Will you get insulin-cost relief from the inflation bill? Not if you have private insurance

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 + Break Out the Condoms to Fight Monkeypox

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

“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 CDC is sending monkeypox vaccines to people at high risk in a race to prevent the spread

The CDC is sending monkeypox vaccines to people at high risk in a race to prevent the spread

The Biden administration has distributed 1,200 monkeypox vaccine doses for people who have had high-risk exposures to the virus, part of a nationwide public health response to stamp out the disease before it causes a major outbreak.

U.S. health officials, worried the virus is spreading faster than previously thought, have said the global outbreak of monkeypox is the largest ever. The World Health Organization said Wednesday that there are now more than 550 cases across 30 countries. In the U.S., at least 20 confirmed or suspected cases have been reported in 11 states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Utah and Washington state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last week, CDC official Dr. Jennifer McQuiston said the U.S. has 1,000 doses of Jynneos available. However, the Danish biotech company that makes the shots, Bavarian Nordic, said the U.S. actually has a supply of more than 1 million Jynneos frozen doses stored in the U.S. and Denmark under an order placed in April 2020. The shots have a shelf life of three years.

The U.S. government also has a stockpile of more than 100 million doses of ACAM2000, made by Emergent BioSolutions, McQuiston told reporters last week. The U.S. had released 500 doses of Jynneos and 200 doses of ACAM2000 as of Tuesday, according to the CDC. The U.S. has also sent out 100 courses of the oral antiviral tecovirimat to the states, health officials said Friday.

The CDC has said women who are pregnant or breast feeding, people with weak immune systems, those with skin conditions such as eczema or atopic dermatitis, and people with heart disease should not receive ACAM2000. In pregnant women, the virus can spread to the fetus and cause stillbirth. People with weak immune systems face a risk that the virus will grow uncontrollably and cause a dangerous infection, Slifka said. People with skin conditions such as eczema or atopic dermatitis are also at risk of the virus spreading on their skin which can turn into a life-threatening infection, he said.

Lewis said the WHO is not recommending mass vaccination against monkeypox because the current outbreak can still be contained. Most of the cases so far have been reported among men who have sex with men, developed symptoms and sought care at sexual health clinics, according to the WHO. Lewis said it is important to provide gay and bisexual men with the information they need to protect themselves from the virus and prevent it from spreading.

Monkeypox typically starts with symptoms similar to the flu including fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. Lesions then form on the body, and the virus spreads primarily through skin-to-skin contact with these lesions. Monkeypox can spread through respiratory droplets [not again!] if a person has lesions in their throat or mouth, but it does not transmit easily this way.


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Biden administration to withdraw Covid-19 vaccination and testing regulation aimed at large businesses

Biden administration to withdraw Covid-19 vaccination and testing regulation aimed at large businesses

“Although OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule. The agency is prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard,” the statement read.

The withdrawal of the emergency temporary standard “does not affect the ETS’s continuing status as a proposed rule,” a US Department of Labor spokesperson told CNN in a statement.

“OSHA is evaluating the record and the evolving course of the pandemic. OSHA has made no determinations at this time about when or if it will finalize a Vaccination and Testing rule. The agency intends to work expeditiously to issue a final standard that will protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 hazards,” the spokesperson added.