When it Comes to Choice, Hillary is the Only Choice

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43 years ago next week, the Supreme Court declared abortion a fundamental right, and forever preserved a woman's right to make her own decisions about her health. Yet today, just 2 weeks before the Iowa caucuses, the Republican front-runner in that state has vowed to invalidate this Supreme Court ruling. When asked if he would even attempt to use t

Heath Care vs. Disease Care

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In medicine, we don't tell you what is about to happen because we don't know. We react to illness and injury. We make diagnoses of diseases after they affect you, and treat injuries after you suffer from them. But what if a significant portion of our work was focused on testing you before you got sick or injured? We might develop exquisite pr

Dismantling Kynect Could Mean Higher Costs, Less Coverage for Kentuckians

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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's plan to dismantle Kynect, the state's health insurance exchange, and transition to the federal exchange would hurt Kentuckians, despite what some contend.  It likely will mean that they'll face higher premiums and have a harder time getting and staying covered.Health reform provides a "no wrong door," seamless el

Congress Should Enact Obama's Medicaid Proposal

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Congress should quickly enact a proposal, which President Obama will include in his 2017 budget, to give all states three years of full federal funding when they expand Medicaid -- whether they've already expanded or will in the future.When policymakers enacted health reform in 2010, they assumed that all states would expand Medicaid in 2014. 

The Drug Resistant Killers

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Every five minutes a child in Southeast Asia dies from an infection caused by drug-resistant bacteria -- a situation that is likely to get worse.Antimicrobial resistance, which happens when microorganisms become less susceptible to antibiotics, is making diseases more difficult to contain and harder to cure. Diseases we no longer fear, such as pneu

More Evidence of Medicaid Expansion's Positive Effects

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Poor adults in states that have expanded Medicaid as part of health reform have greater access to health care services and fewer problems paying their medical bills, and hospitals there are admitting fewer uninsured patients, two new studies published in Health Affairs show.  These findings provide more evidence that Medicaid expansion is impr

How on Earth Can a Remote Ethiopian Health Post Function without Electricity?

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Whenever I visit Ethiopia I have to recalibrate my definition of "rural" and "remote." On my most recent trip I traveled with John Snow Inc.'s Zenaw Adam to the Udeledaba kebele (the smallest administrative unit of Ethiopia usually less than 5,000 people) situated within the Afar region of northeastern Ethiopia. We went to see the work he and his c

Diabetes New Year's Resolutions, Nah!

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Cartoons by Haidee Soule Merritt. Used with permission.I don't make New Year's resolutions. Let's be frank, where in my brain would there be room for them? From the second I open my eyes to the moment I close them, my head is full of diabetes tasks and calculations. First I roll out of bed and lumber into the kitchen. I pull out my glucose meter.

New Year 2016: How Consumers Will Rock Health Care

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It's 2016 and health care is at a never-before moment of change. The mass consumerization of health, the growing influence of women over the health care industry and dramatic technological innovation are driving a major shift for pharma companies, physicians, pharmacists and other providers. Now is the time for the health sector to seize the m

Mistakes You're Making at the Doctor, According to Doctors

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By: Marina Komarovsky Credit: Flickr/Alex ProimosGoing to the doctor probably isn't on your list of hobbies, but since there's virtually a 100% chance you'll end up in a physician's office at some point in your life, you might as well make the most of your time there. But once you've made an appointment, left work, and read National Geographic maga

Tallying the Successes of Medicaid Expansion

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With threats to health reform and its Medicaid expansion continuing to loom, it's worth looking at some of the successes that such an effort would endanger.  Specifically, the 30 states and the District of Columbia that have expanded Medicaid under health reform have realized big drops in their uninsurance rates and substantial budget savings,

Holiday Eating Strategies

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Every holiday season I used to gain five to ten pounds. The indulgences were everywhere: gift baskets at the office, parties, family gatherings and to top it off New Years!Afterwards, I would feel angry and disappointed with myself for my lack of self-control. It would take me months, if not the whole year, to get the extra pounds off. There were t

How a Trip to the Dentist Illustrates America's Healthcare Problems

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Dear Dr. XXX:I wanted to bring to your attention my recent experience at one of your offices. As a fellow business owner, I would want to know when one of my customers had a bad experience since transparency and feedback are great remedies. In that spirit I wanted share my recent experience at your office. I am not sure whether it was your team'

CBO: Senate-Passed Budget Bill Would Reverse Almost All of Health Reform's Coverage Gains

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The Senate-passed budget reconciliation bill would boost the number of uninsured Americans by at least 22 million starting in 2018, relative to current law, according to preliminary Congressional Budget Office (CBO) coverage estimates (see chart).  Thus, virtually all (at least 92 percent) of the historic health coverage gains that CBO expects

