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Women and the Affordable Care Act October 13, 2013

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Women.
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An estimated 7 million will be able to receive premium support when enrolling in plans on the new exchanges.

An estimated 7 million will be able to receive premium support when enrolling in plans on the new exchanges.

The Affordable Care Act requires an expansion of Medicaid that would increase the percentage of U.S. women with health insurance, with the anticipated benefit of improved health.

The Affordable Care Act improves coverage for important preventive services and maternity care, promotes higher quality care for older women, and bans health insurers from requiring women to pay more for the same insurance coverage as men.

 

Why aren’t members of the media asking certain elected officials why they are against these provisions? Why don’t we hear questions like,

Congresswoman, Congressman, or Representative X, why are you against:

  1. health coverage for poor people,
  2. better coverage for women and men,
  3. expanded mental health benefits (as you all wanted after Newtown) and
  4. improved prescription drug and maternity coverage to help poor women and poor mothers?

Why not ask your own House Congressmembers this question!

When Employment Ends, the Appointments Begin October 11, 2010

Posted by Admin in Blog Math, Healthonymous, Money, Women.
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Since I learned that my employment would end soon, I have scheduled the following:

  1. Overnight Sleep Study (for sleep apnea)
  2. Regular Physical (mammogram, cholesterol, Pap)
  3. 2010 3 in 1 Flu Shot (no shortage this year)
  4. Visit to the Optician
  5. 2 Massages for October (lymphedema)
  6. Cancer study appts: ultrasound, plus CA 125 blood test

Here’s how it is going:

Sleep-see separate post today…

Flu shot: easy-peasy and no side effects.

Cholesterol test. Each one of these begins with a great phlebotomist. How easy is it to voluntarily submit to a blood draw, while hungry and uncaffeinated? These phlebotomists should get combat pay!

(my secret-a number 23 needle)

Results-could be better. Fewer carbs?

Mammogram: Normal (what is normal, anyway?)

Pap test. (TBD-a couple of weeks). Good news for women! New policy. If one year is clear, then you might get a three year pass until the next one! (in my home town, at least)

Note: Each appt. cost includes parking, time away from work (whoops not any more), opportunity cost then, and a $20 co-pay (except for an appt. labelled annual physical exam), in the name of prevention. No co-pay at the optician and the parking there is free.

Cost for last week: $6.00 (parking)

Week before (sleep study) $14.00 parking plus TBD

Two days before sleep study: $4.00 parking for consultation that led to sleep study

(was physician maximizing his/her revenue for September?) hmmmm.

The Speaker cometh March 21, 2010

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Women.
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[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=speaker+pelosi&iid=8311424″ src=”6/6/0/7/House_Votes_On_878c.jpg?adImageId=11537716&imageId=8311424″ width=”234″ height=”422″ /]

Senator Ben Nelson Changes His Mind December 19, 2009

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous, Women.
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[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=senator+ben+nelson&iid=7379989″ src=”f/4/a/4/Senate_Democratic_Caucus_1eb9.jpg?adImageId=8476033&imageId=7379989″ width=”380″ height=”250″ /]

What epiphany did Senator Nelson have? On C-SPAN, moments ago, he thanked the administration, the leadership of Senator Reid and appeared to deny a “sweetheart deal”. What’s in it for me he was asked?

What’s in it for the people for Nebraska is what is important, he said. [Nelson]

He said he will vote for cloture and support the current Senate bill-but there is a catch. If there are more than minimal changes in the House and Senate conference report, he reserves the right to vote against cloture after that. That appeared to be a firm statement, not just a threat.

In his press conference, Nelson said that the details agreed to include:

  • the assurance that the states that currently do not include abortion services in either public or private insurance plans can continue to do so;
  • any plan that includes coverage for abortion must require that two transactions occur-one for the abortion coverage and one for other coverage
  • the conscience clause stays in
  • an increase in the adoption credit and making it refundable
  • that this is similar to the Stupak amendment in the House

Nelson said “it is easier to do nothing, than to do something, but that doesn’t make it better”.

No Out of Pocket This Week-Expenses 0 December 5, 2009

Posted by Admin in Blog Math, Diary, Money, Women.
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Another record week-no out-of-pocket health expenses. No bills paid. That is not because I don’t have them, I am just waiting until payday. I am sure that others are in this boat as well. It has been an expensive fall-health-wise for me.

  • Having a colonoscopy,
  • a suspected MRSA cellulitis-complete with an ER visit,
  • and my first ever DNA test was actually not part of the third quarter plan.

I guess I could have waited to get the colonoscopy-I have several friends of a certain age who have not had theirs yet.  December will  be a month to catch up on the bills, get some exercise and make a plan for health in 2010. I had dental work to get done this year, to maximize the insurance coverage and it will just have to wait. Is that thinking about the money too much? Or a smart use of resources?

By the end of December,  I plan to share with you a list of health priorities for next year and their financial impact.

Quote of the Week-Senate Vote on Mammograms and Other Preventative Care for Women December 4, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Health Quote of the Week, Women.
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Today, the Senate voted on two health care amendments. One was the Mikulski Amendment, named for the veteran, Democrat, four term Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=senator+mikulski&iid=5394370″ src=”0/0/f/f/Senators_Dodd_Harkin_54f2.jpg?adImageId=8018595&imageId=5394370″ width=”234″ height=”335″ /]

The other was the Murkowski Amendment, named for the Republican Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski. Now, there are only 100 Senators and not very many of them are women. 17 in 2009, the highest number so far. Some of the Senators apparently haven’t learned all the names in their class yet.

