Romney Touts His Health Care Credentials

first_imgDuring a forum hosted by Univision, the GOP presidential nominee embraced his role as the “grandfather of Obamacare.” Elsewhere on the camapign trail, the Service Employees International Union launches a Medicare attack ad against the Romney-Ryan campaign and other Republicans. The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Romney Softens Tone At Univision ForumMitt Romney appeared to embrace his role as the “grandfather of Obamacare,” while also disavowing President Barack Obama’s health-care law, as the Republican softened his tone on a host of hot-button issues Wednesday evening. “I have experience in health-care reform,” Mr. Romney said in a candidates forum hosted by Univision, the Spanish-language network. “Now and then the president says I’m the grandfather of Obamacare. I don’t think he meant that as a compliment but I’ll take it” (Murray, 9/19).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Romney Says Being Called The ‘Grandfather Of Obamacare’ Is A Compliment He’ll AcceptMitt Romney says it’s a compliment to be called the grandfather of Obamacare, the health care law championed by President Barack Obama and scorned by Republicans — including Romney himself. Obama has said the health care law Romney backed while governor of Massachusetts is the basis of the federal Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010 (9/19).CBS (video): Romney: I’m the Grandfather Of ‘Obamacare’Mitt Romney said Wednesday at Univision’s “Meet the Candidates” forum in Coral Gables, Fla., “The president says I’m the grandfather of ‘Obamacare’ — I don’t think he meant that as a compliment, but I’ll take it.”ABC: New Union Ads Hit Romney, Republicans On MedicareThe Service Employees International Union is going after Mitt Romney and two freshman House Republicans on Medicare, with a flight of ads airing in three states. The union plans to make health care a central theme in its ads this fall. “You’re going to see a lot of stuff on Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act in multiple races,” said SEIU spokesman Mark McCullough. In Florida, a new statewide radio ad blasts Romney and VP nominee Paul Ryan for their Medicare plan. In it, a nervous-sounding mother calls her son asking about Medicare and the GOP ticket, confused by TV ads on the topic (Good, 9/20).The Boston Globe: Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan Dependent On Effective CompetitionThe success or failure of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s plan to overhaul Medicare depends largely on the answer to one key question: Would competition among private insurers hold down insurance costs? If the answer is yes, then the Republican ticket’s proposal — to issue premium support payments to future seniors, who would use the vouchers to purchase private insurance — could work (Borchers, 9/20). Romney Touts His Health Care Credentials This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Deficit Continues To Be Test For Obama — With Debate About Medicare

first_imgThe New York Times reports that with the deficit over $1 trillion, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential pick Mitt Romney propose different prescriptions, especially regarding government health programs. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports on how health firms are preparing for possible election outcomes.The New York Times: Test For Obama As Deficit Stays Over $1 TrillionMr. Romney is proposing to reduce the deficit and encourage economic growth by substantially shrinking the government — unrealistically so, in the judgment of many budget experts — while further cutting taxes and increasing spending on the military. He would inject more private sector competition into Medicare to rein in the quickly growing costs of health insurance for older people and would limit Medicaid payments to fixed amounts to the states. Mr. Obama wants to combine spending cuts and tax increases on upper-income households to close the fiscal hole without fundamentally reducing the role of government or altering the government guarantees at the heart of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Those programs account for 40 percent of federal spending, and they will grow to half in a decade as more baby boomers claim benefits (Calmes, 9/25).The Wall Street Journal: Health Firms Size Up Election OutcomesThe close presidential election race is forcing the health-care industry to size up potential policy changes that could eventually switch millions of seniors to private insurance plans. Republican nominee Mitt Romney wants to eventually shift Medicare recipients to private insurance coverage, a provision that his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), helped pass through the House. At the same time, the pair pledges to wipe away the Obama administration’s health-overhaul law (Radnofsky, 9/25).The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: New Health Care Act Has Businesses UncertainSandersville auto dealer Jimmy Childre Jr. likely knows more about the Affordable Care Act than most business owners. As CEO of Washington County Regional Medical Center, he also runs a hospital. But when asked about the full impact of the new health care law on his dealership and on insurance for his 15 employees, even he is not 100 percent sure….Uncertainty, in a word, was the underlying theme of a health care forum put on by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday (Markiewicz, 9/25). Also in the news, a new swing state ad by Planned Parenthood targets Romney on women’s health issues, while the Obama campaign highlights his comments on how the uninsured can get health care in emergency rooms – The Hill: Planned Parenthood Targets Romney In New Swing-State AdPlanned Parenthood’s political wing is launching a new television ad calling Mitt Romney “out of touch” on women’s health — the latest attempt by the group to alienate women voters from the GOP presidential ticket. The new 33-second spot will air this week in Virginia and next week in Ohio. Both markets are swing states where the women’s vote will be crucial to the result of the election. “The Republican ticket needs to be held accountable for their out-of-touch policy positions that would have a disastrous and measurable impact on women and their families,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) executive vice president Dawn Laguens said in a statement on the ad buy (Viebeck, 9/25).The Hill: Team Obama Jumps On Romney For Saying ERs A Care Plan For UninsuredPresident Obama’s campaign is targeting Mitt Romney for saying that uninsured Americans can seek care in emergency rooms. The Obama team released a Web video Monday night juxtaposing the GOP presidential nominee’s remark to CBS with previous, contradictory statements he made about ER care in 2010. The Obama video charges that the former governor “knows ER treatment is expensive and inefficient, so why does he say it’s a solution now?” (Viebeck, 9/25). Deficit Continues To Be Test For Obama — With Debate About Medicare And Medicaid Central To Both Campaigns This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Colorado Will Expand Medicaid Claims Cost Savings Are In Progress

