Monthly Archives: June, 2012

Why do cats purr?

Because they can? Scientific American has another answer.

(I stole this from Margaret Atwood’s tweet. Steal from the best.)

Professional Opinion

Professor John E. McDonough, of the Harvard School of Public Health is interviewed on Medscape, a news site for health professionals. He warns that if politics derails the Affordable Care Act we will be back to square one…

Medscape: Why is this legislation a win for physicians and patients?

Dr. McDonough: This law is already providing real meaningful benefits to millions of Americans in improving health security, and it will make profound lifesaving differences for many millions of other Americans in the coming years. If it had been overturned completely, it would have been many years before we could return to and address our badly dysfunctional healthcare system. This ruling keeps reform on track; it allows for improvement moving forward.

Read the rest here, it’s brief but says a lot.

That’s the vibe I picked up at the Dept of Health. Improving quality, extending health care to all Rhode Islanders, keeping costs down and combating waste and fraud are works in progress. To abandon this would be more than heartbreaking, it would be a crime.

Mississippi GOP Leaders Say They Will Resist Expanding Health Care

In case you wonder what Obamacare will look like in some states, here is an example of a state, Mississippi, that is already saying “Whoa, horsie!” when it comes to implementation.

Miss. Medicaid expansion unlikely, GOP leaders say – The Dispatch.

I wonder about the implementation here in Rhode Island and whether we will be able to extend health care coverage to all, given our sagging economy. As I said in an earlier post, I see health care as a potential economic driver, and I hope Rhode Island will find ways to make this happen.

As a health care practitioner, I am particularly interested in changes specific to children and families. For more on how the law specifically impacts children and families, the Children’s Mental Health Network has a page that gives a helpful breakdown of all the changes.

[Ninjanurse butts in to Kiersten's post]
Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts sent an email with this–

Rhode Island has been implementing the federal health reform law for over two years, beginning with Lt. Governor Roberts’ early efforts in 2010 to ensure Rhode Island had a clear path ahead toward achieving universal coverage for Rhode Islanders. With the Supreme Court’s ruling, that path has been cleared for the state to move forward in partnership with the federal government and continue to benefit from its support and funding.

The Supreme Court decision means up to 120,000 uninsured Rhode Islanders will be able to enroll in healthcare coverage starting October 1, 2013 and will have access to the coverage by January 1, 2014. Rhode Island families and small businesses soon will have an online marketplace known as the RI Health Benefits Exchange where they can easily buy and compare health insurance options. Some residents will even qualify for free or low-cost insurance depending on their income. Rhode Islanders will begin to hear more about this marketplace in the coming months.

These are not empty words, but a work in progress. As much as I wish we could speed it up, I know that good people are working overtime to meet these goals.

One of those good people is a Republican, Christine Ferguson, who has been appointed by Governor Chafee as head of the new Rhode Island health insurance exchange. Ms. Ferguson has a long resume of health management experience in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and is a passionate and effective advocate for people in need of access to basic healthcare. We’re lucky to have her on our team at this point in time.

Keeping it Real

Susan Gardner at Daily Kos shares her family story…

Several Sundays ago, I chronicled my then-22-year-old daughter’s adventure in open heart surgery, all thanks to Obamacare, which allowed her to remain on my insurance. The bottom line: We were terrified the young adult provision would be overturned.

The young adult provision is a win-win for parents and insurance companies, who get a cohort of the young and usually healthy. But for families like Susan’s, this is a lifesaver.

Obamacare– what’s in it for us?

My sense of why the Affordable Care Act failed to inspire the majority of the public is this–
America is hungry for a sane, decent health care system.
The Democrats say to America, “Here’s a nice plate of Spam. It’s a nutritious mix of things kind of mushed together into something you can eat.”
America says, “Yuck.”

The Republicans say, “Here’s a nice plate of smashed light bulbs. They’re the incandescent kind, that Grandma used. Eat up, it builds character. What? You can’t eat broken glass? Then here’s a big plate of nothing– you free-market dropout!”

We’d all rather have steak. I’d rather have a single-payer health care system yesterday, but the Affordable Care Act is a huge step forward toward building a real, sane and adequate health care system that protects Americans from financial ruin if they have accident or illness, and rewards doctors for helping their patients stay healthy. Incidentally– making it harder to profiteer off other people’s misfortune.

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to keep administrative costs down and put the premiums into health services.

I was out with Mr.Green at Hope St. Pizza tonight and heard a bunch of guys at the next table talking about the Supremes. One of them was a nurse. I called out to them and did the fist pump and we all cheered.

My Mom listens to crazy radio. I’m waiting to hear her take on this. The ACA has benefits for people on Medicare that will save her from some co-pays and medication expenses. But she’ll tell me it’s a bad thing. Because Death Panels.

My sister-in-law is wondering if there’s going to be part-time Death Panel positions open. She’s a teacher, uses the Glare of Death to cow her students and has some time to pick up a summer job.

I am hugely relieved that we are not back to square one. My family benefits from the provision of the ACA that lets young adults stay on their parent’s insurance. I have been at meetings at the Department of Health where a blueprint for insuring all Rhode Islanders is being drawn up, and the ACA is crucial. It’s way better to be sitting comfortably inside our beautiful Statehouse, than to be standing out on the lawn waving a sign. I’ve done enough of that the past three years. I wish Dave St.Germain were alive to see this day.

Mother Jones has a list of ten things you get now that Obamacare is upheld…

1) Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime coverage limits on your insurance. Never again will you face the risk of getting really sick and then, a few months in, having your insurer tell you, “Sorry, you’ve ‘run out’ of coverage.” Almost everyone I’ve met knows someone who had insurance but got really, really sick (or had a kid get really sick) and ran into a lifetime cap.

See the other nine here.

You’ll say, “Well, duh. Any reasonable society would take these things for granted.”

But we came within a whisker of never getting the ACA passed in Congress, and the Supremes passed it in a 5-4. This is a day in History.

[the writer means no disrespect to Spam, or any of Hormel's fine canned meat products.]

Leaving America

I got this from Pam Spaulding on Facebook–
People who are moving to Canada because of Obamacare– I’m sure they’ll like the health care just fine there.

Kiersten Marek:

Chief Justice Roberts RULES!!!

Originally posted on Closing Argument:

With a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the Health Care Reform legislation with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read.  Read the opinion here.

While Justice Anthony Kennedy was thought to be the swing vote, he ultimately dissented and Chief Justice John Roberts’ vote ultimately saved the historic legislation.

Here is a summary:

  • Justices Kennedy, Scalia, Alito and Thomas voted that the entire Act was unconstitutional.
  • Justices Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor and Breyer voted to uphold the Act as constitutional.
  • Chief Justice Roberts forged a middle ground stating that the Act was constitutional under Congress’ power to tax, but unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause.  However, the Act is ultimately constitutional because of the former.

Regarding the Medicaid issue, CJ Roberts notes that “[n]othing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to…

View original 219 more words

Waiting on the Supremes

The sense I got at various Dept of Health meetings is that the stakes are very high. A lawyer who specializes in health care said that this will be the biggest decision since Brown v. Board of Education, the decision that mandated access to public school for all America’s children. There are people who dedicate their career to making health care available to all. A few months ago they could not imagine the Affordable Care Act being undone, but today anything is possible.

The crisis will eventually force reform. Crowded emergency rooms, exploding costs and preventable suffering and death are today’s reality. Patients are not consumers, health care is a public need and good– not a venue for profit.

However this plays out, we will not give up. The life you save may be your own. I’m off to work another day in health care, hearing and seeing firsthand the consequences of our fractured ‘system’ and trying to make it work.

Originally posted on Therapy with Kiersten Marek, LICSW:

Katrina reads to Beanie, our 17 year old cat.

The illustrator, Katrina Marek, reviewing her work.

We got in a big delivery of books today, so those who have requested it will be getting your copies.  Local friends:  if you would like me to bring a copy to you, let me know!  We are also beginning plans for a publication party in late July or early August, so stay tuned!

And for you folks who aren’t local, the easiest way to get a copy is through Lulu.com:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Don’t forget to use the 20% off discount code CHASE.

View original

Originally posted on thejumbledmind:

 

View original

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 993 other followers