Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Black Health News: The Senate Finance Committee Rejects the Public Option


Liberal Democrats failed Tuesday to inject a government-run insurance option into sweeping health care legislation taking shape in the Senate Finance Committee, despite widespread accusations that private insurers routinely deny coverage in pursuit of higher profits.

The 15-8 rejection marked a victory for Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the committee chairman, who is hoping to push his middle-of-the-road measure through the panel by week's end. It also kept alive the possibility that at least one Republican may yet swing behind the bill, a key goal of both Baucus and the White House.

"My job is to put together a bill that gets to 60 votes" in the full Senate, the Montana Democratsaid shortly before he joined a majority on the committee in opposing the provision. "No one shows me how to get to 60 votes with a public option," the term used to describe a new government role in health care. It takes 60 votes to overcome delaying actions thatRepublicans may attempt on the Senate floor.


Click to read.

Visit Your Black World for Black News and Information!

Black Global News:Somalia Finally Gets Ambulance Service

Chaos and death on the streets of Mogadishu: unfortunately, it's nothing new in the Somali capital.

Casualties are taken into Mogadishu's hospital on stretchers.



Government forces are fighting against insurgents on this day in September in a bloody battle that leaves 30 dead. Dozens of wounded Somalis are taken out of the danger zone, some of them in the back of insurgents' pick-up trucks.

One of the trucks races through the streets, zig-zagging to the echoing booms of the ongoing shelling. The truck comes to an abrupt halt, stopping at a rare sight in the Somali capital -- an ambulance, waiting at the heart of the chaos to ferry the dead and the injured to the hospital.

The wounded are transferred onto the ambulance. People shout and run as the mortar attacks continue. One woman screams over and over for her son.

The ambulance is one of seven medical vehicles paid for with donated funds from local and expatriate Somalis. Residents can simply call for the ambulances without charge, and the vehicles will be dispatched to the scene.

"It is amazing," said Rufai Salad, one of the founders of the ambulance service in the Somali capital. "We have this toll-free number, 777, that you dial. Someone is giving you a free call and then coming and giving you free help.

"People here find it hard to believe it is real."


Click to read.


Visit Your Black World for Black News and Information

Monday, September 28, 2009

Health News: Company Now Selling “Sippin Syrup” in Stores

You see it all over television, celebrities endorsing "syrup," which is a combination of cough syrup with codeine and soda, two ingredients that can make for a lethal recipe.

Stores in Southeast Texas are now carrying the products that bear the names "drank" and "syrup", but with a different twist.

Drank and Sippin Syrup are two examples of a new anti-energy drink that is supposed to provide "extreme relaxation." There is nothing harmful in these products, in fact one of the main ingredients is Melatonin, a natural substance that helps you sleep.

18-year-old Jackie Robinson says he just started drinking this anti-energy drink because of the slogan, "sippin syrup."

"I ain't gonna lie it really do," said Robinson Wednesday afternoon as he sipped his drink outside a Beaumont convenient store. "It probably attracts a lot of people from the name too."


Click to read.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dr Elaina George Gives a List of Ways to Stay Healthy

by Dr Elaina George, Your Black World Medical Correspondent

Instead of waiting for the outcome of the healthcare debate to decide your fate, use some simple common sense strategies to take back the power to control your own health.

  1. Start exercising

An increase in activity of as little as 20 minutes 3 times a week can make a difference in your risk of heart disease,

diabetes and obesity. You don’t have to get fancy with a gym membership. Try taking the stairs at work instead of the

elevator, or park further from the entrance when you go to the market or mall.

2. Eat Smaller portions

You may not want to give up your junk food or fried food, but try to limit your portions. Instead of buying a six pack

of soda, buy a two liter bottle. You can better control the portions along with your intake of calories.

Click to read.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Health News: President Obama Talks Healthcare at CBC Conference

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, wave as ...

From Yahoo News

President BarackObama on Saturday resumed his push to overhaul the health care system, telling a Congressional Black Caucus conference that there comes a time when "the cup of endurance runs over."

"We have been waiting for health reform since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. We've been waiting since the days of Harry Truman," he said in remarks at the caucus foundation's annual dinner. "We've been waiting since Johnson and Nixon and Clinton."

"We cannot wait any longer," Obama said.

Obama spent the past week largely focused on global and economic issues in meetings with world leaders in New York and Pittsburgh.

At the G-20 economic summit that wrapped up Friday in Pennsylvania, Obama told a story about an unnamed foreign leader who privately told the president he didn't understand the at-times contentious debate over changing the health care system.

"He says, 'We don't understand it. You're trying to make sure everybody has health care and they're putting a Hitler mustache on you. That doesn't make sense to me,'" Obama said, quoting the world leader he declined to identify.


Click here to read.

