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Survey Employers Pessimistic About Health Law Costs

first_imgSurvey: Employers ‘Pessimistic’ About Health Law Costs This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Wall Street Journal reports on a survey that finds companies increasingly “pessimistic” they can avoid health care cost increases they believe will stem from the overhaul. Politico reports that insurers are showing little interest in small business exchanges. Also in the news, Indiana House Republicans worry that schools are cutting employee hours to avoid health law penalties.The Wall Street Journal’s Risk & Compliance Journal: Employers Coming To Grips With Health Reform Costs: SurveyCompanies have grown more pessimistic about their ability to avoid higher health-care costs as a result of the Affordable Care Act as the time draws near when all individuals will be required to have health insurance, according to a survey released on Wednesday by benefits consultant Mercer. Just 9% of companies feel the ACA will add less than 1% to their costs next year, compared to 25% that felt in 2011 they would see little or no impact come 2014, Mercer said. Beth Umland, director of research for health and benefits in Mercer’s health and benefits business, said 20% felt so sanguine last year (Murphy, 6/12).Politico: Small-Business Exchanges Draw Few InsurersObamacare’s new insurance marketplaces for small businesses, which have already stumbled before getting out of the gate, are facing another pressing question just months before millions can sign up for benefits: What happens if insurers don’t show up to sell? (Millman, 6/13).The Hill: GOP: Schools Cutting Workers’ Hours To Avoid ObamaCare PenaltyA group of House Republicans criticized the Obama administration Wednesday over news that schools are cutting their employees’ hours to avoid providing health insurance. Republican lawmakers from Indiana said several school districts in the state have cut the weekly hours of employees, including cafeteria workers, bus drivers and teachers’ aides (Baker, 6/12).Politico: Obamacare? We Were Just Leaving… Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting. The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive (Palmer and Sherman, 6/13).In other news related to the health law’s implementation – California Healthline: Could This Little-Watched Court Case Sink Obamacare?Innovare may be Latin for innovate, but the values at Innovare Health Advocates are traditional: An “Old School” commitment to delivering “Healthcare the Way it Ought to Be.”  The Missouri-based health practice is run by Dr. Charles Willey, a staunch tea party conservative who’s been mentored by former Sen. Jim Talent, one of his patients. “I’ve personally, for a long time, been interested in politics,” he told a radio show in 2010, noting that he’d been leading efforts “to get doctors excited about resisting Obamacare.” But Willey’s doing more than just resisting the health law these days — he’s become an active player in Halbig et al v. Sebelius, a lawsuit that threatens a key element in the Affordable Care Act: Whether the tax subsidies slated to help many Americans purchase coverage through many insurance exchanges are even legal under the ACA’s language (Diamond, 6/12).last_img read more

Just how fast will Bolt go when he really puts his mind

first_imgTopics Share on Pinterest Olympics 2008 Usain Bolt First published on Sun 17 Aug 2008 19.01 EDT Share on Facebook Jamaica Olympic team Share via Email Americas Just how fast will Bolt go when he really puts his mind to it? Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Michael Phillips Support The Guardian Olympics 2008 Jamaicacenter_img Usain Bolt broke the world record with such phenomenal brilliance at the Bird’s Nest Stadium that he even had time to turn his head and smile at the photo-finish camera. No one at these Games could remember a 100m race where they have seen such a picture.Normally, the snapshot is a blur of profiles crossing the line, but that was before the boy from north-west Jamaica won an argument with his coach Glen Mills, who let him run the 100m instead of the 400m as a way of training for the 200m. Mills is the guiding force behind this young man, who turns 22 on Thursday.Mills knows his every move. He spots mistakes that the sprinter himself does not know he has made. He sets the daily schedules, the diet, the preparation, the races. He runs the show. But even he was stumped about how Bolt took the world record. His time of 9.69sec was achieved as he slowed down with 20 metres left.It is an area of the race that normally is crucial. At last summer’s world championships in Osaka, Tyson Gay was just hitting top gear at that point after storming past Asafa Powell to take the title. It is probably why Mills is so perplexed about what his sprinter will do next. “Who knows how fast he can go?” said Mills. “Obviously from the race, he can go faster than the 9.69. He was having fun in the last 20m, celebrating and breaking the world record. That’s awesome. You can read into it . . . he can probably go under 9.60, but I am not good at predictions. I just love to see things unfold.” Watching the 6ft 5in frame of Bolt unfold at the start of the 100m race is something to behold. He is the tallest man to hold the world record, breaking his own mark of 9.72 with this remarkable run. He ran wearing golden spikes, with the laces on the left foot flapping about in the wind, and he is defying all the other rules of the 100m.Ask any sprinter and they will declare that the first 30m of a race is the most important, to keep the head facing downwards and power into the drive motion to develop speed. Bolt is virtually out of that stage by 20 metres. His long legs eat up so much ground that by halfway there is no chance of catching him. When Powell, his fellow Jamaican whose world record of 9.74 he broke in May, beat him in Stockholm last month, he did so because Bolt had a poor start. It is the only way. By 50 metres, it becomes a procession, a freak show if nothing else, because this quiet, respectful Jamaican is the most remarkable runner to have tried the distance. As Bolt was conducting his leg-slapping celebratory routine well before the end, his rivals had their cheeks puffed and were straining every sinew. “I could see him slowing down and I was still pumping to the line,” said Richard Thompson, of Trinidad & Tobago, who was second in 9.89. “He’s a phenomenal athlete and I don’t think there’s any way anyone could have beaten him.”A lot of people are of the belief that you have to be short, strong and stocky to be a great sprinter and Usain Bolt has defied that. He has shown that he’s a 6ft 5in sprinter and can run well and break world records. He has great starts and it’s the beginning of something else.”Walter Dix, of the US, who was third with 9.91, said: “I am definitely not going to say he’s the epitome of the sprinter, because there’s too many different kinds of sprinters that I’ve admired over the years. But the way he drives and his pattern, the way it goes together, his amazing first 40 metres… I give it to him.” If you listen to his father, Wellesley, it is nothing to do with training. It is all about the vegetables grown locally to where Bolt was born. “It is the Trelawny yam,” said his dad. Not that Bolt was engaging in such a diet. Fast man, fast food. “I never had breakfast,” said the Jamaican as he recalled the start of his greatest day. “I woke up around eleven, I watched television and then I had some [chicken] nuggets for lunch. I went back to my room, I slept for two hours, I went back for some more nuggets and came to the track.” For dinner, he had the world record. Bolt is the first Jamaican and only the second sprinter from the Caribbean to win the Olympic title. Hasely Crawford, from Trinidad and Tobago, triumphed at Montreal in 1976 and this run here obliterated the Olympic record of 9.84, a world record when the Canadian Donovan Bailey won gold in Atlanta 12 years ago. “I am just pleased I made my country proud,” said Bolt, whose next stop after Beijing will be Zurich on Friday week for the Weltklasse grand prix. Clever man, that promoter. He signed Bolt up before the Games. In the space of 9.69sec here on Saturday, his box-office value grew tenfold. Shares00 Since you’re here… Olympics 2008: Athletics Share on LinkedIn Olympic Games Sun 17 Aug 2008 19.01 EDT Share on WhatsApp Share via Email The remarkable Usain Bolt broke the 100m world record despite slowing down with 20 metres still to go. Photograph: F X Marit/AFP … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Reuse this contentlast_img read more

