Census Bureau: Young adults make up the largest share of those without health insurance

Young adults ages 19 to 34 have the highest uninsured health care rates in the country, according to census data — and Nicholas Williams hopes not to enter into that category.

He’s anxious, though. That’s because Williams will turn 26 next month, making him ineligible to remain on his parents’ health insurance plan under Affordable Care Act regulations.

“Twenty-six is the end of the road for me,” Williams said, referring to his current ACA plan. “I’m definitely nervous. … You’re cut off. I’ll be on my own.”

Before implementation of the ACA in 2010, health insurers set the age limit, which varied.

Williams, who lives with his family in East Islip, is frantically job hunting, with multiple interviews lined up, he said. Williams said he has a degree in social studies from St. Francis College and is interested in a job in customer service.

His health insurance needs are not far from his mind, he added, noting he is a Type 1 diabetic, something he said he’s been since he was 15.

“I’m on an insulin pump, and I also have a blood glucose monitoring system that tracks my blood sugar every five minutes. These devices make my life easier. It helps me manage my diabetes,” said Williams, who has worked part time and in temporary jobs that didn’t offer insurance. The cost “is manageable with insurance. I can’t imagine how much that would cost without insurance.”

According to the 2019 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau released Oct. 26, people ages 19 to 34 were the largest share of uninsured of any age group in the United States, at 15.6%, 0.4 percentage points higher than in 2018. That compares with 5.7% for those under 19, 11.3% for adults ages 35 to 64, and 0.8% for individuals 65 and older in 2019.

And the uninsured share of 26-year-olds was the highest among any single-year age, at 18.3%, which was 3.6 percentage points higher than the uninsured rate for 25-year-olds, the bureau said. Twenty-seven-year-olds had the next-highest uninsured rate, at 17.5%, in 2019.

The census bureau report said, “All adults may receive coverage through their employer, through public coverage or through purchase on the health care marketplace. However, young adults may be less likely to purchase health insurance coverage, and therefore more likely to be uninsured than other age groups.”

Daniel Lloyd, 34, founder and president of Minority Millennials, a grassroots nonprofit that works to represent minorities and millennials in policies, said health insurance coverage is on the minds of many in his group.

“A lot of members are focused on entrepreneurship, and many stay with jobs only because of health insurance,” Lloyd said. “So that impedes their desire to establish their own businesses.”

Lloyd, who also works for the Babylon Industrial Development Agency, recalled how a similar

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N.J.’s Largest City Shuts Down Again as Virus Cases Surge

“It was a smart move to act early — absolutely,” Dr. Elnahal said. “You have Halloween and you have Thanksgiving a short time after that. We really have to get ahead of making sure people know that they shouldn’t gather indoors.”

With 20 patients hospitalized with Covid-19, University Hospital has activated its surge plans, drawing on lessons learned in the spring when it was treating 300 patients sick from the virus at a time.

“The advantage we have now, that we didn’t have in the spring, is experience,” Dr. Elnahal said.

In the Ironbound on Monday, city officials went door to door to restaurants, hardware stores and barbershops, handing out pamphlets detailing Mr. Baraka’s executive order and the extra safety protocols that are now required.

The sidewalks at dinner time were filled mainly with residents returning from jobs at construction sites and other essential businesses. Most wore masks, and signage about social distancing was omnipresent, filling the windows of storefronts and fences along Ferry Street, the main business corridor.

“At what point do small businesses have a leg to stand on to survive?” said Joe Downar Jr., a son of the owners of The Deep Inn, a bar that had already shut down its pool tables, dart boards and jukebox.

Newark has 15 testing sites, including one in the Ann Street School parking lot in the Ironbound neighborhood. Like all public schools in Newark, the building is closed to students, who are taking all classes online because of the pandemic. Orange cones and yellow caution tape now line the lot to guide residents arriving on foot as they wait in line for a virus test.

From Friday to Sunday, of the 284 people tested within the 07105 ZIP code, 84 were positive for the virus, city officials said. And across the city, those getting sick are more likely to be Latino — a change from the first wave of the virus, when Black residents of Newark were more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19, according to the city’s health director, Dr. Mark Wade.

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The Health 202: Biden could take over the largest vaccine effort in U.S. history

The initiative’s chief operating officer similarly said the election shouldn’t affect the vaccine effort.