Your Black World

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dr. Elaina George: Why are there Not Enough Doctors?


by Dr. Elaina George, Your Black World 

Reports estimate that 50-60% of doctors will be sued during the course of their career. However, only 10-20% of those cases actually go to trial. Of those that go to trial, doctors are found innocent of malpractice 80% of the time. This demonstrates the fact that although the perception exists that there may be a lot of bad doctors practicing bad medicine this is actually not the case.

Unfortunately, this perception has led to an explosion in the costs of practicing medicine. Over the last 5-10 years medical malpractice premiums have gone through the roof from primary care to neurosurgery. In Florida, for example, malpractice premiums for OB-GYNs have risen to as high as 250,000 per year. This staggering statistic highlights the unintended consequence of limiting access to medical care for women who live in those states. Florida is not alone, it is happening all over the country. Physicians have either moved out of state, retired early, or they have restricted the type of medicine they practice because they cannot afford the cost of doing business.

Click to read.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Your News: The Politics of Healthcare Reform

Your Black World 

Listen up as Dr. Wilmer Leon speaks with Dr. Pearl Ford about President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Plan.  Click here to listen to the latest exciting episode!

Both are graduates of Howard University’s Political Science Program

Mental Health News: Insane Killer On the Loose: Questions about Mental Health

A legally insane killer was on the loose in the state of Washington on Saturday, two days after he escaped during a field trip to a county fair, authorities said.

Authorities are combing Washington state for Phillip Paul, who is described as a criminally insane killer.

Phillip Paul was able to elude a massive manhunt in Spokane County, Washington, after escaping on Thursday, a spokesman for the sheriff's department said.

Though Paul had been confined in a mental institution because of a murder confession, he was allowed to be part of a trip to a county fair Thursday.

Paul, 47, escaped from the fair around noon, which launched the massive manhunt and brought criticism from many, including state government officials. Sheriff's officials told CNN affiliate KREM-TV that Paul also escaped briefly in 1991 and assaulted a law enforcement officer.

A review has been launched on the incident along with the policy that allows patients to take trips, said Susan Dreyfus, secretary of the state's Department of Social and Health Services.

Dreyfus said she was concerned about Paul's escape and another recent brief escape by a patient at a different local mental facility.

"These incidents, separate and coincidental, have raised serious questions about the security readiness of our two state psychiatric hospitals," Dreyfus said.

Click to read.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Black News: Obama Says Race Not an Issue in Healthcare Debate

President Barack Obama holds a rally on health insurance reform ...

President Barack Obama said Friday that angry criticisms about his health care agenda are driven by an intense debate over the proper role of government — and not by racism.

"Are there people out there who don't like me because of race? I'm sure there are," Obama told CNN. "That's not the overriding issue here."

The nation's first black president spoke about the issue of race during a battery of interviews on Friday. In a media blitz aimed at pounding home his health care message, he taped interviews with ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Univision to be shown during the networks' Sunday morning talk shows.

Some excerpts aired during Friday night broadcasts.

Time and again, Obama was asked about whether the tenor of thehealth care debate turned nasty because of undercurrents in racism.Former President Jimmy Carter raised the point prominently this week when he said the vitriol was racially motivated.

Click to read.

Flu Vaccine Dos and Don’ts

by Dr. Elaina George, Medical Correspondent, Your Black World 

Although the Swine flu virus has been identified in over 70 countries, it has not been as deadly as expected

  • The world wide number of swine flu cases currently is 209,500 with 2,185 deaths

The common flu is more deadly

  • In the US there have been 40,000 cases identified with 1,876 deaths. This is quite low when you compare the death rate to the typical flu virus which kills over 30,000 people per year.

Most cases of Swine flu have been mild

  • Most people have had mild self-limited symptoms that resolve without any medical intervention.

Click to Read.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Your Health News: Doctors Restore Patient’s Vision with Her Tooth


Doctors in Miami announced Wednesday that they had performed a vision-restoring surgery that used the 60-year-old patient's tooth.

The surgery, the first in the USA, was performed Labor Day weekend at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Afterward, patient Sharron Thornton was able to see for the first time in nine years. "Sharron was able to see 20/60 this morning. She was seeing only shadows a couple of weeks ago," says ophthalmologist and surgeon Victor Perez.

Thornton was blinded in 2000 by a reaction to a drug she was taking, which damaged her cornea. Perez likened Thornton's cornea to a dirty car windshield. He says her eye surface was too dry for a corneal implant, a standard treatment.

Click to read.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Your Health News: Couple Divorces So they can Afford Health Insurance


from The Huffington Post

For Mary McCurnin and husband Ron Bednar, money trouble has followed health trouble. In 2003, the couple declared bankruptcy after their insurance covered only 10 percent of treatment costs for her breast cancer and his intestinal bleeding. In 2004, McCurnin's breast cancer returned, and Bednar underwent open heart surgery.

