Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The NC House is Also in Session Now

Just in case you are curious..we are sitting in the Senate Chamber but over in the House the same events are taking place.  Both chamber floors are filled with elected officials, their families, and friends.  And yes the media is packed into the corners of the room.

With a Hit of a Gavel

The North Carolina General Assembly today gaveled in their 2009 session. This day is full of pomp and circumstance.  We are blogging live right now from the NC Senate Chamber as the senators take their oath of office.  Lt. Governor Walter Dalton is now President of the Senate and will be directing the events today.

Here's a quick run down on what has happened so far.  Lieutenant Governor Dalton did a welcome to the guests and Senators.  

Then fourth grader Katherine Fritsch sang an amazingly moving rendition of our national anthem. It was met with great applause from the Senators and visitors to the chamber.

The Senators then rose to take their oath which was administered by the Honorable Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Associate Justice Supreme Court of North Carolina.

The Senators have been sworn in now and Lt. Governor Dalton has declared a quorum.

Now we begin the process of voting on Senate leaders.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Arc of North Carolina Twitters!

The Arc of North Carolina will begin to Twitter on Wednesday, January 28th and we want you to follow us as we Twitter the opening of session!

Here is how you can follow us. Head on over to and open an account. Then search for thearcnc.  You can set your account to receive our Twitter posting (tweets) on either your email, your phone, or both.

Please note that if you opt for your phone usual text charges will apply. (It says this when you register for the service.)

We will be using Twitter to let you know about blog updates, cool happenings at the General Assembly and for important action alerts.  

Twitter will join this blog and our Facebook fan page as we continue to use technology to reach out to our community.

Monday Quick HIts: Hot Policy Topics for This Week

North Carolina:

We are two days away from the start of the new legislative session. We will be there to follow all of the events. Session opens on Wednesday at 12:00pm.
One interesting meeting this week will be on Tuesday, January 27th when the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee meets to hear the study on North Carolina's education system structure.

This week:

Monday, Jan. 26
2 p.m. | The Joint Study Committee on Housing meets, 1124 LB.
2 p.m. | The Joint Urban Growth and Infrastructure Issues Committee meets, 414 LOB.
3 p.m. | The House Select Committee on a Comprehensive Rail Service Plan meets, 1228 LB.

Tuesday, Jan. 27
9:30 a.m. | The Revenue Laws Study Committee meets, 1228 LB.
10 a.m. | The House Select Committee on High Speed Internet in Rural Areas Committee, 544 LOB.
1 p.m. | The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee meets, 544 LOB.
2 p.m. | The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Information Systems meets, 421 LOB.

Wednesday, Jan. 28
Noon | The legislative session convenes, House and Senate Chambers.

Two key topics on the Hill this week are the economic stimulus bill and TARP.  We will be posting later more details on the economic stimulus bill and how it may affect people with disabilities.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dispatch from Jones St: Transportation Secretary Addresses Committee

The Transportation Committee will meet today at 10:00 am. The agenda includes an introduction and comments by Secretary of Transportation Gene Conti. We will be at this meeting to hear what he has to say. O

Hill Report: Economic Stimulus and SCHIP

Economic Recovery Legislation

The House Democratic leadership unveiled the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, an $825 billion package which includes $550 billion in spending and $275 billion in tax cuts. The legislation includes many increases in disability related programs. A summary is included in the action alert above.

We will be posting a breakdown of the disability related money later today.

Health Care

By a vote of 289-139, the House of Representatives passed the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (H.R. 2), legislation to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) through FY 2013. It expands the program to cover approximately 4 million more children than currently covered. The bill includes a provision that would allow states to waive the federally mandated five-year waiting period for legal immigrants to receive SCHIP benefits. By vote of 12-7, the Senate Finance Committee approved a similar bill.

North Carolina has been working to expand our SCHIP program to cover more children but had been stopped due to the lack of support from the former administration. Former President Bush vetoed the expansion of SCHIP multiple times during the 110th Congress.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hill Report: President Obama's Cabinet Update Senator Clinton

Senator Clinton was confirmed late this afternoon as the new Secretary of State. Vote was 94 -2.

