Countdown to 2014: Obamacare and the states
As of January 2014, every state will have a new consumer marketplace for health insurance, and states that want to expand coverage for the poor will get federal support to pay for it. But the Affordable Care Act gives the states a lot of maneuvering room
(Image source: Kaiser Family Foundation)
At least 20 people were killed and 99 injured when warplanes bombed a market in the northern Syrian city of Azaz on January 13, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. Twenty of the wounded, all civilians, were treated in an MSF medical facility.
The attack in Azaz, a city near the border with Turkey, was particularly devastating. It followed earlier airstrikes that hit health facilities in the city, making it almost impossible for local medical staff to cope with the scale of the latest emergency. The injured were transported to medical facilities elsewhere in the region, including to an MSF field hospital in the Aleppo area.
“The cars and ambulances kept on coming and patients flooded the hospital,” said Adriana Ferracin, an MSF nurse in Syria. “We received many patients with limb amputations, head injuries, and bleeding eyes and ears.”
“Even after the airstrikes on medical facilities in the Aleppo region, local doctors and nurses remained committed to providing medical care, and they are doing their best to help the population,” said Shinjiro Murata, MSF head of mission in Syria.
MSF’s field hospital in the Aleppo region—one of three run by MSF in Syria—provides emergency, obstetric, and primary health care, focusing on pregnant women, children, and the most vulnerable.
Violence is hitting an already vulnerable population with limited access to medical care and food. Escalating prices of essential supplies, such as bread, wood, and clothing are further worsening the population’s living conditions. As in Azaz, many people prefer to seek medical care in clandestine structures for fear that hospitals will be targeted in airstrikes.
Today, President Obama announced sweeping set of policies, including 23 executive orders, aimed at reducing gun violence. The unveiling was the result of the Joe Biden-led task force Obama formed last month in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, and proposed policies include an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and improved access to mental health care. The Washington Post calls it “the most expansive gun-control policies in a generation,” and the fact that the president issued no less than 23 executive orders suggests that he wants to avoid congress as much as possible with this (which, given his first term, is understandable). Here’s the flashy White House document outlining the proposals, here’s a list of the executive orders (one of which, somewhat amusingly, is “Nominate an ATF director”), and here’s audio of the event (courtesy of Matt Keys). Photo credit: AP source