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New Republic: Drudge Was Right on GOP & Obamacare

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As I blogged the other day, Republicans snuck in a “fix” for the Affordable Care Act. They did this, it seems, by getting many in Congress to vote on a law without reading it!
According to the New Republic, at least some Republicans who would have voted against the provision were actually happy it passed:

While negotiations were ongoing, the Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, darted on to the House floor and, after brief consultation with Democratic leaders, cleared the Medicare “doc fix” by voice vote—a procedure that’s typically reserved for fast tracking uncontroversial legislation. The yeahs and nays were not recorded. A bill that divided the GOP conference, and might very well have failed in front of God and everyone under the leadership’s own rules, had passed the House before many Republicans even knew what Cantor was up to. 

He and other Republican leaders have been busily making amends with conservative rank and file members ever since. Those members were understandably furious about the breach of protocol, but some were privately grateful that the bill had passed—even if they would have voted against it had Cantor not done a shady end run around them.

Of course, “some” might only mean two. The New Republic has an agenda—to make the Affordable Care Act seem unrepealable. Thus the title of the piece, “House Republicans are quietly giving in to Obamacare.”
But while I’m not sure this trend is as strong as the New Republic wants readers to believe, it does seem that there is such a trend. The New Republic actually went so far as to agree with Matt Drudge!

But when the Associated Press laid it all out on Sunday—including the fact that GOP leaders sought the fix at the behest of powerful business organizations—Matt Drudge freaked out and accused Republican leaders of “expanding Obamacare.”

Republican leaders rejected that interpretation, noting that what they actually did was repeal a provision of the law, in a way that redounds to the benefit of small business owners. 

But Drudge has a point, too. The change will make expanding coverage under Obamacare marginally easier. And to the extent that it helps small business owners, it weakens the already splintering coalition of interest groups and movement leaders who support repealing the law in its entirety

The article spells out the Democrat strategy for keeping the bad law. Make repeal look risky enough so that each constituency decides to lobby for small changes in the law to “improve it.” By getting cooperation from leading Republicans, they have moved ahead in that plan.

None of these modifications will substantially change the ACA’s architecture or even smooth its roughest edges. But they badly undermine longer-standing Republican claims that the law is beyond fixing. If parts of it are clearly fixable, and being fixed, then new constituencies will come out of the woodwork seeking changes of their own, and resistance to more substantial ones will become harder to maintain.

Notice how this situation would please many Congressmen. Suddenly we have a new way to make various groups come to us to have us solve their problems. Obamacare becomes a Congress Empowerment Act.
But it is a sick society that has to go to a totalitarian committee to get problems solved. No healthy society functions that way. We need to make it clear in our voting and our advocacy that we want repeal—nothing less.

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Healthcare

Trump Issues Executive Orders To Cut Insulin, EpiPen Prices; Puts End To ‘Global Freeloading’

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Trump Issues Executive Orders To Cut Insulin, EpiPen Prices; Puts End To ‘Global Freeloading’

President Trump signed four executive orders designed to significantly lower prescription drug prices for Americans, including insulin and epinephrine.

“The four orders I’m signing today will be on the prescription drug market in terms of pricing and everything else to make these medications affordable and accessible for all Americans,” said Trump, surrounded by health care professionals. “The first order will require federal community health centers to pass the giant discounts they received from drug companies on insulin and EpiPens directly to their patients. You know insulin became so expensive people weren’t able to use it. They desperately needed it.”

“We have it to a level that you’re not going to believe,” he continued. “EpiPens — likewise you have been hearing horrible stories about EpiPens over the last six or seven years, horrible, horrible, horrible increases for where they went to almost nothing to massive amounts of money. We’re changing that right now.”

“Under this order,” Trump added, “the price of insulin for affected patients will come down to just pennies a day, pennies a day from numbers that you weren’t even able to think about. It’s a massive cost savings.”

Trump said providers “should not be receiving discounts for themselves while charging their poorest patients massive full prices.”