Dispatch from Jones St: Seven Days and Counting

The North Carolina General Assembly will be back in session in just seven days. There are some serious issues facing the 170 elected officials who will be sworn in on January 28, 2009.

There is real concern about the health and stability of the State Health Plan. Many news outlets are reporting that to keep the health plan "healthy" we will need to see a $300 million dollar infusion.

Then there is Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse needs. Our state has watched people with developmental disabilities in the south east loose all of their supports and services. This has sent families into crisis. We have witnessed two LMEs falter.

There is a real need to stabalize these systems and to promote and expand community based services for all three populations served under the Division of MH, DD, SA.

The next big issue is going to be affordable housing. We need more of it. There is a shortage of it. Investing in housing options is an economic stimulus plan.

Last but not least is addressing the dropout rates of students with disabilities in our public school system.

Lots to do and not a lot of money to do it with. Still these are the times of great leadership and innovation. Let's get to work.

Hill Report: Regulations on Hold

First order of business was to freeze all of the former President Bush's executive orders for 120 days as they are now under review by President Obama's team.

Hill Report: President Obama's Cabinet Update

The members were confirmed by unanimous vote. They were: Steven Chu (Energy), Arne Duncan (Education), Janet Napolitano (Homeland security), Ken Salazar (Interior), Eric Shinseki (Veterans Affairs), Tom Vilsack (Agriculture).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday Quick HIts: Hot Policy Topics for This Week

North Carolina:
We are just eight days away from beginning the new legislative session. We will be both blogging and twittering the opening day ceremonies. More about that later. But for now here is the weeks schedule:

Tuesday, Jan 20
There are no meeting scheduled.

Wednesday, Jan. 21
9 a.m. | The Justus Warren Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention - Prevention Subcommittee meets, 1124 LB.
9 a.m. | The Justus Warren Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention - Management Subcommittee meets, 1228 LB.
9 a.m. | The Justus Warren Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention - Public Awareness Subcommittee meets, 1425 LB.
11:30 a.m. | The Joint Legislative Commission on Dropout Prevention and High School Graduation meets, 643 LOB.
2 p.m. | The Joint Select Committee on Economic Development Incentives meets, 1228 LB.

Thursday, Jan. 22
9:30 a.m. | The Environmental Review Commission meets, 544 LOB.
10 a.m. | The Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee meets, 1228 LB.
1 p.m. | The House Select Committee on Sex Offender Issues meets, 1228 LB.

Today is the day! Join us as we watch TV!

Today is the historical culmination of two years of election news. Today President Elect Barack Obama becomes President Obama. This is the largest crowd for an inauguration. This is the truly shaping up to be the people's inauguration and believe me when I tell you the world is watching.

This is also shaping up to be the most accessible inauguration. The President Elect Barack Obama has already addressed the needs of people with disabilities in his speech on election night, on the first whistle stop on his train tour and in his campaign platform.

We will be watching all the major channels and we will be reading Twitter feeds from Ryan Beckwith (Under the Dome) who is now in DC!

We will be bringing you our comments on our Election 2008 blog. Join us there starting at 10:00am this morning!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Arc of NC Policy Blog: MLK Day

The Arc of NC Policy Blog will not be updated on Monday, January 19th in honor of MLK Day.

On Tuesday, January 20th we will be blogging the inauguration on our sister blog, The Arc of NC Election 2008.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Second Study Meeting Today For Capital Procedures

Today this study commission will meet again to discuss exempting people with severe profound mental illness  and mental disabilities from receiving the death penalty in capital cases.  The discussion on Tuesday included testimony from Dr. James Ellis who has worked on this issue for many years. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Action Alert: Email Your Congressional Representative and Senators Today

Take Action!  Ask Congress to Include Disability Programs in the Economic Recovery Plan

People with disabilities will help to put money back into the economy


The U.S. economy is in crisis. So are most state budgets. Currently North Carolina is looking at a $2 billion dollar deficit as we begin the 2009 legislative session.