Heal Your Own Healthcare; It's Your Only Option

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Two weeks ago my latest book "Don't Let Your Doctor Kill You" was published. My goal in writing the book was two fold:To raise awareness to the biggest offenders in our broken health care system; the overarching physician arrogance and indifference toward the patient, the greed and corruption of insurance and pharmaceutical companies, interested on

How your genes influence what medicines are right for you

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Julie A Johnson, University of FloridaYou have a headache. Do you reach for Tylenol or Advil? Most people have a preference because they have learned over time that one works better than the other at relieving their pain. This type of variability from person to person is true for nearly every medication, whether it requires a prescription or can b

No Governor, Privatization Is Not Modernization

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As America's heartland prepares for another frigid winter, low-income families in Iowa are also bracing for a significant change. That's because private companies are scheduled to take over management of the state's Medicaid program the first of the new year, a shift Iowa's governor is calling "modernization."Governor Terry Branstad says that conce

No Gym, No Problem: Training Outside the Box

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Trouble making it to the gym? Missed group power class? Forgot today was spin? It has happened to all of us. Trust me, if I had a dollar for all the things I've forgotten to set my timer for in life, I would be sipping on a cocktail in Tahiti where I'm sure clocks are irrelevant. For some of us, when we miss an exercise class or have found ours

How to Partner With Your Health Care Provider

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No one likes being told what to do. We all want a say in any decision that affects us. Health care isn't any different. The odds of adhering to a plan of care are greatly enhanced when you partner with your health care provider to formulate the plan. The idea is simple and it's called patient-centered care. The notion has been in existence for almo

Everything You Need to Know About Not Getting Sick This Winter

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By: Nicholas Knock Credit: Flickr/Hernán PiñeraWinter: it's the worst! Not only are you cooped up inside, but you're stuck there fighting some vague illness, eating too much food, drinking lots of booze, and stressing over end-of-year family time. Winter is basically designed to make you feel like crap.To find out the best way to make it through

Your Health Is Not Something to Be Earned

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Actress and singer Selena Gomez recently revealed that she underwent chemotherapy for Lupus, which is the same treatment that I endured in 2010. My personal journey in pursuit of wellness has been, and continues to be, long and arduous. In my pre-teen years, I began having uncontrollable nose bleeds that would last for hours coupled with shooting

You Get What You Pay for: a Look at Transitioning From Volume to Value

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If the U.S. auto industry ran like the country's health care system, all American cars would cost in excess of $100,000, resemble Rube Goldberg machines and break down more than any other cars in the world.The outcry would dwarf the recent scandal over Volkswagen's emissions software. Yet in the health care industry today, Americans accept a system

Redefining Mental Illness

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Like most things in life, particularly those with a scientific dimension, we have developed a complex classification system to define various forms of mental illness. These deviations from the norm or average typically result in some notable unsatisfactory condition or result, such as emotional pain or inability to fully particulate in regular acti

What We All Can Learn From Lamar Odom's Tragedy

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As an addiction psychiatry fellow I work with a diverse cross-section of our community that suffers from substance abuse. Every day I see the personal damage caused by alcoholism and drug addiction and work with patients and their families to pick up the pieces and turn their lives in a better direction. When celebrities suffer from addictions and

Expanding Social Security May Pay for Itself! Higher Benefits May Decrease Alzheimer's and Dementia

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Public health experts quip that when it comes to your health, your zip code can be more important than your genetic code. They understand that there are many factors that are crucial to health outcomes, and a major one is financial security and stability. Groundbreaking new research, showing that increasing Social Security's modest benefits may d

Health Insurance Is Great - Navigators Needed to Help People Use It

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This spring, Adriann Barboa and her colleagues at Strong Families New Mexico went on a five-county tour, fanning out across the state to share findings from the Breaking Barriers study they'd conducted on progress under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The report is part of a ten-state series by the Alliance for a Just Society."In all the towns we we

Growing Consumer Concerns About Drug Prices

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Among health care consumers throughout the United States, there is growing concern about the high and increasing costs of prescription medicines. Those concerns manifest themselves in myriad ways, and relief from these costs has become a top priority for health care consumers. Here are some of the indicators.In May of this year, Families USA releas

The 5 Best Ways To Lose Belly Fat

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By K. Aleisha Fetters for DETAILS.(photo: Getty Images)Repeat after me: "crunches do not burn belly fat."And it's not just crunches. Neither will planks, leg throws, nor the yoga boat pose."These exercises can strengthen your abs muscles, but those muscles will still be hidden under a cover of chub," says Chris Piegza, training manager at DavidBart

Why Bernie Sanders Is Best on Women's Issues

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Women's issues are taking center stage in the lead-up to 2016. As they should: The conservative war on women's health and reproductive rights has raged on for far too long. And in all measures of social and political inequality, we remain what number-crunchers coolly term "disproportionately affected."Many people believe that electing a woman presi

Some Thoughts on Improving Patient Satisfaction Scores

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Hospitals and health care systems have been directing more attention to whether or not their patients feel satisfied with the care and treatment they receive. If hospitals don't score well on standardized patient surveys that rate the care, they risk losing some Medicare reimbursement. Thus, a satisfied patient experience is becoming a priority of

Which Company Will Change the Future of Healthcare? Here are 10 Contenders

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I have yet to hear of an industry that hasn't been massively disrupted by technology. Healthcare is no stranger to this disruption. The question is which companies will actually break through the barrier and solve some of the major issues healthcare faces today?Major trends are becoming anything but, nowadays. Think precision or personalized medici

Can Beauty Actually Improve Your Health?

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"It's better to look good than to feel good" went the SNL line made famous by Billy Crystal. It was funny, in part, because it mocked an age-old conflict -- the choice between feeling and looking good -- but shouldn't we want (and expect) both? Intuitively we know that when we feel healthy we view ourselves more positively. But it turns out that

How to Fuel Up for Your Workout

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By K. Aleisha Fetters for DETAILS.(photo: Getty Images)Want to get more out of your workout? You've got to start eating like it."If you don't fuel properly, you'll never train optimally and never maximize the time you spend training," says Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., R.D., author of Power Eating and a sports nutrition consultant to top NFL, NBA, and Olym

San Antonio's Sheriff Personal Fight to Fix Broken System

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My brother was bipolar. This was in the 1960s and 1970s before we knew what lithium was or how to control chemical imbalances. He spent that time in and out of mental institutions. I saw firsthand the challenges of a family dealing with mental illness at a time when it was pushed under the rug and was seen as an embarrassment. So it's always been i

The Prescription for a Healthy Life: A Helpful Neighbor

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In 2013, the New York City Health Department declared a diabetes epidemic in the city. The number of people who had contracted the disease had more than doubled in a decade. Part of the problem, they stressed, was a lack of information about the disease, noting that about a third of adults who had diabetes were unaware of it.That same year, Manmeet

To the Caring Side of Health Care

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I've been spending a lot of time in hospitals and nursing homes. I can't walk through the facility without slowing down and looking an elderly person in the eye. And I smile. And I pause until they see my smile. Then their dazed eyes come to life. And their grins begin to form smiles. And I hold their eye contact and I nod my head until my eyes wat

Better Health, By Design

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By Ravi Sarpatwari, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown UniversityThis post was originally published on Footnote, a website that brings academic research and ideas to a broader audience.How do bottles of Coca Cola reach even the most remote regions of the world, while essential medicines for conditions like diarrhea remain unobtainable?Simon Berry

Another 50 Years: Protecting Medicaid and Medicare

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Fifty years ago, the idea of creating a social health care safety net was far from a sure thing. When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicaid and Medicare into law on July 30, 1965, it was amidst much controversy regarding whether the government should involve itself in health insurance. Decades later, the idea of ensuring that all Americans ha

What Every Mom/Startup Founder Can Learn From Having a C-Section Without Anesthesia

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It's only after the doctor begins cutting my abdomen that I realize the local anesthesia didn't take. In order to reach my baby, I know she needs to cut through skin, muscle, fat, and finally my uterus. I'm screaming. The C-section is pain like I've never felt. And I can't do anything about it.As I think about my son just inches away from being bor

Celebrate 50 Years of Medicaid by Expanding It to Cover More People

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Persistence pays off. Let's remember this as we celebrate 50 years of Medicaid on July 30. In 1965, Medicaid entered the world as a Medicare add-on for low-income families. Now, the program provides comprehensive coverage to more people than any other insurer in the United States. Almost 70 million people in the U.S. turn to Medicaid for their heal

Planned Parenthood Continues to Provide Care, No Matter What

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Once again, a group of anti-abortion extremists has attacked Planned Parenthood providers and patients with false accusations. And once again, their political allies are seizing on these fraudulent claims as an excuse to push the same dangerous agenda--ban abortion, shut down health centers and cut women off from care.But we will never let that hap

