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Archive for the ‘universal healthcare’ Category

Politics: How is the healthcare crisis related to the high cost of healthy foods?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 18, 2010

Are healthcare, politics, and the high cost of healthy foods related?

Yes.

Let me start by saying…I am so sick of politics I could throw-up. But that said, this is about much more than politics. It’s about the warped reality we are all living in, from the White House to our local supermarket and fast food joint.

About two weeks ago I read an article comparing the cost of health care to the cost of food. It suggests that the best way to solve the healthcare crisis, is for all consumers to be forced to pay more for healthcare – Because then people would think about the cost before “choosing” certain tests and treatments. What a shocking revelation…Who would have thought (other than the CATO Institute) that the people who can’t afford expensive health care services would “choose” not to have them? Although, I wouldn’t really consider that a choice.

*Read full post at catherine.morgan.com

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Posted in family, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, news, nutrition, opinion, political, Politics, universal healthcare, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Universal Healthcare, Medicaid, and Cancer

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 19, 2008

Universal Healthcare, Medicaid, and Cancer – by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer

I’m not sure how much we really needed a study to determine that uninsured people are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer too late to be treated successfully. In most cases, a person actually needs to see a doctor to be diagnosed with a disease. So, is anyone surprised to find out that poor, uninsured people, aren’t going to the doctor? I didn’t think so. The only thing this study does do, is underscore the healthcare crisis we are currently facing (with 47 million Americans uninsured), and the need for all Americans to have access to quality healthcare. However, in order to prevent this study from being used as an argument for some type of universal healthcareMedicaid has been thrown into the mix.

Here is an example from The New York Times, of how the news of this new study is being reported…

A nationwide study has found that the uninsured and those covered by Medicaid are more likely than those with private insurance to receive a diagnosis of cancer in late stages, often diminishing their chances of survival.

Cleverly, someone decided to throw a monkey wrench into this study, by comparing having no insurance at all, to having Medicaid. I say “cleverly”, because without that little snip-it of information, this study would appear to be the perfect argument for universal healthcare. But now some can argue, that Medicaid is a government program that isn’t working…So, how could the government ever be capable of implementing a healthcare program that would work?

From WebMD

Researchers say the findings should have important implications for the nation’s health care system and policy decisions about health care reform.

Here is what Jude, from First Draft thinks, in a post titled “Two Americas“…

Now, this might not be the biggest revelation ever, but it seems that people who don’t pay a lot for their health care get lesser-quality care. I can hear the wingers already screaming that this is obviously a failure of public insurance, as private insurance leads to better care.

I admit, I know very little about Medicaid, but when you dig a little deeper into the reporting of this study, it appears there is more to the “Medicaid” aspect then meets the eye.

This study seems to find that having Medicaid is still better than being one of the 47 million that are uninsured…

Results showed that uninsured patients were 90% more likely and Medicaid patients were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with stage II than stage I disease compared with those who had either private insurance or Medicare (difference not significant between the two latter groups).

And, are the Medicaid patients in this study mostly from nursing homes? If so, this study on Medicaid and nursing homes seems to indicate the problem is more to do with the actual care being given in nursing homes, and less to do with being insured with Medicaid.

A study in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that Medicaid patients in nursing home care receive limited cancer services. While the prevalence of cancer in nursing home patients is 1 in 10, according to Dr. Bradley and coauthors this population has received little attention in outcomes research.

The report concludes that nursing home patients had a preponderance of late or unstaged disease, high mortality with a few months of diagnosis, low hospice use, and very little cancer-directed treatment, even among patients with early stage cancer where treatment can alleviate symptoms.

I’m pointing these discrepancies out because – If this study is really going to be used to help determine our country’s healthcare policy, then we need to understand a few things. Most importantly, that the problems facing Medicaid are much different than the problems facing any plan to insure the uninsured. In other words…Don’t use statistics on orange trees, to determine whether or not to grow an apple tree.

Also see:

Health Insurance only for the Healthy — If 47 million uninsured Americans is not high enough a number of vulnerable people who often do not visit the doctor soon enough to receive an early cancer diagnosis leading to a higher cancer survival rate, Blue Cross of California is looking to increase the number of uninsured — with the help of doctors.

Sweet Surrender — C is for CANCER

Anyway, I still don’t know what this post is really about, I guess it could mean different things to different people. If you have good insurance it may mean one thing…but if you have a parent in a nursing home, or are uninsured yourself, probably something totally different. What does this information mean to you? Will these issues have any affect on how you vote in November?

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
CatherineBlogs, The Political Voices of Women, Care2 Election Blog

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, family, Health, life, news, opinion, political, Politics, thoughts, universal healthcare, Women | 1 Comment »

Healthcare Reform: A Tour Around Health and Political Blogs

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 11, 2008

A Tour Around Health and Political Blogs, that are taking on the issue of healthcare reform. — by Catherine Morgan (cross posted at BlogHer and CatherineBlogs)

With more and more people becoming uninsured in our country, healthcare reform is becoming an increasingly important issue.

Voters are interested in knowing where the candidates stand on the issue of healthcare. Now you can find health bloggers and political bloggers addressing healtcare reform. Here is a quick tour around some of these bloggers talking about the issue of healthcare and healthcare reform.

From Maggie Mahar of Health Beat

As for issues, if voters are concerned about healthcare, “they probably don’t perceive too much difference between Clinton and Obama,” says Blendon, who is also a professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “I think they believe that either Democrat will try to do something big. Healthcare won’t become an issue until the general election.”

But in November’s general election, healthcare will be at the center of the debate, Blendon declares. “John McCain now appears to be the front-runner among the Republicans, and if, in November, he turns out to be the party’s candidate, he will not see providing health coverage for everyone as a priority for his administration,” says Blendon.

“Nor will Republican Congressmen view universal coverage as something that their constituency wants.” As I noted in a post last week, polls show that “the majority of Independents and Republicans are not convinced that health care is a “fundamental right.”

So an election that pitted either Clinton or Obama against McCain would become, in part, a referendum on healthcare reform. Who would win? “Again, it would be very close,” says Blendon. “We’re in a hostile environment for Republicans, but McCain is stronger than his party.

This is from Danieldoo

Where do the candidates stand on this life changing issue? One place to look would be health08.org. This is a site put together by the Kaiser Family Foundation, who claims to be non-partisan, non-profit, private operating foundation.

If you want to know who is pushing the candidates then you will want to swing by Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

Another grassroots organization fighting for healthcare reform is Americans for Health Care. Here you will also find a comparison of the candidates, along with updates and ways to take action.

The New York Times also has a candidate comparison, which still includes folks that have dropped out, in the Election Guide 2008. I am not sure how up to date this one is, you know how those political beings change direction mid stream more often than not.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has the candidates positions on health care under the policy and advocacy section of their website.

WebMD even got in on the fun with a page devoted to Health Matters in the 2008 Election.

From TPM Cafe

Should you care about the flap over healthcare “mandates”? Does it really tell us anything about whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is more likely to deliver healthcare reform?

In yesterday’s New York Times, Paul Krugman said “Yes.” He pointed out that Clinton’s plan favors mandates that would require everyone who can afford the premiums to sign up for healthcare insurance. Low-income and lower-middle income Americans who cannot afford the premiums would receive subsidies from the government, just as they do in Massachusetts.

My Relationship With Breast Cancer

It’s certainly no secret that an election year is upon us. I say this over and over – one person can make a difference! One voice can echo, and cause other voices to rise in unison. As we face the election of new officials it is important to raise our voices so that our healthcare needs are met. We need to make certain that each and every person has access to quality care!

Also See:

Sassafras Mama on thoughts on healthcare reform

Our Bodies, Ourselves

Cold Coffee – Healthcare Reform: A Macro Viewpoint

What do you think about the healthcare issue? Will this issue affect your presidential vote?

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
CatherineBlogs, The Political Voices of Women, Care2 Election Blog

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, Health, opinion, parenting, political, thoughts, universal healthcare, Women, women's health | 1 Comment »