Troy Talk

Promoting Innovation in the Fight against Cancer

tt143.jpgI remember the phone call that transformed my life forever. It was in the early spring of 2015 and my father said to me, “I have cancer.” Families all across our country have felt the sting of those three words and the devastation that cancer can cause to our loved ones. I lost my father to this dreaded disease a few months after that call, and it spurred me to become a stronger advocate for using innovation and advances in medical technology to help us detect cancer sooner.

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A Perfect Dream: Human Rights

tt142b.jpgDecember 10 marks the annual celebration to commemorate International Human Rights Day, and its significance and importance should be apparent. Unfortunately, we still need to celebrate it as a reminder of what we have not yet achieved, even though many of us consider it a desired norm.

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The Wrong Prescription for Fixing Health Insurance in New Jersey

tt141.jpgSometimes an idea that seems too good to be true is just that. One of those ideas is being touted by President-Elect Donald Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress as a key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “repeal and replace” strategy. The idea is to allow health insurance to be sold across state lines. This regurgitated policy proposal is a popular sound bite, let consumers save money by purchasing health insurance coverage from another state where the policy may be cheaper. However, this proposal, which has been kicked around for well over a decade, is a bad idea.

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Why Love Thanksgiving?

tt140.jpgI don’t know how President Barack Obama or President-elect Trump are going to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. I suspect at some point there will be a moment of silence and maybe a bowed head. They have much to be thankful for, as do all of us.

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My Formula for Fun

tt139.jpgEveryone loves to do something. Everyone.  And most of us love to do several things, even if we don’t quite think to place it in some mental category labeled “fun.”

In recent weeks, we have had a firestorm of political activity, and I’m realistic enough to know that each of us has daily, personal trials that we must confront.

It occurred to me that we need a break emotionally, spiritually and even physically, for some. It further dawned on me that the easiest, least expensive way to achieve some fun or relaxation is to learn how to do something that we’ve always thought about but keep in the “I’m going to get to it” category. It might even be some activity that we once did and now has slipped away.

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An Open Letter to My Fellow Americans

tt138.jpgMy fellow Americans,

As the results of our Presidential election have settled in, the emotions and passions associated with those results still run high. Many of us, regardless of our preferred candidate, felt very passionately about this election. Now that the outcome has been decided, we must take the high road and embrace our fellow citizens as we attempt to move forward as a nation.

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Would New Jersey Benefit From Police Officers Being College Educated?

tt137.jpgShould police officers be required to have college credits or a degree? The Wickersham Commission and President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended that higher education is a means to better professional policing. Research studies show police officers who have earned a college degree demonstrate better overall job performance and have greater advancement opportunities than their colleagues without a college degree.

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The NFL Misses the Point: By a Wide Margin

tt136.jpgThis month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and given the NFL history about this topic, they have once again let us down. I have talked about this in the past regarding the Ray Rice incident, and it seems that nothing has changed with the NFL's cavalier attitude toward domestic abuse. The recent revelations about New York Giants kicker Josh Brown are enough to make you sick. I have loved football my entire life, but it's clear that the NFL has no respect for its female fans.

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Maximum Benefits for Raising the Minimum Wage

tt135.jpgIt’s about the math, and it’s about the heart, too.

If you are a worker in New Jersey and earn the minimum wage, your pay is $8.38 per hour. Your daily wage is $67.04. If you work 40 hours per week, your gross pay is $335.20. Work 52 weeks, and you’re up to $17,430.40 annually. A tidy sum on which to get by if you’re single and very, very frugal, especially when you consider the federal poverty level is $12,082. Add a family to the mix, and it becomes darn near impossible to survive.

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Holding Schools Accountable

One of the hardest parts about writing a weekly column is deciding what topic I want to cover. Oftentimes it's easy enough to just go with the conversation du jour in our country, or expounding on a legislative initiative I am working on. However, this week I want to try something different. I want to share with you a piece that I read in U.S. News & World Report on reinventing our national education system. The author raises some thought provoking points, some of which I agree with and others I don't. I am curious to hear your thoughts on what the author lays out, so let me know what you think.

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