Congress and the Obama Administration are in the process of developing an $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Parts of this plan can help states maintain disability services and other parts directly help people with disabilities.

President-elect Obama's key criteria for the economic recovery bill are to create jobs and put money into the hands of people who are likely to spend it. Investments in programs and services that help people with disabilities can play an important role in putting money back into the economy through:

1) Temporary assistance to help states provide health care and long term services and supports. All Medicaid stakeholders are seeking a temporary increase in the Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), the federal government's share of Medicaid spending. A temporary increased FMAP will assist states in addressing their budget gaps caused by the economic downturn. These state budget crises are resulting in significant cuts in services and supports for people with disabilities. We must ensure that the economic recovery package includes an FMAP increase of at least $100 billion over two years.

2) A one time cash payment to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries. There are more than 7 million poor people who are elderly and/or have disabilities who receive SSI. People who rely on SSI are among the poorest in the country, subsisting on cash benefits averaging $477 a month. Providing these beneficiaries with an extra monthly payment is being considered as part of the recovery plan. Because these beneficiaries are so poor they are very likely to spend the money quickly.

3) Strengthening employment programs. People with disabilities continue to experience extremely high rates of unemployment. The economic recovery plan should ensure that when jobs are created people with disabilities benefit through enforcement of the affirmative action provisions of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. It should also include significant investments in the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Supported Employment State Grant programs. New funding must also focus on improving services for youth who are transitioning from special education to work.

4) Requiring ADA accessibility compliance in school construction projects. The recovery plan presently includes funding for school repair, renovation and construction. It is imperative that any schools that receive such funds are required to make schools accessible for students with disabilities.

Status of the Economic Recovery Plan

January 15, 2009 - The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is expected to be introduced.
Early February, 2009 - The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is expected to be sent to President Obama for his signature.

Take Action:
Email your Representative and our state Senators today!  
For sample language please visit The Arc of the US Capwiz site.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Study Commission for Today: Capital Procedures Study Commission

There will be a new study commission starting today at 12:30pm.  This study commission will begin the discussion on sentencing people with severe mental deficiencies to the death penalty.
The proposed legislation would cover people with severe and profound mental illness, brain injury and in some cases Autism.  The proposed legislation would not remove the option of life in prison for the convicted but would remove the sentence of death.  This legislation is very similar to the Mental Retardation Death Penalty Exemption legislation that passed several sessions ago.

We will be covering this commission meeting today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Legislative Oversight Committee Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse Thursday Agenda


Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on 
Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services 
January 14, 2009, 10:00 A.M.; Room 643, Legislative Office Building 
Representative Verla Insko, Co-Chair, Presiding 

1. Greetings and Opening Comments 10:00
Senator Martin Nesbitt, Co-Chair
Representative Verla Insko, Co-Chair

2. Remarks from Newly-Appointed DHHS Secretary 10:00 – 10:10
Lanier Cansler, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services

3. Final Report of the Taskforce on Substance Abuse Services 10:10 – 11:30
Pam Silberman, JD, DrPH, President & CEO, North Carolina Institute of Medicine

4. Reporting Deaths in State Facilities; Rulemaking Process 11:30 – 12:00
John R. Corne, Chairman, Commission on MHDDSA

5. Outcomes for Previously Hospitalized Consumers 12:00 – 12:30
Carol Ripple, Ph.D., Program Evaluation Division

LUNCH 12:30 – 1:30

6. Local Management Entities 1:30 – 2:30
a. Pathways
Rhett Melton, Area Director
b. Orange Person Chatham
Judy Truitt, Area Director
c. The Beacon Center
Karen Salacki, Area Director

7. Expenditure of Service Dollars 2:30 – 2:45
Leza Wainwright, Director, Division of MH/DD/SAS, DHHS

8. State Psychiatric Hospital Update 2:45 – 3:00
Dr. Jim Osberg, Chief, State Operated Services
Division of MH/DD/SAS, DHHS