Along with the order ending the “shadowy system of kickbacks by middlemen,” another order will allow states, wholesalers, and pharmacies to offer “safe and legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries where the price for the identical drug is incredibly lower,” Trump highlighted.

“It is a difference like you would not believe — 70%, 80%, 90%, 30% — but massively lower than the identical drug made in the same plant, same factory. Same exact drug, same everything, same box, same pill, and yet, it’s 50, 60, 70% lower,” he said.

Trump boosted the fourth executive order as the “granddaddy of them all,” ending “global freeloading on the backs of American patients and American seniors.”

“For decades our citizens have paid the highest prices for drugs, prescription drugs, anywhere in the world, and it is not even close,” he said. “Foreign nations have paid vastly less for the exact same drug again and the exact same box from the exact same plant, from the exact same company. They would pay 10%, 20%, 30%. What our people are paying a pill that would sell for one dollar in certain countries.”

“This means that Americans are funding the enormous cost of drug research and development for the entire planet,” Trump continued. “We are bearing the entire cost of all of this. They are bearing none. They say that this is what we are going to pay. In some cases, it’s the socialist country. So we are paying to reduce drug prices in a socialist country. How does that work?”

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Healthcare

Stock Market Soars After First Coronavirus Vaccine Tested In U.S. Produced Antibodies In All Patients

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Stock Market Soars After First Coronavirus Vaccine Tested In U.S. Produced Antibodies In All Patients

The first coronavirus vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up people’s immune systems just the way scientists had anticipated, researchers reported yesterday as the shots are poised to begin key final testing. Now stocks are soaring today following the news.

“No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Associated Press.

TDW:

Stocks soared Wednesday following news that a new COVID-19 vaccine showed that it produced antibodies in all patients during a trial.

Even before the opening gavel fell, stock futures rose more than 500 points. When the market opened at 9:30 a.m., the Dow settled in, rising in the mid-300s.

The stock surge followed news from Moderna, a pharmaceutical company that announced Tuesday night that its coronavirus vaccine produced a “robust” immune response — meaning antibodies — in all 45 patients in its early stage human trial, according to data published in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine.

“The hallmark of a vaccine is one that can actually mimic natural infection and induce the kind of response that you would get with natural infection. And it looks like, at least in this limited, small number of individuals, that is exactly what’s happening,” Fauci said. “The data really look quite good. There were no serious adverse events.”

The Moderna vaccine test began back in March, with 45 volunteers being injected twice, a month apart. Every one of the test subjects developed “neutralizing” antibodies in their bloodstream at levels about the same as people who had contracted COVID-19 and recovered, the Journal reported. More

If getting this vaccine made is what it takes to get the economy going again, great. However, there is absolutely ZERO chance I will be getting the vaccination. Of course, liberals will now demand that everyone should be forced to take it.

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Healthcare

Officials Admit that COVID Scare Put 80 Million Kids at Risk by Halting Regular Vaccinations

Officials now admit that the coronavirus shutdowns have put millions of kids at risk of disease.

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Officials now admit that the coronavirus shutdowns of doctors offices and hospitals have put millions of kids at risk of disease because their regular vaccinations have been disrupted.

Now, whether you believe in vaccinations or not it not the question here. The fact that these medical authorities are 100 percent behind regular regimes of childhood inoculations and vaccinations is the point. And the fact that they knowingly put the lives of 80 million kids at risk over this coronavirus hysteria is the point here.

Sure, you may be what they call an “anti-vaxer.” But your personal feelings aside, these doctors — who fully believe in vaccines — purposefully denied them to kids for the last several months. If they believe in vaccines, then they are now guilty of putting kids at risk by denying them these shots.

Because their regular vaccination routines were ended, up to 80 million children under a year old could be at risk of diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio, medical experts now admit.

More than half the 129 nations reporting to the World Health Organization now say that vaccinations for infants and toddlers were at least partially disrupted if not completely ended because of fears over the coronavirus.

