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US Congress extends CHIP, funds opioid crisis response following temporary shutdown

Publish date: February 9, 2018


Gregory Twachtman 

Oncology Practice










Congress, despite a second shutdown in less than a month, was able to pass a number of financial extenders to fund key health care programs.

The bipartisan spending bill (H.R. 1892), passed in the early morning hours on Feb. 9 by a 71-28 vote in the Senate (16 Republicans and 12 Democrats voted against it, and Sen. John McCain [R-Ariz.] was not present) and a 240-186 vote in the House (67 Republicans and 119 Democrats voted against and 5 representatives did not vote). President Trump signed the bill later that morning.


The spending bill and continuing resolution to fund the government through March 23 includes $6 billion to fund treatment for opioid addiction and other mental health issues, $2 billion in additional funding for the National Institutes of Health, and 4 additional years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The additional CHIP funding extends the program for a total of 10 years.

The funding bill also made a technical correction to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track of the Medicare Quality Payment Program. It removes Part B drug reimbursement from the MIPS payment adjustment, so any positive or negative change to physician payments based on the MIPS score will only be applied to physician fee schedule payments.

The bill also repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel created by the Affordable Care Act that would have the power to slash Medicare spending under certain budget circumstances. That board was never convened.

The funding legislation also accelerates closure of the Medicare Part D “donut hole,” the coverage gap in which beneficiaries must pay 100% of medication costs prior to entering catastrophic coverage.

Just over $7 billion was provided for community health centers and Medicare’s therapy caps were repealed.

While the funding bill was written in the Senate with bipartisan input and received bipartisan support, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) held up votes over objections to the more than $1 trillion it will add to the nation’s debt, as well as for the fact that there was no opportunity to introduce and vote on amendments, leading to an hours-long government shutdown.

There also were concerns about two issues that could have derailed the vote in the House. Democrats wanted to add language to address immigrants brought to this nation illegally as children, while some Republicans did not want to increase the federal debt. However, there were enough votes to pass the funding legislation.

Spirtual Garden - Human Electric Energy

Drotumdi O

Human Electric Energy

Nerve impulses are electrical energy signals; and, they creates energy-fields around the body and electro-magnetic energy waves that can travel away from the body.

Nerve Impulses - Electricity in the Body

A nerve impulse, demonstrates human electricity in the body.
Image originally from the Science Museum website.

Human electricity energy is generated by chemical processes in nerve cells. Billions of nerve impulses travel throughout the human brain and nervous system. A nerve impulse is a wave of electrical activity that passes from one end of nerve cell to another. Each impulse is the same size it; it is the frequency, impulses per second, that carries information about the intensity of the nerve signal.

Neurons are the basic unit of the nervous system. Neurons are responsible for sending, receiving, and interpreting information from all parts of the body.

Nerve impulses are electrical energy signals; and, they creates energy-fields around the body and electro-magnetic energy waves that can travel away from the body.

Nerve Impulses - Electricity in the Body

Human electricity energy is generated by chemical processes in nerve cells. Billions of nerve impulses travel throughout the human brain and nervous system. A nerve impulse is a wave of electrical activity that passes from one end of nerve cell to another. Each impulse is the same size it; it is the frequency, impulses per second, that carries information about the intensity of the nerve signal.

Neurons are the basic unit of the nervous system. Neurons are responsible for sending, receiving, and interpreting information from all parts of the body.

Technical info: Neurons

Transparent body showing the nervous system, electricity system throughout body creating the human electromagnetic field.Nervous System - Human Electrical System

The nervous system is a network of cells called neurons which transmit information in the form of electrical signals. In the brain alone there are around 100 billion and there is a similar amount in the nervous system tissues throughout the rest of the body.

  • Nerves for relaying information to and from the senses.
  • Nerves for controlling the internal functions of the body.
  • Nerves for muscle movement.
  • Nerves for thinking.

Image originally from
the Science Museum website.

Technical info: The Central and Peripheral Nervous systems

Human Magnetism - Electro-magnetic Field

Electricity passing through a wire creates a magnetism; human electricity can create a human magnetism.
Image from the
Science360 website.

human electro magnetic field around the body.As electricity passes through a metal wire it causes an energy field or magnetic field. In a similar way, human electricity in the brain and nervous system creates human magnetic fields. There are billions of nerve impulses in the body and these are constantly creating complex human magnetic fields.

The human heart is a source of electro-magnetism that, even at a few meters away, is detectable by modern scientific instruments.

Magnetic Induction- Energy Transfer

Electromagnetic induction where energy transers from one wire into another.The image on the right shows an input electric current producing a magnetic field around one wire; this field passes through another wire and creates an output electric current. In physical science, this is called magnetic induction.