9. Update on DHHS Involuntary Commitment Workgroup 3:00– 3:15
Flo Stein, Chief, Community Policy Management


Dave Richard, Executive Director of The Arc of North Carolina-Letter to the Editor News and Observer

Cansler Fits Criteria

Your Jan. 6 article and Jan. 8 editorial concerning the appointment of Lanier Cansler as secretary of DHHS raised questions focused on his work as a lobbyist for clients doing business with the state. Unfortunately, the article and editorial missed the point that he is a highly qualified leader who has the experience both as an elected and appointed public official to manage the massive DHHS during highly challenging times.
The Arc of NC is an advocacy and service organization dedicated to supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

You implied that The Arc hired Cansler as a lobbyist, which is misleading. The Arc hired Cansler as a consultant to help us develop a more progressive, cost-effective method of supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. We hired his firm for its expertise in fiscal and systems management, not for its lobbying expertise. Certainly this is the type of understanding and knowledge North Carolina citizens with developmental disabilities deserve.

We appreciate and respect the role of the press in bringing forth concerns about conflicts but at the same time encourage all concerned to see this as an opportunity for a fresh start. North Carolina citizens with disabilities and all who are served through DHHS need strong competent leadership. Cansler fits these criteria.

Dave Richard

Executive director, The Arc of North Carolina, Raleigh

Monday Quick HIts: Hot Policy Topics for This Week

North Carolina:

Governor Bev Perdue starts her first day as our state's executive today. First up is the swearing in of her cabinet followed by a series of executive orders. Her first term will start as our state is dealing with serious budget concerns and as the federal government is debating a comprehensive economic stimulus package.

Here are some suggestions for what our state may want to look at in that economic stimulus package: increase in Medicaid through FMAP, increase in IDEA to ensure a high quality educational experience for students with disabilities, job incentives for businesses to hire people with disabilities and get us back to work, and more support for affordable housing options.

The General Assembly is also back at work. There are a series of meetings this week including on Wednesday another Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Legislative Oversight Committee meeting.

Here they are:

Monday, Jan. 12
10 a.m. | The Child Fatality Task Force meets, 1228 LB.
2 p.m. | The Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture meets, 544 LOB.

Tuesday, Jan. 13
10 a.m. | The Joint Legislative Corrections, Crime Control and Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee meets, 643 LOB.
10 a.m. | The Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change meets, 1228 LB.
10 a.m. | The Joint Select Committee on Economic Development Incentives meets, 544 LOB.
12:30 p.m.| The Joint Select Committee on Capital Trial, Sentencing, and Post Conviction Procedures for Persons Who Suffer Severe Mental Disabilities Committee meets 421 LOB.

Wednesday, Jan. 14
9 a.m. | The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee meets, 544 LOB.
10 a.m. | The Legislative Study Commission on Children and Youth meets, 643 LOB.
10 a.m. | The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse meets, 643 LOB.
1 p.m. | The House Select Committee on a Comprehensive Rail Service Plan for NC meets, 1228 LB.

Thursday, Jan. 15
9:30 a.m. | The Environmental Review Commission meets, 643 LOB.
10 a.m. | The Joint Select Committee on Mandatory Boating Safety Education meets, 415 LOB.
10 a.m. | The House Study Committee on Unbanked and Underbanked Consumers meets, 1425 LB.
10 a.m. | The North Carolina Study Commission on Aging meets, 544 LOB.
1 p.m. | The North Carolina National Guard Pension Fund Study Commission meets, 1425 LB.
2 p.m. | The Joint Select Committee on Capital Trial, Sentencing, and Post Conviction Procedures for Persons Who Suffer Severe Mental Disabilities Committee meets 421 LOB.

