Ohio city rep proposes new system to combat expensive overdose drug

A city council member in Ohio, the state with the highest number of heroin overdose deaths, has proposed a controversial way to deal with the issue.

A Middletown, Ohio city council member has proposed a new plan which would prevent people who need medical assistance from receiving help from city-dispatched first responders more than twice under certain conditions, according to WKYC.

SPIKE IN HEROIN OVERDOSES STUNS OHIO TOWN

The proposed plan would work like this: If a person experiences two overdose rescues by first responders, and that person has not completed community service equivalent to the cost of the medical assistance they received from the first responders, the city would not dispatch medical services a third time to the overdosing person.

“If the dispatcher determines that the person who’s overdosed is someone who’s been part of the program for two previous overdoses and has not completed the community service and has not cooperated in the program, then we wouldn’t dispatch, Dan Picard, the Middletown city council member, said.

In 2017 so far, the city has spent $30,000 on Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. In 2016, the Middletown Fire Department spent $11,000.

We are faced with stress on our services, particularly the EMS services, where we can do six to eight opioid overdose runs a day, Paul Lolli, fire chief of Middletown, told WTAE.

The fire department said if they respond to an overdose, theyre legally required to administer Narcan.

NARCAN SAVES ANOTHER LIFE FROM HEROIN: A PET RAT’S

At least 4,140 Ohio residents died from drug overdoses in 2016, according to The Columbus Dispatch. That number is 36 percent higher than 2015, when the state by far had the most overdose deaths in the U.S.

The city council member said the proposed plan isnt meant to solve Ohios drug problem, but rather an effort to save the city money.

Meantime, the citys fire department is in the process of applying for grants and is accepting donations to fund more of the life-saving Narcan drug.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/06/26/ohio-city-rep-proposes-new-system-to-combat-expensive-overdose-drug.html

Barry Cadden: Pharmacy exec sentenced in meningitis outbreak

Barry Cadden, the co-owner of a Massachusetts pharmacy that was blamed for the deaths of 76 people in a nation-wide meningitis outbreak, was sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday.

Cadden was acquitted of second-degree murder charges, but was convicted on conspiracy and fraud charges.

BARRY CADDEN: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE EX-PHARMACY EXEC TIED TO DEADLY MENINGITIS OUTBREAK

The deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak, which also sickened hundreds of people, was traced back to contaminated injections of medical steroids made by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, which Cadden co-owned.

Cadden apologized to the victims who were sickened or lost loved ones in court Monday.

Prosecutors argued that Cadden ran the center dangerously by dodging industry sterility regulations in order to sell more products and make more money.

MENINGITIS OUTBREAK: MURDER OR PUBLIC HEALTH TRAGEDY?

Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Cadden to 35 years in prison, while Caddens lawyer argued he should get 2 1/2 to 3 years. His lawyer also argued that Glenn Chin, a supervisory pharmacist who oversaw the rooms where the drugs were made, was responsible for the meningitis deaths.

The judge sentenced Cadden with the harshest penalty possible under the law. He must report to prison by August 7, but remains free on bond until that date.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/06/26/barry-cadden-pharmacy-exec-sentenced-in-meningitis-outbreak.html

Google Exec Shares Story Of How Health Care Helped Son Before His Heartbreaking Death

A Silicon Valley executive wrote a series of tweets Monday about the devastating loss of his son, as well as his gratitude for the vital health care and the insurance that paid for it that gave him 11 special years with his boy.

He shared his experiences now because he fears that without the help his family and his son Riley had, other children and parents would face similar ordeals under the health care bill Senate Republicans aim to vote on this week. The Congressional Budget Office said in a report Monday that 22 million people could lose insurance in the next decade because of the bill, including millions on Medicaid.

I havent tweeted much about health care because its a painful subject for me. But its important. So let me tell you my story, wrote Ken Norton, an executive at Google Ventures who lives in the San Francisco Bay area. But its important. So let me tell you my story.

This is a photo Norton shared of Riley when he was a little boy:

Ken Norton
Riley Norton has a blast on his bike.

And here:

Riley was born with a critical heart defect in 2003.

Fortunately, we had excellent health care through my job, Norton tweeted. For the next 11 years, nothing was more important to me than having coverage. Rileys surgeries and hospitalizations cost more than $3 million, all covered by Nortons insurance, he said. The insurance company couldnt deny coverage due to Rileys pre-existing condition, nor was there a lifetime maximum cap on costs.

The current Senate health care bill would allow insurance companies to apply for coverage waivers that critics fear could end payments for care for people with pre-existing conditions. The waivers could also eliminate caps on personal out-of-pocket expenditures, meaning patients could be forced to pay enormous bills.

We got 11 years with Riley because the very best doctors in the world did everything they could for him, without regard for cost, Norton tweeted.

Norton said he and his family focused on giving Riley a happy life. They didnt have to raise money on Go Fund Me, the crowdsourcing site many families facing high medical costs use to raise money, or borrow money to keep their son alive. Norton clung to his job and its critically important health insurance. It terrified him to think that he could lose health coverage and Rileys link to his lifeline, he said.

Now Norton has shared his experience on Twitter to let people know that there can be no divisions among the American people when it comes to helping sick people and saving lives.

There are no healthy and sickpeople. Healthy people can turn into sick people really fucking suddenly, wrote Norton, and sometimes having access to critical health care can just come down to good luck.

Everyone agrees the Affordable Care Act needs fixing, Norton concludes. But Im here to tell you that there is no us and them, no responsible taxpayers and irresponsible moochers, we are them and they are us. I want everyone to have what we had. Because we are all humans.

Norton did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/riley-norton-health-care_us_59518aafe4b02734df2cdb6d

McConnell’s test: Can he do more than obstruct?

(CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing a major test this week. Since revealing the details of the Republican health care plan, McConnell has watched as a number of important senators in his own party announced their concerns or opposition. Some, such as Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, have urged him to postpone the vote based on the assumption that, at this moment, it would not pass the upper chamber where the majority only has a slim 52 seats.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Congressional Budget Office announced that under the Senate bill there would be 22 million more uninsured Americans by 2026, making McConnell’s efforts to pass the bill that much more difficult.
But McConnell’s supporters believe he can make this happen. They see McConnell as a modern-day Lyndon Johnson, who has served as both Senate minority and majority leader, an old-school legislator who can twist arms and cut deals to bring his party together. They are confident that despite all the potential problems with this bill, McConnell must have enough tricks up his sleeve to defy conventional wisdom.
    But the truth is it’s nearly impossible to predict if McConnell will succeed. To many, he has defined his career as an obstructionist rather than as someone who creates new policies. The challenge he faces this week is fundamentally different than much of what he has confronted in his time as a party leader.
    Most of McConnell’s skills have come as a member of the congressional minority or as a majority leader facing a president from the other party. Under those conditions, McConnell could be brilliant and devastating. Shortly after President Obama’s inauguration, Utah Republican Bob Bennett recalled McConnell telling a retreat of Republicans: “We have a new president with an approval rating in the 70% area. We do not take him on frontally. We find issues where we can win, and we begin to take him down, one issue at a time.”
    His track record as an agent of obstruction is legendary. Throughout the Obama presidency, McConnell proved to be extremely effective at blocking many key legislative initiatives, from immigration reform to climate change regulations to criminal justice reform, that sometimes even commanded bipartisan support. The senator proved he knew how to whip up a no vote and to stand firm against intense political pressure to act.
    He demonstrated the same savvy with judicial and executive branch appointments. McConnell was more than willing to let seats remain empty. Never was his ability to hold the party together as clear as when Justice Antonin Scalia died during President Obama’s term. The Senate majority leader refused to even hold hearings on the nomination of Merrick Garland, based on the spurious argument that the next president should have the right to decide on the appointment. The seat remained vacant until a Republican controlled the White House.
    As an obstructionist, McConnell demonstrated he was able to ignore the scrutiny of the media no matter how hot it became. When pundits and policymakers took to the airwaves to lambast the Republicans for failing to govern or for creating a constitutional crisis, McConnell didn’t flinch. The breaking news cycle didn’t faze him. He plays, as he titled his memoir, the “Long Game” with an eye on the needs of his party. Between 2009 and 2017, he kept up the pressure on his colleagues in the Senate to stick to their guns, and it worked.
    Now the situation is different. For the first time in his career as a party leader (other than the brief moment he was selected as Senate majority leader in 2006), the public will see just how well he can perform in making things happen rather than blocking progress.
    But the skills are different on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
    Part of the job of the majority leader in times of united government is to bring disparate parts of the party together around proposals to change the status quo. “Trumpcare” would do just that. This is legislation that will strip away the health care benefits for millions of Americans and create a period of great uncertainty for health care markets.
    Some conservatives want Congress to do much more in dismantling government. To them, the government would still be spending too much money subsidizing markets and leaving too many regulations in place. Others in the GOP are not willing to make such grandiose changes, realizing the effects it will have on their electorate. In particular, they fear the effects of the rollback of Medicaid on their populations as well as the higher deductibles that people with more illnesses will face.
    Can McConnell bring these sides together, and work with the intransigent Freedom Caucus in the House, around legislation that will change the status quo and where Republicans will likely be blamed for any negative outcome?
    In the modern era, part of the job of the majority leader has also been to sell ideas to the public. This is where the job of the obstructionist is very different than the job of the policy creator. Unlike some recent Senate majority leaders, McConnell doesn’t really like to be on television and he tends to avoid reporters whenever possible. In this case, that comes at a cost since the natural face of the party is not out there convincing Americans why this is a good idea. That task is left to others, and right now his fellow salesmen, as reflected in public opinion polls about the health care bills, are doing a poor job.
    Until now, President Trump has not tested McConnell, since he has focused almost exclusively on executive actions and avoided the legislative front on large-scale issues.
    It is worth noting that McConnell does not really have many legislative issues that he is known for, other than his fierce opposition in the 1990s to campaign finance reform. This week he is dealing with a major issue that would have his signature in the history books.

