The Health News USA September 1 2017

Overview

  • New York City is boosting the price of a pack of cigarettes to $13—the most expensive in the nation-in its ongoing crackdown on smoking. The hike takes effect June 1, 2018, under new legislation that also reduces the number of places allowed to sell cigarettes.
  • According to the CDC, roughly 28.1 million people, or 8.8 percent of the U.S. population, didn’t hold health insurance during January-March, a decline of about half a million from the same time last year. The number of uninsured Americans remained relatively unchanged over the last year.
  • According to a new study, a proposal by Republican Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina called the Cassidy-Graham plan is a proposal to replace Obamacare would be bad for the state of Florida because it would cost the state billions of dollars over the next 10 years.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st of  September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/08/29/nyc-hikes-price-pack-cigarettes-to-13-highest-in-us.html

New York City will become the most expensive place to buy cigarettes in the United States next year. The city is boosting the price of a pack of cigarettes to thirteen dollars—the most expensive in the nation-in its ongoing crackdown on smoking. The hike takes effect June one, two thousand eighteen, under new legislation that also reduces the number of places allowed to sell cigarettes. Mayor Bill de Blasio said that these new laws will not only help reduce the number of smokers in our city, but also save lives. He signed the bill into law at a Brooklyn hospital. The current minimum is ten dollars and fifty cents a pack. The legislation aims to pressure the city’s nine hundred thousand estimated smokers to quit.

The measure also reduces by half the number of retailers licensed to sell tobacco products. About eight thousand three hundred businesses now have a license. Philadelphia and San Francisco have similar licensing restrictions. Other provisions will ban the sale of all tobacco products in pharmacies, require licensing of e-cigarette retailers and require all residential buildings to have smoking policies that are given to all current and prospective tenants. Some residential buildings will be required to ban smoking in common areas like hallways.

New York City’s war on cigarettes began under the previous mayor, Michael Bloomberg. The city has claimed that hiking the price of cigarettes would cause people to quit or not start. Smoking rates in the city have declined from twenty one point five percent to about fourteen point three percent in two thousand fifteen. City officials said they believed the new restrictions could decrease the rate to twelve percent by two thousand twenty. Opponents of the price increase argued the price hike will push many smokers into buying untaxed, unregulated cigarettes on the black market.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/29/cdc-28-million-lacked-insurance-early-2017/

The number of uninsured Americans remained relatively unchanged over the last year, the government said Tuesday in a report offering fresh evidence that Obamacare’s sweeping coverage gains are stalling out. Roughly twenty eight point one million people, or

eight point eight percent of the U.S. population, didn’t hold health insurance during January to March, a decline of about half a million from the same time last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The CDC said the change was not statistically significant.
The Affordable Care Act made big strides in its early years, adding millions of people to insurance rolls as parents were able to keep children on their plans longer, Medicaid expanded enrollment for the poor, and government subsidies and penalties helped push higher-income individuals to sign up. But the gains have stalled in recent years as premiums rise and choices disappear.

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The CDC report said adults aged twenty five to thirty four were almost twice as likely as those aged forty five to sixty four to lack health insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act covers roughly ten million on its web-based insurance exchanges, where people can shop for private plans, often with the help of taxpayer-funded subsidies. And it covered millions more through the expansion of federal-state Medicaid coverage for the poor. The CDC said that among adults aged eighteen to sixty four, just over seventy percent had private insurance they acquired themselves or through a job, about  twelve percent were uninsured and nearly nineteen percent had publicly funded coverage. People over age sixty five and younger people with disabilities can qualify for Medicare, the federal insurance program that covers roughly fifty five million Americans.

http://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/study-proposal-replace-obamacare-particularly-bad-florida#stream/0

A proposal by two senators to replace Obamacare would be particularly bad for Florida, costing the state billions of dollars over the next ten years, a new study says.The Cassidy-Graham plan, named after Republican Senators Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana, and Lindsay Graham, of South Carolina, would do away with tax subsidies that help people pay for insurance premiums. Instead, states would get one lump sum from the federal government that would shrink over time. That block grant would go away completely by two thousand twenty six, according to a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning Washington-based think tank.

The Cassidy-Graham plan would also make drastic changes to Medicaid. Medicaid expansion would go away and the federal government would redistribute the expansion funds to all states.
The funding model for Medicaid would also change. Instead of open-ended funding based on need, funding for states would be capped and based on population. Altogether, Florida stands to lose nine point sixty six billion dollars in federal funding by two thousand twenty six, according to the study. According to the study the bill would have a more significant impact in Florida and other states that lead the nation in Affordable Care Act enrollment. In Florida,one point seven million people enrolled in Obamacare in  two thousand seventeen, more than any other state. More than eighty percent of those who enrolled get help paying for their insurance through premium tax credits or cost sharing reductions, which help lower deductibles and co-pays.

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Because Florida did not expand Medicaid, the state could see a bump in funding from the redistribution of those funds, but it would not make up for a loss in funding in other areas, she said. Supporters of the plan say it gives states more flexibility to meet the health care needs of their residents. States could use the lump sum payments to fund high-risk pools, stabilize premiums, pay health care providers and reduce out-of-pocket costs for consumers.

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