Get Set for a Healthy Winter Season


While contagious viruses are active year-round, fall and winter are when we’re most vulnerable to them. This is due in large part to people spending more time indoors with others when the weather gets cold.

Fortunately, we can fight back with several FDA-approved medicines and vaccines.

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Colds and Flu

Tips for Avoiding Winter Bugs image - Get Set for Winter Illess Season

Most respiratory bugs come and go within a few days, with no lasting effects. However, some cause serious health problems. People who use tobacco or who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more prone to respiratory illnesses and more severe complications than nonsmokers.

Colds usually cause stuffy or runny nose and sneezing. Other symptoms include coughing, a scratchy throat, and watery eyes. There is no vaccine against colds, which come on gradually and often spread through contact with infected mucus.

Flu comes on suddenly, and lasts longer than colds. Flu symptoms include fever, headache, chills, dry cough, body aches, fatigue, and general misery. Like colds, flu can cause a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes. Young children may also experience nausea and vomiting with flu. Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. A person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it.

Flu season in the United States may begin as early as October and can last as late as May, and generally peaks between December and February. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • More than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized from flu-related complications each year, including 20,000 children younger than age 5.
  • Between 1976 and 2006, the estimated number of flu-related deaths every year ranged from about 3,000 to about 49,000.
  • In the 2013 – 2014 season, there were in the U.S. 35.4 million influenza-associated illnesses, 14.6 medically attended flu illnesses, and 314,000 flu hospitalizations.

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Prevention Tips

Get vaccinated against flu.

With rare exceptions, everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against flu. Flu vaccination, available as a shot or a nasal spray, can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work and school, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

It’s ideal to be vaccinated by October, although vaccination into January and beyond can still offer protection. Annual vaccination is needed because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may need to be updated, and because a person’s immune protection from the vaccine declines over time. Annual vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for developing serious complications from flu. These people include:

  • young children under 5 years, but especially those younger than 2.
  • pregnant women
  • people with certain chronic health conditions (like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease)
  • people age 65 years and older

Vaccination also is especially important for health care workers, and others who live with or care for people at high risk for serious flu-related complications. Since babies under 6 months of age are too young to get a flu vaccine, their mother should get a flu shot during her pregnancy to protect them throughout pregnancy and up to 6 months after birth. Additionally, all of the baby’s caregivers and close contacts should be vaccinated as well.

Wash your hands often. Teach children to do the same. Both colds and flu can be passed through contaminated surfaces, including the hands. FDA says that while soap and water are best for hand hygiene, alcohol-based hand rubs may also be used. However, dirt or blood on hands can render the hand rubs unable to kill bacteria.

Try to limit exposure to infected people. Keep infants away from crowds for the first few months of life.

Practice healthy habits.

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise.
  • Do your best to keep stress in check.

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Already Sick?

Usually, colds have to run their course. Gargling with salt water may relieve a sore throat. And a cool-mist humidifier may help relieve stuffy noses.

Here are other steps to consider:

  • Call your health care professional. Start the treatment early.
  • Limit your exposure to other people. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay hydrated and rested. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated products which may dehydrate you.
  • Talk to your health care professional to find out what will work best for you.

In addition to over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, there are FDA-approved prescription medications for treating flu. Cold and flu complications may include bacterial infections (e.g., bronchitis, sinusitis, ear infections, and pneumonia) that could require antibiotics.

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Taking OTC Products

Read medicine labels carefully and follow the directions. People with certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, should check with a health care professional or pharmacist before taking a new cough and cold medicine.

Choose OTC medicines appropriate for your symptoms. To unclog a stuffy nose, use nasal decongestants. Cough suppressants quiet coughs; expectorants loosen mucus; antihistamines help stop a runny nose and sneezing; and pain relievers can ease fever, headaches, and minor aches.

Check the medicine’s side effects. Medications can cause drowsiness and interact with food, alcohol, dietary supplements, and each other. It’s best to tell your health care professional and pharmacist about every medical product and supplement you are taking.

Check with a health care professional before giving medicine to children.

See a health care professional if you aren’t getting any better. With children, be alert for high fevers and for abnormal behavior such as unusual drowsiness, refusal to eat, crying a lot, holding the ears or stomach, and wheezing.

