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Republicans ignore the greater good on health care

Regarding “Flurry of finger-pointing frustrates Republicans and White House alike” (March 27):

Whom to blame for the Republican health care fumble? We can lay responsibility directly at the feet of the electorate who installed a president whose entire working knowledge of the issue can be summed up in a question he asked after taking office: “Who knew health care was so complicated?”

During the presidential campaign, to his credit, candidate Donald Trump obligingly displayed his ignorance on the topic with the oft-repeated promise to repeal and replace Obamacare with the vaguely hyperbolic “something fantastic.” It’s no wonder the American Health Care Act died on the vine without a president sufficiently conversant in its merits to argue them persuasively.

Ironically, of course, Obamacare took its shape from a Republican plan installed in Massachusetts by then-governor Mitt Romney that rejected the Democratic ideal of a single-payer system in favor of a public/private partnership that required everybody to have insurance and provided subsidies for those who couldn’t afford it.

The Affordable Care Act, which has subsequently resulted in a shrinking pool of providers and rapidly rising premiums in some states, would benefit from legislative efforts to fix its broken parts, but Republicans seem content to let their constituents suffer under its shortcomings rather than allow themselves to be associated with it — even to improve it — completely ignoring the greater good in favor of ideological purity.

So who’s to blame for the Republican health care debacle? Ignorance and spite, the very worst kind of governing duo.

David Lancaster  • Rock Hill

Article source: http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/mailbag/republicans-ignore-the-greater-good-on-health-care/article_32c78ec4-39bc-5432-81b9-2147e6d7d01d.html

Las Cruces Public Health Office Hosts Spring Into Good Health Community and Resource Fair

  LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Office of Border Health and New Mexico Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will host the 4th Annual Spring Into Good Health event, a Community Health and Resource Fair Friday, April 7thfrom 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Las Cruces Central Public Health Office, 1170 N. Solano Dr.

The event is free and open to the public. Spring Into Good Health brings together dozens of agencies and community resources to aid residents seeking self-improvement opportunities in celebration of National Public Health Week and Minority Health Month.

Services and information provided at the event include ways to stay active and eat healthy, family wellness, cooking nutrition, and Medicaid services for ages 0 to 64.  Blood pressure checks and blood glucose testing will be available at no cost.

For more information about the Spring Into Good Health Community and Resource Fair call Gilbert Padilla at(575) 528-5111.

 

Article source: http://krwg.org/post/las-cruces-public-health-office-hosts-spring-good-health-community-and-resource-fair-0

Cook with herbs for variety and good health

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Article source: http://www.roanoke.com/life/featured_dish/cook-with-herbs-for-variety-and-good-health/article_b269e28e-1e5c-584e-a85d-0da1d25dc06f.html

When returning to Minnesota means sacrificing good health care

We didn’t have a car, or even a place to call our own. We moved in with my parents, and they took care of our daughter while we commuted to the Twin Cities for job interviews and apartment viewings.

It was a very uncertain time. And a bit scary to be honest. But you know what my biggest fear was? More than being unemployed or not having a place to live? The thing I fixated on late at night while I lay on the air mattress in my parents’ living room, awake and worrying about the future?

That my husband or daughter or I would get in a car accident. That one of us would have a medical emergency that would require an ambulance ride or an ER visit. That my daughter would develop a condition that required doctor’s visits and medication before my husband or I could secure employment with health care benefits.

I knew that without insurance, any of these scenarios would wipe out our meager savings and probably put us in debt for the rest of our lives. But we couldn’t afford insurance without the employer contribution. It was a classic catch-22.

For seven out of our 10 years overseas, my husband and I lived in the Czech Republic (CR). As language teachers, we had traveled the world, but loved life in the CR so much we decided to stay and start a family.

I remember when I first announced my pregnancy to friends and family back home in Minnesota. They were happy for us, but also skeptical about the quality of medical care I would receive in a former communist country.

As my pregnancy progressed, their skepticism turned to envy. My Czech OB-GYN went above and beyond her required duties. My employer shooed me onto paid maternity leave three weeks before my due date (as is Czech custom). After I gave birth, I was encouraged to stay at the hospital for as long as needed.

The most amazing part: It was completely free. In fact, the government paid me for having a child.
As newbie parents, we brought our daughter in to see her pediatrician for every cough and runny nose. We didn’t even hesitate. We did not have to worry about expensive co-pays or reaching an annual deductible. We only had to focus on what was best for her health and well-being.

Besides social tax withholdings, you know how much my health care cost in the CR? 30 crowns, the equivalent of about $1.50 at the time. That was the copay for a doctor’s visit. All tests, X-rays, labs and follow-up care were included in that price.

After a couple months of intense searching back in Minnesota, we found jobs before my doomsday scenarios could come to pass. Thankfully, our new employers offered what was considered to be really good medical benefits. But after enjoying the perks of universal health care in the CR for so long, it was hard to adapt to the American practice of paying a monthly premium yet not being guaranteed full coverage when visiting the doctor.

Here, even with health insurance, I think twice before going to the doctor because of the cost. I’ve worked out a kind of system.

