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Health Tips

The President and Congress Need Health Care?

The health care reform legislation would now become a joke if the consequences were not so devastating to million of Americans. In an effort to quickly pass legislation in the Senate, regardless of its content, legislators are removing anything that would prevent votes from being lost. This policy which, originates in the White House, reflects the President’s demand of passing a historic health care bill this year regardless of whether or not it meets the original goals. The goals were to insure all (or at least most) Americans, lower the cost of health care as well as the cost of health care insurance and to regulate the health insurance industry to cover patients with pre-existing conditions and to prevent coverage from being terminated. Guess what – we aren’t even close to achieving these fact, health care costs will increase, available care will be reduced, Americans will be taxed if they don’t purchase private insurance and in the end the cost of health care and insurance will increase significantly. Worst of all, it appears that the President and many members of Congress don’t care. We now have come to the point where not only Republicans are against this legislation but now many Democrats also oppose it. Regardless, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi (with the help of the President) are trying desperately to find enough votes to ram this bill through. The latest NBC/Wall Street Poll now indicates that only 32% of the people of the United States are in favor of this legislation, but this doesn’t matter either, the Democratic leadership is still hell bent on passing this disastrous legislation.
We lost the basic focus of what the goals are. First and foremost should have been the reduction of the cost of health care. There are a number of things that can be done. Tort reform would have created a tremendous savings by limiting the number of tests and procedures performed only to protect against litigation and it would have reduced physician and facility liability insurance premiums which could have been passed along to lower costs. Allowing most insurance carriers to offer insurance in most states would have created additional competition which almost always drives prices down. Regulating test and procedure costs based upon many years of historic data collected by government resources such as VA, Medicare, Medicaid, could have standardized costs at lower prices for most tests and procedures. Allowing FDA approved prescription drugs to be imported from other countries like Canada would provide substantial savings. Correcting Medicare/Medicaid fraud and mismanagement would save and reduce costs by hundreds of billions of dollars. This could be achieved by contracting independent auditors who would be paid based upon what they identified and recovered, thereby not costing anything, being paid from funds that were previously not collected and lost. When you add up the potential gains of implementing these actions, there is no question in my mind that ample savings could be used to cover more uninsured Americans under the Medicaid program. The costs to move these programs forward would be almost nonexistent when compared to the current legislation.
Instead our government is attempting to pass legislation that will reduce Medicare/Medicaid funding by $400-$500 billion dollars. This is supposed to save these programs that are deeply in debt. What it will do is reduce reimbursements to physicians and facilities. This will reduce the number of physicians who will accept Medicare/Medicaid patients, increase the number patients accepting physicians can treat, thereby drastically increasing the load and reducing the time available to schedule treatments, which of course creates a rationing situation. There will be additional taxing on most Americans. Those in the $200,000 earnings category will be taxed, those who have high end health care insurance policies nicknamed the “Cadillac Policies” which includes many union members and of course those who choose not to purchase health care insurance will be taxed, although some choose to call this a penalty. Insurance companies will be forced to take patients with pre-existing conditions, but they won’t be forced to offer low premiums. Forcing those who can’t afford this high cost insurance to pay a penalty for not carrying insurance on top of dealing with life threatening illnesses. There will be government agencies involved with health care decisions similar to one that recently suggested that women under the age of 50 do not need mammography screening. Prescription drug importing has been defeated in the Senate. Tort reform is not part of the legislation. And the list of negatives goes on and and on. Even the former director of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, is now against passage of this legislation. Yet the President and Democratic leadership is still trying to push to through.
The passage of this bill has required the President to make deals with the American …

