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In the early years of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, receiving an HIV diagnosis seemed like a death sentence. During the 1980s, with little scientific knowledge about the virus, doctors could not treat HIV/AIDS and AIDS deaths rose rapidly from year to year. The AIDS death rate peaked in the mid 1990s, finally slowing down when doctors began administering highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), drugs which substantially increased the lifespan of an HIV positive person. Now, HIV positive people depend on HAART to live. Drug therapy for HIV/AIDS is incredibly expensive: one Florida man’s medications cost him over $4,500 monthly, ringing up at around $54,000 every year. Most HIV positive people simply can’t afford the skyrocketing costs of their prescriptions. Many of these people instead rely on the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP), where they only have to pay $12,000 for their drugs. Currently, AIDS Drug Assistance Programs serve around 170,000 who are unable to buy these mind-numbingly expensive drugs.
However, because of the recession, AIDS Drug Assistance Programs have been hit hard.
Medical experts have developed a new morning after pill that claims to be better than any other emergency contraceptive pill. It is called ellaOne. The attraction: it works for 5 days! You can take the pill for up to five days after unprotected sex and it will work as well as if you took it the morning after. Its leading competitor, Plan B, only works for up to 3 days after unprotected sex. This could be the answer to many unwanted pregnancies.
The pools –referred to as “pre-existing condition insurance plans” – are meant to provide health insurance for residents with pre-existing conditions who would otherwise be ineligible for coverage. Last week, the Obama administration announced it would not permit funding to be used for elective abortions under the program. This angered pro-choice groups who argue the President is bending over backwards, compromising campaign promises to appease a few pro-life Democrats.
Numerous studies have proven loving (and being loved by) our pets keeps us healthy. In addition to the wonderful companionship and assistance that service animals provide for their owners such as the blind or children with autism, pet ownership has been shown to lower one’s risk for heart ailments. Some studies have even shown dogs are able to detect health problems like seizures and diabetic attacks. With these facts in mind, the New York Times Well blog recently asked readers “How does your pet keep you healthy?” Here’s my story!
Little research has been carried out on the long-term effects of oil spills on people’s health. Those who are currently doing research on the potential health risks of oil presume that most of the health concerns will be short term. However, they do fear potential long-term damage to the liver, lungs, and kidneys. These short-term and long-term health concerns would be resultant of the oil fumes that workers are subject to while cleaning up the spill. Other research has found that those working to clean up the oil may experience temporary DNA damage that the body will repair itself over time.
Yesterday, the White House outlined new regulations which require health insurance carriers to provide coverage for many preventive care measures at no cost to policy subscribers. These preventive care measures include dozens of screenings and laboratory tests like blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, HIV, and cancer screenings, routine vaccinations, well-visits for infants and children, and prenatal care. Counseling to decrease obesity and stop smoking must also be offered free of charge. The complete list of tests and screenings was compiled by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of health experts.
If Massachusetts can successfully manage the costs associated with its health care reform, perhaps this will bode well for the Affordable Health Care Act. Four years into the Massachusetts plan, costs have continued to skyrocket as more residents are covered. In the current economy, controlling costs is ever more crucial to the health care industry and to the country’s economy as a whole. Solving the primary care and health provider shortage may prove a good step in shaving down costs.
Decided in 1973, the Roe v. Wade case forbade states from establishing laws that banned abortion. It gave women the right to have an abortion in any US state up until their third trimester. The ruling of this case has led to an ongoing abortion debate throughout the nation. Anthony Kennedy, a Justice of the Supreme Court, is known for having a “swing vote” in many Supreme Court decisions. However, people fear that a Republican President may choose to replace Kennedy. Kennedy’s vote has always been important in the abortion cases. If he were replaced, there is fear that Roe v. Wade may be overturned. This would allow states to enact laws against abortion at any point in the pregnancy if they so desire.
Even as federal Medicaid funds through the stimulus package dwindle, experts and state officials are collaborating on ways to identify and enroll eligible children in CHIP and traditional Medicaid this year. They are also working on similar strategies to target the millions of adults who will become eligible for Medicaid in 2014.
On Monday, Connecticut announced that it would be the first state to move low income residents to the Medicaid program. This shift will allow the state to save over 53 million dollars over the next year. Because the government made changes in the Medicaid program to allow low-income singles without kids to enroll in Medicaid for the first time Connecticut was able to move these people from the State Administered General Assistance (SAGA) program.