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Obama win solidifies health reform’s future

BY Jim Frederick

It looks like health reform is for keeps.

The re-election last week of Barack Obama and the ability of the Republicans to retain control of the House of Representatives leaves many uncertainties — and sets the stage for more battles between Congress and the White House over the direction of the still sluggish economic recovery, national debt reduction efforts and a slew of other domestic and foreign challenges. But one thing seems clear: With Democrats retaining the presidency for another term, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is far more likely to withstand challenges from Republican lawmakers determined to overturn the landmark law.

President Obama signed the health-reform bill into law in March 2010, and continues to cite its passage as one of his proudest accomplishments as president. But it’s certain that the president’s Republican rivals will continue to challenge many elements of the health-reform law in Congress and at the state level.

Nevertheless, by returning Barack Obama to the White House, a majority of Americans also have effectively endorsed his ambitious, if incomplete, overhaul of the fractured healthcare system. Reflecting the deep divisions within Congress, 45% of voters who responded to exit polls last Tuesday said they thought the health-reform law should be partially or totally repealed. But 47% of those polled favored keeping it in its present form or even expanding it.

My sense is that acceptance of the law will gradually increase as Americans get used to the benefits touted by the president and top health officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, like being able to keep their kids on their insurance plans until age 26 and not worrying about being dumped by their health plan if they get sick.

Still to be confronted, however, are potential minefields spawned by the new law as it nears full implementation in 2014. Will small employers really hold down hiring to avoid crossing the threshold at which they’ll have to start paying employee health costs, as the Romney campaign warned? Will thousands of health providers really throw in the towel over issues like compensation and regulatory oversight? Will health costs skyrocket? Will healthcare rationing be a real issue?

Personally, I doubt it. Americans are an enterprising and resourceful lot, and very adept at finding market solutions to adapt to changing conditions in the market. Other countries that have adopted health reforms in relatively recent times, like Switzerland, have adapted and even come to embrace the combination of government and free-market solutions to an unsustainable rise in health costs. We will too.

Or is America a special case? What’s your take? Is health reform ultimately good for the country, and for the pharmacy industry? Or are we headed off the rails? Please share your opinion below.

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D.Bibeault says:
Nov-17-2012 12:02 am

Obamacare will be a complete disaster just like everything else Government does. They can't even get water to people in N.Y. and N.J. after tropical storm Sandy (imagine if it was a CAT 3 Hurricaine). The House Republicans can still block it's implimentation by not funding it. We really don't need 73,000 new IRS agents to enforce it.

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Sandy expected to dent RAD’s November comps, but not FY ’13 earnings

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — All the Rite Aid stores affected by Hurricane Sandy have reopened except one, the company said Monday.

The store that hasn’t opened, in Lavallette, N.J., is on a barrier island and is closed due to restricted access to the island. In addition, three stores in New York and one in New Jersey have established temporary pharmacies while their front ends are under repair. The company closed 790 stores at the height of the storm.

While the company expects the storm to have a detrimental effect on the its November same-store sales, it is not expected to have a "material impact" on its fiscal year 2013 results, the company said.

"Our store, field and corporate associates have worked tirelessly from planning before the storm hit to serving the immediate and ongoing needs of our patients and customers in the communities affected by Hurricane Sandy," Rite Aid chairman, president and CEO John Standley said. "I am proud of their outstanding dedication and commitment."

The company also highlighted its contributions to relief efforts, such as its donation of $100,000 to the American Red Cross and more than four truckloads of bottled water worth more than $30,000 to communities in the Queens and Staten Island boroughs of New York City.

 

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30 Watt introduces Connect-A-Cord PrankPack

BY Rebecca Haughey

MINNEAPOLIS – The pranksters at 30 Watt have introduced a new way to fool family and friends this holiday season, with a fake new product that supposedly solves the issue of hard-to-reach electrical devices — Connect-A-Cord, 50 one-foot sections of cord — the company announced on Monday.

With 50 separate cords, Connect-A-Cord is a new solution to tangled cords, the product’s box claims. The product’s packaging also boasts that it comes with an optional contractor case for tangle-free storage.

"Connecting 50 one-foot cords to reach an electrical outlet doesn’t sound like an ideal extension cord, but it sounds like a great prank gift box," said Arik Nordby, creative director at 30 Watt. "The product is fake, but the box looks like the real deal."

Placing a real gift inside a PranckPack, like the box for Connect-A-Cord, can make gift-giving more eventful. As the recipient opens up the Prank Pack, they will discover the bright yellow flaps inside that read, "Prank You!"

"In addition to the multiple styles to currently choose from, we hope consumers will be eager to find out what new PrankPacks will be added to the line every year, and enthusiastically select the vessels for their gift delivery," Nordby said.

The Connect-A-Cord PrankPack is currently available at PrankPack.com for $8.00.

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