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Health Tips

Important Basic Legal Documents That Adults of Any Age Should Sign

Every adult should execute basic legal estate planning documents, including a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy.
The need for these basic legal documents is even more compelling when you have a child with disabilities. Failing to properly plan could result in your child losing his/her government benefits, including Medicaid and SSI.
A Last Will and Testament is a document expressing your wishes as to how you want your estate distributed at the time of your death. A Will also allows you to designate a guardian to raise your children. Finally, a Will can designate that any assets to be distributed to your children be held in a Trust.
For parents with children, there are two important types of Trusts to consider for your Last Will and Testament.
For a child who is not expected to require any government benefits, you can leave his/her share in a special asset management trust for minors.
This Trust for minors can be used to pay for the support and education of your child (or grandchild) until he/she reaches a designated age (for example, to age 25). Once he/she reaches the designated age, he/she would then receive the balance outright.
For a child (or grandchild) who is expected to require government benefits such as Medicaid, his/her share can be left in a Supplemental Needs Trust.
As long as the Supplemental Needs Trust complies with the strict legal requirements, assets from the Trust can be used to provide for the well-being of your child with disabilities without disqualifying him/her from receiving government benefits. You would then name a remainder beneficiary to receive any balance left in this Trust after the death of your child.
A Power of Attorney is an important legal document where you give a person the legal authority to handle your finances on your behalf. If you become incapacitated in the future and have not signed a Power of Attorney, then a Guardianship proceeding in Court might become necessary.
When you have children, a Power of Attorney can be critical to allow someone to access your finances to be able to pay for your minor children’s needs.
A Health Care Proxy designates someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. If properly drafted, the Proxy should include the authority to carry out your wishes regarding the removal of life support machines, feeding tubes and hydration. Also, the Proxy should permit the release of private medical information under HIPAA.…

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Health Tips

Be Your Own Health Care Advocate in 5 Simple Steps

The American Journal of Medicine reports that 60 percent of bankruptcies in the United States are due to medical bills accrued by middle class, well-educated homeowners. With the cost of health care continuing to rise, understanding how to be your own health care advocate is essential in order to survive in today’s economy.
1. Understand what your insurance does and does not cover
Utilize the help of an expert. Health insurance brokers know and understand the fine print of health insurance plans. With their expertise, you can be confident in knowing what your premium covers and what goes towards your deductible.
2. Discuss potential costs before proceeding
If a doctor suggests a procedure, test, or surgery, ask for the total cost before scheduling it. Speak with someone in the billing office to get an itemized bill with all costs, and then go over the list with your insurance carrier so you know exactly what you’ll be required to pay.
3. Document everything
Whenever you speak with anyone-insurer, doctor, etc.-regarding your health care needs, make sure to document the date of contact, date of service, name and phone number of the person contacted. Also notate the results of the conversations and any necessary follow up. Keep a copy of all bills, explanations of benefits and services together in one place. Finally, keep records of all your non-reimbursable medical expenses, including car mileage, parking fees, telephone bills and lodging. These costs may be covered through Medicare or be used as an itemized deduction when you file your income tax return.
4. Question doctor recommendations
Respectfully inquiring why a doctor recommends one specific drug or treatment over another can provide information concerning both your health care needs and potential health care costs. On occasion, an alternative treatment or generic drug can be utilized to the same benefit at a lower cost.
5. Check local pricing resources and negotiate before procedures, if in a non-emergency situation
The Healthcare Blue Book allows you to determine fair pricing for procedures in your area. If a non-emergency situation requires extensive care that may not be fully covered under your current health insurance plan, negotiate with doctors and hospitals for the best price before scheduling the procedure in question.
In the current state of our nation, being proactive about our health care is becoming a requirement, rather than an option, as we attempt to stave off increasing medical bankruptcies. Be your own health care advocate; it’s good for your health, and it just might save you some money.…