My first line of defense is the internet, where I’ll try to self-diagnose. If I suspect a minor ailment— ear infection, strep, pink eye, a bad cough — I go to the Target Clinic because my co-pay is only $15. If I suspect something more serious, then I’ll make an appointment for an office visit and fork over the $35. I don’t think I’m the only one who does this.

I know that universal health care gets a bad rap in the U.S. Many Americans argue that it sounds nice in principle, but in practice it would be a mess. That’s just not true.

During my time in the CR, I had a tailbone injury resolved, a mole removed, a biopsy done on a cyst (thankfully, benign) and many other minor treatments. In each case, I received quality care and never had to wait long for an appointment.

In fact, the same day the cyst was discovered, only a few hours later, I was seen by a specialist who did an ultrasound exam and determined I needed the biopsy, which was also performed that same day.

I can’t even begin to explain the peace of mind it brings to be able to go and visit the doctor when you’re sick and not have to worry about the price tag. The peace of mind of immediately bringing your child in when you suspect strep throat, rather than waiting until her barking cough becomes unbearable because you can’t afford to bring them in early and risk the throat culture coming up negative, and then having to bring them in a day or two later because, yes, it really was strep.

I wish that every American could experience the peace of mind of universal health care. Once they knew what they were missing, I think national debate on health care reform would quickly come to a close. The way forward would be clear.

Article source: http://www.citypages.com/news/when-returning-to-minnesota-means-sacrificing-good-health-care/417131873

Start right now on the path to good health

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Kali-O’s Juice Box opens in Point Pleasant Beach. Staff video Tanya Breen
Tanya Breen/staff photographer

The topic of health and fitness is such a personal topic to me.

It is a way of living that is deeply rooted in my daily routines and eating habits – but it wasn’t always this way.

I had always been a skinny kid growing up, but when puberty hit, I was getting new curves on my body that made me insecure and uncomfortable.

I disliked my body and poured over fashion magazines for tips on the newest diet trends and tips to lose weight. Yet, I ate McDonald’s, Chinese food slathered in sodium, and all types of sweets. In fact, in fourth-grade, I could easily eat an entire bag of Herr’s sour cream and onion potato chips in one sitting!

My parents owned Chinese restaurants while I was growing up, and they worked 12- to 13-hour days, if not more.

Mostly, they were standing on their feet all day and working with their bodies. They didn’t sit at desk jobs, so they really never embraced the idea of exercising.

If they were standing and moving all day, why in the world would they head out for a run or go to a gym. The concept was foreign to them, so of course, being a kid, it was also not high on my priority.

I was always picked last for team sports, which I cared about, but only because of the social aspect of it – not the physical. Who cared if I couldn’t kick the ball in kickball? Not me, I just wanted to fit in.

Since my parents were so busy working, they never really had time to monitor the foods we were eating. My sister and I bought school lunches, ate whenever and whatever we wanted – and however much we wanted.

Back in those days, I really didn’t understand the idea of moderation. In my senior year of college, that all changed and has forever altered my path toward healthy living.

During my last term at Rutgers University at New Brunswick, I learned during Christmas break (of all times) that my mother was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer called large cell carcinoma, which had also claimed the life of Andy Kaufman of “Taxi” TV fame.

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My mom never smoked in her entire life, but my father did. However, he was never allowed to smoke in the house or around any of us kids.

At the time of her diagnosis, I was eating badly and not mindfully. I worked full-time to put myself through college, so I would be scarfing down cheeseburgers while driving from class to work or vice versa.

I was not fat or obese at this point, but I definitely didn’t care about what I was putting into my body at all. I had , however, started to do some running, which I enjoyed.

I loved the idea of a solitary run, feeling my heart rate increase, and inhaling, exhaling. I didn’t run very fast, but I was able to easily run for an hour or so.

It was a difficult time for our family – I really struggled with the idea of quitting my last semester at Rutgers to spend time with my mom.

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I lived on campus, but after the diagnosis, I was driving home on a daily basis. Watching her body first deteriorate from chemotherapy was the worst since the chemicals are attacking the body.

She got smaller and smaller, more fragile than ever. She never wanted to go outside because, of all things, she felt shame about her disease. As if it was her fault!

My mom held on for about a year before she passed away in the early hours one February morning, just weeks before my birthday. She was only 53 years old.

I turned 40 this year and it occurred to me that she was only 13 years older than I am now before she withered away from lung cancer.

Even despite the pain of her passing, her life taught me a huge lesson about health and fitness.

That is when my passion for eating right, exercising, and maintaining balance developed. This is the reason that health and wellness is so important to me, and I want to share it with readers and clients, or anyone who is willing to listen.

Without our health, we are nothing. When I first started on my path to healthy living 20 years ago as that heart-broken college student, I really didn’t know where I should begin or where the path would take me.

The important part was to get started.

More:Luxury mixed with fitness in Hawaii

I started small – eliminating the junk food that I was eating just because it was convenient.

There are easy, healthy recipes, which taste delicious and can replace the fast food addiction.

If you aren’t able to run, take a walk, do yoga, do Pilates. Start where you are today – that’s exactly what I did 20 years ago.

Jean Chen Smith is a fashion executive who consults for a major fashion house in New York City and also teaches Pilates at Renaissance the Studio in Red Bank and private instruction. Jean, a marathon runner, is passionate about health, fitness and fashion, which is the reason she started her lifestyle website, www.projectcloud9.com. Email her at info@projectcloud9.com or follow her on Facebook.

Article source: http://www.app.com/story/life/wellness/2017/03/28/jean-chen-smith-good-health/99686734/

A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/27/well/live/positive-thinking-may-improve-health-and-extend-life.html

House Republicans pull health care bill

Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds.

Article source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/24/politics/house-health-care-vote/

To Your Good Health: Making Sense of Mixed Connective Tissue …

Dear Dr. Roach: One rheumatologist diagnosed me with unspecified mixed connective tissue disease and Raynaud’s syndrome. I was put on Plaquenil, which caused some hair loss and thinning. I got a second opinion from another rheumatologist, who said that based on my bloodwork, I do not have Raynaud’s or mixed connective tissue disease. Is it possible that mixed connective tissue disease goes into remission? Should I get a third opinion? — C.T.

Answer: Many people probably are unfamiliar with the term “mixed connective tissue disease.” Other connective tissue diseases are well-known: Systemic lupus erythematosus (“lupus”), systemic sclerosis (“scleroderma”) and rheumatoid arthritis are common. Dermatomyositis and polymyositis are less well-known but are distinct inflammatory muscle diseases. In mixed connective tissue disease, there are elements of lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis, but these often occur at different times in the course of the disease.

The diagnosis of MCTD is made by a combination of blood tests and what we call “clinical criteria,” made up of symptoms (what people notice) and signs (what a clinician finds on an exam). The blood test is for what are called anti-RNP antibodies. These antibodies need to be present at high levels in order to make the diagnosis. However, the blood test alone does not make the diagnosis; some of the following — swelling in the hands or joints, muscle pain or inflammation, and Raynaud phenomenon (dramatic change in blood flow to the hands in cold weather, often accompanied by color changes) — also need to be present to make the diagnosis of MCTD.

So, unfortunately, I don’t have enough information to say whether you have MCTD. If the first blood test showed high anti-RNP and you have had the symptoms of Raynaud, you would still need to have at least two of the other symptoms (swollen fingers or joints and muscle inflammation) at some point. If the second test showed no anti-RNP antibodies, then that would make the diagnosis of MCTD very unlikely, as these antibodies usually stay around.

Raynaud phenomenon (it’s called “Raynaud’s syndrome” if it occurs by itself, not as part of MCTD or another condition) is a clinical diagnosis. It doesn’t depend on blood tests.

Symptoms in people with mixed connective tissue disease, just as in people with lupus, sometimes come and go for no discernable reason. I wouldn’t say that it’s in remission so much as that it is just not active. It’s possible that the hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) helped with the symptoms, but it’s also possible that they just went away on their own, even if you do have MCTD.

Dear Dr. Roach: My daughter was diagnosed with an external ear infection. Can you tell MRSA from a regular infection just by looking at it? — J.M.B.

Answer: No, there is no reliable way of telling MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) from the regular methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus just by visual inspection. A laboratory test is required; however, there are new methods that can do so very quickly.

Many areas have such high rates of MRSA that it’s wise to choose treatment that is effective against MRSA even before testing. In the case of an external ear infection, which is treated with antibiotic drops, not oral antibiotics (except in very deep infections or in people with immune system disease), there are several options that are effective against MRSA and MSSA, including ciprofloxacin and the combination of neomycin and polymyxin B.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or at 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

Article source: http://www.vnews.com/To-Your-Good-Health-8867385

Packing good health into every morsel, Sport News & Top Stories …

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Article source: http://www.straitstimes.com/sport/packing-good-health-into-every-morsel

LETTER: Politicians can’t come up with good health care

And then there is Stephen Helmsley, the CRO from United Health Services who gets a salary of $66 million. And what do you suppose the people working under him suck in for salaries? And there is Sen. Orin Hatch. He has been in Congress since before the dinosaurs went extinct. Mr. Hatch is the go-to guy for the drug companies. And that’s not all, his son is a lobbyist for the drug companies.

I have talked to people from Canada and England, where they have universal health care and they all say it works just fine. They all say if you have a serious condition you go to the front of the line. If our politicians can’t come up with good health care system, they should look at Canada’s health system or maybe Japan.

According to the internet, Japan’s healthcare system costs half of what it does in our country. They have the longest life expectancy, the lowest infant mortality rate. They can choose their own doctor and have more doctors per capita than the U.S. does. On Japan and Canada, it’s not about profit, the Japanese government controls drug prices and other medical costs. In japan I doubt is their drug companies are slipping bribes under the table to their leaders.

All our congress people should get the same health care, insurance and retirement benefits everyone else gets.

I wonder how Noem, Thune and Rounds would vote on that one. Oh, right now theirs is free.

Dennis Hegg

Mitchell

Article source: http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/opinion/letters/4240315-letter-politicians-cant-come-good-health-care