Op-Eds

10.09.08

Honoring 'end of life' wishes

by Sheldon Whitehouse

Discussing end-of-life care makes many people uncomfortable - understandably so - but anyone who has been there through the death of a loved one knows how important it can be. That's why I chaired a hearing in the Senate's Special Committee on Aging on Sept. 24 to look into how we can best honor Americans' wishes at the end of life. Currently, too few Americans have completed some type of advance directive. Even among terminally ill patients, fewer than half have an advance directive included i… Continue Reading


07.24.08

Leveling the Playing Field for Rhode Island Families

by Sheldon Whitehouse

All their lives, Billy and Aida Ojopi have worked hard to provide for their family. He is a pastor. Three of their children are in college. By most standards, they are an American success story. But when I met them at the Urban League of Rhode Island earlier this week, they were struggling. Without warning, the interest payments on their home mortgage had gone through the roof. They began using their credit cards to make ends meet, but then those rates jumped, too. It's an all too familia… Continue Reading


03.19.08

How Justice Erred on Waterboarding

by Sheldon Whitehosue

FOR THE FIRST TIME, the Department of Justice has announced it is investigating one of the most astounding failures of legal scholarship in its history: how waterboarding, historically recognized as among the worst forms of torture, came to be deemed legal and authorized for use in Central Intelligence Agency interrogations by DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). President Bush's recent veto of a ban on torture, a measure I co-sponsored and fought for, makes this inquiry all the more… Continue Reading


03.09.08

Lack of Health IT Shows Market Failure

by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Our health care system is in serious trouble. I have heard from countless Rhode Islanders struggling to pay for health care and afraid of losing insurance coverage on which they and their families depend. I have met nurses frustrated and heartbroken that they must spend so much time filling out paperwork and so little time caring for patients. I have talked with families whose lives and health were shaken by terrifying medical errors - misplaced paperwork, mistaken diagnoses - that should have b… Continue Reading


02.29.08

President should sign anti-torture bill

by Dianne Feinstein and Sheldon Whitehouse

Congress will send President Bush a bipartisan measure this week prohibiting the CIA and other intelligence agencies from using waterboarding and other coercive techniques. We hope he will surprise everyone and sign the measure into law. This measure is part of the 2008 Intelligence Authorization Bill that Congress passed earlier this month. It has been endorsed by 43 retired generals and admirals, and by a bipartisan group of 18 retired national security advisers, secretaries of state, ambassa… Continue Reading


10.05.07

Caring for children isn’t too expensive

by Sheldon Whitehouse

EVERY DAY IN RHODE ISLAND, thousands of families wake up worried about health care. Will a child fall ill? Will costs rise - again? For the people I've met over the last year, at my community dinners and events all over the state, health care is one of their most pressing concerns - and one of government's biggest opportunities to do the right thing. Federal programs, like Medicare and Medicaid, that provide health-insurance coverage to those who might not otherwise have it are one of… Continue Reading


04.03.07

Building a National Health IT Infrastructure

by Sheldon Whitehouse

Our health care system is in serious trouble. I have heard from countless Rhode Islanders who have struggled to pay for their health care and who live in fear of losing insurance coverage on which they and their families depend. I have met nurses frustrated and heartbroken that they must spend so much time filling out paperwork and so little time caring for patients. I have talked with families whose lives and health were shaken by terrifying medical errors--misplaced paperwork, mista… Continue Reading


02.06.07

We need to take a new direction in Iraq

by Sheldon Whitehouse

TRAVELING IN THE OCEAN STATE over the past two years, I met thousands of Rhode Islanders who told me it was time for a change in Washington. Tired of a president who failed to listen and failed to learn, last November they and millions of Americans voted for a new direction. As a new member of the U.S. Senate, I feel a great responsibility to those Rhode Islanders to work to address the many serious challenges our nation faces. None of these, I believe, is more grave or more pressing … Continue Reading


01.30.07

A true change of course

by Sheldon Whitehouse

LAST NOVEMBER, the American people voted for a new direction in Washington. I met thousands of Rhode Islanders who told me we needed change, and in his sixth State of the Union address, President Bush had a real opportunity to show that he was listening. From what we all heard last Tuesday, however, I'm concerned this State of the Union address will end up like so many others from this president: promises that sound encouraging but prove to be empty. As a new senator attending my first State of… Continue Reading

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