Latest News by Herb Weiss

RINewsToday

Herb Weiss

Contributing Writer

About

Herb Weiss has enjoyed a distinguished 41 year career in journalism, earning a national reputation as an expert on aging, health care and medical issues. Over 780 articles that he has authored or coauthored have appeared in national, state and local publications. Governor Gina Raimondo appointed him to the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on aging. Senate President Domenick Ruggerio appointed him to the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Disease, Research and Treatment. Today, Herb’s weekly newspaper column appears in the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket call, two North Rhode Island daily newspapers, and RINewsToday.com. Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

To the Class of 2022: Age boldly, enjoy your journey – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues According to Research.com, this year commencement speakers at colleges and universities in Rhode Island will impart their “pearls of wisdom“ to 19,782 graduating college seniors and their families. The usual commencement speech, traditionally about 10 minutes in length, offers simple tips and observations that, if taken, just might…
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Older Americans Month: great time to bring back House Aging Committee – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On April 29, President Joe Biden proclaimed the month of May, Older Americans Month for 2022 to honor the nation’s 54.1 million Americans aged 65 and over “who contribute their time and wisdom to make our communities stronger, more informed, and better connected.” “Older adults have always…
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Aging in Place in Your Rhode Island Community – Herb Weiss

Aging in Place in your Rhode Island community by Herb Weiss
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New efforts on Smith Hill to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On March 8th, a press conference on Smith Hill put the legislative spotlight on introduced rate setting legislation intended to fix Rhode Island’s long-time problem of paying insufficient reimbursement rates to human-service agencies delivering social, human and clinical services to Medicaid recipients.  Over 80 human service providers,…
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AARP poll: women over 50 to decide control of congress, state capitols – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues It’s just 214 days until the upcoming midterm elections scheduled for Nov. 8, 2022, (Rhode Island’s primary is 167 days away scheduled for Sept. 13, 2022). During the 117th Congress, with a slim majority of 222 Democrats to 212 Republicans, the Democrats control the House chamber. When…
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AARP report: 6 Pillars of Brain Health – lifestyle changes and community policies – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss The Washington, DC-based AARP releases its latest Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) report citing strong scientific evidence that behavior changes and lifestyle habits can positively impact one’s brain health – yet many adults struggle to implement such simple changes. In a new report released last month, “How to Sustain Brain Healthy Behaviors:…
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National Aging Coalition pushes to bring back House Aging Committee in DC – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues In 1992, aging advocacy groups fought unsuccessfully to keep the House Select Committee on Aging  (HSCoA) from being eliminated. The House had pulled the plug on funding for the HSCoA as a cost-cutting measure and to stream-line the legislative process at the end of the 102nd Congress without much notice in…
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Bill would (re)create a RI Department of Healthy Aging – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues (This article has been updated) There are new efforts on Smith Hill to transform the state’s Office of Healthy Aging (OHA) into a department making it far more visible and effective as an advocate for the state’s growing senior population.  H. 7616, introduced by Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-District 75, Newport), would expand the office in the Department of Human Services…
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AARP Rhode Island calls on Congress to act on lowering high drug costs – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On the day before the Washington, DC-based AARP’s March 8th launch of its new ad campaign showing the impact of Congress’s failure to act on prescription drug prices, AARP Rhode Island State Director Catherine Taylor, Volunteer State President Marcus Mitchell and Volunteer Lead Federal Liaison Dr. Phil…
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World issues pushed nursing home reform to the side in State of the Union. But it’s there – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging More than a week ago, President Joe Biden, with Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sitting behind him in the House Chamber in the United States Capitol, delivered his first State of the Union Address. Harris and Pelosi made history marking the first time two…
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The crafting of Rhode Island’s first State Plan on Caregiving – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Rhode Island has the distinction of having one of the highest percentages of adults aged 85 and over in the country. In 2017, out of a population of 1,060,00 there are more than 136,000 caregivers providing 114 million hours of care, says AARP Rhode Island.  More Rhode…
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RI State Budget must address long term care staffing crisis – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues As Rhode Island and states throughout the country loosen COVID-19 mask restrictions with the number of new coronavirus cases dropping by more than 75% since the highs in mid-January, and hospital admissions and death rates declining, AARP Rhode Island warns that now is the time to take…
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“Living Apart Together” couples need to discuss caregiving, health issues with family, each other – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With divorce rates soaring since the 1990s, and aging baby boomers 50 and older having doubled in number, this trend, along with longer life expectancy and those becoming widowed, has resulted in many older adults forming new partnerships later in life. Researchers call this new phenomenon, “Living…
