Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Morning News

The health insurance plan of champions.  Maybe.  Here's the Olympians' insurance plan.

The GOP says covering the uninsured no longer is the top priority in fixing health care.  The goal should be reducing costs.  Hmmm.  Can't we try to do both?

Oklahoma is not a place that's welcoming health reform with open arms.  They've turned down a $54 million grant to set up an exchange, and people say they are not going to buy insurance.  They call it a frontier mentality.  I call it short-sighted.  Say what you will about health reform -- how can there be anything bad in being able to shop for it and compare plans and prices before you buy?  How can there be anything bad in at least having the choice of whether to buy health insurance -- a choice too many Americans don't have due to pre-existing conditions or premium prices without subsidies?  The system is broken and needs fixing.  Why not at least see how the best ideas the smartest people could think of -- both Democrat and Republican -- work before you decide it's a failure?

We have a shortage of primary care doctors, and it's likely to get worse as health reform takes full effect and more people need access to primary care.  Indeed, in some parts of the country, the shortage extends to specialists, as well, creating long wait times to see a doctor.  Part of the reason is that people are living longer, and the elderly typically need more health care, so there's more demand without a corresponding increase in supply.  How do we make medicine an attractive profession when there is so much uncertainty in health care and what it will pay in the future?

Most HIV positive Americans lack regular health care.  Considering the fact that HIV is survivable now with regular care, it's tragic that this many people are going without.  The health reform law should help, though, by getting more people covered.

Tennessee's Medicaid program cuts benefits for nursing home, instead providing services in the home.  Will this turn out to be a good thing, keeping seniors at home longer, or is this just a budget cutter that will harm seniors?  Too soon to tell.

How should doctors deliver bad news?  I remember after my first surgery, I was so afraid that I would be waking up with an ostomy.  When I did wake up and started asking what was under the huge dressing on my abdomen and nobody would tell me.  Until a nurse finally said I'd had a colectomy.  The only problem is that I had never heard that word before and didn't know that it meant a resection, no ostomy.  I kept asking and asking -- it was over 24 hours before I got a straight answer.

I don't think commentary is necessary with this story.  Read it for yourself and decide what lessons there are to be learned from this tragedy.

A profile on the Board president of the National Alliance for Mental Illness.  A great organization we have the privilege of working with locally here in Connecticut.  Is there any other disease that can land you handcuffed in the back of a police car?  We know what insurance companies do with mental illness, but it goes far beyond that.  If you don't get it, read this article.  And watch the commentary on Jesse Jackson Jr., as it is disclosed that he is at the Mayo Clinic being treated for depression and gastrointestinal issues.  Will depression be dealt with like any other illness befalling a politician?

We hear a lot about sexual abuse, physical abuse, but what about emotional abuse?   In fact, psychological abuse -- demeaning, bullying, humiliating your children -- is the most common form of child abuse.  And we don't see it, don't deal with it, don't treat it as abuse. 

Eat like the athletes?

That's it for this morning.  Have a great day.  Jennifer

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