NFL Backs GOP; State Dept. Meets With Hezbollah; Obamacare Confuses Med Students

Sunday, 07 Oct 2012 02:19 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Urgent Care Centers Called the 'Next Gold Rush'
2. NFL Owners, Doctors Backing Republicans
3. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Blasts State Dept. for Hezbollah Meeting
4. Medical Students Don't Understand Obamacare
5. Amazon Scolded Over Nazi Death Camp Puzzle
6. Manhattan Split Over Obama/Romney Support — Literally
 

1. Urgent Care Centers Called the 'Next Gold Rush'

Urgent care centers, where walk-ins can be treated without an appointment, are booming across the country — an estimated 3 million patients now visit them each week.

And that number is expected to soar in 2014 when Obamacare begins to bring healthcare coverage to some 30 million more Americans, many of whom do not have a regular doctor.

Urgent care centers treat most common injuries and illnesses, including ear infections, colds, cuts and back pain, and offer X-ray services and blood, urine and drug tests.

Their numbers have grown from 8,000 in 2008 to 9,300 today, and that doesn't include walk-in clinics in pharmacies and big-box stores such as Walmart, according to Kaiser Health News.

"There's plenty of funding out there from private equity people who feel this is the next gold rush," said Robert Graw Jr., chief executive of Righttime Medical Care, which has nine centers in Maryland and is planning new ones in Maryland and Virginia.

Many patients prefer urgent care centers to avoid long waits in emergency rooms and take advantage of their convenient hours during evenings and weekends, when most doctors' offices are closed.

Also, the centers are cheaper than emergency rooms. A 2010 Rand Corp. study disclosed that nearly one in five visits to emergency rooms could be treated at urgent care centers, potentially saving $4.4 billion a year in healthcare costs.

Some physicians warn that the centers can "complicate efforts to improve health through better coordination of care," Kaiser observes, noting that family doctors take a more holistic view of a person.

But the lower costs of urgent care centers are attracting the attention of insurance providers. Humana in 2010 purchased Concentra, the nation's largest chain with 324 urgent care centers, including more than a dozen that have opened in the last nine months.

Editor's Note:



2. NFL Owners, Doctors Backing Republicans

Mitt Romney and the Republican Party are drawing financial support from two disparate groups — the National Football League's players and owners, and doctors.

NFL employees and owners have donated more than $1.5 million during this election cycle, with Republicans receiving about three times as much as Democrats.

Eleven of the NFL team owners favor Romney, according to FEC campaign records compiled by Business Insider's Walter Hickey in September. The biggest individual giver is Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who has donated $100,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, $20,800 to the Republican National Committee, $5,000 to Romney's Free and Strong America PAC, and $2,500 to Mitt Romney.

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson has given $58,200 to the Republican National Committee this year, $2,500 to Mitt Romney, and $5,000 to Romney's Free and Strong America PAC.

Members of the Bidwell family, owners of the Arizona Cardinals, have donated over $154,000 to the Republican National Committee and $4,500 to Romney.

Other NFL owners donating to Romney include the Kansas City Chiefs co-owner Clark Hunt, Cincinnati Bengals' Mike Brown, Cleveland Browns' Jimmy Haslam III, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Houston Texans owner Robert McNair, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, San Diego Chargers owner Alexander Spanos, and Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

Among Obama contributors, Pittsburgh Steelers co-owner Dan Rooney has donated $35,000 for the president's re-election campaign. Rooney donated heavily to Obama during the 2008 campaign and was appointed Ambassador to Ireland. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has donated $5,000 to Obama for his re-election and $12,900 to the Democratic National Committee.

As for doctors, 55 percent said they would vote for Romney compared to 36 percent for Obama, according to a poll released by Jackson & Coker, a division of Jackson Healthcare, a large healthcare staffing firm.

The survey also found that 15 percent of respondents said they were switching their vote from Obama in 2008 to Romney this year. The main reason cited for the change was Obamacare, according to the Daily Caller.

"The healthcare law has stirred many passions in the medical community," said Sandy Garrett, president of Jackson & Coker.

Romney has said he will work to repeal Obamacare if he wins the White House.

Editor's Note:



3. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Blasts State Dept. for Hezbollah Meeting

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has slammed the State Department after one of its senior officials met with a Lebanese politician closely allied with the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

Undersecretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman met in Washington on Monday with Energy Minister Gebran Bassil, who belongs to Lebanon's Free Patriotic Movement (FPM).

The FPM is a member of the alliance that controls the nation's cabinet and includes Hezbollah, which is designated by the United States as a "foreign terrorist organization" (FTO).

The group was established with Iran's support after the 1979 Iranian revolution, and has been called by the State Department "the most technically-capable terrorist group in the world."

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Sherman and Bassil discussed issues including the crisis in Syria and maritime energy disputes. Sherman also "raised our ongoing concern about Hezbollah's actions, including its support for the Syrian regime, its role as a terrorist organization and a proxy for Iran, and its criminal activities in the international drug trade and money laundering," Nuland added.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, blasted the Sherman-Bassil meeting, describing the Lebanese minister as "an open supporter of the Assad regime" in Syria "and the violent extremist group Hezbollah."