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Colorado Will Expand Medicaid, Claims Cost Savings Are In Progress The state plans to expand its Medicaid program as much as the federal health law envisions, without spending any extra money to make it happen. Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Colorado Will Expand Medicaid, Governor Announces Gov. John Hickenlooper said Colorado will expand its Medicaid program as much as the federal health care law calls for, and he said the state won’t have to spend any extra money to make it happen. The federal health overhaul law requires states to significantly expand the health care program for the poor, but when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act last June, it said states couldn’t be forced to take the new Medicaid money, essentially making that expansion optional (Whitney, 1/3).Denver Post: Colorado Plans Medicaid Expansion, Claims Cost Savings In ProcessColorado plans to expand Medicaid coverage next year to cover more than 160,000 additional low-income adults, aided by cost-control savings of more than $280 million over the next 10 years, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Thursday. “This is a step toward what we have talked about for a couple of years: How can we make sure we’re making Colorado the single healthiest state in America?” Hickenlooper said. Through 2016, the federal government covers the entire cost of the expansion, which comes under provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The governor said he anticipates that even when federal funding for the expansion is reduced, “not one dollar of general-fund money will be used to replace it” (Simpson, 1/3). last_img read more

Debt Ceiling March Spending Cuts Present Policy And Political Choices

first_imgAs the White House and congressional Republicans wrestle with strategies to deal with these upcoming budget issues, Medicare and Medicaid will be important factors. The New York Times: Difficult Choices On Debt If The U.S. Hits The CeilingThe Treasury Department is undertaking “extraordinary measures,” … to leave it with more cash on hand. But such measures buy the country only so much time. … That day might be Feb. 15, for instance. According to a Bipartisan Policy Center analysis, the government expects about $9 billion in revenue to arrive in its coffers that day. But it has $52 billion in committed spending on that day: $30 billion in interest payments, $6.8 billion in tax refunds, $3.5 billion in federal salaries, $2.7 billion in military pay, $2.3 billion in Medicaid and Medicare payments … and a smattering of other commitments. The Treasury would be confronted with paying doctors but not soldiers (Lowrey, 1/17).Los Angeles Times: House GOP Weighs Backing Off Default ThreatThe threat of the coming March cuts – which both parties have said they hope to avoid – provide an opportunity for the GOP to try to force Obama and Senate Democrats to consider alternative reductions elsewhere. Republicans have long sought to spare the Pentagon from cuts and shift the burden to other domestic programs, including Medicare and safety net programs. But to get to that debate, Republicans must first dispatch with the need to raise the nation’s debt limit, which could come as soon as mid-February (Mascaro, 1/17). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Debt Ceiling, March Spending Cuts Present Policy And Political Choiceslast_img read more

