North Korean Soldier Who Defected This Week Is Filled With Parasitic Worms

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

SEOUL, South Korea — A North Korean soldier’s bold attempt to defect by crossing the heavily guarded border with South Korea galvanized attention this week.

But perhaps more surprising was the disclosure by surgeons struggling to save his life of what they found while repairing his intestinal wounds: dozens of parasitic worms, some as long as 11 inches.

“In my 20 years as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a medical textbook,” said Dr. Lee Cook-jong, a lead surgeon.

The discovery opened a window on the dire conditions in North Korea, including poor hygiene and nutrition. The news shocked many people in prosperous South Korea.

Surgeons raced to save the North Korean soldier, whose name and rank have not been released, who sustained serious bullet wounds racing across the border while his own troops fired on him.

Continue reading the main story

“We have found dozens of fully grown parasitic worms in his damaged intestines,’’ said Dr. Lee Cook-jong, a lead surgeon. “It was a serious parasitic infection.”

During a news briefing this week, Dr. Lee showed photographs of worms as long as 10 or 11 inches.

Experts in parasitic worms were not surprised, however. They said that the finding was consistent with the broad sense of conditions in the isolated, impoverished North.

Defectors to the South have cited the existence of parasites and abysmal nutrition. Because it lacks chemical fertilizers, North Korea still relies on human excrement to fertilize its fields, helping parasites to spread, the experts said.

In a 2014 study, South Korean doctors checked a sample of 17 female defectors from North Korea and found seven of them infected with parasitic worms.

The North Korean soldier drove a jeep into the Joint Security Area, one of the most heavily guarded portions of the Demilitarized Zone, on Monday. He then ran across the border to defect to the South while fellow North Korean troops unleashed a hail of rifle and pistol shots trying to stop him.

He collapsed about 55 yards south of the border, bleeding profusely. South Korean officers pulled him to safety, and a United States Black Hawk military helicopter rushed him to a hospital near Seoul, where he underwent a series of surgeries.

His was the most dramatic defection from the North in years, making headlines in South Korea.

But more startling news came from the doctors who were working to clean and patch up his dietary tract, which was torn by bullets.

The soldier’s condition was particularly noteworthy because North Korean soldiers, especially those deployed near the border with South Korea, receive priority in food rationing. Yet, in addition to the parasitic worms, doctors found kernels of corn in his stomach.

South Korea itself was afflicted with widespread parasitic infections through the 1970s, when more than 80 percent of the population carried parasitic worms. After a 9-year-old girl died in 1963 and doctors found more than 1,000 parasitic worms in her body, the country launched a national campaign to eradicate parasites.

Schools collected stool samples from students and distributed anti-parasitic pills. The campaign succeeded: Parasitic infections have become rare in South Korea as hygiene and economic conditions have improved.

More than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea since a famine killed more than a million people in the North in the 1990s. Since then, international relief agencies have reported widespread malnutrition and stunted growth among many children in the North.

The wounded soldier, who is believed to be in his late 20s, is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 132 pounds. In contrast, an average high school male senior in South Korea is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 154 pounds.

9 People Contract Legionnaire’s Disease After Visiting Disneyland

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM NEWS)

 

By Jamie Ducharme

November 11, 2017

Nine people have contracted Legionnaire’s disease after visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

Disneyland voluntarily shut down two water cooling towers in one of its backstage areas after discovering they contained high levels of the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s, according to the Orange County Register. The towers were chemically treated to combat the problem, and there is no ongoing threat to guests’ health, the Register reports.

Legionnaire’s Disease is a serious lung infection most often caused by inhaling microscopic water droplets tainted by the bacteria Legionella. It typically strikes the elderly and people with compromised immune systems and can be fatal, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Twelve cases of the disease have been reported in the Anaheim area; among those, eight people had visited Disneyland in September and one worked there, the Register reports. One person, who had not visited Disneyland, died from the disease. The victims’ ages range from 52 to 94.

Biggest Opium Pushers In U.S. Are: U.S. Politicians & AG Jeff Sessions

In the United States, we have been hearing a lot about the drugs that are made from this plant over the past few years. I admit to those of you who don’t know me that I am neither a scientist, psychotherapists nor a medical doctor. I am just an average 61-year-old person who reads a lot and who pays attention to reality the best that I can. Even though I am not the smartest person in the U.S. I am a person that strives to be bluntly honest about everything even if I don’t personally like the results of the answer. Truth has ‘no spin’ to it! I have said a few times before on this website that there really is only one real Truth, and that is ‘God’s’ Truth. When you/we/I have an argument concerning any issue, if we can honestly say that we would stand before our Creator, look Him in His eyes and tell Him that we are speaking the Truth, then that argument would be the Truth, to the very best of our personal knowledge anyways. Either that, or we would be acting like a total idiot and or a fool because we would be condemning our own self on purpose.

I have a question for each of us, do we/you/I believe that the politicians in D.C. are looking out for our best interest or their own best interest? Do you believe that your Congressman/woman, Senator or President cares more about you, or about the lobbyist who is funding their next campaign and or their personal lifestyle? Now, before I get into the meat of this article on the Opium issue I will tell you up front that Marijuana legalization is something that I totally agree with. I believe, excuse me, I know, that Marijuana helps with nerve pain, I am 100% sure of that. Back when I was in the U.S. Army I was directly struck by a lightning bolt. Even Social Security says I am disabled even though the VA doesn’t agree that the lightning has anything to do with me being disabled no matter what the non-VA Doctors and other experts have to say about it. As most of you know the Federal Government and the crooked ignorant putz AG Jeff Sessions say that Marijuana is just as or even more dangerous than Heroin and they class Marijuana as a class one narcotic, just like Heroin. To believe the Federal Government’s argument a person would have to be either clueless just plain ignorant or ‘on the take.’ The Feds say that Marijuana has no medical value even though that is totally contrary to all of the scientific evidence that says the Feds are lying.

So, the argument comes down to, why does the Fed’s keep lying? Or, do you really believe they are simply that ignorant? As long as the Federal government continues this policy the VA is not allowed to prescribe Marijuana to the service-connected disabled Veterans. The VA has no problem pumping many billions of taxpayer dollars worth of pills into the disabled Vets every year whether we need them or not but they refuse to allow the Veterans to use God’s given Herbs for pain relief. What is even worse is that if the VA in one of their blood or urine test finds THC from Marijuana in your system, they will cold turkey you off of the drugs they are giving/selling to you. This is even though doing this to people on some of these medications can easily kill a person. Why would any remotely honest or caring person do that to people? The answer to this is simple folks, its money.

For those of you who don’t believe me, I am going to offer you some cold hard facts as to why I used the title of this article. Even if you are a person who says they would never ever smoke Marijuana, does that mean that you have any right to insist that others cannot, no matter what? I am going to use last November’s Elections in Arizona as a perfect example. This example shows just how dirty big Pharma is, I am going to show you just how much they want people to die from Opium use and the reason is simple, money!

Within everyone’s brain, there is what is called an MU Opioid Receptor. This is something that Opium sticks to in a person’s brain. Morphine is an Opioid drug, just like Heroin is so I am going to use them in this example. Even though Pharma made drugs like Morphine and Oxycontin are very expensive even on the street drugs like Heroin are amazingly cheap. Yet there is another man-made drug called Fentanyl, a synthetic form of Heroin that is even cheaper and easier to make than regular Heroin. Trouble is this that this street drug Fentanyl is about 100 times more powerful than Heroin and it is very deadly even to come into contact with very much of it at all. Fentanyl has become a major problem for first responders, EMS and Police as they do come into contact with it many times every day. These days Ambulances and Police Vehicles are being required to carry the ‘antidote’ for their own safety’s sake.

This ‘antidote’ is called Narcan and Narcan is a drug that is big Pharma made and distributed. Concerning Opium products like Heroin and Morphine the antidote, Narcan works quite well at knocking the Opium off of the MU Receptor yet it does very little to help get the Fentanyl off of the MU Receptor. Don’t get me wrong, people are still dying every day from Opioid overdoses also. The Fed said that Opioid overdoses are up more than 400% here in the U.S. since the year 2000. The big Pharma company’s who make Narcan know this fact very well, so do the politicians yet they prove to all of us that they do not care about all of these thousands of people who are dying nor their families, nor even the First Responders.

Now back to the 2016 Elections in the State of Arizona. The facts show that in the States that have made recreational Marijuana legal that Opioid overdoses and deaths are down about 50%. On a side note, in these states alcohol sales are down about 25%, think of how many people aren’t getting into car accidents because of drinking and driving. Also, think of how many domestic violence deaths aren’t happening in those States and how many fatal ‘bar fights’ aren’t happening. Yet the reality is that big Pharma companies make billions from their pharmacy-made drugs so just like last November in Arizona they pumped in many millions of dollars in false advertisements to try to get the people of Arizona to vote down making Marijuana legal in their State. The sad part is, they were successful in Arizona. The big Pharmaceutical companies have been pushing hard to get Narcan into every ambulance, police car, school, and home in America. There is only one reason for this and that is money, to heck with people’s lives, the only thing that really matters is a company’s profits. These Pharmaceutical companies know that Marijuana is a natural painkiller but they aren’t making any money off of a plant that anyone can grow in their own garden. Now, you do understand why I said that the politicians and people like AG Jeff Sessions want to keep Marijuana illegal don’t you? The answer is very simple, campaign contributions from these big Pharma Companies and because of many who own stocks in these same big Pharma Companies.

 

Here are some of the companies who put huge amounts of money into last November’s ‘anti-pot’ vote in Arizona. I got this information from (The Guardian, US News And World Report, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and from Equities.com News.)

These companies are:

Chandler Pharma

Insys Therapeutics

Pfizer Inc

Walgreens Boot’s Alliance Inc

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc

Mylan N.V.

Opnet Technologies Inc

 

Does Trump want to destroy our health-care system? He can’t seem to decide

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

The Plum Line

Does Trump want to destroy our health-care system? He can’t seem to decide.

 October 18 at 1:31 PM

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

Everybody says they want bipartisan solutions to complex problems, but what happens when a bipartisan solution actually shows up? In Donald Trump’s Washington, the answer is that whether it actually comes to fruition depends on the shifting whims of a president who doesn’t understand the issue and can’t even figure out what he wants to do.

President Trump is facing a dilemma: Does he want to destroy the American health-care system or not? At this point, all evidence suggests that he genuinely can’t decide what the answer to that question is.

As you know, Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have announced that they reached an agreement on a short-term plan to stabilize the health-care exchanges. It would continue the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments in the Affordable Care Act that Trump recently announced he’d be halting; give states greater flexibility to receive waivers of certain requirements in the ACA; restore funding for outreach to encourage people to sign up for coverage, which the administration has slashed; and allow more people to get high-deductible “catastrophic” coverage.

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In other words, the compromise offers something for Democrats and something for Republicans. By no means would it solve every issue the law has, but it’s meant to provide some short-term certainty, which should slow the dramatic premium increases insurers have requested since the Trump administration began its campaign of sabotage against the law.

When the Alexander-Murray agreement was announced yesterday, Trump at first seemed supportive. “It is a short-term solution, so that we don’t have this very dangerous little period — including dangerous periods for insurance companies,” he said at a press conference. “For a period of one year, two years, we will have a very good solution.” But then this morning, he tweeted, “I am supportive of Lamar as a person & also of the process, but I can never support bailing out ins co’s who have made a fortune w/ O’Care.”

What gives? When you try to interpret the president’s shifting positions — and figure out how this is all going to end — there are a few things you have to keep in mind. First, it’s wise to assume that he has no idea how any provision of this agreement or the ACA itself actually works, and that will not change. For instance, he seems to have convinced himself that cost-sharing reductions are like an extra bonus given to insurance companies that they’ll just use to pad their profits. “That money is going to insurance companies to lift up their stock price,” he has said, when in fact the money is basically passed through the insurers to provide lower co-payments and deductibles for people with low incomes. He hasn’t bothered to learn what the law does, and he certainly isn’t going to quickly get up to speed on new proposals to provide technical fixes.

Second, you have to remember that Trump has no ideological principles on health care that can provide us a guide to what he might do. At various times he has embraced viciously cruel Republican plans that would cut off coverage for tens of millions, and said he wants the government to provide “insurance for everybody.” He simply has no consistent beliefs on this subject (and, of course, on many others).