The Florida Republican said in a statement: "The fact that one the State Department's highest ranking officials met with Bassil – one of Hezbollah's most stalwart allies – is beyond indefensible. A supporter of Assad and Hezbollah has no place meeting with U.S. officials.

"The administration chooses to meet with the likes of Bassil while giving the cold shoulder to our closest ally, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," Ros-Lehtinen added, referring to President Obama's decision not to meet with Netanyahu on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in September after the Israeli leader had reportedly requested a meeting.

Two Lebanese opposition parties also were unhappy about Bassil's trip, CNS News reported.

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's mainly Sunni Future Movement and an allied Christian party, the Lebanese Forces, called the visit "provocative," Lebanon's Daily Star reported.

"We warn of the serious implications since the Free Patriotic Movement is an ally of Hezbollah and the Syrian-Iranian axis," the two parties said in a joint statement.

"The FPM which Bassil represents and which claims loyalty to the homeland and calls for reform and change as well as [claiming to] safeguard the interests of Christian presence in the Levant, is a tool in the hands of Hezbollah which is dragging Lebanon into regional and international conflicts."

The FTO designation makes it unlawful for any U.S. citizen to knowingly provide a group with "material support or resources." FTO members or representatives are also not allowed entry to the United States.

Sherman's meeting with Bassil came on the same day that Lebanese security officials reported the death of a Hezbollah commander and several fighters inside Syria. A Hezbollah newspaper reported that the commander, Ali Hussein Nassif, had been killed "while performing his jihadi duties."

Editor's Note:



4. Medical Students Don't Understand Obamacare

Many average Americans don't have a clear understanding of the 2,700-page law implementing Obamacare — and neither do many future doctors, a survey reveals.

The survey questioned about 850 medical students at three medical schools in Minnesota. It found that less than half — 48 percent — said they understood the basic components of Obamacare, while 40 percent said they did not. The rest had no opinion on the question.

The lead author of the survey, Dr. Tyler Winkelman — an internal medicine and pediatrics resident at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis — cited "a lack of understanding with the bill itself and the lack of education in medical schools of healthcare systems and the bigger picture of healthcare."

Despite a widespread lack of understanding of Obamacare among future doctors, about 69 percent of respondents agreed that doctors were obligated to play a role in its implementation.

The survey also found that 47 percent of students supported the healthcare reform law. Liberals were more likely than conservatives to support, understand, and feel a duty to implement it.

The report on the survey — published in the Archives of Internal Medicine — stated: "While the next generation of physicians will play an increasingly significant role in the implementation, modification, and advocacy for or against reform measures, it is unclear whether they possess the knowledge or will to participate in such efforts."

Winkelman suggested that medical schools should expand their curriculum beyond traditional basic science education to include policy.

Editor's Note:



5. Amazon Scolded Over Nazi Death Camp Puzzle

Online retail giant Amazon came under fire over the sale of a jigsaw puzzle depicting the crematorium at the Nazi death camp at Dachau, and has now stopped selling the item.

The 252-piece puzzle, which sold for $24.99, showed two ovens at the crematorium where the bodies of prisoners were burned. The product description said it was suitable for children ages eight and over.

The image was one of many puzzle pictures taken by photographer Robert Hardin, according to JTA, the Global News Service of the Jewish People.

"This is a real slap in the face for concentration camp survivors and relatives of victims," Gerda Hasselfeldt, parliamentary chief of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, wrote in a letter to Amazon cited by the German publication Der Spiegel.

And Dick Riedel, spokesman for the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial, told another German publication: "The toy is a trivialization of the place and its history."

Dachau, located in Bavaria near Munich, was among the first Nazi concentration camps; it opened in March 1933 and was liberated by American forces in April 1945. More than 200,000 prisoners passed through the camp, and over 30,000 "officially" died there, but JTA reports that the figure was certainly much higher.

 

Editor's Note:



6. Manhattan Split Over Obama/Romney Support — Literally

There's a distinct line separating financial supporters of the two presidential candidates — and it runs right down the middle of Manhattan.

Five of the top 10 ZIP codes contributing cash to President Obama's re-election campaign are in Manhattan, and so too are five of the top 10 ZIPs donating to GOP challenger Mitt Romney.

Four of the five Manhattan ZIP codes in Obama's top 10 are on the West Side of Manhattan, according to OpenSecrets.org. And all five of Romney's top ZIPs are across town on the East Side.

One East Side ZIP, 10021, is in both candidates' top 10.

Contributors from Obama's top ZIP code, 10024, have given the president $1.39 million (counting only those individual donations that exceeded $200).

The next three ZIPs for Obama are also on the West Side, followed by a ZIP code on the North Side of Chicago, two in Northwest Washington, D.C., one in Chevy Chase, Md., one in Cambridge, Mass., and the shared 20021 ZIP.

The shared ZIP code is Romney's biggest contributor, giving the candidate $1.24 million, followed by ZIPs in Greenwich and New Canaan, Conn., Houston, Palm Beach, another in Manhattan, another in Greenwich, and three more in Manhattan.

Among metropolitan areas, New York is the top Obama supporter, donating $19.2 million, followed by Washington, D.C. ($16.6 million), and Los Angeles ($12.8 million).

The New York metro area is also Romney's biggest contributor ($12.4 million), followed by Washington ($9.1 million) and Boston ($7.3 million).

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Editor's Note:



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