California health care: Some undocumented adults get coverage

California becomes first state to provide health care coverage to some undocumented adults


John Bacon


USA TODAY
Published 9:41 AM EDT Jul 10, 2019
In this May 9, 2019, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom gestures towards a chart with proposed funding to deal with the state’s homelessness as he discusses his revised state budget during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif.
Rich Pedroncelli, AP

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation making California the first state to provide health care coverage to young, undocumented adults, a $98 million measure targeting almost 100,000 people.

The immigrants, ages 19 to 25, are eligible for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. The law signed Tuesday was a win for Newsom, who rejected as too expensive a state Senate plan to include adults 65 and older living in the state illegally.

President Trump has called the plan “crazy.” Newsom shrugs off the criticism, calling California “the most un-Trump” state in the nation.

Newsom signed the measure the same day the state forecast an average premium increase of less than 1% for 2020 in the state’s individual insurance marketplace, the lowest such rate change in the state program’s history.

The coverage expansion and the low average premium hike are mostly being funded through restoration of the individual mandate that requires California residents to purchase health insurance for themselves and their dependants. Californians who fail to purchase insurance would face a state tax penalty.

The plan is similar to a part of President Barack Obama’s health care law that Republicans in Congress eliminated as part of the 2017 overhaul to the tax code.

Not that the state is desperate for cash: California is projected to have a surplus of more than $20 billion, the largest in 20 years.

“The bold moves by Gov. Newsom and the Legislature will save Californians hundreds of millions of dollars in premiums and provide new financial assistance to middle-income Californians, which will help people get covered and stay covered,” said Peter Lee, Covered California’s executive director.

Lee said California is “building on the success of the Affordable Care Act” and expanding coverage to hundreds of thousands of people. The California Immigrant Policy Center lauded the inclusion of undocumented young adults but called the plan “bittersweet.”

“The exclusion of undocumented elders from the same health care their U.S. citizen neighbors are eligible for means beloved community members will suffer and die from treatable conditions'” said Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center.

Newsom has pledged to further expand coverage in the future. The new rules are effective in January and are part of a larger effort to ensure everyone in the state has access to health insurance.

This content was originally published here.

Sanford Health, top surgeon accused of defrauding, harming patients

Sanford Health, top surgeon defrauded millions from government, complaint alleges


Jonathan Ellis


Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Published 3:28 PM EDT Jun 28, 2019
The Sanford Medical Center stands on Friday, June 28, in Sioux Falls.
Erin Bormett / Argus Leader

Sanford Health and one of its most lucrative surgeons have been accused of defrauding the federal government out of millions of dollars while also harming patients in a stunning complaint filed in federal court.

The 111-page complaint, filed by two Sanford doctors in August 2016, was unsealed by a federal judge late Thursday. On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Dakota filed a motion to intervene in the case, bringing the specter of government sanctions and even criminal charges.

The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Wilson Asfora, a neurosurgeon with Sanford, defrauded the federal government by performing unnecessary spine surgeries. The complaint also alleges that Asfora and Sanford had an elaborate scheme in which Sanford bought medical devices from a company owned by Asfora, and that Asfora then implanted the devices in patients, creating an incentive to perform unnecessary surgeries and a violation of federal law.

Dr. Wilson Asfora in 2009.
Argus Leader file photo

More: Sanford Health announces massive merger plan with Iowa’s UnityPoint Health

The court filing, brought by two of Asfora’s colleagues, Drs. Dustin Bechtold and Bryan Wellman, alleges that Sanford’s leadership ignored complaints from doctors and intentionally covered up Asfora’s surgical errors. It also alleges that Sanford and Asfora billed Medicare and other programs for care that was never provided. Those accusations, if true, could get the health system suspended from government health programs, including Medicare, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues.

The filing says that Sanford’s executive leadership, including President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft, and doctors who were supposed to ensure patient safety, ignored repeated warnings and complaints that Asfora was performing unnecessary surgeries.

SUPPORT INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM: Subscribe to the Argus Leader today

Dr. Allison Suttle, Sanford’s chief medical officer, denied the allegations in a statement to the Argus Leader.