Similarly, to magnetic induction in metal wires, the human electromagnetic field can be felt, or can influence, other people who are standing by. From your experience, do some people create a feeling within you when you are close by?

  • When close to some people, you may feel as if your body and mind becomes more energised, more hopeful and optimistic.
  • When close to other people, you may feel as if your energy drains away, a depressing or lazy feeling.

Electricity Waves - Energy Travel over a Long Distance

energy wave, demonstrates that human electricity may also transmit to great distances.
Image originally from the NASA website.

Electric force can transform into different types of energy waves, such as heat, radiation, radio and micro waves; and these energy waves can travel a long distance.

A changing magnetic field will induce a changing electric field and vice-versa, the two are linked. These changing fields form electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves can travel not only through air and solid materials, but also through space.

The human nervous system can create electric energy waves that can be measured with scientific instruments. The human body produces infra-red radiation that, with night vision equipment, can be seen from miles away.

This page is part of our human nerve force energy + proper breathing lesson, because there is a special metaphysical nerve force energy in the human nervous system and brain which has properties similar to electricity.

More Spiritual Energy

Human Nerve Force Energy + Proper Breathing

This lesson explains the spiritual-science of human nerve-force energy and the link to breathing. Proper breathing and some mind techniques increases the supply and power of human nerve force energy; this enhances potential for spiritual self development.

This Lesson :-

  • Human Electricity: Nerve impulses within the brain and nervous system are electrical energy, they create electro-magnetic fields and energy waves that can travel away from the body.
  • Metaphysic Energy: The energy in the brain and nervous system is more than just electricity, there is a spiritual science metaphysical explanation for it. (Nerve force, Vital force, Od force, Prana, Chi)
  • Human Magnetism: Nerve force energy creates human magnetism. It can be strengthened and enhanced which develops a personal magnetism that is very helpful for spiritual development.
  • Breathing Anatomy: The human system for breathing, nose, lungs, and diaphragm. Using these properly improves health and it increases the supply of metaphysical nerve force energy.
  • Breathing Properly: Good and bad ways of breathing. We recommend the complete and rhythmic method because it maximises the supply of human nerve force energy.
  • Breathing Exercises: Proper, full, and rhythmic breathing exercise, the method for absorbing more nerve force energy into your body.

Rabbit icon

Read what Mr Rabbit says... click here.

This is the first lesson in the spiritual garden with six pages to read that lead you to understanding about the mysterious human energy of nerve force and how to get more of it.

Summary: Our sources of wisdom explain that, nerve energy in the human brain and nervous system is more than just electricity created by chemical processes. They give a metaphysical, or a spiritual-science, explanation for it and explain methods for increasing its power. Human nerve energy has some mysterious properties and can be strengthened and controlled by the mind.

Hint: Before going too deep, before getting too complicated, it is best to get the basic steps well practiced. Get to it; use all your lungs, try both our breathing rhythm suggestions; in particular, discover how you breathe to recover after periods of intense body and mind activity.


What are electromagnetic waves?

An electromagnetic wave as the name suggests is both an electric and magnetic wave.

An electromagnetic wave consists of an electric field and a magnetic field at right angles to each other and to the direction of the motion of the wave.

Because the electric and magnetic fields are at right angles to the direction of the wave, the electromagnetic wave is a transverse wave .

Image: Nasa for kids

Electromagnetic radiation is classified into types according to the frequency of the wave: these types include, in order of increasing frequency, radio waves, microwaves, terahertz radiation, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays.

Unlike other waves, electromagnetic waves to not carry energy by causing matter to vibrate. It is the electric and magnetic fields that vibrate. This is the reason why electromagnetic waves can travel in a vacuum where there is no matter.

Is light a particle or wave?

Light has both wave and particle properties. This is also the case for all matter. Electromagnetic radiation can be considered to consist of particle-like packets of wave-energy called photons. These massless particles travel at the speed of light (300,000 kilometers per second in a vacuum).

Every photon is characterized by wavelength (the distance from the crest of one wave to the crest of the next wave), by frequency (the number of wave cycles that pass by in a given period, measured in Hertz, which stands for cycles per second), and by the energy it carries (measured in electron volts).

What is the relationship between wavelength, frequency and energy of Electromagnetic Radiation?

The Planck constant (denoted h), also called Planck's constant, is a physical constant reflecting the sizes of quanta in quantum mechanics. It is named after Max Planck, one of the founders of quantum theory. The Planck constant was first described as the proportionality constant between the energy (E) of a photon and the frequency of its associated electromagnetic wave (v). This relation between the energy and frequency is called the Planck relation or the Planck–Einstein equation.

The higher the frequency of light, the higher its energy. Higher frequencies mean shorter wavelengths. We can also say that E = h c / lambda (lamda is the wavelength). High frequency light has short wavelengths and high energy. X-rays or gamma-rays are examples of this. Radio waves are examples of light with a long wavelength, low frequency, and low energy.

