The Health News USA December 20 2017

  • Kansas health officials say the flu is increasing in most parts of the state. Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokesman Gerald Kratochvil say 3 flu outbreaks have been confirmed in Sedgwick County and another was confirmed in Douglas County. An estimated 5%-20% of people are expected to get the flu this year, depending on the severity of the season.
  • Obamacare’s sign-up deadline came and went this weekend with nary a peep from President Trump, who instead championed a GOP tax bill that repeals a key piece of the 2010 law, leaving it to Democrats and former Obama officials to cheer the embattled program across the finish line. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said HealthCare.gov operated smoothly in the final hours of enrollment, though call centers experienced lengthy wait times. Critics say Mr. Trump probably dampened enrollment by cutting outreach, including TV ads, though the administration did send a stream of email reminders to anyone with a HealthCare.gov account.
  • As the opioid epidemic forces more children out of their parents’ custody, grandparents are stepping in to fill the gap. But as they become the primary caregiver for their grandchild — or grandchildren, in some cases — older adults are seeing their lives turned upside down. After years of decline, the number of children in foster care is once again on the rise. There were more than 415,000 children in foster care in 2015, up from about 398,000 in 2011.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 20th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Health-officials-flu-activity-is-increasing-most-12439756.php

Kansas health officials say the flu is increasing in most parts of the state. Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokesman Gerald Kratochvil say three flu outbreaks have been confirmed in Sedgwick County and another was confirmed in Douglas County. The department says the flu was expected to increase in Kansas and it likely has not peaked in the state yet.

An estimated five to twenty percent of people are expected to get the flu this year, depending on the severity of the season. Health officials say in a news release that influenza was the direct cause of ninety nine deaths last year, and it may have contributed to another one thousand one hundred eight deaths among Kansas residents.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/17/obamacare-signups-reach-smooth-finish/

Obamacare’s sign-up deadline came and went this weekend with nary a peep from President Trump, who instead championed a GOP tax bill that repeals a key piece of the two thousand ten law, leaving it to Democrats and former Obama officials to cheer the embattled program across the finish line. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said HealthCare.gov operated smoothly in the final hours of enrollment, though call centers experienced long wait times. The agency said anyone who left their contact information would get a callback and the chance to finish up. HealthCare.gov sign-ups had been robust and surged in recent days. Yet analysts doubt the last-minute rush and “auto-enrollments” from existing customers who didn’t select coverage on their own will be enough to match last year’s tally of nine point two million, since the sign-up season is was half as long this time.

The two thousand eighteen enrollment period was the first one launched and fully overseen by Mister Trump. His administration gave customers in much of the country from November one to December fifteen to sign up on HealthCare.gov — last year they had until January thirty one — though eleven states, plus the District of Columbia, operate their own websites and many of them are giving residents more time.

Critics say Mr. Trump probably dampened enrollment by cutting outreach, including TV ads, though the administration did send a stream of email reminders to anyone with a HealthCare.gov account.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/12/18/opioid-epidemic-burdening-grandparents-foster-care.html

As the opioid epidemic forces more children out of their parents’ custody, grandparents are stepping in to fill the gap. But as they become the primary caregiver for their grandchild — or grandchildren, in some cases — older adults are seeing their lives turned upside down.
Jaia Peterson Lent of Generations United, a Washington-D.C.-based nonprofit said: “They thought this was a time they were going to get to go to the movies and play cards with their friends. Instead, they are being a full-time parent.” Grandparents who do the right thing also face many obstacles.

These range from navigating child welfare systems to caring for grandchildren that may have special medical or therapy needs — all while dealing with the effects of their own child’s addiction. Generations United reports that after years of decline, the number of children in foster care is once again on the rise. There were more than four hundred fifteen thousand children in foster care in two thousand fourteen, up from about three hundred ninety eight thousand in two thousand eleven. Children may be removed from their home when their parents are jailed or forced into treatment due to opioid use, or when the parents die from an opioid overdose. In two thousand fourteen, more than forty percent of children in foster care with relatives were there because of their parents’ opioid, alcohol, or other drug use.
….
In Ohio, drug overdose deaths rose twenty one percent between two thousand fourteen and two thousand fifteen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since two thousand ten, the number of Ohio children placed with relatives in foster care has risen sixty two percent, according to Generations United. Overall, about two point six million American children are being raised by grandparents or other relatives.

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