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Whiteboard is in preview on Windows 10 and shows promise for …

e47d6_Whiteboard-hero_0 Whiteboard is in preview on Windows 10 and shows promise for ...

Microsoft’s Whiteboard app was released in preview last week and it shows a lot of promise for online collaboration.

Microsoft has added the ability to collaborate in real time over the internet to a number of their apps and services. Last week, Microsoft released Whiteboard in preview which allows users to ink on a digital whiteboard with multiple users from different devices. We took a hands-on look of the app earlier this year before it was available to the public and now have some more thoughts after using it some more in its public preview release.

Since the app is in preview it wouldn’t be fair to do a complete review, but here’s what stands out and what we hope to see in the future. The app is free but to use multi-party collaboration at least one person needs to have an Office 365 personal, work, or school account.

See in Microsoft Store

A natural evolution

e47d6_Whiteboard-hero_0 Whiteboard is in preview on Windows 10 and shows promise for ...

The concept of Whiteboard just works. Sure, there are some performance hiccups but the app is in preview so that isn’t an issue. Being able to draw on a virtual whiteboard and have others join in with very little delay seems like something that should have been a key feature on tablets years ago.

Whiteboard supports multiple ink colors, tools that help you draw shapes and charts, and the ability to type notes. These options make it easy to work together on math problems or any type of handwritten work or just play tic-tac-toe with a friend. Whiteboard will fit in very well in classrooms, workplaces, and could even be used for games and doodling with friends.

The app also lets you insert photos and galleries which help it be more versatile. Whiteboard combines the standard inking tools from many other Microsoft apps such as OneNote and brings in real-time collaboration. Eventually, it might even work as a baked-in part of other Microsoft apps.

A wish list

e47d6_Whiteboard-hero_0 Whiteboard is in preview on Windows 10 and shows promise for ...

Whiteboard already has a good set of features in its preview form. Over time it’s certain to grab some more. There are a few specific features we’d love to see added in the future as the app comes out of preview and is developed over time. First up is releasing the app on other platforms. Whiteboard feels handmade for tablets and the reality is that while tablets powered by Windows 10 are popular, the iPad is still a major player in the tablet space. Being able to collaborate in real time using a Surface Pro, an iPad, and a Surface Hub would be a very attractive option for schools and businesses using a number of devices. Microsoft has a plethora of apps on iOS and Android so it’s certainly a possibility that Whiteboard will come as well.

Another feature that would help would be some orientation markers. When drawing on my device and sharing it with my friend, it opened to a different part of the same digital whiteboard. This could be a bug of being in preview but even if it that’s the case, having some markers to make sure you can find an area on the page would be nice. A potential solution would be the option to have the whiteboard be marked with rows and columns. For example, you could tell your coworker to jump to C7 on the grid.

Summary

e47d6_Whiteboard-hero_0 Whiteboard is in preview on Windows 10 and shows promise for ...

Whiteboard feels very natural and makes working with other people easier. It supports some nice inking features and the delay between you writing on your device and a friend seeing it is very low.

It’s a very promising preview and it’ll be exciting to see what Microsoft does with it in the future.

See in Microsoft Store

Whiteboard is in preview on Windows 10 and shows promise for collaboration

1c04a_Whiteboard-hero_0 Whiteboard is in preview on Windows 10 and shows promise for collaboration

Microsoft’s Whiteboard app was released in preview last week and it shows a lot of promise for online collaboration.

Microsoft has added the ability to collaborate in real time over the internet to a number of their apps and services. Last week, Microsoft released Whiteboard in preview which allows users to ink on a digital whiteboard with multiple users from different devices. We took a hands-on look of the app earlier this year before it was available to the public and now have some more thoughts after using it some more in its public preview release.

Since the app is in preview it wouldn’t be fair to do a complete review, but here’s what stands out and what we hope to see in the future. The app is free but to use multi-party collaboration at least one person needs to have an Office 365 personal, work, or school account.

See in Microsoft Store

A natural evolution

1c04a_Whiteboard-hero_0 Whiteboard is in preview on Windows 10 and shows promise for collaboration

The concept of Whiteboard just works. Sure, there are some performance hiccups but the app is in preview so that isn’t an issue. Being able to draw on a virtual whiteboard and have others join in with very little delay seems like something that should have been a key feature on tablets years ago.

Whiteboard supports multiple ink colors, tools that help you draw shapes and charts, and the ability to type notes. These options make it easy to work together on math problems or any type of handwritten work or just play tic-tac-toe with a friend. Whiteboard will fit in very well in classrooms, workplaces, and could even be used for games and doodling with friends.

The app also lets you insert photos and galleries which help it be more versatile. Whiteboard combines the standard inking tools from many other Microsoft apps such as OneNote and brings in real-time collaboration. Eventually, it might even work as a baked-in part of other Microsoft apps.

A wish list

1c04a_Whiteboard-hero_0 Whiteboard is in preview on Windows 10 and shows promise for collaboration

Whiteboard already has a good set of features in its preview form. Over time it’s certain to grab some more. There are a few specific features we’d love to see added in the future as the app comes out of preview and is developed over time. First up is releasing the app on other platforms. Whiteboard feels handmade for tablets and the reality is that while tablets powered by Windows 10 are popular, the iPad is still a major player in the tablet space. Being able to collaborate in real time using a Surface Pro, an iPad, and a Surface Hub would be a very attractive option for schools and businesses using a number of devices. Microsoft has a plethora of apps on iOS and Android so it’s certainly a possibility that Whiteboard will come as well.

Another feature that would help would be some orientation markers. When drawing on my device and sharing it with my friend, it opened to a different part of the same digital whiteboard. This could be a bug of being in preview but even if it that’s the case, having some markers to make sure you can find an area on the page would be nice. A potential solution would be the option to have the whiteboard be marked with rows and columns. For example, you could tell your coworker to jump to C7 on the grid.

Summary

1c04a_Whiteboard-hero_0 Whiteboard is in preview on Windows 10 and shows promise for collaboration

Whiteboard feels very natural and makes working with other people easier. It supports some nice inking features and the delay between you writing on your device and a friend seeing it is very low.

