Mephiticity

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

via Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s top aides met frequently with lobbyists and health care industry heavyweights as his administration pieced together a national health care overhaul, according to White House visitor records obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

The records disclose visits by a broad cross-section of the people most involved in the health care debate, weighted heavily toward those who want to overhaul the system.

The list includes George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Health Plans; Scott Serota, president and CEO of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; Kenneth Kies, a Washington lobbyist who represents Blue Cross/Blue Shield, among other clients; Billy Tauzin, head of PhRMA, the drug industry lobby; Richard Umbdenstock, chief of the American Hospital Association, and numerous lobbyists.

The AP in early August asked the White House to produce records identifying communications that top Obama aides — including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, senior advisers David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse, and 18 others — had with outside interests on health care. The AP in late September narrowed its request to White House visitor records for those officials on the topic of health care.

Via HSToday:

by Anthony L. Kimery

‘Argues for vaccination as the one sure way to combat this disease before it strikes’

Four patients at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, at least five persons in a hospital in Wales, and a father in Quebec, Canada have become infected with an apparently mutated strain of H1N1 that is resistant to Tamiflu (oseltamivir), the leading antiviral of choice to treat influenza in lieu of having a vaccine.

Meanwhile, Norwegian health authorities reported a potentially significant mutation in H1N1 that could be responsible for the severest symptoms in those infected by the strain – especially persons most at risk to the virus – which authorities are monitoring carefully because of concerns that it, too, might become resistant to Tamiflu, and, possibly, other antivirals if they become as widely administered as oseltamivir.

via Washington Post:

Democrats had little time to savor their weekend Senate health-care victory, as two of the lawmakers who voted to move the debate forward Saturday night indicated Sunday that they will not vote to pass the package if it includes a government-run insurance program.

Despite the success in the test vote, the fragile consensus in the Democratic caucus will face its greatest test yet as the health-care debate moves to the Senate floor and Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) struggles to stave off internal schisms. The cracks in the 60-member caucus are most obvious over the public insurance option.

As somebody who has lived without health insurance for a period of time…I can’t stress the importance of the public option enough.

Via AHN:

New Delhi, India (AHN) – The Ministry of Environment and Forests announced on Wednesday the revised national ambient air quality standards. The revision came after 15 years and will provide a legal framework for the control of air pollution and subsequently improve public health.

According to a ministry statement, “The review of the previous NAAQS and inclusion of new parameters was undertaken by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in association with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. The Proposal for revision in NAAQS was deliberated upon extensively and has been notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 on 16.11.2009 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.”

These revised standards are in line with the latest advancement in technology and research and is at par with global best practices, the release informed.

Via BBC:

“Hopes for the Copenhagen climate summit in December have been boosted after it emerged that more than 60 presidents and prime ministers plan to attend.

There had been concern that no strong agreement would emerge from the talks in Copenhagen.

But observers say the presence of so many leading government figures will radically increase expectations.”

As for myself, always hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

 

 

Via Associated Press

– 7 hours ago

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is sending investigators to the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant after a small amount of radiation was detected there.

About 150 employees were sent home Saturday afternoon after the radiation was detected at the central Pennsylvania plant.

Officials say there is no public health risk.

Via Associated Press

Excerpt:

“YERINGTON, Nev. — Peggy Pauly lives in a robin-egg blue, two-story house not far from acres of onion fields that make the northern Nevada air smell sweet at harvest time.

But she can look through the window from her kitchen table, just past her backyard with its swingset and pet llama, and see an ominous sign on a neighboring fence: Danger: Uranium Mine.”

It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops.