BROKE: 16 States Now Rationing Prescription Drugs For Medicaid Patients

July 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Sixteen states have set a limit on the number of prescription drugs they will cover for Medicaid patients, according to Kaiser Health News.

Seven of those states, according to Kaiser Health News, have enacted or tightened those limits in just the last two years.

Medicaid is a federal program that is carried out in partnership with state governments. It forms an important element of President Barack Obama’s health-care plan because under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–AKA Obamcare–a larger number of people will be covered by Medicaid, as the income cap is raised for the program.

With both the expanded Medicaid program and the federal subsidy for health-care premiums that will be available to people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level, a larger percentage of the population will be wholly or partially dependent on the government for their health care under Obamacare than are now.

In Alabama, Medicaid patients are now limited to one brand-name drug, and HIV and psychiatric drugs are excluded.

Illinois has limited Medicaid patients to just four prescription drugs as a cost-cutting move, and patients who need more than four must get permission from the state.

Speaking on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Monday, Phil Galewitz, staff writer for Kaiser Health News, said the move “only hurts a limited number of patients.”

“Drugs make up a fair amount of costs for Medicaid. A lot of states have said a lot of drugs are available in generics where they cost less, so they see this sort of another move to push patients to take generics instead of brand,” Galewitz said.

“It only hurts a limited number of patients, ‘cause obviously it hurts patients who are taking multiple brand name drugs in the case of Alabama, Illinois. Some of the states are putting the limits on all drugs. It’s another place to cut. It doesn’t hurt everybody, but it could hurt some,” he added.

Galewitz said the move also puts doctors and patients in a “difficult position.”

“Some doctors I talked to would work with patients with asthma and diabetes, and sometimes it’s tricky to get the right drugs and the right dosage to figure out how to control some of this disease, and just when they get it right, now the state is telling them that, ‘Hey, you’re not going to get all this coverage. You may have to switch to a generic or find another way,’” he said.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia have all placed caps on the number of prescription drugs Medicaid patients can get.

“Some people say it’s a matter of you know states are throwing things up against the wall to see what might work, so states have tried, they’ve also tried formularies where they’ll pick certain brand name drugs over other drugs. So states try a whole lot of different things. They’re trying different ways of paying providers to try to maybe slow the costs down,” Galewitz said.

“So it seems like Medicaid’s sort of been one big experiment over the last number of years for states to try to control costs, and it’s an ongoing battle, and I think drugs is just now one of the … latest issues. And it’s a relatively recent thing, only in the last 10 years have we really seen states put these limits on monthly drugs,” he added.

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World War II Veteran Attacked And Robbed By 3 Savage Black Beasts In West Englewood Illinois While Walking Home From Corner Store

July 31, 2012

WEST ENGLEWOOD, ILLINOIS – An 87-year-old World War II veteran was walking from a corner store in West Englewood after buying lottery tickets when he was attacked by three people who smashed his glasses, knocked out his hearing aid and broke his dentures, then went through his pockets and fled with his wallet, according to his family and police.

Two delivery men who witnessed the attack Monday afternoon followed the robbers in their truck and helped police track them down, authorities said. Three suspects — ages 15, 17 and 20 — were taken into custody not far from where Porter B. Cross was beaten.

“He’s just a sweet guy,” said Cross’ daughter, Cynthia Steward-Jones, this morning. “Chicago has bruised my heart with this.”

She said her dad, who will turn 88 on Thursday, was returning home from his weekly walk to the store to buy lottery tickets. “It’s the one day of the week he goes out and gets his exercise,” said Steward-Jones, who lives with her father.

The three jumped him just blocks from his home. “They broke his glasses in his face and his dentures in his mouth,” she said. “They knocked his hearing aid out and his face is really swollen.”

The three took his wallet, which contained money, his Social Security card, his state ID, driver’s license and credit cards. But he was able to hold onto the lottery tickets, she said.

Cross suffered a bruised left eye, a laceration under his right eye and was treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, police said.

Steward-Jones said her father served in World War II. “He was a seaman,” she said. After the war, he worked for 36 years for the U.S. Postal Service before retiring. They moved to the West Englewood neighborhood about two years ago.

“We thought this neighborhood would be good for a single person but apparently it’s not,” she said.

Steward-Jones said the robbery has also left her father “disappointed.”