Friday, Jan. 16
10 a.m. | The Legislative Study Commission on Poverty Reduction and Economic Recovery meets, 643 LOB.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Deputy Secretary of DHHS Announced

Allen Feezor has been named the new Deputy Secretary of HHS. Some of us worked with Allen in the early 1990s when he was the Deputy Insurance Commissioner and was the first administrator of the State Health Plan until a permanent administrator was found. He was very helpful in instituting a parity mental health benefit in the plan.

Special Thanks to Sally Cameron for this information.

More News Coverage on the Choice of Lanier Cansler as Secretary of DHHS

The News and Observer has written an article on the choice of Lanier Cansler as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

There is also a good video of the announcement on WRAL.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More Announcements from Governor-elect Bev Perdue

Today Governor-elect Bev Perdue completed her announcements regarding her cabinet choices.
Here are the final picks:

Revenue: Ken Lay, a marketing executive with Bank of America in Charlotte.

Environment: Dee Freeman, former executive director of the Triangle J Council of Governments.

Administration: Britt Cobb, the only member of Gov. Mike Easley's cabinet to keep his job.

As always we encourage you to visit Under the Dome for more information.

North Carolina Secretary of DHHS-Lanier Cansler

Today Governor-elect Bev Perdue announced that the new Secretary of the Departments of Health and Human Services is Lanier Cansler. Mr. Cansler is a former legislator and the former deputy secretary of DHHS. He also ran a consulting and lobbying firm.

Read more about the appointment at Under the Dome.

Lt. Governor-elect Walter Dalton Announces His Staff

Under the Dome is reporting that Lt. Governor-elect Walter Dalton has announced his staff. It is a very strong and well skilled staff and should provide the Lt. Governor-elect Dalton with the expertise required during this transition. Here is the list.

Caroline Valand will be chief of staff.
Kimberly Reynolds will be deputy chief of staff.
Avery Staley will serve as counsel.
Cynthia O’Neal will be director of external affairs.
Mike McLaughlin will be the chief policy analyst.
Sara Lang will be the communications director.

Read more about this announcement at Under the Dome.

The Hill Update: 111th Congress Starts Today

Today the 111th Congress will begin at 12 noon with the formal swearing in. From North Carolina Kay Hagan will become our junior Senator and Larry Kissell will become our newest Congressman. WRAL will cover all the pomp live.

Not all the Senate will be seated today as we continue to wait on the Illinois situation and the Minnesota race.

First job up for this Congress? The economic stimulus bill. We will be following this federal initiative closely to see what numbers are reflected in the FMAP increase.

More Announcements Expected-Governor-elect Perdue's Cabinet

The roll out of cabinet picks is definitely underway. There are three positions left to fill and including the Secretary of Health and Human Services. We are hearing rumors that there will be a 3:00pm press conference today and that the announcement will include the new Secretary of Health and Human Services.

We will monitor the news and media sites and will report back with whatever we find.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Governor-elect Perdue Announces the Following Cabinet Members, No HHS Announcement

Governor-elect Bev Perdue announced the following cabinet positions today at an 11:30am press conference.
Department of Transportation: Gene Conti
Department of Commerce: Keith Crisco
Department of Cultural resources: Linda Carlisle
Employment Security Commission: Moses Carey

Head over to WRAL to read more about these new cabinet appointees.

News Update: Under the Dome Reports Governor-elect Bev Perdue Announcements

Under the Dome is reporting that Governor-elect Bev Perdue will have a press conference at 11:30am to make more announcements regarding her cabinet choices.

5 Days to Governor-elect Perdue Inauguration and the Wait Continues

The countdown to the inauguration is on. We have five days until Governor-elect Bev Perdue takes the oath of office as Governor and becomes the first woman governor of North Carolina.

While we await this historic moment, our focus is on the announcement of cabinet members.  Last week she announced crime control and public safety, juvenile justice and corrections.  There is no update yet on when the announcement of Secretary of Health and Human Services will happen.  We will be monitoring the media through out the day and will report on anything we hear right on this blog.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Monday Quick HIts: Hot Policy Topics for This Week

North Carolina:

Governor-elect Perdue Cabinet Watch:
On Friday Governor-elect Bev Perdue announced three cabinet positions. We are watching to see if the Secretary of Health and Human Services is up next on the agenda.
When we find out we will let you know.

