Whew -- Thursday! I guess this means we will make it through another week. But first, the news:
I hesitate to share this insanity, but I guess I'd rather you hear it from me. Michelle Bachmann now claims that health care reform can be used to limit family birthrates. This might be the craziest health reform lie we've heard so far. She's saying the government might refuse to cover health care after a family has a certain number of children. Where does she get this stuff? Indeed, since health reform is NOT government healthcare at all -- since private insurers will still be selling us insurance, same as now -- the government couldn't do this even if it wanted to. And why on earth would it want to do something so nuts? She says the President is a "health care dictator." Please tell me you all know she's out of her mind and I don't have to prove to you how utterly ridiculous this is.
Hospital groups are going to get bigger, according to Moody's, and I agree that this is the trend. Setting up large accountable care organizations, partnering with community-based medical practices, diagnostic imaging groups, labs to create one-stop medicine. Some hospitals may even partner with insurers. This is a big wave of the future. Whether it will improve patient care and save money remains to be seen.
The abortion battle is creating the (hopefully) unintended consequence of making it harder for women to find reproductive health care -- pap smears, breast exams, etc. Meanwhile, the contraception battle is headed to the courts. Because there are people who just don't want women to make their own decisions.
A new health care provider -- the dental therapist. More than a hygienist, less than a dentist -- and less expensive. They're licensed in Minnesota, and other states are looking at this.
Huge breakthrough -- a study shows that, in an organ transplant patient, if you have a slightly imperfect match, adding the donor's stem cells may solve the problem without a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs.
Have you ever had c-difficile (c-diff)? It's a truly awful intestinal bug that's hard to treat and that causes about 14,000 deaths every year. And the majority of cases were picked up in a health care setting.
There's an epidemic in teen smoking and smokeless tobacco use. The surgeon general says one in three will die from tobacco-related causes. Kids, don't start. Especially since there's been a setback in cancer treatment. It seems that tumors aren't comprised of only one type of cell, making it hard to know which drug to use. This is a blow to "personalized medicine."
And get this -- pregnancy may protect against multiple sclerosis.
A new study shows that exercise won't completely eliminate the risks of being overweight, but it will help to blunt them. I need to get up off my lazy butt!
A Maryland family, felled by the flu. Scary. The lesson here is that, if you get the flu, you'd better take it really seriously.
And that's my rant for the day! Have a great day! Jennifer