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Health Coverage Takes Big Hit With Pandemic-Related Job Cuts | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter


TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Up to 7.7 million U.S. workers lost jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, and 6.9 million of their dependents also lost coverage, a new study finds.

Workers in manufacturing, retail, accommodation and food services were especially hard-hit by job losses, but unequally impacted by losses in insurance coverage.

Manufacturing accounted for 12% of unemployed workers in June. But because the sector has one of the highest rates of employer-sponsored coverage at 66%, it accounted for a bigger loss of jobs with insurance (18%) and 19% of potential coverage loss when dependents are included.

Nearly 3.3 million workers in accommodation and food services had lost their jobs as of June — 30% of the industry’s workforce. But only 25% of workers in the sector had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. Seven percent lost jobs with employer-provided coverage.

The situation was similar in the retail sector. Retail workers represented 10% of pre-pandemic employment and 14% of unemployed workers in June. But only 4 in 10 retail workers had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. They accounted for 12% of lost jobs with employer-sponsored insurance and 11% of potential loss including dependents.

The study was a joint project of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and the Commonwealth Fund.

“Demographics also play an important role. Workers ages 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 bore the brunt of [employer insurance]-covered job losses, in large part because workers in these age groups were the most likely to be covering spouses and other dependents,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program.

“The adverse effects of the pandemic recession also fell disproportionately on women,” Fronstin added in an EBRI news release. “Although women made up 47% of pre-pandemic employment, they accounted for 55% of total job losses.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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The big lesson Suze Orman learned from her recent health scare

Suze Orman leaving the hospital in July 2020, after surgery to remove a tumor from her spine.

Source: Kathy Travis

Suze Orman didn’t take her own advice, at least when it came to her health.

The New York Times best-selling author and personal finance expert had emergency surgery in July for a tumor on her spinal cord, after ignoring some troubling signs for several months prior.

“With money, the reason we don’t do the things we know we need to do is because we are afraid,” Orman said. “We are afraid of making mistakes.

“I was in that mode, but with my health,” added Orman,  who is 69 and said she “should have known better.”

More from Invest in You:
Op-ed: Why financial planning improves your health
Lost your job and health insurance? What you need to know
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“But it is hard to face your greatest fears in life.”

Orman’s medical issues actually started with a nagging cough several years ago. After being treated for reflux and having surgery, she thought she was in the clear. Yet her coughing and esophageal spasms came back.

Then, last October, she had trouble walking up five steps onto the stage for a PBS special in Miami.

“I notice when I’m walking up the steps, I can’t walk up the steps without pulling myself up,” said Orman, who hosts the podcast, “Women and Money.”

“My right leg was too weak to hold myself going up steps.”

Suze Orman spoke with her doctors before heading into the operating room for spinal surgery in July 2020.

Source: Kathy Travis

After she had more trouble with her leg, she went to a doctor, who told her she just overextended her knee. When the problems persisted, she was told to go for an MRI. But life got busy. In February, her latest book, “The Ultimate Retirement Guide” came out and she went on her book tour.

“I’m barreling through it and I’m not paying a lot of attention, although when I walk up a lot of stairs, I have to pull myself up,” she said.

Then, the tour wrapped up and the coronavirus pandemic hit. Orman was at her home in the Bahamas with her wife, Kathy “KT” Travis, and wasn’t going to travel back to Florida for the MRI.

I knew something was wrong and I wanted to believe the doctors that didn’t give me the correct advice.

Suze Orman

personal finance expert

“I notice that my right leg is getting thinner than my left leg,” Orman said. “Then my thumb and my index finger on the right hand start to go numb.”

Her doctors told her it was likely carpal tunnel syndrome, she said.

When she had trouble writing, and eating — even dropping her fork, she reached out to her general practitioner. He looked at all of her problems, which she had addressed with various specialists, and insisted she come back to Florida for MRIs of her

Personal resilience plays big part in heart health for Black Americans

Black people who have a strong sense of psychological well-being may have better heart health, a new study indicates.

It suggests that feelings of optimism and a sense of purpose and control — hallmarks of psychosocial resilience — are more important to heart health than where people live, researchers said.