Third, he is pushed in different directions by competing impulses, any one of which may dominate at a particular moment. It has become clear that there may be no desire that governs his actions more than his need to destroy and discredit everything Barack Obama did. We can debate why this is; my view is that Trump, who is obviously a deeply insecure man, looks at Obama and sees someone who is his superior in almost every way — smarter, more competent, more admired and respected — and is enraged by the inevitable comparisons. But the fact that Trump is driven to undo anything with Obama’s name on it is undeniable.

That goes a long way toward explaining why Trump is so eager to destroy the individual insurance market, at the cost of enormous anxiety and suffering among the public, when his advisers have surely explained to him that he will be held responsible for whatever happens to American health care on his watch. No matter how much it costs him politically, he wants to be able to say that Obamacare is dead, he killed it, and it was a terrible thing in the first place.

However, at the same time Trump is desperate to show that he can make a deal. The failure of the GOP effort to repeal the ACA plainly weighs on him. Despite his belief that he is the greatest dealmaker in human history, you may have noticed that he has negotiated precisely zero deals of any magnitude since becoming president. The Republican Congress has passed no major legislation this year. Trump’s increasingly desperate and comical insistence that he is piling up an awe-inspiring record of accomplishment — “in nine months, we have done more, they say, than any president in history,” he said today — only highlights his eagerness to have something he can say he actually got done.

Which raises the question of what he would do if the Alexander-Murray agreement actually passed both houses of Congress and found its way to his desk. My guess is that if he were actually presented with the choice he’d sign it, if for no other reason than that issuing a veto would be taking a firm stand. But before we get there, he’s going to keep undermining it with his public comments. That will only add fuel to the belief of ultra-right Republicans in the House that any bill that doesn’t set Barack Obama’s legacy aflame is a compromise with their beliefs and therefore unacceptable.

All of which suggests that though the Alexander-Murray agreement sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing to do and something Democrats and Republicans ought to be able to agree on, it’s more likely than not that it will fail. That won’t be entirely Trump’s fault, but he certainly won’t be helping.

 

It Is Time To Totally Rebuild Puerto Rico’s Infrastructure Right Now

It Is Time To Rebuild Puerto Rico’s Infrastructure Right Now

 

Okay America, Okay politicians in D.C. it is time to step up and do the right thing for a group of 3.3 million poor American citizens who happen to call the Island of Puerto Rico home. If you check into the rebuild in the much more affluent rich folks playground of the American Virgin Islands you will notice they are well ahead in the cleanup efforts being conducted in Puerto Rico.

 

One of the issues that Donald Trump ran for President on was that he was going to invest in and fix Americas crumbling infrastructure. Fixing our nationally crumbling infrastructure is a great way to create good paying jobs plus gives the people a more viable secure living condition. Right now, President Trump needs to live up to his campaign promises on this issue. Now is not the time to put in some straggled patch work projects in Puerto Rico, now is the time to rebuild it into a quality place for human beings to work and live within. Hurricane Maria plowed the fields of the old, it is now, right now, time to invest the 95 Billion or so odd dollars that the ‘professionals’ say it will take to fix what is broken. So, Mr. Trump, stop Tweeting, shut the hell up and just do your job. Fix what has been broken under your watch. You campaigned on infrastructure rebuilding, you did not say you only wanted to rebuild the neighborhoods of your personal friends on the American tax payers dime. But then again we the people have become quite accustomed to you being an habitual liar. Just like the other trash in your personal swamp.

Donald Trump keeps lying about health care repeal. Why?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Donald Trump keeps lying about health care repeal. Why?

