Will you get insulin-cost relief from the inflation bill? Not if you have private insurance
But an out-of-pocket cap identical to that for Medicare was stripped from the bill for those with private insurance because Democrats are trying to pass the bill by a simple majority through the reconciliation process. That requires Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough to vet the provisions. She said most of the health-related features were fine, but the insulin proposal for those who have private insurance, not Medicare, violated the Byrd provision, which says that issues “extraneous to the federal budget” cannot be passed by simple majority through reconciliation.
Out-of-pocket spending for those with Part D Medicare drug coverage will be capped at $2,000 a year.
In 2024, a 5% coinsurance payment that now kicks in after someone reaches the catastrophic drug spending level of $7,050 in Medicare will end. Because drug companies set their own prices, 5% on expensive drugs can be a lot of money.
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Biden administration weighs declaring monkeypox a health emergency
Doctors treating monkeypox complain of ‘daunting’ paperwork, obstacles
D.C. shifts monkeypox vaccine policy to focus on first dose
Break Out the Condoms to Fight Monkeypox (archived if you can read behind the advertisements)*
But we should also remember that we have never vaccinated our way out of any pandemic. In the West, measles, scarlet fever, and other childhood diseases stopped killing kids decades before vaccines—our preferred tool of mass salvation—arrived in the late 1950s. Smallpox was similarly largely controlled by the turn of the 20th century through public health measures.
We need to stop subordinating people to the virus. A single approach of surveillance, isolation, contact tracing, and vaccination worked very well for smallpox, which relied exclusively on a human host, could be diagnosed at 10 paces, and was prevented with a single vaccination. But even that approach relied not only on tests and vaccines but also, most of all, on trust—to be tested and vaccinated. Candor is a prerequisite for trust.
*Just a little deception behind the headline. Still touting vaccines (Jynneos), as a solution, though! Just use condoms, for prevention, and prescribe antivirals (TPOXX), for treatment, if needed!
“Immense Frustration”: Monkeypox Spreads Amid Slow U.S. Response, Few Vaccines; WHO Declares Emergency
But we also know — look, COVID is — you know, a lot of us, by now, have done COVID isolation, 10 days, even five days. It is incredibly difficult. It is costly. Sometimes you miss out on work. Sometimes you have to get a hotel to isolate in. It is really difficult to do. Here we have an isolation with monkeypox that is two to six weeks. That is incredibly disruptive for people’s lives. We’ve been having to crowdfund to get people the money that they need to take time off work. We need emergency funds and hotel rooms so people can properly isolate to prevent the spread. And none of that, none of those funds and resources have been coming from any level of government.
Two to six weeks! 😳
The C.D.C. will undergo a comprehensive re-evaluation, the agency’s director said.
But the agency’s infrastructure was neglected for decades, like the nation’s public health system generally, and the pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges. Early on, the C.D.C. made key mistakes in testing and surveillance — for example, famously fumbling design of a diagnostic kit sent to state laboratories.
Officials were late to recommend masking, partly because agency scientists didn’t recognize quickly that the virus was airborne. In May of last year, Dr. Walensky announced that vaccinated people could take masks off indoors and outdoors; just weeks later, it became clear that vaccinated people could not only get breakthrough infections but also could transmit the virus.
In August, Dr. Walensky joined President Biden in supporting booster shots for all Americans, before scientists at the Food and Drug Administration or her own agency had reviewed the data on whether they were needed.
More recently, the highly contagious Omicron variant has led the C.D.C. to issue recommendations based on what once would have been considered insufficient evidence, amid growing public concern about how these guidelines affect the economy and education.
In December, the C.D.C. shortened the isolation period for infected Americans to five days, although it appears that many infected people can transmit the virus for longer. Over the past few weeks, some experts have criticized the agency for changing the metrics used to assess risk and determine appropriate local measures, in order to appease business and political interests.
Rat Out Your Doctor: Biden’s Surgeon General Calls on Informants to Report Use of Generic Drugs
The purpose of the RFI is described as being to help the authorities understand the effect of pandemic “misinformation” on such areas as “health decisions and outcomes, direct and indirect costs, trust in the healthcare system and providers, and healthcare worker morale and safety. It is also intended to help them ascertain its impact on “access to trusted and credible health information, particularly during a public health emergency” and on “lifesaving health decisions such as an individual’s likelihood to vaccinate, and to “prepare for and respond to future public health crises.”
The RFI, which covers a period extending from January 2020 to the present, applies to general search engines, content sharing platforms, social media platforms, e-commerce platforms, crowd-sourced platforms, and instant messaging systems, and includes “research, case studies, data sets, images, data visualizations, interviews, and personal testimonies.”