Vin Diesel is my relativeKin Diesel https://t.co/r56asH2v6T— Opeyimika Aremu (@Ope_D_Write) June 12, 2019Vin Diesel having premarital sex: Sin Diesel https://t.co/hXHuSTyg56— youlikeitdontcha (@Mary4Kaylee) June 12, 2019Vin Diesel enters waterFin Diesel. https://t.co/XP8Icof9iy— Favour❤️ (@thefemmeforte_) June 12, 2019Vin Diesel is a trash can;Bin Diesel https://t.co/nO7vu7NlXg— Your-Village-People (@olivertwittee) June 12, 2019Vin Diesel writes Tony Award winning broadway musicals. Lin Diesel. https://t.co/E8AgnIHBsr— Sophie Gorrin (@rosytulips) June 12, 2019Vin diesel in the metal industry: Tin Diesel https://t.co/IzCpIRsQ5i— Kevin Mokgethe (@Kevinmokgethe) June 12, 2019Vin Diesel becomes a black circle in contrast to a white oneYin Diesel https://t.co/N54Gs21GQh— . (@mariekendeboer) June 12, 2019On the movies front, Diesel’s Fast and Furious world has recently invited WWE superstar John Cena as the new cast member. Details on Cena’s role are being kept under wraps, but Universal Pictures has revealed that he’ll be playing “a badass.” Cena also took to Twitter to share the news with fans.For nearly 20 years, the Fast Franchise has entertained fans and created some of the biggest cinematic moments in history. It’s an incredible honor to join this franchise and this family. https://t.co/7GFzDsX8sl— John Cena (@JohnCena) June 7, 2019Read: John Cena Officially Joins Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 9, Dwayne Johnson May Not ReturnThe 9th film in the franchise is slated to release on May 22, 2020, whereas the production will be starting later this month. While The Rock’s involvement in Fast and Furious 9 is yet to be confirmed, he will next be seen in Hobbs & Shaw, a Fast and Furious spin off, which is due to be released on August 2.Follow @News18Movies for more Seems like netizens’ latest fancy is to make memes out of Hollywood stars’ unassuming names. Recently, fans on Twitter expressed their affection for John Wick star Keanu Reeves by making innocent and funny mockery of his last name and now Fast and Furious star Vin Diesel is their next target. Read: From Keanu Leaves to Keanu Reads, Keanu Reeves Puns Are Taking Over the Internet Diesel’s first name ‘Vin’ has caught the attention of the fans on social media and they seem to be pulling out all the stops in having a go at the 51-year-old actor. From ‘Gin,’ and ‘Kin’ to ‘Fin’, Diesel’s name has got the meme treatment right and the jokes and fun is aplenty. See some of the tweets here:Vin Diesel gets a drinking problem.Gin Diesel https://t.co/OXkY3bJcSd— David Robinson (@dmyles99) June 12, 2019 Fast and Furiousfast and furious 9Fast and Furious 9 Vin DieselFast and Furious Films First Published: June 12, 2019, 5:18 PM IST
Amit ShahghatalLok Sabha elections 2019mahagathbandhan First Published: May 7, 2019, 5:48 PM IST Ghatal: BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is not allowing people to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in the state, and wondered if the Lord’s name cannot be taken in India, will it be uttered in Pakistan.Speaking at an election rally here, he said that polls in West Bengal are for restoring democracy in the state, where the BJP will win “more than 23 seats” out of the total 42 Lok Sabha seats. “Lord Ram is a part of the culture of India… Can anybody stop people from taking his name? I want to ask Mamata didi, if Shri Ram’s name is not taken in India, will it be chanted in Pakistan?” Shah said.A video had appeared in the social media that showed Banerjee stopping her car at a place in West Midnapore district on Saturday, and chasing some persons who chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as her carcade was crossing the area.”The Narendra Modi government has given Rs 4,24,800 crore to West Bengal in its five-year tenure, but it has not reached the people, and, instead, gone to the syndicates,” Shah claimed.He said the UPA-II government under the then prime minister Manmohan Singh had granted only around Rs 1,32,000 crore to the state.At another election meeting at Keshiari in Paschim Medinipur district, Shah said, “What wrong has PM Narendra Modi done by saying that the Bofors scam happened during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure.”The BJP president was referring to Modi’s recent remarks at a rally in Uttar Pradesh, where he said that Rajiv Gandhi’s life ended as “bhrashtachari no. 1″ (corrupt no. 1 ).”Rahul baba says his father has been insulted. Is it an insult to be reminded of what had happened?” he said. Shah also asked Rahul Gandhi whether or not the Bofors scandal, the Bhopal gas tragedy, blunder of sending peacekeeping force to Sri Lanka or the massacre of Kashmiri pandits happen during his father’s tenure as prime minister from 1984 to 1989.He claimed that the Congress and its partners in the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ have abused Modi on “51 different occasions”.The BJP chief reiterated his party’s resolve to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal to flush out illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
Bharatiya Janata PartybhopalcongressDigvijaya Singh First Published: May 10, 2019, 10:54 PM IST Bhopal: Enthusiastic Congress supporters of all age groups, including women, with flowers in hands eagerly looked towards a side of the road in Sarvadharam Colony in Bhopal’s Kolar as it was already 3 pm on the last day of campaigning for the sixth phase of polls.The venue had a small tent, a stage and a troupe of musicians who beat the drums aloud and shortly one of the party leaders announced on the mic that ‘Sri Digvijaya Singh’ was approaching towards the venue. Brimming with enthusiasm, the supporters ran towards the direction from where Singh was coming to address his last public meeting before the campaigning drew to a close at 5pm. Surrounded by his close aides and supporters who almost crushed Singh, he moved towards the venue but suddenly slipped towards the market behind the welcome stage.After meeting two-three shopkeepers and making brief vote appeal, the 72-year-old waded through the crowd of supporters to reach the stage. Amid chanting of mantras by priests and party leaders, the Congress candidate was greeted with flowers on a packed stage with every inch of space occupied.While addressing the public, Singh made a brief vote appeal for May 12, urged supporters to end eight-time winning streak of BJP from Bhopal and promised that from wherever he contests, he forges family relations with locals.Leaving the venue, Singh took quick strides and reached the nearby bigger tent where he was to address the last public meeting of this poll. After several of his close aides spoke, an exhausted looking Singh decided to sit on the stage’s floor to catch some breath.As he spoke after almost half a dozen leaders, he started by asking the party cadre to remain vigilant for next two days and get the mock poll done cautiously on EVMs. Alleging that BJP would distribute money and liquor but exuded confidence that his supporters might be poor but weren’t dishonest. He asked the party cadre to act like a farmer for two nights and remain alert as a farmer who guards his ready crop.Not speaking a word on BJP’s Pragya Thakur, as was the case throughout, he turned to civic issues in suburb Kolar, claiming the region is grappling with issues such as potable water, transportation, sewage and others. “Be with me for two more days and I promise you, Digvijaya Singh would serve you for next five years.”He assured the public to end the hooliganism of local BJP MLA Rameshwar Sharma and added MLA’s misdemeanours in government land encroachment would be exposed. Warning BJP’s “goons”, the Congress veteran claimed, “Whatever happened in Mamaji’s (Shivraj) rule is gone, these things won’t be allowed in Nanaji’s (himself) rule.”He concluded with chants of Bharat Mata ki Jai and left the venue as more such welcome kiosks awaited him on way back as almost an hour was left for campaigning.Earlier, Singh also visited temples situated in his campaign route and braving the blistering heat, also walked on foot during