The Health News USA December 9 2017

  • A U.S. government agency reported on Wednesday that the number of people signing up for 2018 Obamacare plans picked up significantly during the 5th week of open enrollment but the number of participants appears to be falling short of last year’s numbers with just over a week of enrollment left. New consumer sign-ups rose to 271,207 from 152,243 during the previous week. An analyst said he expected a 20 percent decline in Obamacare enrollment for 2018.
  • Growth in U.S. health spending slowed considerably in two thousand sixteen, rising by four point three percent, after 2 years of higher spending growth spurred by Obamacare and prescription drugs. According to an official analysis released Wednesday, the slowdown in health spending growth was seen broadly across all major forms of private and public insurance, and in medical services, prescription drugs and other goods.
  • LA will become the nation’s largest city with recreational pot after the City Council voted Wednesday to license sales next year. After months of debate and political snags, the council approved rules to usher in commercial sales and cultivation set to begin in less than a month under an initiative approved by state voters. Under the Los Angeles regulations, residential neighborhoods would be largely off-limits to pot businesses, and buffer zones would be set up around schools, libraries and parks.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-enrollment/sign-ups-pick-up-in-week-five-of-2018-obamacare-open-enrollment-u-s-idUSKBN1E0265

A U.S. government agency reported on Wednesday that the number of people signing up for  two thousand eighteen Obamacare plans picked up significantly during the fifth week of open enrollment but the number of participants appears to be falling short of last year’s numbers with just over a week of enrollment left.

For the week ended December two, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said eight hundred twenty three thousand one hundred eighty people signed up for two thousand eighteen Obamacare individual insurance in the thirty nine states that use the federal government website Healthcare.gov. That was up from five hundred four thousand one hundred eighty one people in the previous week. About three point six million people so far have signed up for Obamacare plans using the federal website.

New consumer sign-ups rose to two hundred seventy thousand two hundred seven from one hundred fifty two thousand two hundred forty three during the previous week. An analyst said he expected a twenty percent decline in Obamacare enrollment for two thousand eighteen.

The Trump administration halved the Obamacare open enrollment period for two thousand eighteen to six weeks ending Dec. fifteen, and cut the healthcare law’s advertising budget by ninety percent. For two thousand seventeen, more than nine point two million consumers signed up for insurance plans using Healthcare.gov during the twelve-week open enrollment period, which included people who were automatically re-enrolled at the close of the enrollment period.

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The figures do not include enrollment in Washington, D.C., or the eleven states that run their own enrollment and websites, some of which have enrollment periods that are weeks longer.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/06/health-care-spending-growth-slowed-considerably-in-2016.html

Growth in U.S. health spending slowed considerably in two thousand sixteen, rising by four point three percent, after two years of higher spending growth spurred by Obamacare and prescription drugs. According to an official analysis released Wednesday, the slowdown in health spending growth was seen broadly across all major forms of private and public insurance, and in medical services, prescription drugs and other goods. But because health spending grew faster, as it has for years, than overall gross domestic product, health spending’s share of the economy increased to seventeen point nine percent in two thousand sixteen, up from seventeen point seven percent of the economy the year before.

One exception to the slowdown in two thousand sixteen was spending on out-of-pocket health charges — including, copayments and deductibles, and spending not covered by insurance — which grew at their fastest rates since two thousand seventeen.

The overall slowdown was highlighted by the National Health Expenditure report issued by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary. The report noted that U.S. health spending rose by five point one percent in two thousand fourteen, and then by five point eight percent in two thousand fifteen.
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Medicaid spending growth was three point nine percent in two thousand sixteen, increasing to five hundred sixty five point five billion dollars. In contrast, Medicaid spending had shot up by eleven point five percent in two thousand fourteen, and nine point five percent in two thousand fifteen. Medicare, the federally run program that provides health coverage to primarily older Americans, saw spending grow by three point six percent in two thousand sixteen, to six hundred seventy two point one billion dollars. Medicare spending had increased by four point eight percent in two thousand fifteen and four point nine percent in two thousand fourteen.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/l-become-largest-u-s-city-legal-recreational-marijuana-n827196

Los Angeles will become the nation’s largest city with recreational pot after the City Council voted Wednesday to license sales next year. After months of debate and political snags, the council approved rules to usher in commercial sales and cultivation set to begin in less than a month under an initiative approved by state voters. Under the Los Angeles regulations, residential neighborhoods would be largely off-limits to pot businesses, and buffer zones would be set up around schools, libraries and parks.

However, with the new year just weeks away — and the holidays coming — industry experts say it’s not clear how many businesses, if any, will be ready to open their doors on January one to hordes of anxious customers. If demand is not satisfied in the legal market then “you are just giving oxygen to the black market we all want to eradicate,” said Adam Spiker, executive director of the Southern California Coalition, a cannabis industry group. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state for two decades.

The dense set of regulations passed Wednesday dictate where pot can be grown and sold in the new marketplace, along with how businesses will be licensed. Businesses that want to participate in the marketplace need local permits before they can apply for state licenses required to operate in two thousand eighteen.
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California is among twenty nine states where pot is legal, either for medical or recreational use.
Earlier this year, city voters endorsed another attempt to regulate the local pot businesses, leading to the new rules.

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