Tag: Health Care

Why is the American Health Care System Broken?

COMMENTARY The Institute of Medicine issued a lengthy report, “Best Care at Lower Cost,” on Thursday. In addition to offering potential solutions to the problems in American health care, the IOM spells out what many of us have known for years: Health care, as it currently delivered, is a broken system.

closeup photo of USA flag

Even though there are things you know without anyone having to tell you, namely the current state of health care, having the information quantified by a non-biased, non-political source is reassuring. As the AP reported, the IOM determined that the monstrous health care system in the United States wastes $750 billion annually. That figure translates into 30 cents of every health care dollar spent being wasted.

The blame for the broken system can’t be placed on any one person’s or entity’s shoulders. That’s OK, because there is plenty of blame to go around. People in the know, and in positions to make a difference, have failed to see the big picture, preferring to “solve” the situation with knee-jerk reactions or by focusing on a too narrow scope.

Putting things into perspective, the AP relates that the $750 billion-a-year waste figure represents more than the Pentagon’s annual budget and enough money to cover the costs of uninsured Americans. The figure also represents more than a decade of Medicare costs reductions as part of the new health care law.

It’s time to stop letting elected officials and those seeking to be elected determine what the important issues are to everyday Americans. Someone must take the bull by the horns and mandate the changes necessary to fix the broken health care system while at the same time trimming the egregiously wasted money. The IOM says that these two changes can be achieved simultaneously and even while doing so, health care and its outcomes will improve.

That’s what we really want, isn’t it? To get the best bang for our buck and quality health care. It wouldn’t hurt that by repairing the system and paring the waste, the nation would also be tackling the deficit.

Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of “The Red Man” state. With what he hopes is an everyman’s view of life’s concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.

YMCA, Health Advocates Kick off Monthlong Healthy Activities Initiative

According to America On The Move news release, America on the Move Foundation and YMCA have kicked off a national month long celebration to educate Americans on a healthy, active life.

America On The Move is hoping to encourage Americans to take 2,000 more steps a day, and to eat 100 fewer calories a day. The program is trying to have people make small daily changes in their life. During the month of September, anyone can visit AmericaOnTheMove.org and participate in the campaign. People can make two pledges each day to make their lives better. Once you make your pledges you are eligible to win prizes such as an iPod or a $500 shopping spree at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

America on the Move activities will include between September 22-27 one week with the YMCA. 1,500 YMCA’s around the country will participate and help individuals and families to take small steps and get active. Along with the YMCA’s nationwide participation, thousands of America on the Move organizations will help host 2,000 step activities all around the nation. As part of the month long celebration, America on the Move will also announce the results of a national poll that will show Americans new information regarding the rise of obesity and new healthy lifestyles.

girl standing near plants

Neil Nicoll, the President and CEO of YMCA of the USA states that “as YMCAs nationwide expand their efforts to encourage healthier lifestyles, we are excited to join AOM in celebrating Steptember through America On the Move Week with the YMCA,”he also goes on to add that “Our nation’s health crisis is the defining issue of this generation and the next, and through YMCA Activate America we are reaching out to engage all people who seek well-being of spirit, mind and body. The small-changes message fits well with our efforts, and we look forward to sharing it with the thousands of communities and millions of people that YMCAs serve.”

America on the Move Foundation is a nationwide non profit organization that helps individuals, families, as well as communities all across the nation that helps make positive changes that improve the health and quality of life. In the America on the Move Foundation there are nearly one million participants on and offline that initiates and helps maintain, individual, social, and environmental behavior changes that help support healthy eating and healthy active habits throughout our society. To learn more about The America On The Move program, please visit their website at www.americaonthemove.org,

You can also go to the YMCA’s website located at www.ymca.net. The YMCA has over 2500 different locations throughout the United States and serves nearly 20.2 million people each year. Of those 20.2 million, 9.4 million of those people are under the age of 18.

SOURCE : America On the Move and More Than 1,500 YMCAs Kick Off September 2007
http://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?beat=BEAT_HEALTHCARE&view=LATEST&resourceid=3548141

SOURCE : YMCA Website
http://www.ymca.net

SOURCE : America on the Move website
http://www.AmericaOnTheMove.org

14-Pound Healthy Baby Born: Are SuperSized Babies on the Rise?