the campaigning.On the contrary, BJP’s Pragya Thakur mostly rode pillion on a bike to campaign in various areas as the candidate claims that custodial torture has left her with depleted physical condition and she can’t walk for long stretches.It was around 1pm in searing heat that she landed at Vallabh Bhawan area where the government offices are situated. After greeting with folded hands to the crowd comprising government employees and BJP supporters, Thakur, helped by aides, returned to her bus and appeared on the elevated roof top minutes after.As a local worker spoke on mic praising her and PM Narendra Modi, ex-Shivraj minister Umashankar Gupta spoke and asked her to address the gathering. Thakur, however, said her throat was chocked and said she would speak after ten minutes. Gupta again continued attacking Digvijaya Singh and praising BJP government before handing the mic back to the party candidate.In her usual flair, Thakur started speaking straightaway attacking her opponent — Digvijaya Singh. “I reached amongst you very late thinking let them show their aukat (worth) to you,” said Thakur as BJP workers cheered. She poked fun at Singh apologising to government employees recently, claiming I thought you people would return him with disfigured face but you kept your patience which was a good thing.Thakur was referring to Singh’s bitter relations with the government staffers post 2003 when the former CM had sacked 28,000 daily wagers and also planned retirement of many who completed 20 years of service.Meanwhile, Thakur claimed like the employees, she was also a victim of him (Digvijaya), who according to Thakur had assaulted the religion as well claiming he has called bhagwa and Hindus –terrorists. He has questioned sacrifices of our martyrs and also the action initiated on the enemies.Recounting her alleged custodial tortures, Thakur said she was live example of ten years of their (Congress) misdeeds. The BJP candidate also claimed the Congress was left disappointed after she was banned for 72 hours but I kept enjoying my spiritual activities.Referring to the yagna held in favour of Digvijaya Singh, the BJP candidate said they again insulted bhagwa by inviting seers with fake reasons. “When they realised, they exposed the truth and said Pragya Thakur was the real saint,” she claimed. The BJP candidate said she was witness to govt employees’ sufferings when Singh had sacked them and she was in Bhopal as ABVP office bearer. “He also insulted our educated youths by hiring them for Rs 5,000 as contractual teachers and never hiked their salaries.”Claiming that she had devoted herself for nationalism which heled her brave the worst custodial tortures. “I am told he has called me ‘daughter’, and I said this was worst joke of the world. The one who never respects women, and engaged with a woman his daughter’s age ..so how I am his daughter. This much lowly, shrewd and cheap man can’t be my father,” claimed Thakur. She said PM Modi would keep the nation safe and urged the voters to defeat those who call terrorists ji and eulogise Pakistan. She sought votes on PM Modi’s policies.Earlier, Thakur had offered a chunri at a temple, sang bhajans and took part in Sundarkand recited by 501 priests. Thakur after concluding her campaign reached the BJP office and took part in several meetings.Besides, Veena Ghanekar, the retired IAS officer turned politician is also contesting on Samanya Pichhra Alpsankhyak Kalyan Samaj (SAPAKS) candidate and is expected to dent the BJP votes by raking up reservation issue in promotion and caste based reservation.Several government employees, speaking to News18, affirmed that they are least likely to side with Digvijaya Singh as they haven’t forgotten his ‘misrule’ and anti-employee policies.“We fear once he returns, he could start again working on anti-employee policies,” a middle-aged government staffer said on condition of anonymity. “You seem an MP resident and would be aware of what happened 15 years ago with no power and no roads,” replied another employee on being asked whom he would support. We would vote for PM Modi’s image and it does not matter who is the local candidate against Digvijaya Singh, many government staffers claimed.
Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has embarked on a trip to the southern states to garner support of other regional parties to form a coalition government at the Centre. Sources said the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president is trying to instill a ‘south-centric’ sentiment among the regional satraps as so far, mostly leaders from the country’s northern belt have been at the helm. KCR, as Rao is popularly known, has a strong feeling that neither the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nor Congress would reach the magical to form government in New Delhi. In case the federal front falls short of numbers, KCR is said to be ready to take support of the Congress, but would want to keep the reins with himself, said TRS spokesperson Abid Rasul Khan on Tuesday.Last week, he met his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan in a bid to ensure support of the Left parties for his proposal. However, his meeting with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin in Chennai hasn’t been as fruitful as the latter has clearly pledged his loyalty to the grand old party and its president Rahul Gandhi. He, in fact, is said to have invited the TRS chief to join the Congress-led alliance. However, they are likely to meet after May 23 when results of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election and Assembly elections in some states would be declared. However, sources say KCR continues to nurture prime ministerial ambitions and is likely to meet his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Benerjee, Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and his father and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. He also hopes to stitch a tie-up with gathbandhan (grand alliance) leaders in Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile, KCR is confident of winning all 17 seats in Telangana, barring the Hyderabad constituency where his ally and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen chief Asadudddin Owaisi is the candidate.In Andhra Pradesh, he hopes his ally and key opposition leader in the state YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party YSR Congress to win 15-20 seats. Asadudddin Owaisidmkdravida munnetra kazhagamHD Kumaraswamy First Published: May 15, 2019, 5:35 PM IST | Edited by: Sohini Goswami
congresscongress MLAs telanganaHyderabadK Chandrasekhar Rao First Published: July 18, 2019, 5:00 PM IST Hyderabad: Dismissing the Congress’s criticism about merger of 12 party MLAs with the ruling TRS, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Thursday said it happened as per constitutional provisions.Rao’s remarks came in the Assembly when Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader M Bhatti Vikramarka referred to the issue of merger. “They came as per 10th Schedule of the Constitution,” he said. Referring to the recent instances of opposition members joining the ruling parties, he cited the examples of TDP Rajya Sabha members joining the BJP and Congress members merging with the BJP in Goa.”Why do you blame us?… Why do they leave if you have leadership ability,” he said. He also added the matter was sub-judice.Referring to the merger of 12 Congress MLAs with the TRS, Vikramarka alleged that leaders were being merged with the ruling party regardless of the party they are elected. The merger issue figured during debate on certain bills.The Congress members held placards with ‘Save Democracy’ written on them. Vikramarka also announced a walkout by his party, alleging he was not being allowed to speak.The Congress had won 19 of the total 119 seats in the Assembly polls held in December last. While 12 MLAs merged with the TRS, one member (state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy) quit after being elected to Lok Sabha. Consequently, the strength of Congress came down to six.