It’s a very promising preview and it’ll be exciting to see what Microsoft does with it in the future.

See in Microsoft Store

Apple’s health boss leaves for new start-up, fulfilling a promise he made to his sick sister

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bc4c6_104883711-sethi-siblings2.530x298 Apple's health boss leaves for new start-up, fulfilling a promise he made to his sick sister

Apple’s health boss, Anil Sethi, has left the company to start venture focusing on helping very sick patients after his sister died from cancer.

Sethi’s medical record start-up Gliimpse was acquired by Apple in August 2016, with Sethi named director of the health team. Sethi also worked at Apple as an engineer in the late 1980s but doesn’t credit that as a factor in the acquisition. Instead, he suspects, it was his team’s expertise at aggregating medical information, while adhering to federal privacy requirements.

“At one point, Cupertino looked at 50 companies or so but they picked our team,” he said. “I can’t speak for them but one of the things we did is showed them a demo of what the technology could do without a slick deck.”

Apple has been looking at ways to turn the iPhone into the central vault for people’s medical information. That’s Sethi’s expertise, which he views as a key way to get around health care’s “interoperability problem.”

Interoperability, meaning the ability to share medical information securely between hospitals and clinics, is still a challenge in health care. It particularly affects those with serious health conditions with records scattered among dozens of doctors.

The promise

Sethi had been on leave from Apple for several months to care full-time for his sister, Tania. One of Sethi’s goals with Gliimpse was to help her aggregate her medical information, including labs and charts.

bc4c6_104883711-sethi-siblings2.530x298 Apple's health boss leaves for new start-up, fulfilling a promise he made to his sick sister

She died of cancer on Sept. 11.

He since decided not to rejoin the Apple health team and instead is starting a new company, dubbed Ciitizen, which is focused on making it easier for people like Tania to get their information — whether it’s about genomes, labs, ethical wills or advanced directives — and share it with researchers on request. He describes it as “health data as a palliative.”

Sethi made his sister a promise in her final days to dedicate his life to improving cancer care for patients. He said Apple COO Jeff Williams personally gave him the time off he needed to care for her.

bc4c6_104883711-sethi-siblings2.530x298 Apple's health boss leaves for new start-up, fulfilling a promise he made to his sick sister

He describes his start-up as “depth rather than breadth.” He said that Apple has the opportunity to help more than 1 billion people by adding more health capabilities to iOS devices but in ways that are “not as deep.”

But Sethi stressed that Apple’s executives are personally excited about the opportunity in health. Eventually, he hopes to meet his former colleagues “in the middle,” as Apple continues to work in health and wellness but starts to branch out into more medical applications like using Apple Watch to detect the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation with a goal of saving lives.

Sethi is self-funding the venture but is looking to raise a round of financing in the spring. In the meantime, he’s building a team of senior engineers.

Sethi will announce the new venture at a San Francisco conference for designers and technologists working on end-of-life experiences, called EndWell, on Thursday.

bc4c6_104883711-sethi-siblings2.530x298 Apple's health boss leaves for new start-up, fulfilling a promise he made to his sick sister



The Promise And Danger Of Health Care’s Big Data Revolution

You’ve heard about “precision medicine” ― the tailoring of tests and diagnoses to narrow groups of people, or even individual patients, based on their genetic makeups. You’ve heard about artificial intelligence ― and its potential to aid in both diagnosis and treatment ― by collecting and analyzing more information than humans ever could. You’ve heard about predictive modeling – the use of data to figure out how best to allocate health care resources within a community, or even within a hospital. And those are just a few examples.

How Kubernetes Resource Classes Promise to Change the Landscape for New Workloads

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Half of South Carolina’s rural ‘Promise Zone’ doesn’t have Internet access. It has a plan to get it.

BARNWELL — She passed it long after the industrial fringe of Columbia, driving on a route that slices through cotton fields and timber stands on its way toward the Savannah River.

She was in one of the poorest corners of the state, and as she zipped through one of the only towns on Highway 3, she found a massive challenge that’s weighing on this region’s efforts to lift itself up: A dead zone.

Her email went dark, and for just a moment, one of the most powerful decisionmakers in the telecommunications industry was face-to-face with a reality that marks daily life in the southern tip of South Carolina.

The dead zone encountered by Mignon Clyburn — one of five Federal Communications Commission members — isn’t all that unusual in rural counties like Barnwell. But spotty cellphone coverage is only the beginning of the telecom problems in the Lowcountry Promise Zone, a six-county region that reaches from Barnwell to Walterboro.

Two in five residents can’t buy broadband Internet because the infrastructure doesn’t exist. Even more say they can’t afford the service available to them because it costs too much, in a region with higher-than-average poverty and unemployment.

That adds up to a stark picture of Internet access in rural South Carolina, according to a report released Monday: A majority of homes don’t have broadband connections. Tens of thousands of people are cut off from the infrastructure of the modern economy.

Leaders fear the disconnect will have lasting effects that could leave the region behind. They see a problem with implications for their residents’ health, education and economic opportunity. Their concerns echo through rural corners of the country from coast to coast.

But unlike most places, they have a plan. Clyburn was on her way to hear about it.

It was Cyber Monday, a day that represents how deep the Internet has burrowed its way into American life. Yet all around the room, documentation highlighted just how deep the digital divide had grown.

Maps showing where broadband providers face no competition. Maps showing where Internet access is slow or nonexistent. Maps showing where the federal government is shoveling money to provide it.

They pointed out large swaths of the region with limited access, population centers that were cut off and huge areas governed by virtual monopolies. To Jim Stritzinger, the man who drew up the maps, they showed something else.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in South Carolina,” Stritzinger told a room of a few dozen politicians, telecom executives and community activists. “We’re here to get after it.”


+3 

Jim Stritzinger, director of Connect South Carolina, stands beside maps outlining where broadband is available in rural Colleton and Bamberg counties. Service is generally spotty outside main towns. Thad Moore/Staff 


By Thad Moore
tmoore@postandcourier.com

Stritzinger is the director of Connect South Carolina, an organization that documents Internet gaps and comes up with ideas to patch them. He was speaking to a room with interests far bigger than broadband access.

