Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) will spend the day with seniors and members of the medical community to discuss his bill to restore equity to the nation’s Medicare reimbursement rates and current issues in Medicare policy on Tuesday, August 19th

Smith has introduced legislation this year to address the inequities of our nation’s Medicare reimbursement rates with H.R. 2904 the “MediFAIR Act of 2003” and to deliver affordable, universal prescription drug coverage for all seniors in H.R.1568, “the Medicare Rx Now Act of 2003.”  Smith will discuss these bills, as well as competing prescription drug bills recently passed by the House and Senate at the forum.

Smith has said recently that he “strongly believe(s) that we need a long-term solution to our Medicare problem.  We have to face the reality of our two big health care problems: health care inflation is rising quickly, and, as the baby boomers retire, we’ll have an enormous influx of seniors into the program.  We need fundamental reform that focuses on healthy outcomes, gives seniors health care options, provides coverage for prescription drugs, and ensures the program is viable for future generations.”

Members of the media are invited and encouraged to attend these meetings.  For further information or to speak with Smith during the day, please contact Katharine Lister at (202) 226-8454.

8:00am - 8:30am Congressman Adam Smith visits with staff from the Renal Care Group NW/Lacey Kidney Center to discuss current issues in the health profession and concerns about Medicare reimbursement rates.

Where: Renal Care Group NW/Lacey Kidney Center
719 Sleater Kinney Road, Lacey

9:30am - 10:30am Congressman Adam Smith will tour St. Francis Hospital and hold a conversation over breakfast with managers of the facility.

Where: St. Francis Hospital
34515 9th Ave. S., Federal Way

12:00pm - 1:00pm Address to the Tacoma chapter of National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE).

Where: Tacoma AMVETS Hall
5717 South Tyler Street, Tacoma

1:30pm - 2:30pm Congressman Adam Smith will convene the quarterly meeting of his Senior Advisory Board to discuss their concerns about current legislation in Congress, the state of health care in Washington and what steps should be taken to ensure that seniors are treated fairly and with respect.

Where: Auburn Senior Center
808 9th Street Southeast, Auburn
 

This Friday, August 8, 2003, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) will don a uniform and ride along with a United Parcel Service (UPS) driver, delivering packages to local businesses.  Smith will first arrive at the UPS Tukwila Facility where he will talk to UPS drivers, District Manager Tom Campbell, Division Manager Dick Adams, and Director of Human Resources Jeff Wilson.  He will leave the Tukwila facility at 8:30a.m. and accompany a driver in making deliveries until 9:30 a.m. 

This won’t be the first time Smith has worn the UPS uniform: Smith worked his way through college loading trucks for UPS.

Congressman Smith will make the following stops as part of the ride-along:

Electrical Workers Apprenticeship Program
550 SW 7th Street, Renton
Contact: Bill Bowser, Director, 206-255-1422

Boeing
737 Hanger, Gate K-9, Renton
Contact: Shaunta Hyde, 206-856-6444

Renton City Hall
1055 S. Grady Way
Contact: Alex Pietsch, Economic Development Director, 425-430-6592

WHAT:           UPS Driver Ride Along

WHEN:           Friday, August 8, 2003

7:45a.m. – 9:30a.m.

WHERE:        UPS Tukwila Facility

550 Andover Park West, Tukwila

CONTACT:    For further information please contact Linda Danforth, District Director for Congressman Adam Smith at 253-593-6600 or on her cell phone at 253-988-6858.

Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) announced today that the General Accounting Office (GAO) has approved his request to conduct a study on issues relating to offshore outsourcing of information technology jobs and the future of the U.S. job market.

"I'm extremely pleased that the GAO agrees that this is a critically important issue that should be thoroughly examined," Smith said.  "I'm very eager to see the study's findings and use them to improve public policy."

Smith’s request to the GAO, submitted on July 17 of this year, is part of a larger effort he is undertaking to examine the U.S. job market and future growth and trends in industrial sectors.  His request asks GAO to:

(1) research the trends in this area, to include customer service technical employees, aerospace engineering employees, among other industries, as well as those at the various levels of government;

(2) identify the major benefits and risks, including strategies for addressing the risks;

(3) determine the federal government’s policies, including the impact, if any, of the Buy American Act, for non-weapons systems related to this issue;

(4) explain the treatment of IT outsourcing in U.S. trade policy; and

(5) provide policy recommendations for ensuring – and enhancing – U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Over the next several months, Smith will work closely with the GAO as it defines the scope and issues of the study before beginning the research and analysis.

