Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hump Day Headlines

Sorry, but I'm constitutionally incapable of watching the GOP convention without having a major cardiac event.  I probably won't watch much of the Dem convention, either.  The truth is that, for me, politics is an end to a means -- we need the right people in office who won't repeal health reform so we get coverage of pre-existing conditions.  And there's good reason to believe that the GOP will cut Medicare and Medicaid if given the changeHere's Politico's take on Paul Ryan's health care plans.  So sure, there are other reasons to vote or not vote for many people, but I'm a single-issue voter.  So don't expect much coverage of the conventions here.  Still, there's lots of other news (believe it or not).

Although you may question whether it's health-related, but hurricane Isaac is touching down pretty darn close to where Katrina hit.  I am so very sorry for the people who now have to go through this -- twice.  A storm surge has already surpassed one of the levees.  I can't imagine having to live through something like this twice.  Or even once.  Just awful. 

The health reform law broadens preventive care for women more than men. For example, there's free preventive care for women, including tubal ligation, but not for vasectomies.  STD testing also is for women and not men, which makes no sense whatsoever.  The justification is that women go to the doctor more -- at least annually for the gynecological exam -- and they tend to be the partner who focuses on STDs and contraception.

Many states are slashing Medicaid, including dental services for adults.  We all don't pay enough attention to oral health.  Meanwhile, when something goes wrong, it costs a mint.  If I didn't have a savings account, I would be walking around with empty holes in my mouth!  We should not see dental care as expendable.

A Medicare Advantage plan -- a private HMO that administers Medicare for people enrolled in the plan -- has been found to have bilked Medicare of millions.  SCAN Health agreed to pay $3.8 million for billing people with higher risk scores so they would get more reimbursement for them.  

Hundreds of families turned up at a free health fair in South LA last week-end.  Kids got the back-to-school immunizations -- a great event.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out in favor of circumcision.  They say the benefits far outweigh the risks of the procedure.

A federal court said the government can't force cigarette makers to post graphic photos on their packs to warn people of the harm of smoking.  It would violate the free speech rights of the cigarette makers.  Ugh.

The New York Attorney General is investigating energy drinks -- what's in them, do they really do as advertised?  These drinks are regulated less than soda, and there's concern about what's in them and how safe they really are.  Do you drink this stuff? 

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is giving $500,000 to hospitals to try to stem the tide of hospital acquired infections.  On their list of things to avoid?  A loss of dignity.  Somebody in that family has been in the hospital and gets it.

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

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