WESTERN BUREAU: YEAR TWO of the Jamaica National (JN) and the Usain Bolt Foundation Heroes in Action 8K Run/Walk and 4K Fun Run has been given the thumbs up by JN’s general manager, Earl Jarrett. The event, which brought together close to 2,000 participants in the picturesque, historical Georgian-styled town of Falmouth, more than doubled last year’s registration numbers, with a beaming Jarrett admitting that the charity races will be the recipient of international attention in 2017. “I am very happy with what I have seen this year; the numbers have increased almost to double of last year and in any exam 100 percent is good,” said Jarrett. “We definitely will be back next year with an international component to it, as we seek to make this event a bigger and indeed better one each time it’s held,” he added. The 28-eight year-old Lenford Adams copped first prize and was named the overall winner of the event, after taking the staple event, the 8K Run, in a time of 30.31 minutes. The always present Ronique Williams took second place, crossing the finish line in 30.34, with third place going to Lucien Graham (40.36). Ann-Marie Finegan took the top prize for the women in 39.21 minutes, as Ashelaun Linton took second in a time of 40.02. Seventeen-year-old Chantel Cornwall copped third in 40.36. The 4K event, which criss-crossed the historic town, saw the William Knibb Memorial High School’s 14-year-old student, Shawna-Kay Prince, taking the crown. Denache Johnson of Melia Runners was second, with 11-year-old Marsha McKoy of Duncans All-Age third. On the male side, the title went to 14-year-old Jamario Daley of JADA. Go-Run Running Club’s Andre Smith crossed the finish line in second and another pre-teen, 11-year-old Locordo Daley, was third, as various high schools used the event to sharpen their athletes’ strength and stamina ahead the upcoming track season. Home town superhero, Usain Bolt, said his delight is with the cause to help children with various challenges. He was very demonstrative in pledging to support the event as long as it is held. Bolt, the world’s fast man over the 100m and 200m, as well as sharing in multiple records with Jamaica’s 4x100m relay teams, obliged the crowd by signing autographs and taking selfies with his adoring fans. He underlined his pleasure at being associated with the event on many levels, primarily because it means giving back to needy children and that it brings Falmouth to the public in a way not before seen.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Some Employers Continue To Offer ‘Skinny’ Plans Even though the Obama administration will not enforce the mandate requiring large employers to offer coverage for another year, some companies still plan to offer so-called “skinny,” or limited benefit plans — and the federal government will permit them, according to Politico. Other reports look at the growth in part-time jobs and whether that is a result of the health care law.Politico: ACA Penalties Spawn ‘Skinny’ PlansEmployers heaved a sigh of relief when the Obama administration announced it would not enforce Obamacare’s mandate that large companies provide insurance to their workers next year. But some companies plan to offer “skinny plans” designed to duck the biggest penalties anyway, according to industry consultants. And the Obama administration has extended its blessing to this limited coverage, even though it would not protect individuals from medical bills that could cause financial ruin in the case of severe injury or illness (Norman, 7/16).The Associated Press: Health Insurers Fear Young People Will Opt OutDan Lopez rarely gets sick and hasn’t been to a doctor in 10 years, so buying health insurance feels like a waste of money. Even after the federal health overhaul takes full effect next year, the 24-year-old said he will probably decide to pay the $100 penalty for those who skirt the law’s requirement that all Americans purchase coverage (Kennedy, 7/15).The New York Times’ Well Blog: Health Insurance Within ReachEver since Marci Lieber, a part-time social worker in Brooklyn, learned she was pregnant, she and her husband have been scrambling to find health insurance. But insurers consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition, and won’t sell anyone a new policy that covers it. That changes on Jan. 1, 2014, when insurers will no longer be permitted to deny coverage of pre-existing conditions — and all Americans will be required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Lieber, 37, hopes to purchase a policy through New York State’s new health exchange as early as this October (Rabin, 7/15).Fiscal Times/TheWeek.com: Obamacare: The Part-Time, Low-Wage Job CreatorThis year, the leisure and hospitality industry has been adding the lion’s share of new jobs to the U.S. economy. Since April, hotels, restaurants, bars, and other leisure businesses have created an average of 50,000 jobs a month, double the rate from 2012, and more than any other industry. In June, 75,000 of the 195,000 new jobs created in the entire economy were cooks, waiters, bartenders, etc. Traditionally, a booming leisure industry points to a healthy economy: When people have more money to spend and confidence in their jobs, they treat themselves to more food, drinks, and vacations. But that’s probably not what’s happening here. The Wall Street Journal says many of the new jobs are part-time, which could be a direct reaction to ObamaCare (7/15).PBS NewsHour: Austin Musicians Find Unique Solution For Affordable Health Care (Video)Country, rock, punk, soul. Regardless of genre, two things once united most musicians in Austin, Texas: a lack of health insurance and income averaging less than $16,000 per year. Ray Suarez reports on a how an unusual health alliance keeps artists’ health care costs low so they can keep playing (7/15).