The Health News USA March 20 2018

  • President Trump, who once called New Hampshire a “drug infested den,” will travel to the primary state for the first time Monday since the 2016 campaign to unveil his plan to combat the opioid crisis that is killing more than 115 people every day. In 2017 , New Hampshire had the third highest drug overdose death rate in the U.S., according to the CDC. The administration will also be working to supply naloxone, a life saving drug that reverses opioid overdoses, by leveraging “federal funding opportunities to state and local jurisdictions” in the hardest hits areas of the country.
  • According to a recent study, almost half of small employers that charge tobacco users extra for their health insurance don’t offer wellness programs to help employees stop smoking. The Affordable Care Act permits these surcharges only when employers provide a wellness program, yet more than 1 million employees in the U.S. work for a company that is noncompliant, researchers estimate in the journal Health Affairs.
  • A New York boy who became the youngest member of the Ithaca Police Department as an honorary officer at the age of ten, has died. Colin Hayward Toland died at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital on Saturday after a long battle with cancer, his family wrote on Facebook. At age 2, Toland was diagnosed with an ependymoma brain tumor. And while “he had many wonderful years of remission from the tumor, it returned in early 2015 and spread.”

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 20th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/opioid-epidemic-crisis-new-hampshire-donald-trump/

President Trump, who once called New Hampshire a “drug infested den,” will travel to the primary state for the first time Monday since the two thousand sixteen campaign to unveil his plan to combat the opioid crisis that is killing more than one hundred fifteen people every day.

The president’s plan is focused on reducing drug demand, preventing over-prescription by cutting opioid prescriptions by one-third nationwide within three years, calls on Congress to reduce the amount of drugs needed to invoke mandatory minimum sentences for opioid traffickers and urges the Department of Justice to seek the death penalty against drug traffickers in certain cases, according to assistant to the president Andrew Bremberg.

In two thousand seventeen, New Hampshire had the third highest drug overdose death rate in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. The official added that Republican and Democratic officials were both invited to attend Mister Trump’s visit. Bremburg said that president’s plan will also rollout a nationwide education campaign to raise public awareness on the dangers of opioid misuse and will support research to identify alternative therapies and non addictive pain management to prevent addiction, including research to find a vaccine to prevent opioid addiction.

Mister Trump’s plan will also expand treatment, although it still remains unclear how this will be funded by the administration. A senior administration official could not name a specific dollar amount and said that the White House was in the “middle of negotiating with Congress” on specific allocations. The official added that they “do expect more money will be allocated for treatments.”

The administration will also be working to supply naloxone, a life saving drug that reverses opioid overdoses, by leveraging “federal funding opportunities to state and local jurisdictions” in the hardest hit areas of the country. Doctors and experts on the front lines of the epidemic whose supply has been depleted have asked for additional naloxone from the federal government since Mr. Trump took office.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-insurance-smokers/employee-health-plans-charge-smokers-extra-but-dont-help-them-quit-idUSKCN1GS1Y5

According to a recent study, almost half of small employers that charge tobacco users extra for their health insurance don’t offer wellness programs to help employees stop smoking.
The Affordable Care Act permits these surcharges only when employers provide a wellness program, yet more than one million employees in the U.S. work for a company that is noncompliant, researchers estimate in the journal Health Affairs.
….

The study team wrote that the ACA allows employer plans in the small-group marketplace to charge tobacco users up to fifty percent more for premiums, but only if the employer offers a tobacco cessation program and the employee chooses not to participate. Seven states – California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont – prohibit tobacco use surcharges under any circumstances.
….
They found that sixteen percent of the two hundred seventy eight small employers used tobacco surcharges, yet forty seven percent of those companies failed to offer tobacco cessation counseling. In addition, fourteen percent used surcharges in states that completely prohibit them. The study team estimates that in states where surcharges are allowed, nine hundred fifty thousand seven hundred twelve employees work for a company imposing the charges without an accompanying wellness program, and of these, one hundred fifty five thousand nine hundred seventeen smokers would be affected. An additional one hundred eighteen thousand two hundred twenty nine employees, including thirteen thousand two hundred forty two smokers, worked for such companies in states where the surcharges are not even allowed. Overall, thirty seven percent of employers had tobacco cessation programs, which were most common in health care jobs.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/03/18/youngest-member-new-york-citys-police-department-dies-cancer-at-age-10.html

A New York boy who became the youngest member of the Ithaca Police Department as an honorary officer at the age of ten, has died. Colin Hayward Toland died at Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital on Saturday after a long battle with cancer, his family wrote on Facebook. At age two, Toland was diagnosed with an ependymoma brain tumor. And while “he had many wonderful years of remission from the tumor, it returned in early two thousand fifteen and spread.”

Toland’s dream was to become a police officer. Despite his illness, the Ithaca Police Department welcomed him to the force on September twelve, two thousand sixteen, where he had been involved with “ongoing training and community policing work.” The ten-year-old’s first arrest came in December two thousand sixteen when he nabbed “The Grinch” at a holiday event in Ithaca for “stealing Christmas.” Toland’s family wrote on Facebook: “We are all so proud of Colin’s determination and positive spirit as well as the many officers who have embraced Colin, particularly Chief John Barber, to whom Colin reported directly until the chief’s retirement in March two thousand seventeen.
….
The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office thanked Toland for his service, writing that the department was “so appreciative of the positive impact Lieutenant Colin has had on our community. Thank you for your service. Rest in Peace.”

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