Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday -- Connecticut Primary Day!

Yes, I voted.  It was a tough one, though.  People I know and really like and even care about are running -- some up against some tough odds.  Do you vote for who you care about or who can win a general election?  I went with my heart rather than my head.  We'll see how pissed off my head is!  Now, onto the news:

With Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, the future of Medicare has become a front and center issue in the upcoming campaignRyan proposes giving seniors vouchers to buy private insurance rather than giving them Medicare.  That's an end of Medicare as we know it.  We already know that Medicare costs less than private insurance because of the relatively low administrative costs.  Vouchers will cost seniors big time -- and why give this gift to private insurance companies?  At least now, the choice is clear for the American people.  For those of us who worry about health care for the poor, as well, Ryan threatens Medicaid even more.  It's that Ayn Rand philosophy -- each to his own.

A number of consumer groups have issued a report with recommendations on how health reform should be implemented.  I haven't had a chance to read it all, but it looks very good.  Now, will the policy makers listen?

It's been about a month since Jesse Jackson Jr. left Washington and went into hiding, mysteriously.  First, it was "exhaustion."  Then it was depression and a gastrointestinal disorder.  Now, it's bipolar disorder.  Would it have taken a month for his family to announce his diagnosis if he had cancer or diabetes or Crohn's disease?  No.  The stigma attached to mental illness makes it something we hide as best we can. 

Binge eating among men is about as prevalent as among women.  This surprises me -- we never hear about eating disorders in men.  And it's true that anorexia and bulimia are far more prevalent in women, but binge eating affects men and women alike.  There aren't a lot of treatment options for men, though.  It's important to make the connection between binge eating and emotional distress.

Mississippi has the highest obesity rate and Colorado has the lowest.  Obesity can lead to diabetes, heart disease.  I'm not surprised about Mississippi -- they also seem to have horrendous health care, with not much of anything for the poor. 

Smart prosthetics?  Amazing technology allows you to adjust your prosthetic on your smart phone.  This is really something.  The world of medical devices is booming -- a t-shirt that you wear overnight instead of spending the night in a sleep lab.  Of course, getting an insurance company to pay for it is a whole other battle, but I think these developments are exciting.

White kids get more CT scans than African-American or Latino kids.  Why?  Is it insurance status?  Are white kids getting too much radiation?  We need to know the why of this to fix it, but the story doesn't tell us much.

Better care for premature infants raises questions about who to save and who not to.  I sure wouldn't want to be the one to make that decision.  Is it right to use all that medicine has to offer in every case?  We talk about this issue when it comes to the elderly, but less often when it comes to infants.

Do you want to know if you're likely to get Alzheimer's?  We should all make the plans we need to make no matter what.  I'm not sure it would help me to know how susceptible I am to Alzheimer's in particular.  What about you?

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

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