SuperEarth spied in the secondclosest star system from the sun

first_imgHis team made observations from two ground-based telescopes in Chile and Spain. They also observed with a spectrograph at Spain’s Calar Alto Observatory and added in archival data spanning 20 years from those and four other instruments, giving them a total of nearly 800 measurements. “It was a community effort,” Ribas says. As they report today in Nature, they found that the star’s light oscillated every 233 days, implying a planet orbiting with a 223-day year.There’s a chance that the oscillations are caused by something that affects the way the star shines in a periodic way, such as star spots. The team has calculated that this is highly unlikely, although still possible. “We’re quite convinced” it is a planet, Ribas says. Madhusudhan isn’t quite so certain: “If confirmed, this will be very good. It shows how hard it is to do this thing.”From this orbital information, the team calculates the planet must weigh at least 3.2 times as much as Earth. That puts Barnard’s star b squarely into a terra incognita between small rocky planets like Earth and larger gas planets like Neptune. The Kepler mission has shown that such intermediate planets are common across the galaxy, but with no examples among our eight home planets, astronomers have few ideas what they are like. Are they rocky super-Earths, or gaseous mini-Neptunes? “We just don’t know. It’s really hard to tell,” Ribas says.Finding out more about Barnard’s star b will likely require telescopes able to detect light from the planet itself. That’s hard to do because, viewed from Earth, the planet is close to the star and swamped by its glare. A few telescopes with coronagraphs—devices for masking a star’s light—have directly imaged a few large planets in wide orbits, but something like Barnard’s star b will require the greater resolution of giant telescopes coming in the next decade, such as Europe’s 39-meter Extremely Large Telescope. Observations from these scopes could reveal the planet’s rotation rate, the composition and thickness of its atmosphere, and whether it has clouds. “This would be a dream. We would learn so much about this planet,” Ribas says.Even if Barnard’s star b is rocky, life would have a hard time taking root on its chilly surface. Although the planet orbits its star much closer than Earth does to the sun, Barnard’s star, a red dwarf, is so dim that its planet gets only 2% of the energy that Earth does. The team estimates surface temperatures of –170°C.Madhusudhan thinks the result is a sure sign that astronomers will soon find other arrivistes to the stellar neighborhood. “I’m willing to guess there are lots like this nearby,” he says. “The question is, how do we detect them?”*Correction, 15 November, 9:50 a.m.: This story has been updated to correct the orbital period. M. Kornmesser/ESO Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email The newly discovered planet orbiting dim Barnard’s star (imagined here) is much larger and colder than Earth. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img By Daniel CleryNov. 14, 2018 , 1:40 PM Our corner of the Milky Way is getting rather neighborly. In 2016, astronomers discovered a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our sun, just 4 light-years away. Now, they believe they have found an exoplanet around Barnard’s star, which at 6 light-years away is the second-closest star system. The planet—a chilly world more than three times heavier than Earth—is close enough that scientists could learn about its atmosphere with future giant telescopes. “This is going to be one of the best candidates,” says astronomer Nikku Madhusudhan of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, who was not part of the discovery team.Barnard’s star b, as the new planet is called, was excruciatingly difficult to pin down, and the team is referring to it as a “candidate planet” though it is confident it’s there. Most exoplanets, including the thousands identified by NASA’s recently retired Kepler space telescope, were found using the “transit” technique: looking for a periodic dip in starlight as a planet passes in front. But that method detects only the small fraction of planets that cross their star’s face when viewed from Earth. Despite decades of watching, astronomers haven’t detected any planets transiting Barnard’s star.But astronomers can also look for planets by measuring their gravitational tug on a star. Hundreds of exoplanets have been found by looking for periodic Doppler shifts in the frequency of starlight. In 2015, astronomers saw hints of such shifts in the light from Barnard’s star. “Then we went hard for it,” says astronomer Ignasi Ribas of the Institute of Space Sciences in Barcelona, Spain, who led the new project. 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