- Mandela service sign language interpreter: ‘He made up his own signs’
- Pope Francis named Time’s ‘Person of the Year’
- Ben Affleck: Fundraising for Democrats started to ‘feel gross’
- Vladimir Putin orders military to boost presence in Arctic
- Brooklyn, N.Y.: ‘Lesbian capital’ of the Northeast
- Elian Gonzalez: It’s America’s fault that my mother died
- India top court rules homosexuality is illegal
- Aaron Hernandez, ex-Patriot, on prison life: ‘I’m way less stressed in jail’
- Man pulled from water believed to be disgraced D.C. cop
- Kabul airport hit by suicide bomber who targeted NATO gate
SIMMONS: Political shenanigans of health care are sickening
If you support health care reform, stay away from the D.C. model.
Serious problems can be traced to at least 2002, the year that managed-care businesses started reaping millions upon millions of dollars in city contracts because of failed oversight, according to a 2004 report in The Washington Times.
Fresh eyes and a new vision are sorely needed.
Claiming to be a staunch advocate of ensuring that medical services and products are accessible and affordable to the underserved, uninsured and illegal immigrants, Mr. Catania introduced his blueprint, the Universal Healthcare Access Act, in 2005 when he took the reins of the Health Committee.
His other political handiwork includes making sure that the city stocked up on supersized condoms, supporting same-sex marriage and urging the distribution of medical marijuana.
His oversight also led to this: The D.C. Department of Health reported in June an uptick in heterosexual residents with HIV.
In 2008, about 5.2 percent of heterosexual men tested positive with the virus that causes AIDS in areas with high infection rates and poverty, according to a 750-participant survey funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, a 482-participant survey showed the rate had risen to 8 percent. Among straight women, the rate rose from 6.3 percent in 2008 to 12.1 percent two years later, the survey indicated.
Also questionable are Mr. Catania’s motives regarding D.C. Healthcare Systems and closely tied businesses — D.C. Chartered Health Plan, Chartered Family Health Center and RapidTrans — all of which won hundreds of millions of dollars in city contracts for campaign financier Jeffrey Thompson, who now is under a federal microscope.
As The Times’ Jim McElhatton reported in March, Mr. Catania received a $1,000 check from Mr. Thompson’s D.C. Healthcare Systems on March 27, 2006, and another $1,000 check that same day from RapidTrans.
Mr. Thompson and his companies’ largesse showed patterns of campaign giving that apparently ran afoul of D.C. campaign finance law by “combining to give twice and sometimes three times the maximum donation to city politicians in a single day, records show,” Mr. McElhatton wrote.
Mr. Catania, who received contributions along with virtually every other sitting politician in the District, did not acknowledge even the appearance of conflict.
“They were fully vetted by [D.C.] campaign finance [officials],” said Catania spokesman Brendan Williams-Kief. “Any contributions by Jeff Thompson or related companies in the past have had no impact on council member Catania’s willingness to provide heavy and strong oversight.”
So much for oversight.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
- SIMMONS: Mandela: May the man of many roles rest in peace
- SIMMONS: Obama visits Southeast D.C. with minimum wage on his mind
- SIMMONS: Mayor Gray has only himself to outrun in campaign
- SIMMONS: Jack Kent Cooke's legacy continues to produce winners
- SIMMONS: Thanksgiving is about much more than gobble, gobble
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Teen thugs in DC run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- New budget accord saves $23 billion -- after $65 billion spending spree
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Gov't Motors: Obama fudges math on auto bailout, $15 billion loss for taxpayers
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- LAMBRO: The dark lining to the silver cloud of Obamanomics
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Helping the YOUniverse conspire on your behalf.
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow