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ASPCA commits $5 million in COVID-19 relief & recovery initiative to help shelters and pet owners
3/25/2020 11:39:42 AM

ASPCA to distribute lifesaving grants to shelters and establish regional pet food distribution centers to provide emergency relief to at-risk pet owners.   NEW YORK–To assist pet owners and shelters affected by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the ASPCA ® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ®) is launching the ASPCA Relief & Recovery Initiative, a $5 million multipronged strategic relief response to the crisis. The response includes $2 million in grants to animal shelters in critical need of funds and pet food to pet owners who face...

House leaders introduce bills to improve COBRA for Medicare eligible
3/25/2020 10:47:21 AM

By Karen Fletcher   “Many retirees are unexpectedly exposed to out-of-pocket liability for any costs paid under COBRA benefits on or after date of Medicare eligibility and penalties for late enrollment in Medicare. Some of this risk would be eliminated if COBRA notices addressed the interaction with Medicare, and vice versa. Unfortunately, such information is not required under either Medicare or COBRA, and thus, transparency and clear information about the interaction between the two is lacking.”   WASHINGTON—The above is a quote from a recent letter...

Former President Obama reflects on 10-year ACA anniversary
3/25/2020 10:43:52 AM

By Barack Obama   RETIREMENT—The events of the past month remind us that as a community, we all have an obligation to look out for one another. Ten years ago today, I signed the Affordable Care Act into law for that reason—that as Americans, we all deserve quality, affordable care. As Americans, we take care of each other. When I ran for President in 2008, one of the first promises I made was that I would pass a law that moved us toward universal health care in my first term. It was a pledge informed by the stories I heard on the campaign trail and reinforced by...

How to Prevent the Silent Epidemic of Kidney Disease
3/18/2020 3:07:18 PM

Dear Savvy Senior, Do kidney problems run in families? My mother died from kidney failure 10 years ago at age 74 but didn’t know she had a kidney problem until it was too late. Just Turned 60   Dear 60, Anyone who has a family history of kidney disease, or who has high blood pressure or diabetes is at increased risk and needs to have their kidneys tested. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 37 million U.S adults have chronic kidney disease (when the kidneys can’t properly do their job of cleaning toxins and wastes from the...

'He's an inmate': Anguish mounts over virus-hit nursing home
3/18/2020 3:03:39 PM

By Gene Johnson and Ted S. Warren   KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP)—Desperate to talk to their dad, Scott Sedlacek and his brother, Steve, stood outside his open nursing home window and shouted. They could barely hear his weak replies, but one came through clearly. “I feel like (expletive),” the 86-year-old told them. Chuck Sedlacek arrived at the Life Care Center of Kirkland three weeks ago for physical therapy, just before the suburban nursing home became the epicenter of the nation's worst coronavirus outbreak. Now he's in worse shape than...

Out to Pastor - Have nose, will sneeze
3/18/2020 2:50:49 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   Many things about me could be called into question, and a lot has. I get that. However, the most attractive thing about me is my nose. I am not sure of the reason why, it looks like anybody else’s nose. My nose, however, attracts everything around it, from dust to pollen and other unmentionables. If there is something not attracted to my nose I haven’t found it yet. This past week has been no exception. If it was in the air, it was in my nose. I do not know why my nose is so attractive to things, but there it is. I am the one that suffers the...

Business as usual at North American box office amid virus
3/12/2020 1:55:49 PM

By Lindsey Bahr   LOS ANGELES (AP)—North American audiences are not staying away from theaters amid virus concerns, according to the weekend's box office numbers. Disney and Pixar's “Onward” topped the charts as expected and the Ben Affleck basketball drama “The Way Back” also opened normally. “Onward” earned $40 million from 4,310 North American locations, according to studio estimates on Sunday. It's on the lower end of openings for the studio, more in line with “The Good Dinosaur's” launch in 2015....

Woman finds light in fight against Parkinson's disease
3/12/2020 1:29:22 PM

By Yue Stella Yu   COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP)—Lap after lap, Mary Anna Nelson kept on going. Walking turned into jogging. Her eyes were fixed on the path ahead so that she would not trip and fall. No one could overtake her—that, she made sure of. On a sunny morning, a competitive Nelson managed to finish first place during an exercise at the Frank P. Phillips YMCA Adaptive Fitness program in Columbus, leaving most of her elderly peers behind by a large margin. Morning exercises like that have always been part of Nelson's daily routine—perhaps more so after...

OUT TO PASTOR - Old deals, new wheels
3/12/2020 1:21:09 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   A new resident has parked itself in the driveway of the parsonage. After ten years of the old resident parked outside, it is a nice change to see this new one. For the past year, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has been looking for a new vehicle. When I say looking, I really mean, "Looking." She leaves no stone unturned in her quest, especially for a new vehicle. My only qualification for a new vehicle is; can I afford it and does it run. However, not so with my wife. She spent the whole year researching every vehicle that caught her...

Victims targeted by their faith routinely bilked by unregulated ‘health care sharing ministries’
3/12/2020 1:19:15 PM

By Audrey Dutton   BOISE, ID (AP)—Susan Calvin was healthy. Her family was, too. But their health insurance premiums and deductibles were climbing. When she started shopping for an insurance plan for 2017 and lamented the cost, Calvin says, her insurance broker suggested trying another option. What she didn't fully realize at the time was that she wasn't buying health insurance. She was signing up for a health care sharing ministry, the Idaho Statesman reported. A few years after dropping her health insurance and joining a sharing ministry, she warns, “My...