Washington (CNN)On Thursday morning, “Fox & Friends” ran an interview with President Donald Trump in which he simply didn’t tell the truth about the state of Republican attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“Health care didn’t go down,” Trump insisted. “We have the votes.”
This is — strictly speaking — not true. It’s also, loosely speaking, not true.
The facts are these. There are three Republican “no” votes on the legislation put forward by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. No one — including Graham and Cassidy — dispute that fact. Given that there are only 52 Republican senators, when you lose three of their votes, you don’t have 50. You have 49.
It’s why Senate Republican leaders called off the vote planned for this week. They don’t have the votes. The end.
Now, could they, as Trump also seems to sort-of claim, get the votes sometime early next year? Sure!
Anything is possible and, because Arizona Sen. John McCain’s stated objection to the legislation is that it isn’t moving through so-called “regular order” (a slow process of hearings, mark-ups and amendment voting) and there is a theory on Capitol Hill that more time could bring him on board.
But even if McCain goes from “no” to “yes,” it’s still not clear that Trump, as he claims, has the votes. A trio of Republican senators — Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) — has not announced any sort of position on Graham-Cassidy. And Murkowski was one of the three GOP senators — along with McCain and Susan Collins — who voted against “skinny repeal” back in late July.
All of that is in the hypothetical realm, however. There is zero factual evidence that Trump’s claim that “we have the votes” is even close to true. Ditto his repeated — and still false — claim that a) Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran is in the hospital (he isn’t!) and b) that if Cochran could make it to DC to vote (he can!) then the votes for Graham-Cassidy would be there (they wouldn’t!).
It’s beyond debate then that saying “we have the votes” for health care repeal or insisting that it didn’t “go down” is a textbook case of Trump promoting fake news. The bigger question is why.
The answer, I think, lies in the same motivation that led Trump to delete a series of tweets supportive of Alabama Sen. Luther Strange following his loss to Roy Moore in Tuesday’s special election runoff.
Trump is obsessed with winning. But, more than that, he is obsessed with maintaining his appearances as a life-long winner. Winners don’t admit defeat. Winners don’t acknowledge weakness. Even if both are staring you right in the face.
This doesn’t make sense because, well, it’s not a rational thing. Trump has to know in some corner of his mind that simply by deleting his tweets supporting Strange he won’t make his support for the guy who lost disappear. He also has to suspect that by declaring that he won on health care doesn’t make it true.
But, throughout his life, Trump has been telling himself the story of his life. It’s a story of conquests and victories over weaker men. A perfect record of wins made all the more gratifying by the fact that everyone always said he wouldn’t win. He succeeds in spite of all the losers and the haters.
To be fair, Trump has had a lot of success in his life. While there is an active dispute over how wealthy he is, there is no dispute that he is wealthy. And, while there are disputes about the manner by which he was elected president, there is no dispute that he is now one of only 44 men in history to hold the country’s top job.
There is no one, of course, who has never lost, never faced a setback, never guessed wrong. But, in the story of Trump that Trump is forever telling himself, he’s never set a foot wrong. He was right about the war in Iraq. (History and past statements suggest he was not.) He was right about the threat posed by terrorists. He was right about Charlottesville. He’s right about the NFL owners being “afraid” to speak out against their players.
And he is right about health care because, after all, how can someone who always gets it right be wrong?
The facts tell a different story on health care. But, as the 2016 campaign and his first eight months in the White House have shown, Trump has little concern for established facts. The story he tells himself is always better than the one the facts tell. So that’s the one he chooses to believe.

Republicans Control All Three Houses No Democrats To Blame: Americans Don’t Want What They’re Selling

 

This afternoon some of the biggest news coming out of Washington D.C. is that the Republicans in the Senate have decided not to call a vote on their version of a Health Care Bill. The reason is that no Democratic Senator will vote for what they are trying to push through onto the American people, and several of the Republican Senators refuse to vote for it either. If there is such a thing as a moderate Republican Senator it has been no surprise to me that they can not muster up a Health Care Bill that the so-called ‘conservative base, meaning the ultra right Tea Party folks’ will vote for. These folks like Senator Ted Cruz are the kind of folks that insist that everything be 100% their way, or it is no way. Remember during the recent Presidential debates he looked straight into the camera and fanatically stated that “if I become President I will not negotiate with the Democrats?” We the people have been telling Washington for several decades now that we are sick and tired of the total gridlock in Washington. The reason for the gridlock folks is because neither Party is willing to negotiate policies with the other. The other side of this “Republican coin” is that when these politicians took their huge summer break and held ‘town hall’ meetings with the voters they got told in no uncertain terms to leave the ACA alone, or make it ‘more’ inclusive, not less. These Republican Congressmen/Women and Senators got the message from the voters that if they vote for what the Republicans are calling a Health Care Bill, they will be voted out of Office at the next election they run in. In other words, we the people are going to fire them. So, now you have a group of so-called ‘Liberal’ Republican Senators who see the light and for the sake of their own jobs are saying no to the Republican Leadership on their Bill they are trying to push down the throats of the American people.