"We anticipate receiving some results early next spring," Smith said.  “I believe a thorough analysis of these outsourcing and job growth trends will help us better understand what's really happening in terms of offshore outsourcing of information technology jobs.  Most importantly, however, the analysis will help us develop policies that will ensure the United States continues to be competitive and always have high-skilled, high-wage jobs."

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) today sent the following letter with Congressman Norm Dicks (D-Bellfair) to Secretary Anthony J. Principi of the Department of Veterans Affairs urging the preservation of VA facilities at American Lake.

July 29, 2003

The Honorable Anthony J. Principi
Secretary
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420

Dear Secretary Principi,           

We are writing in opposition to instructions given to the VISN 20 leadership during the CARES (Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services) process to resubmit their facilities recommendations with plans to potentially close the VA facilities at American Lake.  A decision to close the American Lake hospital would restrict and deny health care services to thousands of veterans throughout the south Puget Sound area and we urge you to reconsider this recommendation.

VISN 20 acknowledges a growing veteran population as well as significant requirements for specialized care throughout the State of Washington.  These trends will be particularly acute in the south Puget Sound area as many veterans continue to settle in Pierce and Thurston counties.

We are very concerned about the failure to deliver on our promise to our veterans.  Recently we have seen efforts by the VA to suspend enrollment for category 8 veterans and halt the marketing of available benefits to eligible veterans.  To further restrict access to health care by eliminating the American Lake hospital is unacceptable.

Since its beginning in 1924, American Lake has been a valuable and unique hospital due to its geographic location.  In our dealings with the American Lake hospital, the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and VISN 20, it is clear that the American Lake facility is vital to the south Puget Sound community.  The VA’s suggestion to possibly close the American Lake hospital completely disregards VISN 20 recommendations for health care delivery to our state’s veteran population. 

We must honor our veterans and military retirees by following through on our commitment to them.  With over 700,000 veterans and military retirees in Washington state and an increasing number relying on the VA for their health care services, the VA must ensure that veterans have access to health care.

We urge you to withdraw the instructions to VISN 20 to make recommendations to potentially close the VA hospital at American Lake.

Sincerely,

Adam Smith                                          Norm Dicks
Member of Congress                             Member of Congress

To commemorate this occasion and remember the sacrifices made by our servicemembers during the Korean War, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) entered the following statement into the Congressional Record today:

“I would like to take a moment to honor an individual from my district who is a true American hero, Duane A. Osborn.  He is an ordinary man with an extraordinary story.  Unless you are a friend or a family member you won’t recognize his face, or ever have heard of his name.  But there are millions of Americans like him – Americans who have sacrificed so much for our country and do not receive nearly enough recognition in return for their service.  On this, the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the Armistice of the Korean War, I’d like to introduce you to one of many forgotten warriors in a forgotten war.

“Duane A. Osborn was born in Wapato, WA on May 30, 1934. In June of 1952, shortly after his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the United States Air Force with the 8th Division.  Before he was sent to the Korean War he married Donna Elder.

“From 1950 to 1953, the United States joined with United Nations forces in Korea to take a stand against what was deemed a threat to democratic nations worldwide.  6.8 million Americans served on active-duty during the Korean War era and 1.8 million soldiers served in the Korean theater during the three-year period of hostilities.  36,940 service members made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives during the war.

“At war's end, millions of American veterans returned to a peacetime world of families, homes, and jobs – and to a country reluctant to view the Korean War as something to memorialize.  But to the men and women who served, the Korean War could never be a forgotten war.

“In October of 1955, following his service, Duane returned home to Washington state and settled in an unincorporated area that would become the city of SeaTac in my district.  He worked building county roads until an accident in September of 1973 rendered him a paraplegic.

“Duane’s hardship duty in Korea had prepared him to meet this difficult physical challenge and in 17 years of participating in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, he has won 100 gold, silver, and bronze medals – proving again and again his courage, commitment and dedication, as well as his passion for living.

“Duane continues to contribute to his community and country as a board member of the Northwest Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America where he volunteers his time to make my district and Washington state more accessible for people with disabilities.  He works tirelessly to ensure that all Americans are given the opportunities to live their lives to the fullest.

“It is the regular men and women like Duane who honorably answered their country's call to duty and went to Korea over fifty years ago today that we must also remember. Countless Americans never won medals, never were labeled “heroes,” yet they tirelessly fought for the causes they believed in – freedom and country. 

“Now home as proud veterans, these individuals know that freedom is not free, they know the costs and they continue to fight anonymously for liberties at home as they serve their communities, once again volunteering to make life better for all of us.

“I thank Duane A. Osborn and the millions of other Korean War veterans for their contributions to my community and my country, both during that War and now at home, and I ask that we remember his service and the service of so many other ordinary, inspiring individuals today.”