Happy Friday! As you all know, after I come throughout an outrageous medical thriller story I like to pull you all down with me as a result of horrified distress loves firm. This week’s providing: A person in Kentucky went into his physician complaining of eye irritation. And what did his physician pull out of his eyeball? That’s right! A tick. (You’re welcome.)
Quickly transferring on! Here’s what you might need missed throughout this extremely popular week.
The tensions within the Democratic presidential subject which have been brewing for some time erupted into verbal sparring between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden. The mini-war appears to be extra than simply your typical political posturing — each males have deep private stakes within the subject (which, should you haven’t observed, voters care so much about proper now). Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan is sort of synonymous with the person himself, whereas Biden skilled firsthand the blood, sweat and tears it took to really get the well being legislation handed.
Earlier within the week, Biden dropped his personal well being plan, which may very well be summed up because the Affordable Care Act on steroids. And his promise that went together with the reveal — “If you like your plan … you can keep it” — was a blast-from-the-past that highlights all the benefits (the well being legislation is kind of common for the time being) and pitfalls (that promise when President Barack Obama made it was ranked PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year”) of taking this specific path.
It additionally nudged Biden and Sanders right into a collision over their philosophical variations that performed out in public at numerous occasions this week. Neither candidate pulled punches, however Sanders, specifically, had some powerful phrases for his rival. “Unfortunately, he is sounding like Donald Trump,” he stated. “He is sounding like the health care industry, in that regard.”
On that be aware, Sanders known as on the Democratic candidates to affix his pledge to not take donations from the well being business or pharma. Though he didn’t identify names, it appeared to many like one other jab at Biden.
Biden additionally took photographs of his personal, calling Medicare for All expensive and sophisticated, and insinuating that these trying to do away with the well being legislation are not any higher than Republicans.
Whatever the result of this specific scuffle, it highlights that, in a crowded subject, candidates are in search of issues to set them aside. And on this specific election cycle, seems to be prefer it’s well being care.
Meanwhile, the well being legislation confronted off towards an unlikely foe this week: Democrats. Lawmakers within the House delivered what’s in all intents and functions a dying blow to the “Cadillac tax,” a cost-containing provision that at one time limit was checked out as essential to the legislation’s success. (The Senate hasn’t voted on it but, however Republicans should not precisely followers of the tax, so its destiny appears determined.)
But as hell has not frozen over, it’s not as if the Democrats are out of the blue leaping on the GOP bandwagon to dismantle the legislation. The tax was disliked by unions (a key constituency) and a few liberal-leaning economists. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), the writer of the repeal invoice, even (subtly) known as it, the “Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act.”
As a aspect be aware, you have to be following Noam Levey’s nice collection on the methods Americans are hurting within the wake of the high-deductible revolution.
The Democratic subject’s fireworks over candidates’ philosophical variations weren’t the one ones on show this week. Dr. Leana Wen was ousted from her place as head of Planned Parenthood after solely eight months within the position. Although there have been reviews about managerial types, Wen has hinted that the friction comes from her need to view the group by means of a public well being prism. During a time when the abortion wars develop solely extra intense, Wen’s technique to emphasise abortion as half of a bigger a part of bettering girls’s well being felt out of step to some.
As if underscoring that very rigidity, the ousting got here because the Trump administration introduced that the modifications to household planing funding, usually known as a “gag rule” by critics, can be enforced instantly, now that it has the courtroom’s go-ahead.
After a yearlong authorized battle, The Washington Post and HD Media, which publishes the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, obtained data from a Drug Enforcement Administration database that exhibits how 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone ache capsules saturated the nation because the opioid epidemic was gaining steam. Just six corporations distributed 75% of the capsules from 2006 to 2012, sending hundreds of thousands of capsules into tiny rural cities with just a few thousand residents. The numbers reveal a path of vivid, screaming crimson flags that had been ignored because the nation barreled towards a disaster level.
There was some uncommon excellent news on the opioid entrance this week: For the primary time since 1990, deadly drug overdoses truly fell. There are (in fact!) caveats, although: Experts nonetheless see worrying developments in relation to artificial medicine reminiscent of fentanyl.
Everyone in Congress and the administration is de facto, very, extraordinarily offended about excessive drug costs … and but pharma remains to be racking up the wins on Capitol Hill. Stat has a terrific learn on precisely what’s happening with the business’s affect, and appears at a brand new technique from drugmakers, who appear to be concentrating on a pair of weak Republicans to get their manner.
In a panorama the place everyone seems to be jonesing to chop prices, why is it so breathtakingly simple to rip-off insurers? Some investigators estimate that fraud eats up 10% of all well being care spending. Consumers’ intestine response is that insurers would, in fact, be stepping in to police these unhealthy actors. But they don’t appear to have any need — or, at the least, not sufficient — to really act. Maybe that’s as a result of shoppers are those getting caught with the losses.
Speaking of, a former VA worker who was supposed to assist veterans navigate insurance coverage for his or her children who had spina bifida used the place to gather hundreds of thousands in kickbacks, prosecutors allege.
Numerous very cool (or at the least fascinating) information got here out of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this week. A have a look at highlights:
And within the miscellaneous file:
• What’s it prefer to be a Border Patrol agent? Because entry to them might be tightly managed, it’s uncommon to listen to about their experiences. This story accommodates a chilling, but becoming musing: “Somewhere down the line people just accepted what’s going on as normal.”
• It’s considered one of well being care’s largest challenges: weaning folks off the behavior of going to the ER as a substitute of a major care physician. Well, New York City goes to speculate $100 million a yr to attempt to do exactly that.
• More than 200,000 children in Tennessee had been both lower or slated to be lower from insurance coverage as a result of the state’s unwieldy system closely relied on hard-copy varieties.
• Do service canines truly assist veterans with PTSD? Although there are many heart-warming anecdotal tales about the advantages, docs within the VA are hesitant to advocate them over remedy that has been proven to work as a result of there’s little laborious science on their advantages. The factor is, the VA is meant to be doing analysis on it. Yet, for some purpose, it’s been lagging, regardless of the burgeoning psychological well being disaster amongst veterans.
• A have a look at legislation enforcement in Alaska, the place violence towards girls is gaining nationwide consideration, exhibits that dozens of convicted criminals have been employed as cops for these communities. In one small village, each single policeman on the power, together with the chief, has a felony report of home violence.
That’s it from me! Try to stay cool and ensure to hydrate this weekend!