Supporters of the Affordable Care Act have been on a smear and spin campaign mounting a full court press to stop the American Health Care Act and protect the status quo that is failing patients across the country. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail MORE >> Read the Bill Let’s separate the facts from their fiction.Myth: The AHCA does not cover pre-existing conditions.FACT: The AHCA explicitly maintains protections for pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, NO STATE, under ANY circumstances, may ever obtain a waiver for guaranteed issue of coverage, guaranteed renewability of coverage, or the prohibition on denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions. All of these protections will remain the law. To be absolutely certain, the legislation specifically clarifies that its provisions cannot be construed as allowing insurers to limit coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.Myth: The AHCA will price those with pre-existing conditions out of the market, making health care unaffordable for them.FACT: To the contrary. The AHCA actually includes reforms to allow states the flexibility to meet the needs of their unique patient populations and drive down costs for everyone. States may apply for a limited waiver for health ratings; however, the states must first set up a program for high-risk individuals or premium stabilization, or to participate in the federal invisible risk sharing program. No state may obtain a waiver for health status unless it has taken these efforts to protect those who might be affected. In states with a waiver, individuals who maintain continuous coverage could not be rated based on health status and the AHCA implements several layers of requirements and protections. First, states must show that the waiver would bring down premiums or increase the amount of people covered. States must also set up a risk-sharing program if they wish to allow some individuals to be charged based on their health status. But an individual can only be charged based on their health status if he or she waits until they are sick to purchase insurance or lets their coverage lapse for 63 days. It is important to remember that this waiver only applies to the individual insurance market, which covers approximately 7 percent of Americans. The vast majority of Americans with employer-provided coverage or government coverage (Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VA benefits, etc.) would not be affected. Importantly, patients who failed to maintain continuous coverage could only be charged based on health status for a period of one year. After an individual has maintained continuous coverage for twelve months, they would return to standard rates. These protections would also be in place for new enrollees (so long as they maintain continuous coverage going forward). Under AHCA, $8 billion is specifically set aside to help lower premiums and other out-of-pocket costs for patients in the individual market with pre-existing conditions who do not maintain continuous coverage and live in states that request and receive a waiver. The AHCA includes an additional $130 billion for states to implement risk sharing programs to drive down cost even more. Our plan already ensures that insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, banned from rescinding coverage based on a pre-existing condition, and prevented from raising premiums on individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage.Myth: AHCA states do not have to cover essential health benefits.FACT: The AHCA ensures essential health benefits are the federal law of the land and maintains other important protections. States have the option to obtain a waiver regarding federal essential health benefits, but the state must publicly attest its purpose for doing so and meet these requirements: reduce average premiums for patients, increase enrollment for residents, stabilize the state’s health insurance market, stabilize premiums for individuals living with pre-existing conditions, increase patients’ health care plan options and it must specify the benefits it will require instead of the federal standard.NO STATE, under ANY circumstances, may ever obtain a waiver for pre-existing condition protection, prohibition on gender discrimination, for guaranteed issue and renewability, or for the right of dependents to stay on a family plan up to age 26.Myth: 129 Million Americans have pre-existing conditions and could be denied coverage.FACT: This legislation addresses the 7% of Americans on the individual market, and those in the small group market. Anyone with employer-provided coverage or government coverage (Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VA benefits, etc.) would not be affected. Again, this amendment would not allow any state to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, and would require the extensive protections described above for those with riskier health profiles. Additionally, the bill includes $138 billion in funding to drive down costs for patients. This claim was awarded 4 Pinocchios by The Washington Post.Myth: The AHCA allows rape to be considered a preexisting condition.FACT: The AHCA absolutely does not classify rape or sexual assault as a pre-existing condition. Nor does it declare that individuals who have been raped or sexually assaulted would ever be denied coverage. This claim was awarded 4 Pinocchios by The Washington Post.Myth: Members of Congress and their staff are excluded from the bill.FACT: Not true. The House passed legislation to make a simple technical correction to ensure that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and its amendments apply equally to everyone, including Members of Congress and their staffs. Find out more about the bill here: https://bucshon.