How are electromagnetic waves produced?

Electrons are charged particles that can produce both an electric and magnetic field. In order for electrons however to produce electric or magnetic fields they must be in motion. A charged particle such as an electron that moves back and forth creates both electric and magnetic fields.

The source of all electromagnetic waves is charge that is changing speed or direction.

Visible light is produced by electrons moving from one electronic state to another

When a ground state electron is excited it absorbs a photon. The energy of the photon is equal to the energy needed to maintain the electron at the higher orbital.

When the electron returns to the ground state it will emit the photon.

Image source:

The electromagnetic spectrum is a continuum of all electromagnetic waves arranged according to frequency and wavelength. The sun, earth, and other bodies radiate electromagnetic energy of varying wavelengths.

Images: NASA for kids

The visible spectrum is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to (can be detected by) the human eye. Electromagnetic radiation in this range of wavelengths is called visible light or simply light.

Remember the visible spectrum as--


What are the different types of Electromagnetic Waves?

Radio Waves -- The waves in the electromagnetic spectrum that have the longest wavelengths and lowest frequency are called radio waves. Radio waves are used to transmit information from the antenna of a broadcasting station to the antenna of your radio or TV. In astronomy radio waves are used to gain information from distant stars using radio telescopes. Radio telescopes have the advantage that radio waves are not blocked by conditions of the Earth's atmosphere as light waves are.

Microwaves -- are the highest frequency of radiowaves. Their wavelength is only a few centimeters long. While microwaves pass right through some materials they absorbed by others. Water and some other molecules found in food absorb microwaves and turn the energy into heat. This is what makes a microwave oven work. Glass and plastic do not absorb microwaves so do not heat up. Metal however does absorb microwaves and that is why we can't put it inside a microwave oven. Short wavelength microwaves are used in radar devices. Radar works by sending out short pulses of radio waves and recording the time it takes for the reflected wave to be picked up by the receiver.

Infrared ---lies between the visible and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all - in fact you cannot even feel them. These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV's remote control. Far infrared waves we experience every day in the form of heat. The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.

Visible-- waves are the only electromagnetic waves we can see. We see these waves as the colors of the rainbow. Each color has a different wavelength. Red has the longest wavelength and violet has the shortest wavelength. When all the waves are seen together, they make white light.

Ultraviolet (UV) light-- is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 . Though these waves are invisible to the human eye, some insects, like bumblebees, can see them. It is ultraviolet waves that are responsible for causing our sunburns. UV light cannot pass through glass unless it is made of quartz.

X- Rays -- have smaller wavelengths and therefore higher energy than ultraviolet waves. We usually talk about X-rays in terms of their energy rather than wavelength. X-rays are most known for their use in medicine. Because your bones and teeth are dense and absorb more X-rays then your skin does, images of your bones or teeth are left on the X-ray film while your skin appears transparent.

Gamma Rays -- have the smallest wavelengths and the most energy of any other wave in the electromagnetic spectrum. These waves are generated by radioactive atoms and in nuclear explosions. Gamma-rays can kill living cells, a fact which medicine uses to its advantage, using gamma-rays to kill cancerous cells.


Electromagnetic Spectrum -- NASA

Test your Understanding:
1. Which color light has the longest wavelength?
a) Yellow
b) Red
c) Violet
d) Blue

2. Which is true about the properties of light?
a) Water is the only liquid that light can pass through
b) Light only exhibits wave properties
c) Light has both wave and particle properties
d) Light only exhibits particle properties

3. When an atom is excited with light and an electron jumps to a higher energy level
a) a photon will immediately be emitted from the atom
b) a photon more than the energy needed to maintain the electron at the higher orbital must be absorbed.
c) a photon equal to the energy needed to maintain the electron at the higher orbital must be absorbed.
d) a photon less than the energy needed to maintain the electron at the higher orbital must be absorbed.

4. What type of radiation will most likely be released from radioactive material.
a) radio waves
b) microwaves
c) ultraviolet
d) gamma rays

5. Why can you can feel the warmth of the sun through a window but won't get a tan from the Sun?
a) infrared or the tanning rays are blocked by the glass while UV light which can pass through glass feels warm
b) infrared light which feels warm can pass through glass but UV light which tans cannot pass through glass
c) both infrared and ultraviolet rays pass through the window but not in sufficient amounts to produce a tan
d) both infrared and ultraviolet light which are needed for tanning are absorbed by glass -- visible light provides the heat


What Are Cosmic Rays?

By Elizabeth Howell, Contributor |

What Are Cosmic Rays?

Showers of high energy particles occur when energetic cosmic rays strike the top of the Earth's atmosphere. Most cosmic rays are atomic nuclei: most are hydrogen nuclei, some are helium nuclei, and the rest heavier elements. Although many of the low energy cosmic rays come from our Sun, the origins of the highest energy cosmic rays remains unknown and a topic of much research. This drawing illustrates air showers from very high energy cosmic rays.

Credit: Simon Swordy (U. Chicago), NASA

Cosmic rays are atom fragments that rain down on the Earth from outside of the solar system. They blaze at the speed of light and have been blamed for electronics problems in satellites and other machinery.

First discovered in 1912, many things about cosmic rays remain a mystery more than a century later. One prime example is exactly where they are coming from. Most scientists suspect their origins are related to supernovas (star explosions), but the challenge is that cosmic ray origins appear uniform when you look across the entire sky.


While cosmic rays were only discovered in the 1900s, scientists knew something mysterious was going on as early as the 1780s. That's when French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb — best known for having a unit of electrical charge named after him — observed an electrically charged sphere suddenly and mysteriously not being charged any more.

At the time, air was thought to be an insulator and not an electric conductor. With more work, however, scientists discovered that air can conduct electricity if its molecules are charged or ionized. This would most commonly happen when the molecules interact with charged particles or X-rays.

But where these charged particles came from was a mystery; even attempts to block the charge with large amounts of lead were coming up empty. On Aug. 7, 1912, physicist Victor Hess flew a high-altitude balloon to 17,400 feet (5,300 meters). He discovered three times more ionizing radiation there than on the ground, which meant the radiation had to be coming from outer space.

But tracing cosmic ray "origin stories" took more than a century. In 2013, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope released results from observing two supernova remnants in the Milky Way: IC 433 and W44.

Among the products of these star explosions are gamma-ray photons, which (unlike cosmic rays) are not affected by magnetic fields. The gamma rays studied had the same energy signature as subatomic particles called neutral pions. Pions are produced when protons get stuck in a magnetic field inside the shockwave of the supernova and crash into each other.

In other words, the matching energy signatures showed that protons could move at fast enough speeds within supernovas to create cosmic rays.

Current science

We know today that galactic cosmic rays are atom fragments such as protons (positively charged particles), electrons (negatively charged particles) and atomic nuclei. While we know now they can be created in supernovas, there may be other sources available for cosmic ray creation. It also isn't clear exactly how supernovas are able to make these cosmic rays so fast.

Cosmic rays constantly rain down on Earth, and while the high-energy "primary" rays collide with atoms in the Earth's upper atmosphere and rarely make it through to the ground, "secondary" particles are ejected from this collision and do reach us on the ground.

But by the time these cosmic rays get to Earth, it's impossible to trace where they came from. That's because their path has been changed as they travelled through multiple magnetic fields (the galaxy's, the solar system's and Earth's itself.)

According to NASA, cosmic rays therefore come equally from all directions of the sky. So scientists are trying to trace back cosmic ray origins by looking at what the cosmic rays are made of. Scientists can figure this out by looking at the spectroscopic "signature" each nucleus gives off in radiation, and also by weighing the different isotopes (types) of elements that hit cosmic ray detectors.

The result, NASA adds, shows very common elements in the universe. Roughly 90 percent of cosmic ray nuclei are hydrogen (protons) and 9 percent are helium (alpha particles). Hydrogen and helium are the most abundant elements in the universe and the origin point for stars, galaxies and other large structures. The remaining 1 percent are all elements, and it's from that 1 percent that scientists can best search for rare elements to make comparisons between different types of cosmic rays.

Scientists can also date the cosmic rays by looking at radioactive nuclei that decrease over time. Measuring the "half life" of each nuclei gives an estimate of how long the cosmic ray has been out there in space.

Space radiation concerns

Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere shields the planet from 99.9 percent of the radiation from space. However, for people outside the protection of Earth's magnetic field, space radiation becomes a serious hazard. An instrument aboard the Curiosity Mars rover during its 253-day cruise to Mars revealed that the radiation dose received by an astronaut on even the shortest Earth-Mars round trip would be about 0.66 sievert. This amount is like receiving a whole-body CT scan every five or six days.

A dose of 1 sievert is associated with a 5.5 percent increase in the risk of fatal cancers. The normal daily radiation dose received by the average person living on Earth is 10 microsieverts (0.00001 sievert).

The moon has no atmosphere and a very weak magnetic field. Astronauts living there would have to provide their own protection, for example by burying their habitat underground.

The planet Mars has no global magnetic field. Particles from the sun have stripped away most of Mars’ atmosphere, resulting in very poor protection against radiation at the surface. The highest air pressure on Mars is equal to that at an altitude of 22 miles (35 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface. At low altitudes, Mars’ atmosphere provides slightly better protection from space radiation.