The Health News USA January 30 2018

  • Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey on Friday signed into law legislation intended to crack down on opioid abuse, calling it vital to combat an epidemic felt statewide and across the nation. The legislation includes new regulations that will limit initial opioid prescriptions to 5 days and set a maximum of 30 days for certain patients receiving highly addictive painkillers.
  • Failed efforts by congressional Republicans last year to repeal former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act exposed not only deep divisions within the party but also revealed core benefits of the law that millions of Americans now take for granted.
    Both parties are paying attention, especially after a better-than-expected enrollment season under the health care law. Democrats especially have used health care to go on the attack, and the issue is coming up in congressional races in California, Colorado, Michigan, Washington and elsewhere.
  • This flu season is considered by the CDC to be highly severe, but one age group is feeling it more than usual. The CDC told reporters that people ages 50 to 64 are particularly badly affected by this year’s flu. That could be because of the strains in circulation. While the predominant strain is the nasty H3N2, which is less well-protected by the flu vaccine, H1N1 is also sending baby boomers to the hospital.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 30th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-arizona-opiods/arizona-governor-signs-opioid-crackdown-legislation-idUSKBN1FF2O6

Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey on Friday signed into law legislation intended to crack down on opioid abuse, calling it vital to combat an epidemic felt statewide and across the nation.

The legislation includes new regulations that will limit initial opioid prescriptions to five days and set a maximum of thirty days for certain patients receiving highly addictive painkillers. State officials blame opioids for more than eight hundred overdose deaths in Arizona since June.

Other measures call for ten million dollars to be spent treating opioid abusers who are underinsured and ineligible for Medicaid. A controversial provision holds harmless those reporting potential overdoses. Ducey called the package a comprehensive model for other states looking to address what has become a nationwide crisis.

Last June, Ducey declared opioids a public health emergency and asked state health officials to study ways to address the problem. Despite the unanimous final vote, some lawmakers raised concerns about the unintended consequences of the state becoming more involved in doctor-patient issues, fearing it may hurt individuals needing opioids. Also at issue was the impact of a so-called Good Samaritan law that will grant immunity to people who call nine one one to report a potential overdose.

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures, Arizona’s effort is the latest in a multi-pronged attack nationwide to combat a problem that claimed more than forty two thousand lives in two thousand sixteen.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/democrats-eager-make-health-care-key-campaign-topic-52665160

Failed efforts by congressional Republicans last year to repeal former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act exposed not only deep divisions within the party but also revealed core benefits of the law that millions of Americans now take for granted.

Both parties are paying attention, especially after a better-than-expected enrollment season under the health care law. Democrats especially have used health care to go on the attack, and the issue is coming up in congressional races in California, Colorado, Michigan, Washington and elsewhere. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Friday found health care as the top issue voters want congressional candidates to address.

Enrollment was especially robust in many of the states that operate their own insurance marketplaces, where enrollment periods were longer than on the federal exchange and promotional budgets were beefed up. Strong sign-ups came despite Republican attacks against the law and President Donald Trump’s administration taking several steps to undermine it, including cutting the federal sign-up period in half and slashing advertising.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, New York, Vermont and other states with their own exchanges saw enrollment approach or surpass two thousand seventeen levels. Minnesota’s health insurance exchange set a record for private plans with an enrollment period that was more than two weeks shorter than in two thousand seventeen.

California’s state exchange, the nation’s largest, has reported more than one point two million renewals for two thousand eighteen and an additional three hundred forty two thousand new customers. Its two thousand eighteen enrollment period doesn’t end until Wednesday, as does New York’s.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/26/this-years-flu-season-is-worse-than-usual-for-baby-boomers.html

This flu season is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be highly severe, but one age group is feeling it more than usual. The CDC told reporters that people ages fifty to sixty four are particularly badly affected by this year’s flu.  That could be because of the strains in circulation. While the predominant strain is the nasty H-three-N-two, which is less well-protected by the flu vaccine, HoneNone is also sending baby boomers to the hospital.
One possible reason why, according to the CDC’s Doctor Dan Jernigan: a phenomenon called imprinting.
….
He said with HoneNone in two thousand nine, for example, “we saw a strikingly low number of people being hospitalized over age sixty five.” That strain first emerged in nineteen eighteen. He explained: “From nineteen eighteen to nineteen forty seven, when that HoneNone was circulating, people that were exposed to that one seemed to respond better when this two thousand nine HoneNone showed back up.”

Folks not imprinted by that strain, in the fifty to sixty four year age group, therefore may not have the same protections as older people.

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