Thanks Barack… Now There’s 357 People Being Monitored For Ebola In New York

There’s Now 357 People Being Monitored For Ebola In NYC – JWF

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If only we had people in charge who were bright enough to halt flights from Ebola-ravaged countries.

The number of people under “active monitoring” for Ebola symptoms has increased from 117 on Monday to 357 people Wednesday, health officials said.

The vast majority of those being monitored arrived in New York City within the past 21 days from the three Ebola-affected countries, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation said in a statement.

Others being monitored are the staff caring for Dr. Craig Spencer, the physician being treated for Ebola at Bellevue Hospital, the lab workers who conducted his blood tests and the FDNY EMTs who transported the doctor.

All of those being monitored showed no symptoms but are being checked on out of “an abundance of caution,” the statement said.

You know what would reflect an abundance of caution? Halting flights from West Africa or immediate quarantine of those arriving. But that would be racist, or something.

Apparently the Ebola czar Ron Klain is still under quarantine himself after three weeks since he hasn’t been seen in public yet. You know, we’re starting to think his appointment was merely for show, cynics that we are.

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Terrific! Minnesota Is Monitoring 48 For Ebola; Already 12 Go Missing – Gateway Pundit

Minnesota is monitoring 48 travelers who have returned from Ebola infected West Africa.

Already 12 of the individuals, or 1 in 4, have gone missing.

This was buried in the sixth paragraph of the newspaper report.

The Star Tribune reported:

Forty-eight travelers who have returned to Minnesota from Ebola-stricken nations in West Africa are being monitored by state health officials for 21 days to make sure they don’t have any signs of the deadly virus, the Minnesota Department of Health reported Wednesday.

All the travelers are considered low risk, according to the Health Department, meaning they might have been visiting relatives in Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone but never came in contact with an Ebola case. None was in the “some” or “high” risk categories of medical or relief workers who had potential contact with an infected patient’s blood, saliva or other bodily fluids.

Voluntary monitoring involves twice-daily phone calls between state health officials and the travelers…

…Wednesday’s report cited an additional 12 people who either returned recently and still are being contacted, or haven’t been located yet because of inadequate or incorrect contact information.

Wonderful.

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Thanks Barack… Obamacare Kills 22,000 Health Plans In Colorado… 200,000 More To Come

Obamacare Kills 22,000 Health Plans In Colorado – Daily Caller

Over 22,000 Coloradoans have had their health insurance canceled by Obamacare in the past month – and 200,000 are slated to be shut down in 2015, the state insurance department announced Friday.

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The Colorado Division of Insurance wrote to state Senate Republicans Friday, notifying them that five more insurance carriers have ended plans for 18,783 more Coloradoans in just the last month. By far, the most canceled plans will come from Humana Insurance Company and Humana Health Plan.

That brings the state’s Obamacare total to almost 340,000 canceled plans, according to Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who’s in a tight race for Senate with incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Udall.

“Coloradoans continue to pay the price for Senator Udall’s broken promise,” Gardner said in a statement Friday. “It’s unfortunate that Senator Udall has been so eager to please President Obama that he has forgotten thousands of Coloradoans across our state.”

Widespread Obamacare cancellations have been a political loser for Obamacare-supporters across the country, but the issue is especially fraught in Colorado.

Udall, who voted for Obamacare and made the same debunked promises as President Obama that Americans could keep their health insurance plans, took heat earlier this year when emails suggested that his office tried to interfere with a state analysis of the number of plans cancelled by Obamacare. He was cleared of wrongdoing by a panel that refused to document its hearing.

But while over 18,000 people will be losing their coverage this month, that’s nothing compared to next year.

The Obama administration said it would allow states to extend health care plans that aren’t compliant with Obamacare through the end of 2016 and pushed the political responsibility for deciding when the plans should be canceled onto state officials. Colorado decided to extend plans through Dec. 31, 2015 – the remaining 192,942 Coloradoans that still purchase non-complaint health plans will have those canceled next November.

Far from being an unknown glitch in the health-care law, the Affordable Care Act provision that outlaws certain insurance plans was in part intended to help drive healthier, previously-insured customers to Obamacare exchanges so that insurers’ pools of customers were less populated by people with a pent-up need for health care.

The Obama administration’s several administrative fixes, which allowed states to decide whether they’d allow insurers to keep offering the plans for up to three years, make it more difficult for insurers to be profitable in Obamacare exchanges. The changes were likely part of the administration’s reasoning in its decision to open the door to using taxpayer funding to bail out companies on the exchange who suffer losses on Obamacare exchanges.

Udall’s campaign said that the Senator had pushed for Colorado to extend canceled plans for another year.

“There’s nobody more upset about the bungled roll out of the health care law than Mark,” Udall spokesman James Owens said. “That’s why he pushed the governor to use the authority to allow folks to keep their plans.”

Under the Obama administration’s current policy, all noncompliant plans will be canceled by Dec. 2016.

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Thanks Barack… Third Person Diagnosed With Ebola In Texas

Second Health Care Worker In Texas Tests Positive For Ebola – The Blaze

A second health care worker tested positive for Ebola late Tuesday, the Texas Department of Health said in a statement early Wednesday morning.

The unidentified worker reported a fever late Tuesday and was immediately isolated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. The individual was among those who helped care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S.

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Officials at a press conference Wednesday morning said this health worker ”preliminarily tested positive for Ebola.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will conduct an additional test for absolute confirmation that the individual has the virus.

“Like Nina Pham, this is a heroic person, a person who has dedicated her life… to serving others,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said at the press conference, making a nod to the nurse diagnosed with Ebola Sunday after caring for Duncan. ” This is a person is dealing with this diagnosis with the grit and grace and determination like Nina has dealt with this diagnosis.”

Officials said that they have interviewed the health worker and identified others who she may have come into contact with while monitoring herself for any symptoms. Early Wednesday morning as people were waking up, officials were at the apartment building where this nurse lived, knocking on doors to alert them to the situation. This woman lived alone and did not have any pets, officials said.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at the press conference that “phase one” of decontamination of any common areas and areas outside the apartment have already taken place. He added that he expected “phase two” – the internal cleaning of her apartment and car – to be complete by this afternoon.

With this second infected health care worker and 75 others who had cared for Duncan still being monitored, Rawlings warned that “it may get worse before it gets better.”

“I think there are two things that I hearken back to this: The only way that we were going to beat this is person by person, moment by moment, detail by detail,” he said. “The second is we want to minimize rumors and maximize facts. We want to deal with facts, not fear.”

On Sunday, officials announced that Pham was diagnosed with Ebola, though it was unclear exactly how she contracted the virus. Officials said on Tuesday that she was in good condition.

When asked about this issue of how health care workers were exposed to the virus when taking precautions with protective gear and other procedures, Dr. Daniel Varga with Texas Health Presbyterian said they are “looking at every element” that could have led to these new infections.

“I don’t think we have a systematic institutional problem,” Varga said. “We’re looking at every element of our personal protective equipment and infection control inside the hospital. We don’t have an answer for this right now but we’re looking at every possible element.”

However, the fact that this second person was in isolation within 90 minutes of taking her temperature and seeing she had a fever is “continued evidence that our monitoring program is working,” Varga said.

Judge Jenkins added more about this monitoring program later in the news conference.

“What this case further illustrates… is Ebola comes from [contact with] body fluids of a symptomatic Ebola victim. That’s how [two health care workers] contracted the disease and that’s how Eric Duncan contracted the disease,” he said.

While Jenkins said that they are not going to set up “protective orders” for the 75 other health care workers being monitored, they are setting up a place where “if they want to be away from their families, they can choose to do so.”

The 48 other people that Duncan had contact with who were not health care workers are nearing the end of the 21-day monitoring program and are asymptomatic, according to health officials.

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Thanks Barack… Second Person Diagnosed With Ebola In Texas

Texas Healthcare Worker Diagnosed With Ebola As CDC Suggests Breach Of Safety Protocol – The Guardian

A Texas healthcare worker who provided care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient to be given a diagnosis of Ebola in the US, who died on Wednesday, has tested positive for the deadly virus.

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At a Sunday morning press conference at the hospital, it was confirmed that a close contact of the healthcare worker – who officials said was wearing full protective gear when he or she made contact with Duncan – has also been placed, “proactively”, in isolation.

Dr Tom Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the diagnosis of the healthcare worker showed there had been a clear breach of safety protocol at the hospital.

The worker was reported to be in stable condition in isolation at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas. The hospital is no longer taking any other emergency patients.

Frieden told CBS the worker had treated Duncan multiple times after the Liberian man was diagnosed, and said that all those who had treated Duncan were now considered to be potentially exposed.

Healthcare workers treating Duncan were to follow CDC protocol that included wearing protective gear. Among the things CDC will investigate, Frieden said, is how the workers took off that gear – because removing it incorrectly can lead to a contamination.

At the hospital press conference, Dallas County judge Clay Jenkins said the healthcare worker was a “heroic person who provided care for Mr Duncan” but did not release his or her name. News of the second diagnosis broke overnight, after a preliminary blood test on the healthcare worker, who had reported a low-grade fever on Friday night.

On Sunday morning Dr Dan Varga, of Texas Health Presbyterian hospital, said the worker had been “following a self-monitoring regimen prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (CDC) and that “the entire process from the patient’s self-monitoring to the admission to isolation took less than 90 minutes”.

He added: “The patient’s condition is stable. In addition, a close contact has also been proactively placed in isolation. The caregiver and the family have requested total privacy, so we can’t discuss any more details of the situation.”

Dr Varga said the hospital was now not taking any other emergency patients. Answering questions, he said the healthcare worker had been wearing full protective gear and following all CDC guidelines when he or she made contact with Duncan.

Mike Rawlings, the mayor of Dallas, addressed likely public fears brought about by the second case. He said: “We heard about this around midnight and have been working throughout the morning to make sure the citizens of Dallas are safe when they wake up. I believe I can say they are.”

Rawlings detailed protective measures taken by the city, including the Dallas fire and rescue haz-mat team “clearing up and decontaminating any of the open areas of an apartment complex” and “standing by to make sure nobody enters that apartment complex”.

“Furthermore,” he said, “we have knocked on every door in that block and talked to every person who came to the door to explain what has happened and what we have done.”

Rawlings said there was believed to be a pet inside the apartment of the healthcare worker now in isolation. He said the pet was not believed to show any signs of Ebola, and that authorities would take care of it. This week in Spain, a dog owned by an Ebola patient was euthanised.

A hospital statement detailed the steps taken by the hospital since the admission of Duncan, on 28 September, on his second visit.

“We have known that further cases of Ebola are a possibility among those who were in contact with Mr Duncan before he passed away last week,” the statement said. “The system of monitoring, quarantine and isolation was established to protect those who cared for Mr Duncan as well as the community at large by identifying any potential ebola cases as early as possible and getting those individuals into treatment immediately.”

Duncan travelled from Liberia to the US on 19 September to join his girlfriend, Louise Troh, the mother of his son, Karsiah. After falling ill a few days later, Duncan was initially sent home from hospital, despite telling a nurse he had recently travelled from west Africa. He was taken by ambulance to Texas Health Presbyterian on 28 September, where he was admitted and placed in isolation.

He was confirmed to have Ebola two days later.

It is believed Duncan contracted the disease while helping take his landlord’s 19-year-old daughter to an Ebola treatment ward in Monrovia. He did not declare that he had been in contact with Ebola when he completed a pre-flight questionnaire at Monrovia airport before travelling to the US.

On Wednesday, the White House announced that passengers travelling from west Africa will face additional Ebola screenings at five US airports, amid mounting concern that not enough controls were in place to prevent the deadly disease from entering the US.

The current outbreak of Ebola has killed more than 4,000 people in west Africa.

In his opening remarks on Sunday, judge Jenkins sought to calm public fears. He said: “I want to stress an important fact. You cannot contract Ebola other than from bodily fluids of a symptomatic Ebola victim. You cannot contract Ebola by walking by people in the street or from contacts who are not symptomatic. There is nothing about this case that changes that basic premise of science.

“And so it’s important that while this is obviously bad news, it is not news that should bring about panic. We have a strategy to monitor this and we will go to that strategy to keep the community safe.”

The hospital said it was “triple-checking our full compliance with updated CDC guidelines. We are also continuing to monitor all staff who had some relation to Mr. Duncan’s care even if they are not assumed to be at significant risk of infection”.

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Thanks Barack… 1.9 Million Americans Won’t Get Health Insurance Due To ‘Family Glitch’

Report: ‘Family Glitch’ In Obamacare To Impact 1.9 Million Americans – Washington Free Beacon

Vague language within Obamacare will result in nearly 2 million Americans being unable to afford health insurance, according to a new report by the American Action Forum (AAF).

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The so-called “family glitch” occurs when an individual is offered health insurance through their employer but the plan is not extended to the rest of their family. Due to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) interpretation of the law, other immediate family members are not eligible to receive subsidies for insurance, even if their income is below the federal poverty level.

The AAF has estimated that 1.93 million Americans will be affected by the glitch, making it “practically impossible” for them to obtain affordable health care coverage.

“The ‘Family Glitch,’ as it has become known, is an odd and particularly problematic side-effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” the report said. “Since several provisions of the law are rather ambiguous, they unfortunately combine to create a perfect storm where obtaining affordable health insurance is practically impossible.”

Under Obamacare, Americans below 138 percent of the poverty line are eligible for Medicaid coverage, and anyone up to 400 percent of the poverty level can also receive subsidies to help pay for insurance purchased through the health exchange.

However, this provision does not apply to families who have been offered employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), even if it is only offered to the individual employee.

“This provision of the law lacks clarity on the point of whether or not the coverage offered must be family coverage, or whether individual coverage is sufficient,” the AAF said. “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), through rule making, has interpreted the statute as only requiring an employer to offer individual coverage, and pegged affordability at 9.5 percent of the employee’s household income. The glitch occurs when one (or both) spouses are offered affordable individual ESI under the IRS definition, but family coverage is either not offered or is unaffordable.”

“Spouses and children of an employee offered ESI could be unable to afford the employer plan, but because it is offered to one family member, the rest are made ineligible for subsidies in the Exchanges,” the report added.

Using census data from April 2013, AAF estimated 947,000 spouses and 984,000 children could fall into this category, and left uninsured. The glitch will affect up to 428,000 women and 519,000 adult men.

If Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding expires, 2.28 million children would also be affected, according to AAF.

The provision could have unintended consequences for employees in the middle class, forcing them to not accept higher paying jobs out of fear of losing subsidy eligibility to pay for their family’s health insurance.

The AAF also said the glitch could result in families choosing to separate or divorce, in order to keep subsidies.

“The family glitch is just one of many problems that will inevitably arise from the ACA’s complete restructuring of the health care system,” the report concluded. “It is an unintended consequence that creates hardship and perverse incentives for American families struggling to obtain affordable health insurance. This year alone 1.93 million Americans will be impacted by this glitch and that number will likely increase as the employer mandate goes into effect.”

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Lowest-Cost Insurer Drops From Minnesota Exchange – Yahoo News

The insurance company that grabbed the most customers on Minnesota’s health care exchange by offering the lowest rates told state officials Tuesday that it’s pulling out of MNsure, a major blow to the exchange as the next open enrollment period approaches.

The decision by Golden Valley-based PreferredOne may mean higher rates and again puts the troubled exchange front-and-center in Minnesota’s governor and House elections.

MNsure officials said the company’s exit won’t affect health coverage through the state-run exchange. The state will send out notices early next month to the nearly 30,000 people who enrolled in PreferredOne through MNsure to outline the next steps – customers can transition to another MNsure health plan or renew with PreferredOne, in which case they’ll no longer be eligible for government subsidies.

PreferredOne had a cumulative total of 59 percent of the private-plan market for MNsure enrollees through early August. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota had 23 percent, HealthPartners 12, Medica 5 percent and UCare 1.

MNsure CEO Scott Leitz said he’s had no word any of the four remaining companies are mulling an exit. Open enrollment begins Nov. 15.

Despite a launch last year marred by technical problems and long call center waits, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration has called MNsure a success because it helped reduce the ranks of uninsured Minnesotans by nearly 41 percent to a record low while offering some of the lowest premium rates in the country. More than 327,000 Minnesotans have enrolled through MNsure since it went live Oct. 1, including nearly 55,000 in private plans. Most enrollees are in the publicly run Medicaid and MinnesotaCare programs for lower-income people.

In a statement, Dayton cast the company’s exit as a result of its own low rates.

PreferredOne didn’t return calls from The Associated Press.

Company spokesman Steve Peterson told KSTP-TV, which first reported the decision, that staying on MNsure wasn’t financially or administratively sustainable. The membership they gained through MNsure was small, but was taking “a significant amount of our resources” to administer, Peterson said.

Republicans called it the latest sign of systemic problems in MNsure, an issue they plan to use to bolster their election-year pitch to take back control of the House and the defeat Dayton. Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, said Tuesday’s news makes it clear Democrats have mismanaged the state’s health care overhaul.

“If you tell your average Minnesotan that we spent $160 million to develop a website and it doesn’t work, I think it makes a pretty strong argument for new management, not only in the state House, but in the governor’s office as well,” Hoppe said.

But Leitz and MNsure board chair Brian Beutner said it was proof the exchange is working as a competitive marketplace. Both officials acknowledged the exchange’s rocky rollout, but Beutner suggested PreferredOne’s low rates led to its exit.

“They offered the lowest rates and the broadest networks offered last year. I can understand how that might impact them,” Beutner said.

It’s unclear whether PreferredOne’s exit will affect premium rates for 2015, which were already expected to increase because health care costs have been rising. The state’s Department of Commerce is expected to release an early snapshot of rates in early October, with full details to follow when open enrollment begins. The department is still reviewing rates from the four remaining providers.

Rep. Joe Atkins, an Inver Grove Heights DFLer and the lead House sponsor of the legislation that created MNsure, said he expects premiums to stay low compared with the rest of the country. He laughed off the Republican criticism as election-season politics.

Atkins said he wasn’t surprised by the announcement because he expected some losses and some additions to the online marketplace for 2015. He pointed out that despite its large market share on MNsure, PreferredOne is one of the smaller carriers in the Minnesota health insurance market.

The Dayton administration opted to set up the state-run exchange rather than have Minnesota participate under the federal exchange created by the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.

Dayton’s GOP opponent, Jeff Johnson, blasted the governor and MNsure officials for PreferredOne’s withdrawal. If elected, Johnson said he’d sweep out the MNsure board and replace its top management.

Johnson said Dayton himself used PreferredOne’s “artificially low” rates to tout MNsure as having the lowest rates in the country.

“It was all a house of cards,” Johnson said. “Now 60 percent of policyholders are going to have to go through this whole nightmare again.”

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Thanks Barack… Typical U.S. Household Worth One Third Less Than Under Bush

Obamanomics In Action: Typical US Household Worth One-Third Less Than Under Bush – Gateway Pundit

Another Obama record…

AMERICANS GETTING POORER – HOUSEHOLD NET WORTH IN DECLINE

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The median household net worth under Obama is one-third what it was during the Bush years.

Under Barack Obama American households are worth two-thirds of what they were worth under George W. Bush.

The New York Times reported:

Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.

The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution – the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.

The Russell Sage study also examined net worth at the 95th percentile. (For households at that level, 94 percent of the population had less wealth and 4 percent had more.) It found that for this well-do-do slice of the population, household net worthincreased 14 percent over the same 10 years. Other research, by economists like Edward Wolff at New York University, has shown even greater gains in wealth for the richest 1 percent of households.

Hat Tip Banafsheh Zand

It should come as no surprise then that Republicans overwhelmingly represent the middle class districts by almost a two-to-one ratio.

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Thanks Barack… Obamacare Subsidies Will Push Costs Up By More Than 50 Percent

O-Care Subsidies Will Push Costs Up By More Than 50% – Sweetness & Light

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From the Los Angeles Times:

Obamacare subsidies push cost of health law above projections

By Noam N. Levey | June 17, 2014

WASHINGTON – The large subsidies for health insurance that helped fuel the successful drive to sign up some 8 million Americans for coverage under the Affordable Care Act may push the cost of the law considerably above current projections, a new federal report indicates…

You don’t say.

That assistance helped lower premiums for consumers who bought health coverage on the federal marketplaces by 76% on average, according to the new report from the Department of Health and Human Services…

While the generous subsidies helped consumers, they also risk inflating the new health law’s price tag in its first year.

The report suggests that the federal government is on track to spend at least $11 billion on subsidies for consumers who bought health plans on marketplaces run by the federal government… If these state [exchange] consumers received roughly comparable government assistance for their insurance premiums, the total cost of subsidies could top $16.5 billion this year.

That would be far higher than projections this spring from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that the 2014 subsidies would cost the federal government $10 billion…

Imagine them being so badly mistaken in their projections. How does it happen, time and again?

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in April that the annual cost of subsidies will rise to $23 billion next year and $95 billion in 2024, although the budget office continued to project that all the law’s costs will be offset by additional revenue it raises and by cuts in other federal healthcare spending.

Right. Just like the way Medicare costs have been offset over the years.

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