Governor-Elect Perdue Inauguration:
On Saturday, January 10th the citizens of North Carolina will witness the historic swearing in of the first woman governor.  We will be blogging the event live here. To read all about the multiple celebrations we invite you to visit Governor-elect Perdue's website.

General Assembly Update:
We are counting down to the start of session.  There are multiple committee meetings this week and many will be rolling out their proposals.  We are collecting all the information and will have it for you in our pre-session outlook.

Here are the meetings for the week:

Monday, Jan. 5
10 a.m. | The Child Fatality Task Force - Intentional Death Committee meets, 1228 LB.
1 p.m. | The Child Fatality Task Force - Perinatal Health Committee meets, 1228 LB.

Tuesday, Jan. 6
10 a.m. | The Joint Legislative Study Commission on Municipal Annexation meets, 643 LOB.

Wednesday, Jan. 7
9:30 a.m. | The Revenue Laws Study Committee meets, 544 LOB.
10 a.m. | The Legislative Study Commission on Children and Youth meets, 1027 LB.
The Child Fatality Task Force - Unintentional Death (Drivers Education) Committee meets, 1124 LB.

Thursday, Jan. 8
3 p.m. | The Agency Review Subcommittee of the Joint Legislative Committee on Domestic Violence meets, 415 LOB.

Friday, Jan. 9
10 a.m. | The Partition Sales Study Committee meets, 421 LOB.

Friday, January 2, 2009

WRAL and News and Observer Report Three of Perdue's Cabinet Choices

At 2:00pm today Governor-elect Bev Perdue announced her choices to head the Department of Correction, the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Here are her picks:
Department of Correction- Al Keller
Department of Crime Control and Public Safety - Reuben Young
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention - Linda Hayes

Want to read more about the choices both WRAL and the News and Observer have details.

So....that means we are still waiting on the person chosen to run the Department of Health and Human Services.

News and Observer is Reporting Announcements Today

The News and Observer is reporting that Governor-elect Bev Perdue will make key cabinet announcements today at 2:00pm.  We will be following this story as it unfolds.

High Risk Insurance Pool - Enrollment Starts

To learn more about the High Risk Insurance Pool or to find out about enrollment please visit this site.

From the Associated Press:

High Risk Pool
A state-sponsored insurance pool created to offer coverage to the riskiest patients started this week, and administrators are seeking to enroll more residents who have been pushed out of the private market. Only about 500 residents since October have applied for the North Carolina Health Insurance Risk Pool, with a couple hundred approved for coverage. But the program's executive director Michael Keough said enrollments have been accelerating. "These are tough times," Keough said. "People are out of work. People are doing what they can to survive. This is a particularly timely thing - a godsend for people who need it." Officials initially projected that some 14,000 people would have the insurance 10 years from now and up to 4,000 people would join the first year. Keough said he thinks up to 180,000 people would be eligible in the state.
People can qualify if they don't have employer coverage and can't get private insurance without paying an exorbitant amount. It's a plan targeted particularly for those with high-risk health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or hemophilia. Premiums are set at about 150 percent to 200 percent of a healthy person's private insurance. The state subsidizes the program from a few sources, mostly a tax on health insurance premiums and an annual cash withdrawal from the State Health Plan for public service workers. It's starting operations with a $5 million grant from Health and Wellness Trust Fund. North Carolina lawmakers approved the health insurance pool in 2007. It will only cover a small portion of the estimated 1.4 million people in North Carolina who are uninsured. About three dozen other states already offer such plans. (Mike Baker, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/30/08).

The Wait Continues

Well, we are seven days away from Governor-elect Bev Perdue's inaugural ball and eight days away from when she takes the oath of office and we are still waiting to hear who will take the helm as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

We will be checking news feeds today and hopefully will hear something soon.