Vaccination campaigns for cholera, measles, meningitis, polio, tetanus, typhoid, and yellow fever have been severely disrupted all across the globe.

“Disruption to immunization programmes from the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to unwind decades of progress against vaccine-preventable diseases like measles,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director general, said in the WHO report.

Per CNBC:

The reasons vaccine services have been disrupted varied. Some parents are reluctant to leave home because of restrictions on movement, lack of information or because they fear Covid-19 infection, according to the report.

Many health-care workers are unavailable because of restrictions on travel or because resources have been redeployed toward the coronavirus pandemic response. UNICEF reported that planned vaccine deliveries have been delayed because of global lockdown measures and the decline in commercial flights and the limited availability of charters.

Many countries have also suspended vaccination campaigns intended to prevent other diseases such as cholera, measles, meningitis, polio, tetanus, typhoid and yellow fever, due to risk of Covid-19 transmission, global health officials said in the report.

Mass vaccination campaigns for polio and measles have been hit the hardest, with measles campaigns suspended in 27 countries and polio campaigns put on hold in 38 countries.

Again, you personally, dear reader, may be against vaccinations. But these people are not against them. And this means that in their minds they knowingly put the lives of millions of babies at risk.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Healthcare

Copper State Coronavirus Surge has Medical Experts Alarmed

Trouble is brewing out west.

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While much of the nation’s attention has been wrested away from the global COVID-19 pandemic by the death of George Floyd, the virus continues to spread and wreak havoc from coast to coast.

New York City was America’s COVID hot spot for months, thanks to an unmatched population density and the innate hustle and bustle of The Big Apple.  But now, thousands of miles away, a surge in cases is causing alarm for citizens and healthcare authorities in Arizona.

Experts around the country and in Arizona are raising alarms about the state’s COVID-19 situation because cases and hospitalizations have increased for the past two weeks.

The increase in cases can’t solely be attributed to increased testing in Arizona, experts say.

Instead, it looks like the state is trending upward in a way that is concerning and could need another stay-at-home order to curb the spread.

“I would go so far as to say alarming,” said Dr. William Hanage, an epidemiology professor at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “The only sort of crumb of comfort that I can find is that I think, in general, it’s sort of easier to social distance in Arizona than it is in some places.”

While the virus isn’t particularly deadly when speaking in general terms, certain populations of Americans are at a much higher risk for complications, including the elderly and the immunocompromised.

In several hospitals, the situation was growing dire.

Arizona’s largest hospital system warned over the past week that its intensive care units are filling up, ventilator use was on the rise and capacity was reached for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation treatment.

“We have seen a steady climb of COVID-19 cases in Arizona over the last two weeks,” Banner Health tweeted Monday. “This trend is concerning to us, and also correlates with a rise in cases that we are seeing in our hospital ICUs.”

Officials are also concerned that the recent push to reopen several states’ economies could contribute to this uptick in sickness.

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Healthcare

Gov. Cuomo On Coronavirus Nursing Home Deaths: It’s Trump’s Fault

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New York Gov. Cuomo doubled down on his state’s now-scrapped nursing home policy that critics say contributed to thousands of coronavirus deaths and instead blamed the problem on President Trump and his administration.

“New York followed the president’s agencies’ guidance,” he said, per Fox News. “What New York did was follow what the Republican Administration said to do. That’s not my attempt to politicize it. It’s my attempt to depoliticize it. So don’t criticize the state for following the president’s policy.”

TDW:

New York governor Andrew Cuomo is still defending his administration’s policy of sending COVID-19 positive individuals into nursing homes and other adult care facilities with populations at risk of contracting the deadly virus. This time though, he found a convenient target to blame for the illnesses and deaths: President Donald Trump.