The group meets each month in Barnwell to talk through the big-picture problems facing the region — poor health, high poverty, struggling schools. They were assembled three years ago when the Obama administration designated this corner of South Carolina as a “promise zone,” with an offer of extra federal assistance.

Their goals are far-reaching: They want more emergency rooms, more teachers and more affordable housing. They want better infrastructure to increase their chances at luring big employers. They want to reduce poverty and lift the region’s economy.

In broadband access, they see an opportunity to catch up — a chance to “leapfrog” years of limited investment, says Clyburn, who grew up in Charleston. It could connect patients with specialists across the state, give students another way to learn after school and help residents find new jobs. It would be one less stumbling block when a company looks at moving in.

But it’s an opportunity that won’t come easy. It’s hard to make the economics of broadband expansion work when miles of fiber only connect a few customers.

“We knew at this juncture it would be most difficult,” Clyburn said in an interview with The Post and Courier. “The business case is more difficult to be made in areas where there are more cotton plants or corn stalks than people. The investment’s not going to organically flow.”

The FCC is spending tens of millions of dollars to subsidize Internet access in rural parts of the Palmetto State, but federal money alone won’t close the gaps, says Clyburn, a Democratic appointee who’s now the agency’s longest-serving commissioner.

Telecom companies like ATT and CenturyLink are getting $16 million a year to connect South Carolina’s countryside. They have another three years to reach nearly 50,000 homes and businesses here.

“What we are enabling is a very necessary epicenter of opportunities,” Clyburn said. “It is very much that seed that must be in place for the rest of these opportunities to grow.”

But, she warns, it isn’t everything.


+3 

Mignon Clyburn of South Carolina is the longest-serving member of the Federal Communications Commission. Thad Moore/Staff

And anyway, Stritzinger says, the region doesn’t have time to wait for slow work of infrastructure development — for towers to rise and cables to be buried.

Not with children coming home from school without Internet access. Not with patients who already need better access to medical care.

That’s why Stritzinger says he’s focused on short-term fixes — building a “bridge to the future,” he calls it.

He wants to use existing afterschool programs to set up “homework hotspots” for students to study with Internet access. He wants to focus hard on connecting doctors’ offices and setting up telehealth centers. He wants to promote underused programs that subsidize broadband connections for poor families.

They also strike at a key goal of his broadband plan — to demonstrate the value of a good Internet connection and drum up more interest in buying one. Without community buy-in, he says, it won’t do any good to advocate for more infrastructure.

“Beating the drum on that and getting people to sign up — I mean, the best way to encourage the installation of more stuff is to get the stuff that has been installed used,” Stritzinger says. “That’s the thing that’s most likely to inspire the providers to build more.”

And local governments want providers to build more. They can’t do it on their own — state law blocks towns from developing their own broadband networks — but they can dangle a low-cost incentive in front of telecom companies: Water towers.

Stritzinger’s idea is to map every tall structure in the Promise Zone — water tanks, radio transmitters, phone towers. He thinks they hold the key to connecting rural South Carolina.

From the right vantage point, telecom companies could beam Internet service to homes miles away, rather than lay fiber. The idea is to take a page from satellite Internet, but with broadband beamed from water towers instead of space.


+3 

Barnwell County is one of six counties along the Savannah River designated as a federal “promise zone” that receives special status for grants. The region hopes to use water towers to expand its broadband infrastructure. File/Wade Spees/Staff


Wade Spees

The technology, known as fixed wireless, is becoming increasingly common in South Carolina. Dallas-based ATT is using FCC subsidies to install new transmitters on its towers. It fired up Internet service last week in parts of Bamberg and Barnwell counties.

The possibility has picked up momentum in towns like Estill, where about 2,000 residents have no access to high-speed Internet. It’s one of the largest communities in the Promise Zone that lacks broadband.

Mayor Corrin Bowers says the slow service in his town means he spends extra time waiting to download data from his farm equipment. It means his wife, a teacher, sometimes stays up late because it takes so long to research her lesson plans. It means her students have to give up play time to finish their homework.

So Estill officials have started thinking about leasing space atop their water towers to Internet providers, hoping they might unlock better service. Bowers says he wants to get a project in motion next year.

He’s not alone. Half an hour away, the lack of a broadband connection at Hampton County’s industrial park has made it awkward to pitch businesses on moving in, county administrator Rose Dobson-Elliott says. The “absolutely horrible” cell service gives it away every time, she says.

Dobson-Elliott was sitting in Barnwell when the Promise Zone’s Internet plan was laid out — water towers and all. She had a similar project in mind: The county is looking at building an above-ground tank for its industrial park, and she says she’d like to fit it with transmitters.

“That would help that area — not just for the businesses, but for our citizens out there as well,” Dobson-Elliott says. “That’s an area of our county where we definitely need it.”

And if they get it, one more dead zone would be wiped from the map.

Gene Therapy Shows Promise For A Growing List Of Diseases

4ad99_dna-double-helix_custom-ed568d8d79f4dc4de569e96332a102548d154426-s1100-c15 Gene Therapy Shows Promise For A Growing List Of Diseases

Eli Wheatley and Christian Guardino are among a growing number of patients whose lives are apparently being saved or radically improved by gene therapy.

Wheatley, 3, of Lebanon, Ky., and Guardino, 17, of Patchogue, N.Y., were both diagnosed with what were long thought to be incurable genetic disorders. In the past, Wheatley’s condition would have probably killed him before his first birthday. Guardino’s would have blinded him early in life.

But after receiving experimental gene therapies, both seem to be doing fine.

“It’s a very exciting time for the field,” says Carrie Wolinetz, the associate director for science policy at the National Institutes of Health.

