Author: Erin Schumaker

Lead Poisons Children In L.A. Neighborhoods Rich And Poor

THE HUFFINGTON POST With its century-old Spanish-style homes tucked behind immaculately trimmed hedges, San Marino, California, is among the most coveted spots to live in the Los Angeles area. Its public schools rank top in the state, attracting families affiliated with CalTech, the elite university blocks away. The city’s zoning rules promote a healthy lifestyle, barring fast food chains. Home values in L.A. County census tract 4641, in the heart of San Marino and 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, can rival those in Beverly Hills. The current average listing price: $2.9 million. But the area has another, unsettling...

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Most Americans Want U.S. To Keep Funding Expanded Medicaid

  A majority of Americans say it is important to keep federal funding for an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor under Obamacare, even as Republicans work on repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, according to a poll released on Friday. The 2010 Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid in more than 30 states with the help of increased federal funding, extending health insurance to millions of Americans. Eighty-four percent of respondents in a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll said it was important that federal support for the expansion remain in place. The Republican-led Congress and the administration of President Donald Trump have said repealing and replacing the law – under which more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans received health insurance, many through the Medicaid expansion – is a top priority. They have vowed to unveil legislation to begin doing so next month. Republicans have long opposed Obamacare on grounds it was government overreach and that it simply led to higher insurance premiums for many Americans. Early Republican proposals have included capping the amount of money states receive for Medicaid programs. But the Kaiser poll found that the Medicaid expansion has broad bipartisan support. Ninety-five percent of Democrats, 84 percent of independents and 69 percent of Republicans said it was “very” or “somewhat” important to continue to provide federal funding for the expansion. In...

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Quarter Of Republicans Want To Keep Obamacare

About a quarter of U.S. Republicans do not want to see Obamacare repealed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday. Trump and his fellow Republicans, who control Congress, have promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, but a majority of Americans, including 25 percent of Republicans polled, do not want it to be repealed. The law has been credited with helping about 20 million people get insurance coverage. Only one in five Americans would repeal the law immediately, the poll found. Republicans were sharply divided, with 25 percent of those polled wanting to keep it intact or fix problem parts. Some 32 percent would repeal it immediately, while 44 percent would wait to repeal it once an alternative plan is ready to go. “There is some recognition, even from Republican supporters, that the underlying goals of the law are worthwhile,” said Jack Hoadley, a research professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. “They still want something done, they don’t want it to disappear.” About 10 percent of Democrats polled would keep the 2010 law as it is and another 70 percent want it to remain intact with some fixes. Some 19 percent of them want the law repealed, including 13 percent who want a replacement passed first. Respondents interviewed by Reuters said they want the U.S. Congress to address problems such as the...

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WHO Urges Trump To Expand, Not Repeal, Obamacare

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to expand Obamacare and ensure all Americans have access to healthcare. The real estate magnate takes office next month after promising to repeal outgoing President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare policy which helped millions more Americans get medical insurance but has been a target of Republican attacks. Agnes Soucat, the WHO’s director of health system governance and financing, said there were various ways of providing health cover to more people, and it amounted to “political choices.” “We as the WHO really encourage the new administration to make sure that the social contract is expanded and that all U.S. citizens have access to health care,” Soucat told a news briefing in Geneva. The United States is the only country among the 35 member states of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) not to provide universal health care, a key U.N. Sustainable Development Goal for 2030, she said. The Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare, has provided some 25 million previously uninsured Americans with health cover. Republicans say it has created unwarranted government intervention in personal healthcare and private industry. Trump in late November picked Republican U.S. Representative Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon from Georgia and Obamacare critic, to be his health secretary. Price has long championed a plan of tax credits, expanded health savings accounts, and...

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U.S. Officials Launch A Zika Travel Advisory For Southeast Asia

U.S. health officials issued a Zika virus travel warning on Thursday, recommending that pregnant women consider postponing nonessential travel to 11 counties in Southeast Asia. The new travel warning was issued for Brunei, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor) and Vietnam, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Travelers have returned from certain areas of Southeast Asia with Zika virus infection,” the agency noted on its website. On Friday, officials reported two cases of Zika-linked microcephaly in Thailand, the first confirmed cases of the birth defect in Southeast Asia. According to the Associated Press, Thailand has 349 confirmed cases of Zika virus, 33 of them in pregnant women. The difference between Southeast Asia’s “endemic” and Latin America and the Caribbean’s “epidemic”: It’s important to note like the map above that there’s a difference between the Zika “epidemic” sweeping South and Central America and the Caribbean ― for which officials issued a travel alert ― and the lower-level “endemic” in Southeast Asia, for which officials issued a travel consideration. According to the CDC, Zika virus has been present in parts of Southeast Asia for years, and a large portion of the local population has likely developed immunity to the virus. Occasional Zika cases may occur, but it’s less likely that there will be a virus outbreak there than in virgin Zika territory. (Of course, travelers without such...

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