Now, after repeatedly refinancing their house to pay medical bills and living expenses, they're broke. To improve their chances of growing old together, they've filed for divorce.

"It occurred to me that I could get my first husband's Social Security," said McCurnin. Her first husband, to whom she'd been married 20 years, died in 1989. When she turns 60 in November, McCurnin said she will be eligible for $1,200 in monthly survivor's benefits from the previous marriage. As the Social Security Administration told her, she can't have the survivor benefit if she's married to someone else.

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/16/loving-couple-divorces-to_n_287094.html

Michael Baisden and Elaina George Ask Obama the Hard Questions on Healthcare


Although many Americans have seen and heard the insane debate over healthcare, almost no one understands what's going on. This is doubly true for the African American community, who is affected greatly by this debate and its outcomes. Most black bloggers aren't talking about it and black doctors are too busy to inform the community.
Michael Baisden got with Dr. Elaina George, a prominent black physician in the Atlanta area, to break down the public option, healthcare and all related issues in the interview below.During the interview, Dr. George and Baisden answer some important questions:

Click to read.

Monday, September 14, 2009

News: President’s Speech Doesn’t Boost Him in the Polls


President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress last week didn't provide much of a boost to his job approval rating, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday shows. The nationwide survey pegs his approval at 54%, precisely where it was in two USA TODAY polls in August.

(A separate, daily poll by Gallup showed Obama's approval dipping as low as 50% last month.)

USA TODAY's Susan Page reports that 43% disapprove of the job he's doing, a tick up from the August polls and a new high in the 14 surveys we've taken since the inauguration in January.

That's not to say Rep. Joe Wilson, the South Carolina Republican who heckled the president during his speech, fares well. Two-thirds of those polled, 68%, say they oppose what the congressman did, and about one in four (23%) say they're "outraged" by it. (That group included 41% of Democrats and 8% of Republicans.)


Click to read.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Black Healthcare News: People Hold a “Tea Party” to Protest Obama


Tens of thousands of fiscal conservatives packed streets in the nation's capital Saturday to protest what they consider the federal government's out-of-control spending.

Demonstrators filled Freedom Plaza and Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington. They waved U.S. flags and held signs reading "Go Green Recycle Congress," "I'm Not Your ATM" and "Obamacare makes me sick."

Some men were dressed in colonial costumes with tri-colored hats.

The protesters were marching to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

FreedomWorks Foundation, a conservative organization led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, organized several groups from across the country for what they're calling a "March on Washington."

The Washington march took place on the same day President Obama was headed to Minneapolis to rally support for his heath care reform plan. The plan, which also was the topic of his weekly raido and Internet message, has come under fire from fiscal conservatives who consider it too costly.


Click to read.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Your Black News: A Doctor Shortage Complicates Obama’s Plan

Obama administration officials, alarmed at doctor shortages, are looking for ways to increase the supply of physicians to meet the needs of an aging population and millions of uninsured people who would gain coverage under legislation championed by the president.

The officials said they were particularly concerned about shortages of primary care providers who are the main source of health care for most Americans.

One proposal — to increase Medicarepayments to general practitioners, at the expense of high-paid specialists — has touched off a lobbying fight.

Family doctors and internists are pressing Congress for an increase in their Medicare payments. But medical specialists are lobbying against any change that would cut their reimbursements. Congress, the specialists say, should find additional money to pay for primary care and should not redistribute dollars among doctors — a difficult argument at a time of huge budget deficits.

Some of the proposed solutions, while advancing one of President Obama’s goals, could frustrate others. Increasing the supply of doctors, for example, would increase access to care but could make it more difficult to rein in costs.

Click to read.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

How Do Insurance Companies Try to Hurt You?

by Dr. Elaina George

There is a major misconception about the reasons for the rise in the cost of healthcare. Procedures and the practice of defensive medicine have been described as the main reasons for the exponential rise. However, the reality could not be farther from what is portrayed on TV series like Nip/Tuck. The medical insurance industry has fueled the campaign of misinformation to enhance their divide and conquer strategy. As long as people spend their energy on blaming doctors, they have less energy to pay attention to rising deductibles, premiums and co-insurance. In short, the insurance companies benefit by keeping doctors and patients at odds. In reality when a doctor charges for a procedure or performs a surgery what is paid is no where near the amount that was charged. In short, the increase in patient premiums, deductibles etc… have gone to pay administrative costs and CEO salaries.

These are 6 things you need to know so you can understand the barriers your doctor has to navigate to take good care of you:

  1. Insurance companies change what they will pay for

Through the pre-certification process, insurance companies will change what services they will reimburse. This list can change yearly. It is driven by insurance company costs and not by medical necessity as determined by the doctor and the patient.

Click to read more.