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    Can McConnell deliver on this controversial legislation? Can he play the part of leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, who delivered when Democrats controlled the White House and Congress in the mid-1960s? Or, is this problematic bill something that is just too hot for this legislative leader to deliver?
    This is a question that will be answered as the week unfolds.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/26/opinions/mcconnell-health-care-opinion-zelizer/index.html

    More than 1,700 patients at risk over NHS mail blunder – BBC News

    Image copyright SPL
    Image caption More than 700,000 patient notes were stored in the warehouse

    At least 1,700 patients may have been harmed by an administrative blunder that saw thousands of patient records in NHS England put into storage.

    Officials said the number was likely to rise, as a third of the 700,000 cases identified had yet to be reviewed.

    Cancer test results, child protection notes and medication advice were among the notes that went missing.

    The National Audit Office also said there were serious questions to answer about the handling of the incident.

    Its review of the issue looked at the role of the government and the company responsible for the mix-up, which is part-owned by the Department of Health.

    The company, NHS Shared Business Services (SBS), was employed in the East Midlands, South West and north-west London to redirect mail for the health service.

    It was meant to pass on documents that had either been incorrectly addressed or needed re-routing because the patient had moved to a new GP surgery.

    But between 2011 and 2016 a backlog of 709,000 pieces of correspondence built up.

    ‘Staggering catalogue of mistakes’

    The issue came to light in February after the Guardian newspaper exposed what had happened.

    The NAO review of what happened found:

    • The company had become aware of a risk to patients in January 2014, but senior managers had not developed a plan to deal with it or tell the government or NHS England for another two years
    • A label with “clinical notes” on it had been removed from the room where the files were stored. A manager had apparently said: “You don’t want to advertise what’s in that room”
    • In August 2015, a member of staff raised concerns the records were being destroyed
    • NHS SBS finally told NHS England and Department of Health of the problem in March 2016, but neither Parliament nor the public were told
    • The episode suggested there had been a conflict of interest between the health secretary’s responsibility for the health service as a whole and his department’s position as a shareholder in NHS SBS
    • NHS England said the company had been “obstructive and unhelpful” when it had tried to investigate issue

    The report by the NAO found the cost of dealing with the incident was likely to be in the region of at least 6.6m.

    A spokeswoman for NHS SBS acknowledged there had been “failings”.

    She added: “We regret this situation and have co-operated fully with the NAO in its investigation.”

    Image copyright Thinkstock
    Image caption Information about child protection was among the notes that were stored

    A Department of Health spokeswoman said it was committed to being transparent over the handling of the issue and was working to make sure this did not happen again.

    It pointed out as yet there had still been no proof of harm to patients.

    Individual investigations – overseen by NHS England – are taking place into the 1,788 cases of potential harm identified.

    These are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

    Dr Richard Vautrey, of the British Medical Association, said the “disastrous” situation should never happen again.

    “The handling and transfer of clinical correspondence is a crucial part of how general practice operates, and it’s essential that important information reaches GPs as soon as possible so that they can provide the best possible care to their patients.”

    Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the whole episode was a “scandal” that ministers needed to answer for.

    “This is a staggering catalogue of mistakes on this government’s watch,” he added.

    Read more from Nick

    Follow Nick on Twitter

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40408458

    Senate health bill would lower deficit, increase number of uninsured, estimate says

    Senate Republicans health care bill would reduce the federal deficit and eventually lead to lower premiums, but would result in millions more Americans being uninsured a decade from now, according to a fresh analysis from Capitol Hills nonpartisan budget scorekeepers.

    The bills highly anticipated score was released Monday afternoon and immediately became part of the Senates raging health care debate as GOP leaders scramble to win over reluctant Republicans and tee up a vote to repeal and replace much of ObamaCare as early as this week.

    The Congressional Budget Office estimate is an important factor, but its impact could be mixed.

    In terms of coverage, the CBO and Joint Committee on Taxation report said the proposal would increase the number of uninsured by 22 million in 2026 relative to current law.

    This is primarily because the penalty for not having insurance would be eliminated, the analysis noted, adding lower Medicaid spending and smaller subsidies also would reduce enrollment in later years.

    But the budget impact could be appealing to fiscal conservatives. In large part due to Medicaid changes, the report said the legislation would cut deficits over the next decade by $321 billion.

    “Our plan will help address Obamacare’s ballooning costs for consumers by lowering premiums over time and cutting taxes, and today’s estimate confirms that,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues this week as we get closer to finally replacing this failed law with better care at a cost that Texans will be able to afford.”

    The White House immediately took issue with the CBO estimate, saying in a statement that the office “has consistently proven it cannot accurately predict how healthcare legislation will impact insurance coverage.

    “This history of inaccuracy, as demonstrated by its flawed report on coverage, premiums, and predicted deficit arising out of Obamacare, reminds us that its analysis must not be trusted blindly,” the statement went on.

    The report said the bill would increase average premiums in the nongroup market leading up to 2020 and lower average premiums after that year, relative to the current law.

    In 2020, average premiums for benchmark plans for single individuals would be about 30 percent lower than under current law. A combination of factors would lead to that decreasemost important, the smaller share of benefits paid for by the benchmark plans and federal funds provided to directly reduce premiums, the estimate says.

    In some ways, the score was better for the Senate bill than for the related House bill that passed last month, projecting more deficit savings and better enrollment.

    But foes were not impressed.

    Saying the Senate health care bill is less mean than the House bill is like saying you prefer small pox over the bubonic plague, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.

    Shortly after the CBO score came out, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, “This bill is every bit as mean as the House bill. This CBO report should be the end of the road for Trumpcare. Republicans would be wise to read it as a giant stop sign.”

    Right now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., faces a steep climb getting the votes for the bill.

    At least five Republicans have come out against the bill in its original form, meaning McConnell would have to offer changes for the plan to have a chance at passage. Republicans hold a slim 52-seat majority and would need a minimum of 50 senators plus Vice President Pence as the tie-breaker to pass the bill.

    Power players in the health care fight already were taking sides even before the CBO estimate was released. The American Medical Association (AMA) sent a letter to McConnell on Monday expressing concerns with Medicaid provisions of the bill.

    It would be a serious mistake to lock into place another arbitrary and unsustainable formula that will be extremely difficult and costly to fix, AMA CEO and Vice President James Madara, M.D., wrote. We believe that Congress should be working to increase the number of Americans with access to quality, affordable health insurance instead of pursuing policies that have the opposite effect.

    On the other side, Anthem Inc., the nations second-largest health insurer, endorsed the Senate plan.

    We believe the Senate discussion draft will markedly improve the stability of the individual market and moderate premium increases, an Anthem statement read. The company announced last week it plans to pull out of ObamaCare exchanges in Indiana and Wisconsin next year.

    Some Republicans have downplayed the CBOs reliability on health care from the start.

    In a move widely criticized by Democrats, the House brought its version of the health care bill to the floor before a CBO score was even released. The House narrowly passed its version on May 4.

    Weeks later, the CBO estimated the House bill would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion by 2026, but also leave at least 23 million more Americans uninsured than under ObamaCare over that same time period.

    Moments after the CBO score on the House bill was released last month, Republicans downplayed the figures. The Republican National Committee released a statement at the time slamming the CBO, saying they have a long track record of being way, way off in their modeling.

    Senate Republicans rolled out modest revisions to their health care bill on Monday, including a penalty for Americans who have a lapse in insurance coverage.

    McConnell is hoping to hold a vote before the July 4 holiday but currently does not have them.

    Republican Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; and Dean Heller, R-Nev., have come out against the bill in its current form.

    Paul told reporters on Capitol Hill last week the he didnt run on ObamaCare lite.

    I think we can do better than thismy hope is not to defeat the bill, but to make it better, Paul said. Now the discussions beginI think it could take longer than a week.

    Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.

    Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/26/senate-health-bill-would-lower-deficit-increase-number-uninsured-estimate-says.html

    Arms brings the punch to the Nintendo Switch

    Arms, a flagship Nintendo Switch title from the same folks who brought us Splatoon, is a fighting game only Nintendo could release. The object of the game, as in many fighting games, is to knock down your opponent. How you do it, obviously, is the trick.

    In Arms your weapons are, well, your arms. There are 30 different arms for ten characters and the arms spring out and can twist towards enemies. The controls are interesting in that they take advantage of the Joy-Con wireless controllers, allowing you to punch in the air to hit your opponents. With the associated arms (or pigtails) you can created up to nine thousand different combinations to shock, freeze, burn, and maul your enemies. Gameplay is wildly simple and the entire package is quite bright and addictive. In short, it has everything that made Splatoon so fun and addictive.

    The characters include Ribbon Girl who can multi-jump in mid-air while her twirling ribbon arms, Min Min and her spin kick, and characters like Master Mummy who regain health automatically.

    When you start the game you have access to three arms. To get more arms, you must visit the Arm shooting gallery, a mini-game of skill and chance that you pay for using in-game currency. To gather more Arms you target and shoot floating prizes in the shooting gallery after unlocking access to the mini-game.

    If the sheer number of combinations of arms doesnt compel you, there are also abilities to use and master. Arms is an easy game to play, but a hard game to master. You can hand the controller to a child our five-year-old loved it and theyd be able to play easily. The best thing about Arms is that there are no in-game purchases to tempt kids into dropping $19 for a new costume.

    As in Splatoon, Arms features a wide and interesting variety of maps. Each map features a different theme and each one requires a different style of play. You can play in Grand Prix mode, a gauntlet to become the champion, or Versus mode, a way to hone your skills in games like Team Fight, V-Ball, Hoops, Skillshot, and 1-on-100.

    Online play lets you join a group of up to 20 people and play a variety of all the different modes. You also have a chance to team up to fight a special boss with 2 other people. Even when you are not playing and waiting for other players to finish up their games, there is a warm-up zone to practice in, emotes, and a cool-looking lobby where you can wait for your next battle.

    This is a Switch must-have and promises to create a beautiful and exciting new franchise for Nintendo. Games on the Switch are currently limited to a few star titles and you can safely and easily add Arms to this illustrious list.

    Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/26/arms-brings-the-punch-to-the-nintendo-switch/

    Democrats Pan ‘Cynical And Immoral’ GOP Health Care Bill After CBO Score Released

    Congressional Democrats immediately lobbed harsh criticism at the GOP Senate health care bill after a Congressional Budget Office estimateshowed 22 million people stand to lose health insurance coverage if the bill becomes law.

    The legislation intends to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, and has already faced tough criticism from Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who last week described the proposals tax savings for the wealthy as blood money.

    Mondays CBO score confirmed what those Democrats already suspected: Because the bill dramatically scales back funding for Medicaid, millions will lose their health coverage over the next decade, and savings will mostly be transferred to health care companies and wealthy individuals via tax cuts.

    Throwing 22 million Americans off of health insurance, raising premiums for older Americans, defunding Planned Parenthood and giving $231 billion in tax breaks to the top 2 percent is a cynical and immoral proposal, said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), one of the bills most prominent critics. The reality is that this so-called health care bill is nothing more than a massive transfer of wealth from working families to the very rich.

    Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) had a more concise assessment:

    Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) described the bill as a humanitarian catastrophe waiting to happen.

    Other Democrats questioned how Republicans could support the bill known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act in good conscience.

    After working largely in secret, Senate Republicans unveiled their version of the House-approved health care bill last Thursday.In addition to its draconian cuts to Medicaid, the bill will also change the private insurance market by adjusting financial assistance eligibility benchmarks to include fewer middle-class people and by reducing the amount of assistance people will receive.

    It would also effectively eliminate the Affordable Care Acts individual mandate, which requires most Americans to purchase health insurance or face a tax penalty,and would give states the ability to waive requirements for coverage of essential benefits and eliminate many taxes for health care companies.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pushed to hold a vote on this bill this week, though he has yet to come up with the votes necessary to pass it.