New Delhi: The father-in-law of the CRPF constable, who was killed in an accident on Friday morning in south Delhi, was hit by a bus in Manesar near Gurgaon while he was headed for the national capital after being informed about the tragic incident, his family members said. Shri Ram (55), a resident of Alwar district in Rajasthan, was on his way to Delhi to collect the body of his son-in-law when the incident happened. He sustained a fracture in his left leg and had to be taken to a hospital. The CRPF constable died in an accident that took place around 11 pm on Thursday when he was returning to his room in a car from Lajpat Nagar, where he had gone shopping with two colleagues. One of them, Babulal Yadav, wanted to buy a phone.While they were returning, a college student rammed his speeding Mercedes into their car after jumping a red light in south Delhi’s Greater Kailash 1.Narender Baswal (32), succumbed to injuries at the AIIMS Trauma Center around 8.30 am on Friday, while Vinod Kumar (36) and Babulal Yadav (38) were discharged after treatment.”We rushed to Delhi from Alwar after we received a call at around 9.30 am on Friday regarding the accident of my husband,” Madhu Baswal (30), wife of the deceased, said.”While we were on our way to Delhi, the tyre of the our car got punctured in Manesar. When we were changing the tyre, a Rajasthan Roadways bus hit my elder brother Ram,” Pradhan Kumar (44), brother of Shri Ram, said.Ram was rushed to a nearby hospital for the treatment. “The driver of the bus tried to flee but the passengers asked him to stop the vehicle. When the bus stopped, the driver came along with us and admitted Ram to a hospital in Manesar, Gurgaon,” Pradhan said. “Ram sustained a fracture in his left leg and we left him in the hospital as we needed to reach the AIIMS Trauma Centre. Our relatives, who were also coming from the Alwar, took Ram along with them after the treatment and reached the national capital,” he said.The brother of the deceased remembered him with eyes full of tears as he had met him a couple of days back. “Narender came to Alwar two weeks ago. He was posted in Delhi around five years ago and was happy with it. We were informed about the accident on Friday morning at 9 am,” Dinesh Baswal, elder brother of Narender, said. The body of Narender Baswal will be taken to Alwar and the last rites would be performed there, Dinesh said.”We demand justice to our brother. The accused was given bail a few hours after he was arrested. He should be in prison for killing Narender,” Dinesh said.The accused, 19-year-old Sanidhya Garg, was arrested from the accident spot and later, released on bail.Narender Baswal was from Kishangarh in Alwar district and had joined the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) around 15 years ago. He got married in 2006 and has two sons – Ajay (8) and Ashish (5). Pradhan said Narender had a family dispute and was living separate from his wife for the last two weeks. accidentCRPF Constabledelhigurgaon First Published: July 19, 2019, 11:24 PM IST
There’s a new sort of LEGO set in town, and it’s all about the brand’s new label: BrickHeadz. This is the “Go Brick Me” box set, and it’s as entertaining as it is challenging to wrap one’s mind around. What on earth is such a strange collection of odd pieces doing presenting itself as a LEGO make-it-your-own set? And why didn’t LEGO think of this a long, long time ago? In the first Go Brick Me set, the user gets one massive number of bricks compiled in order to give you a variety of options. These options apply to the LEGO BrickHeadz universe of custom-made collectable figurines. You might recognize the scale of these figures as sort-of similar to that of Funko POP.Unlike Funko’s figures, one does not need to feel obligated to keep their toys in the box. This isn’t just about collecting and storing in stacks on a shelf. This is about creating characters inside a loose set of construction rules. In the box are 700+ LEGO bricks, more than enough pieces to construct 2 full LEGO BrickHeadz construction characters. In addition to flat bricks, blocks, and smooth-sided pieces meant to represent hair, there’s an array of Minifigure-scale accessories that fit the bill in the BrickHeadz universe. That means a surf board, a trophy, a guitar, and a magic wand. AdChoices广告This box also contains two rather unique pieces that work as glasses for BrickHeadz. One pair of glasses is square-rimmed, the other is circle-rimmed. A whole bunch of stickers are included in the box as well, enabling you to customize the sorts of clothing and accessories you’re aiming for.Inside the box is an instructions booklet to show the user how to make the basic BrickHeadz base model as well as a number of unique styles of hair. Outside that, it’s all up to you. For the photos we’ve got here, we’ve made a couple of lesser-known comic book characters for your perusal. Let us know if you’ve got an idea of who we meant them to be. Or just pretend they’re nobody, and enjoy!This LEGO BrickHeadz “Go Brick Me” set was fun for everyone from my 6-year-old assistant to myself, a several-decades-old adult fan of LEGO. This set is LEGO item number 41597, and it’s recommended for ages 10+. Inside the box you’ll find 708 pieces, and pricing at the start is set at around $30 USD. Story TimelineWonder Woman Warrior Battle LEGO Review : Mega Movie Miniatures!LEGO Ninjago Movie Destiny’s Bounty LEGO Review (behold the golden banana)Classic rainbow box of LEGO Review (Bricks on a Roll)
The LG V40 ThinQ is one step closer to reality with a leak of the rendering kind. This leak comes from the user known as OnLeaks, a notoriously accurate renderer of CAD files. These files come to case-makers and accessory makers in the weeks before the launch of a smartphone, and are ocassionally acquired by people like OnLeaks in the process. What you see is a set of renderings made using those CAD plans. CAD files are not fully realized 3D renderings of smartphones. Instead, they’re like skeletons. What OnLeaks does is flesh these skeletons out, making them super shiny and finalized-looking in the process. With the LG V40 ThinQ, OnLeaks made a set of images and a video, too. Story TimelineLG V40 reportedly goes off the deep end with five camerasLG V40 ThinQ is still coming in three monthsLG V40 leaks, but is it legit? The video you see here shows the LG V40 ThinQ from all angles. This smartphones looks a whole lot like the LG G7 ThinQ, a device released earlier this year. The LG G7 ThinQ was released very close to the LG V35 ThinQ, a device with a display that was slightly smaller than its brethren. It was a strange release in that LG, in the past, released the G-series phone first, then the V-series a few weeks or months later – this came all at once.Now VIA OnLeaks on SlashLeaks we’re seeing the LG V40, a device that’ll probably come out at a time that makes more immediately obvious sense with relation to the release date of the LG G7. Weeks and months in-between rather than just days. AdChoices广告The LG V40 looks every bit a flagship of the over-the-top variety. By the looks of this set of renderings and the sound of previous leaks, this smartphone will have a display at least as large as the LG G7 ThinQ, with just as interesting an array of cameras/sensors in its forehead notch. This smartphone will also likely have a set of THREE cameras on its back rather than just two, or one. This device looks here to have an interesting array of buttons, too. Like the LG G7 ThinQ, this device has a power button on its right side and volume buttons on its left. Also on the left is a button that launches AI functions. Per the LG G7’s original description, what’s probably also true of the LG V40: “A single tap of this button will launch the Google Assistant while two quick taps will launch Google Lens, a first on any phone. Users can also hold down the button to start talking to the Google Assistant.”The LG V40 will likely launch in November – previous leaks suggested November 16th might be the day to watch out for. This device will likely cost about the same as the LG V35 at launc. That’ll mean somewhere between $700 and $900, depending on sale prices and internal storage.