“I see nothing that would cause us to stop doing what we’re doing, no matter the results of the election,” Gen. Gustave Perna said at a Heritage Foundation event this week. “We got our heads down and driving the sleigh, and we are going to execute our mission as directed.”

But as president, Biden would face some tough questions in taking over Operation Warp Speed.

The initiative aims to deliver 300 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to Americans starting early next year. A coronavirus vaccine has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but the Trump administration’s unprecedented effort has won praise even from skeptics who otherwise slam its response to the pandemic.

Paul Ostrowski, Operation Warp Speed’s director for supply, production and distribution, said yesterday they are “absolutely” on track to achieve the goal of having tens of millions of vaccine doses ready in December.

“We are actually going to exceed that expectation,” Ostrowski told CBS News. “We will have vaccines, we anticipate, prior to the turn of the new year.”

Biden is under pressure from some Democratic quarters to fire the head of the project, Moncef Slaoui, who was appointed by Trump in May.

Slaoui, who came from a venture capital firm investing in biotech companies, has held millions in stock on companies that are working to develop coronavirus vaccines. By working as a volunteer outside contractor for pay of just $1, Slaoui has been able to maintain personal investments and avoid making ethics disclosures.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other lawmakers have seized on the unusual situation, asking the consulting company that employs Slaoui to explain its role in his contract with the federal government. Warren has also said Slaoui should be the “first person to be fired.”

A Biden spokesman wouldn’t say yesterday whether the Democratic nominee would keep Slaoui in place.

Campaign spokesman Andrew Bates didn’t respond to a question about Biden’s plans on that front, instead providing a generic statement about how Biden will “empower scientific professionals” if elected.

“Why would anyone believe that the Trump Administration could competently execute on developing and distributing a vaccine to hundreds of millions of Americans?” Bates wrote in an email.

“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will provide the leadership that has been lacking under Trump to empower scientific professionals throughout our government — including those involved in Warp Speed — to ensure that a safe and effective vaccine is distributed equitably, efficiently, and free to all Americans,” he added.

Biden’s campaign website criticizes Operation Warp Speed, saying the initiative “lacks sound leadership, global vision, or a strategy for securing the necessary funding to see this mission through or secure trust from Americans who depend on its success.”

But Operation Warp Speed has already inked more than a dozen contracts. 

The next president won’t be sworn in until the end of January. By that time – if all goes according

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50,000 children in Louisiana are without health insurance, the largest increase in a decade | Health care/Hospitals

Roughly 11,000 children in Louisiana lost their health insurance last year, the largest single-year drop in over a decade and an alarming reversal of years of progress getting kids covered.

About 50,000 children, or 4.4% of children in Louisiana, were uninsured in the state in 2019, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by the Louisiana Budget Project, compared to 39,000 children who lacked health insurance in 2018. In 2016, the number of uninsured children was even lower, at 36,000.

The data in Louisiana mirror a nationwide trend that experts fear will worsen amid job losses and an unstable economy due to the coronavirus.



What contributes to Louisiana's high maternal mortality rate? The distance to care, research says

22 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes have no hospital offering obstetric care, birth center, OB/GYN or certified nurse-midwives 

“This reflected 2019, which was a year in which we had record low unemployment and a decade of strong economic growth,” said Stacey Roussel, policy director for the Louisiana Budget Project and author of the report. “Still, we were seeing the uninsured rate for children rising across the country as well as here in Louisiana.”

“It also means a record increase in the number of families without insurance for their children as we were going into the largest public health emergency we’ve seen in our generation,” she added.

Access to health care is critical for young brains and bodies, according to researchers and medical experts.

In the first few years of life, over 80% of brain development takes place and the foundation is laid for growth of major body systems.

Interventions are most effective when doctors can spot conditions at a young age before they become a bigger issue.

“Preventative care is the hallmark of pediatric care,” said Dr. Ryan Pasternak, an adolescent medicine specialist and associate professor at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine. “Our goal is not only to identify and treat acute and chronic illnesses, but also to address and identify lifelong illnesses.”

Even short gaps in care can allow things to slip through. Pasternak said he saw a young patient this month who lost Medicaid and put off care for seven months. When the patient regained coverage, it was a two and a half hour visit.

“There were just a plethora of issues that had not been addressed,” Pasternak said.

Boy born 22 weeks into mother’s pregnancy

It’s not yet clear exactly why Louisiana’s number of uninsured children has grown so much in a year.

