Health Highlights: Nov. 23, 2014
New Case of Ebola Confirmed in Mali House Republicans Sue Obama Administration Over Health Care Law Millions of Baby Strollers Recalled Due to Finger Amputation Risk
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
New Case of Ebola Confirmed in Mali
A new case of Ebola has been confirmed in Mali, and two more people are being tested on suspicion they may be infected with the virus, government officials said Saturday.
Five people have died of Ebola in Mali already, and health officials are worried that the disease might spread further in that African country, the Associated Press reported.
A government statement issued Saturday said the latest Ebola patient "was placed in an isolation center for intensive treatment," the AP reported. Currently, more than 300 people in Mali who had some contact with Ebola patients are being monitored for signs of the disease.
"The new cases in Mali remind us that no country in the region is immune to Ebola," Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF regional director for West and Central Africa, said in a statement Friday, the AP reported.
Of the more than 5,400 people who have died in the current outbreak, most of the deaths have occurred in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.
Sierra Leone has recorded more than 1,200 Ebola deaths, and only 13 percent of Sierra Leone's Ebola patients were being isolated, according to a WHO report released last week.
House Republicans Sue Obama Administration Over Health Care Law
A long-threatened lawsuit against the Obama administration over its health care law was filed Friday by House Republicans.
The lawsuit against the secretaries of the Health and Human Services and Treasury Departments claims that unilateral actions taken to implement the law are abuses of the president's executive authority, The New York Times reports.
Specifically, the suit claims that the Obama administration unlawfully postponed a requirement that larger companies (50 or more employees) offer health coverage to their full-time workers or pay penalties.
The White House announced in mid-2013 that the requirement was delayed until 2015, and earlier this year announced that it was delayed until 2016 for companies with 50 to 99 employees, The Times reported.
The lawsuit also alleges that the Obama administration unlawfully gave about $175 billion to insurance companies to cover premium subsidies for poor people. The administration will pay that amount to insurers over the next 10 years, but the funds have not been appropriated by Congress, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
That makes it an unlawful transfer of funds, according to the lawsuit.
In the summer, House Republicans passed a resolution authorizing a legal challenge against the president over the use of his executive authority to alter parts of the health care law, The Times reported.
The lawsuit is strange because it targets the Obama administration for delaying enforcement of a law that Republicans strongly oppose, according to Democrats.
No Republicans voted for the health care law when it was passed in 2010, and House Republicans have voted dozens of times to repeal all or parts of it, The Times reported.
Millions of Baby Strollers Recalled Due to Finger Amputation Risk
Nearly five million Graco- and Century-brand baby strollers are being recalled in the United States, Canada and Mexico due to a problem that can result in severe cuts or finger amputation, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says.
The folding hinge on the sides of the recalled strollers can pinch a child's finger. Eleven reports of finger injuries, including six fingertip amputations, four partial-fingertip amputations, and finger laceration have been received by the manufacturer, Graco Children's Products.
The model names of the recalled strollers are: Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate Model Strollers and Travel Systems, and their manufacture dates range from Aug. 1, 2000 to Sept. 25, 2014, the CPSC said.
Graco will begin offering free repair kits for the strollers in early December. For more information, contact the company at 1-800-345-4109 between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or go to Graco's website.
Until the repair kits are available, consumers should be extremely careful when unfolding the stroller and make sure that the hinges are firmly locked in place before placing a child in the stroller, the CPSC said.