Category: Healthcare


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The New American

Monday, 07 December 2015

Senate Votes to Repeal Much of ObamaCare, Defund Planned Parenthood

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The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would both repeal significant portions of ObamaCare and defund Planned Parenthood. This marks the first time that chamber of Congress has approved any type of ObamaCare repeal, in contrast to the dozens of such bills passed by the House of Representatives.

“Middle-class Americans continue to call on Washington to build a bridge away from ObamaCare. They want better care. They want real health reform,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “For too long, Democrats did everything to prevent Congress from passing the type of legislation necessary to help these Americans who are hurting. Today, that ends.”

Democrats, of course, controlled the Senate from 2010, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, through 2014 and blocked all attempts at ObamaCare repeal during that period. Even after Republicans took charge, the minority was still able to stall repeal by threatening a filibuster. But the GOP outflanked them this time by using a parliamentary maneuver known as budget reconciliation to bring the bill, already passed by the House, to the floor for a vote. Ironically, this is the same tactic the Democrats, despite possessing a filibuster-proof majority at the time, utilized to ram the ACA through the Senate in late 2009.

The bill passed 52-47, with all Democrats plus two Republicans opposed. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) voted against the bill because of the amendment defunding Planned Parenthood, which they tried unsuccessfully to get removed. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) missed the vote because he was out campaigning for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

 

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NaturalNews

CDC scientists held meeting to destroy autism-vaccine documents, reveals CDC whistleblower

CDC scientists

(NaturalNews) The results of a 2004 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered a significant link between the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) and autism in African American boys vaccinated under or around the age 36 months; however, if it weren’t for one whistleblower, you would not have been privy to any of this, because the evidence was deliberately covered up.

Dr. William Thompson, currently a senior scientist at the CDC, recently made a shocking admission that he and his colleagues specifically arranged a meeting to destroy important documents related to the study in an attempt to withhold information from the public regarding a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

As first reported by Sharyl Attkisson, a former CBS News journalist turned independent investigative reporter, Dr. Thompson and the study co-authors “scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study.

“The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room, and reviewed and went through all the hardcopy documents that we had thought we should discard, and put them into a huge garbage can.”

“The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism.” – CDC Senior Science Dr. William Thompson

However, aware that destroying documents in this manner was both illegal and unethical, Dr. Thompson kept hard copies of all the documents that had been disposed of, as well as maintained all associated computer files.

After securing a whistleblower attorney, Dr. Thompson came forward with his admission, providing relevant documents in August 2014 to the office of Rep. Bill Posey (R-Florida), who presented details of the cover-up on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Posey, who maintains that he is “pro-vaccine,” read the following quote by Dr. Thompson on the House floor:

My primary job duties while working in the immunization safety branch from 2000 to 2006, were to later co-lead three major vaccine safety studies. The MADDSP, MMR autism cases control study was being carried out in response to the Wakefield-Lancet study that suggested an association between the MMR vaccine and an autism-like health outcome.

There were several major concerns among scientists and consumer advocates outside the CDC in the fall of 2000, regarding the execution of the Verstraeten Study. One of the important goals that was determined up front, in the spring of 2001, before any of these studies started, was to have all three protocols vetted outside the CDC prior to the start of the analyses so consumer advocates could not claim that we were presenting analyses that suited our own goals and biases.

We hypothesized that if we found statistically significant effects at either 18 or 36 month thresholds, we would conclude that vaccinating children early with MMR vaccine could lead to autism-like characteristics or features. We all met and finalized the study protocol and analysis plan. The goal was to not deviate from the analysis plan to avoid the debacle that occurred with the Verstraeten thimerosal study published in Pediatrics in 2003.

At the Sept 5th meeting we discussed in detail how to code race for both the sample and the birth certificate sample. At the bottom of table 7, it also shows that for the non-birth certificate sample, the adjusted race effect statistical significance was huge.

All the authors and I met and decided sometime between August and September 2002, not to report any race effects from the paper. Sometime soon after the meeting, we decided to exclude reporting any race effects.

The co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study.

The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room, and reviewed and went through all the hardcopy documents that we had thought we should discard, and put them into a huge garbage can.