In 2016, Louisiana expanded Medicaid to include those making up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or about $36,000 for a family of four as of 2020. By April 2019, the expansion provided coverage to more than 500,000 additional people.

But in May of last year, Medicaid enrollment dipped after wage checks that automatically kicked off people appearing to make too much money to qualify, dropping by about 50,000 enrollees by the of 2019. But in January, enrollment started to climb again, with 550,000 people covered by the expansion as of Sept. 2020. 

Providers searching

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A look inside the COVID-19 ward at Wisconsin’s largest hospital

CBS News was granted access into Wisconsin’s largest hospital – Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee – which has five coronavirus units. The ICU is for the most critical patients.

Nurse Ashley Bonus has been there since the start, treating patients like 73-year-old attorney Sue Pappas.

When asked if she had any idea how she got COVID-19, Pappas responded, “No! I can’t explain it. I was pissed. I was very upset. My family busted their butt … to be safe, and all of a sudden, I get it. This is nuts!”

“I wish people would take this serious,” Pappas added, as she sat in her hospital room.

Bonus said she “felt good” about Pappas, but was worried about getting the coronavirus herself.

“Initially, I would say yes,” said Bonus. “I’m a type 1 diabetic. I’m also 17 weeks pregnant.”

Even so, Bonus said she still chooses to go work at the COVID-19 unit every day.

“It was a hard decision to make,” she said. “It’s also that emotional support during all of this. You take me to a different ICU in this hospital, and I’m not going to have the camaraderie that I have here.”

COVID-19 patients are flipped, or proned as it’s called, because it’s one of the only things that shows increased survival since it helps their breathing. Medical personnel at the coronavirus unit said most of their critical patients are not the elderly; they’re actually in their 30s and 40s. If fighting COVID-19 is a war, every day is a battle.

“Figure out what you’re fighting for and keep that at the forefront,” said Bonus. “So this community, these patients, these families that are being affected by this, that’s what I’m fighting for.”

On Wednesday, Wisconsin hit a record 48 deaths reported, according to the state’s Department of Health Services.

“The story you’re telling here today about the hospital in Milwaukee is one that most people think won’t happen to our community,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, told CBS News. “And what unfortunately is going to happen in so many communities across our country is stretching the system beyond anything that we’ve had in modern history.”

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 8.3 million cases have been reported in the United States, with over 221,000 deaths.

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Nation’s Largest Suicide Prevention Organization Celebrates National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (S.2661) Becoming Law

Nation’s Largest Suicide Prevention Organization Celebrates National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (S.2661) Becoming Law

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2020

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — On Saturday, October 17, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (S.2661), legislation that will support the implementation of the future 9-8-8 crisis hotline, was signed into law. Robert Gebbia, CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, released the following statement:

AFSP.org
AFSP.org

“In July, the Federal Communications Commission announced that 9-8-8 would be the new universal hotline number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 2022. This easy-to-remember number will increase public access to mental health and suicide prevention crisis resources, encourage help-seeking for individuals in need, and is a crucial entry point for establishing a continuum of crisis care.

“This is why AFSP applauds the U.S. Congress for prioritizing suicide prevention through unanimous passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act. This historic legislation, now law, will bring our mental health crisis response system into the 21st century. We are encouraged by the federal government’s dedication to preventing this leading cause of death and showing all Americans that mental health is just as important as physical health.

“It should be noted however that the United States’ mental health crisis response system is woefully underfunded and undervalued. It is crucial that local crisis call centers are adequately equipped to respond to what we expect will be an increased call volume and provide effective crisis services to those in need when 9-8-8 is made available in July 2022.

“We would like to especially thank the legislation’s sponsors in the U.S. Senate, Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Jack Reed (D-RI), and the U.S. House, Reps. Chris Stewart (R-UT), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), as well as their staff. We would also like to thank the Committee members, Congressional leadership, and staff who have supported these efforts on Capitol Hill.

“AFSP’s nearly 30,000 volunteer Field Advocates engaged their members of Congress for years in support of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act. They made their voices heard through thousands of letters, phone calls, and emails. They have pushed the suicide prevention movement forward, and their efforts will save lives.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 9-8-8 number will be active nationwide by July 2022. Until that point, those in crisis should continue to call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For guidelines on how to report safely on suicide: https://afsp.org/for-journalists/.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C.

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