4ad99_dna-double-helix_custom-ed568d8d79f4dc4de569e96332a102548d154426-s1100-c15 Gene Therapy Shows Promise For A Growing List Of Diseases

Eli Wheatley, 3, of Lebanon, Ky., was diagnosed in his first few weeks of life with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease of motor neurons that was destroying his muscles. Thanks to a single infusion of experimental gene therapy, his mom says, she continues to see improvement every day.

Courtesy of Natalie Wheatley


hide caption

toggle caption

Courtesy of Natalie Wheatley

Eli Wheatley, 3, of Lebanon, Ky., was diagnosed in his first few weeks of life with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease of motor neurons that was destroying his muscles. Thanks to a single infusion of experimental gene therapy, his mom says, she continues to see improvement every day.

Courtesy of Natalie Wheatley

So far, gene therapy has only been tested on a relatively small number of patients who have been followed for relatively short periods of time. Many more patients will have to be studied for longer periods before anyone really knows how well the therapies work, how long the benefits last, and whether the therapies are safe.

But doctors and families of those helped so far are elated at the progress.

“This is really an important time in gene therapy,” says Dr. David Williams, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and chief scientific officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, who was not involved in these children’s treatment, but has recently achieved similar success with another genetic condition.

Eli’s mother, Natalie Wheatley, had been terrified there was something wrong with Eli even before he was born. He barely moved during her pregnancy, she recalls, and never seemed quite right in the first weeks of his life.

Finally, doctors told her that her worst fears were true: Her son had spinal muscular atrophy, a disease of motor neurons that was destroying his muscles.

“They basically told me he wouldn’t make it to his first birthday,” says Wheatley. Take him home and love him and spend as much time with him as you can, she remembers the health team telling her.

“I was devastated — devastated,” she says.

Guardino was diagnosed with a different condition — Leber’s congenital amaurosis, a disease of the eye’s retina — when he was born. The disorder isn’t fatal. But it was destroying his vision.

“I wouldn’t be able to walk around outside on my own,” says Guardino. During the day, he says, the world looked “incredibly dark” and blurry. “It was sort of like watching your world fade away.”

4ad99_dna-double-helix_custom-ed568d8d79f4dc4de569e96332a102548d154426-s1100-c15 Gene Therapy Shows Promise For A Growing List Of Diseases

(From left to right) Kathy Marshall, research coordinator, Dr. Albert Maguire, the ophthalmologist and surgeon who performed the gene therapy surgery, Christian Guardino, Beth Guardino and Dr. Jean Bennett. Christian now says he’s able “to see stars for the first time — fireworks — all these amazing things that I’ve never been able to see before.”

Courtesy of Beth Guardino


hide caption

toggle caption

Courtesy of Beth Guardino

(From left to right) Kathy Marshall, research coordinator, Dr. Albert Maguire, the ophthalmologist and surgeon who performed the gene therapy surgery, Christian Guardino, Beth Guardino and Dr. Jean Bennett. Christian now says he’s able “to see stars for the first time — fireworks — all these amazing things that I’ve never been able to see before.”

Courtesy of Beth Guardino

Now Guardino can see things he’d only dreamed about.

After the gene therapy treatment, he says, “I was able to see things for the first time — like the moon. I was able to see stars for the first time – fireworks — all these amazing things that I’ve never been able to see before.”

And Wheatley’s son, Eli, seems to be thriving.

“He just started preschool in September,” his mom says. “He goes to preschool alone. He eats in the cafeteria with all the other kids. He’s doing extremely well. It’s been amazing — truly amazing.”

4ad99_dna-double-helix_custom-ed568d8d79f4dc4de569e96332a102548d154426-s1100-c15 Gene Therapy Shows Promise For A Growing List Of Diseases

Recent success in these different cases “really shows us we’re able to harness this therapy for some pretty terrible diseases,” says Williams, who reported last month in the New England Journal of Medicine that gene therapy can also cure children suffering from adrenoleukodystrophy, a fatal genetic brain disease made famous by the movie Lorenzo’s Oil.

Scientists thought this sort of success would come decades ago. But their first attempts to save people born with defective genes by giving them new, healthy genes fizzled. Some patients who volunteered for early experiments developed cancer. At least one person died.

“And that caused a setback in the field, which caused a lot of concern that maybe gene therapy was not ready for prime time,” the NIH’s Wolinetz says.

4ad99_dna-double-helix_custom-ed568d8d79f4dc4de569e96332a102548d154426-s1100-c15 Gene Therapy Shows Promise For A Growing List Of Diseases

Some scientists feared gene therapy might never work. Researchers went back to the drawing board to come up with better, safer ways to use viruses to deliver healthy genes into a person’s body. It’s those decades of research that finally seem to be paying off.

“We have reached a point of maturation in the science and in some of the new approaches to gene therapy that have allowed us to make rapid advancements in a fairly short period of time,” Wolinetz says.

The price tag of such a treatment remains a looming question. The first gene therapy product approved by the Food and Drug Administration (a treatment for a form of leukemia, approved last summer) costs hundreds of thousands of dollars for each infusion. Some drug industry analysts predict the next gene therapy could cost close to $1 million per patient.

Dr. Peter Bach, director of the center for health policy and outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, says he’s thrilled with the scientific progress that’s been made in the field — but the cost of gene therapy drugs troubles him.

4ad99_dna-double-helix_custom-ed568d8d79f4dc4de569e96332a102548d154426-s1100-c15 Gene Therapy Shows Promise For A Growing List Of Diseases

“The model by which every innovation is turned around to extract the maximum amount of profit is ultimately taking away our ability to adequately fund many other things that promote health,” Bach says.

Whatever the questions and costs, people who have been helped by these treatments so far seem delighted.

“I think that the gene therapy is a miracle,” Guardino says. “I can’t imagine what my life would be like without it.”

Natalie Wheatley, whose son Eli was among those described in another study, published early this month in the New England Journal of Medicine, says her son seems to continue to improve.

“I see progress every day,” Wheatley says. “So that, to me, offers hope that gene therapy has saved his life. And I think eventually gene therapy will give the world hope. That’s my hope anyways.”

The FDA could soon approve for non-experimental use the first gene therapy for a genetic disorder — the treatment Guardino received to save his vision.