“Dr. Wilson Asfora is an exceptionally talented surgeon who provides excellent care to his patients,” she said. “His unique skills and expertise are a great asset to our region. He has saved the lives of hundreds of patients. The allegations in this lawsuit have been investigated and were found to have no merit. Sanford Health is confident in the care provided to our patients and will continue to provide quality care. We will vigorously defend this baseless suit.”

At one point, in October, 2015, Sanford fired Asfora. The complaint says that Asfora ran into Wellman and another spine surgeon, Dr. Troy Gust, and told them he had “dirt and skeletons” on Sanford. Asfora predicted he would be reinstated, and he was two weeks later.

The complaint includes 50 pages of accounts in which Asfora is alleged to have performed unnecessary surgeries on patients. In those accounts, Asfora not only performed the surgeries, but he also filled patients with unnecessary screws and medical devices manufactured by his company, Medical Designs, that were then billed to the federal government.

Asfora and Sanford, the complaint alleges, received kickbacks by using medical implants in unnecessary surgeries. Medical Designs produced medical screws and spacers used in spinal fusion surgeries. The complaint alleges that Asfora used those devices on spinal fusion surgeries that were unnecessary in order to generate profits for himself.

“One level,” says a summary of one patient’s fusion, “was all that was medically necessary for this patient. Dr. Asfora put in three additional cages, which this patient did not need, but which Dr. Asfora personally benefited from financially. Dr. Asfora never saw this patient prior to surgery. Three of these levels were off-label, medically unnecessary, and medically tainted by kickbacks.” 

It’s not the first time that Asfora and Sanford have been in trouble with violating federal anti-kickback laws. An Argus Leader investigation in 2014 revealed that Asfora formed an entity known as a Physician Owned Distributorship. PODs allow their doctor-owners to profit off of devices that they implant, which critics say increases the likelihood of doctors performing surgeries for financial gain.

Sanford and Asfora agreed to pay $625,000 in fines for violating anti-kickback rules.

Surgeons with the Orthopedic Institute had a separate POD, but they abandoned their POD amid concerns about violating federal law. Asfora continued his POD, which the complaint attributes to more frequent and aggressive surgeries performed by Asfora.

This content was originally published here.

California Officially Becomes First State To Provide Health Benefits to Some Illegal Immigrants

Thousands of illegal immigrants in California will be able to receive state-funded health insurance under a law signed Tuesday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The law, SB-104, extends health care benefits to everyone 19 to 25 years of age who is income eligible, regardless of their immigration status, CNN reported.

Officials have estimated about 90,000 people will be covered by the law, with a cost of about $98 million per year. Coverage will take effect in 2020. California will be restoring the individual mandate to have health insurance in order to collect revenue that can pay for the new law. The Obamacare mandate was removed nationally by the GOP-controlled Congress in 2017.

Advertisement – story continues below

California already covers health care for illegal immigrants under 19.

Although Newsom balked at a $3.4 billion-per-year proposal to expand health care coverage for illegal immigrants regardless of age, he has also said that he will increase coverage.

President Donald Trump has condemned the law.

California doesn’t “treat their people as well as they treat illegal immigrants,” he told reporters on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Advertisement – story continues below

“At what point does it stop? It’s crazy what they are doing. And it’s mean. And it’s very unfair to our citizens, and we’re going to stop it. But we may need an election to stop it, and we may need to get back the House,” Trump said.

But Newsom said California is right where he wants it to be.

Should illegal immigrants get taxpayer-funded health insurance?

Completing this poll entitles you to The Western Journal news updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
0% (0 Votes)
0% (0 Votes)

“If you believe in universal health care, you believe in universal health care. We are the most un-Trump state in America when it comes to health policy,” Newsom said, according to NPR.

At least one Republican state legislator foretold troubles from the law.

“We are going to be a magnet that is going to further attract people to a state of California that’s willing to write a blank check to anyone that wants to come here,” state Sen. Jeff Stone said.

Advertisement – story continues below

“We are doing a disservice to citizens who legally call California their home.”

