Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Final Post For 2009 – Health Care Reform

[ Post by Lisa Tedder ][ Post on December 27, 2009 ][ In Medical and Health Information ]

This will be my final post for 2009 as we are going on a trip for the remainder of the school break.  I want to end the year with a post on healthcare reform, a topic that concerns us all.  You may be surprised to learn that my husband and I favor healthcare reform, especially in areas such as insurance, tort reform and rising medical costs. 

There are few topics that can make my blood pressure rise faster than health insurance.  While I have been fortunate to have had good coverage, I know that is not so for everyone.  Some of my friends and aquaintances have said their health insurance is just fine and that they are against reform.  Those same people have been lucky enough so far not to have had major medical problems.  They also don’t see that lack of insurance coverage for everyone contributes to higher medical costs for all.  A friend’s grandson was born prematurely and needed to be flown emergently to a children’s hospital with specialized care.  The bill for the flight was $10,000 but the young couple’s insurance policy only paid $500.  Another friend has to have a separate policy for her child who was born with a small hole in her heart.  Though she is now 12 and doctors long ago said the hole has closed and she is fine, the insurance companies probably have labeled her for life.  I could go on and on but the truth is we are all a medical disaster away from financial ruin.  Our own insurance cost has gone up but the coverage for wellness visits has gone down. 

When people without health insurance can’t afford to visit a doctor, they often wait until their problem is much more serious and then go to the emergency room.  This makes health care costs much higher than they need be because someone, the doctors and hospitals, eats the cost of treating those who can’t pay.

Then there is tort reform.  Our legislators don’t want to touch this hot topic at all.  Fear of being sued often causes doctors to perform needless tests or procedures, raising medical costs again.  Medical malpractice insurance costs contribute to the overall healthcare cost as well. 

The general public is unaware of the influence that legislatures, lobby groups, insurance companies and hospitals have in dictating medical costs and reimbursements.  There is a push right now to do away with outpatient imaging centers and move them back to the hospitals.  Hospitals get paid more insurance money for imaging than outpatient centers.  It makes no sense get rid of outpatient centers as far as controlling costs and better patient access is concerned.  You also may not be aware that health insurance companies are exempt from federal anti-trust laws.  This means that they can and do fix prices and allocate customers.  You also can’t buy insurance across state lines.  This limits competition and insures that the consumer pays artificially higher prices.  The House version of the healthcare bill eliminates the exemption for insurance companies.

My husband and I certainly have no perfect answers for healthcare reform.  The problem is very complex and has evolved over decades.  I only hope any legislation passed is a step in the right direction and not promoted as a final solution. 

In the meantime, have a happy, safe New Year.  If you have any questions or issues you’d like to see addressed in a future blog, please ask in the comment section.         

Upadated on December 27, 2009

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