Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Everything's Wacky

I don't understand why, on our Facebook page, everything from the end of June is all of a sudden at the top of the page, and my posts from earlier this week are buried.  But I have bigger fish to fry.  I'm so tired that I'm having trouble walking and I have to go to Denver the day after tomorrow.  I don't have a clue how I'm supposed to do all of that walking and stuff.  Please let this be an easy trip. 

But first, I have to get through today and tomorrow.

The NY Times editorial board speaks on the Medicaid expansion and the harm being done by states that are threatening to abandon the poor just for the sake of opposing anything related to health reform.  Looking for money to cut from the budget, the programs that go are the programs for the poor and the sick.  It's heartbreaking and stomach-turning.  Just plain wrong.  States who opt out of the Medicaid expansion will leave millions of poor people without access to care -- they don't qualify for subsidies under 100% of the federal poverty level because Congress assumed they would be covered by Medicaid.  That leaves them with nothing.  They're calling it the new doughnut hole.  It's all federally funded.  What are the states worked up about?  Here's just one tragic story from Mississippi.  There are millions of stories like this one.

Can the GOP avoid another showdown over the federal budget right before the election?  The fiscal year starts in September, so that's usually the time of year when obstruction is the name of the game. The GOP doesn't want a fight this year due to the election -- but they also don't want to compromise.  Hmm.  And remember the showdown over raising the debt limit?  The supercommittee failed, so there are supposed to be automatic cuts across the boards in 2013.  But now there's buyer's remorse over an idiotic plan (called sequestration) that automatically makes deep cuts in defense and many federal programs.  The GOP wants to blame the Dems, but I seem to recall it was the GOP that wouldn't agree to raise the debt limit without these concessions.  You made this bed.

A report from the Congressional Budget Office says that the reason Social Security disability rolls are exploding is NOT the "slavery" Rep. Alan West alleges it is.  It's due to an aging population, a surge in women workers, changes in the law in the 1980s and a terrible economy in which disabled people can't find jobs.  Older recipients have increased; younger ones have decreased.  The job market is larger so there are more people eligible for disability.  It's not, as FOX News would have you believe, that President Obama is fostering dependence.  If you ask me, this is part of what happens when people don't have adequate access to health care.  They lose their jobs and end up on disability.  It would have been cheaper had we just given them health care.  But apparently that's more fostering dependence.  The only GOP solution seems to be to just stop giving everybody any kind of benefits.

Health insurance prices for women will drop with health reform in 2014, when insurers no longer can use gender as a basis for calculating premiums.

Best hospital in the United States?  Mass General.  I admit a bias -- my brother is the director of the Vascular Center there.  

If you've visited our website, you may have noticed our IVIg patient resource page.  IVIg -- intravenous immunoglobulin -- is used to treat immune deficiencies, as well as many rare diseases like myasthenia gravis and neuro-myelitis optica.  Well, here we go -- the expected study that shows that IVIg may stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease.  It is my unscientific belief that this is the medicine that addresses autoimmune diseases and I want it for my Crohn's.  Of course, since it's just starting to be studied for Crohn's, it will be a while before any insurance company will pay for it.  But this is miracle stuff, and every new use of it is exciting to me.  IVIg may play a bigger role in treating MS now that it's been determined that interferon beta is not working to stop the progression of that disease.

Abdominal obesity causes inflammation that contributes to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic ailments.  I was okay with this article until it quoted an expert accusing the obese of sloth and gluttony.  It's a little more complicated than that.

A new, low volume colonoscopy prep.  I'm all for it.

That's it for now.  Have a great day.  Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there - don't worry about Denver - it will be easy or not and worrying about it won't change anything. Just concentrate on getting through today and then take tomorrow as it comes. You can do this! I've been following your blog for months now and your inner strength astounds me, even if you don't see it yourself sometimes.