Story TimelineGalaxy Note 10 5G at release: Now pretty much a lockThis may be the Galaxy Note 10 in specsIf this is the Galaxy Note 10, consider me soldGalaxy Note 10 might ditch all the buttons The Samsung Galaxy Note 10’s rumored to roll with a camera embedded in its stylus – which in turn is embedded in its body. But does Samsung really need to go to this extent just to keep the front-facing camera in play? When it comes to persisting reasons for the existence of the front-facing camera on the Galaxy Note, could it be that Samsung’s ready to just do away with the camera altogether? The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 was pictured this week with a conspicuously placed camera – right in the tail end of the S Pen. This is consistent with a patent or two filed by Samsung in the past – they’ve got the legal rights to make the tech locked down. But having a patent and executing a final product are two very, very different things. They might never make such a thing at all.On the back of the Galaxy Note 10 are a tipped 4x lenses, one each of each of its various high-powered cameras. Three of the cameras are rumored to be relatively traditional – wide-angle, standard, etcetera. The fourth unit was tipped last week to be a 3D scanning ToF sensor. That stands for Time of Flight, and it’s the way of the Augmented Reality future.Assuming what Samsung’s done with its most expensive S family model to date – the Galaxy S10 5G – it would appear that both the front and the back-facing cameras are here to stay. But is the Galaxy Note 10 a different creature? Could this be prime time to deliver a Galaxy Note that breaks the mold, as the Note family’s done several times before?Or could it all be as simple as including a display on the back of the phone, turning the back-facing cameras into front-facing cameras for double duty? That’d certainly make way for the 3D ToF sensor to be a prime-time face scanner, wouldn’t it? Cross your fingers Samsung continues to get weird with it this August.
Not all memory is created equal. Falling a bit behind their PC counterparts,Low Power DDR mobile RAM has only recently caught up to the next fastest DDR5 spec (the fastest is DDR5X). And unsurprisingly, Samsung is boasting that it’s at the forefront of that advancement.Last year it boasted about the industry’s first LPDDR5 RAM but its capacities were in smaller 8 Gigabit rates. This time, it’s going after higher capacities in the same amount of physical space with 12 Gigabit (Gb) modules. While this doesn’t immediately mean it has 12 GB RAM packages, it is also producing that product for mobile phones.With LPDDR5 DRAM, Samsung is promising a theoretical and ideal data transfer rate of 5,500 MB/s, faster than the previous LPDDR4X generation’s 4,266 Mb/s. In practical terms, that means it can transfer twelve 3.7 GB-sized Full HD in a second. Of course, that’s all in-memory and not from NAND storage to another storage.Samsung does mention that it’s making 12 GB packages of 12 Gb LPDDR5 RAM. That could mean that the Galaxy Note 10 will indeed have 12 GB of RAM at long last. Or at least one of them will, with the Galaxy Note 10+ the likely recipient of the high-end memory module. As per Samsung’s tradition, it has started the slow dropping of teasers for its upcoming flagship. Its first hint focused on the S Pen and what may either be a camera on the pen or a tiny punch-hole camera on its face. Although this latest piece of news isn’t directly linked to the Galaxy Note 10, it could at least give hope that next phablet won’t disappoint when it comes to getting the fastest RAM available for mobile devices.
A selection of health policy news from Georgia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Idaho, Alaska, California, Connecticut and North Carolina.The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia’s AIDS Drug Program Trims Wait List To ZeroThe state has eliminated a waiting list for a program that provides lifesaving medications to thousands of low-income, uninsured Georgians with HIV/AIDS more than two years after the list was first started. Established in July 2010, the wait list for Georgia’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program rapidly ballooned to more than 1,600 — at one time becoming the largest in the country. A spike in the need for the program was largely fueled by the economic downturn as people lost their jobs and health insurance. Meanwhile, the Georgia Department of Public Health ramped up efforts to get more people tested (Williams, 8/24).The Boston Globe: State Signs On To Health Program For Disabled AdultsMassachusetts on Thursday became the first state to sign on to a program that will change the way it pays for the complex and costly health care of up to 110,000 adults with disabilities. At least 25 other states are considering the program, created under the federal Affordable Care Act. But disability advocates and policy analysts have expressed concern that the program is being rolled out too quickly (Conaboy, 8/24).The Lund Report: Regence Refuses To Publicly Share Information On Rate HikeA proposed 9.6 percent rate increase by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon looks like it will be decided behind closed doors. That increase would impact nearly 53,000 Oregonians who purchase their own coverage starting in December. Following a public hearing held last month, Division officials have repeatedly asked Regence for more details about the increased costs from its five provider networks — Providence Health System, Oregon Health & Science University, Legacy Health, Tuality Health and Adventist Health (Lund-Muzikant, 8/24).Philadelphia Inquirer: With Contract Out To Bid, Prison Health Care Questioned”Trying to see a doctor is like trying to get out,” said Williams, 30, who needs a brace and a cane because his leg didn’t heal properly. According to a doctor’s review ordered by his attorney, Williams’ injuries are “both serious and permanent.” Williams is one of many who have filed suit against Corizon — a Tennessee-based firm formerly known as Prison Health Services — over the years. But city officials say they are satisfied with the service. And Corizon is looking to keep its multimillion-dollar contract, which recently expired, with the city (Lucey, 8/27). The Associated Press: LSU Health Care Leader Who Clashed With Jindal Administration Removed From Hospital OversightAfter clashing with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration over budget cuts, the LSU System’s top health care leader was ousted Friday from his role overseeing the university’s network of public hospitals and clinics. Fred Cerise disagreed with Jindal administration cuts that stripped hundreds of millions of dollars from the LSU safety-net health care system that cares for the poor and uninsured and repeatedly defended a hospital system the governor says needs modernizing (Deslatte, 8/24).The Associated Press: Idaho Gets $40K For Medical Home ProjectNine health care-related organizations gave some $40,000 to a state-led effort that Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter hopes boosts the quality of care and reduces costs, especially for low-income Medicaid recipients. Contributors to Otter’s Medical Home pilot project included St. Luke’s Health System and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, which gave $5,000 apiece, and Cambia Health Foundation, which gave $10,000. The two-year pilot project aims to refocus health care in Idaho from responding to acute situations to a model where patients develop a relationship with their doctors to coordinate preventative care — before emergencies arise (8/24).Reuters: Alaska, Concerned About Gold Miners’ Health, To Test Them For MercuryAlaska health officials, concerned about amateur miners seeking riches in a modern-day mini gold rush, plan to test prospectors in the town of Nome for mercury exposure for fear that archaic mining techniques may be inadvertently