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Health Tips

Fantastic Four Reasons to Take LPN Programs

LPN programs are becoming popular nowadays. And with the availability of home-based learning offered by the Internet, one can get this program with convenience. There are quite a number of institutions that offer online LPN degrees, and many sites over the Internet provide information regarding online LPN programs.
Indeed, more and more individuals are getting encouraged to take an LPN course. An LPN or licensed practical nurse gives care to patients under the supervision of a registered nurse, a physician, or other health care practitioners who are licensed. Although LPNs may seem to be under the nurses, they are very much needed and their services are appreciated in the health care setting. There can be many reasons why one would want to be an LPN, but here are the top four most valid reasons why one should consider taking this course.
A� In demand- with the growing population of the elderly, the demand for LPNs will also rise. People who are in their late adulthood (ages 65 and above) needs more support and care because it is in this population group wherein the physical body deteriorates. Elderly people have slower metabolism. They are more prone to diseases because of decreased immunity, and they are also accident-prone. LPNs are perfect for this job of caring for the elderly as the skills required in doing so are basic, which the LPN can do without the close supervision of an RN. Furthermore, it was estimated that employment for licensed practical nurses would grow by 21 percent between 2008 and 2018.
A� Diversity of work area- LPNs can work in various health care settings. Hospitals employ a large number of LPNs. LPNs can also work in nursing homes, home healthcare, employment services, outpatient care departments, and government centers. Many procedures nowadays are performed in the offices of physicians and in outpatient care centers, this type of procedures are also called ambulatory surgeries. Ambulatory surgeries reduce the cost of healthcare, and are more convenient options for minor operations. LPNs can work on their areas.
A� Good salary- the average salary of licensed practical nurses is between 27,245 and 39,598 dollars, but this is only for fresh employees, those who have worked for less than a year. At least 50% of the total number of LPNs earn between 33, 360 and 46, 710 dollars while the rich ten percent of them receive as must as 53, 580 dollars annually.
A� Service- giving care to patients is one form of service. Thus, the joy of rendering service to others by offering quality care with a human touch is greatly fulfilled in this job.
LPN programs are available online for those who would want to be licensed practical nurses. However, please be informed that an NCLEX-PN test must be taken and passed first before getting the LPN or licensed practical nurse title. For more information and for questions regarding LPN programs, try to visit this LPN site. It has valuable…

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Health Tips

Out of Control Healthcare Costs and What Can Be Done About it

No matter what else is happening with the U.S. economy, health care costs seem to keep going up. In 1960, health care cost was 5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By 2000 it was 13% and is now up to 16%. The annual per capita cost is $7026.
These are both the highest in the industrialized world. But we are 34th in life expectancy and 29th in infant mortality among nations of the world. Are we getting our money’s worth? Some experts now say as much as half of the money spent on medical care does nothing to improve health. Single-payer health care has the government paying everybody’s medical bills.
We’re not looking at single-payer any time soon. We currently go through insurance companies, and the incoming administration is not going to change that, although they do plan an option for uninsured people. Employer health plans usually don’t pay all employee health care bills, with the average worker kicking in $3281/yr from the paycheck for family coverage.
On average, a family policy bought directly from the insurance company is over $12,000 a year. Since 2001, premiums have gone up 78%, though wages have only increased by 19%. Some projections have health care as 20% of GDP by 2017. We can’t afford this, either individually or as a society. One reason we don’t go to a single-payer system is to keep the insurance companies in business.
They can repay the favor by helping to get costs under control. Drugs are over-priced, over-prescribed, and over-advertised. Pharmaceutical companies can do their part to lower medical costs. The medical establishment has a lot of work to do here too. Now let’s look at what we as patients can do along with the doctors to bring costs down. It’s important to get medical care early in an illness, when it can be treated more easily, and to get regular check-ups.
On the other hand, you don’t have to run to the doctor for everything. (If in doubt, call or visit the doctor. Don’t take chances.) Most of the conditions people see doctors for will get better by themselves. Let a cold run its course. Don’t go demanding some sort of medicine that will cut it short by a day or two. If you have a mild ankle sprain that no longer hurts after a couple of days, it’s not necessary to demand an MRI and physical therapy.
And don’t bother asking your doctor if every drug you see advertised is right for you. There’s a lot of talk from politicians about disease prevention, but it usually refers to stopping smoking and getting appropriate medical tests to identify diseases early. These are important, but you don’t have to demand tests for any conceivable illness. Many tests are not always accurate, and may have side effects. But the most important preventive measure, which does not get nearly the exposure of the “obesity epidemic,” is dealing with the inactivity epidemic. In 1998 only 31% of the population reported doing regular exercise, and the percentage hasn’t improved.
Eat right, work out, don’t smoke, and keep on your representatives to reform the health care industry. Whether you agree with the public health option or not something must be done to contain upward spiraling healthcare costs. We can’t afford not to do something about it now.…

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Health Care Reform and Biotech