At a press conference Saturday, Cuomo claimed that he was only following the president’s directives when he issued his nursing home plan.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has, indeed, issued some guidance on coronavirus and nursing facilities, according to the network, but it refers largely to those individuals who might have been accepted at an adult care facility before the pandemic began, and does not appear to reference COVID-19 positive patients specifically.

Instead, the CDC guidance say that, “nursing homes should admit any individuals that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present.” The CDC also required that “any newly admitted and readmitted resident with a COVID-19 case to be placed in a designated COVID-19 care unit, while those who have met the criteria to have recovered can return to a regular unit in the nursing home,” according to Fox News. More

So what’s new about this? The liberal New York governor Andrew Cuomo has done what all liberals do and has attempted to blame others for his own inept actions. The really sad thing about his deflection is, some will actually believe him.

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Healthcare

California Doctors Have Seen More Suicides Than Coronavirus Deaths

Once again, Trump is right. Closing down society is worse than the virus itself.

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California doctors say they’ve seen more deaths from suicide than coronavirus since the lockdown began.

Most of the suicides have been younger people dealing with unprecedented levels of stress related to job loss and isolation in the midst of several months of quarantine measures, according to health workers at the John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, located 25 miles east of San Francisco.

Washington Examiner:

Doctors in Northern California say they have seen more deaths from suicide than they’ve seen from the coronavirus during the pandemic.

“The numbers are unprecedented,” Dr. Michael deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, told ABC 7 News about the increase of deaths by suicide, adding that he’s seen a “year’s worth of suicides” in the last four weeks alone.

DeBoisblanc said he believes it’s time for California officials to end the stay-at-home order and let people back out into their communities.

“Personally, I think it’s time,” he said. “I think, originally, this was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that, and our other community health is suffering.” More

For the first time in their lives, a lot of the pampered young people are facing hard times. Instead of helping them the Governor is giving illegals money.

What is wrong with these people? It’s only been two months, for heaven’s sake. The pioneers who built this country faced hostile natives, bear and cougar attacks, famine, drought, disease, life-threatening accidents with no doctors or hospitals, extreme weather that would shutter them in for entire seasons. Modern civilization has forgotten how to survive, and this epidemic is nothing in comparison.

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Healthcare

15 Days After Lockdown Ease, Georgia Sees Lowest Day Of COVID Hospitalizations

Narrative fail!

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Governor Brian Kemp

Republican Governor Brian Kemp said Saturday that Georgia has its lowest number of hospitalized patients positive for the novel coronavirus since hospitals across the state started reporting the number in early April.

“Today marks the lowest number of COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized statewide (1,203) since hospitals began reporting this data on April 8th,” Kemp posted to Twitter on Saturday. “Today also marks the lowest total of ventilators in use (897 with 1,945 available). We will win this fight together!”

Daily Wire:

Republican Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia celebrated the state’s lowest number of hospitalized novel coronavirus patients and the fewest number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators on Saturday, 15 days since the Republican loosened lockdown restrictions in the face of persistent attacks from the mainstream media and the public disapproval of President Donald Trump.

Respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 “typically appear an average of 5-6 days after exposure, but may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure,” per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UC San Diego Health notes.

As noted by The New York Times, Kemp reopened large parts of Georgia’s economy on April 24, adding, of course, COVID-19 precautions, like screening workers for fever.

According to a daunting CNN headline published April 28, “Georgia’s daily coronavirus deaths will nearly double by August with relaxed social distancing, model suggests.”

“Kemp allowed for the reopening of hair and nail salons, barber shops, massage businesses and gyms under new safety standards. He allowed restaurants and theaters to reopen with new restrictions Monday,” the CNN report said. “With the assumption of relaxed social distancing, the model predicts that the number of Covid-19 deaths per day in Georgia will jump from 32 people dying on May 1 to a projected 63 people dying per day by August 4.” More

So much for the doomsday experts. Governor Brian Kemp deserves some big applause for not backing down. Somebody had to step out and be the front runner. He did it and proved he has a backbone! Others are now following his lead. Congratulations Georgia!

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