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Medical Associations Non-Pulsed by Trump’s Withdrawal From the Paris Accord

By DAVID INTROCASO

Climate change, or changes in weather extremes, are having an increasingly harmful effect on human health. Last year, the 20th consecutive year in which the US experienced above average annual temperatures, saw increasing instances of heat related ailments and deaths and increases in related exacerbations of chronic, including cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, respiratory and mental health, conditions as well as the spread of climate change-related food pathogens and vector borne diseases, most recently Zika.

One study estimated that absent any adaptation to climate change or disruption we will see an increase of 2,000 to 10,000 deaths annually in over 200 US cities. Worldwide, the WHO estimates 800,000 die prematurely each year from urban air pollution stemming from burning coal, oil and gasoline. Not surprisingly, those disproportionately paying the climate penalty are children, pregnant women, the elderly, the disabled, minorities and the poor. Half of those killed by Hurricane Katrina (responsible for almost half of hurricane related deaths over the past 50 years) were over 75 and black adult mortality was upwards of four times higher than for whites. Half of Hurricane Sandy deaths were of those over 65.

When President Trump announced the US would withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, signed by 195 nations, the news was met with widespread criticism. The president’s own Secretary of State, and former Exxon CEO, Rex Tillerson, opposed the decision.

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The Incredible Self-Destructing Healthcare Marketplace

Too frequently what gets overlooked in policy making are the regulations that implement or update legislation.  As Henry Mintzberg observed over 30 years ago policy is oftentimes formed without being formulated.  For example, the Congress did not define the most important provision in MACRA.  The Congress simply defined financial risk under an Alternative Payment Model (APM) as monetary losses in excess of a nominal amount.  It was CMS that determined via regulatory rule making specific revenue and benchmark-based standards.  While the focus has largely been on Congressional Republican efforts to repeal the ACA, three weeks ago the Trump administration recommended regulatory changes, via a proposed “market stabilization” rule, that will likely, should it as anticipated go final this month or next, have a more near term negative effect on state marketplaces.     

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