Latest News by Herb Weiss

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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. Today, Herb’s weekly newspaper column appears in the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket call, two North Rhode Island daily newspapers, and will now run in RINewsToday.com. Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

 

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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Using Savings from Drug Pricing Reform to Expand Medicare – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Ahead of President Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress on April 28 and as the Democratic administration considers policies to slash rising drug costs, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a 65-page report finding that the U.S. pays more than two to four…
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Rhode Island Senate must take a stand against hatred – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer “In recent days, we have seen that no community is immune. We must all stand together to silence these terrible and terrifying echoes of the worst chapters in world history, and pledge to give hate no safe harbor.” — Statement of President Joe Biden on the rise of antisemitic attacks,…
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One Year Later – Two Surveys Examine Impact of COVID-19 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over the year the raging pandemic has impacted on the physical and mental health of Americans. With daily COVID case counts now the lowest since last year and hospitals seeing less coronavirus hospitalizations, most states, including Rhode Island, are now opening up. According to the American Psychological Association’s…
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Voter reform must include accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues It’s over 540 days until the November 8, 2022 mid-term elections. The clock is ticking, say voter rights advocates, who are gearing up to push back at voting bills they see as restrictive being introduced at multiple state houses.   As of March 24, 2021, GOP State legislators,…
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Congressman Cicilline poised for legacy as next fiery advocate on aging – Herb Weiss

Picking Up the Mantle of Fiery Aging Advocate, Claude Pepper – Cicilline Moves to Re-Establish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Congressman David Cicilline is poised to offer a resolution to re-establish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging, whose work came to an end in early January…
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Ron St. Pierre back on-air. “Ron & Jen’s Great Escape” positive podcast. – Herb Weiss

Photo: Jen Brien & Ron St. Pierre By Herb Weiss, contributing writer One might say his career has come full circle from its early beginnings on a small radio station in Woonsocket, to programming and performing on air at popular Rhode Island radio stations, to serving as a sports anchor on television, as well. A…
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Time to resolve RI’s ongoing Nursing Home staffing crisis – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The latest release of AARP’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard shows that both cases and deaths in nursing homes declined in the four weeks ending March 21. Although these rates are improving, chronic staffing problems in nursing homes—revealed during the COVID-19 pandemic—continue. In Rhode Island, 30% of nursing homes reported a…
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Seniors with student loans: AARP’s new online tool to manage debt – Herb Weiss

AARP’s New Internet Tool Helps Seniors Manage Hefty Student Loan Debt  By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Over the years, AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) has tracked the staggering amount of student loan debt that seniors are shouldering to help their children and grandchildren finance their higher education. Many people age 50 also take on…
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“Georgia on My Mind” – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues – opinion Protecting the Voting Rights of Older Adults Rewriting election rules has ramifications for voting accessibility of older adults. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans now control 30 state houses with 18 being controlled by the Democrats, one legislature being nonpartisan. As the…
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Age Discrimination, Workplace Issues at House Hearing – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just days ago, Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced, H.R. 2062, the bipartisan “Protection Older Workers Against Discrimination Act” (POWADA), a bill that would strengthen federal anti-discrimination protections for older workers. The legislation was…
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RI Senate Tackles High Cost of Prescription Drugs – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer Photo: Commonwealth Fund In the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island General Assembly move to hammer out their Fiscal Year 2022 budget, Senate lawmakers push a package of eight legislative proposals to put the brakes on skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. The Senate…
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Chronic Fraud Victimization an Escalating Problem – Herb Weiss

 By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Everyone has heard of the ago old proverb, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”  After being tricked once, hopefully a person learns from one’s mistakes and avoids being tricked in the same way again.   But for many victims of financial fraud,…
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Sen. Whitehouse Pushes to Protect Nursing Home Residents, Employees – Herb Weiss

Whitehouse Pushes for COVID-19 Senate Proposal to Protect Residents, Employees By Herb Weiss  As the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic approaches, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joins Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in introducing a legislative proposal to save lives of nursing home residents and employees…
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Dr. Teresa Chopoorian: McKnight’s Women of Distinction Award winner – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging After reviewing hundreds of submitted entries, an independent panel, composed of two dozen judges, selected 19 women, including Dr. Teresa J. Chopoorian, to be inducted into the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Hall of Honor as part of the program’s third annual class.  Dr. Chopoorian serves as Vice President and Administrator of…
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AARP Tips on Shopping for a Financial Advisor – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues As a result of living in times of economic uncertainty resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic retirees are worried about how they can protect their hard-earned egg nest from the volatility of the stock market.  It is even now more important to be working with a financial…
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Never forgetting will help us keep the promise of “never again.” – by Herb Weiss