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/dr-bucshon-cosponsors-bill-ensure-members-congress-aren-t-exempt-health.Myth: The AHCA would cause premiums to spike for Americans across the country.FACT: Obamacare has caused premiums to skyrocket across the nation, up about 25 percent on average this year. Patients have been left with premiums and deductibles they can’t afford. The AHCA will lower premiums over time by an average of 10 percent – and potentially more as further reforms are made and new and innovative ideas implemented that aim to lower premiums.Myth: Patients with mental health conditions and substance abuse will be turned away from treatment.FACT: The AHCA includes $15 billion specifically toward mental health and substance abuse disorders. While some have suggested Medicaid expansion enrollees will lose access to mental health or substance abuse services, our bill allows states to keep Medicaid expansion at a state’s regular matching rate. Furthermore, last Congress we passed the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act. This new and innovative law includes a comprehensive mental health package with significant resources for states and reforms to improve the delivery of mental health care.Myth: The AHCA kicks patients off of Medicaid.FACT: Obamacare’s enhanced funding for the coverage of able-bodied adults prioritized them above those the Medicaid program was originally designed to help: the elderly, the disabled, and children. The AHCA responsibly unwinds that enhanced funding for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion allowing patients to remain in Medicaid as long as they remain eligible. Starting in 2020, states can keep Medicaid expansion programs, but would receive their regular matching rate for new expansion population enrollees. For patients remaining in the program, the state will still receive the enhanced match. Over time, as the individuals see changes to their income or eligibility, they will naturally cycle off the program into other sources of coverage like employer-sponsored coverage, Medicare, or could receive a tax credit to purchase insurance in the private market.Myth: The CBO says AHCA will kick 23 million Americans off their insurance.FACT: Not true. The CBO does estimate that fewer Americans will make the decision to purchase insurance if the government does not mandate they do so and send the IRS after them if they don’t. The majority of the coverage gains from Obamacare come from the law’s individual mandate – a fine from the federal government for failing to buy government approved coverage. There is a distinct difference between individuals making the decision to not purchase insurance and claims that these individuals will be “kicked” off their insurance. Furthermore, the CBO has an unreliable record regarding its estimations related to social behavior. For instance, the CBO projected that 21 million Americans would have coverage in 2016. The reality was half that number, about 10.4 million gained coverage. In fact, more than 19 million taxpayers either paid the penalty or claimed an exemption from the individual mandate. More people are paying or avoiding the penalty than gained coverage through Obamacare’s exchanges. Despite this reality, CBO still believes the individual mandate will be effective in increasing coverage, so that affects their assumptions on “lost” coverage. The AHCA provides every American access to affordable coverage, but does not force them to purchase insurance. What’s in the Bill: The American Health Care Act (AHCA)The Good News and Faulty Assumptions in CBO’s New Analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA)The Washington Post: Outrageous AHCA Claim is FalseThe Washington Post Fact Checks Rhetoric on Preexisting ConditionsDr. Bucshon Cosponsors Bill to Ensure Members of Congress Aren’t Exempt from Health Care Legislation
The leading 20 companies in the UK baking industry are strenghtening their grip on the market, according to a new survey from Plimsoll Publishing. In the last four years they have increased sales by 50%, improved profits by a massive 150% and raised staff levels by 28%, it says.The leading 100 companies now account for 92% of the market by turnover, up from 87% four years ago, according to the report. However, within the 100, it is only the top 20 that are poised for growth.In contrast, Plimsoll senior analyst David Pattison believes 60 firms have their work cut out to get their principal business on a firm financial footing, while 20 companies are facing financial distress where the safest option would be a period of consolidation. And that consolidation could cost up to 4,600 job losses, says Pattison.These 80 businesses have increased sales by only 13% in the last four years. In that period profits have fallen 1% and staff numbers remained flat. Plimsoll’s top 20 is seen as primed for further growth, with the potential to put market share well beyond current performance.
