Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hump Day Headlines

Okay, then. Time for today's news:

The cost of caring for chronic illness: $1.5 trillion per year. That's three-fourth's of the nation's health care spending. So what are we going to do about it? That's the $1.5 trillion question.

Breast cancer surgery guidelines are unclear. If margins aren't completely clear of cancer cells after lumpectomy, is a second surgery necessary or not? Meanwhile, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has decided to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides breast cancer screening and education. They say it's because Planned Parenthood is under investigation (by one very anti-choice legislator), but the Senior VP they hired last Spring has been a vocal opponent of choice for years. Disgusting, if you ask me. Women's health organizations need to be standing together.

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plans is up, and premiums are down by about 7%. See -- the "cuts" to these plans that were part of health reform hasn't hurt seniors a bit.

When making treatment decisions, how much should quality of life matter? I think it means everything.

The CLASS Act -- long-term care, part of health reform -- has been abandoned for the time being as being unaffordable, but still, the White House wants it on the books. The House GOP will vote today to repeal it, but Dems will stick by it in the hope that, with it on the books, we can figure out how to make it affordable in the future.

A court has blocked cuts to the Medi-Cal program that were approved by the Obama Administration. A great win for the people of California.

Minnesota legislators continue their fight over the health insurance exchange, with the legislature split over whether to implement this key piece of health reform.

The FDA has approved a ground-breaking drug to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis. Awesome. But it costs about $300,000 per year. The pharmaceutical manufacturer has a patient assistance program to help pay for it.

The Brazilian Blowout (hair straightening) uses formaldehyde. Are we that vain?

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

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