harming their bodies. The Bering Sea port town of Nome has been a magnet this summer for gold prospectors, some of them with little experience, in a boom that state officials attribute in part to publicity from Discovery Channel’s reality TV show “Bering Sea Gold” and other mining shows set in Alaska (Rosen, 8/25).California Healthline: New Attempt At Rate Regulation On BallotOne of the most contentious health-related bills before the Legislature in the past two years was a proposal to regulate health insurance rates, AB 52 by Assembly member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles). After it failed to clear the Legislature in September last year, a consumer rights organization decided to take the baton and make it a state initiative. Almost a full year later, Consumer Watchdog has officially collected 549,380 signatures and the secretary of state on Thursday verified the measure will be on the November 2014 ballot. Voters now will decide the rate regulation question. It also means the rhetoric is likely to get more heated than it did in Sacramento at the height of the rate regulation debate (Gorn, 8/27).The Connecticut Mirror: Wall Street Agency Poses Tougher Test For State Pensions’ HealthJust as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s plan to bolster the state’s cash-starved employee pension fund kicks in, a leading Wall Street credit-rating agency is posing a new way to test the pension system’s fiscal health. Moody’s Investors Service has proposed a new methodology that would offer a much grimmer assessment of public employee pension plans in Connecticut, many other states, and most municipalities (Phaneuf, 8/24).North Carolina Health News: Mental Health Agency Managers Struggle To Cope With Deep Budget CutsLeaders at mental health management entities are struggling this month with the realities of more cuts to their budgets, and how to distribute them throughout their agencies’ services. Local managers received the news from the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services last month that funds from the Social Services Block Grant, and from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants would be cut for a total of almost $20 million. These cuts come on top of $20 million in additional budget cuts ordered by the General Assembly (Hoban, 8/27). San Jose Mercury: State’s Non-Profit Hospitals Under Fire Over Government BenefitsThree-fourths of California’s nonprofit hospitals harvested $1.8 billion in government benefits in excess of what they returned in charity care in 2010, according to a new study. Most of California’s hospitals have nonprofit status. 2010 was the most recent year for which data was publicly available, according to the recently released study from the research arm of California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. The union-backed study found that for Kaiser Permanente, 17.5 percent of net income went to charity, while 43.08 percent of net income went to charitable care at the Adventist Health System in California, which includes Loma Linda University Medical Center (Steinberg, 8/26).Detroit Free Press: Early Patient Return Trigger Fines Up To $2.23 Million For 7 Metro Detroit HospitalsSeven metro Detroit hospitals are among 2,000 nationwide that will begin paying the biggest federal penalties — some as much as $2.23 million — because too many of their heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia patients needed to be readmitted within 30 days. Forty-seven other Michigan hospitals will pay smaller fines through a provision of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act that kicks in for the first time Oct. 1. Each of the seven metro hospitals, along with many others, already has programs in place to reduce readmissions, to improve the care of patients and to avoid future penalties (Anstett, 8/27). State Roundup: Ga. AIDS Drug Assistance Waiting List At Zero This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. First Edition: February 1, 2013 Today’s headlines include reports about state level action regarding health law and consumer protections.Kaiser Health News: NYU Langone Has Reopened, But Can It Regain Market Share? Kaiser Health News staff writer Jenny Gold, working in collaboration with NPR, reports: “As of mid-January, most of NYU is up and running again, including the labor and delivery unit. But the question still looms whether NYU will lose some of the patients and even doctors who sought refuge at NYU’s biggest competitors after the storm. If that happens, the storm could end up having a long term impact on NYU’s valuable share of the fiercely competitive health care market in New York City” (Gold, 2/1). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Tick, Tock: Administration Misses Some Health Law DeadlinesKaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: “The programs, slated to take effect Jan. 1, were supposed to increase fees to primary care doctors who treat Medicaid patients, give states more federal funding if they eliminate Medicaid co-pays for preventive services and experiment with changes to how doctors and hospitals are paid by Medicare. The administration also has delayed giving states guidance on a new coverage option known as the ‘basic health program,’ designed to help low and moderate-income people who don’t qualify for Medicaid” (Galewitz, 1/31). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: State Action Needed To Guarantee Health Law Protections, Says ReportNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Julie Appleby reports: “Lawmakers in most states better get busy if they want authority to enforce key provisions of the federal health law that go into effect next year. That’s the takeaway message from a report by the Commonwealth Fund showing that only 11 states and the District of Columbia have passed rules needed to implement the law” (Appleby, 2/1). Check out what else is on the blog.The New York Times: Report Faults High Fees For Out-Of-Network CareA health insurance industry report to be released on Friday highlights the exorbitant fees charged by some doctors to out-of-network patients like Mr. Gonzalez. The report, by America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, contrasts some of the highest bills charged by non-network providers in 30 states with Medicare rates for the same services. Some of the charges, the insurers assert, are 30, 40 or nearly 100 times greater than Medicare rates (Rabin, 1/31).Los Angeles Times: Small Surgeries, Huge MarkupsNationwide, some insurers have begun to challenge these bills from outpatient centers. Last year, a unit of insurance giant Aetna Inc. sued several surgery centers in Northern California and accused them of overbilling the insurer more than $20 million. It has pursued similar actions against providers in New Jersey and Texas. Other insurers such as UnitedHealth Group Inc. have filed similar suits in California (Terhune, 1/31).Politico: The New Campaign: Obamacare For AmericaSeveral former White House staffers have found a new way to promote Obamacare: They’re spending millions of dollars in secret corporate and union cash, and they’re harnessing grass-roots tactics to some of the biggest names in the health care industry. Organizing for Action, the successor to President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and Enroll America, a group led by two former Obama staffers that features several insurance company bigwigs on its board, are planning to unleash the same grass-roots mobilization and sophisticated micro-targeting tactics seen in the 2012 campaign (Haberkorn and Vogel, 2/1).The New York Times: Focus On Mental Health Laws To Curb Violence Is Unfair, Some SayLegislation to revise existing mental health laws is under consideration in at least a half-dozen states, including Colorado, Oregon and Ohio. A New York bill requiring mental health practitioners to warn the authorities about potentially dangerous patients was signed into law on Jan. 15. In Washington, President Obama has ordered “a national dialogue” on mental health, and a variety of bills addressing mental health issues are percolating on Capitol Hill. But critics say that this focus unfairly singles out people with serious mental illness, who studies indicate are involved in only about 4 percent of violent crimes and are 11 or more times as likely than the general population to be the victims of violent crime (Goode and Healy, 1/31).The Wall Street Journal: Aetna’s Profit Is Halved On Charges, Higher CostsThis will be something of a transition year for managed-care firms as they gear up for major changes under the health-care overhaul law that start in 2014, such as expanded coverage to millions of Americans through state-based exchanges and an extended Medicaid program. Aetna is also working toward closing on the purchase of Coventry Health Care Inc. through a cash-and-stock deal that was valued at $5.7 billion when it was announced in August (Kamp, 1/31).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Health Insurer Aetna’s 4th-Quarter Profit Sinks 49 Pct As Medical Costs, Charges Pile UpAetna’s fourth-quarter net income sank 49 percent as higher medical costs squeezed profitability for the insurer’s commercial health coverage, and several one-time expenses chipped away at the bottom line (1/31).Politico: McDermott Won’t Retreat On Health CareIn Jim McDermott’s ideal world, health reform would have meant a single-payer health care system. But in Jim McDermott’s real world, he’ll happily defend President Barack Obama’s health care law — and defend is precisely what he expects to do in his new post as the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee (Cunningham, 2/1).Los Angeles Times: Survey Finds Strong Support For Gun Control, More Mental HealthcareNew survey results published Thursday by the New England Journal of Medicine show that a majority of Americans — gun owners and non-owners alike — support stricter measures to keep handguns from people under 21 and to block ownership of any guns for 10 years by those who have perpetrated domestic violence, brandished a weapon in a threatening manner, or committed two or more drug- or alcohol-related crimes. But a murkier picture emerged when Americans were asked about keeping guns out of the hands of those with mental illness (Healy, 1/31).Los Angeles Times: Most States Lack Healthcare Consumer Protection LawsNearly 4 out of 5 states have not enacted laws essential to enforcing new consumer protections in President Obama’s healthcare law, less than a year before it is supposed to be fully implemented, a new survey indicates. Millions of Americans still stand to benefit in 2014 from protections in the Affordable Care Act, such as a new guarantee that consumers with preexisting medical conditions cannot be denied coverage (Levey, 1/31).Los Angeles Times: Support for Healthcare Overhaul Reaches All-Time High In New PollSupport for President Obama’s healthcare overhaul is at an all-time high in California, according to a new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California. The survey, released Wednesday, found that 55% of Californians back the changes to the nation’s healthcare system under the federal Affordable Care Act, up 8 percentage points since last March (Mishak, 1/31).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Democrats Criticize Cuccinelli For Comments In His Book On Medicare, Social SecurityDemocratic lawmakers on Thursday denounced Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s remarks in his new book about government programs like Medicare and Social Security. The gubernatorial candidate’s book, “The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty,” will be released Feb. 12. But according to media reports on excerpts from the book, Cuccinelli writes that politicians bolster their power by creating benefits that make people dependent on the government (1/31).NPR: Should Medicare Pay For Alzheimer’s Scans? Researchers have embraced the drug as a tool to gauge these so-called amyloid plaques in the brain. They’ve already found that amyloid shows up years before people start having problems with memory or thinking. But is the test appropriate for widespread clinical use? A panel of advisers grappled with that question Wednesday at a public meeting to consider whether Medicare should pay for the test (Hensley, 1/31).The Wall Street Journal: AstraZenaca, Bristol-Myers Deepen Diabetes AllianceAstraZeneca PLC and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. have deepened their diabetes-drug partnership by merging their diabetes marketing teams and moving them to a new U.S. headquarters separate from either company, AstraZeneca’s new chief executive, Pascal Soriot, said in an interview (Whalen and Hodgson, 1/31).The Washington Post: Republican Bolling Makes Case For Expanding Medicaid In Va. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling on Thursday came out in favor of expanding Virginia’s Medicaid program, carving out another position that sets him apart from Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and a Republican rival for governor (Vozzella, 1/31).Los Angeles Times: Glendale Memorial Hospital Employees Protest Planned LayoffsNurses, technicians and other employees gathered outside Glendale Memorial Hospital on Thursday morning to protest planned layoffs. The hospital last week announced plans to lay off an undetermined number of employees, citing an increase in the number of uninsured patients caused by the lengthy economic recession and cuts in government insurance programs (Wells, 1/31).Politico: Abortion Coverage: The New Battleground For StatesConservative states may have lost their bid to kill Obamacare, but they’re winning the battle on another front: abortion coverage. At least 20 states have banned or restricted the coverage of abortion procedures — including coverage in private insurance plans — revealing a new battleground in the arduous task of carrying out the controversial national health care law (Smith, 1/31).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Arkansas Senate Passes Legislation That Would Ban Abortions As Early As 6 Weeks Into PregnancyThe Arkansas Senate voted Thursday to prohibit most abortions if a heartbeat is detected, ignoring warnings from opponents that banning the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy would invite lawsuits. If enacted, the ban would be the most stringent in the nation. The Ohio House passed a similar ban in 2011, but it was sidelined in the Senate last year over concerns that it might be found unconstitutional. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe told reporters Thursday that’s the same concern that he’s researching (1/31). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The legislation would expand health, education and other benefits for vets and would cost $21 billion over 10 years.The Associated Press: Vets Benefits Bill Should Win Initial Senate VoteA sprawling Democratic bill expanding health, education and other benefits for veterans seems ready to clear an initial hurdle in the Senate. Yet the election-year measure faces an uncertain fate as Republicans try to make it smaller and find ways to pay for it. The legislation, which sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., says would cost $21 billion over the coming decade, could confront GOP lawmakers with an uncomfortable campaign-season test over curbing spending for the nation’s 22 million veterans and their families (Fram, 2/25). Politico Pro: Senate To Debate Veterans’ Health Care BillA massive veterans bill the Senate will consider this week would greatly increase their access to health care, through more than two dozen new facilities across the country, greater rehabilitation for men and women who have returned from deployments with traumatic brain injuries and other services. The omnibus legislation would be the largest package of veterans’ benefits passed in decades. Veterans groups are championing the multibillion-dollar bill not only because of its focus on expanded medical and dental care but also its array of provisions aimed at helping veterans obtain education and find jobs (Cunningham, 2/24). Meanwhile, the budget request for the Defense Department next year also calls for some health benefit cuts for active duty military.The Washington Post: Pentagon Budget Would Cut Military Health Benefits And Commissary FundsThe Pentagon’s 2015 budget proposal would raise health-care costs for certain members of the military community and drastically trim subsidies for the commissaries that provide discounted groceries to troops and their families (Hicks, 2/24). The Washington Post: Little Uniformity In Military Health CareA new series of critical reports highlights the need to speed up unification of the military services’ separate approaches to health care, which is one of the fastest-growing budget items but still lacks common standards for dealing with some medical issues (Pincus, 2/24). Senate To Consider Massive Bill To Revamp Veterans’ Benefits