Viewpoints 5 Lies About Entitlements Obamas Plans For Medicare Still Not Clear

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Viewpoints: 5 Lies About Entitlements; Obama’s Plans For Medicare Still Not Clear; Generic Drug Makers Need To Be Accountable Los Angeles Times: The Five Biggest Lies About Entitlement ProgramsSo here’s a list with a bit more gravitas: The five biggest lies you’re being told about entitlement programs. Never mind that the very word “entitlement” is a lie. Social Security and Medicare got that name because workers became “entitled” to those benefits by paying into the system. In recent years, however, the term has become distorted to signify benefits people are entitled to without earning them. Leaving that whopper aside, here are the top five (Michael Hiltzik, 3/8). Forbes: Did You Really Pay For Your Medicare Benefits?Time after time during Election Year 2012, seniors and near-seniors reacted to the slightest mention of Medicare reform with indignation and the emphatic insistence, “Don’t you dare touch Medicare; I’ve paid for it!” There is only one problem with that statement: In a mathematical sense, it isn’t true (Mark Hendrickson, 3/7).The Washington Post: Payments To Elders Are Harming Our FutureFoolish, indiscriminate and badly timed cuts in the federal budget have begun. The primary reason is that Republicans have refused to budge any further on taxes. Still, Democrats must share some of the blame. By failing to propose more specific cuts to entitlement spending, they have forfeited the high ground and allowed a small but critical set of programs to absorb all of the pain (Harry J. Holzer and Isabel Sawhill, 3/8).The Washington Post: Budget Ideas That Democrats And Republicans Might Agree OnArizona’s John McCain, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte — have dared to say that they would, gasp!, consider raising revenue. The senators attach two caveats: Revenue must come through fundamental tax reform (getting rid of loopholes, not raising rates) and be accompanied by reined in entitlement spending. In theory, both sides agree on these approaches (Ruth Marcus, 3/8).The Washington Post: A Grand Bargain On The Menu?Mr. Obama’s Republican dinner partners could and should respond favorably to his publicly announced proposal to raise $580 billion over the next decade by closing tax loopholes and limiting tax deductions to 28 percent of income for top earners. They can’t and won’t do that, however, without a bigger and more detailed commitment on entitlement reform than Mr. Obama has given publicly so far. Specifically, his offer of $400 billion in health program savings over ten years strikes us as both too small and insufficiently fleshed out, though it’s a start (3/9).The Washington Post: The High Costs Of Medicare’s Low Prices Steven Brill’s recent Time magazine cover story, “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” is an extraordinarily well-reported look at medical pricing, demonstrating that high health-care prices have little relationship to underlying cost. For many commentators, the much lower prices paid by Medicare suggests an obvious solution to our health-care problems — “Medicare for all.” There’s only one problem with this “obvious” solution: Medicare has been a primary driver of the explosion of health-care costs in the United States despite — and perhaps because of — the low prices it pays (David Goldhill, 3/10). Boston Globe: Reducing Health Costs: A Bitter Pill, Chewable For DoctorsWhen I read Steven Brill’s epic takedown of health care costs in Time magazine, my first reactions were sticker shock and outrage. This was followed by unease: Did I really need to use that second square of gauze (priced at $77 a box, according to Brill) after placing that central venous catheter the other week? As he dissects a series of medical bills and follows each line item to its source, Brill points the finger both at marked-up prices by manufacturers and hospital administrators stemming from our lack of price controls and at the quantity of line items (i.e. the overuse of resources). Setting aside the critical need for payment reform and true price competition, doctors have a significant role to play in mitigating that second offense. To this end, we’re now meant to learn about medical costs as part of our medical training, though institutional norms and perverse incentives have made this challenging (Ishani Ganguli, 3/11). Roll Call: Fiscal Cliff Health Care Policy Fix Is Good For Rural Patients And TaxpayersRarely do federal lawmakers come upon a policy that can expand access to critical health care services and simultaneously save taxpayers money. But according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, a tweak in the way Medicare pays for certain kidney disease drugs could do just that — preserving the availability of crucial treatments to rural patients and saving the program billions. At issue is Medicare’s handling of a few “oral-only” dialysis medications designed for end-stage renal disease, the most severe version of chronic kidney disease (Grace Boatright, 3/8).San Jose Mercury News: Sequester And Health: Blind Cuts In Medical Research Will Cost Lives And Hurt The EconomyAs of March 1, sequestration has become a reality. Arbitrary, across-the-board cuts to most federal programs are being implemented to address our nation’s budget crisis. As a physician, the CEO of a company that focuses on therapies to tackle some of the world’s deadliest cancers and, most important, the father of a cancer survivor, the impact of this approach is very real to me. Put simply, sequestration threatens to stifle the biomedical breakthroughs that have distinguished us as global leaders and given hope to millions of patients and families grappling with life-threatening diseases (Anthony Coles, 3/8). The Wall Street Journal: A New Obama? Meantime, the real measure of Mr. Obama’s seriousness isn’t whether he’s willing to spar over dinner but what kind of specific policy compromises he’s willing to make. … Will he put more than token entitlement reforms on the table? … the President’s Medicare proposals don’t begin to solve the health-care spending problem. Short of Paul Ryan’s premium-support plan, the only chance for reform worth the name is “comprehensive cost-sharing” that forces individuals to confront at least some of the costs of their own care. Count us as skeptical that Mr. Obama is willing to do any of this (3/10). National Review: Escape From Obamacare In the next nine months, young Americans — particularly those who believed in President Obama’s promise of health-care “reform” — are about to get the biggest sticker shock of their lives. … The respected economic consulting firm Oliver Wyman estimates that 80 percent of adults 21 to 29 years of age who make more than $16,000 a year will pay more for coverage, even after accounting for Obamacare’s subsidies. Fortunately, there appears to be a partial escape hatch for young workers and others hit by Obamacare’s premium increases, even if they don’t work for big companies. Small firms and the specialized insurers that serve them may have found the lifeboats (to borrow Texas governor Rick Perry’s comparison of Obamacare to the Titanic) to sail away from many of Obamacare’s mandates (John Berlau, 3/11). Politico: GOP Folds On Obamacare The winter of conservative discontent continues. On Wednesday, the House Republican majority led by Speaker John Boehner used the cover of a fake “snowstorm” to pass a continuing resolution that funds Obamacare for the rest of the 2013 fiscal year and they could lose their majority as a result of the decision (L. Brent Bozell, 3/8). The New York Times: Dwindling Deficit Disorder Right now, a sustainable deficit would be around $460 billion. The actual deficit is bigger than that. But according to new estimates by the budget office, half of our current deficit reflects the effects of a still-depressed economy. The “cyclically adjusted” deficit — what the deficit would be if we were near full employment — is only about $423 billion, which puts it in the sustainable range; next year the budget office expects that number to fall to just $172 billion. … So we do not, repeat do not, face any kind of deficit crisis either now or for years to come. There are, of course, longer-term fiscal issues: rising health costs and an aging population will put the budget under growing pressure over the course of the 2020s. But I have yet to see any coherent explanation of why these longer-run concerns should determine budget policy right now. And as I said, given the needs of the economy, the deficit is currently too small (Paul Krugman, 3/10). The New York Times: Hold Generic Drug Makers Accountable A New Hampshire woman who was severely injured by a generic drug in 2004 is still struggling to hold the manufacturer liable. Her case will be argued this month before the Supreme Court, which has already severely limited the ability of consumers to sue generic manufacturers and may well limit it further. If so, some way must be found to compensate this plaintiff, Karen Bartlett, and others who have been hurt by generic drugs, which account for 80 percent of all prescriptions in this country (3/10). last_img read more

