Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Well, I'm here, but at least it's a short week. And here's the news:

I have to start with this. Smiling may improve your health. For real. It reduces the risk of stroke. You will make better wellness choices. I don't know if I believe this. But I do believe that smiling helps you feel better. And it's free. So why not give it a try.

One in five Americans is juggling medical bills. And many of them have insurance. I hope 2012 begins to address this.

The economy hasn't been as bad for our members of Congress as it has been for the rest of us. The earnings gap between us and them has grown. And now, with only two months to come up with a deal on the payroll tax, unemployment and the Medicare reimbursement cut, things on the Hill are as acrimonious as ever.

The GOP has been chanting "repeal and replace" about the health reform law since it was passed -- but there's still no plan for a replacement. Because there's no expert anywhere who believes we can fix the problem without covering the uninsured, and there's no way to do that without mandating coverage of pre-existing conditions, and there's no way to do that without an individual mandate and subsidies. Shout repeal all you want, but understand that, if you do that, you leave 50 million people without insurance -- and rising.

And here's a profile of the lawyer who will be arguing against the health law's constitutionality in the Supreme Court.

Last week, we heard that an experiment on flu could have been dangerous by making the flu airborne. Well, it's still controversial. The claim is that it teaches terrorists to do something most of them don't know how to do.

A new, better pain med has some worried that it will increase abuse. I'd like to know why it isn't good to get people out of major pain. If there's abuse, stop the doctors causing it, but stop blaming it on patients who are in pain.

New hope for patients with MS? Wouldn't that be wonderful?!

Hospitals -- usually quick to use new technology -- have not started using iPads and other tablets.

Are house calls making a come-back? I would LOVE this.

Gastric banding has complications. Be an informed patient.

The older you are when you gain weight, the more of the weight is fat. Thanks. I needed to know that.

And there you go. Have a great day. Jennifer

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