Meanwhile, scientists are starting to test other forms of gene therapy for a long list of other diseases, including many that are much more common.

Brainstorm Health: The Promise of the ‘Crapsule,’ OTC Viagra, Optum’s Digital Health Venture Fund


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Christie says promise on addiction, mental health treatment coming true in 2019

Nine months after Gov. Chris Christie vowed to add nearly 900 psychiatric and drug treatment beds to help halt the epidemic of opioid addictions and overdoses in the state, the governor announced Friday that 26 health providers have committed to open inpatient facilities and meet the demand within two years.

Through a solicitation from the state Health Department, four of the 26 treatment providers have committed to building new private inpatient hospitals, according to Christie’s announcement.

They will be run by Cumberland Behavioral Health, LLC in Cumberland County; Sunrise Psychiatric – Toms River in Ocean County; Hampton Behavioral Health in Monmouth County; and Summit Oaks Hospital in Passaic County. 

Nineteen of the 26 providers are existing acute-care general hospitals which have signed a contract to add psychiatric beds, including two located in Salem County, where no inpatient psychiatric care is available, the announcement said.

Together the 26 providers will open 811 beds by 2019, according to the governor’s office. The health department will also seek providers to open 53 beds in Hunterdon, Warren and Morris counties.

“These new psychiatric beds represent a 40 percent increase in the total adult acute care beds currently available in New Jersey,” according to Christie’s announcement. “There is an immediate need for inpatient care so people can get the treatment they need to get better and return to their communities. We welcome these providers as partners in expanding much-needed mental health services.”

Ninety percent of the bed space will be allocated to people with private insurance. Five percent of the remaining beds will be set aside for people on Medicaid, while five percent will be reserved for people who lack health insurance.

Christie to add 900 beds in N.J. to treat drug addiction, mental illness 

<![CDATA[]]>

The trend over the last 20 years is for hospitals to abandon inpatient psychiatric care, as insurance companies have shifted payment to outpatient care. The rampant abuse of prescription painkillers and heroin in the last five years is demanding more from healthcare industry.

Debra Wentz, executive director for the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, praised the governor for promoting the expansion of sorely needed mental health and addiction care.

Hospital executives have complained about psychiatric patients backing-up in their emergency rooms, Wentz said. “Hopefully these new beds will have an impact,” she said.

<![CDATA[]]>

According to the New Jersey Hospital Association, emergency room visits in New Jersey hospitals increased by more than 117,000 patients from 2014 to 2015, with nearly 54,000 of these new cases involved a person with a mental health or substance use disorder.

But Wentz expressed concern that the lion’s share of the treatment beds are aimed toward people who have insurance and who require hospital care. Outpatient care also must be expanded to assist people stepping-down from hospitals. Many of these people are poor, she said. 

“We want to celebrate progress and this is definitely progress,” Wentz said. “But substance abuse and opioid disorders cuts across all social classes – to those who are uninsured, those who have rich insurance plans, to everyone in between.”

<![CDATA[]]>

In addition to the four treatment providers opening new hospitals, the 22 others that responded to the state Health Department solicitation are:

Newton Medical Center

Saint Clare’s Hospital, Dover

Morristown Medical Center

RWJ University Hospital, Somerset

Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, Piscataway

Raritan Bay Medical Center, Perth Amboy

University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro

University Medical Center of Princeton, Princeton House Behavioral Health Division

Hampton Behavioral Health Center, Burlington

Memorial Hospital of Salem County

Inspira Medical Center, Elmer, Bridgeton and Woodbury

Monmouth Medical Center

Ocean Medical Center

Bayshore Medical Center

 Summit Oaks Hospital, Union

CarePoint Health, Bayonne Medical Center

Clara Maass Medical Center

Prime Healthcare Services, St. Mary’s Passaic

St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Paterson

St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital 

Susan K. Livio may be reached at slivio@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @SusanKLivio. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

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Tyrese Quickly Breaks Promise to Stay Off Internet After Claiming Will Smith Gave Him $5 Million

Tyrese Gibson thanked his friends Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith for an alleged $5 million donation to stay “afloat” amidst a very public custody battle with his ex-wife, but suggested the Hollywood power couple’s generosity came with a stipulation: stay off social media.

“Our family and our sister Jada-Pinkett Smith and my brother Will Smith just sent us $5 million dollars to help keep us afloat,” he wrote on Instagram Sunday. “You’ve guys asked me to get off and stay off the internet now that my daughters legal fees will be paid ! will listen…..”


99cef_the-rock-tyrese-gibson-300x250 Tyrese Quickly Breaks Promise to Stay Off Internet After Claiming Will Smith Gave Him $5 Million

He may have listened, but he doesn’t seem to be taking his friends’ advice.

Since thanking his famous pals for the donation on the very medium he said he’d stay off of, he’s been a busy bee on social media, posting five more times on Instagram, plus four tweets and two Facebook status updates.

TooFab has reached out to Jada Pinkett Smith’s representative for confirmation of Gibson’s claim, but has not yet heard back.

The 38-year-old actor, best known for “Transformers” and the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, has been undergoing a lengthy legal battle against his ex-wife since she claimed he was abusive to their 10-year-old daughter. Gibson said his ex is just being vindictive because she has yet to come to terms with his new marriage.


99cef_the-rock-tyrese-gibson-300x250 Tyrese Quickly Breaks Promise to Stay Off Internet After Claiming Will Smith Gave Him $5 Million

The Los Angeles Department for Children and Family Services have dropped Gibson’s child abuse allegations.

See Gibson’s entire online “thank you” note to the Smith family below.

When we show UP for each-other there’s nothing that can’t be done I️ repeat nothing…… My wife kept the news away from me cause I’ve been on with lawyers all day but our family and our sister Jada-Pinkett Smith and my brother Will Smith just sent us 5 million dollars to help keep us afloat- You’ve guys asked me to get off and stay off the Internet now that my daughters legal fees will be paid ! will listen….. The Smiths’s and their whole family has always shown up for The Gibson’s Uncle Will you’re an uncle for real….. And I’m saying again if you guys are out there in the Atlanta area please vote for @keishabottoms someone my daughter looks up to a LOT!!!! #ShaylaRocks

A post shared by TYRESE (@tyrese) on Nov 5, 2017 at 2:27pm PST


99cef_the-rock-tyrese-gibson-300x250 Tyrese Quickly Breaks Promise to Stay Off Internet After Claiming Will Smith Gave Him $5 Millionview photos
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See More of the Worst Celebrity Feuds of All Time

Android Circuit: New Samsung Galaxy X Leak, Nokia’s Surprising Promise, Microsoft’s Android Advances

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the launch of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, why one camera lens for the Pixel family is enough, what Google’s smartphones stand for, the availability of Samsung’s Galaxy X, Android Oreo’s market share, Nokia’s Android P updates, leaked details of Huawei’s Mate 10, and Microsoft’s Android launcher.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Google’s Big Day Reveals New Pixel Hardware

Google held an Android-focused event this week that saw the reveal of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets, along with a new Pixel branded chromebook, a new Google Home speaker and an update to its VR helmet. Forbes Miguel Heft has the details, including the aforementioned high-end thirteen-inch PixelBook:

Thin, convertible into tablet mode, 16GB RAM and 10 hours of battery life. If there is no wifi, it instantly tethers through your phone. Google Assistant comes built-in. It comes with a pen/stylus — circle a photo of an artist, and the Google Assistant will tell you who it is. Google Play smartphone apps run on the Pixelbook. Snap is working with Google to bring a “large screen” experience to the Pixelbook. Here’s the catch. It’s not cheap. Available in 3 configurations, starting at $999, with the pen for an extra $99. Available in the US, Canada and the UK. Pre-orders start today and in stores on Halloween.

More details from the launch event here on Forbes.

cfb53_960x0 Android Circuit: New Samsung Galaxy X Leak, Nokia's Surprising Promise, Microsoft's Android Advances

A member of the media holds up the ‘barely blue’ color model of the Pixel 2 smartphone at a product launch event, October 4, 2017 (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

Pixel 2 Is Missing A Lens?

Much of the attention on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets will focus on some missing hardware, as it only has a single-lens rear camera. Google’s decision to not follow the trend of dual-lens cameras on the rear looks like a missed opportunity on paper, but the real measure is in the quality of the pictures taken. Paul Monckton looks at the first test results from the popular DxOMark’s camera benchmark:

With an overall score of 98 points, the Google Pixel 2 stands a full four points clear of the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8, now tied for second place. We were always expecting strong camera performance from Google, especially given the stunning results from the original Pixel, but its results are especially impressive given that it manages to do with a single camera what competitors can only do with two.

More on the Pixel 2 optics and why they are so strong can be found here.

What Is The Pixel 2 Good For?

Having the Pixel range of smartphones allows Google a direct line to consumers and is a strong statement of purpose. By having its own hardware on sale Google can show vision, application, and hunger. Paul Miller has a fascinating editorial on what the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL say to him about Google’s ambitions to beat Apple:

Many of the things that make Android appealing right now aren’t new to Android users, but as an Apple user who has trusted deeply in one company to manage a large portion of my digital life for me, it’s much more appealing to see Google offer an alternative to the iPhone than another hardware player like Samsung or LG. Google, now more than ever, has a clear vision for what phones should be like, how they should be used, and how they should integrate with Google services. I already use Google’s Inbox, YouTube, and Docs on my iPhone all the time. Now that Google’s hardware looks mature and in sync with its services, it’s finally made me take Android seriously in a way I never have before.

More at The Verge.

cfb53_960x0 Android Circuit: New Samsung Galaxy X Leak, Nokia's Surprising Promise, Microsoft's Android Advances

The new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones are seen at a product launch event on October 4, 2017 (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

Will You Be Able To Buy The Folding Galaxy X?

How difficult will it be to get a hold of Samsung’s folding smartphone when it arrives in 2018? Taking on board what we already know about the origami-focused Android device, it looks like a limited territory release with a very small production run. Here’s the evidence so far:

I would be surprised if a folding Galaxy X smartphone was available in large quantities. This is a new area of technology that needs to be tested in the real world, so restricting it to one or two key markets would be wise. It’s also going to require some user education in the advantages and quirks of a device with a changeable form factor. Finally, Samsung will not want the Galaxy X to take away from the potential sales of the upcoming Galaxy S9 flagship.

Taking those factors into account and previous reporting from the likes of The Korea Herald that production would be on the order of 100,000 devices, the expectation for the Galaxy X is as a limited-run device in a single territory – more than likely the home territory of South Korea.

More on getting a hold of the Galaxy X here.

Android Circuit: New Galaxy X Leaks, Nokia’s Surprising Promise, Microsoft’s Next Android Advance

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, why one camera lens for the Pixel family works, what Google’s smartphones stand for, the availability of Samsung’s Galaxy X, Android Oreo’s market share, Nokia’s Android P updates, leaked details of Huawei’s Mate 10, and Microsoft’s Android launcher.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Google’s Big Day Reveals New Pixel Hardware

Google held an Android-focused event this week that saw the reveal of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets, along with a new Pixel branded chromebook, a new Google Home speaker and an update to its VR helmet. Forbes Miguel Heft has the details, including the aforementioned high-end thirteen-inch PixelBook:

Thin, convertible into tablet mode, 16GB RAM and 10 hours of battery life. If there is no wifi, it instantly tethers through your phone. Google Assistant comes built-in. It comes with a pen/stylus — circle a photo of an artist, and the Google Assistant will tell you who it is. Google Play smartphone apps run on the Pixelbook. Snap is working with Google to bring a “large screen” experience to the Pixelbook. Here’s the catch. It’s not cheap. Available in 3 configurations, starting at $999, with the pen for an extra $99. Available in the US, Canada and the UK. Pre-orders start today and in stores on Halloween.

More details from the launch event here on Forbes.

b5a78_960x0 Android Circuit: New Galaxy X Leaks, Nokia's Surprising Promise, Microsoft's Next Android Advance

A member of the media holds up the ‘barely blue’ color model of the Pixel 2 smartphone at a product launch event, October 4, 2017 (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

Pixel 2 Is Missing A Lens?

Much of the attention on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets will focus on some missing hardware, as it only has a single-lens rear camera. Google’s decision to not follow the trend of dual-lens cameras on the rear looks like a missed opportunity on paper, but the real measure is in the quality of the pictures taken. Paul Monckton looks at the first test results from the popular DxOMark’s camera benchmark:

With an overall score of 98 points, the Google Pixel 2 stands a full four points clear of the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8, now tied for second place. We were always expecting strong camera performance from Google, especially given the stunning results from the original Pixel, but its results are especially impressive given that it manages to do with a single camera what competitors can only do with two.

More on the Pixel 2 optics and why they are so strong can be found here.

What Is The Pixel 2 Good For?

Having the Pixel range of smartphones allows Google a direct line to consumers and is a strong statement of purpose. By having its own hardware on sale Google can show vision, application, and hunger. Paul Miller has a fascinating editorial on what the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL say to him about Google’s ambitions to beat Apple:

Many of the things that make Android appealing right now aren’t new to Android users, but as an Apple user who has trusted deeply in one company to manage a large portion of my digital life for me, it’s much more appealing to see Google offer an alternative to the iPhone than another hardware player like Samsung or LG. Google, now more than ever, has a clear vision for what phones should be like, how they should be used, and how they should integrate with Google services. I already use Google’s Inbox, YouTube, and Docs on my iPhone all the time. Now that Google’s hardware looks mature and in sync with its services, it’s finally made me take Android seriously in a way I never have before.

More at The Verge.

b5a78_960x0 Android Circuit: New Galaxy X Leaks, Nokia's Surprising Promise, Microsoft's Next Android Advance

The new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones are seen at a product launch event on October 4, 2017 (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

Will You Be Able To Buy The Folding Galaxy X?

How difficult will it be to get a hold of Samsung’s folding smartphone when it arrives in 2018? Taking on board what we already know about the origami-focused Android device, it looks like a limited territory release with a very small production run. Here’s the evidence so far:

I would be surprised if a folding Galaxy X smartphone was available in large quantities. This is a new area of technology that needs to be tested in the real world, so restricting it to one or two key markets would be wise. It’s also going to require some user education in the advantages and quirks of a device with a changeable form factor. Finally, Samsung will not want the Galaxy X to take away from the potential sales of the upcoming Galaxy S9 flagship.

Taking those factors into account and previous reporting from the likes of The Korea Herald that production would be on the order of 100,000 devices, the expectation for the Galaxy X is as a limited-run device in a single territory – more than likely the home territory of South Korea.

More on getting a hold of the Galaxy X here.

When Restaurants Promise Health Benefits, They’re Crossing the Line

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of a good, balanced diet when it comes to a person’s health; few things can have as great an impact on a person’s well-being than the kind and quantity of foods they eat. When patients see me in my pediatric practice for regular well checks, one of the things I never fail to discuss is the quality of their nutritional habits.

But expecting some kind of medicinal value from your meal is a lousy reason to dine out.

Patrons pulling up a chair at New York’s AbcV, the latest venture by famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, could be forgiven for hoping otherwise. Featuring a drink menu that includes a section called “Vibrations” — organ-specific, herb-infused nonalcoholic “tonics” with names like “brain” and “heart” — it might be reasonably assumed that tippling a concoction with gotu kola in it must have some kind of salubrious neurochemical effect. As New York Times critic Pete Wells noted in his review earlier this summer, the juices’ claimed benefits are significant enough to merit a disclaimer on the menu:

“These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA,” reads a footnote attached to the menu descriptor “restorative tonics.” “These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or take medications, please consult with a healthcare professional before use.”

What this disclaimer says, in so many words, is that the only reason to order a “brain” cocktail is if it tastes good — despite the fact that the restaurant assures diners, in a clunkily worded mission statement on its website, that its “high vibration foods” embrace balance with beauty, wellness, wisdom, and love to nurture our personal and planetary ecosystems.”

For those who ascribe to “high vibration” eating, the meal they’re enjoying attunes them to the planet’s health in a vague way that somehow makes them healthier, too. But in actuality, the menu’s phrasing imparts AbcV’s herbal tonics with a patina of therapeutic benefit that’s wholly without evidence to support it; because the FDA looks askance at assertions of medicinal value without reliable evidence, AbcV threw in that disclaimer for good measure. (You’ll have to consult your clergyperson about whether the skullcap — a relative of mint in the “spirit” beverage gets you anywhere with the Almighty.)

In other words, the only way “high vibration” dining could have any grounding in reality would be if servers actually shook the dishes really, really fast while placing them on the table, which seems rather alarming and messy. Attributing vibrational goodness to the ingredients themselves is utterly uncoupled from medical or nutritional reality, and is merely a novel way of saying “magic.” However, a magical pathway to wellness is an appealing thought, so it’s no surprise restaurants would start using it as a way of attracting patrons.


AbcV is hardly alone when it comes to upscale restaurants promising more than a yummy meal. Browsers of Cafe Gratitude’s website are handily directed to its “detox market,” replete with cleanses that offer no benefit beyond what buyers’ kidneys and liver are already accomplishing. True Food Kitchen serves up a menu that purportedly fights inflammation, which it claims can reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. One of the first things you see when you click on Austin’s Picnik is a blurb touting the benefits of butter coffee (which sounds odd but possibly tasty), including fat-burning and -balancing hormones, among others. (The “Butter Coffee 101” page has a disclaimer of its own that its statements are based merely on the opinions of the purveyors.)

Overstated claims of medicinal effects from various foods are nothing new, of course. Grocery check-out aisles are chock-full of publications announcing the miraculous effects of some diet, detox, or miracle plant. Apparently intent on mortgaging every ounce of his credibility as a cardiothoracic surgeon in service to daytime TV hucksterism, Dr. Oz is constantly touting unsupported benefits of different ingredients that go far beyond their simple nutritional value.