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Medicare slow to fix equity issue for seniors’ access to at-home COVID test kits – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Last month, COVID-19 home test kits were made available in a variety of ways – but, for Medicare recipients, it was a different story, being forced to go thru a different purchasing and payment process than those having private insurance, or no insurance. That process required the oldest…
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Senate Aging Committee: Seniors urged to prepare for making financial decisions – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over two weeks ago, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tim Scott (R-SC), Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, urged seniors and people with disabilities to make a New Year’s resolution to prepare for anticipated financial decisions. The hearing highlighted the…
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Calls for Rhode Island to become more “Age Friendly” – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On Aug. 3, 2020, The Decade of Healthy Aging 2020-2030 proposal was endorsed by the 73rd World Health Assembly. It was presented to the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 14, 2020, (Resolution 75/131), leading to the proclamation of a U.N. Decade of Healthy Aging (2021-2030). The four-page Resolution expressed concern…
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Campaign reminds Veteran caregivers to “Take Care of Themselves” – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Since 2011, AARP and the Ad Council have launched public service announcements (PSAs) encouraging America’s caregivers to care not only for their loved ones, but also for themselves. Over the years, these PSAs s have targeted women aged 40 to 60, male caregivers aged 35 to 60…
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Tech use flourishes during pandemic, particularly among seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Over the course of 71 episodes of the widely-acclaimed Sopranos, Dr. Jennifer Melfi met with Tony Soprano in her office. The office had paneled walls, was decorated with a diploma on the wall, and next to that was a bookshelf filled with books. Melfi was counseling Mob Boss Tony Soprano…
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Some Favs… Looking Back at 2021 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss As an ‘age beat’ journalist for over 40 years, I have penned more than 813 articles covering aging, health care and medical issues. These authored and coauthored pieces have appeared in national, state, and local trade and association publications, dailies, weeklies, and in this weekly column in RINewsToday.com. Some were even republished in…
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Resolutions to getting back on track financially a catalyst for positive change – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we will see a scaled back Times Square celebration where the ball swiftly drops as 15,000 people, in a viewing area that holds around 58,000 revelers, will loudly count down to one at the stroke of midnight. At this time, we traditionally make New Year Resolutions…
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Watching over Nursing Homes once again – time for mandated Boosters – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Colder weather is keeping people more indoors now, and Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas gatherings are drawing people together in groups, small and large. Like other states across the country, Rhode Island is seeing a growing transmission of the COVID-19 Delta, and now Omicron variants. Some national sources say…
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Social Security learns from remote experience, plans field office openings – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On March 17, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spread throughout the nation, the Social Security Administration  (SSA) issued a press release announcing that its offices would only offer phone service and online services. However, in-person appointments at SSA were scheduled for critical issues, specifically for those who were without…
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Senator Bob Dole’s legacy – putting nation over politics – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Politician, War Hero, Senator Bob Dole Dies at 98 Bob Dole a seriously wounded World War II hero, a Kansas politician who served in the House from 1961 to 1969 and the U.S. Senate from 1969 until 1996, who unsuccessfully ran as the Republican candidate against Bill Clinton for President in…
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With Thanksgiving approaching, beat the Holiday Blues – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just a year ago, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic transformed the way we celebrated the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Normally a personal gathering day with family and close friends, the cooler weather pushed people inside where the virus more easily spreads, forcing families to meet on Zoom for turkey…
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AARP Report: Scammers targeting military community – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just two days before the nation celebrated Veterans Day, the Washington, DC-based AARP issued a report revealing that veterans, active-duty service members, and their families are nearly 40% more likely to lose money to con-artists than the civilian population. According to the new research study, detailed in…
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A Sacred Trust – moves to strengthen Social Security – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Almost two weeks ago, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairperson John B. Larson (D-Conn.) threw H.R. 5723, the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, into the legislative hopper. During its unveiling in the historic committee room of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, the…
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Herb Weiss – aging boldly!

By Nancy Thomas A growing number of aging baby boomers and senior readers turn to newspapers, electronic media, and the internet to investigate issues and identify resources to help them age gracefully. Over the years, Herb Weiss, 67, along with thousands of journalists covering the “age beat” have reported on a myriad of aging, health…
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Use ARPA Funds to Make Rhode Island “Age Friendly” – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging With the first public hearing cancelled because of Wednesday’s nor’easter on Oct. 26, Gov. Dan McKee and Lt. Gov Sabina Matos, along with Commerce Director Stefan Pryor and their staff, came to Warren’s Hope & Main to kick off the second public hearing to gather comments about the recently released…
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McKee-Matos final “Rhode Island 2030 Plan” must not forget seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over a month ago, Gov. Dan McKee penned a Providence Journal op-ed calling for the General Assembly to release the $1.1 billion (at least 10%) in federal COVID-19 aid to address the state’s immediate needs, including shoring up minority and women owned small businesses and specific sectors…
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It’s now time to stamp out Antisemitism – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer The American Jewish Committee (AJC), one of the oldest nation’s Jewish advocacy groups fighting racism and antisemitism, calls on the Marriott Hotel company to apologize directly to Gil Ofarim, a popular German-Israeli singer who lives in Germany, for an anti-Semitic remark made by an employee.  He was told by the check-in…
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Older adults still worried, coping with COVID-19 Delta, poll shows – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the COVID-19 Delta variant numbers having surged across the nation, Joe (70) and Joyce (66), residing across the Rhode Island border in Seekonk, Massachusetts, continue to keep their distance from others, only seeing vaccinated friends and spending time with their daughter and her husband and grandchildren. During…
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Safeguarding ballot access for seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The clock is ticking… It’s 399 days before the upcoming midterm elections. Following the Democrats winning the White House and taking control of both the House and Senate chambers, Republican-controlled state houses across the nation moved quickly to pass legislation on the voting process. The Republican lawmakers…
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Fixing rising pharmaceutical drug costs once and for all – Herb Weiss

Fixing Rising Pharmaceutical Drug Costs Once and For All By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just days ago, WBUR.org, Boston’s NPR News Station, featuring NPR News and Programs, aired a 45.37 minute program, “Steps to Fix America’s Broken Prescription Drug System,”  clearly illustrating the need to fix America’s ailing prescription drug program.  While Americans are…
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Nursing facilities gear up for October vaccination deadline – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over a month ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to public health practitioners and clinicians about the urgent need to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage across the United States to prevent surges…
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“Gray voting block” watching Congress – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With recess ending, budget reconciliation begins in the House and Senate as lawmakers come back to Capitol Hill to begin crafting a budget. Last month a $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution bill was passed which gave instructions in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget resolution to allow up…
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A call to Congress to strengthen, expand Social Security & Medicare – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The 2021 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI)) and the Social Security Disability trust fund (SSDI), released last week, gives Congress this stark warning: the Social Security Trust fund is heading toward insolvency in 13 years while SSDI will…
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House passes Budget resolution – Seniors would benefit

By  Herb Weiss During a late-night negotiating session held Monday, Aug. 23, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mended fences and brought centralist Democrats, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), back to the fold. The next day, a united Democratic caucus adopted the Senate-passed $3.5 trillion budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 14) for fiscal year 2022, by a party…
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It’s time. Staff vaccinations required for nursing homes as 10 RI facilities see new COVID cases – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the COVID-19 Delta variant spiking across the country especially among the unvaccinated, last Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced at an afternoon address at the White House that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will require nursing homes to require all workers to be fully…
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A Call for House Dems to Bring Back House Aging Committee – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just days ago, Congressman David Cicilline, along with fellow lawmakers, Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Doris Matsui (D-CA), who serve as co-chairs of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force  on Aging and Families, introduced H. Res. 583 to amend the rules of the House to establish a House Permanent Select Committee on…
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Update: Legislation submitted to reestablish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging – Herb Weiss

Cicilline, Schakowsky & Matsui Reintroduce Legislation to Reestablish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging  U.S. Representatives David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), and Doris Matsui (CA-06) reintroduced legislation to reestablish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging to examine the challenges and issues facing the growing aging population in America. This legislation has…
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AARP concerned for working caregivers. Advice from Dr. Michael Fine – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues After the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic initially shuttered the nation’s businesses over a year ago and with Delta variant cases now surging among the 50 percent of the population not fully vaccinated, AARP releases a 17-page report exploring the concerns of working caregivers about returning to pre-pandemic business…
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Your eyes, ears, and teeth are connected to your body – Medicare/Medicaid at 56 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over 56 years ago, Congress became actively involved in the health insurance business with President Lyndon Johnson signing the Social Security Amendments establishing Medicare and Medicaid. The bipartisan legislation creating a national health insurance program. It was introduced in March 1965, and was passed by large majorities…
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We can prevent “suicide by bridge” – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Photo: top, Bryan Ganley As the General Assembly goes into recess until the fall, Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) sees H-5053, to require safety barriers or netting on the three bridges that connect Aquidneck and Conanicut Islands to the mainland of Rhode Island, as in hiatus. The bill…
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“There’s a New Sheriff in Town” at SSA – Herb Weiss

“There’s a New Sheriff in Town” at SSA By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Photo: Kilolo Kijakazi, Urban Institute President Joe Biden has asked two political holdovers from the President Trump’s administration, Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul and his deputy, David Black, who had previously served as the agency’s top lawyer, to resign. Saul…
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RI Law ensures teaching of Holocaust, Genocides in public schools – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer The Rhode Island Holocaust and Genocide Education Coalition (RIHGEC) has successfully pushed state lawmakers to pass legislation that formalizes a commission to implement a 2016 law to require public schools to teach students about genocide and the Holocaust.  The 2016 law was introduced by Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) and House Majority…
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AARP launches campaign to support Family Caregivers – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues AARP Launches New National Campaign Calling for More Support for Family Caregivers With caregiving costs skyrocketing, and with caregivers now estimated to be spending $7,242 annually out-of-pocket, AARP launches a national campaign to push for passage of the Credit for Caring Act. The Washington, DC-based aging advocacy…
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Tracking legislation of interest to seniors as RI General Assembly wraps up – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues In the waning days of the 2021 legislative session, RI House lawmakers approved a $13.1 billion state budget for the 2022 fiscal year (by a party-line vote of 64 Democrats to 10 Republicans) that boosts key supports for vulnerable Rhode Islanders — particularly affordable housing and social…
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The Slater Mill Field Trip: in the footsteps of Samuel Slater – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer In Pawtucket’s downtown, you will find historic Slater Mill, consisting of the Slater and Wilkinson Mill and the Sylvanus Brown House, sitting on five acres of land on both sides of the Blackstone River, a mill that celebrates America’s Industrial Revolution to generations of visiting students. Pawtucket resident Patricia S. Zacks…
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Seniors would benefit in President Biden’s $6 trillion budget

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer On May 28, with the release of a $6 trillion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2022, President Joe Biden outlined his values and vision as to how he proposes to revive the nation’s sputtering economic engine as it emerges from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 72-page budget…
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