Lead researcher Tené Lewis, an associate professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, noted that differences in heart health between Black and White Americans have been documented for decades. But individual factors affecting Black Americans have not been well understood.

“Almost everything we know about Black Americans and their health focuses on deficits, yet we really need to begin to identify strengths,” she said. “Understanding which strengths matter most for Black Americans — and under which contexts — will allow us to develop the most appropriate and applicable public health interventions for this group.”

For the study, the researchers recruited nearly 400 Black volunteers between the ages of 30 and 70. They investigated whether the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 metrics were linked to better heart health among them. The seven measures include smoking, physical activity, diet, weight, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.

Participants also completed standard questionnaires gauging their psychosocial health.

This information was then compared with neighborhood data on heart disease and stroke and death rates.

In neighborhoods with high rates of heart disease and stroke, Black adults with higher psychosocial resilience had a 12.5% lower risk of heart disease than those who were less resilient, the researchers found.
The findings were published Oct. 7 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

“We assumed that being both high on psychosocial resilience and living in a resilient neighborhood would be the most beneficial for cardiovascular health, yet what we found was that psychosocial resilience demonstrated the most robust association regardless of the neighborhood resilience measure,” Lewis said in a journal news release.

She said more studies like this one are needed to fully understand and respond to factors that promote better health for Black Americans.

More information

For more on mental health and heart health, head to the American Heart Association.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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When will Big Lots, Planet Fitness, T.J. Maxx, Five Below and Chipotle open in Hershey?

The owner of the Hershey Square shopping center said five new high-profile tenants will open their doors by next spring.

PennLive previously reported that Big Lots, Planet Fitness, T.J. Maxx and Five Below are coming to the former Kmart site in the Derry Township shopping center. A Chipotle Mexican Grill will open there as well.

Construction work to prepare the center for its new tenants began last month, said shopping center owner Heidenberg Properties.

Former Kmart store

The former Kmart store is located in Derry Township at the Hershey Square shopping center. (Daniel Urie, PennLive, File)

The Kmart closed in March 2019. From November through May, Heidenberg Properties said it executed 10-year lease agreements for more than 90,000 square feet of the site for T.J. Maxx, Big Lots, Five Below, and Planet Fitness. The Chipotle will be built on a new pad site in front of Weis Markets and will include a drive-thru lane.

“We knew that this space would be desirable to top-tier retailers and we couldn’t be more excited about the new tenant line up,” Heidenberg Properties’ VP of real estate Ken Simon said in a press release. “The mix of treasure-hunt, value and experiential retailers that we are adding will well-position this property for the long term.”

“Late 2020” will be here before we know it! But in the meantime, we’re busy behind the scenes planning the space and designing equipment. Here’s a sneak peek at the vision board guiding our plans.

Posted by Where the Wild Things Play on Monday, January 20, 2020

A sixth tenant is also expected to open next year as well. Where the Wild Things Play, an indoor play space for children, will take up 4,000 square feet of space at the former Kmart space and will include five playhouses, an enclosed climbing structure and STEM activities, according to a Hummelstown Sun report. The company said on its Facebook page in June that it expects to open in the spring or the summer.

In addition to the 55,000-square-foot Weis Markets, the shopping center includes a number of smaller tenants, including Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection, Panera Bread, Five Guys, Visionworks and Applebee’s. The shopping center has more than 223,000 square feet of space.

Heidenberg Properties, a real estate development company based in New Jersey, acquired the Hershey Square shopping center in 2014.

Business Buzz

You can follow Daniel Urie on twitter @DanielUrie2018 and you can like PennLive’s business page on Facebook at @PennLiveBusiness

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We Still Don’t Know When President Trump Last Tested Negative for COVID-19. Here’s Why That’s a Big Deal

It’s been only about four days since the world learned U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19—but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been four days since he was infected.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: US President Donald Trump pretends to take a COVID-19 test while holding a swab during his visit to the Puritan Medical Products facility in Guilford, Maine on June 5, 2020.

© Nicholas Kamm/AFP— Getty Images
US President Donald Trump pretends to take a COVID-19 test while holding a swab during his visit to the Puritan Medical Products facility in Guilford, Maine on June 5, 2020.