 

For seven years the Republicans have gripped about the ACA (Obama Care) and talked and talked about how when they got control of the power in Washington that the first thing they were going to do on day one was to get rid of it, replace it. For seven years they flapped their lips yet it became obvious that during that seven years not a single one of them actually came up with any plan to replace it with. This, to me falls straight in the laps of the Republican Leadership in both the House and the Senate. The Leader of the Senate is Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the other Senator is Republican (he is actually Libertarian) Rand Paul. Rand Paul is one of the Republican Senators that refuses to vote for the Republican Bill unless it is much more restrictive which is something that he is in lockstep with Ted Cruz on. For seven years the Republicans blamed the Democrats for pretty much everything they seen in the world as being wrong. When it actually surprised them last November to gain full control of all three branches of the Federal Government they no longer were able to hide their hate filled agenda’s from the American people. Here in the U.S. there is only one main issue that turned the Christian voters into the Republican camp and that is when the Democratic Party adopted abortion as a founding block of their Party Agenda. The Christian folks that I know mostly either don’t vote or they vote Republican and the abortion issue is exactly why. Many who vote for the Republicans aren’t fans of the Republican Party, they are voting as anti-Abortion. If you really look at the Republican agenda, except for the abortion issue, there is very little that conforms with the teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament or in the teachings of the Old Testament. In reality the teachings of the Bible go directly against the teachings and policies of the Republican Part’s actions. There are other issues that people of faith have against the Democratic Platform also, it is just that the Abortion issue is by far the single biggest issue. I wrote an article a few months ago that I am going to try to locate where the title was something along the line of “The Republican And The Democratic Parties Are Both Anti-Christ Parties.” If I can find that article I will re-post it this evening for you to consider.

Senate Won’t Bring GOP Health Care Bill To The Floor For A Vote

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Washington (CNN)The Senate will not vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal Obamacare, Republican leaders announced Tuesday.

The decision is another blow to President Donald Trump’s attempts to repeal Obamacare, a long-time Republican campaign promise and a centerpiece of his legislative agenda. Trump is now also floating the idea of working with Democrats on changes to the health care law, repeating his budget deal he reached earlier this month.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with lawmakers Tuesday to take stock of where his members are on the proposal and make the call once and for all if Graham-Cassidy, the latest bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, will get a vote in the Senate. The decision was that the votes simply weren’t there.
On Monday, Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, finally came out against the bill, a position she’d been teetering toward for days. Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky also opposed to the measure.
The calculations for health care are agonizing for McConnell. Putting a controversial bill on the floor without the votes exposes members to political fallout and attack ads. Many Republicans hadn’t even taken a public position on Graham-Cassidy, a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said Monday would drastically cut Medicaid and lead to millions of people not having health insurance compared to the status quo.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a bill sponsor, publicly thanked McConnell. “Thank you, it’s complicated, it’s difficult politics,” Graham told reporters.
McConnell “didn’t try to explain the decision” during the lunch, Sen. Tim Scott said. “It’s obvious — we don’t have the votes right now, you don’t vote until you have them.”

Can it stay alive via tax bill?

While the repeal effort has risen from the dead before — several times — most in the chamber were resigned that this time would be was unlikely to get a hold of phoenix-like properties before the September 30 deadline to move the bill with 50 votes to beat a Democratic filibuster.
Regardless of what happens to Graham-Cassidy, there are signs that plenty of Republicans in Washington — both in the White House and Capitol Hill — are simply not ready to give up.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he was “disappointed” in several senators, in an apparent reference to McCain, Paul and Collins.
“At some point there will be a repeal and replace but we’ll see whether or not that point is now or whether it will be shortly thereafter,” Trump said. “But we are disappointed in certain so-called Republicans.”
On Capitol Hill, there are rumblings among lawmakers about ways to keep trying on repeal if this week ends with defeat (the current legislative vehicle that Republicans are using to move a health care bill without any Democratic support expires after Saturday).
One idea — which hardly enjoys widespread support at the moment — is to tie both health care and tax reform to the 2018 budget.
Graham and Sen. Ron Johnson, who both sit on the budget committee, have advocated for this idea. It has raised concerns among Republican lawmakers and staff alike who know just how messy that could potentially be.
One GOP aide bluntly described that scenario as “a nightmare.”

