Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

ACA Debates

July 26th, 2017 Comments off

“In June and July 2009, with Democrats in charge, the Senate health committee spent nearly 60 hours over 13 days marking up the bill that became the Affordable Care Act. That September and October, the Senate Finance Committee worked on the legislation for eight days — its longest markup in two decades. It considered more than 130 amendments and held 79 roll-call votes. The full Senate debated the health care bill for 25 straight days before passing it on Dec. 24, 2009.”

–NY Times

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Worth Giving It a Shot

October 26th, 2013 Comments off

From the NYTimes:

In 2009, medical researchers at Tottori University in Japan found that exposing Alzheimer’s patients to rosemary and lemon in the morning and lavender and orange in the evening resulted in improved cognitive functions. A 2006 study by researchers at the New York University Medical Center discovered that postoperative patients exposed to the smell of lavender reported a higher satisfaction rate with pain control. And a 2007 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reported that cancer patients who received massage with aromatic oils experienced a significant improvement in anxiety and depression.

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ACA Blame where it Belongs

October 24th, 2013 Comments off

Ezra says it like it is:

The classic definition of chutzpah is the child who kills his parents and then asks for leniency because he’s an orphan. But in recent weeks, we’ve begun to see the Washington definition: A party that does everything possible to sabotage a law and then professes fury when the law’s launch is rocky.

On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan became the latest Republicans to call for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to step down because of the Affordable Care Act’s troubled launch. “I do believe people should be held accountable,” he said.

Okay then.

How about House Republicans who refused to appropriate the money the Department of Health and Human Services said it needed to properly implement Obamacare?

How about Senate Republicans who tried to intimidate Sebelius out of using existing HHS funds to implement Obamacare? “Would you describe the authority under which you believe you have the ability to conduct such transfers?” Sen. Orrin Hatch demanded at one hearing. It’s difficult to imagine the size of the disaster if Sebelius hadn’t moved those funds.

How about congressional Republicans who refuse to permit the packages of technical fixes and tweaks that laws of this size routinely require?

How about Republican governors who told the Obama administration they absolutely had to be left to build their own health-care exchanges — you’ll remember that the House Democrats’ health-care plan included a single, national exchange — and then refused to build, leaving the construction of 34 insurance marketplaces up to HHS?

How about the coordinated Republican effort to get the law declared unconstitutional — an effort that ultimately failed, but that stalled implementation as government and industry waited for the uncertainty to resolve?

How about the dozens of Republican governors who refused to take federal dollars to expand Medicaid, leaving about 5.5 million low-income people who’d be eligible for free, federally-funded government insurance to slip through the cracks?

The GOP’s strategy hasn’t just tried to win elections and repeal Obamacare. They’ve actively sought to sabotage the implementation of the law. They intimidated the people who were implementing the law. They made clear that problems would be exploited rather than fixed. A few weeks ago, they literally shut down the government because they refused to pass a funding bill that contiained money for Obamacare.

The Obama administration deserves all the criticism it’s getting for the poor start of health law and more. Their job was to implement the law effectively — even if Republicans were standing in their way. So far, it’s clear that they weren’t able to smoothly surmount both the complexities of the law and the political roadblocks thrown in their path. Who President Obama will ultimately hold accountable — if anyone — for the failed launch is an interesting question.

But the GOP’s complaints that their plan to undermine the law worked too well and someone has to pay border on the comic. If Republicans believe Sebelius is truly to blame for the law’s poor launch, they should be pinning a medal on her

Well, That’s a Relief

February 9th, 2013 Comments off

From the New Yorker, Feb. 4 2013, a Profile of Dr. Mehmet Oz (of Oprah fame):

Want to know how many orgasms you will require each year to prolong your life?  Oz says two hundred — give or take.

What a relief to find out that figure is 200 per year!  All this time I’ve been going for per month.

No wonder I’ve been so tired.

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Better News and an Unobtainable Solution

February 9th, 2013 Comments off

Well, better news for me: not a slipped disk.  Instead, a badly sprained lower back muscle is inflamed, and expanded to the point of pinching the sciatica nerve.  Still excruciating pain; but with a chance of making that muscle relax and stop pinching the nerve.

This learned after a visit to the local Med360 center, which is just around the corner from my house.  No calling up to make an appointment, no waiting around at all: diagnosis while-you-wait; no blood tests, no xrays, no referrals to osteopaths or surgeons who just want to put you under the knife.  Inflamation-reducing drug administered at once, and prescription for analgysic (hydrocontone) faxed to the Walgreens I always go to, also just around the corner.  Then to the other side of the center, to the physical therapist, to begin therapy the same day.

Bad news: been reading up on lower back pain, and it seems in general to take a very long time to get the healing done.  Like at least a month.  A month of pain.  Something to look forward to.

Intense pain.  Inflammation.  Muscle stress.  Hmm…now what one thing would help to alleviate–or at least palliate, these systems?

Answer:  medical cannabis.  Yes, marijuana would be just the thing for this set of symptoms.

A reasonable solution? Yes.  An available solution?  No way…at least, not in the great state of South Carolina.

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Slipped Disk

February 6th, 2013 Comments off


I’ve often seen pictures of old men, their backs bent, leaning forward with one hand on a hip, what you’d call stooped.  I always thought it was just because that was how their bones became deformed.

Not.  It’s because their in great pain, and this is the most comfortable standing position.  Like them, I find myself comfortable only standing and leaning forward and down.  The problem is a ruptured disk.  “Slipped disk” in the familiar parlance, though disks are fixed in position, and cannot ‘slip’. Instead, it’s a hernia, a protuberance of the  disk that pinches the sciatic nerve.

Painful?  YOU BET painful!  The sciatic nerve become pinched, causing pain to the whole hip, as well as the rest of the leg; “like there’s a hot poker in your leg,” Avis described it, and that’s a pretty good way to put it.  If I stand up for any length of time, upright that is, the pain gets greater and greater, until I just want to scream.

If I’ve been walking for a while — say, 10 minutes — the pain is so excruciating I want to cry; it is a pain as great as passing a stone–which itself is said to be the closest a male can get to the experience of pain in childbirth.

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Entitlement Reform?

January 13th, 2013 Comments off


When politicians talk about cutting old-age entitlements, they are really talking about denying health care and social security benefits to poor old women.

Dr. Robert N. Butler, quoted in Never Say Die by Susan Jacoby

Why we’re sick and tired

December 19th, 2012 Comments off



Where are you on the global fat scale?

December 18th, 2012 Comments off

A handy way to figure your BMI and compare yourself to others:

Global Fat Scale


The message on myself is: “You’re most like someone from Tanzania”

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prefrontal cortex

December 10th, 2012 Comments off

These quotes are from the US Gov. HHS site:

The parts of the adolescent brain which develop first are those which control physical coordination, emotion and motivation. However, the part of the brain which controls reasoning and impulses – known as the Prefrontal Cortex – is near the front of the brain and, therefore, develops last. This part of the brain does not fully mature until the age of 25.


This brain region gives an individual the capacity to exercise “good judgment” when presented with difficult life situations. Brain research indicating that brain development is not complete until near the age of 25, refers specifically to the development of the prefrontal cortex.3  (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services )


Makes me wonder at the validity of all the socialogical, anthropological studies done with undergraduate students.

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