Tag Archives: health care
The views represented herein are representative of no one but the author.
+Second day of Supreme Court hearings on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
+More than 150 students and faculty participated in a candlelight vigil last night in honor of Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi, victims of recent alleged hate crimes. Another event, the Million Hoodie March, will take place on April 10th.
+An audit of the AATA found them to be in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act, which outlines wage requirements for government-funded agencies. Although, after attending the Enviro Conference, I would argue that the government isn’t really doing so much funding. Also there is one typo in this article.
+Madonna’s new album gets a very poor review, but to be fair, I think we should keep in mind that she dropped out of the best university in the country so she can only be so successful.
+Mary Sue is not happy with Rick Snyder’s proposed budget for the university, shockingly.
+Crime notes are averaging two typos apiece.
+There are SO MANY sports articles, and I thought it wasn’t even sports season!
“When people find people like me at that young vulnerable age, who are basically lost, the thing that they have over you is, they make you believe that no one will believe you.” – Sen. Scott Brown (R-MS)
Talking about his upcoming book with 60 Minutes, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown reveals that he was sexually abused repeatedly by a camp counselor in his youth. Though the abuses occurred at age 10, this is the first time the senator has spoken about the experience — to the public and to his family. Considering the slew of outrageous legislation pouring out of Congress these days, I’m generally loathe to say anything nice about a Republican. But it takes some serious courage to talk about sexual abuse. As an excellent Feministing post points out, Brown’s personal story helps create a “cultural space” for survivors, especially men, to come out themselves.
More than anything, though, this highlights the critical need for appropriate, well-funded support systems and outlets to assist victims of sexual abuse. Guess what that means? It means investing in local and state community health structures and sex education that does not denigrate sexuality — that’s the larger lesson that needs to be learned.
The health safety system in this country has officially died. After a year full of salmonella and carcinogens in baby shampoo, you wouldn’t think it could get much worse.Â
Until the CDC announced that they found the rocket fuel chemical perchlorate in baby formula.Â
And the amount that they found in the formula? It exceeded what the CDC has deemed as a “safe” limit for adults.Â
Perchlorate can affect the thyroid, which plays a large role in infant brain development. However, scientists are unsure how big the effect the chemical will have on infants. Apparently, the government requires iodine to be put in all baby formulas; iodine can negate the effects of the perchlorate.
Regardless of the iodine requirement, you would think a company would know to not put a rocket fuel chemical into baby formula. Additionally, parents cannot find out what formulas are safe to give to their children because the CDC did not release the names of the companies that used this chemical. The blatant denial of information is disgusting.
So, let’s hope the CDC actually does something. In the meantime, be enraged.
Today is April 2nd, which officially marks the second day of Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases Awareness Month. PIDDs are a class of genetic disorders that cause some part of the immune system to not function correctly. The diseases are life-threatening but can be treated through regular doses of antibiotics or more expensive treatments derived from blood plasma, depending on the severity of the disorder.Â
I am one of approximately 250,000 Americans diagnosed with one of the 100 known primary immune deficiency diseases. My specific disorder is Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID), a condition which causes me to produce low levels of antibodies and therefore I cannot build immunity to infections. CVID is one of the most common disorders, but there are less common disorders that affect 1/1,000,000 people, or even less. There are up to another 250,000 people living undiagnosed, although estimates vary.Â
One of the larger issues is the fact that up to half of people living with PIDDs are undiagnosed. This comes mostly from a lack of knowledge of the diseases among primary care doctors, although some refuse to run the blood test to diagnose. Refusal to run the test is ridiculous because it is one of the cheapest blood tests available. To address the fact of undiagnosed patients, I thought I would provide the ten warning signs of Primary Immune Deficiency Disease, taken from the Jeffrey Modell Foundation website:
The World Health Organization recently reported that we are nowhere near eradicating Tuberculosis from the planet. “The rate of tuberculosis infection is falling at such a slow rate it would take more than 1,000 years to wipe the disease out.”
The article cites that the worldwide financial crisis is not helping the fight against TB. Doctors working with TB patients are not able to get the funding they need to start eliminating the disease at a higher rate. The director of the U.N- backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, Michel Kazatchkine, recently stated “funding for programs to fight TB will fall $1.6 billion short in 2009 … [and] at least $4 billion in 2010.” It is sad that in this financial crisis, funding towards fighting deadly diseases has been cut short. Almost 1.5 million people die of TB each year; I do not undertsand why something with such a high fatality rate is being shafted.Â
Judging by the way the economy is going now, it will take significantly longer than 1,000 years to eliminated TB. The increasing lack of funding will aggravate the TB crisis in developing countires, and will make it a problem for centuries to come.
Last week Â New York District Judge Edward Korman ordered the FDA to allow over-the-counter access to Plan B emergency contraceptive for 17-year-olds. The pill is currently available over-the-counter for women 18 years of age and above, and can be acquired through prescription for minors.Â
Throughout the Bush administration, the FDA refused to address the issue of providing access to the drug for women under the age of 18. Republicans do not want wider access to the pill, because, as the article cites, Plan B “is a source of tension for social conservatives… who believe the pill is tantamount to abortion.” Now that the conservative Bush administration is out of office though, courts can now try to provide wider access without fears of Obama’s administration appealing the case.Â
While I’m not going to comment on women’s decision to use the pill or not, I will say that providing over-the-counter access to 17-year-olds recognizes the fact that women of that age are at the age of consent. A woman old enough to consent to sex should be old enough to grant medical consent for something that affect her sexual health. While conservatives are worried that this will increase the “danger that Plan B may be given to … sexually abused women or minors,” I feel that it has little connection. I don’t think the use of the pill or not would affect whether a woman reports sexual assault.Â
The judge told the FDA that they had 30 days to comply with his order to make Plan B available to 17-year-olds. A week is already up. We’ll see if the FDA can get over the past eight years of a conservative administration and quickly come up to speed with current Democratic policies, or if this will become an ongoing debate.
I would like to give massive props to Merck & Co. Merck recently gave their experimental anti-malarial drug to the nonprofit Medicines for Malaria Venture. There are two goals in the donation. The first goal is “to improve access to modern drugs in the developing world at affordable prices.” The second is that it will probably speed up the trial period and further development of the drug so Merck can get it onto the market sooner.Â
While Merck is definitely getting something out of this by being able to speed up the drug’s entrance onto the market, it is great that they are donating the medication to be used where it is really needed. Kudos to Merck & Co. for doing this to benefit all those involved.
President Obama announced recently that the food safety system in our country is a “hazard to public health” and needs to be reformed. We all know that the latest of a series of problems with the food safety system was with the salmonella outbreak in peanut butter. However, the industry recently sided with the government.Â
The cereal manufacturer Kellogg met with Congress today to “urge Congress… to revamp how the government polices [the industry].” According to the article, Kellogg lost $70 million from having to recall products because of the salmonella outbreak. The head of the company wants the government to make companies have safety plans written out and have the federal government conduct yearly health inspections of “facilities that make high-risk foods.”
I am glad that a manufacturer stepped up and asked Congress to pass health safety laws. While Kellogg could probably get away with major health violations under the current system, it shows that they care and want to protect the consumers rather than only worrying about profit. It was great that Kellogg did this, and I hope other industries back Kellogg up on this decision.