Working with Democrats?

At a White House meeting with both Democratic and GOP lawmakers, the President warned Republicans in bipartisan meeting he’d work with Democrats on health care if they fail to act.
Trump mentioned how much he liked the deal he negotiated recently with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Pelosi, according to a source familiar with the discussion and with Democratic lawmakers.
Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez told reporters that Trump told the group he was “disappointed” in those Republican senators who came out against the Senate bill. She said he “chided” the GOP members there that he could end up working with Democrats on health care legislation
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, ranking member on the Ways and Means Committee said “Clearly,” he said when asked if the President made the threat.
“He made that clear that if he didn’t get what he wanted, he was going to work with Democrats on a plan,” Neal told reporters.
This story has been updated.

 

President Trump’s Healthcare Speech: Full Of Ignorance And Outright Lies

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITIFACTS)

 

Fact-checking Donald Trump’s health care speech

PolitiFact Live for June 29, 2017

With the future of the Senate health care bill hanging by a thread, President Donald Trump pressed Republican senators to fulfill their party’s seven-year promise to get rid of Obamacare.

Flanked by families Trump said had suffered under the Affordable Care Act, he said, “So far, Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare.”

Many senators remain in the dark as to what piece of legislation they will be voting on. Trump spoke only of passing a bill to repeal and replace the sweeping health care law without endorsing a specific bill.

Here are some of his statements and the fact-checks we’ve examined in the past.

“Obamacare has broken our health care system. It’s broken. It’s collapsing.”

While Trump has often said that Obamacare is collapsing, the first part of that statement goes further to say that the law has broken the entire health care system. This is not accurate.

The reality is that much of the care people receive continues as before, and by some measures, the system is on better footing than before. Hospitals, for example, spent about $6 billion less between 2013 and 2014 on care for which they received no payment. So-called uncompensated care fell mainly in states that expanded the Medicaid program to all poor adults, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That bottom line improvement made hospitals more financially stable.

As for the individual insurance market, the part of Obamacare that Trump has said before is in a death spiral, we have rated statements like that False.

The latest assessment from the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan analytic arm of Congress, is that the overall market is stable and would remain so for the coming decade.

The CBO said even though premiums have been rising, most of the people who buy through the government-run insurance exchanges are protected by the subsidies that are built into the law.

“The subsidies to purchase coverage, combined with the effects of the individual mandate, which requires most individuals to obtain insurance or pay a penalty, are anticipated to cause sufficient demand for insurance by enough people, including people with low health care expenditures, for the market to be stable in most areas.”

That said, as recently as July 12, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 38 counties in the country are at risk of not having a single health insurance provider in 2018.

Share The Facts
Donald Trump
President of the United States
“Obamacare has broken our health care system. It’s broken. It’s collapsing.”
“They (senators) can now keep their promise to the American people to provide emergency relief to those in desperate need of help, and to improve health care for all Americans.”

Trump makes it sounds like aid would be readily available to struggling health care consumers. The “emergency relief” in the Senate bill would actually go to insurance companies and state governments. While some of the money would help individuals, most of the benefits would be indirect and might take time to come together.

The Senate bill contains $182 billion designed to keep premiums down and encourage insurance companies to continue to sell policies in more local markets. The money comes in two pots.

The first is $50 billion over two years that insurance companies could request from the federal government to offset losses. In theory, this protection would reduce the risk to carriers and lead to lower insurance premiums.

Another $132 billion would be spread out over a number of years and would go to the states. States could use this money to pay the premiums for people in high risk pools. They could also provide additional premium subsidies and pay hospitals, doctors and other health care providers.

The precise impact of this is difficult to predict. Premium subsidies would tend to push premiums down. At the same time, the Senate bill gives insurers more flexibility to charge more to older policy holders. That, coupled with higher deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses, could produce uneven effects.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “older, lower-income people generally would see the largest increases; younger and more affluent people would see decreases in many locations.”

“The Senate is very close to the votes it needs to pass a replacement. The problem is we have zero help from the Democrats. They’re obstructionists.”

