The Health News USA October 20 2017

  • Health officials in San Diego tallied another death linked to a massive hepatitis A outbreak on Tuesday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 19. The LA Times has reported that the updated data also saw an increase in the number of San Diego’s confirmed cases, with the total now surpassing 500.
  • President Donald Trump’s decision to end a provision of the Affordable Care Act that was benefiting roughly 6 million Americans helps fulfill a campaign promise, but it also risks harming some of the very people who helped him win the presidency. An estimated 4 million people were benefiting from the cost-sharing payments in the 30 states Trump carried, according to an analysis of 2017 enrollment data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • The prices of injectable cancer drugs – even older medicines around since the nineteen nineties – are increasing at a rate far higher than inflation, researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study looked at 24 injectable cancer drugs approved since 1996 and found the average increase was 25 percent over eight years. After inflation, the average increase was 18 percent.

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

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/10/18/death-toll-hits-19-in-san-diego-hepatitis-outbreak.html

Health officials in San Diego tallied another death linked to a massive hepatitis A outbreak on Tuesday, bringing the total number of fatalities to nineteen. The LA Times has reported that the updated data also saw an increase in the number of San Diego’s confirmed cases, with the total now surpassing five hundred. The outbreak has spread to other Los Angeles counties, and prompted Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency last week in order to provide easier access to vaccines. It is the largest person-to-person outbreak recorded since the vaccine was introduced in nineteen ninety six.

The outbreak has largely affected the homeless population and illicit drug users, with health officials moving to sanitize downtown San Diego streets in an effort to wash away infected feces and bodily fluids. Paramedics were also authorized to administer vaccines in an effort to stop the disease from spreading further.
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Hepatitis A can cause fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. While it does not typically prove fatal, it can kill those with compromised livers or weakened immune systems.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/pro-trump-states-affected-health-care-decision-50479492

President Donald Trump’s decision to end a provision of the Affordable Care Act that was benefiting roughly six million Americans helps fulfill a campaign promise, but it also risks harming some of the very people who helped him win the presidency. Nearly seventy percent of  those benefiting from the so-called cost-sharing subsidies live in states Trump won last November, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. The number underscores the political risk for Trump and his party, which could end up owning the blame for increased costs and chaos in the insurance marketplace. The subsidies are paid to insurers by the federal government to help lower consumers’ deductibles and co-pays. People who benefit will continue receiving the discounts because insurers are obligated by law to provide them. But to make up for the lost federal funding, health insurers will have to raise premiums substantially, potentially putting coverage out of reach for many consumers. Some insurers may decide to bail out of markets altogether.
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An estimated four million people were benefiting from the cost-sharing payments in the thirty states Trump carried, according to an analysis of two thousand seventeen enrollment data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Of the ten states with the highest percentage of consumers benefiting from cost-sharing, all but one — Massachusetts — went for Trump.
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The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has estimated the loss of the subsidies would result in a twelve percent to fifteen percent increase in premiums, while the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has put the figure at twenty percent. Experts say the political instability over Trump’s effort to undermine Obama’s health care law could prompt more insurers to leave markets, reducing competition and driving up prices. In announcing his decision, Trump argued the subsidies were payouts to insurance companies, and the government could not legally continue to make them. The subsidies will cost about seven billion dollars this year. Many Republicans praised Trump’s action, saying Obama’s law has led to a spike in insurance costs for those who have to buy policies on the individual market. Among them is Republican Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, a state Trump won. An estimated seventy eight thousand Arizonans were benefiting from the federal subsidies for deductibles and co-pays.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-cancer-drug-prices/cancer-drug-prices-rising-far-faster-than-inflation-idUKKBN1CN285

The prices of injectable cancer drugs – even older medicines around since the nineteen nineties – are increasing at a rate far higher than inflation, researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study, led by Doctor Daniel Goldstein of Emory University in Atlanta, looked at twenty four injectable cancer drugs approved since nineteen ninety six and found the average increase was twenty five percent over eight years. After inflation, the average increase was eighteen percent. The prices of some drugs were going up by an average of six percent or more per year when the inflation rate was just under one point one percent.

Among cancer drugs, Novartis’ Gleevec, which cost  twenty six thousand dollars in two thousand one now costs more than one hundred forty thousand dollars, even though generic versions of the once-a-day pill are available. The team also found that, unlike just about every product, those increases were unaffected by the addition of competition, or the discovery of a new use for the medicine. Such increases are driving up health insurance costs and, in some cases, patients who are facing high out-of-pocket costs may be skimping on life-saving treatments because they can’t afford them. When inflation was taken into account, only two of the twenty four drugs tracked by the Goldstein team showed a decline. Nine averaged price hikes of at least three percent per year. The study used average U.S. sales prices published by Medicare. Unlike other countries, the government-run Medicare program is prohibited by federal law from negotiating lower drug prices with manufacturers.

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