Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday Themes

I got so caught up in this AMAZING book -- Blue Water, White Water by Robert Samuels -- that I was here until 8 pm again last night, and all I want to do is read some more. However, today's schedule isn't conducive to quiet time -- an unemployment hearing and then the computer guy here to try to fix all the glitches. But first, the news:

I don't get into opinion pieces much on this blog -- I stick with the news. But this one, you have to read. A nurse says hospitals aren't hotels; to make us better, they have to do things that hurt, so patient satisfaction is not a good way to gauge success. I've been in a lot of hospitals and I've had a lot of painful experiences. However, there's a difference between someone who tries not to hurt, who is conscious of the pain, who tries to minimize it, and those who bully and push us around, without regard for the pain they are causing. I would never blame a hospital for the pain of surgery or an NG tube or 10 sticks before they could get an IV in me; I would blame them for not caring about the pain they are causing. And yeah, patient satisfaction should count a whole heck of a lot.

Most Americans expect the Supreme Court to strike down the health reform law. Indeed, 14% of respondents believe it already has done so! The survey shows that personal views color one's opinion on this issue. I'm betting the Court will uphold it, 6-3, with Kennedy and Roberts voting with the liberals. But that could be wishful thinking. Interestingly, though, opinion on the health reform law changes when people realize there will be subsidies to help people afford the insurance they would be required to buy. And once again, we are reminded that we still haven't done enough to educate the public about the law.

Mississippi is building a health insurance exchange although it strongly opposes the law. The state likes this part of health reform. I hope more states follow suit.

Catholic Bishops are just getting going in their fight to deny women access to contraceptives. They say it's about religious freedom, not women's health, but tell that to the women who need contraception, not only to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but to treat all kinds of gynecological problems. For example, I had uterine fibroids and hemorrhaged every month when I got my period, until I went on full-time birth control, which controlled the problem. That is not an issue of religious freedom; that is an issue about my health. Meanwhile, Arizona considers a law that would penalize women for using contraception to prevent pregnancy -- in order to get insurance coverage, the woman would have to prove to her employer that she's using contraception for medical reasons. Are you nuts? Really? My employer gets to decide if it's okay that I use contraception? And I can be fired for using contraception for birth control? What year is this? Ugh -- this disgusts me.

Claims that Medicare is going bankrupt, that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will ration care, are false, according to the WaPo fact-checker. They call it Medi-scare hooey!

Pediatric asthma is on the rise, just as politics threatens the EPA air pollution rules.

Caregivers may benefit from a daily bout of meditation.

The military is struggling with its health programs as the cost continues to skyrocket.

New guidelines recommend pap smears every 3 years, not every year, as most of us have had them all our adult lives.

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

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