Trump is correct that zero Democrats support Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But blaming Democrats for Senate Republicans’ failure to pass legislation doesn’t tell the whole story.

Because the GOP holds 52 Senate seats to Democrats’ 48, Democrats would be powerless to stop a united GOP caucus from passing legislation to dismantle Obamacare. In fact, Republicans could afford to lose two members and still pass the bill, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote.

The truth is Senate Republicans have been unable to agree on a replacement package that reconciles divisions between its more moderate and conservative members.

Defections by four GOP senators effectively killed the repeal-and-replace plan on July 17. The following day, a more modest repeal bill was doomed after three Senate Republicans came out in opposition.

Later in his speech, Trump appeared to acknowledge the difficulty of reaching an agreement given Senate Republicans’ slim margin of error.

“The Democrats aren’t giving us one vote, so we need virtually every single vote from the Republicans,” he said. “Not easy to do.”

The bill provides “more flexibility for states to administer Medicaid to better serve their poorest citizens.”

The Senate bill would fundamentally change Medicaid financing. Instead of the open-ended commitment it is today, the program would be put on a budget. States could choose to receive federal dollars based on a per-person formula, or they could take the money as a block grant. Either way, many federal rules would disappear, and states would gain the flexibility to spend Medicaid dollars as they see fit, as Trump said.

On the other hand, Washington would be much less generous with states than it is today. Medicaid spending would continue to rise, but at a much slower rate. The CBO estimated that by 2026, states would be getting 26 percent less than they would if the law remained the same. The cumulative difference over the next 10 years would be $756 billion.

This proposal has driven a wedge in the Republican ranks, dividing senators from states that want to preserve as much of the Medicaid funding as possible — essentially in states that expanded Medicaid — from those who feel the current system puts them at a disadvantage or simply spends too much.

How Cows Are Helping the Fight Against HIV

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM NEWS)

 

How Cows Are Helping the Fight Against HIV

Jul 20, 2017
TIME Health
For more, visit TIME Health.

In an unexpected turn of events, cows are helping scientists better understand how to prevent HIV infections.

One of the biggest questions facing researchers developing a vaccine against HIV is why people who are infected do not efficiently make antibodies against the virus. Scientists estimate that only about 20% of people who are infected with HIV produce what are called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs): naturally occurring antibodies that can defend a cell against the virus. Even among people who do produce them, that production typically starts around two years after infection.

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“We are faced with a dilemma,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) , whose agency is supporting the new research. “People infected do not seem to make really good antibodies in terms of potency and breadth.”

So far, scientists have been unable to successfully induce the creation of bNAbs in humans through an HIV vaccine. This is where the cows come in.

In a new study published Thursday in the journal Nature, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Texas A&M University showed that they were able to induce potent antibodies against HIV in cows. Though cows do not get HIV, their immune systems produce unique antibodies against infections.

MORE: Why You Still Can’t Get a Vaccine for HIV

The researchers injected four calves with HIV immunogens, which are proteins designed to elicit an immune response to the virus. They discovered that the cows very rapidly developed bNAbs to HIV in their blood.

“I was shocked,” says study author Devin Sok, the director of antibody discovery and development at IAVI . “It was really crazy and very exciting. The responses developed very quickly — between one to two months — which is well beyond what we anticipated.”

The researchers were able to isolate antibodies from the calves and took a closer look. An antibody called NC-Cow 1 was revealed to be especially powerful when it came to attacking HIV.

“The kind of insight we get from studying this is an understanding of the mechanisms whereby the cows’ immune system is capable of creat ing these antibodies,” says Fauci.

Understanding how an immune system effectively develops antibodies against HIV, even if it belongs to a cow, is valuable information for scientists hoping to develop an HIV vaccine, especially if they can find a way to get the human body to mimic the creation of these antibodies. The new research also provides insight into how to develop new therapies or treatments for viruses that evade the human immune system.

“As a scientist, this is really exciting,” says Sok. “To put it into perspective, the first broadly neutralizing antibodies were discovered in the 1990s. Since then, we’ve been trying to elicit these antibodies through immunization, and we’ve never been able to do it until now. Until we have immunized a cow. This has given some information for how to do it so that hopefully we can apply that to humans.”

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