The Health News USA November 11 2017

  • Republican Governor Charlie Baker is questioning whether a wide-ranging health care bill under consideration in the Senate would save the state any money. Democratic Senate leaders are hoping for a final vote on the legislation later Thursday after debating dozens of amendments. Baker told reporters that while some of the reforms sought by the Senate might improve the delivery of health care, his big concern with the bill is that it doesn’t address costs borne by the state for Medicaid or other programs.
  • Consumer sign-ups for Obamacare individual insurance plans were more than 600,000 during the first week of enrollment for 2018. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, said that during the period of Nov. 1 through Nov. 4, 601,462 people, including 137,322 new consumers, selected plans in the 39 states that use the federal website HealthCare.gov.
  • A report released by Senator Mike Lee’s office says that opioid-related deaths are occurring more frequently among younger Americans, particularly those who are single or divorced and lack a college education. Never-married and divorced Americans are 32% of the U.S. population, but were 71% all those who died of opioid overdoses in 2015, said the report by the senator’s Social Capital Project, which examines various aspects of the nation’s social fabric.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 11th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/9/governor-says-senate-health-bill-wont-save-state-m/

Republican Governor Charlie Baker is questioning whether a wide-ranging health care bill under consideration in the Senate would save the state any money. Democratic Senate leaders are hoping for a final vote on the legislation later Thursday after debating dozens of amendments.
Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman Karen Spilka has said the measure if fully implemented could result in overall savings of up to five hundred twenty five million dollars to health care consumers by two thousand twenty. Baker told reporters that while some of the reforms sought by the Senate might improve the delivery of health care, his big concern with the bill is that it doesn’t address costs borne by the state for Medicaid or other programs.
The Senate bill would set benchmarks for hospitals to control spending and reduce unnecessary patient readmissions.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-enrollment/consumers-sign-up-for-obamacare-2018-individual-plans-despite-uncertainty-idUSKBN1D92G3

According to a US health agency, consumer sign-ups for Obamacare individual insurance plans were more than six hundred thousand during the first week of enrollment for  two thousand eighteen which is a positive sign for insurers who take part in the healthcare program that Republicans are trying to undo. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, said that during the period of November one through November four, six hundred one thousand four hundred sixty two people, including one hundred thirty seven thousand three hundred twenty two new consumers, selected plans in the thirty nine states that use the federal website HealthCare.gov. That represents a daily average of one hundred fifty thousand three hundred sixty six signups.
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The sign-ups were seen as a positive indication of two thousand eighteen enrollment despite President Donald Trump’s cut to Obamacare advertising of ninety million dollars and his decision to suspend cost sharing subsidy payments to insurers. Earlier this year, Republican legislators failed to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health reform law, often called Obamacare.
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Some of the biggest insurers on the exchanges include Anthem Incorporated, Centene Corp and Molina Healthcare. Both Anthem and Molina cut back their plans for two thousand eighteen due to uncertainty about the future of the program, while Centene expanded for next year. Enrollment for HealthCare.gov opened on November one and runs through December fifteen, about half the length of two thousand seventeen. About ten million people are estimated to have such plans right now and another one million are seen signing up this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/09/single-or-divorced-americans-account-for-high-rate-opioid-overdose-deaths-report.html

A report released by Senator Mike Lee’s office says that opioid-related deaths are occurring  more frequently among younger Americans, particularly those who are single or divorced and lack a college education. Never-married and divorced Americans are thirty two percent of the U.S. population, but were seventy one percent all those who died of opioid overdoses in two thousand fiffteen, said the report by the senator’s Social Capital Project, which examines various aspects of the nation’s social fabric. Americans who were twenty five or older and had a bachelor’s degree or higher made up thirty three percent of the population, but only nine percent of opioid overdose deaths. The forty percent whose highest level of education was high school accounted for sixty eight percent of opioid-related deaths, said the report, titled “The Numbers Behind the Opioid Crisis.”

Senator Lee, a Utah Republican said: “Opioid-related deaths are not evenly distributed. The big takeaway is that there’s a strong social component to our opioid crisis. Opioid addiction seems to have a high rate of correlation to social isolation. Those with a strong family or a good job seem less likely to become victims.” The report said: “The effects of our opioid crisis on families, communities, and workplaces are far-reaching. For the first time since nineteen ninety three, life expectancy in the United States declined, with one research paper estimating that opioid overdose deaths accounted for two point five months of the four months’ decline.”
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The report states that opioid overdose deaths have risen among whites and Native Americans, while they have remained low for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. For Hispanics and African-Americans the rates were far lower, at about ten percent, than they were for non-Hispanic whites but higher than they were for Asian-Americans.

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Lee said that the private sector could benefit from some of the more generous flexible schedule policies that the government has for public employees, allowing them to take time for family events or to take care of personal family matters. Another suggestion is to review policies or legislative proposals that hit hardest those who are married and have children.

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