“He said: ‘I’m just so disappointed. I’ve served this country and I’ve done all the right things. I’ve lived my life like I was supposed to and this younger generation is just something else. … They’re just losing their mind.’ “

Steward-Jones said the family is touched by the kindness of the people who came to her father’s aid.

“If it had not been for the two gentlemen … they might not have been caught,” she said. “They could have killed my father. I am just so grateful to them. I just want to say thank you and my whole family says thank you.

“At least there’s someone who still cares.”

One of those Good Samaritans was Dennis Weekly, who was making a meat delivery on the Southwest Side when he saw Cross on the ground near 71st Street and Claremont Avenue and three men going through his pockets. When the muggers ran away, he and his partner followed them in their rented truck.

“I saw the man lying on the ground and three males standing over him, going through his pockets,” said Weekly, 29. “Once I saw it was an old man on the ground, I called the ambulance and I told them they needed to call the police.

“He could barely move or talk. He was in so much pain,” Weekly said. “He didn’t deserve this. They didn’t need to do this to him. It hurt my heart to see him lying on the ground like that.”

Weekly said he and his partner decided to follow the robbers.

“I followed them about four blocks until police got there,” Weekly said, careful not to get too close. “I kept my distance so they wouldn’t know. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

Aiman Samad was driving the truck. “We tracked down the culprits,” Samad said. “We flagged down the cops.”

Police say Rashon Williams, 20, of the 1400 block of Lincoln Avenue in Calumet City, was charged with robbery of a senior citizen, and Michael Protho, 17, of the 3000 block of Woodworth Place in Hazel Crest, was charged with robbery of a senior citizen and reckless conduct.

Juvenile authorities will take over in the case of the 15-year-old, who was also charged with robbery of a senior, police said.

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Obama Administration Decides To Ignore Law, Releases 36,000 Illegal Immigrant Criminals Instead Of Deporting Them, Resulting In 19 MURDERS, 142 SEX OFFENSES – Of 160,000 Not Deported, They Were Later Charged With More Than 60,000 Crimes

July 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama administration declined to try to deport more than 36,000 illegal immigrants that were arrested on other charges between 2008 and 2011, including some who went on to commit 19 murders, 3 attempted murders and 142 sex crimes, the House Judiciary Committee said Tuesday.

All told, the administration was alerted to nearly 160,000 immigrants — most of them here legally — who were arrested during the three-year period. They went on to be charged in nearly 60,000 more crimes, according to the committee and the Congressional Research Service, which issued a report on the matter.

The findings stem from the Obama administration’s Secure Communities program, which was designed to identify immigrants who run afoul of the law and who the administration decides it wants to deport.

While hundreds of thousands have been sent back home under the program, 159,286 were not put in deportation proceedings during the period under review, CRS said.

About three quarters of those weren’t eligible for deportation because they were legal immigrants and their criminal records didn’t rise to the level of deportation, though nearly a quarter could have been deported, CRS said.

Those who could have been deported but were released later went on to commit the 19 murders, 3 attempted murders and 142 sex crimes, the Judiciary Committee said.

“The Obama administration could have prevented these senseless crimes by enforcing our immigration laws,” committee Chairman Lamar Smith said. “But President Obama continues to further his anti-enforcement agenda while innocent Americans suffer the consequences. His unwillingness to enforce immigration laws puts our communities at risk and costs American lives.”

Mr. Smith requested the CRS report, which used data he had subpoenaed from the Homeland Security Department.

The department didn’t immediately return a request for comment Tuesday morning.

Secure Communities has come under fire from both sides of the aisle.

Many Democrats say it casts its net too wide, which means illegal immigrants who have committed relatively minor offenses could be deported. But Republicans, led by Mr. Smith, say the administration is actually being too picky in those it chooses to deport, which results in criminals being released back onto the streets to commit more crimes.

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West Yorkshire UK Police Spend 30 Hours Chasing Their Tails After Hoax Call

July 31, 2012

LONDON, UK – A call to police in England that sparked a frantic search for a 3-year-old girl who said her mother had collapsed was a hoax, police said after spending nearly 30 hours trying to trace the call.

Two 10-year-old girls were being questioned Tuesday, West Yorkshire police said after the urgent hunt in the city of Leeds.

Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Griffin, who led the search, called the incident “incredibly frustrating.”

Earlier Tuesday, the police force had issued an appeal for help tracking down the child who called emergency services to say her mother had fallen down and was not moving.

