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Thursday, July 12, 2012

BOLLING URGES COMMONWEALTH TO REJECT OBAMACARE'S MASSIVE MEDICAID EXPANSION

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Bolling - "Until and unless there has been significant and fundamental reform of Medicaid, I urge you to reject expansion of this program. This is a program that does not work not, and it will not be improved by simply making it bigger."
 
RICHMOND – In a letter to Governor Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling today encouraged the Commonwealth to reject the costly and massive expansion of Medicaid in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
 
While Bolling expressed confidence that Mitt Romney and Republican majorities in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House would be elected this fall and move to repeal the PPACA and replace it with market-based reforms, if the PPACA did survive, he expressed his opposition to the costly Medicaid expansion unless it includes fundamental and substantive reform of the current Medicaid program.
 
Bolling wrote, “Funding such a significant expansion of Medicaid would place tremendous fiscal pressure on the Commonwealth and divert funds from other state programs, such as public education, higher education, public safety, natural resource protection and even other critically important health care programs.  Medicaid is already one of the fastest growing areas of the state budget, accounting for almost 20 percent of total state general fund expenditures.  The cost of administering the Medicaid program has increased by more than 80 percent from 2002 to 2011.  This is simply an unsustainable rate of growth that will only get worse if we add 425,000 more people to the program.”
 
Bolling cited additional concerns with the Medicaid expansion including:
  • An estimated $31.3 billion cost to taxpayers, including $2.1 billion in state general fund resources, to increase the Medicaid rolls by nearly 50 percent from 2014 to 2022.
  • No guarantee that the state’s share of the expansion would not increase in future years.
  • Medicaid’s high risk of fraud, waste, abuse and improper payments as identified by the federal government’s General Accounting Office and the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • The ability of the health care delivery system to effectively absorb an estimated 425,000 additional Medicaid patients at a time when providers are already cutting back on services to Medicaid patients due to the lack of compensation from Medicaid for cost of delivering services.
Bolling added, “I have long supported fundamental reform of Virginia’s Medicaid program to reduce cost and improve service delivery.  While we have made some progress in this regard, it is my belief that Medicaid is currently a dysfunctional and unsustainable program.  Until and unless there has been significant and fundamental reform of Medicaid, I urge you to reject expansion of this program. This is a program that doesn’t work now, and it will not be improved by simply making it bigger.”
 
Full text of the letter can be found here.
 
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Amber Bullock jams on new CD

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The from Season 4 Sunday Best Winner is in stores today!

Music World Gospel recording artist Amber Bullock, soared to the top of the gospel music charts after
capturing the hearts of millions as she topped a talented field of singers to become the 2011, Season 4
winner of BET’s Sunday Best, the #1 rated weekly gospel music competition show. Her debut CD
project, Thank You, was released in December, 2011, on Mathew Knowles’ Music World Gospel label.
The EP entered at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart. Thank You featured the Top 10
Billboard hit, “Thank You Lord,” a rendition of Walter Hawkins’ anthem as well as other
contemporary classic songs.

Bullock, the St. Louis native and single mother of three-year old Amya, is building a diverse fan base
with her signature jazz-infused and neo-soul inspired style. Her unique approach to gospel and
inspirational music is front and center on her sophomore CD project, So In Love, which will be
available in stores and online everywhere on July 10, 2012.

