The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

2 months ago

Rep. Gary Palmer: If you (don’t) like your baby

(G. Palmer/Facebook)

For many years, the question of when life begins was a point of contention in the abortion debate. Today, the debate is no longer about whether life begins at conception, but about how long you have to end life.

The New York legislature recently passed a bill that legalizes the killing of a baby right up until birth. They claim that committing an act of infanticide could be justified in order to save the life of the mother. But if the magnitude of the celebration that followed the signing of the bill by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is any indication, the new law was really about taking abortion to the level of legal infanticide.

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Before the ink was dry on the New York law, the Virginia General Assembly was on the verge of passing its own version until Virginia Governor Ralph Northam stunned the nation by asserting that in the event a baby survived a late-term abortion, it could be left to die if that is what the mother wanted. In other words, Democrats have gone from “if you like your doctor, you can keep it,” to “if you like your baby, you can keep it, but if you don’t like your baby, you can let it die.”

The public outrage that followed Governor Northam’s statements resulted in the bill being defeated, but by only one vote.

It is hard to imagine that after carrying a baby for nine months, a mother would opt at the last minute to terminate the child’s life. Proponents of this horrific policy claim that this would only occur if the life of the mother were at risk. Dr. Maurine Batson, an OBGYN in Alabama, disagrees.

Dr. Batson said, “As an OBGYN, I can attest that there is not a single situation of maternal or fetal health in which it would be necessary to kill a healthy child at birth. I have encountered circumstances where early delivery or an emergency C-section might be required to protect the health of the mother, but there are absolutely no medical emergencies where killing a full-term baby at birth is needed in order to save the mother’s life.”

But, as extreme as late-term abortion is, it is not new. In 1972, Michael Tooley, currently a philosophy professor at the University of Colorado, proclaimed that a human being does not possess a right to life until it has a degree of self-awareness. Princeton University philosophy professor Peter Singer argued that babies should not be declared persons until 30 days after their birth.

Similarly, in a paper entitled, “After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?” Australian philosophy professors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva wrote, “We claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk … We propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion,’ rather than ‘infanticide,’ to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child.”

More recently, there was the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Pennsylvania abortionist who was sentenced to prison for the murder of newborn babies. Gosnell induced his patients, forcing the live birth of viable babies, and then killed them by cutting the spinal cord at the back of the neck. Based on the views of the aforementioned philosophy professors, it could be argued that what Gosnell did in murdering newborn babies was acceptable.

Given these disturbing realities, for weeks now, Republican members of Congress have attempted to end such infanticidal practices by requesting that H.R. 962, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, be allowed to come to the House floor for a vote. Every effort has been vigorously opposed by the Democrats. It is hard to believe that the Democrat Party is now so committed to killing unborn children that they lack the morality and courage to protect their lives after they are born alive.

Americans are right to be appalled at the idea that a newborn child could be killed. As stated previously, we are now at a point where some states are saying, “If you don’t like your baby, you can let it die.”

Gary Palmer is a congressman from Hoover representing Alabama’s Sixth District

7 months ago

Rep. Gary Palmer: There is a Republican plan to cover pre-existing conditions and the House already passed it

(G. Palmer/Facebook)

Here is a fact that Democrats are desperately trying to keep from the public: Not only do Republicans support providing health insurance coverage for those with preexisting conditions, but Republicans in the House actually passed legislation that did just that.

The American Health Care Act included an amendment that Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and I introduced. It ensured that anyone with a preexisting condition could purchase health insurance. The Palmer-Schweikert amendment established a risk-sharing plan that allowed any individual with a preexisting condition to purchase insurance at the same price as a healthy individual. This was not an unproven idea — in fact, the plan was modeled after a successful state-level program.

Instead of billions of dollars in bailouts for health insurance companies, the Republican plan was funded by having the majority of the premiums paid by those with preexisting conditions transferred into a fund. This represents an alternative approach to Obamacare’s guaranteed-issue provision, which priced everyone as sick, resulting in far more expensive premiums.

Our amendment put the money in a risk-sharing plan that targeted assistance to cover those with preexisting conditions, but also required the insurers to have some skin in the game. The result was more affordable premiums for all.

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By setting up this arrangement, the Republican plan not only guaranteed coverage to people with preexisting conditions, it reduced premiums for everyone else in every age group. According to an analysis by Milliman, one of the nation’s top independent actuarial firms, the Republican risk-sharing plan would have provided prompt assistance for people with high-cost claims, lowered premium costs by 12-31 percent, and increased the number of people with health insurance by up to 2.2 million.

The Republican bill with this amendment passed the House on May 4, 2017 without a single Democrat vote in favor. Even though the ACHA stalled in the Senate, the risk-sharing plan will be part of a legislative package that I, along with others, intend to reintroduce in the next Congress along with provisions that will be a huge step toward repairing and restoring health care in America.

The legislation will allow for the formation of Association Health Plans that help small businesses save money, and allow for the sale of short-term health insurance policies that can help the uninsured. The Trump administration has issued guidelines that allow for both. Our bill would protect these new options.

As a result of Obamacare, health insurance premiums more than doubled and the mandates forced small businesses to cut employees’ hours, lay people off, and stop hiring. Currently, only about 56 percent of small businesses can afford to offer health insurance. But the new guidelines allow for individuals and small businesses to qualify for these lower-cost association health plans — making affordable health insurance available to millions of workers.

Empowering people to purchase short-term health insurance will make coverage available to millions of Americans who are currently uninsured. Short-term plans would allow individuals to purchase one-year plans that are renewable for up to three years. These plans are 50 – 80 percent less expensive.

Republicans are advocating for these options to empower the American people, but Democrats are once again misleading the American public about healthcare. During the debate over Obamacare, they said we could keep our doctors if we liked them. That was a lie for millions of Americans. They promised premiums would be reduced by an average of $2,500 per family per year, but premiums more than doubled for tens of millions of people. They said that over 20 million people would be covered by government exchanges, but it was less than half that number — and insurance companies dropped coverage in many states.

Now, the Democrats are calling for government-run healthcare under the guise of “Medicare for All.” What they want is a Canadian-style health system. But in Canada, the average wait time to see a doctor in metropolitan areas is over 18 weeks, and it’s over 31 weeks in rural areas. A study by the Fraser Institute of Canada reported that from 1993 to 2009, an estimated 25,000 to 63,000 Canadian women died while waiting for treatment.

By contrast, the Republicans are on record with a sensible plan to cover preexisting conditions, a plan that will help individuals get the health insurance they need at prices they can afford, and which allows small businesses to provide health insurance coverage to their employees.

The difference between the Republican plan and the Democrat’s plan is that our plan will offer Americans more options and make health insurance affordable again.

Gary Palmer, a Republican, represents Alabama in the U.S. House of Representatives.