She said she had shouted at her mother and shaken her, but she remained motionless on the kitchen floor with a piece of toast in her hand, police said in a release.

The girl said her name was Ellie. The call for an ambulance came at 10:53 Monday morning. Police announced just before 4:30 on Tuesday afternoon that the incident was a hoax.

The West Yorkshire force had put a team of officers on the case, set up a phone number for tips from the public and put out appeals on Twitter and through television interviews.

“We urgently need the public’s help to identify exactly where Ellie and her mum are,” Griffin had said in launching the appeal.

The hoax caller said her mother was named Stacey Hall but was able to give only part of her address — the number 23 and that the street name had “Court” in it.

Police released the information, plus part of the audio recording of the 33-minute phone call, in hopes that someone would be able to identify her.

No phone number came up when the girl called emergency services, West Yorkshire police told CNN, leading them to believe that the call came from a prepaid cell phone.

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11 Year Old Savage Black Beast Found Wandering Chicago Streets With Molotov Cocktail Bomb And A Lighter

July 31, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Chicago Police Bomb and Arson officers responded to a call Monday night about a boy who was allegedly holding a Molotov Cocktail in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

Police questioned the 11-year-old boy around 9:50 p.m. after someone allegedly saw him holding a 12-ounce beer bottle filled with what police suspected to be gasoline, behind a home in the 6800 block of North Ridge Boulevard., the police told the Chicago Tribune.

The boy was also allegedly holding a lighter while another person nearby held a gas can, police said.

A witness saw the boy holding the bottle and called police, according to reports. The boy reportedly noticed he was being watched, dropped the bottle and fled the scene. Police were able to track him down later.

The Molotov cocktail was recovered, no one was injured and no charges have been filed.

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8 Months Of Continuous Pretrial Torture In Virginia By US Military Could Result In All Charges Against Bradley Manning Being Dropped

July 31, 2012

VIRGINIA – Bradley Manning is seeking to prove that he was held in torture-like conditions after being arrested on suspicion of giving classified army documents to whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, and has asked the judge to allow seven expert witnesses to testify at his next pretrial hearing on 1 October, according to documents filed by his defence team on Friday.

The witnesses will include medical and psychiatric experts who will say that Manning’s eight-months solitary confinement at Fort Quantico – where he was allegedly kept naked, drugged with anti-depressants, and forced to sleep in a straitjacket – was not justified on mental health grounds.

The defence team led by David Coombs will put the case that the charges against him should be thrown out “owing to Manning’s illegal pretrial punishment”. The defence team’s website said:

The Defense is requesting the Court to dismiss all charges with prejudice owing to the illegal pretrial punishment PFC Manning was subjected to in violation of Article 13, UCMJ and the Fifth and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Manning’s lawyers filed a 113-page document to the court, but were only allowed to release parts of the document to the public.

According to this Guardian report, Manning was often kept naked while in solitary confinement at the military base of Fort Quantico, and had to be drugged heavily with antidepressants to bear the conditions. At night he was placed in a suicide prevention bed, blanket and smock, which his lawyers have requested to produce as part of their evidence in court.

Suicide prevention beds feature full locking systems that restrain the arms, legs and body and the smocks and blankets are akin to straitjackets.

Though the US Army argued the confinement was essential for Private Manning’s own safety, on Prevention of Injury grounds, experts said they repeatedly disagreed with this mental health assessment, saying that he had not self-harmed or attempted to harm anybody else and did not appear to be at risk of suicide.

The witnesses will also testify to the psychological harm of isolation and solitary confinement.

The case, which is being heard by Military Judge Denise Lind at a military tribunal in Fort Meade, will continue on 1 October. ®

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Louisiana State Police And Local Law Enforcement Suddenly Have Enough Free Time To Target Motorists With Dirty License Plates

July 31, 2012

LOUISIANA – Louisiana state police and local law enforcement agencies are telling motorists to clean off their dirty license plates.

State police say in a news release the motorists caught with their license plates obscured in any way, including by dirt, mud or frames that cover part of the plate, could be ticketed.

Louisiana law requires vehicle license plates be clearly displayed, as well as illuminated at night by license plate lights.

Col. Michael Edmonson, state police superintendent, says clean license plates can help citizens more easily report reckless or impaired drivers, as well as vehicles involved in criminal acts.

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