STFriday: doctors' priorities and firefighters' concerns
Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | 12.30.13
What to look for on Smart Talk Friday:
From prescription drug abuse to medical school debt, 2013 was a year of advocacy at the Pennsylvania Medical Society.
witf Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson catches up with PAMED President Bruce MacLeod to discuss some of the high-profile resolutions the group passed at its annual convention this fall.
Dr. Bruce MacLeod
PAMED is urging lawmakers to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, seeking out new ways to respond to the high demand for psychiatric beds at hospitals across the state, and recognizing gun violence as a public health issue. We'll find out what's driving these and other policy positions on the show.
Continuing the health care theme, we'll also hear from midstate Congressman Lou Barletta, a Republican, who's leading the charge to exempt volunteer firefighters from the Shared Responsibility Provision of the Affordable Care Act.
That's the so-called "pay-or-play" employer mandate. Volunteer firefighters are considered employees for tax purposes, and many fire companies are concerned that they'll have to either turn volunteers away or close their doors if they are considered large employers under the ACA. Since volunteer firefighters save Pennsylvania taxpayers an estimated $6 billion each year, officials from both sides of the aisle and all levels of government are raising their concerns with the Internal Revenue Service.
Then we'll discuss the political implications of the new bipartisan budget deal on Capitol Hill with Elizabethtown College Professor Wes McDonald. The federal government's first budget in years passed the House (332 - 94) and the Senate (64 - 36).
The Salvation Army Capital City Region will add a dose of holiday spirit, as we round out the program by checking in with the volunteers who've been wrapping and distributing holiday gifts for families in need this Christmas season.
Listen to the program:
The Salvation Army's Kathy Anderson-Martin (far right) talks with volunteers