White House officials and Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley have repeatedly dodged questions about when the President last tested negative for COVID-19. “I don’t want to go backwards,” Conley said when asked about Trump’s last negative test during a Monday press briefing, at which he announced Trump would be discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to return to the White House.


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But the question isn’t only important retroactively. “It matters for a couple of reasons,” says Dr. Megan Ranney, a professor of emergency medicine at Brown University. “The first is because it helps to predict the course of illness. The second reason it matters immensely is because of contact tracing.”

That is, without knowing when Trump last tested negative, it’s impossible to say how many people came into contact with him when he was contagious and may now be unknowingly spreading the virus. Knowing the date of Trump’s last negative test is not going backward; it is crucial to preventing future spread.

The timeline of Trump’s illness has been unclear. He tweeted early Friday morning that he tested positive for COVID-19, shortly after his adviser Hope Hicks tested did. (Wall Street Journal reporting suggests the White House did not disclose a positive test result Trump received on Thursday while waiting for a second test to confirm the results.) On Friday, he received supplemental oxygen and was admitted to Walter Reed before being discharged Monday.

But at a briefing on Saturday, Conley said Trump was 72 hours into his diagnosis—suggesting he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday, not Thursday. He later claimed he misspoke and said the President tested positive on Thursday.

If that’s true, the course of Trump’s illness has been unusual, says Dr. Leana Wen, a professor of health policy and management at George Washington University’s Milken School of Public Health and Baltimore’s former public health commissioner.

Video: How crucial are the next few days of Trump’s coronavirus treatment? (FOX News)

How crucial are the next few days of Trump’s coronavirus treatment?



It typically takes around a week for symptoms to progress to a point where a patient needs oxygen support. If Trump has been tested every day, as is White House protocol, Wen says it’s strange he would go from a negative test on Wednesday to hospitalization on Friday.

“How is it possible that on Wednesday he didn’t have enough of a viral load to pick it up…and by Friday he has low oxygen and needed to be hospitalized?” Wen says. “If that’s the case, there is something worrisome about President Trump’s health.” (Ranney

Hungary PM agrees on big wage hike for doctors as COVID-19 cases rise

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government agreed with the Hungarian Medical Chamber on a substantial wage hike for doctors on Saturday, as the country braces for a further rise in coronavirus cases that could strain its healthcare system.

Hungary reported 1,086 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections so far to 29,717 with 812 deaths.

Like many other east European countries, Hungary is grappling with a shortage of doctors and medical workers as local salaries pale in comparison to western European levels.

Gyula Kincses, chairman of the Hungarian Medical Chamber, said the government has accepted a proposed pay scale for doctors that would see base salaries for medical practitioners and doctors roughly double from current levels.

“We have finally managed to achieve what we have been fighting for, that we will be able to work in a healthcare system without gratuity payments, with appropriate salaries,” Kincses told an online news briefing.

Depending on age and level of experience, medical practitioners will earn 700,000 to 800,000 forints, while older doctors will receive up to 2.4 million forints, Kincses said.

The wage rises, which Kincses said would be front-loaded from January, would be implemented over two years, rising to the newly agreed levels by 2023.

Orban said in a Facebook video that his government would submit legislation on the wage hikes to parliament on Monday.

“Our hospitals will come under enormous strain over the next seven to eight months,” he said, adding that a COVID-19 vaccine was not expected before the second half of next year.

“Now is the time for a massive wage improvement for our doctors,” he said.

Kincses said the sides had also agreed to clamp down on the practice of gratuity payments, with possible penalties for both patients making and doctors accepting such out-of-pocket payments in return for medical services.

Orban, who faces an election in the first half of 2022, also confirmed this week that his government would resume the payment of an extra month’s worth of pensions from 2021, as the economy is headed for a slower-than-expected recovery from the pandemic.

Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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‘Acceptable carnage’: Big school districts wrestle with reopening

Chicago Public Schools
Key Stats: Student Population: More than 350,000 | Schools: 650 | Employees: 40,000

The city reported a 4.2 percent Covid-19 test positivity rate Tuesday, and said it’s recording about 300 new infections per day. Infection rates are uneven across the city. Chicago’s teachers union is resisting a return to in-person classes and accusing the city of rushing “headlong into a resumption of in-person learning at the beginning of November,” regardless of public health conditions.