However, because I assumed it was illegal and would violate both FOIA and DOJ requests, I kept hardcopies of all documents in my office, and I retain all associated computer files. I believe we intentionally withheld controversial findings from the final draft of the Pediatrics paper.

The CDC and Dr. Thompson’s co-author Dr. Frank DeStefano, CDC Director of Immunization Safety, continue to defend the study as originally published.

A July 29 Tweet by Attkisson states:

So far, no hearings scheduled and no known inquiry of the alleged scientific misconduct.

Sources:

SharylAttkisson.com

SharylAttkisson.com

Twitter.com

 

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About NaturalNews

The NaturalNews Network is a non-profit collection of public education websites covering topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity, consumer choices and informed skepticism. The NaturalNews Network is owned and operated by Truth Publishing International, Ltd., a Taiwan corporation. It is not recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit in the United States, but it operates without a profit incentive, and its key writer, Mike Adams, receives absolutely no payment for his time, articles or books other than reimbursement for items purchased in order to conduct product reviews.

The vast majority of our content is freely given away at no charge. We offer thousands of articles and dozens of downloadable reports and guides (like the Honest Food Guide) that are designed to educate and empower individuals, families and communities so that they may experience improved health, awareness and life fulfillment.

Learn More About Natural News Here

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American Hunger-Related Healthcare Costs Exceeded $160 Billion in 2014, According to New Study

Food insecurity, especially for children, remains near record high despite the Great Recession’s official end.

BY Elizabeth Grossman

Currently about 50 million Americans meet the USDA criteria for food insecurity. About 15 million of them are children.

While the official end of the Great Recession is a full five years behind us, there are now nearly 12 million more Americans who lack enough resources to access adequate food than there were in 2007, a number that has only improved slightly since United States food insecurity peaked at over 21 percent in 2009. These statistics alone are disturbing. But as detailed in a new study released today as part of Bread for the World Institute’s 2016 Hunger Report, absence of food security in the U.S. carries enormous healthcare costs, more than $160 billion in 2014.

Using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Census Bureau and research on food security published in peer-reviewed academic journals between 2005 and 2015, a team of researchers led by Boston University School of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics John Cook, estimated these health care costs by looking at the costs of treating diseases and health conditions associated with household food insecurity plus earnings lost when people took time off work because of these illnesses or to care for family members with illnesses related to food insecurity.

As Cook, who is also research scientist and principal investigator with Children’s Health Watch, explained to In These Times, lack of access to adequate food does not necessarily directly cause a particular illness but “plays a role in that disease occurring.” Years of research consistently shows food insecurity increases the risk for a range of health problems. These risks are particularly great for children but poor and inadequate nutrition also increases risk for adult health problems, including obesity and chronic diseases, among them diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. It also exacerbates illness duration and severity–in some cases simply because people lack money for medication–and therefore treatment costs.

Putting this in a broader economic context, Bread for the World Institute points out that the U.S. “spends more per capita on health care than any other high-income country but compares poorly with these others on key population health indicators such as life expectancy and child survival. This is due,” report authors, “in part to our tolerance as a nation, for higher levels of poverty and hunger.”

Currently about 50 million Americans meet the USDA criteria for food insecurity. About 15 million of them are children. In 2014, 19.2 percent of U.S. households with children were food insecure–about a third higher than households without. The Boston University research team found if the costs of special education for children whose learning abilities are adversely affected by food insecurity are factored in along with related education impacts for high-schoolers, the $160 billion rose by an additional  nearly $18 billion. This brings a total estimate of direct and indirect health care costs of U.S. food insecurity in 2014 to $178.93 billion.

 

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Obamacare (c) Desert Rose Creations / Family Survival Protocol 2013

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First, the administration revealed that enrollments for Obamacare next year will barely hit 10 million, far below previous projections.

Then last week, the consulting firm of McKinsey & Company estimated that premiums for policies under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, were going up substantially in 2016. For instance, the median rate increase for the lowest priced, highly popular “Silver” plan will rise by 11 percent – compared to just a seven percent increase in 2015.