Warrens Bakery has revealed it is to open a second site in Canterbury this month, following the success of its opening in the city in December. The first store, which officially opened on 18 December, welcomed nearly 700 customers during its first three days of trading, Warren’s said.So far, the most popular products at the store on St Dunstan’s have been Warrens’ pasties, with 490 sold in its first few days. Other best-sellers have included sausage rolls, cheese and bacon slices and tiger baps.Following this success, the craft bakery has revealed plans to open another Canterbury store on 22 January at 34 Burgate. “It’s fantastic to rejuvenate what was an empty building into a new bakery, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere ready to welcome in the local community,” said Carl Mortimer, franchise operations manager at Warrens Bakery.“The new Canterbury store at St Dunstan’s joins our existing Ashford bakery in Kent, which opened last summer, and we are looking forward to opening many more stores across the region with our franchise partner.”Warrens Bakery is also to open its first store in Worthing, West Sussex, with franchisee Lee Johnston who opened a store last year in Bognor Regis.
The comedy-based folk duo known as Flight of the Concords have returned with a new live single titled, “Father and Son”. The weirdly entertaining tune was recorded during the band’s recent performance at London’s Eventim Apollo back on July 2nd, which was professionally filmed and resulted in their comeback special on HBO, Live in London. The song arrived to streaming platforms on Tuesday, in addition to an audio-only video of the single available for fans to enjoy on YouTube.The 5: 26-minute song is written and presented as a back-and-forth spoken word duet between members Jemaine Clement (who plays the role of a father) and Bret McKenzie (as the son). “Father and Son” has some lovely melodies and instrumental parts, but this isn’t a feel-good folk ballad like the one Cat Stevens wrote in terms of a special father/son relationship.Fans will be quick to pick up on the duo’s love for inappropriate storylines as McKenzie sings the opening lyrics, “Hey dad, I think today was a lot of fun”. The story takes awkwardly hilarious turn when McKenzie reminds his father, who’s clearly in denial about his collapsed marriage, that the fictional mom didn’t die, but rather left his dad to hook up with some guy named Trevor with whom she now lives.Flight of the Conchords – “Father and Son” (Live in London)[Video: Sub Pop]“Father and Son” actually made its live debut for television audiences here in America during the duo’s recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert back in late September. The song’s performance during the HBO special would not air until a few weeks later when Live in London premiered on October 6th. The new song was also a staple in the band’s show during their summer tour of the U.K., often finding its way atop the nightly setlist.Flight of the Conchords don’t have any current plans to return to North America in 2019, as of yet at least. Their last U.S. tour took place back in the summer of 2016, which included notable performances at venues including New York City’s iconic Forest Hills Stadium.[H/T Consequence of Sound]
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Helen Whitney took her audience Tuesday night through the first reel of a 30-plus-year career focused on outsiders and spirituality in American life.Best known for her films “The Mormons” and “Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero,” Whitney explored her earlier work that launched her “accidental pilgrimage” as a journalist.“Pilgrims set out because of the big story, hoping to be an eyewitness and hoping to be forgiven of their sins,” Whitney said. “My pilgrimage is of discovery.”Held at the Memorial Church, last night’s program was called “Strangers” and brought up the curtain on her three-day series of William Belden Noble lectures titled “Spiritual Landscapes: A Life in Film.”In 1983, Whitney made “The Monastery,” a look at Trappist monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey outside Boston. Whitney overcame the order’s doubts about having a woman in the monastery by convincing them that a documentary could show the relevance of their calling.Raised in New York City, Whitney had to cope with her parents dying when she was 11 — her father of a heart attack, her mother of cancer. The financial and social upheaval that followed wrenched her from a secure “WASP” world and required her to examine life differently, which proved to be good training for a filmmaker.Years later, a chance encounter at a party with television pioneer Fred Freed changed her life. He was bowled over by her repartee and offered her a job as a reporter.