There is an official press release on Senator’s Mikulski’s website and a number of fine quotes. This one wasn’t listed in the text. Due to the number of (mostly) male Senators who had trouble keeping the names straight, Senator Mikulski decided to give a spelling lesson on the floor.

Don’t they have a seating chart with photos? Don’t they know the new kids yet? Murkowski-2003, Mikulski 1986….

Here is what Mikulski said about her winning (61-39) amendment today:

“Without this amendment, there would be no guarantee that women under 50 would be covered for mammograms, no guarantee of an annual women’s health exam that would include screenings for heart disease, and no guarantee that women would have access to this preventive care at no cost,” Senator Mikulski said. “Insurance companies have used every trick in the book to deny coverage to women. This amendment makes sure that the insurance companies must cover the basic preventive care that women need at no cost.” (emphasis added)

Senator Murkowski’s amendment covered much the same ground, but focused on the panel that issued the poorly received updated mammogram advice last month (see the post called Better Read than Dead):

“the Secretary shall not use any recommendation made by the United States Preventive Services Task Force to deny coverage of an item or service by a group…”

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=senator+murkowski&iid=2437419″ src=”0/4/f/1/Alaska_Senator_Ted_60ca.jpg?adImageId=8018611&imageId=2437419″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]

Senator Murkowski and other Republicans wanted to highlight that no government bureaucrat should get between a woman and her doctor. Senator Mikulski’s amendment specifically stated that a woman’s doctor:

[would]…determine whether mammograms are medically necessary and would require insurance companies to cover the procedure if needed.

The R’s didn’t believe this, but their amendment lost 59-41. The bill is far from final yet, and I urge readers to keep a vigilant eye and ear on the floor debate, especially if you want to keep this amendment in the bill (it is not in the House bill).

Molly Ivins Post as a Wordle October 26, 2009

Posted by Admin in Cancer, Women.
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a pink Wordle (even though it is black and white)

http://www.wordle.net/. Images of Wordles are licensed Creative Commons License.

Don’t know Wordle? Here it is!

It’s Still a Pink Month…some history October 25, 2009

Posted by Admin in Cancer, Women.
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Six more days of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! The first time I had cancer, there were no pink ribbons,

[picapp src=”5/4/3/4/Oakland_Raiders_v_41c8.jpg?adImageId=6650056&imageId=6706065″ width=”234″ height=”148″ /]

Danskin triathlons, no tamoxifen or test for the breast cancer gene mutations, no Race for the Cure, no Susan Love books; the Susan G. Komen Foundation had been established, but I didn’t know about it.  No internet either.

No Save Second Base or the site I found last week-Save the TaTa’s!

[picapp src=”1/d/9/b/Susan_G_Koman_b934.JPG?adImageId=6647561&imageId=4981226″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]

How did I do my research back then? (more…)

Quote from Molly Ivins on Cancer October 25, 2009

Posted by Admin in Cancer, Health Quote of the Week, Humor, Women.
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[picapp src=”9/6/8/a/2004_Hugh_M_219c.jpg?adImageId=6651595&imageId=1441759″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]

Bonus quote of the week!

I miss Molly Ivins’ humor and speaking truth to power. Here is how she began an essay in Time magazine  (2-18-02 issue) about cancer:

Having breast cancer is massive amounts of no fun. First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you. I have been on blind dates better than that.

Been there, done that, got the (pink) T-shirt.

Would Molly Ivins be involved in the health care reform debate right now? Yes, and I would love to know what she would have said.

For another appreciation of Molly Ivins by Maya Angelou, read on.

A Pain in My Head: Three Things I Learned October 20, 2009

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Women.
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Recently I had an illness, which was accompanied by the worst pain ever. I attended a talk this past weekend by a professor in what might be the leading program on pain management in the country. My question to her was what is the best way to talk to a physician about pain? I told 4 different providers that I had a headache on one side of my head and that it came as often as once per minute and that was not descriptive enough. They did ask some questions about eyesight etc. that seemed to rule out the risk or occcurrence of an aneurysm or a stroke.

Her advice was threefold:

  1. Be Specific and Descriptive: such as “a stabbing, searing recurrent pain two inches above my right eye”.  Using a “key word” such as headache, seems to lead physicians down a specific path that may not be the path you need to travel.
  2. Remember that doctors receive very little pain management training-it is not even a residency speciality like obstetrics, surgery, urology, pediatrics etc. So s not always the first tool they go for in the toolbox. In fact, sometimes the “last resort” is to send the patient to pain management. The “Interventional” Pain Management programs may be able to get you to a diagnosis more quickly.
  3. Nerves can cause pain. In my case, I probably had nerve pain related to the swelling caused by the infection. I was initially given Vicoden for the pain, as acetaminophen was not acting on the pain. That made me feel woozy, but with a searing, recurrent pain. So I was still in pain, but I couldn’t complain as loudly. One of the physicians discussed nerve pain with me, but this one was the 4th one that I had spoken to last week. Apparently Vicoden doesn’t work on nerve pain.
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