 

Related: Millions Face Premium and Deductible Sticker Shock under Obamacare

 

Now there are troubling reports  that consumers will be facing soaring out-of-pocket costs for deductibles next year – increases that in many cases will neutralize the benefits of their health care plans or discourage some from purchasing coverage.

“That these deductibles are so high is clearly one of the reasons people aren’t buying a plan—they simply don’t see themselves getting anything for the money,” Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy & Strategy Associates, a business and policy consultant, said in a newsletter on Monday.

Department of Health and Human Services officials insist that there are still plenty of plans available with low premiums for those willing to aggressively shop on the federal and state operated insurance exchanges. Americans have until the end of the year to enroll for the third season of Obamacare. But even in cases where consumers find good deals on premiums, they are likely to be stung on the back end by requirements to pay sizeable out of pocket costs before their Obamacare coverage actually kicks in.

The average annual out-of-pocket costs per worker increased nearly 230 percent between 2006 and 2015, according to an annual survey of employer health benefits coverage by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

 

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Americans Give Health Insurers a Big Thumbs Down

Americans haven’t been this fed up with health insurance companies in a decade, and their frustration likely won’t fade soon.

Consumer satisfaction with health insurance providers fell to the lowest level since 2005, largely due to the slow processing of claims and the rising costs of premiums, deductibles and copays, according to a new survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index that dates to 2001.

 

Related: How Workers Are Getting Slammed With Higher Health Care Costs

 

Americans are extremely cost sensitive, especially in the health sector, and take notice of how fast their costs go up, says ACSI managing director David VanAmburg.

Obamacare also plays an indirect role. Providers are unable to keep up with customer service as more people purchase insurance, he says. And many insurers haven’t beefed up their staffing to deal with the increase in demand. As insurers become responsible for more consumers, they may need to recalibrate, VanAmburg says.

 

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Activist Post

Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Program

US Senate Passes Bill Approving Mandatory Vaccinations for Veterans

mandatory_vaccineBy Janet Phelan

Fundamentally, biological warfare is sneaky. It involves a microbial sucker punch to its intended target, often accomplished in a manner in which the aggressor can claim clean hands, while his victim may suffer or die.

Biological warfare can take a number of forms. The question—how can you get a bacteriological or toxic agent on board without the target being alerted– has been asked and answered. In addition to using humans and animals as vectors, biological warfare agents can be airborne, waterborne, foodborne or put into pharmaceuticals.

Substantial concerns have been voiced concerning the potential for inserting bioweapons into vaccines. Indeed, given the history of known contaminated vaccines, this is hardly a matter of speculation. Polio vaccines have been found to contain cancer. A Merck rotavirus vaccine was found to be contaminated with a pig virus. Another Merck product, the Hepatitis B vaccine, was reported to have been laced with the AIDS virus. In addition, a tetanus vaccine distributed in the Third World was found to contain human chorionic gonadotrophin, an anti-fertility agent known to produce spontaneous abortions.

The correlation between the rise in vaccinations of children and autism has become an urban legend.

A Bill has just passed the US Senate, mandating that the US Department of Veteran Affairs ensure that all veterans receive immunizations (vaccines) per a draconian schedule. At this juncture, active military must receive over a dozen vaccines. This piece of legislation is therefore an effort to extend the vaccine mandate to those who have previously served their country.

 

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Opinion

20:17 08.11.2015(updated 20:43 08.11.2015) Get short URL
125066231

Why are suicide rates among veterans higher than in the general US population, American author David Swanson asks, posing yet another question: why does the subject of war as a suicide-related motive never arise in official studies?

The problem of high suicide rates among war veterans is widely discussed in the United States: the latest study has found that the suicide rate among recent veterans is 50 percent higher than non-military civilians.Incredible as it may seem, official reports brush aside the idea that war itself has anything to do with the problem, American activist and author David Swanson notes.

“Remarkably, the subject of war, their role in war, their thoughts about the supposed justifications (or lack thereof) of a war, never come up,” Swanson wrote in his article for Information Clearing House.