One of the most affected industries regarding the new health care reform is with biotechnology. One of the many provisions in the new health care reform bill is to reduce the prices of the medical prescriptions charged to Medicare and Medicaid. This will hurt the biotechnology industry because the research for new medication is very expensive and tedious work.
The size of the impact to the biotech industry is beginning to be realized and the health insurance providers are starting to resort to eliminating new medication, in favor of the more traditional medications of years ago. Since it takes time for the pharmaceutical companies to exhaust their patents on new health care medication, the health insurance industry is turning away sooner than what was originally expected.
This will translate into less medical prescriptions for the medical healthcare provider and the individual to choose. Many of the medical health care prescription medications we have on the market today are slowly disappearing as the pharmaceutical demand for them are dwindling by the millions.
The losses to the biotech industry is becoming evident and many of the staff are deciding how much longer they will continue with the companies. The provisions, suppliers, health insurance industry, and supporters are no longer able to offer high finances to continue the funding of current projects.
What will this mean for you and your family members? This will mean the health insurance industry will have more control over what you are able to purchase unless you have the monetary means to pay for a given medical prescription out of pocket. It always comes down to what is affordable and what is not affordable.
Many individuals who suffer with orphan diseases will find they will no longer have access to the medication they so desperately need. The funds are drying up because of the new health care reform bill and the prescription medication for the orphan diseases will dry up. This is because as funding dwindles, the money that remains will be focused on the more popular diseases.
This will sadly leave many individuals with a government-run health insurance policy without the necessary health care they require. How will a medical health care physician have the ability to identify and help a patient with an orphan disease when there is no prescription medication to keep it maintained?
This will leave millions of individuals to be forced to take care of themselves the best they are able and pray for better days in the future yet to develop. How sad for the families with children who need health care treatment. Where will they go? Whom will they turn to?…

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Health Tips

What To Look For When You Think You May Be Depressed

Clinical depression can cause a variety of symptoms that range from sleeplessness all the way to feeling suicidal, so you should understand how serious an illness depression really is. Know that there is help available. If you or a loved one suffer from depression, read on for more advice about the condition.

During the times you feel down and depressed keep away from all sugars, even the “healthy” ones like molasses, honey and fruit juice. Sugar rushes into the bloodstream quickly – especially when compared with the complex carbohydrates found in whole grains and other unprocessed choices. Though you get a quick blast of energy and spirit it will quickly dissipate, resulting in a feeling of malaise and depression.

Go outside for a little while every day to bask in the sun. There have been studies done that have shown that if an individual does not spend enough time in the sunlight, their depression will actually get worse.

If you are facing depression at sub clinical levels you may want to try some over the counter remedies. For instance, fruit juice and St. St. John’s wart has been shown to positively affect the mental state of users. It will be help you and it is much cheaper than prescription medicine.

A proper diet and exercise regimen as well as adequate sleep is also key to battling depression. If you’re getting depressed, try fixing it quickly with a brisk walk, swim, run, or bike ride. Cutting down on your junk food and sleeping eight hours should help.

An unhealthy diet can significantly contribute to depression. If you aren’t eating the right kind of food, it can have a negative effect on your thoughts and brain function; these things can cause you to fall into the feelings of depression you are trying to avoid. Vitamin deficiencies can also affect your mood. Steer clear of fat-laden food and always work to eat a balanced diet.

If you know why you are depressed, you should do whatever is possible to make that. For example, if you feel that you aren’t in the best shape and is makes you feel blue, then do something to change that to make yourself feel better. Get on a treadmill as soon as possible and do some workouts.

You should look towards the future instead of looking backwards when you are depressed! As is commonly known, if one has hope, one can have a reason to keep going and looking for a better future.

Clinical depression is not something that will go away instantly. This is a battle that can be tackled gradually. For this reason, it is wise for you to educate yourself in order to be ready for the issues you will be facing.

Don’t allow the more serious conditions to take hold if you suffer from depression. Before you fall victim to things like eating disorders and suicidal thoughts, use the tips you’ve read here to rise above the depression and to once again experience the joy of living. Take depression seriously, and work to defeat it.…