R-UTN Group Outing May 12

Join fellow R–UTN members for a visit to select east end nurseries on Tuesday, May 12. We will be visiting three different locations.

Felix Wholesale Perennials is the largest nursery of its kind with a breathtaking selection of perennial plants and unbelievable prices — and all sales are cash only. They feature a large selection of roses, shrubs, unusual lilies and dahlias.

Middle Road Plantations features beautiful annual flats, patio pots, vegetable plants, hanging baskets, geraniums and assorted 4″ annuals at really terrific prices.

The Peconic River Herb Farm has a most impressive variety of herbs, shrubs, trees, pottery and water features, all in a beautiful country setting on the Peconic River.

Following the visits to the nurseries we will have lunch at Jerry and the Mermaids, a casual restaurant adjacent to the Riverhead Aquarium.

Meet to carpool at the IGA on 25A in Northport/ Kings Park, or call Bill and Gloria Hall at 631-697-1442 for directions to meet at our first stop.

Farmingdale College Plant Sale Outing

Farmingdale College Plant Sale will be held on Wed. May 6,2015. This is a wonderful opportunity to stroll thru the incomparably beautiful gardens at Farmingdale College. The variety and common sense pricing of this annual pre-Mothers' Day Plant Sale will delight and excite each of you! There is no admission charge. 

Bill and Gloria Hall are organizing a group visit. Plan to meet at 10am at the garden gate to the college, located off Rt.110. If you need to contact the group, call Bill Hall at 631-697-1442An optional lunch will follow at the Black Forest Brew House.

Medicare “Doc Fix” Bill Passes in the Senate

This week, the Senate passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that determines Medicare physician payments and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years. Congress has acted 17 times to temporarily prevent drastic payment cuts resulting from use of the SGR formula. The “doc fix” bill replaces the SGR with alternative, value-driven payment strategies. This is good news for people with Medicare, who need to know their doctors will be there when they need them. 

The bill also permanently funds the Qualified Individual (QI) program that helps low-income Medicare beneficiaries afford Part B premiums. While the Senate considered an amendment to the bill to permanently repeal the Medicare therapy caps, this measure was not successful. Instead, the therapy caps exceptions process will be extended for two years. When this exceptions process expires, Congress must again act to ensure that people with Medicare are able to retain access to needed therapy services.

Also extended for two years is federal funding for community-based organizations, including State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs), Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and others, to find and enroll vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries in low-income assistance programs. Like the therapy cap exceptions process, it will be paramount for Congress to ensure this funding continues beyond the two-year extension included in the final bill. 

The legislation will now go to the President, and he is expected to sign it into law. 

Click here to read the final bill.