The psychiatric studies and mass media reports are being focused on various “factors to blame” from “prior suicidality” to “poverty.” However, they tell us virtually nothing, according to Swanson.

“Perhaps their goal isn’t to tell us something factual so much as to shift the conversation away from why war causes murder and suicide, to the question of what was wrong with these soldiers before they enlisted,” the author remarked.

Suicide rate for veterans far exceeds that of civilian population

Nearly one in five suicides nationally is a veteran, 49,000 took own lives between 2005 and 2011

By Jeff HargartenForrest BurnsonBonnie CampoChase Cook

6:00 am, August 30, 2013 Updated: 12:19 pm, May 19, 2014



Veterans are killing themselves at more than double the rate of the civilian population with about 49,000 taking their own lives between 2005 and 2011, according to data collected over eight months by News21.

Records from 48 states show the annual suicide rate among veterans is about 30 for every 100,000 of the population, compared to a civilian rate of about 14 per 100,000. The suicide rate among veterans increased an average 2.6 percent a year from 2005 to 2011, or more than double that of the 1.1 percent civilian rate, according to News21’s analysis of states’ mortality data.

Nearly one in every five suicides nationally is a veteran — 18 to 20 percent annually — compared with Census data that shows veterans make up about 10 percent of the U.S. adult population.

“Anytime a veteran who fought our enemies abroad or helped defend America from within our borders dies by their own hand, it’s completely unacceptable,” Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, told an American Legion conference in Washington earlier this year. The suicide rate has remained consistently high, he said, adding that more work was needed to address gaps in veterans’ mental health care.

“It’s not enough that the veteran suicide problem isn’t getting worse,” he said, “it isn’t getting any better.”

 

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Report: Suicide rate spikes among young veterans

WASHINGTON — The number of young veterans committing suicide jumped dramatically from 2009 to 2011, a worrying trend that Veterans Affairs officials hope can be reversed with more treatment and intervention.

New suicide data released by the department on Thursday showed that the rate of veterans suicide remained largely unchanged over that three-year period, the latest for which statistics are available. About 22 veterans a day take their own life, according to department estimates.

But while older veterans saw a slight decrease in suicides, male veterans under 30 saw a 44 percent increase in the rate of suicides. That’s roughly two young veterans a day who take their own life, most just a few years after leaving the service.

“Their rates are astronomically high and climbing,” said Jan Kemp, VA’s National Mental Health Director for Suicide Prevention. “That’s concerning to us.”

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 POLITICO
obamacare_gty_629.jpg
Roughly 80 percent of Obamacare customers received subsidies. | Getty

Obamacare rates to rise 7.5 percent next year

But the figures will vary widely from state to state.

Obamacare customers are facing an average 7.5 percent price increase for a key benchmark health plan next year, according to limited data the Obama administration released just days before the start of a challenging enrollment season.

But the average rate hikes will vary dramatically from state to state — skyrocketing more than 30 percent in Alaska, Montana and Oklahoma while dropping 12.6 percent in Indiana.

The administration’s analysis looks at the second-cheapest “silver” plan available to customers when open enrollment begins on Nov. 1. Those benchmark plans, which are among the most popular sold on the law’s health insurance exchanges, are important because they’re used to calculate how much federal support low- and middle-income exchange customers will receive toward their monthly premiums.

More than 70 percent of exchange customers chose silver plans this year, which cover about 70 percent of medical costs. Roughly 80 percent of Obamacare customers received subsidies, worth an average monthly credit of $270.

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Wikimedia Commons

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Hopes are dimming that Congress will intervene to block a huge Medicare premium increase of over 50 percent for nearly a third of the 50 million elderly Americans who receive their physician care and other health services through Medicare Part D.

Republicans and Democrats are deadlocked over how to come up with roughly $10.5 billion to prevent Medicare premiums from skyrocketing for millions of seniors beginning next January. The looming increase is the result of a quirk in the law that drives up premiums for wealthier Americans and poor people with chronic medical problems in years when the Social Security Administration doesn’t approve a cost-of-living adjustment for beneficiaries.

