Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday Themes

Well, my computer is finally rid of the virus and I'm here in the office at 5:47 am, so I might as well do the news:

States are running out of money for the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan -- the plan that allows people who've been without insurance for 6 months to sign up for affordable, comprehensive insurance. States are looking for some reassurances from the feds about where 2013 funding is going to come from. Of course, this was one of the Republican pieces of health reform, so in a well-functioning Congress, there would be bipartisan support for continued funding. But we have anything but a well-functioning Congress.

Nearly half of Americans live in a household that receives government funding.

Many with mental illness go without care. We need to deal with this. Insurers deny coverage even when people are violent and very disturbed. Providers throw drugs at patients. But often, care is entirely elusive -- one of America's dirty little secrets.

A three year old girl in New Jersey is being denied a kidney transplant because she also has a "mental disability," according to her parents. If this is true, it's a travesty that should concern us all.

Vermont is moving forward with its plan to have single-payer health insurance, with a strong bill creating an exchange that is bold and forward-moving.

Kaiser Permanente is going to use safer, more eco-friendly IV equipment. Of course, since (in our humble experience) they refuse to cover anything more expensive than the flu, I'm not sure how much that will help patients.

There are new questions about whether regular bone density tests are really necessary after a diagnosis of osteoporosis, considering how slowly that disease progresses.

Nearly one quarter of changes to people's intelligence is linked to their genetics. Still, lifestyle is the main influence on how the brain ages.

Abortion rates are higher in countries where abortion is illegal.

Connecticut's Office of the Healthcare Advocate recovered over $11.46 million for consumers last year. If ever there were an argument in favor of consumer assistance programs to help consumers fight their insurance companies, this is it.

And that's today's news. Have a great day! Jennifer

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