Age, Coronavirus Sharpen Aim on Biden’s Overall health | Politics

Perhaps if President Joe Biden’s voice had not been so clearly strained as he shipped a speech outlining the nation’s winter season pandemic approach, the commander in chief’s frequent seasonal signs or symptoms may not have elevated eyebrows. But with Biden a lot more notably hoarse as he talked about the week’s work and unemployment numbers Friday, his private medical doctor place out a formal assertion.

The analysis? A “frog in one’s throat,” Kevin C. O’Connor, medical doctor to the president, said in a memo to reporters, launched with the authorization of the First Individual.

“As is readily obvious, President Biden is enduring some improved nasal congestion this 7 days. This can be read in his voice,” hence developing the colloquially explained frog effect, O’Connor mentioned.

The disclosure of this sort of a widespread and slight ailment was hugely unconventional, even as the media and voters have demanded higher transparency about the president’s well being about the several years. But with the region in the midst of a pandemic, and with the new variant omicron added to the mix, even signals of a sore throat in the 79-calendar year-previous president have taken on elevated value.

Political Cartoons on Joe Biden

O’Connor explained Biden had been subjected to a “detailed respiratory panel,” like COVID-19, other coronaviruses, influenza, streptococcus and other conditions, and all arrived back again detrimental. The president is tested for COVID-19 a few occasions a 7 days, he additional.

Biden himself congenially blamed his young grandson for passing on his chilly.

“I am Alright. I’m analyzed each day,” Biden explained to reporters, exaggerating the thrice-weekly testing his doctor described.

Nope, he won’t have COVID-19. “What I have,” Biden explained, “is a 1-1/2-calendar year-aged grandson who has a chilly, who likes to kiss his pop. It truly is just a chilly.”

There has been an rising desire for much more details of the private well being of presidents and presidential candidates over the previous many years. It’s all but unthinkable right now that a wheelchair-certain Franklin Delano Roosevelt could have saved his paralysis largely out of the public eye even though four terms as president. John F. Kennedy kept solution his overall health challenges, which integrated a poor back again and Addison’s condition, a serious ailment of the adrenal glands.

Candidates and presidents are less than sizeable tension to demonstrate they are physically up for the job.

Democratic presidential applicant Paul Tsongas manufactured his doctor out there for media interviews in 1992, when Tsongas – who defeat non-Hodgkin lymphoma – was managing for the Democratic nomination for president. (The health issues later returned, and the former senator from Massachusetts died of it in 1997.)

In 2016, then-prospect Donald Trump unveiled a assertion from his medical professional, Harold Bornstein, declaring that Trump would be the “healthiest specific at any time elected to the presidency.” Bornstein later on instructed CNN Trump had dictated the letter to him and that it did not reflect his skilled view.

Whilst in place of work, Trump’s

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New CA law takes aim at long wait times for mental health care : Shots

When Greta Christina heard that Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians were staging a protest on Oct. 13, 2019, over long wait times for therapy, she made her own sign and showed up to support them. She’s had to wait up to six weeks between therapy appointments for her depression.

Ingrid Nelson


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Ingrid Nelson

When Greta Christina heard that Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians were staging a protest on Oct. 13, 2019, over long wait times for therapy, she made her own sign and showed up to support them. She’s had to wait up to six weeks between therapy appointments for her depression.

Ingrid Nelson

When Greta Christina fell into a deep depression five years ago, she called up her therapist in San Francisco — someone she’d had a great connection with when she needed therapy in the past. And she was delighted to find out that he was now “in network” with her insurance company, meaning she wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket anymore to see him.

But her excitement was short-lived. Over time, Christina’s appointments with the therapist went from every two weeks, to every four weeks, to every five or six.

“To tell somebody with serious, chronic, disabling depression that they can only see their therapist every five or six weeks is like telling somebody with a broken leg that they can only see their physical therapist every five or six weeks,” she says. “It’s not enough. It’s not even close to enough.”

Then, this summer, Christina was diagnosed with breast cancer. Everything related to her cancer care — her mammogram, biopsy, surgery appointments — happened promptly, like a “well-oiled machine,” she says, while her depression care stumbled along.

“It is a hot mess,” she says. “I need to be in therapy — I have cancer! And still nothing has changed.”

A new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October aims to fix this problem for Californians. Senate Bill 221, which passed the state Legislature with a nearly unanimous vote, requires health insurers across the state to reduce wait times for mental health care to no more than 10 business days. Six other states have similar laws limiting wait times, including Colorado, Maryland, and Texas.

Unequal access to behavioral health care is pervasive

Long waits for mental health treatment are a nationwide problem, with reports of patients waiting an average of five or six weeks for care in community clinics, at the VA, and in private offices from Maryland to Los Angeles County. Across California, half of residents surveyed said they have to wait too long to see a mental health provider when they need one.

At Kaiser Permanente, the state’s largest insurance company, 87% of therapists said weekly appointments were not available to patients who needed them, according to a survey by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents Kaiser’s therapists — and was the main sponsor of the legislative bill.

“It just feels so unethical,”

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