Text Alert: The Connection Between Quality Sleep and Quitting Cigarettes

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As millions of failed ex-smokers can attest, it's not easy to ditch cigarettes for good. Two factors that can help? Sleeping well and sweating on the reg.With this in mind, in 2011, a team of public health researchers launched a program called "Stop My Smoking USA," which used text messages to remind young-adult smokers to put down the cigs and get

Marrying Health and Human Rights: How LGBT Health and Population Health Will Improve Because of Marriage Equality

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In ruling that the 14th Amendment requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Obergefell vs. Hodges, not only addressed a fundamental issue of equality, but may have unwittingly contributed to improved public health.Consider the research devote

Revolutionary Way to Be Healthy #10: See the Bigger Picture

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Typically, when we want to check our health and fitness progress, we step on the scale or look in the mirror. But when it comes to well-being, what you see isn't always what you get -- or at least, not all that you get.We've been inclined to believe that pursuing health and fitness is predominantly self-focused, and that we alone stand to profit fr

Meeting the Challenge of the HIV Continuum

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Over the past few years there has been a great deal of discussion―though some might cynically describe it as sloganeering―about bringing the number of new cases of HIV in the United States down to zero. But the announcement last month that the START (Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment) trial definitively shows that early treatment for

Our Health Matters: The Struggle to End HIV Continues

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As our nation mourns the nine lives massacred in a Charleston church or wrestles with the threat of excessive police force that has led to the tragic deaths of multiple unarmed African American men and women, we cannot lose sight of the one thing we must work earnestly to protect -- our health. Violence is not the only thing wreaking havoc on our

Why Hasn't Mobile Moved Medicine Further Yet?

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The advent of the smartphone and mobile "apps" has opened the floodgates in hospital and clinic settings. With the ease of communication and newfound ability to access the web in the palm of our hand, the world has grown smaller for everyday users. Given its current host of systemic predicaments, the medical industry has justifiably shifted its at

The Choice Ahead: A Private Health-Insurance Monopoly or a Single Payer

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The Supreme Court's recent blessing of Obamacare has precipitated a rush among the nation's biggest health insurers to consolidate into two or three behemoths.The result will be good for their shareholders and executives, but bad for the rest of us -- who will pay through the nose for the health insurance we need.We have another choice, but before

The GOP War on Poor Women's Health

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Being both poor and a woman is not easy. Add to that a constant barrage of attacks on your reproductive health, and you've got a nearly impossible situation. Yet, it's something that millions of American women are forced to endure every minute of every hour of every day. And let's not sugarcoat it: The GOP are to blame. They're to blame for financi

Medicaid for Services Update

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Two weeks ago, I wrote about Medicaid - A Path to Housing & Services. In the previous blog, I explain how California is asking the federal government for permission to use Medicaid funds contributed by Uncle Sam to pay for rental assistance for the most medically fragile and vulnerable people facing homelessness. California, New York, Massachusetts

Pinch me

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Now More Americans Agree With the Supreme Court on Obamacare

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For the first time since they've polled people on the Affordable Care Act, more Americans like Obamacare than dislike it, according to a CBS/New York Times poll. And an overwhelming majority of citizens like the tax subsidies. Most feel the law works but could be improved with changes. The change they want is different from what opponents are ta

The Wrong Way

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This week, extremists in the House of Representatives seem to be firmly in charge as their fiscal year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) funding bill advances quickly. This legislation is shocking for the many ways it would take our country backward. It ignores the public's priorities, misdirects prec

Health Education Takes Center Stage

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The Institute of Medicine reports that students in kindergarten through 12th grade get only four to six hours of nutrition education per school year. In a culture where more than a third of young Americans are obese, it's worth looking at what helps these students retain the information they need to maintain a healthy weight. Simply put, fun and c

Alan E. Guttmacher: Learning To Use Genomics Safely, To Improve Children's Health

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Newborn screening is one of the nation's most successful public health programs, each year sparing thousands of American infants from a lifetime of severe disability or premature death. Using a few drops of blood from an infant's heel, state newborn screening programs test for a few dozen debilitating disorders that may be present at birth and whic

Joshua Liao: Time for a New Business Focus in Medicine

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Medicine is undergoing a pretty significant makeover, and one of the most fascinating aspects of this transformation is the effort by some groups to reexamine their business focus. As the way Americans receive and pay for care changes, some are responding by expanding their reach beyond the business of health care into that of overall health. The "

Frank A. Weil: ER May Reveal Basic Problems in Hospitals

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One brief -- and, as it turned out, not too serious -- visit to the emergency room in one of New York City's biggest and best hospitals this summer proved to be very interesting because it revealed some systemic issues. Perhaps if the problems seen and encountered there could be better understood and addressed, a trickle effect through the rest of
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