Obamacare Navigators Hope For DoOver

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Obamacare ‘Navigators’ Hope For Do-Over The groups charged with helping people sign up for health coverage are looking for a fresh start after experiencing the same difficulties getting plan information as many consumers. Other stories look at the challenges of enrolling Spanish-speaking consumers, as well as those living in rural areas.The Washington Post: Launch Of Has Been A Rough Passage For Program ‘Navigators'[Patrice] McCarron’s group is one of about 100 organizations across the country that received government grants to help people sign up for coverage. These groups of “navigators” have been stymied by the same technical problems that have thwarted individual consumers, and many say they have become worn down and discouraged. Now they are hoping that this weekend will mark a turnaround for the program, which they once promoted with enthusiasm and more recently have had trouble defending (Somashekhar, 11/30).Kaiser Health News: Covered California Faulted For Failing To Reach More Spanish SpeakersLatino lawmakers and health leaders in California are sounding alarms about the insurance marketplace’s preparation and tactics for enrolling Spanish speakers and are urging changes following the recent announcement that fewer than 1,000 signed up in the health law’s first month (Gorman, 12/1).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Breaking Up With Healthcare.govEnrolling in is not easy. In Alaska, just 53 people enrolled in the first month. Anchorage hair stylist Lara Imler is one of the few who got through. Now though, after she discovered problems with her application, Imler wants to cancel her enrollment (Feidt, 12/1).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: The Iowa Insurance Challenge: Rural OutreachWith more than 200,000 Iowans lacking health insurance, there are lots of questions but not many people equipped to answer them. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart says the state got about $600,000 in federal funding for pay for navigators, who help people understand their options and sign up for coverage. “That’s not a lot of money to build a statewide campaign,” he notes. “You have to hire staff, train staff, hold events. I mean that’s expensive” (McCammon, 11/27).last_img read more

Poll Findings Health Law Messagers Grab Headlines

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Just as a new poll concludes that people with and without insurance disapprove of the health law at about the same rate, the Obama administration turns to its “top seller” to promote the overhaul.  The New York Times: Uninsured Skeptical Of Health Care Law In PollAmericans who lack medical coverage disapprove of President Obama’s health care law at roughly the same rate as the insured, even though most say they struggle to pay for basic care, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. … The widespread skepticism, even among people who are supposed to benefit from the law, underscores the political challenge facing the Obama administration as it tries to persuade millions of Americans to enroll in coverage through new online marketplaces (Goodnough and Kopicki, 12/18).CBS News: Poll: Many Uninsured Haven’t Explored Obamacare OptionsMore than two months after the health care exchanges opened, a new CBS News/New York Times poll reveals most uninsured Americans – 58 percent – say they have not looked up information about applying for insurance, while four in 10 have done that. Forty-nine percent of uninsured Americans who looked up information were able to get the information they needed, but about as many – 48 percent – were not (Dutton, De Pinto, Salvanto, 12/18). Politico: Michelle Obama Steps Into Health Care SpotlightPresident Barack Obama has struggled to sell his health care law this fall — and until now, he’s largely been without his top seller: first lady Michelle Obama. The first lady has done little to promote the Affordable Care Act in recent months, marking a shift from her usual role as the president’s middle class messenger — a move that allowed her to sidestep the political battles over the law, and questions about the administration’s trustworthiness (Epstein, 12/18).The Associated Press: First Lady Joins President’s Push On Health CareMrs. Obama also was appearing on three African-American radio shows to encourage Americans to enroll. Minorities are less likely to have health insurance, so the administration has been targeting them in sign-up campaigns (Pickler, 12/18).Bloomberg: Obama Eases Congress Health Care Jitters With House VetAs Phil Schiliro arrived at his first meeting last week with House Democratic leaders to discuss selling Obamacare, he was greeted like family. … Schiliro met today with about a dozen Senate Democrats in a session organized by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (Bykowicz,12/18).And what about “pajama boy” – ABC News: Obamacare Hipster In PJs Lures Young, HealthyFive days before the first major Obamacare enrollment deadline, it’s an all-out battle to attract the young and healthy. Today Organizing for Action, President Obama’s independent advocacy group, launched a social media blitz urging uninsured millennials to “have the talk” about health care. An image graphic — featuring a young man wearing flannel, checkered pajamas — circulated widely on Twitter and Facebook with the slogan, “Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about getting health insurance” (Dwyer, 12/18). Fox News: Grapevine: Visions Of ObamaCare Dancing In Your Head?ObamaCare architect Ezekiel Emanuel apparently was not joking when he told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” the government was about to launch a big PR campaign that he thought would get a lot of people to sign up. … Well, as you would imagine, that inspired a slew of photoshopped memes and comments under the #PajamaBoy (Bream, 12/18). Poll Findings, Health Law Messagers Grab Headlineslast_img read more