    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), one of several GOP senators who have so far declined to back the bill, said he didnt think lawmakers had enough information to cast a vote yet.

    Theres no way we should be voting on this next week, he said. Theres no way.

    Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) have also publicly opposed the bill in its current form.

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democrats-cbo-health-bill-score_us_59517277e4b05c37bb78adec

    Sen. Susan Collins Comes Out Against Health Care Bill

    Sen.Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on Monday she would vote against a motion to proceed on the Senates controversial health care bill, despite urging from fellow Republicans to pass the legislation as soon as this week.

    In a series of tweets, Collins cited a Congressional Budget Office report released Monday that found the new bill would cause 22 million people to lose their insurance over the next 10 years. The Senates bill would also dramatically undercut federal funding for Medicaid and financial assistance for low- and middle-income people, all facts Collins said wouldnt fix ACA problems for rural Maine, referring to the Obama administrations Affordable Care Act.

    The announcement is a significant blow to Senate Republicans, particularly Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has scrambled to garner support for the bill, which could come up for a vote as early as Thursday if the motion to proceed passes in the next day or two.

    Collins is one of several senators who initially expressed skepticism about the hastily drawn legislation, which was crafted largely behind closed doors by Republican leaders. Last week, she told MSNBCs Chuck Todd shecould not support a bill that is going to result in tens of millions of people losing their health insurance.

    Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) last week also announced he would not support the bill in its current form.

    Those concerns have been echoed by several of their colleagues, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) also expressed significant concern following the release of the CBO analysis. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told reporters he would vote noon the motion unless the legislation becomes more conservative. Last week he called for a plan that ismore like a repeal and less like keeping Obamacare.

    Every Senate Democrat has declared opposition to the legislation, and the bill will not pass if three Republican senators oppose it. The House has passed its version of a health care bill, called the American Health Care Act.

    The Senates bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, was unveiled by GOP leadership Thursday, drawing immediate dissent from a swath of health care and patient groups, including the American Medical Association and AARP.

    Medicine has long operated under the precept of primum non nocere, or first, do no harm. The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels, AMA CEO James Madara wrote in a letter to McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday. We believe that Congress should be working to increase the number of Americans with access to quality, affordable health insurance instead of pursuing policies that have the opposite effect.

    CLARIFICATION: This post has been updated to better reflect that Sen. Collins will vote against a motion to proceed on the bill, which would put it before the Senate for consideration.

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/susan-collins-no-health-care_us_59519143e4b02734df2cdc97

    Pharmacist linked to fungal meningitis outbreak gets 9 years in prison

    (CNN)Pharmacist Barry Cadden was sentenced to nine years in prison Monday after his facility caused at least 76 deaths in a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.

    The US Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts said Cadden authorized the shipping of drugs that weren’t confirmed to be sterile and used expired ingredients. It added that Cadden’s facility did not comply with cleaning, sterilization and other safety regulations — and that many who worked there, from its owners to pharmacists, actively lied about it.
    More than 700 people in 20 states were diagnosed with fungal meningitis and other infections after receiving contaminated medication from Cadden’s facility in 2012. The outbreak was the largest public health crisis caused by a pharmaceutical product, according to a statement from acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb.
      In a filing on June 22, the prosecution placed the number of deaths caused by Cadden at 76, making it the deadliest meningitis outbreak in US history. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had officially announced 64 deaths, but “they stopped counting a year after the outbreak,” said Christina Sterling, acting US Attorney spokeswoman.
      The deaths were allegedly caused by contaminated vials of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, a steroid manufactured by the compounding pharmacy.
      Though Cadden was acquitted of 25 counts of second-degree murder after a 10-week trial, federal prosecutors asked the judge for a 35-year sentence for his other convictions; his attorney recommended three years.

      See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

      “Today, Barry Cadden was held responsible for one of the worst public health crises in this country’s history, and the lives of those impacted because of his greed will never be the same,” said Harold H. Shaw, FBI special agent in charge, Boston Field Division, in a statement. “This deadly outbreak was truly a life-changing event for hundreds of victims, and the FBI is grateful to have played a role, alongside our law enforcement partners, in bringing this man to justice.”
      Judge Richard Stearns sentenced the pharmacist to nine years behind bars and three years of supervised release.
      “The only thing I would say is our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the outbreak at this time, and I have nothing more to say,” Cadden’s attorney Bruce Singal told CNN.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/26/health/meningitis-pharmacist-sentencing/index.html