“The world of filmmaking was opened to me,” Whitney said. “It was life-changing, and I never looked back.”Their partnership lasted until Freed’s death in 1974. Her first solo project was in 1978, when she made “Youth Terror,” for ABC. It was an examination of the roots of juvenile crime in Brooklyn, Harlem, and Newark.The film had a “heartbreaking” Harvard connection. “Roger” was told he would be admitted with financial aid if he’d only complete his GED. But he never did, and stopped returning calls from Harvard and Whitney.Whitney entered her study of juvenile violence as a liberal, but “left with a more complex view with more respect for my subject.”Whitney entered her study of juvenile violence as a liberal, but “left with a more complex view with more respect for my subject.”“What is your greatest fear? That’s how I ended every interview,” Whitney said. “It wasn’t crime … but it was that ‘I would feel invisible.’ They were the ultimate outsiders.”In 1983, Whitney made “The Monastery,” a look at Trappist monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey outside Boston. Whitney overcame the order’s doubts about having a woman in the monastery by convincing them that a documentary could show the relevance of their calling.But what her film revealed about the monks amid their spartan, celibate life was that, rather than being certain in their faith, they shared the doubts of ordinary people, including that death would not yield an ultimate reward.For her part, Whitney grew in awe of the monastery’s quiet and how it prompted them to “ask questions many of us avoid except when our foundations are deeply shaken.”After the film came out, angry letters followed and caused her to dig deeper into her own beliefs, prompting her to launch a Bible study effort that lasted 11 years.Whitney tackled another subject that also touched on something like faith: the anti-Communist era. In “American Inquisition,” she examined why some people in the tiny town of Fairmount, W. Va., turned on teacher Luella Mundel for being an alleged atheist and communist in the 1950s.Mundel was fired from her job and hounded by the American Legion. A vibrant woman, she only found peace through anonymity in a tiny burg in North Dakota.Whitney’s probe into the obscure story had unintended consequences: She was sued for defamation, winning after a grueling three-year court battle.Whitney saw a dark side to spirituality — that hadn’t been present in the monastery — in the persecution of Mundel.“Darkness is at the heart of religion, and it’s done in the name of God,” Whitney said.The Rev. Wendel W. “Tad” Meyer, acting Pusey Minister at the Memorial Church, hosted the lecture. Diana L. Eck, Fredric Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society and master of Lowell House, introduced Whitney.Whitney will discuss her other films when the Noble series continues at the church tonight (Feb. 28) and tomorrow (Feb. 29) at 7 p.m.Nannie Yulee Noble established the Noble lectures in 1898 in honor of her husband. Past lecturers have included former President Theodore Roosevelt (1910), H. Richard Niebuhr (1953), U.S. Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy (1967), religion scholar Karen Armstrong (2008), and author Stephen R. Prothero (2009).
Cloud Sessions @ Dell EMC World Visit the session catalog here to build your Dell EMC World schedule with these cloud sessions.Realize the benefits of OpenStack without the challengesCloud trends and the Dell technologies point of viewFederal: Cloud-based solutions for mission-centric operationsThe business imperatives driving cloud adoptionCritical cloud considerations for your applicationsDeveloping the Perfect Cloud – How to make your enterprise cloud ready and cloud efficientExecuting Your Cloud Strategy: Managing your organization’s Digital transformationPublic, Private or Hybrid Cloud – Where should your apps live?Go Cloud Native in as little as 2 days Ed. Note: This blog was authored by John Terpstra, Director Cloud Architecture and Software EngineeringThe Dell EMC Validated Solutions Organization is pleased to introduce the jointly engineered Dell EMC Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Solution based on Red Hat OpenStack Platform (OSP) 9, available in early November.This offering continues to deliver on our commitment to be first to market with Red Hat OpenStack software releases and to provide an enterprise-capable, highly flexible and simple to deploy OpenStack solution that captures and leverages the innovation created in the OpenStack eco-system. In this release, we are enhancing deployment automation, automating in-service updates and providing options to implement containers as a service with Red Hat OpenShift 3.3, which is based on Kubernetes and Docker.Additionally, Red Hat CloudForms 4.2 has been validated as an optional extension to provide multi-cloud management and usage metering for show back/chargeback. Dell EMC Deployment Guides will be available for rapid deployment of OpenShift and CloudForms. Visit Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Solutions at Dell Tech Center for the latest updates.We use an automated test harness that extends the OpenStack Tempest toolset to help ensure that each OpenStack component, alone and in enterprise-class combinations, can be deployed with confidence. Open source advocates will appreciate that all enhanced enablement tools and utilities created by Dell EMC and Red Hat to support system testing and validation have been released in public open repositories such as GitHub under the Apache2 license. This release, like previous solution releases, is fully open source and free from any form of proprietary code.This latest release uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 and is powered with the latest generation of Dell EMC PowerEdge R430, R630, R730 and R730xd servers and Networking. The core architecture is documented in a reference architecture and designed to scale from less than half a rack to a three-rack cloud infrastructure solution capable of supporting up to 2,500 VM instances or up to 8,000 container instances.Join us at Dell EMC World 2016 and OpenStack Summit EMEA to learn more about Dell EMC Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Solutions. OpenStack Summit EMEA 2016 OpenStack Summit heads to Barcelona Spain, Oct 25-28, where you can network, skill up and plan your OpenStack cloud strategy. Check out the Dell EMC session and register today!Dell EMC Sessions @ OpenStack Summit Hello World for Murano – end to end process in a Docker container and moreThe Good, Bad and Ugly: OpenStack Consumption ModelsAutomating your manual test suite using a Tempest plugin, Scenario tests and RallyHadoop on OpenStack Cloud: The Elephant can fly!Cinder Project UpdateAnalyzing Performance in the Cloud : solving an elastic problem with a scientific approachBuild the Artificial Intelligence Cloud – Provision and Manage Tensor Flow cluster with OpenStackTroubleshooting Neutron: Physical and Virtual NetworksGetting the Most Out of Rally for Improving Scaling Behavior Dell EMC WorldDell EMC will host business and IT leaders from around the world Oct, 18-20, for the biggest enterprise technology event of the year. Join us for a different type of technology conference – Austin style – where the city’s most delicious food comes on trucks and the country’s best musicians play live every night!
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – A total of 1,909 kilograms of cocaine was confiscated by counter-narcotics forces on the morning of March 27 off the country’s eastern coast, officials said. Two Colombians were arrested in connection with the cocaine, which was found on a boat near Saona Island during a joint operation between the Dominican Republic’s National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD) and the United States Coast Guard and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Two of the four crew members escaped, Maj. Gen. Rolando Rosado Mateo of the DNCD and Rear Adm. Félix Alburquerque said at a media conference. [EFE (Dominican Republic), 27/03/2013; Proceso (Dominican Republic), 27/03/2013; El Heraldo (Colombia), 27/03/2013] By Dialogo March 28, 2013
The findings partially parallel an earlier study in which Chinese researchers found the SARS-CoV in the intestinal tract, sweat glands, and kidneys of SARS victims, in addition to the lungs. That study, however, found no virus in the lymph nodes or muscles. See also: Their study was published electronically in advance of the Jan 15, 2005, issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. The authors note that watery diarrhea has often been reported as a SARS symptom. That observation and their own findings indicate that gastrointestinal involvement is common in SARS, which has “implications for infection-control measures and the potential for fecal-oral transmission in community outbreaks,” the report says. The study focused on victims of the SARS outbreak in the Toronto area from March to September of 2003. Autopsies were performed on 21 of 44 patients whose deaths were attributed to SARS. Fifty-one patients who died of other causes during the outbreak and underwent autopsies were used as controls. The researchers found SARS-CoV in 19 of 19 patients who died within 51 days after the onset of infection. All 206 postmortem samples from the 51 non-SARS patients were negative for the virus. Besides the lungs, the SARS virus was found in the small and large bowel, lymph nodes, spleen, liver, heart, kidney, and skeletal muscle of at least some patients. The virus was found in the small and large bowel in 73% (11 of 15) of patients, in the heart in 40% (7 of 18), and in skeletal muscle in 12% (2 of 17). May 10, 2004, CIDRAP News story, “Study suggests food, sweat, waste could spread SARS virus” Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests were used to detect SARS-CoV in organ samples. Dec 23, 2004 (CIDRAP News) Although primarily associated with lung infection, the coronavirus that causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) spreads throughout the human body, Canadian researchers have found. “We observed extrapulmonary dissemination of the virus into all major organs, especially the bowel and lymph nodes. These data have implications for the clinical manifestation, disease course and outcome, and transmission of SARS-CoV [SARS coronavirus],” says the report by Gabriella A. Farcas and colleagues of the University of Toronto and three other Toronto institutions. Farcas GA, Poutanen SM, Mazzulli T, et al. Fatal severe acute respiratory syndrome is associated with multiorgan involvement by coronavirus. J Infect Dis 2005 Jan 15:191(2):193-7 [Abstract]
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