State Highlights Texas Lawmaker Proposes 3 Strikes For Nursing Homes

first_imgState Highlights: Texas Lawmaker Proposes ‘3 Strikes’ For Nursing Homes A selection of health policy stories from North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Iowa, New Mexico, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia, Wisconsin and California.Stateline: Southern States Now Epicenter Of HIV/AIDS In U.S.New Yorker Deadra Malloy was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, but she remained healthy for so long she wasn’t completely convinced she was positive. When she finally started getting sick in 2006, she decided to embrace her “ancestral roots” and accepted a job down South, where her mother was from.  Malloy didn’t know that the move, first to North Carolina and then to Columbia, South Carolina, would make it much more difficult to manage her disease. New York offers free health care, including HIV drugs, to HIV-positive state residents who are uninsured or underinsured, while assistance is harder to come by in North Carolina and South Carolina. At the time a single mother of two, Malloy couldn’t afford her medication, which cost upwards of $2,500 a month. So she did without it for nearly a year — and ended up in the emergency room with a raging case of pneumonia (Wiltz, 9/8).Texas Tribune: ‘3-Strikes’ Plan Spurs Nursing Home Regulation DebateAt a hearing in August to evaluate the state agency responsible for Texas’ elderly residents, State Senator Charles Schwertner singled out seven of the 1,200 nursing homes licensed by the Department of Aging and Disability Services. “These seven facilities are the worst of the worst,” said Mr. Schwertner, a Republican from Georgetown. At the hearing, he proposed a “three strikes” rule that would force the state to close nursing homes found to have the highest-level violations of federal quality standards on three separate days over 24 months (Walters, 9/6).Des Moines Register: State Paying For Pricey Pill To Treat Hepatitis CThe state of Iowa has started paying $1,000 per pill for a new drug targeting hepatitis C, but officials don’t plan to buy the medication for every person who carries the virus and qualifies for public health care. The issue could be particularly acute for the state prison system, because more than 10 percent of its inmates are infected with hepatitis C. The prison system recently started paying to treat two inmates with the new drug, called Sovaldi. The total cost to treat them is expected to hit $147,000, said Dr. Harbans Deol, the corrections department’s medical director. Deol said about 830 of Iowa’s 8,200 inmates carry the hepatitis C virus. That level is more than 10 times the rate in the general population, mainly because many prisoners have a history of using intravenous drugs (Leys, 9/7).The Associated Press: New Mexico College To Train Community ParamedicsA New Mexico community college is launching a program to get critical medical services into rural parts of the state. The Albuquerque Journal reports that Central New Mexico Community College is starting a Community Paramedic Program this fall semester. Students who already have their paramedic licenses and have been working in the field for at least three years can enroll in the certificate program. Students will take courses such as community health care and cultural competency and complete a clinical rotation (9/8).North Carolina Health News: A Trailer, Electricity And A Nurse Practitioner Might Be The Future Of Primary Care In Rural AreasCows and tobacco fields easily outnumber people in the pastoral community of Snow Camp in Alamance County. And like many rural areas in the state, access to primary health care services was a big challenge, until last year. That’s when a partnership between the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing, Piedmont Health and the Alamance-Burlington School System led to the creation of the Sylvan Community Health Center, a clinic that operates out of a donated trailer on the grounds of Sylvan Elementary School in Snow Camp. Tucked away on a corner of school property, signs point the way to the Sylvan Community Health Center. The center has two exam rooms, a children’s play area and a lab. Before Sylvan Community Health Center opened up, there were no health care services in Snow Camp (Namkoong, 9/8).Chicago Tribune: Health Management Plans Underused At City SchoolsChicago Public Schools students with asthma or food allergies often don’t have health management plans on file at their schools, according to a new study, potentially leaving the district ill-equipped to respond to life-threatening medical situations. Researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, who led the study to be published Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics, said the research is the first effort to examine how a large urban school district manages and reports on asthma and food allergies. The study concluded that about a quarter of some 18,000 CPS students with asthma and about half of 4,000 children with food allergies during the 2012-13 academic year had a school health management plan on file with the district. (Perez, 9/8).St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Funding Loss Forces Local Nonprofit To End Program That Cuts Infant MortalityA local nonprofit organization on the front lines of reducing infant deaths in at-risk neighborhoods is ending a key program this month after the loss of federal funding. Officials with the Maternal, Child, Family Health Coalition were informed on Aug. 28 that they will no longer be receiving millions of dollars in federal funding for its Healthy Start program, according to Executive Director Kendra Copanas. The program’s federal funding, which totaled $7.1 million since 2001, represented about one-third of MCFHC’s annual budget, she said. The funding allowed the nonprofit to send nurses to expectant mothers’ homes to provide health care and education about pregnancy. The program also provides case management to help mothers navigate the health care system for up to two years after the child is born. Each year the program serves about 250 to 300 mothers and their babies, Copanas said (Liss, 9/6).Georgia Health News: Feds Slam Care At Augusta Facility For DisabledA federal agency has warned Georgia officials that it will end Medicaid payments to an Augusta facility for the developmentally disabled unless the state improves conditions there. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in an August report, said the state-run Gracewood Developmental Center has repeatedly failed to ensure the safety of patients, who have been subjected to physical and verbal abuse (Miller, 9/7).Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Judges Question Size Of State’s $1.15 Billion Malpractice FundThe $1.15 billion state medical malpractice fund came under fire from two Milwaukee County judges who questioned the need for such a large cushion to protect doctors and hospitals. The fund was placed under the judicial microscope during separate hearings on the validity of the state’s $750,000 cap on noneconomic damages for such things as pain and suffering that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases. In one case, a jury in July awarded a woman — who lost all four of her limbs as the result of an undetected Strep A infection — $15 million for her pain and suffering and another $1.5 million to her husband for the loss of her companionship (Spivak, 9/6).Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: In Milwaukee, Efforts Aim To Address Gaps In Health Care SystemDavid Goines helps people manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, but spends little time within the walls of a clinic. Goines is a community health worker, and his clinic is churches and other places in the community. Part of his job is helping people understand their disease and how to navigate the health care system. But a good part of it also is building relationships with people who often are intimidated by the health care system and who face day-to-day problems much more pressing than their health. … Community health workers are an example of how health systems, public health departments and others in the Milwaukee area are working to address broader problems that may underlie the persistent gaps in health between people who are poor and those who are not (Boulton, 9/6).Sacramento Bee: Health Costs For Counties Rise With Influx Of InmatesSince the state gave counties responsibility for incarcerating lower-level offenders three years ago, health care costs at county jails have gone up dramatically — and legal actions threaten to push them even higher. The state’s 10 biggest counties spent $560 million on medical and psychological care for inmates last fiscal year, a 16 percent jump over the fiscal year that ended in 2011, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis of data provided by the counties. Figures collected by the state over roughly the same period show a similar pattern for all counties: Spending on medicine is up 21 percent and out-of-jail medical visits have increased 32 percent (Banan, 9/8). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Rising Drug Costs Emerge As Major Hurdle For Defense Authorization Bill