Signs of trouble for all people can include

  • a cough that disrupts sleep
  • a fever that won’t respond to treatment
  • increased shortness of breath
  • face pain caused by a sinus infection
  • high fever, chest pain, or a difference in the mucus you’re producing, after feeling better for a short time.

This article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Updated December 23, 2014

the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 3/26 ~~ the House


GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_smallThe Senate stands adjourned until 3:00pm on Monday, February 29, 2016.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business until 5:00pm with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.

At 5:00pm, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.524, Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015, with the time until 5:30pm equally divided between the two managers or their designees.

At 5:30pm, there will be a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.524.

Wrap Up for Thursday, February 25, 2016

Roll Call Votes Adoption of Res.374, relating to the death of Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; adopted: 93-0.   No Legislative Business   No Executive Business

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House Floor Activities
Legislative Day of February 26, 2016

Last Floor Action:
1:51:43 P.M. – The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on February 29, 2016.

9:00:44 A.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
9:00:50 A.M. Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.
9:01:50 A.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
9:01:53 A.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Peters to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
9:02:12 A.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches which by direction of the Chair, would be limited to 5 per side of the aisle.
9:16:33 A.M. H.R. 2406 Considered as unfinished business. H.R. 2406 — “To protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for other purposes.”
9:16:56 A.M. H.R. 2406 The House resolved into Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for further consideration.
9:18:36 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Wittman, No. 1 printed in House Report 114-429 to delete Title XII which has been enacted into law already; remove outdated year references in short titles; make expenditures under the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act subject to appropriation; and add the text of HR 3279, as passed by the House, as a new title XVII.
9:18:38 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Wittman amendment No. 1.
9:21:33 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Wittman amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
9:21:51 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Beyer, No. 2 printed in House Report 114-429 to prohibit an individual who is prohibited from possessing a firearm by the Gun Control Act from using a public target range.
9:21:53 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Beyer amendment No. 2.
9:30:23 A.M. H.R. 2406 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Beyer amendment No. 2, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Beyer demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
9:30:59 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Ms. Jackson Lee, No. 3 printed in House Report 114-429 to strike Title III, the exemption to import polar bear trophies taken in sport.
9:31:01 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Jackson Lee amendment No. 3.
9:42:12 A.M. H.R. 2406 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Jackson Lee amendment No. 3, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Ms. Jackson Lee demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
9:42:42 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Costa, No. 4 printed in House Report 114-429 to add the Administrator of U.S. Small Business Administration or a designated representative to the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committees membership.
9:42:43 A.M. H.R. 2406 Costa amendment; modified by unanimous consent.
9:43:03 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Costa amendment No. 4, as modified.
9:47:24 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Costa amendment; as modified Agreed to by voice vote.
9:48:13 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Smith (MO), No. 5 printed in House Report 114-429 to add a specification that closures of hunter access corridors shall be clearly marked with signs and dates of closures, but shall not include barriers on the corridor.
9:48:15 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Smith (MO) amendment No. 5.
9:50:46 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Smith (MO) amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
9:52:03 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Ms. Meng, No. 6 printed in House Report 114-429 to permits more than one U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Officer to be placed in a U.S. diplomatic or consular post in an African country with a significant population of African elephants in order to assist local wildlife rangers in the protection of such elephants.
9:52:07 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Meng amendment No. 6.
9:53:41 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Meng amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
9:54:07 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Huffman, No. 7 printed in House Report 114-429 to require GAO to conduct a study examining the effect of a ban of the trade of fossilized ivory from mammoths and mastodons on the illegal importation and trade of African and Asian elephant ivory within the United States.
9:54:09 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Huffman amendment No. 7.
9:56:45 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Huffman amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
9:57:12 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Beyer, No. 8 printed in House Report 114-429 to strike language that requires state approval of federal fishing regulations in waters under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
9:57:14 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Beyer amendment No. 8.
10:08:02 A.M. H.R. 2406 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Beyer amendment No. 8, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Beyer demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
10:08:41 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Smith (MO), No. 9 printed in House Report 114-429 to prohibit USDA and NFS from issuing restrictions and regulations on hunting and recreational fishing in the Mark Twain National Forest.
10:08:43 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Smith (MO) amendment No. 9.
10:14:42 A.M. H.R. 2406 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Smith (MO) amendment No. 9, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Beyer demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
10:15:21 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Newhouse, No. 10 printed in House Report 114-429 to require the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service to publish a notice in the Federal Register, with a justification, for the closure of any public road on Forest System lands.
10:15:23 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Newhouse amendment No. 10.
10:22:11 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Newhouse amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