“We’re not there yet, and we have to make these decisions in the next few weeks,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said this week, when asked if Chicago Public Schools could reopen when its second quarter begins in November. Lightfoot said the city must “see more progress” to have a conversation about in-person learning, even as she eased some restrictions on the city’s nightlife, including reopening bars for indoor service.

“We have to think about our principals, our teachers, our staff. Coming back to work, what does that mean for them? What does it mean for members of that school community who are over 60, who have underlying medical conditions? Are we going to have enough of a robust workforce to be able to come back in-person?”

Online instruction resumed in September, but school officials said they had to track down thousands of students who did not check into classes during the school year’s early days. The powerful Chicago Teachers Union argued that’s not enough of a reason to resume in-person classes and demanded the mayor work on improving remote learning.

“We share CPS’s concern about maintaining student enrollment. But a return to in-person learning before it can be done safely, along with timing that will coincide with a potential fall surge in COVID-19 infections currently predicted by public health experts, could be catastrophic for Chicago and its most vulnerable populations,” Union President Jesse Sharkey wrote in a letter to Lightfoot this week.

Miami-Dade and Broward County, Fla. schools
Key Stats: Miami-Dade Student Population: 347,000 | Schools: 392
Broward Student Population: 269,000 | Schools: 241

The nation’s fourth-largest school district, Miami-Dade County, gave in Tuesday to pressure from the state reopen schools. Neighboring Broward County schools, with more than 269,000 students, faces the same pressure as the sixth-biggest system nationwide and will hold an emergency meeting Thursday.

DeSantis and his Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran threatened to withhold funding if the districts, the only two in the state that haven’t reopened for in-person classes, don’t throw open their doors by Oct. 5. Miami-Dade school leaders last week approved a phased return to face-to-face classes by Oct. 21 after a marathon 29-hour board meeting that drew 750 comments from the public over two days. Miami-Dade was aiming for an Oct. 5 return, which the state leveraged against them.

Local leaders say Miami-Dade, which has been hit harder by the coronavirus than the rest of the state, needed more time to reopen schools. The county reported 632 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, the most in more than

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Supports Breast Cancer Awareness with First Limited-Edition Pink Big Yellow Cup

A portion of the proceeds from every Tribute Cup sold in October will be donated toward providing first responders with mammography screenings and other breast cancer detection services through The Dickey Foundation

Dallas, TX, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is joining the fight against breast cancer this October with the debut of its first limited-edition Pink Big Yellow Cup.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the world’s largest barbecue concept’s signature Big Yellow Cup will become pink. Throughout the month, Dickey’s will offer the 32-ounce limited-edition collectible Tribute Cup for purchase in all of their locations across the U.S

A portion of the proceeds from every charitable cup sold will be donated to The Dickey Foundation, which provides safety equipment and overall support for first responders. The Dickey Foundation will use the funds raised from the collectible Pink Big Yellow Cup to provide mammograms and other breast cancer detection, treatment and services for local first responders.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women and the second leading cause of death,” said Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “One in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime, and early detection is key to increasing survival rates. As the nation’s largest barbecue brand, Dickey’s is proud to support our local first responders in the battle against breast cancer.”

To learn more, follow Dickey’s Franchise on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Download the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

About Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.

Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., the world’s largest barbecue concept, was founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey. For the past 79 years, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has served millions of guests Legit. Texas. Barbecue.™ At Dickey’s, all our barbecued meats are smoked onsite in a hickory wood burning pit. Dickey’s proudly believes there’s no shortcut to true barbecue and it’s why they never say bbq. The Dallas-based, family-run barbecue franchise offers several slow-smoked meats and wholesome sides with ‘No B.S. (Bad Stuff)’ included. The fast-casual concept has expanded worldwide with two international locations in the UAE and operates over 500 locations in 44 states. In 2016, Dickey’s won first place on Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” list and was named a Top 500 Franchise by Entrepreneur in 2018. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has also been recognized by Fox News, Franchise Times, The Wall Street Journal, QSR Magazine, Forbes Magazine and Nation’s Restaurant News. For more information, visit

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CONTACT: Greer Martin Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. 9729713898

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