CNN earlier this month released the results of a national poll on giving illegal immigrants government-funded health care. The poll found that 59 percent of those surveyed were opposed to giving health care to illegal immigrants while 38 percent supported the concept.

Government-funded health care for illegal immigrants has become a central issue as Democrats seek to select their 2020 presidential nominees.

Linda J. Blumberg of the Urban Institute is one of the many critics of insurance for all and said it might create “strong incentives for people with serious health problems to enter the country or remain longer than their visas allow in order to get government-funded care,” The New York Times reported.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

This content was originally published here.

40 percent of Americans want to foot the bill for illegal aliens’ health care, poll finds

Most Americans don’t believe that their tax dollars should go to fund health care benefits for those who have entered the country illegally, but a surprisingly high minority does, according to a new CNN poll.

The CNN survey of 1,613 American adults — conducted June 28-30 by independent research company SSRS — found that while 58 percent of Americans are opposed to the idea of taxpayer-funded health insurance for illegal aliens, 38 percent of respondents were on board with the idea; 3 percent were undecided.

Unsurprisingly, two-thirds (66 percent) of Democrats surveyed said they supported taxpayer-backed health insurance for illegal immigrants, while only a scant 10 percent of self-described Republicans supported it. And 63 percent of independents said they opposed the idea, as opposed to the 34 percent in favor of it.

The poll also found similar enthusiasm levels between Republicans and Democrats on voting in next year’s presidential election. At least 75 percent of Democrats answered that they were “extremely/very enthusiastic” compared to 73 percent of Republicans.

The CNN/SSRS poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

Not so long ago, a debate about whether or not to open up publicly funded health insurance benefits to illegal aliens would have sounded like the satire of past election cycles, but that’s just where things are right now in the 2020 Democratic primary.

At one of last week’s two Democratic debates, every single Democratic candidate raised their hands on stage in favor of giving health care to illegal aliens.

On the campaign trail, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., have both spoken in favor of public health care benefits for illegal immigrants.

At an event in June, Democratic candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said that he would “absolutely” include coverage for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in his trademark Medicare for All proposal.

Meanwhile, the state of California has gone out ahead of the 2020 Democratic field and has begun offering state medical benefits to illegal alien adults. President Donald Trump criticized the move Monday, telling reporters that California’s elected officials “don’t treat their people as well as they treat illegal immigrants.

Estimates put the current cost of illegal immigration to the U.S. somewhere between $75 billion and $150 billion every year; however, those estimates don’t account for the record-breaking border numbers the U.S. has seen over the last few months or what will happen if the U.S. incentivizes even more illegal immigration with new health care entitlements.

This content was originally published here.

Does my child need to wait until they have all of their permanent teeth to see an orthodontist? | American Association of Orthodontists

If someone tells you that your child should have all of his/her permanent teeth before visiting the orthodontist for the first time, that “someone” is incorrect . In fact, putting off a first visit to the orthodontist until all of a child’s permanent teeth are in could do more harm than good. Here’s why:

There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

A child’s mouth is a busy place. Think about a 6-year-old. Everything is growing, including the bones in the jaw and face. At around age 6, the first permanent molars appear. An exchange of teeth begins as baby teeth fall out and are replaced by larger-sized permanent teeth. And it all happens in a predictable, particular order. Unless it doesn’t.

The gums hide about two-thirds of each tooth, as well as all the bone that hold teeth in place. The gums can mask conditions that interfere with the emergence of teeth.

Parents can watch for clues. Early or late loss of baby teeth can signal a problem. So can trouble with chewing or biting, speech difficulties and mouth-breathing. If these indicators are not addressed until a child has all of his/her permanent teeth and growth is essentially complete, correcting the problem may be more difficult than it might have been had treatment occurred earlier.

Orthodontic treatment is about creating a healthy bite – the beautiful smile is a bonus.

The goal of orthodontic treatment is to make sure the bite is right – that upper and lower teeth fit together like interlocking gears. The timing of your child’s treatment is critical and is based on his/her individual needs.

Some children can wait until they have all or most of their permanent teeth. Other children’s orthodontic problems may be better treated while some baby teeth are present. These children require growth guidance of bones in the upper and lower jaws, so there’s enough room for permanent teeth. Their treatment can be timed to predictable stages of dental development and physical growth. Once teeth and jaws are in alignment, a beautiful smile is the bonus result of treatment.