Never forgetting will help us keep the promise of “never again.” By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues During a Pro-Trump rally, as thousands of rioters swarmed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, Robert Keith Packer, sporting an unkempt beard, came wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase “Camp Auschwitz,” in white…
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Vaccine Decision – Getting to ‘YES’ – by Herb Weiss

Study Takes Look at Decision Making in Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Last month, the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines came to Rhode Island. With limited stockpiles, debate in the state is heating up as to who gets priority in getting vaccinated. While many Rhode Islanders are waiting for…
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AARP: Vaccinate seniors now! Leaders respond. Add YOUR voice.

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The debate heats up as to how Rhode Island should distribute its limited stock of COVID-19 vaccine. Days ago, AARP Rhode Island urged state officials and lawmakers to put seniors on the top of the list to protect their lives. Older Rhode Islanders should be a priority…
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Ramping up COVID-19 Vaccine Plans

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As state health officials say they are clamoring for more doses of COVID-19 vaccine, just days ago, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt there is no “reserve stockpile” of COVID-19 vaccine doses left to release to states, and all vaccine has now…
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COVID-19 and 2021: Looking into the Crystal Ball – by Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues  Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to surge across the nation.  As of last Monday, nearly 18,986,236 Americans have contracted COVID-19 with over 331,930 dying, says the John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center. Projection models say that deaths may spike to over 500,000 by March 2021.  As 2021 approaches,…
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Older Voters Key to Georgia’s Senate Runoff Election – Herb Weiss

Photo: Atlanta Journal-Constitution By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Both Democrats and Republicans know that the proverbial clock is ticking.  It’s 15 days before the Georgia’s Senate runoff election scheduled for Jan. 15.   At press time, 1,336,136 registered Georgia voters have gone to the polls, says the U.S. Election Project.  The percent turnout of…
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Tackling surge of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer, aging issues Over the months, while public health officials watch the uptick in new COVID-19 cases, Congress releases two reports, one taking a snapshot of nursing home performance and resident deaths throughout the first eight months of the pandemic, and the other one sounding the alarm about the impact of COVID-19 on the…
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AARP Fights Consumer Fraud – by Herb Weiss

AARP Continues its Fight Against Consumer Fraud   By Herb Weiss  Every year, fraudsters continue to operate government imposter scams falsely claim to be from federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, to get people to turn over money or personal information. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to fall…
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COVID-19 Changes Way Americans Think About Retirement

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The raging coronavirus pandemic is changing the fundamental way working adults think, plan and save for their retirement, underscoring the important role Social Security and Medicare play for retirees, according to the 2020 Wells Fargo Retirement study conducted by The Harris Poll in August. The annual research report examines the…
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The Impact of COVID-19’s Social Isolation on Seniors – by Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As COVID-19 cases continued to surge across the nation, AARP Foundation in collaboration with the United Health Foundation (UHF), released a report last month taking a look as to how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts seniors who find themselves socially isolated.  According to the recently released report, “The Pandemic…
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AARP’s new COVID-19 Dashboard for national/local Nursing Home Data

AARP Gives a Dashboard Snapshot of COVID-19’s Impact on Nursing Homes By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging While public health experts are predicting a second spike of the COVID-19 virus, expecting it to hit the nation as early as – now – and reaching its peak in December, AARP releases its Nursing Home COVID-19…
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Social Security ‘21 COLA Increase Anemic

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) announcement of next year’s Social Security and Supplemental Security Income’s (SSI) meager cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), over 70 million beneficiaries will only see an increase of 1.3 percent in their monthly checks in 2021.  Last year’s COLA increase was 2.8 percent, the…
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16 year olds and up: Be a Poll Worker – Shortages Threaten Elections

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer With spikes in COVID-19 cases occurring across the nation, causing concerns about the safety or health risk to workers staffing polling sites, AARP announces a new initiative to recruit persons of all ages for the upcoming presidential election to work the polling sites.  AARP along with the Association of Young…
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Butterflies Bring Comfort in Time of Grieving