10:22:30 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Fleming, No. 11 printed in House Report 114-429 to require the Forest Administrator to amend the travel plan for the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana to allow Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) access on roads nominated by the Secretary of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, except when such designation would pose an unacceptable safety risk. If a road is denied, the amendment would require the Forest Administrator to publish a notice in the Federal Register with a justification for the closure.
10:22:38 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Fleming amendment No. 11.
10:30:30 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Fleming amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
10:30:49 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Griffith, No. 12 printed in House Report 114-429 to allow a person who is not prohibited from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm or ammunition to transport a firearm or ammunition for any lawful purpose from any place where the person may lawfully possess, carry, or transport the firearm or ammunition to any other such place if, during the transportation, the firearm is unloaded.
10:30:53 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Griffith amendment No. 12.
10:43:29 A.M. H.R. 2406 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Griffith amendment No. 12, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Beyer demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
10:44:21 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Hardy, No. 13 printed in House Report 114-429 to add the text of H.R. 373, the Good Samaritan Search and Recovery Act, to the end of the bill. Adding such text would expedite access to federal lands for volunteer search and rescue groups to assist in recovering the remains of a deceased individual believed to be located on federal lands.
10:44:23 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Hardy amendment No. 13.
10:48:53 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Hardy amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
10:49:25 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Ribble, No. 14 printed in House Report 114-429 to provide for reissuing the 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to delist the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming from the Endangered Species Act.
10:49:27 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Ribble amendment No. 14.
11:02:49 A.M. H.R. 2406 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Ribble amendment No. 14, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Beyer demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
11:03:17 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Young (AK), numbered 15 printed in House Report 114-429 to prohibit the Fish and Wildlife Service from issuing a final rule that preempts state management authority which is protected by law in Alaska and withdrawals a final rule issued by the National Park Service of the same issue.
11:03:42 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Young(AK) amendment No. 15.
11:12:21 A.M. H.R. 2406 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Young(AK) amendment No. 15, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mrs. Dingell demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
11:12:52 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Huffman, numbered 16 printed in House Report 114-429 to designate the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness and a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
11:13:14 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Huffman amendment No. 16.
11:24:02 A.M. H.R. 2406 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Huffman amendment No. 16, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Huffman demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
11:24:27 A.M. H.R. 2406 An amendment, offered by Mr. Lowenthal, numbered 17 printed in House Report 114-429 to authorize the Department of Interior, after public comment and if approved unanimously by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, to raise the price of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (“Duck Stamp”) by the rate of inflation, in order to preserve waterfowl habitat.
11:24:30 A.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 619, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Lowenthal amendment No. 17.
11:30:54 A.M. H.R. 2406 By unanimous consent, the Lowenthal amendment was withdrawn.
11:52:49 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Beyer amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 161 – 244 (Roll no. 92).
11:55:56 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Jackson Lee amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 159 – 242 (Roll no. 93).
11:59:31 A.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Beyer amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 169 – 236 (Roll no. 94).
12:02:42 P.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Smith (MO) amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 232 – 173 (Roll no. 95).
12:06:01 P.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Griffith amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 239 – 165 (Roll no. 96).
12:08:54 P.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Ribble amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 232 – 171 (Roll no. 97).
12:11:58 P.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Young (AK) amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 236 – 169 (Roll no. 98).
12:15:25 P.M. H.R. 2406 On agreeing to the Huffman amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 176 – 227 (Roll no. 99).
12:16:01 P.M. H.R. 2406 The House rose from the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union to report H.R. 2406.
12:16:31 P.M. H.R. 2406 The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule.
12:16:41 P.M. H.R. 2406 The House adopted the amendment in the nature of a substitute as agreed to by the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.
12:17:43 P.M. H.R. 2406 Mrs. Lawrence moved to recommit with instructions to the Committee on Natural Resources.
12:18:02 P.M. H.R. 2406 DEBATE – The House the proceeded with 10 miunutes of debate on the Lawerence motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to require the bill to be reported back to the House with an amendment to add a new section at the end of the bill pertaining to Protecting Water Supply for Public Recreation and Safe Drinking.
12:24:42 P.M. H.R. 2406 The previous question on the motion to recommit with instructions was ordered without objection.
12:31:05 P.M. H.R. 2406 On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 165 – 238 (Roll no. 100).
12:36:42 P.M. H.R. 2406 On passage Passed by recorded vote: 242 – 161 (Roll no. 101).
12:36:44 P.M. H.R. 2406 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:36:45 P.M. H.R. 2406 The Clerk was authorized to correct section numbers, punctuation, and cross references, and to make other necessary technical and conforming corrections in the engrossment of H.R. 2406.
12:38:46 P.M. Mr. Woodall asked unanimous consent That when the House adjourns on Friday, February 26, 2016, it adjourn to meet at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, February 29, 2016, for Morning-Hour Debate. Agreed to without objection.
12:39:12 P.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.
12:51:59 P.M. SPECIAL ORDER SPEECHES – The House has concluded all anticipated legislative business and has proceeded to Special Order speeches.
1:51:35 P.M. Mr. Gohmert moved that the House do now adjourn.
1:51:41 P.M. On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.
1:51:43 P.M. The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on February 29, 2016.