So In Love is produced by PJ Morton for 2PM Music. Bullock describes their musical partnership as a
“match made in heaven.” The result is ten songs of feel-good inspirational music that ranges in style
from neo-soul, to jazz, to contemporary gospel, to reggae, with even a little country thrown in. The
songs on the CD highlight Bullock’s incredible vocal range and her unique singing style.
“I love music, so I don’t want to just give my listeners the same type of music that’s already out there,”
says Bullock. “I want to give them fresh, memorable songs that they are still humming long after the
song has finished playing, the kind of songs you keep on repeat.” On her new CD, she does just that.
Bullock wrote her first single, “Lord You’ve Been So Good” with a friend, when she was in college. The
song was updated for this CD project with the help of PJ Morton. The upbeat, neo-soul style song
features a driving horn section and shows off Bullock’s wide range and effortless runs. “Done For Me,”
was also written by Bullock, with Shaun Martin, Greg Brown and Kirk Franklin, who is featured on
this song. It has a catchy tune and a powerful message about God’s unconditional love. Bullock goes
reggae in “I’m So In Love with You,” which was penned by PJ Morton. “Second Chances,” is a
contemporary gospel song that Bullock describes as “dramatic” with instrumentation that features
strings and an organ. The song reminds the listener that God’s love and forgiveness are great gifts to
us. “Changed,” written by PJ Morton and featuring Isaac Carree, has a contemporary gospel style and
a memorable hook. “My daughter sings along with this song every time she hears it,” says Bullock.
The R&B style “Yes,” starts with drums and keeps on pumping energy. The song, written by PJ
Morton, is one of Bullock’s favorite on the CD because of both the catch tune and the message. “Yes is
a powerful word,” she says. Written by Juante Hall and Jonathan Dunn, “Nobody Else” has jazzy
undertones and a message about going to a secret place to meet only with God. “Take it Back,” written
by Josiah Martin, reminds us that everything we do or have comes from God. That message is
delivered in a pop style song with techno-rock undertones. “Ruler” is a contemporary praise and
worship song that Bullock describes as “a little bit country.” Bullock continues, “My most powerful
worship experience is when I’m focused on how powerful and loving God is, and how He keeps
blessing me, even when I don’t deserve it.” The last song on the CD, “Same God,” was written by
Bullock and Shaun Martin. It’s a simple but powerful worship song that acknowledges the faithfulness
of God.
Bullock is proud of this project, which features all original songs and live music. She says that she has
matured a lot musically since Thank You was released, and believes that shows in the new CD. She’s
hopeful that people will be blessed by the CD.
During her earlier career, Bullock performed with a variety of recording artists, professional choirs
and ensembles. She sang with Myron Butler & Levi, Troy Sneed and Youth for Christ, Meaghan
Williams and Oscar Williams. She performed with Perfected Praise in a Christmas theatre production
in Italy. She also was a member of the Baltimore, Maryland-based gospel choir Changed, under the
direction of Sean Tillery.
In November 2011, Bullock experienced a dream of a lifetime when she had an opportunity to work
with Kirk Franklin, one of her favorite recording artists. She was the opening act and special guest
artist, along with Isaac Carree, Deon Kipping and Jason Nelson, on Franklin’s Fearless Tour. She also
was one of Franklin’s featured vocalists during his music set on the tour. Bullock will join Franklin
again in the fall for the King’s Men Tour, with Israel Houghton, Donnie McClurkin and Marvin Sapp.
Bullock also was featured in a duet performance of “Silent Night,” with label mate and Sunday Best
Season 3 winner Le’Andria Johnson on her 2011 holiday project, Christmas Best.
Bullock started singing at an early age; her father remembered “At three years old, Amber marched
down the aisle to sing with the children’s choir.” She attended Oakwood University in Huntsville,
Alabama, where she studied classical vocal performance. As a member of the Oakwood University
Aeolians, a concert choir, she traveled throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. She currently lives in
Louisville, Kentucky.
As witnessed in So In Love, Bullock loves the neo-soul tradition. Jill Scott, India Arie and Musiq
Soulchild are among her favorite contemporary neo-soul singers. Her other musical influences include
PJ Morton, her mother, Linda Bouie, and Cherise Carrol of St. Louis.
Bullock’s future plans include promotional activities for her new CD, the King’s Men Tour and writing
more music. She also would like to have a role in a Tyler Perry movie. “I just keeping putting it out
there and maybe one day he’ll call,” she says.
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