State-Based Marketplaces Want Feds To Decide Who Is Exempted From Mandate This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. At least seven states have criticized an administration proposal to make state-run marketplaces responsible for determining eligibility for mandate exemptions. Meanwhile, Oregon’s Legislative Counsel’s Office says the exchange board does not have authority to scrap the state exchange in favor of the federal one. The legal opinion is not binding.The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: The Obamacare Change That’s Unpopular In Blue StatesState-run health insurance exchanges are squabbling with the Obama administration over who should be responsible for deciding who deserves a free pass from Obamacare’s unpopular individual mandate. At least seven state exchanges have sharply criticized an administration proposal that would shift responsibility for determining eligibility for mandate exemptions onto the state-run marketplaces in the 2015 enrollment period, scheduled to open Nov. 15. The states warn they don’t have the technical ability or funding to handle requests from people seeking a pass from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to obtain insurance coverage or pay a fine. Some states have urged the Department of Health and Human Services to dump the proposal, while others are asking to delay its implementation by at least a year (Millman, 4/30).The Oregonian: Cover Oregon: Legal Opinion Could Toss Exchange Into More TurmoilIn the latest wrinkle for the state’s problem-plagued health care exchange, a new legal opinion says the Cover Oregon board does not have the authority to dump the state exchange and switch to the federal one, as the board said Friday that it plans to do. The opinion from Oregon’s Legislative Counsel Office, issued Tuesday, is not binding. But it threatens to throw the exchange, with a website that has never fully worked despite a cost of $248 million, into more turmoil (Zheng, 4/30). Minnesota Public Radio: MNsure Names Leitz Its Permanent CEOMNsure’s board of directors has decided to give interim CEO Scott Leitz the job permanently. Credited with improving the operation of the online health insurance marketplace, Leitz will lead the organization through a critical time. He and MNsure leaders must decide whether MNsure’s technical infrastructure can be salvaged or scrapped (Stawicki, 4/30). The Star Tribune: Interim CEO Leitz Gets Nod To Lead MNsure Long TermThe MNsure board of directors on Wednesday gave its full support to Scott Leitz to run the agency for the future. Leitz has been serving as interim CEO since mid-December, when former director April Todd-Malmlov resigned over technical problems with the online health insurance exchange. “Scott’s created some positive momentum, and I’d like to remove doubt about the leadership of the organization and remove the ‘interim’ from his title,” MNsure board Chairman Brian Beutner told members. The board discussed instituting a national search, but decided to put that off (Crosby, 5/1).
Texas, Ariz., Va. Among States That Saw 11th-Hour Rush This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Many states saw a doubling of residents signing up for private plans through the federal exchanges in the final weeks of open enrollment for 2014. Most enrollees received federal subsidies.The Richmond Times-Dispatch: More Than 216,000 Virginians Enroll In Health PlansMore than 216,000 Virginians have enrolled in health insurance plans on the new federal marketplace, more than twice as many as the government’s initial target and more than doubling the number who had signed up through March 1. Since then, almost 113,000 people selected health plans in the marketplace in Virginia in the final month and a half of enrollment, including those who were in line for coverage when the sign-up period ended officially March 31, according to enrollment figures federal officials released Thursday. The increase in enrollment in Virginia was part of a surge nationally that boosted the total number of sign-ups to 8 million people (Martz, 5/2). The Associated Press: Data Show Most In NY Health Exchange Get SubsidiesA federal report shows nearly three-fourths of those insured through New York’s new health exchange are getting financial assistance. Applicants with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible for tax credits to help offset premium payments (5/1). The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Almost 140,000 Wisconsin Residents Enrolled In ObamacareAbout 140,000 people in Wisconsin have enrolled in health plans sold on the federal marketplace set up through the Affordable Care Act, figures released Thursday show, with enrollment soaring in the state and nationwide as the law’s first open-enrollment period came to a close. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said 139,815 people in Wisconsin had enrolled in plans sold on the marketplace as of April 19, with 91% of those individuals or families eligible for subsidies to help offset the cost of their plans. Nationally, 8 million people enrolled in plans sold on the federal and state marketplaces, and 85% of those were eligible for subsidized coverage (Boulton, 5/1). The Texas Tribune: In Texas, Obamacare Enrollment Spiked Before Deadline Total Texas enrollment in the federal health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act more than doubled in the month leading up to the deadline, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to March 1, 295,000 Texans had enrolled for health coverage under the federal health law, which requires most people to sign up for an insurance plan this year or face financial penalties. By April 19 — a deadline the federal government extended in part to account for technological troubles — that number had grown to 733,757, the highest enrollment jump in the nation (Sementelli and Ura, 5/1).The Dallas Morning News: Surge Of Texans Signed Up For Health Care In Final WeeksNew numbers out show that 734,000 Texans bought health insurance through the federal marketplace from last October to April 19, 2014, a report released by Health and Human Services shows. Prior to March 1, an anemic 295,000 people had signed up, but in the final stretch of the Affordable Care Act first-year sign-up, another 439,000 obtained private insurance through the exchange. Health care advocates applauded the new sign-up numbers and said the results are impressive, especially in the face of strong opposition from virtually every state Republican leader (Hoppe, 5/1). The Associated Press: Maryland Falls Short Of Insurance Enrollment GoalNewly released figures show that Maryland fell far short of projections [for] enrolling residents in private insurance through its troubled health exchange, even as national enrollment figures