On This Day … Fats Domino Turns 85!


On This Day: February 26
Fats Domino                           Born: February 26, 1928                                                    Age: 85 years old                           Birthplace: New Orleans, LA, United States                           Occupation: Pianist, Singer Read Fats Domino’s biography >>

Walker And Rubio’s ACA Replacement Plans, By The Numbers


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GOP Presidential Candidates Scott Walker And Marco Rubio Release Plans to Repeal And Replace The Affordable Care Act

For the last five years, Republicans have been attacking the Affordable Care Act in word and deed. Despite the fact that a majority of Americans oppose repeal efforts, conservatives have promised to “repeal and replace” the law, and congressional Republicans have voted more than 50 times to repeal it. Yet in these five years, no Republican lawmaker has offered a real plan to provide affordable health coverage to Americans. Scott Walker and Marco Rubio’s replacement plans, released today, are no different.

Unsurprisingly, both Walker and Rubio’s plans would repeal the ACA, which would wreak havoc on the entire health care industry. Here are just a few examples showing the effect of repealing the ACA:

  • 19 million: the number of people who would lose coverage, including those enrolled in marketplace plans and through Medicaid.
  • 129 million: the number of people with pre-existing conditions who will no longer be protected from discrimination.
  • $137 billion: the estimated increase in federal budget deficit over ten years.
  • 8.7 million: the number of people receiving premium tax credits, who would lose them if the law were repealed.

Walker actually proposes giving Americans some form of tax credit to pay for health care coverage, but rather than basing tax credits on income—like the Affordable Care Act does—Walker’s plan would base tax credits on age. This could significantly hurt low-income people who could see a substantial cut to their tax credits based on Walker’s system. Not to mention the fact that, at the proposed level, Walker’s credit system would not come close to covering the cost of decent coverage. Rubio’s plan also gives no indication that his proposed tax credit would be sufficient to pay for good health care coverage.

Neither Walker nor Rubio’s plan contains new ideas. Instead, each rehashes the same old, stale conservative mantra. For instance, both support block granting Medicaid, an idea that Rep. Paul Ryan has proposed in his budget for years and which Gov. Romney endorsed in his unsuccessful 2012 bid for president. Block granting Medicaid would cripple a vital program that has provided health coverage to 80 million Americans in 2014. Although neither Walker nor Rubio provides much detail on their block grant proposals, the amount of money provided to states through block grants typically increase each year more slowly than the growth in health care costs, so block granting funding would mean Medicaid would get squeezed more and more. As a result, Paul Ryan’s Medicaid block grant proposal would lead to 14-20 million low-income people losing their health coverage.

BOTTOM LINE: The American people support the ACA, the Supreme Court upheld it, and the GOP’s continued efforts to undermine it only serve to show how out-of-touch Republican lawmakers are. The Affordable Care Act has been woven into the fabric of our health care system, repealing the law and replacing it with old, failed policies will have a devastating impact on hard working Americans.

On This Day … 2/23


On This Day: February 23

W.E.B. Du Bois
Born: February 23, 1868
Died: August 27, 1963
Age: 95 years old
Birthplace: Great Barrington, MA, United States
Occupation: Educator, Civil Rights Activist, Journalist

Read W.E.B. Du Bois’s biography >>