Health Highlights: March 23, 2017

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

AMA Urges Congress to Defeat Trump Health Bill

Congress should oppose Donald Trump’s health care bill because it will lead to millions of Americans losing health insurance, the American Medical Association says.

“Health insurance coverage is critically important. Without it, millions of American families could be just one serious illness or accident away from losing their home, business, or life savings,” the AMA said in a letter to members of Congress.

“The AMA has long supported the availability of advanceable and refundable tax credits, inversely related to income, as a means to assist individuals and families to purchase health insurance,” the group added. “The credits proposed under the AHCA (American Health Care Act) are significantly less generous for those with the greatest need than provided under current law. The reduced purchasing power with the AHCA tax credits will put insurance coverage out of reach for millions of Americans.”

“We also remain deeply concerned with the reduction of federal support for the Medicaid program and the resulting significant loss of coverage. Medicaid expansion has provided access to critical services, including mental health and substance abuse treatment, for millions. Not only will the AHCA force many states to roll back coverage to these millions of previously ineligible individuals, but the significant reduction in federal support for the program will inevitably have serious implications for all Medicaid beneficiaries, including the elderly, disabled, children, and pregnant women, as well,” the letter stated.

The AMA said it wants to “work with Congress on proposals that will increase the number of Americans with quality, affordable health insurance coverage but, for the reasons cited above, urge members to oppose the American Health Care Act.”


‘Gong Show’ Creator Chuck Barris Dies at Age 87

The creator of “The Gong Show” and many other game shows has died.

Chuck Barris died at his home in Palisades. N.Y. at age 87, according to his spokesman Paul Shefrin, The New York Times reported.

Barris also created “The Dating Game” and “The Newylwed Game” and was also a novelist and songwriter.

He wrote the pop song “Palisades Park,” which became a hit for Freddy Cannon in 1962, The Times reported.


Compounding Center Co-Founder Not Guilty of Murder in Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

A co-founder and pharmacist at the New England Compounding Center was acquitted of murder charges linked to the deaths of patients who received injected steroids at the Framingham, Mass. lab.

But Barry Cadden was found guilty of racketeering, conspiracy and mail fraud charges by the jury in Boston and could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison, USA Today reported.

In 2012, 751 patients in 20 states developed fungal meningitis infections after being injected with steroids from the compounding center, and 64 of them died.

Cadden’s defense lawyer said there was no evidence that his client was responsible for the deaths. Cadden is the first defendant to be tried in the case. Supervisory pharmacist Glenn Chin also faces second-degree murder charges, USA Today reported.

Twelve other people were initially charged with lesser crimes. Some pleaded guilty and others have had their charges dropped.

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