COMMENTARY I thought squeezing out an almost nine-pound baby vaginally was rough. Kendall Stewardson gave birth to a 13-pound, 13-ounce baby boy in Des Moines, Iowa on Jan. 26. The baby, Asher Stewardson, also has a younger brother born 15 months earlier who weighed 12 pounds, 1 ounce. The Associated Press reported that only 1 percent of all babies born even top 11 pounds at birth, a fact many moms are likely happy about.

The world record in regards to infants born without surgery, was taken in 1879 to a Canadian woman in Ohio who pushed out a whopping 23-pound, 12-ounce baby, which sadly did not survive. Another woman, Carmelina Fedele of Italy, gave birth to a healthy 22-pound, 8-ounce baby boy in 1955. He did survive according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

baby under purple blanket

The average newborn is about five to eight pounds. The size of both parents, of course, can factor in to baby size, but the recent increase in super-sized babies ranging from 12 to 16 pounds is likely due to an increase in gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a condition which can lead to increased fetal growth. Rates of the condition have been on the rise for some time, nearly tripling in the last decade, according to a study done at Northwest Memorial hospital in 2018 suggested. Lead author of the study, Boyd Metzger, M.D, believes this may be due to the growing rate of obesity, which is a risk factor for gestational diabetes.

Having had gestational diabetes in the pregnancy that produced said almost nine-pound baby, I can attest to the baby enlarging power of the condition myself. It’s important that those planning a pregnancy or currently pregnant review the risk factors for gestational diabetes and stay current with proper prenatal care. While little Asher was born healthy after six hours of labor, many over-sized infants are not so lucky. Birthing a large baby is dangerous both to the baby and his or her mom. In many cases, proper lifestyle changes can make a world of difference in slowing fetal growth in mothers with gestational diabetes making labor and delivery easier on everyone.…

Senators Whine About Health Care Bill

On July 16 this year, the New York Times published a story in which senators bemoaned the absence of Edward M. Kennedy during their work on health care reform legislation. It quotes Senator Tom Harkin as saying, “[Kennedy] would lend a gravitas to the issue that we’re kind of missing right now.” The idea is that Senator Kennedy would make a great difference if he could be in the senate.

Mr. Kennedy is absent from the senate because he is battling brain cancer. Having served his country for 47 years, he has personal matters to attend to. No one honestly believes that his absence is unjustified, but those who wail about it, as if to say, “If only Teddy were here, we could do this,” are doing the country and their constituents a disservice.

Mr. Kennedy, while a valuable member of the government, is not its lynchpin. The government functioned admirably without him for 186 years, and it will have to do so again. If the Senate is not taking the issue seriously enough, perhaps they should read the newspaper. The American people seem to think health care reform is a very serious issue.

Some say that Senator Kennedy would be able to build consensus. If the senate needs consensus, why not build some? Surely Senator Kennedy does not have a magic wand that he waves when he wants consensus. Some claim that the bill will be more partisan without Kennedy. If a bi-partisan bill is needed, why not write one?

person holding hands

The truth is that Mr. Kennedy, like every other member of the U.S. Senate is temporary. The day will come when he is not a senator, and somehow the country will have to carry on without him. Senators who hide behind his absence are making excuses for failing to act.

If the U.S. Senate fails to deliver a workable health care reform bill, Senators will need a much bigger figure to hide behind than Kennedy. Their failure will not be Kennedy’s fault, and Americans will not accept his absence as an excuse. Nature abhors a vacuum. Those who claim Kennedy’s leadership is needed should be looking around for someone to step up to the plate. They should be considering stepping up to the plate themselves. If they so honor Mr. Kennedy, they ought to do willingly what they have depended on him to do for almost 50 years.

On the other hand, if Senators are looking for an excuse to cave in to special interests, they should beware the wrath of voters. Americans may not agree on the solution, but most of them agree that the health care system is broken. They are expecting Congress to pass a law that addresses the problem. They are not willing to wait for the perfect solution to come along. If Senators do not feel they are up to the task because Mr. Kennedy is not there, perhaps they should resign.

Excuses are like lunchmeat. No matter how thin you slice it, it’s …

Obama’s Next Agenda: Health Care

There has been an increase in cigarettes by as much as $1.01 to help support the public health insurance for those who do not have health insurance. There are other increases I have heard on soft drinks, fast food, and other items the government deems unfit for its citizens.

These crazy tax increases are not the way to fix a bad problem. By adding tax increases on such things will cause the loss of more jobs, creating higher unemployment, and more people to be left without insurance.

President Barack Obama

Original Article Below

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the rising costs of health care, those who are without health insurance, partial health insurance coverage, and everything else health insurance and care related needs to be looked into severely.

We have what I call partial health insurance coverage. It covers everything but the costs of medications. We have to pay for every prescription we have out of pocket. This is how the company my husband works for set it up. Why?

Because in order to add the prescription coverage to their current plan, it would have raised the medical coverage for every employee across the board. This includes the amount the employer covers for the medical insurance and what the employees pay each week on their part.

While some may think this a raw deal for these employees like my husband, in some instances it is, when it comes to the prescriptions.The employees all attended a monthly meeting where the health insurance representative came in and explained what would happen with increasing their health care insurance to cover prescriptions.

After a lengthy discussion at this meeting, they put the added prescription plan on hold until further discussion with the employees could be met. After the employer and employees weighed in further on the topic, they decided it wasn’t worth the added increase for them since most aren’t on prescription medications to often. Those who have a family member on a prescription medication monthly figured it wasn’t worth the added increase over time because in most cases the medication costs were cheaper than the added insurance. So they left their insurance policy as is.

They figured since they had medical insurance that would cover doctor office visits, dental, and optical insurance they were good. Now so that you know, I can’t argue that point one bit being a spouse on the insurance. Their medical insurance without the prescription option is darn good.

However, I know there are people without medical insurance that can’t afford a regular doctor’s office visit much less anything else medical related. Over the years we have had our fair share of difficulty with medical insurance and medical costs out of pocket.

Health care costs rise every year and those without insurance find it hard to pay for any major health care costs. For instance, I have an aunt and uncle, who are brother and sister, who have had heart attacks and bypass surgeries. They were both without …

Obama’s Healthcare Sprint

Have you heard? President Obama is pushing Congress to get a health care reform bill on his desk before the lawmakers take off for their summer break. How long has he been in power? Only six months, right? So why is there such a rush? Obama has already made history by being the first black person to win a major party’s nomination and an even bigger prize – the White House. He also became the first president to pass a huge stimulus package only weeks into his presidency. So why the rush?

I understand the need to reform health care. My family currently has health care coverage, but the premiums are enormous, and increase every year. On top of that, we still pay out of pocket for every visit to the doctor. Also, I am aware of the millions who have no coverage. Many people have gone bankrupt due to some illness and the absence of health care insurance. Even now as I write this article I can think of someone who told me yesterday that she just received a bill from the hospital – she had to go to the ER recently – and she has no help. In fact, she is behind on most her bills, so how will she pay this hospital bill?

Yes, the need for reform is great and urgent, but we cannot afford to mess this up. The issues are complex and have long been in the making. Therefore, it will take a careful, steady and diligent approach to fix the health care system. This cannot be treated like the botched stimulus bill that was rushed through Congress in February. And, now there is talk that the massive stimulus package is not bringing the desired results. Wow!

shallow focus photo of blue and gray stethoscope on brown wooden table

Has Congress debated the President’s health care reform proposals? There have been discussions, but no open debate over an adequate period of time. What about the cost to reform health care? Are our leaders willing to continue bankrupting this country to pay their way forward? In this case, does President Obama want to give China a little more of America? That’s right. China holds billions in notes from the . We owe them. Do you think they will continue to underwrite our bad ways? What if China were to call us on these loans tomorrow?

Our president needs to slow down. California is bankrupt and America may follow quickly. But maybe our President Obama cannot afford to slow down.

 

Recently I heard that his poll numbers are falling. There is word too that although most Americans want health care reform, they are concerned about the cost involved and there is fear that our children and grandchildren will be left broke. Could these new developments be driving Obama to push so hard?

Generally, right after an election victory, a president has political capital to spend. If that is not used quickly, it could be lost. President Obama appears to be losing some of his, which may explain this …

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