Dentists and orthodontists look at the mouth differently.

Both doctors work in the mouth. But perspectives differ based on the care they provide.

Dentists assess and promote overall oral health. They look for cavities and gum disease. They advise patients on diet and home hygiene care. And they monitor patients for diseases that appear in or affect the mouth. Dentists take “bite wing” x-rays to isolate a particular section of teeth as part of their diagnosis and treatment planning process. Orthodontic evaluations may be a lower priority for dentists.

Orthodontists are laser-focused on each patient’s bite. Orthodontists use “panoramic” x-rays to visualize all of the teeth above and below the gums, and the jaws, all at once. The bite is orthodontists’ area of specialization. 

If your dentist has not referred your child to an orthodontist, you need not wait for a referral. Orthodontists do not require a referral for your child to be seen.

Here’s what the experts say: remember age 7.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children have their first visit with an orthodontist no later than age 7. If a problem is detected and treatment is advised, you are giving the orthodontist the opportunity to provide your child with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

To answer the question that headlines this blog, there’s no need to wait until your child has lost all his/her baby teeth before you consult an orthodontist. It’s fine to talk to an orthodontist as soon as you suspect a problem in your child, even if your child is younger than 7. Many orthodontists offer a free or low-cost initial consultation. And adults – there’s no time like the present to talk to an orthodontist about getting the smile you’ve always wanted. Locate AAO orthodontists through Find an Orthodontist.

This content was originally published here.

BREAKING: Google Just Scrubbed Natural Health Websites From Its

***CENSORSHIP IS REAL. YOU CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE BY SHARING THIS ON SOCIAL AND FORWARDING IT VIA EMAIL. THANK YOU!!***

Earlier this month, in one devastating algorithmic stroke, Google removed many of the top natural health and health freedom websites from their organic search results — some losing as much as 90% of their traffic. In fact, the term “organic” should no longer be used to describe Google’s referral traffic, as a jaw-dropping undercover investigation by Project Veritas reveals: Google surreptitiously manipulates its search results and auto-suggestions to conform to a very specific set of sociopolitical and economic agendas intended to manipulate elections and promote private interests.

We live in amazing times, albeit intense, filled with incredible darkness and light.

But thanks to the power of the internet, we have a level of freedom of information never enjoyed before by any previous generation on Earth — and that information is the very life’s blood of democratic ideals, and the necessary ingredient for informed consent and health freedom, our primary advocacies.

But what happens when the gate-keepers of the content that flows through this incredible invention, like Facebook and Pinterest, censor and shadow ban certain of its users or content, or their ability to send you messages via email service provider platforms like Mailchimp, as we’ve recently experienced on GreenMedInfo.com? Where do we go for information then? 

Why not skip the social media filtering and email platform censorship and go back to using Google, you might ask. Aren’t they the very archetype and modern-day oracle of fairness, having become synonymous with looking for and finding objective answers. 

After all, wouldn’t you expect that if you typed in turmeric research, GreenMedInfo.com would come up on the first page, given we have the world’s largest, open access resource on the topic which curates over 2,700 peer-reviewed studies relevant to over 800 diseases, on the topic? Whereas a few years ago, our search traffic was growing, today it’s as if we don’t exist on the internet any longer (unless you specifically search for us by name). 

Instead, today, you find first page google results on turmeric like: “Turmeric May Not Be a Miracle Spice After All” from Time.com, or “Turmeric: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning” from WebMD.com, which overlook much of the research we have gathered, and make turmeric sound like it’s just another drug that you have to be very careful take. 

Apparently, this is entirely by design! On June 3rd, in fact, Google rolled out its latest core algorithm change, which obliterated the organic search results for the majority of the top sites in the natural health and health freedom advocating sector of the internet. Sites like DrAxe.com, Kellybroganmd.com (stats depicted in the image below), and Naturalnews.com saw most of their traffic removed overnight. 

