ACA Repeal Talk Sparks Fears Among Those with Pre-existing Conditions

The Times-Standard, January 28, 2017. The possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act reintroduces a fear among people with pre-existing conditions of maintaining health insurance. Under the ACA, pre-existing conditions were not counted against applicants seeking coverage through the state’s exchange, Covered California, but that could change if ACA is repealed and replaced under the Trump administration.

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After Mastectomies, an Unexpected Blow: Numb New Breasts

The New York Times, January 28, 2017. Restoring sensation is “one of those things that’s regarded as the holy grail of breast reconstruction,” he said. “But no one has shown in any scientific article to date that we’re able to return sensation in any reliable way.”

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Trump’s HHS Nominee Prioritized Profits over Patients

Kaiser Health News, January 23, 2017. As Cabinet nominee Tom Price faces a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, a newly released trove of documents sheds further light on how he interacted as a congressman with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the massive agency he may soon oversee. “He’s clearly shown in this case and in other ways allegiance to the corporate interest, but not to the patient interest,” said Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, a nonpartisan think tank that has studied medical device safety.

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Decision on Rare-Disease Drug Sparked Major Controversy, Seen as Marking New Direction at FDA

MedPage Today, December 28, 2016. On April 26, an FDA advisory committee voted 7-6 that the exon-skipping drug eteplirsen for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) failed to meet the standards needed for accelerated approval. It was widely assumed that the FDA would tell the drug’s developer, Sarepta Therapeutics, to try again with better data. That, of course, did not happen. In this follow-up, we report on how it eventually did turn out for the drug and for the DMD community. The ripple effect of the eteplirsen decision could prove damaging to the healthcare system, Diana Zuckerman, PhD, president of the National Center for Health Research, told MedPage Today.”Many drug companies will be submitting applications that they wouldn’t have dreamed of submitting [before].”

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Target Ends Sale of Dangerous Baby Mattresses, as NJ Considers Statewide Ban

Tap into Morristown, December 19, 2016. Supplemental mattresses are mattresses sold individually, can be bought for use with play yards, and are advertised as safe. According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission data from 2000 through 2013, at least 15 children died while sleeping on supplemental mattresses. These deaths involved a child being wedged between gaps created when the supplemental mattress was added to the play yard or portable crib. “The evidence is clear: These supplemental mattresses can kill children,” says Dr. Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D., President of the National Center for Health Research. “They should be banned. As someone who was born and raised in New Jersey, I’m proud to see my home state on the forefront of this important issue.”

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