exceed expectations. Numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services show that through April 19, 67,757 Marylanders have signed up for private insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Last year, federal officials had projected that 150,000 Marylanders would enroll (5/1).The Detroit Free Press: More Than 250,000 In Michigan Signed Up For Plans Under Health Care ReformMore than a quarter-million Michiganders chose health care plans under federal health reform — more than expected, according to the government’s own estimates — despite the law’s troubled six-month roll-out (Erb, 5/1). The Des Moines Register: 29,163 Iowans Signed Up For Insurance On Healthcare.govMore than 29,000 Iowans selected private health-insurance plans on the government’s new online marketplace before last month’s deadline, federal officials said. Most of those who signed up for plans via healthcare.gov had low enough incomes to qualify for public subsidies to help pay premiums. The Department of Health and Human Services said 84 percent of the 29,163 Iowans who signed up for plans qualified for subsidies (Leys, 5/1). Georgia Health News: State’s Final Exchange Sign-Ups Surprisingly HighMore than 316,000 Georgians signed up for a health plan in the insurance exchange by the end of the enrollment period — more than doubling the state’s figure at the end of February, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday. Georgia’s 127 percent enrollment growth since March 1 was rivaled by surges in several other states, including Texas’ 149 percent and Florida’s 123 percent, federal officials said. “The good burst of enrollees at the last minute reflects the number of uninsured in those states,’’ said Bill Custer, a health insurance expert at Georgia State University (Miller, 5/1). The Chicago Sun-Times: Exceeding Predictions, 217,000 Illinoisans Sign Up For Obamacare InsuranceSo far, more than 217,000 people in Illinois have bought private health insurance created under the Affordable Care Act in its first year of open enrollment. Pushed by last-minute sign-ups, Illinois, like most states, exceeded the expectations set by the federal government. But the number of Hispanics who bought a plan — both in Illinois and nationally — fell short compared to the number of eligible Hispanics who lacked insurance, the federal government reported Thursday. And nationally, the percentage of young and theoretically healthy enrollees didn’t budge much (Thomas, 5/1). The Arizona Republic: State Health Officials Happy With Surge Of Late Sign-UpsNearly a quarter million Arizona residents have secured private health insurance or Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act as a late surge during the final weeks of enrollment more than doubled marketplace sign-ups. An eleventh-hour blitz by community groups assisting enrollees contributed to the surge, with 62,460 Arizonans signing up during the final six weeks to bring the enrollment total to 120,071. The six-month enrollment period was scheduled to run through March 31, but the federal government added two weeks to allow people who started the process to finish by mid-April (Alltucker, 5/1).
There’s a growing – and troubling – body of evidence that hospital mergers lead to higher prices. In other words, insurers, employers — we all tend to pay more for C-sections, heart surgery and hip replacements as hospitals get bigger and more powerful. (Gorenstein, 3/21) Mass. Community Hospitals Struggle With Low Payments In other Massachusetts hospital news, a heated debate is taking place in the statehouse regarding how hospitals can press insurers to cover virtual visits. Elsewhere, Marketplace reports that hospital mergers within state borders may drive up treatment prices and the CEO of Chicago’s Presence has diagnosed the hospital chain’s financial ills. In Dallas, Parkland Hospital is experimenting with how patients with complex conditions can care for themselves at home. The Chicago Tribune: Presence Health CEO Tending To Ailing Hospital Chain The Boston Globe: Health Costs May Rise As Small Hospitals Struggle STAT: As Virtual Doctor Visit Takes Off, Debate Over Who Should Pay Heats Up Massachusetts community hospitals are losing business to larger urban teaching hospitals, a trend that threatens to undermine the state’s campaign to curb health care spending. In its first report on the issue, the state’s Health Policy Commission said Monday that community hospitals are being squeezed by lower payments from insurers and the choice of many patients to be treated at big Boston hospitals, even for routine medical care. (Dayal McCluksey, 3/21) When is a video chat with a doctor equivalent to an office visit? State legislators across the US have been grappling with that question as hospitals press for insurance companies to fully cover virtual appointments — and insurers balk at those demands. But the political wrangling, including a heated debate now at the Massachusetts statehouse, hasn’t stopped the growth of telemedicine. (Bailey, 3/22) Marketplace: Hospital Mergers Within State Borders Drive Up Costs Michael Englehart, president and CEO of Presence Health, is not a doctor. But he’s caring for a sick patient — his hospital chain. In an unusually frank discussion Wednesday, Englehart said he’s surprised at what he has uncovered since starting Oct. 1. His diagnosis is ugly. Billing and collection failures. Weak internal accounting controls. Outdated technology. (Sachdev, 3/18) Marketplace: Study Says Patients Can Manage Complex Care At Home — And Cut Costs The Holy Grail in health care is finding a way to cut costs and improve outcomes. Researchers at Parkland Hospital in Dallas say they’ve uncovered a way to do both — so that patients who typically have to stay in the hospital for more than a month can go home and care for themselves. (Silverman, 3/21) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Source: Electric Vehicle News Is it a bazooka? Is it a missile? Is it a bicycle rack? SOL calls it a “noped”—not quite a motorcycle, not quite a moped. Its name: the Pocket Rocket. Despite its weapon-y design, the Pocket Rocket is a proper e-bike.The tubular aluminum frame is mounted on two wheels with a fork suspension at the front and a coil spring at the back. The seat almost looks like an afterthought, awkwardly set on top of the main cannon. The wheels are fitted with hydraulic brakes with regenerative capability. The Rocket weighs in at 121 lb and in case the name of the e-bike and its shape aren’t rocket-y enough, the taillight is made to look like an afterburner. The Grom Reaper Takes You to E-Bike Heaven Meet the Sur-Ron Light Bee Long-Range E-Bike The countdown to the launch has startedWith so many new competitors joining in the electric motorcycle race, we get to see e-bikes of all shapes and sizes, but none quite as explosive as the SOL Motors Pocket Rocket.More E-Bikes Indian Startup Ultraviolette Announces E-Bike for 2019 The Pocket Rocket is propelled by a 220V battery and an 8.5 horsepower electric motor, which is enough firepower for the top-of-the-line S variant to reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour—the smaller entry-level model is rated at 30 mph. Not exactly torpedo fast, but fast enough to cruise about town. The range isn’t exactly ballistic but varies between a respectable 30 and 50 miles. The rider has a choice of three riding modes: Eco, Sport, and Wheelie because why wouldn’t you want the front wheel to shoot right up!Pricing starts roughly around $6,000 for the entry-level model and skyrockets to $7,500 for the S version. There is now say whether the German-built rocket will be fired across the ocean, so we won’t jump the gun, however, we’re pretty sure it would create a shock wave on the North American market. One thing is for sure, we’d all get to feel like Major Kongs. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 8, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News