A Big Hearing For ‘Medicare-For-All’ — In A Small Room

The first congressional hearing on a “Medicare-for-all” bill in at least a decade took place Tuesday, but without the usual phalanx of T-shirted supporters — or even the presidential candidates — who have been pushing the bill.

That’s because the hearing took place not at one of three major committees that oversee health policy in the House, but in the ornate — and comparatively miniature — hearing room of the House Rules Committee. That panel’s primary role is to set the terms for House floor debates, and its hearing room can seat about 50 people in the audience, compared with hundreds in the larger rooms of the Capitol complex’s office buildings. Also, members of the public cannot easily access the room on the third floor of the Capitol as they can the House office buildings across the street.

Summer Bummer: A Young Camper’s $142,938 Snakebite

It was dusk as Oakley Yoder and the other summer camp kids hiked back to their tents at Illinois’ Jackson Falls last July. As the group approached a mound of boulders blocking the path, Oakley, then 9, didn’t see the lurking snake — until it bit a toe on her right foot.

“I was really scared,” Oakley said. “I thought that I could either get paralyzed or could actually die.”

FDA permits sale of Philip Morris IQOS tobacco-heating alternative to cigarettes

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday said it would allow Philip Morris to sell a heated tobacco product called IQOS in the United States, a major victory for the international tobacco giant as it looks to sell more alternatives to traditional cigarettes.

FILE PHOTO: A man tries Philip Morris’ IQOS 3 device after its launching event in Tokyo, Japan, October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Following a review of about two years, the FDA determined that authorizing the device for sale in the U.S. market was “appropriate for the protection of public health” because the products produce “fewer or lower levels of some toxins than combustible cigarettes.”

Trump, Democratic leaders to meet on drug prices soon: White House

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at a Make America Great Again rally at the Resch Center Complex in Green Bay, Wisconsin, U.S. April 27, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with congressional Democratic leaders soon to discuss drug prices, the White House said on Tuesday following infrastructure talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

The White House said in a statement that the three agreed to meet “in the near future” over the health issue and that Trump “feels there is a long way to go” to lower drug costs, without elaborating.

Feel the pressure—blood pressure, that is

About 1 in 3 U.S. adults have high blood pressure—and you could be one of them. If you haven’t checked your blood pressure lately, now’s the perfect time. High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms, but it can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.

It’s important for you to know your blood pressure numbers, even when you’re feeling fine. Medicare covers blood pressure checks during your “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit and yearly “wellness” visits at no cost to you.

If you have high blood pressure, you can help control it with lifestyle changes and medicine. You may be at risk for high blood pressure if you:

Consumer Protections: Celebrating First Steps Toward a New Insurance Marketplace

By Karen Pollitz, Director for Consumer Support, CCIIO. Cross-post from Healthcare.gov

During the past year, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, some of us have personally experienced just how important the consumer protections—and other provisions– are in addressing some of the most glaring problems in the insurance marketplace.

Is Insulin’s High Cost Keeping Diabetes Patients From Taking Their Medicine?

High prescription drug prices are fast becoming a leading political topic, with medications like insulin emerging as a poster child for the issue. Nearly doubling in price from 2012 to 2016, the diabetes medication has commanded bipartisan attention on Capitol Hill and even a shoutout in a recent Netflix comedy special.

U.S. measles outbreak triggers quarantine at two Los Angeles universities

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A nationwide measles outbreak has led health officials to quarantine dozens of people at two Los Angeles universities, officials said on Thursday.

The quarantine affects the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) and comes as the United States battles the highest number of measles cases since the country declared the virus eliminated in 2000.

The United States has confirmed 695 cases of measles, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. Many of the case occurred in the states of New York and Washington.

Factbox: What you need to know about the U.S. measles outbreak

(Reuters) – The United States so far this year has recorded 704 cases of measles in 22 states, its largest outbreak since public health officials in 2000 declared the disease eradicated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FILE PHOTO: A vial of the measles, mumps, and rubella virus (MMR) vaccine is pictured at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

The CDC on Monday released updated figures on the number of cases recorded so far this year, which have hit a 25-year-high.

U.S. measles outbreak raises questions about immunity in adults

(Reuters) – Adults in the United States who were vaccinated against measles decades ago may need a new dose depending on when they received the shot and their exposure risk, according to public health experts battling the nation’s largest outbreak since the virus was deemed eliminated in 2000.

FILE PHOTO: A vial of the measles, mumps, and rubella virus (MMR) vaccine is pictured at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo