Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Good morning! And here's the news -- sort of a hodge podge today:

Congress is still on recess -- interesting that they're shying away from town halls this year. I suppose that's because they know how unpopular they ALL are right now. Then again, when you advocate creating tax loopholes for your highest donors, there's going to be some fall-out.

Another GOP Governor -- Idaho -- accepts federal funds to establish a health insurance exchange (marketplace). I guess they don't hate health reform that much. Rick Perry says no for Texas, however. I got two calls yesterday, back-to-back, from people in Texas who can't find health insurance. Indeed, Texas has the lowest insurance rate in the US. I guess Mr. Perry isn't concerned about them. Even Mississippi is on track to open an Exchange on time. What's happening in your state? Call or write your Governor and ask whether you will have the benefit of an Exchange -- or whether the federal government is going to have to come in and do it for you.

Specialty tiers. If you have one, you know what I'm talking about. To save money, insurers are creating specialty tiers of drugs, with monthly copays in the thousands of dollars. The copay assistance programs are turning people away already, saying they've exhausted their funds for the year. Thousands of people with serious illnesses are going without their medications. Statutes have been proposed in many states to stop this practice, but so far, the insurers have won. Of course, they are blaming it on the pharmaceutical manufacturers. How about not worrying about blame and instead worrying about fixing the problem?

Some health insurers refuse coverage of injuries that occurred while intoxicated. And keep reading to the last Q & A -- your screening colonoscopy will NOT be free if the doctor finds anything -- a polyp -- at which point it's no longer just "screening." This is VERY important -- we're already getting calls about this.

How to find the right doctor. Invaluable advice.

I love this -- philosopher counselors, therapy through Aristotle. This is tailor-made for me!

Hospitals are treating heart attack victims much faster -- great news. Over 90% of patients who needed angioplasty got it within the recommended 90 minutes. And marriage helps people recover from heart surgery.

You've got to laugh. A new study finds that bisexual men are ... well ... bisexual. Really? Someone funded that research? They couldn't have just taken the men's word for it?

Wait and watch -- good medical advice? Sometimes.

Huge breakthrough in ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) -- may lead to a treatment breakthrough.

Seems there's a big problem with hip implants -- the metal on metal kind. Think twice.

And that's it for this morning. Have a great day! Jennifer

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