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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!

Opinion | Democrats counter GOP parody of health-care reform | Seattle Times Newspaper October 5, 2010

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance.
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Opinion | Democrats counter GOP parody of health-care reform | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Will any  Republicans have the ovaries to run on the platform of “No children should be insured”? Repeal that!

Will any Republicans really defend a parent’s “right” to stay locked into an employer they don’t want to stay with, because their child as a “pre-existing condition”, and is insured under that employer’s group plan? Repeal that!

Will any Republicans try to run on the premise that their call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act is really based on the call in the legislation for more dollars to be ued for patients, instead of adminstrative costs? Let’s repeal that too.

And Democrats, you might need some ovaries too.

I’m just sayin”….

Pink Ribbon at the White House March 20, 2010

Posted by Admin in Cancer.
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[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=breast+cancer&iid=6916077″ src=”e/b/5/a/Pink_Ribbon_Hangs_5af8.jpg?adImageId=11484461&imageId=6916077″ width=”234″ height=”151″ /]

I missed this in October! Is this good or bad? Does it cheapen the White House or indicate that we are united from the top down in fighting this disease?

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”.

Senate Health Bill Debate-Bad, Good, Not So Bad December 9, 2009

Posted by Admin in Healthonymous.
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[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=health+care+reform+women&iid=7316445″ src=”e/9/5/f/Abortion_supporters_gather_bd04.JPG?adImageId=8165686&imageId=7316445″ width=”380″ height=”257″ /]

The Senate has been debating other amendments this week, including one on the popular Medicare Advantage plans and also the Nelson amendment on abortion services.

NOT SO BAD: Despite the Hyde Amendment, which is now over 30 years old, that prevents federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services, a minority (so far)  of various Senate members want to include even more restrictive language. As Senator Boxer characterized it, the Nelson amendment would have prevented women from using their private funds to pay for an abortion, asked them to purchase an insurance rider in advance to cover the possibility of needing an abortion, and as the Senator stated on the floor:

The men who have brought us this don’t single out a procedure that’s used by a man, or a drug that is used by a man, that involves his reproductive health care and say they have to get a special rider. There’s nothing in this amendment that says if a man some days wants to buy Viagra, for example, that his pharmaceutical coverage cannot cover it, that he has to buy a rider. I wouldn’t support that. And they shouldn’t support going after a woman using her own private funds for her reproductive health care. Is it fair to say to a man you’re going to have to buy a rider to buy Viagra and this will be public information that could be accessed? No, I don’t support that. I support a man’s privacy, just as I support a woman’s privacy.”

The Nelson amendment failed last night (Tuesday) 54-45 on a motion to table.

Another question I had was–who didn’t vote? So I went to Senate.gov to find out  it was Senator Byrd-who has a reasonable excuse at least. He is ill and very frail. Senator Byrd became the longest serving Senator ever on November 18th, 2009.

GOOD: News on the Mikulski Amendment-it passed by a 61-39 vote. this will guarantee that women, especially those under age 50, will have access to preventative screenings without co-pays.

BAD: Wednesday  morning, I woke up to the rumor that the public option again, might be deemed optional. This time it is the Gang of Ten in the Senate (Liberals plus moderates) Note to self-could the R’s even find 5 moderates?

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).

BlogCatalog November 22, 2009

Posted by Admin in Diary, Healthonymous.
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Womens Health Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Risk: Relative vs. Absolute November 22, 2009

Posted by Admin in Cancer, Health Insurance, huh?.
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What is the risk of getting cancer? There are two types of risk, absolute and relative.

If you are over 35, try out the breast cancer risk assessment tool at cancer.gov. There are also tools for colorectal cancer and melanoma.

Also from cancer.gov:

Absolute risk is the number of people who will get the disease within a certain time period. Absolute risk gives an actual number of people with that risk factor who will get the condition. You also may see this expressed as, for example, “10 out of 100 people.”

Relative risk compares the chance that a person with a certain risk factor will get cancer to the chance that a person without the same risk factor will get cancer. When you hear that someone is at “high” risk or “low” risk of getting cancer, it is referring to that person’s relative risk.

Relative risk is usually shown as a percent or ratio. The ratio is based around the value of 1. A value above 1 means a higher risk; a value below 1 means a lower risk.

There are different kinds of risk factors, they include genetic (I have a second degree relative with a cancer history-2 generations away), environmental (secondhand smoke exposure and sun), biological (gender, age, race, skin complexion), or behavioral (what I eat and drink, how much exercise I get).

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had no risk factors. No first degree relatives, (in fact I didn’t know that I had any relatives with cancer until I was asked the family history question for the first time), no second-hand smoke exposure-unless you count flying in the 70’s) , didn’t come from an ethnic group at higher risk etc. Regular readers will recall that I do not have the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutations either. Cancer was a (more…)

Affordable Health Care for America No Longer “Optional” November 8, 2009

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous, Money.
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Yesterday, HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, passed the House of Representatives with a slim 5 vote margin to make history in America. The sweeping bill includes a public option-so the public option government health care plan is no longer “optional”. If you would like to hear the bill read out loud, visit this website HearTheBill.org .

Yours truly was glued to C-SPAN for most of the day. It was fascinating to look at cspan.org last night, and check out the member speeches the choose to post on their site.  I stood amazed (well, sat on my couch actually)

  • at the breadth of stories (both true and false) told on the floor,
  • the mind numbing use of repetitive phrases,
  • the patience of Rep. Dingell and each subsequent presiding member as they politely requested that members “heed the gavel” and that visitors in the galleries ” were guests of the House” and had to adhere to House rules,
  • the utter lack of interest in Rep. Wally Herger’s floor speech (D-CA District 2) from his colleagues seated nearby-presumably from his own party
  • Speaker Pelosi’s floor speech where she reminded her colleagues that HR 3962 would not treat being female as a reason to deny coverage for a “pre-existing condition”.
  • Speeches by Rep. Waxman, Rep. McDermott (WA) , Rep. Miller (CA), Rep. Velasquez, Rep. Slaughter, Rep. Meek
  • The lifelong commitment of Rep. Dingell and his family before him to providing health care for all Americans,
  • The surprising inclusion of the Stupak amendment, the most restrictive amendment since the Hyde Amendment on abortion rights
  • The misused, recurring call of “parliamentary inquiry” to the chair
  • The various descriptions of the weight of the bill and the number of pages (Jon Stewart summarizes it well)

No matter if you approve or disapprove, this day has been a long time coming-since the time of President Roosevelt or even President Truman-no bill has gotten this far. The next few weeks will still be crucial, especially with the “poison pill” of the Stupak amendment now contained within the bill, sort of like an odd political pregnancy.

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