In an explainer for Vox last year, Julia Belluz listed numerous reasons that nutritional science is fraught with shortcomings. In short: Designing randomized studies to compare one diet to another is essentially impossible, different people respond to the same foods in different ways, conclusions about long-term benefits are often extrapolated from short-term observations, and information collected about what people have been eating is often drawn from their own unreliable or incomplete recollection.

These limitations make it challenging to establish solid recommendations about how and what to eat. And when even venerable medical institutions like the Cleveland Clinic start promulgating overblown statements about the benefit from foods, a development I lamented recently in the Washington Post, it’s hardly surprising that restaurateurs would want to get in on the act.

When diners at AbcV throw back a “heart” cocktail or enjoy a particularly vibrational plate of slow-roasted beets, they’re simply getting a hefty serving of marketing. Categorically, it’s really no different from appreciating the speed with which the waitstaff whisk crumbs off the tablecloth between courses, or playing pretend that the meal involves space travel. It may inform the pleasure people get from their time at the restaurant, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the dishes or drinks themselves.

“I think it’s terrific that restaurants, including AbcV, are focusing on the ethics of what they serve in addition to flavor,” says Alan Levinovitz, a professor of religious studies at James Madison University. Levinovitz is the author of The Gluten Lie, a skeptical examination of the myths that underlie American thinking about food. “However, it does the sustainability movement — and the vegetarian movement — no favors to associate good goals with sloppy thinking,” he continues. “By folding ‘good vibrations’ into the rationale for eating only plants, restaurants like this distract from rigorous, evidence-based arguments for the benefits of eating more plants.”

The problem with places like AbcV or True Food Kitchen attaching health claims to their menus isn’t limited to affluent patrons shelling out whatever surcharge comes with the celestial humming of the lentils. These claims contribute to the fallacious notion that people can eat or supplement their way out of various medical conditions simply by ingesting more of the miracle compound du jour. From oat bran to turmeric, over time I’ve watched with a combination of bemusement and frustration as one ingredient replaces another in the cavalcade of miracle foods that will supposedly cure what ails us if we just consume enough of them

Evidence-based medicine can’t claim to be perfect, but it provides the most reliable approach to a person’s health. I’ve seen both friends on social media and people in my own practice turn to different dietary supplements, purportedly containing health-giving food derivatives, for the management of diagnoses where there is unlikely to be any real benefit. While I try to take a respectful approach to this kind of complimentary wellness regimen, so long as it’s not actively harmful, these supplements are frequently quite pricy, and they should never supplant evidence-based treatments. Medical treatments often come with side effects and cannot promise to fix everything, but they’ve had to withstand far more vigorous scrutiny about what they will actually accomplish for you than anything you’ll get for your cash at Cafe Gratitude.

Among the most credibly established dietary recommendations is to make one’s intake largely plants, though it’s less clear that excluding meat and dairy entirely makes a person healthier than eating them in limited amounts. A fine dining alternative for vegetarians and vegans wanting an entire menu tailored to them, rather than a handful of items, is reason enough for places like AbcV to exist. (Maybe now Moby can stop moping around Denny’s?) I haven’t been to the restaurant, but its offerings certainly look delicious enough to warrant a visit for that reason alone.

But when restaurants imply that drinking an expensive tonic has some benefit for your brain, or that there’s any meaningful change in a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s after eating their food, they’ve crossed an important line. A meal isn’t medicine, and presenting it as such is misinforming people. Aside from warnings about undercooked ingredients, or cautions about ingredients that could be harmful to certain diners, disclaimers shouldn’t be appearing in menus — because restaurants shouldn’t be making claims that require them in the first place.

Daniel Summers, a regular contributing columnist at Slate, is a pediatrician and writer living in New England. Vance Lump is an illustrator in the Pacific Northwest.

Will Grassley keep his promise on health care?

463f7_29906170001_5587136305001_5587119905001-vs Will Grassley keep his promise on health care?x

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Sen. Susan Collins said it would be “very difficult” to envision a scenario where she would vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Here we go again. The GOP has cobbled together another half-baked plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s rationale on the legislation is beneath the long-serving member of Congress. 

“You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” Grassley said during a conference call with reporters last week. “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

Translation: He’s aware of serious problems with the proposal, but those problems should be dismissed because tired political rhetoric takes priority.

His spokesperson tried to put a positive spin on Grassley’s reasoning by adding it was “remarkable and unfortunate that it’s newsworthy that a senator believes in keeping his promises.” 

The senator certainly should keep his promise on this issue — the promise he articulated during a November 2016 debate with Democratic challenger Patty Judge. While he criticized the reform law, he said he would keep protections for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

The Graham-Cassidy bill being considered in the Senate does not do that.

The legislation allows states to obtain waivers to circumvent numerous provisions in current law, including those protecting people with pre-existing health problems. Insurers could once again charge unaffordable premiums to Americans with health problems, pricing them straight into being uninsured.

Before Obamacare, insurers denied coverage to people with a history of health problems, wrote policies that excluded benefits for known illnesses or charged these customers impossibly high premiums. Thankfully, those days are gone.

And Grassley, who is apparently adamant about politicians keeping campaign promises on this issue, should not vote in favor of the new bill. 

The senator must also know that the bill would throw his home state into turmoil by repealing the Medicaid expansion Iowa used to insure about 150,000 additional low-income residents.

It would end subsidies and tax credits for Iowans purchasing individual health insurance policies.

More: Senate’s latest health bill offers no lifeline for Iowa

 

Grassley should work toward fixing the law instead of blindly supporting yet another hastily-crafted GOP bill. Americans do not want what Republicans are selling on health care.

A Kaiser Family Foundation August poll found six in 10 people considered Senate Republicans’ previous failure to repeal the law a “good thing.” So instead of spewing the same tired rhetoric about Obamacare for another seven years, Grassley and others should consider taking seriously their promises to represent their constituents. 

That includes the promise to protect Americans from insurance company abuses. 




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