As the fiasco continues in Washington over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, technical problems still plague healthcare.gov, the website that was meant to be the law’s easy one-stop shop for subsidized health care plans. Enrollment numbers released last week were disturbingly low, with just 27,000 enrollments through the federal site in the first month after its Oct. 1 launch.
I am up at six thirty in the morning sitting in the greenhouse. Middle November, at the end of leaf drop. The sky half dawn, light and dark equal through the fast gray nimbostratus clouds and the storm. The wind is hard from the southeast. The pattern of the gusts and rain creates a shape of its own, harsh like pebbles or hail, then soft, sweeping and blending, retreating.
The name makes it sound like an old-fashioned disease, but whooping cough cases are up. And state health officials are encouraging Ohioans to get booster shots.
The Ohio Department of Health says the highly contagious cough is one of the most commonly occurring, but vaccine-preventable, diseases in the United States. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is usually spread by coughing or sneezing.
It often starts with cold-like symptoms before turning into a persistent cough with spasms.
In warm late autumns, garlic mustard has grown four or five inches tall, its leaves wide and bright. Chickweed has come back all along the paths, and cress has revived in the pools and streams. Skunk cabbage has pushed up all over the swamp, some plants even opening a little. The low sun sets the new plants glowing like they glow in April. At the river’s edge, the water is rippled blue, black, green, and brown, bare tree branches tangled in reflections.
Southwest Ohio businesses have a new health care option on the table: so-called “self-insurance” allows companies to cut out the middle man.
The South Metro Regional Chamber of Commerce in Miamisburg has signed up to give its members access to a national self-insurance pool with hundreds of other businesses, which chamber director Julia Maxton says can save them money.
“It’s very clean, it’s very clear,” Maxton said. “It is something that they can understand.”