Related: Millions Face a 50 % Medicare Premium Hike If Obama and Congress Don’t Act

While both parties are interested in doing something to reduce or avert the premium hikes, Republicans are demanding that the cost of any bailout be offset by cuts in other areas of the Medicare program, while Democrats are resisting that approach. Moreover, there is a division between House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – a major champion of a bailout – and some Senate Democratic leaders who are less enthusiastic about the effort and how to pay for it.

“It’s a big mess,” said one Washington health care expert who is following the negotiations closely.

Negotiations may pick up later this month once the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services formally releases its official 2016 premium rates, according to a report on Thursday by the Morning Consult.

 

 

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MSN News

Many Low-Income Workers Say ‘No’ to Health Insurance

By STACY COWLEY 6 hrs ago
An employee at Golden Corral taking clean cups from the kitchen. Some Golden Corral restaurants began offering health insurance to employees, but few have opted in.© Logan R. Cyrus for The New York Times An employee at Golden Corral taking clean cups from the kitchen. Some Golden Corral restaurants began offering health insurance to employees, but few have…JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — When Billy Sewell began offering health insurance this year to 600 service workers at the Golden Corral restaurants that he owns, he wondered nervously how many would buy it. Adding hundreds of employees to his plan would cost him more than $1 million — a hit he wasn’t sure his low-margin business could afford.

His actual costs, though, turned out to be far smaller than he had feared. So far, only two people have signed up.

“We offered, and they didn’t take it,” he said.

Evidence is growing that his experience is not unusual. The Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, which requires employers with more than 50 full-time workers to offer most of their employees insurance or face financial penalties, was one of the law’s most controversial provisions. Business owners and industry groups fiercely protested the change, and some companies cut workers’ hours to reduce the number of employees who would be eligible.

But 10 months after the first phase of the mandate took effect, covering companies with 100 or more workers, many business owners say they are finding very few employees willing to buy the health insurance that they are now compelled to offer. The trend is especially pronounced among smaller and midsize businesses in fields filled with low-wage hourly workers, like restaurants, retailing and hospitality. (Companies with 50 to 99 workers are not required to comply with the mandate until next year.)

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Daily Caller News Foundation

Feds Hide Secret List Of 11 Staggering Obamacare Insurers

 
Richard Pollock

 

Federal officials have a secret list of 11 Obamacare health insurance co-ops they fear are on the verge of failure, but they refuse to disclose them to the public or to Congress, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has learned.

Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to eight barely two years after their launch with $2 billion in start-up capital from the taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act.

All 24 received 15-year loans in varying amounts to offer health insurance to poor and low income customers and provide publicly funded competition to private, for-profit insurers. The eight co-ops to announce closings served populations in ten states: Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Vermont, New York and Colorado.

Nearly half a million failing co-op customers will have to find new coverage in 2016. More than $900 million of the original $2 billion in loans has been lost.

The 11 unidentified co-ops appear to be still operating but are now on “enhanced oversight” by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which manages the Obamacare program. The 11 received letters from CMS demanding that they take urgent actions to avoid closing.

Aaron Albright, chief CMS spokesman, said 11 co-ops “are either on a corrective action plan or enhanced oversight. We have not released the letters or names.” He gave no grounds for withholding the information from either the public or Congress.

CMS officials have stonewalled multiple congressional inquiries into the co-op financial problems. The latest congressional inquiry came in a September 30 letter to CMS acting administrator Andy Slavitt demanding transparency over the troubled program.

“We have long been concerned about the financial solvency of CO-OPs,” three House Ways and Means committee members wrote to Slavitt. “Which plans have received these warnings or have been placed on corrective plans,” the congressmen asked. To date, they have received no reply.

Insurance commissioners in Vermont were the first to refuse to license the federally approved co-op there in 2013 because they feared those financial plans were unrealistic. But then the dominoes began to fall this year, resulting in at least eight co-op failures. And if CMS officials are to be believed, more failures may be on the way.

Sen. Charles Grassley , a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee who has been an outspoken critic of the troubled co-op program, said transparency should be a top priority for the faltering program.

“Since the public’s business generally ought to be public, CMS should have a good reason for not disclosing which co-ops are troubled,” he said.

 

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