The White House sought to reassure jittery supporters Monday that President Obama is not abandoning the fight for a public health insurance option. The assurance came amid a media firestorm ignited over the weekend by administration officials seeming to indicate a willingness to drop such an option in order to secure congressional approval of a health care reform bill.
A lot of congratulations were passed around by lawmakers a few weeks ago when the federal hourly minimum wage was increased to $5.85, a 70 cent uptick. But wages are just part of the problem for workers in bottom-rung jobs.
The Food and Drug Administration warned the public Tuesday not to use body-building products marketed as containing steroids or steroid-like substances. The agency said many of the products are sold as dietary substances, but are actually unapproved and misbranded drugs. “Products marketed for body building and claiming to contain steroids or steroid-like substances are illegal and potentially quite dangerous,” said the agency’s commissioner, Dr.
On the eve of his fourth prime-time news conference, President Obama was working the phones, calling lawmakers involved in the health care talks to push them to embrace reform, White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said Wednesday. It follows the president’s Tuesday meeting with Democrats at the White House, dubbed a “serious working session” where “major progress” was made, Dunn said. Senior administration officials said the president will not meet with lawmakers Wednesday but was temporarily shifting focus to the discussions with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki, the joint news conference with him, and then the prime-time news conference Wednesday
If anyone had any remaining doubts about the daunting politics of health care reform, the last couple of weeks have served as a stark reminder. Congressional Budget Office estimates of the ten-year costs of Senate health bills have caused the GOP to pounce and deficit-wary Democrats to start scaling back their proposals; and despite the fact that recent polls show a sizeable majority of Americans supporting the creation of a public health plan as an alternative to private insurance, Republicans made clear over the weekend that they remain steadfastly opposed to any government option. But perhaps the clearest sign yet of the unpredictable nature of such an ambitious policy overhaul is the approach that is suddenly starting to emerge on Capitol Hill as an alternative to a public plan non-profit, consumer run health insurance cooperatives
In a sudden surge that took Asian health officials by surprise, the Japanese health ministry confirmed on Monday at least 125 new cases of the A virus or swine flu in the country’s western prefectures of Osaka and Hyogo. Officials have shut down around 1,000 schools since many of the infected were high-school students. Japan, along with the United Kingdom and Spain, is now one of the few countries outside of North America where the World Health Organization fears sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus could lead to the onset of a full-blown pandemic
The World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert level Monday in response to the outbreak of swine flu that originated in Mexico, as the global count of confirmed cases increased and governments initiated various steps to try to stem the spread.
While the swine flu raises public-health alarms globally, the prognosis for the world economy is not good if the outbreaks mutate into a pandemic. If there’s a pandemic on the level of the 1918 “Spanish” flu, a 2008 World Bank analysis says, it would cost the world economy $3.1 trillion and drop the world’s gross domestic product by 4.8 percent in the first year of infection. A pandemic like the less severe 1957 “Asian” flu would reduce global GDP by 2 percent, The World Bank concluded, while a pandemic like the most recent 1968 “Hong Kong” flu would cut world economic output by just under 1 percent
The outbreak of swine flu, which appears to have originated in Mexico, has crossed borders and datelines, spooked the travel industry — and thrown up some unfamiliar and uncertain terminology.
The first case of swine flu in Europe was confirmed Monday in Spain as a top European health official warned against travel to Mexico and the United States. Spanish health minister Trinidad Jimenez said a 23-year-old man who returned from studying in Mexico last Wednesday tested positive for the virus at a hospital in Albacete, southeastern Spain