first_img The Wall Street Journal: Study: Pentagon Health Care Costs For Transgender Troops Would Be Minimal Congressional debate over the annual defense policy measure often centers on hot-button issues such as the future of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, the fate of huge weapons systems and whether to lift budget caps. This year, a dispute over a bread-and-butter matter — how to pay for the rising cost of prescription drugs — may be most vexing of all for lawmakers who are trying to close a deal on the bill, H.R. 1735, that would authorize more than $620 billion in defense-related spending. At issue are benefits for the estimated 9.6 million users of the Pentagon’s Tricare health system and resulting profits for retail drugstores including those run by CVS Health Corp., Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Rite Aid Corp. (Wasson, 8/13) Bloomberg: Rising Drug Costs The Real Stumbling Block For Defense Measure This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.center_img Rising Drug Costs Emerge As Major Hurdle For Defense Authorization Bill In other news, a study finds that the costs the Pentagon would absorb by allowing transgender people to serve in the military and providing them specialized medical care would be relatively minimal. A new study says that if the Pentagon allows transgender people to serve in the U.S. military, the cost of providing specialized medical care to them would be relatively minimal. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced last month that the Pentagon would study how to dismantle a ban on transgender people from serving in the military, essentially paving the way for the ban to be lifted formally as early as December. One of the factors the Pentagon is considering is the cost of administering health care to service members who require specialized medical treatment or surgery as they undergo a sex change. (Lubold, 8/13) last_img read more

Viral Video Of Patient In Gown Found On Street Leads To Baltimore

first_imgViral Video Of Patient In Gown Found On Street Leads To Baltimore Hospital Being Cited By Federal Regulators The problem of hospitals “patient dumping” was spotlighted when the video showing a disoriented woman in just a hospital gown spread on social media. The University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown was cited for violating patient rights and safety rules. Federal regulators have cited the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown for violating patient rights and several patient safety and hospital management regulations related to a January incident in which a woman was discharged from its emergency room in just a hospital gown. The woman, who has been identified only as Rebecca, was found outside the hospital in frigid temperatures by a local psychotherapist who ran into her after leaving work. He called an ambulance and she was taken back to the emergency room and eventually put in a cab to a homeless shelter. (McDaniels, 3/20) The Baltimore Sun: Federal Regulators Say University Of Maryland Hospital Violated Rules In Patient Dumping Case In a widely viewed video circulated on social media in January, a mentally ill woman identified by her family only as Rebecca was removed from the University of Maryland Medical Center by security guards. “So wait, y’all just going to leave this lady out here with no clothes on?” Imamu Baraka, who filmed the incident, asked the guards. Rebecca’s face appeared bloody, and she moaned: “Please help me!” (Moyer, 3/20) center_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Washington Post: Baltimore Hospital Faulted By Regulator After Mentally Ill, Half-Naked Woman Pushed Into Cold last_img read more

Drug Prices In Ads Could Cause Sticker Shock For Consumers Forcing Pharma

first_img Two scientists behind Biogen’s rare disease treatment Spinraza won the richest award in the life sciences on Wednesday, splitting a $3 million prize and a turn on stage at a star-studded ceremony next month. C. Frank Bennett, a pharmacologist at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, and Adrian Krainer, a biochemist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, picked up a Breakthrough Prize for their work discovering a treatment for the rare and deadly condition spinal muscular atrophy. The drug, developed by Ionis and marketed by Biogen, won Food and Drug Administration approval in 2016. (Garde, 10/17) Novartis AG on Thursday said it would pay $2.1 billion for Endocyte Inc., a U.S. company developing a new treatment for prostate cancer, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant’s latest move to double down on high-value prescription drugs. Endocyte specializes in so-called radiopharmaceuticals, a new class of drug that carries radioactive substances directly to cancer cells so they can kill tumor cells at close range. (Roland and Mancini, 10/18) Pharmaceutical marketers already follow a stack of rules when they advertise, which includes listing dangerous possible side effects to a sometimes unnerving length. Now a newly proposed requirement to disclose list prices for drugs on-screen during television commercials could add yet another headache for one of Madison Avenue’s most important categories. Health-care ad executives don’t expect a broad pullback in pharmaceutical advertising on TV, but they said the rule could create sticker shock among consumers and push drugmakers to rethink their marketing strategies. (Bruell, 10/17) Introducing ‘Pharma Cash To Congress’: Search and explore KHN’s new tool that lets you discover which lawmakers rake in the most money (or the least) and which pharma companies are the biggest contributors. Drug Prices In Ads Could Cause Sticker Shock For Consumers, Forcing Pharma To Tinker With Marketing Strategies Experts don’t predict the proposed requirement would cause a broad pullback of ad campaigns, but companies will have to make some tough, and possibly expensive, choices. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump hints at a big win for drugmakers with a big change to Medicaid’s rebate rule. Columbus Dispatch: New ‘Gag Rule’ Ban Is Expected To Lead To Saving On Prescriptions Stat: Gilead’s HIV Prevention Pill Can Greatly Reduce New Infections  This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Wall Street Journal: Proposed Rule Requiring Drug Prices In TV Ads Could Impact Marketing Strategies In other pharmaceutical news —center_img Stat: The Trump Administration Hints At New Drug Pricing Regulations  Stat: Breakthrough Prize Goes To Researchers Behind Biogen’s Spinraza Reuters: Express Scripts Covers Amgen, Lilly Migraine Drugs, Excludes Teva The White House on Wednesday provided the clearest evidence yet that, eventually, some drug makers might not have to cut Medicaid the best deal on prescription drugs. It would be a big win for drug makers, who say the current rules — which require every drug company to give Medicaid programs the lowest possible price, or “best price,” for any drug they sell — don’t give them the flexibility to test new payment ideas, like paying for drugs based on how well they work. (Florko, 10/17) Express Scripts Holding Co, one of the largest U.S. prescription benefits managers, will cover new migraine drugs from Eli Lilly and Amgen Inc, but exclude a rival medication from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd after price negotiations with all three manufacturers. The decision represents a setback for Israel-based Teva , which is in the midst of a corporate restructuring and had hoped to capture a sizable share of the multibillion-dollar migraine market. Express Scripts is also taking steps to limit use of the Amgen and Lilly migraine drugs to patients it says are most likely to benefit from them. (Beasley, 10/17) The Wall Street Journal: Novartis To Buy Cancer-Drug Maker Endocyte For $2.1 Billion For the first time, a study has confirmed that using the HIV-prevention pill can effectively thwart the virus in uninfected men by a significant amount, a finding that patient activists argue should spur public health officials to more aggressively push for wider access to the medicine. By giving men the PrEP pill on a rapid and targeted basis, the HIV diagnosis rate fell by 25 percent in just one year, from 295 cases in the fall of 2016 to 221 cases the following year, according to the study, which was published in The Lancet HIV journal. (Silverman, 10/17) A bill sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and signed into law last week by President Donald Trump immediately outlaws such gag clauses, allowing consumers untold savings. The legislation expands on a similar bill in Ohio’s legislature that has been passed only by the House. The non-disclosure rules were imposed on pharmacies by many pharmacy benefit managers, which are companies hired by insurers to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers and the reimbursements paid to pharmacies for filling prescriptions. (Candisky, 10/17) last_img read more

WatchOptimism fades as Canadian CEOs see lower growth at home and in

first_img Canada unexpectedly gains almost 67,000 jobs as private-sector hiring hits record Ottawa’s deficit for the year to come in $2 billion lower than expected, says PBO More February 14, 20192:55 PM ESTLast UpdatedFebruary 15, 20192:57 PM EST Filed under News Economy Share this storyOptimism fades as Canadian CEOs see lower growth at home and in key Chinese market Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Twitter Awni Kalkat Related Stories Financial Post Staff Email Canadian CEOs are far less optimistic than before and are increasingly concerned by the gloomy outlook both for their companies and the global economy, according to a new survey.As much as 29 per cent of Canadian CEOs, versus 5 per cent previously, believe global economic growth will decline, according to PricewaterhouseCooper’s annual survey. Overall, 57 per cent don’t expect the global economy to grow, compared to 43 per cent in the previous year’s poll.“While confidence in the year ahead hasn’t shifted drastically over last year, the long-term outlook is on shakier ground: Only 40 per cent are very confident about revenue growth over the next three years, down from 58 per cent in 2018,” PWC said in a report published Wednesday. Canada’s best chances for trade growth may not be in China: McKinsey .S. trade uncertainty is holding back Canadian business investment, Bank of Canada warns Canada’s economy shrinks for the second time in three months The reasons for the pessimism range from trade conflicts to cyber security threats and lack of policy information. However, lack of available skills topped their concerns, with 88 per cent citing it as a key threat to their growth prospects.Canadian CEOs have also soured on the promise of China. Only 12 per cent of CEOs surveyed see the Asian economic giant as a growth market, compared to 53 per cent last year. Canada and China are in the midst of a political standoff after the RCMP arrested Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.Canadian bosses also see the U.S. as slightly less lucrative, with 66 per cent identifying their southern neighbour as a growth market, compared to 88 per cent last year. Germany and the U.K. have also lost their shine for Canadian CEOs, with only Mexico seen as a growing market for the country’s business community.A worker at a textile factory in China. Canadian CEOs have soured on the promise of the country.center_img Comment Stephen Poloz’s dashboard: The latest charts that matter most to the Bank of Canada Facebook Join the conversation → China OUTSR/AFP/Getty Images The Canadian boardroom sentiment is in line with PWC’s global survey, which also suggests that international CEOs were less interested in China and the U.S. as key prospects for growth. Global interest in China has fallen from 33 per cent to 24 per cent year over year, while global interest in the U.S. has declined from 46 per cent to 27 per cent, according to the report.“As Canadian CEOs increasingly look inward for growth opportunities against a tough global economic backdrop, the pressure to transform their businesses has never been greater,” says Nicolas Marcoux, CEO and senior partner at PwC Canada.“The shift away from China and the U.S. creates a golden opportunity for Canadian businesses and governments to collaborate in order to enhance our country’s attractiveness for investment.”Another issue on the top of the minds of CEOs is artificial intelligence, with 84 per cent agreeing that AI will “significantly” change their business in the next five years.Alarmingly, only four out of 10 CEOs said AI existed in the company, and a majority of them said it had limited use in their organizations.“But Canadian CEOs also anticipate AI will disrupt the job market along with their business,” the report noted. “In fact, the availability of important skills is the single-biggest concern in this year’s survey, and 47 per cent agree AI will displace more jobs than it creates in the long run. Closing this gap is critical to properly tackling AI.” Reddit 0 Comments Optimism fades as Canadian CEOs see lower growth at home and in key Chinese market Only 12 per cent of CEOs surveyed see China as a growth market, compared to 53 per cent last year last_img read more

