson also heard complaints about the VA limiting benefits based on the income of the veteran, including their pensions and Social Security.
Johnson said it’s an uphill battle in Congress, too, where it’s no longer a majority who have served in the armed services or fought in a war.
From the National Journal:
“America’s very concerned with what’s going on with our finances,” said Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio. “You see the reaction to the downgrade by S&P, you see the reaction to the stock market dive. Now is not the time to disengage.”
“I’ve been trying to get out and say, ‘Let’s don’t panic.’ ”
By GLYNIS VALENTI, Times Leader Staff Writer , Times Leader
BARNESVILLE – Health care is a priority for U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), and he visited Barnesville Hospital Wednesday to learn more about its accomplishments and issues. Johnson has cosponsored no fewer than 14 health care-related bills since taking office in January.
“I love coming to see small hospitals,” said Johnson, whose home base is Marietta. “There is always so much pride and always success stories.”
Hospital CEO Rick Doan gave the congressman a presentation on the hospital’s history, services, technology improvements and its affect on the surrounding communities.
Johnson asked if the hospital were involved in telemedicine programs, and Doan told him about the new stroke program with The Ohio State University Medical Center where doctors in Columbus can receive vital signs and see the patient in real time via the new equipment. Johnson cosponsored bill H.R. 1832, “Service Members’ Telemedicine and E-Health Portability Act of 2011,” that would allow telemedical consultations and diagnosis for injured United States military personnel.
Jan Chambers, director of development for the Barnesville Hospital Foundation, added that Barnesville has received a grant from the U. S. Department of Agriculture for digital mammography equipment. “It will allow us to do diagnostics rather than only screenings. Early detection is our goal,” noted Doan. “We consider this primary care.”
In 2010 Barnesville Hospital performed 1,021 surgeries, had 6,000 in-patient days and serviced 36,000 out-patient and emergency department visits. It provides 315 jobs including 180 licensed or certified personnel. There are 60 physicians on staff representing 18 specialties. The hospital’s service area is one of the largest in the state, covering western Belmont County and portions of Monroe, Guernsey, Harrison and Noble counties. Noble County has no hospital within its boundaries at all.
Regarding challenges that the hospital faces, Doan mentioned an undersized and dated facility, physician recruitment and offering competitive compensation packages, a high volume of uncompensated care and a state franchise tax that cost the hospital $138,000 in 2010 but will more than double to $290,000 within the year.
Johnson maintained that much of the challenge is created by the government becoming involved in health care and he voted to repeal the federal health care takeover. This visit helped him get insight into how hospitals and communities could be impacted by the economy and legislation.
“I want to put common sense health care in place that will drive down the cost of malpractice insurance,” he said. “That will assist small hospitals with recruitment. The government needs to get out of the way. The standards are creating burdens.” He supports empowering community hospitals to “run themselves like businesses.”
District 6 includes 12 counties stretching along the Ohio borders of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, from Youngstown to Portsmouth. To find out more about Rep. Johnson’s voting history and committee affiliations, visit billjohnson.house.gov or his Facebook page, or call, toll free, 1-855-376-0868.