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Susan feels “joy in her heart and complete happiness” whenever she sees a butterfly. A butterfly came into her life as she mourned her brother’s death in 1990. Before he died, she remembers her brother saying that he would come back as a butterfly. The 62-year-old Pawtucket resident…
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Senate Comm. on Aging: Impact of Isolation and Loneliness on Seniors During COVID-19

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As the COVID-19 crisis has shuttered businesses throughout the nation, state and federal health officials scramble to stop the spread of this deadly virus.  As states begin to slowly open up their economies, a growing number of researchers are finding that mandated social distancing and isolation through self-quarantine may have…
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The Greatest Generation’s Last Hurrah

Editor’s Note:  On June 6, 2020, we celebrate the 76th anniversary of D-Day.  This article, recognizing America’s Greatest Generation who valiantly fought in World War II, was initially published in the Pawtucket Times on November 15, 2014. By Herb Weiss The G.I. Generation, born between 1901 to 1924, (coined the “The Greatest Generation” by nationally acclaimed journalist Tom Brokaw),…
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Senate Aging Committee Tackles COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on Seniors

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer, aging According to an analysis conducted for the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, as of May 22, in the 39 states that currently report such figures, 43 percent of all coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths have taken place in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Since March, the COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island’s…
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Social Security – the Third Rail in Politics

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As Congress begins to hammer out the fifth coronavirus stimulus package to continue its efforts to jump start the nation’s economy, President Donald Trump warns he will not sign any bill that does not include a payroll tax cut.   “We’re not doing anything without a payroll tax cut,”…
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Tele-Town Hall Gets the Word Out About COVID-19

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging This week alone, AARP, in some 30 states, conducted tele-town halls and 123 state calls have taken place since the pandemic surfaced. AARP Rhode Island, representing 132,000 members age 50 and over, was among the very first states to address the pandemic in a tele-town hall over two…
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Shore Up our Social Security Reserve

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Each year, starting in 1941, the Social Security Board of Trustees has presented a required report on the financial status of the program to the Congress. Now amidst the world-wide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forcing the shuttering of the nation’s businesses triggering the worst economic downslide since the 1930s Great…
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4th Stimulus should protect Seniors

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As part of the Economic Impact Payment provision in the recently enacted $ 2.2 trillion stimulus bill, at press time about 80 million Americans have already received their $ 1,200 stimulus check ($2,400 for joint filers) through direct deposit.  But for those 70 million Americans waiting for this…
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Congress should not forget seniors in Phase 4 stimulus package – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Just weeks after Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the $2.2 trillion emergency stimulus package signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, lawmakers continue to look for ways to jump start the nation’s economy by passing another stimulus package. Lawmakers…
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AARP Town Hall Educates Seniors on COVID-19

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging With more than 278 Americans now infected with the Coronavirus virus (COVID-19) and at least 7,159 people dying from the deadly virus, according to an April 3 blog article the New York Times, “about 311 million people in at least 41 states, three counties, eight cities, the District…
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The Coronavirus and its Effect on Social Security

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging As the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the nation, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and other federal agencies strive to cope with meeting the huge challenges they face resulting from the unexpected pandemic outbreak, attempting to juggle worker safety while maintaining their daily operations. On March 19, Key House…
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AARP What Seniors Need to Know About COVID-19

by Herb Weiss, Contributing writer on aging Twenty-four-hour programming on cable television, television networks, talk radio and newspapers report the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just days ago there were about 700 confirmed and presumed U.S. cases from 38 jurisdictions, that’s 36 states…
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Strategy for Combating Seniors’ Social Isolation and Loneliness – by Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Nearly one in four older adults residing in the community are socially isolated. Seniors who are experiencing social isolation or loneliness may face a higher risk of mortality, heart disease and depression, says a newly released report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), a…
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Children Can Bring Message of Life after Death

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer (Note: February 20, 2020 marks the 17-year anniversary of the Station Nightclub fire. This article, reviewing Dave Kane’s book, “41 Signs of Hope,” was initially published in the Pawtucket Times on December 20, 2014.)   The tragic, untimely death of a child will bring emotional pain and suffering to the parents. But, amazingly through horrific…
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RI Lawmakers to Tackle High Prescription Drug Costs

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer, aging The Washington, DC-based AARP began its call for reducing prescription drug prices nationally in the late spring of 2019. At the same time, state legislatures around the country began taking up legislation. However, in Rhode Island, where the legislature meets only once a year, from January to June, it…
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