Tesla Supercharger sabotaged – latest in a series of weird antiTesla incidents

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Lately, we have reported on a series of strange anti-Tesla incidents at Supercharger stations in the US and it seems like we have one more as a Supercharger in Utah appears have been vandalized. more…The post Tesla Supercharger sabotaged – latest in a series of weird anti-Tesla incidents appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Yet Another EBike This Time Its Kalk Cake Video

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 22, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News Who doesn’t love a little Cake?Yet another e-bike is here, apparently, finally! Based in Sweden, Cake (yes that’s their real name) has heretofore been manufacturing off-road electric motorcycles, but they’re introducing the “Kalk&” (a step up from the Kalk OR) as a street-legal version.The bike looks like a hoot: a tiny thing that’s barely a step up from a bicycle. The styling is, as per usual with e-bikes, blocky, but that’s probably something we’re all going to have to get used to, especially when it comes to budget e-bikes. The on-road version seems to be the exact same thing as the off-road “OR” except fitted with a headlight, taillight and turn signals. The missing component is mirrors, and having a good stare at the signals tells me they’re probably not USDOT compliant in their current configuration.You can currently order the off-road Kalk OR in USD and have it shipped, for free, to you here in the States. The “&” will be available for pre-order next month (no word on the free shipping).The off-road version stats: the weight of the bike is about 117 lbs, plus the weight of the battery at 35 lbs puts the total curb weight at 152 lbs, so add a pound or two for the street version’s lights and wiring. Its top speed is 46 mph, which is quite respectable for its size and would put it squarely into a plate-able road bike category here in the US. It puts out 31 ft-lbs of torque, and that’s immediate because electric motor. Published charge time is 2.5 hours from dead flat to 100%, but if you’re OK with 80% that only takes 1.5 hours–the site claims “in a standard outlet.” Keep in mind, however, that all of Sweden is plumbed at 230V, as opposed to the US standard voltage at 120: in simple terms, that’s electrical pressure; US voltage is a garden hose and Sweden’s is a fire-hose, so that’s going to make a big difference. Someone do that time to charge math! Regardless, a full charge will get you up to 2 hours ride time in the “explore” setting or only 1 hour in the “excel” setting with the “excite” setting somewhere in the middle.The bike is fitted with adjustable Öhlins suspension front and back, and runs a 420 chain on a 13-tooth front sprocket and an 80 (yes, eighty) tooth rear.You can order the off-road version right now, and it will run you $13,000 USD (which is certainly not “budget bike: territory, so come on Cake, make it prettier!), or you can wait and see what the street-legal version runs.The big difference I see with Cake as a manufacturer: they offer components and spare parts on their website. I haven’t seen that with any other e-bike manufacturer, and that gives me hope for the future of this particular marque.The real question is, though, how do we pronounce “Kalk?”Sources: ElectricMotorcycles,, Youtubelast_img read more

Rivian has several undercover F150 electric pickup trucks driving around as test

first_imgIn order to bring its own electric pickup trucks to market, Rivian has installed its electric powertrain inside several undercover F-150 electric pickup trucks driving around as test mules in its development program. more…The post Rivian has several undercover F-150 electric pickup trucks driving around as test mules appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

EV Concepts Preview A Front Bench Seat Return

first_imgSome new tech allows designers to bring some old features back to cars.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

Tesla updates design studio to be more transparent about pricing

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Tesla has updated the way it displays pricing on its online design studio to be more transparent about pricing before incentives and gas savings. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast. post Tesla updates design studio to be more transparent about pricing appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Sandy Munro EV Conference Everything You Need To Know

first_imgIt turns out you can learn a ton from Sandy Munro. Plus, he’s a class act.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

TK Dallas Partner Deborah Lively Named to TACA Board of Directors

first_imgLively focuses her practice on intellectual property, sweepstakes and privacy law . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember me Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Usernamecenter_img Password Lost your password?last_img

Union Pacific Wins Texas Supreme Court Ruling in Case of Worker Infected

first_img Lost your password? Password Username The Texas Supreme Court recently reversed a $752,000 judgment against Union Pacific, finding no evidence that the railroad could have reduced the risk of West Nile in a mosquito-laden area near the Gulf Coast. In it’s ruling, the court recognized the common-law doctrine of ferae naturae, which protects landowners from liability for harm caused by wild animals or insects . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content.center_img Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Remember melast_img read more