Mercola.com, perhaps the most heavily hit of all, broke the story in its two-part report: “Google buries Mercola in their latest search engine update, Part 1 and 2.” 

Mercola.com has been a source of whistle-blowing information about Big Pharma and Big Tech collusion for decades, so it is no surprise why Google would take this action against his platform, and similar ones. In fact, signs of the coming purge came back in 2016, when GlaxoSmithKline signed a $715 million contract to partner with Google. Google, it appears, has become a pay-to-play operation, and contains a specific sociopolitical and economic agenda that is built directly into its search algorithms. 

Amazingly, on the same day of Mercola’s report, June 24th, an investigative reporter by the name of James O’ Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, released an undercover video of a top Google executive and a whistleblower from within Google, revealing how the company is manipulating search results to unduly influence elections, but how they are applying an Orwellian-type narrative to the autosuggestions, search results, and google news aggregator feed used by billions daily. This is a must watch video, and was almost immediately removed by Youtube (owned by Google), further validating how badly they don’t want the information to get out there. 

Amazingly, the timing of this video could not be worse for Google. As reported by the Wall Street Journal on June 24th, the Justice Department is preparing an anti-trust case against Google. Additionally, on June 19th, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced Senate Bill 1914“A bill to amend the Communications Decency Act to encourage providers of interactive computer services to provide content moderation that is politically neutral,” which would strip Big Tech companies of the immunity they presently enjoy from lawsuits for exactly the type of political manipulation Project Veritas’ video above exposed. 

Until Google is held accountable for their actions, and there is industry reform, it will be difficult to get around their full spectrum dominance (gmail, google, youtube, google calendar, google documents, etc.) unless we find better, privacy-secured, platforms.  And there are quite a few you may not have heard about, including the internet browser alternatives to Google Chrome, such as Brave Browser and Opera, search engines like Startpage.comduckduckgo.com or ecosia.org, and email programs like protonmail.com. You can also use the communications app Signal, which provides a level of encryption that may be the best out there. 

Lastly, this newsletter is one of the only lifelines people will have to receive our content in the future. And we highly encourage you to share it with others. They can sign up here and receive our most information-packed gift ever here, a 500+ page natural remedy guide entirely backed up by peer-reviewed science. It’s truly an invaluable resource and we are happy to give it away to support our readers taking back control of their health. Download it here. You can also read my recent Founder’s Statement about Recent Censorship Events, to get a greater sense for the context of what is happening to us and similar projects like ours. 

ADDENDUM: TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS THAT GOOGLE IS MANIPULATING THEIR RESULTS

In order to confirm that O’ Keefe’s accusations against Google are correct, and that they are engaged in manipulating search term auto suggestions, I typed into Google “Vaccines cause…” to see what results it would retrieve. This is the result: 

In order to ascertain what the actual search volume for the term in question is, we went to another Google product called Google trends which allows you to see the volume, and what people are searching for, over time. So, we compared the searches: “Vaccines Cause Adults” with “Vaccines Cause Autism.” You’ll see the profound disparity in volume between the two, in favor of the latter. 

You can visit the google trends search and see for yourself here.

Amazingly, Google states that the auto-suggestions are “predictions, not suggestions.” Here’s their official statement: 

“You’ll notice we call these autocomplete “predictions” rather than “suggestions,” and there’s a good reason for that. Autocomplete is designed to help people complete a search they were intending to do, not to suggest new types of searches to be performed. These are our best predictions of the query you were likely to continue entering.

How do we determine these predictions? We look at the real searches that happen on Google and show common and trending ones relevant to the characters that are entered and also related to your location and previous searches.”

Clearly, this demonstrates with Google’s own data that they are intentionally removing certain auto-suggestions from their search to cover up the truth about what people are actually searching for. This also corroborates the hypothesis that they are censoring sites critical of vaccines, or which question vaccine safety; namely, natural health and health freedom promoting websites like our own. 

This content was originally published here.

Maryland family says orthodontist vanishes after they paid $3K for braces – Story | WTTG

A Maryland family says their dentist vanished without a trace after they paid $3,000 for braces for their teenage daughter and now the teen is experiencing complications as her family scrambles to…

This content was originally published here.