health care

Health Care Not An Elixir For Florida Democrats

Nov 9, 2018

Florida Democrats pushed health care as a top priority during this year’s elections, hammering Republicans for attempts to repeal Obamacare and the potential loss of insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

If you've ever played Tetris — whether it was at an old-school Gameboy, or just on your iPhone — then you know: It's 8-bit enchantment.

"Years of my life were lost disappearing into a game of Tetris on my Nintendo system," says Kate Sweeny, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside.

Already sick with strep throat and asthma, Aleeah Racette got sicker when she cleaned out a soggy, moldy home after Hurricane Michael, so she sought help at the hospital where she began life. She was stunned by what she saw there.

Charlie Hinderliter wasn't opposed to the flu shot. He didn't have a problem with vaccinations. He was one of about 53 percent of Americans who just don't get one.

"I figured [the flu] was something that's dangerous to the elderly and the young, not somebody who is healthy and in their 30s," says Hinderliter, who is 39 and the director of government affairs at the St. Louis Realtors association.

"Turns out, I was wrong," he says.

Days after ending a turbulent Supreme Court confirmation fight, the Senate turned back to health care — with a battle squarely aimed at coloring next month's crucial elections for control of Congress.

AH of Monroe County

In the 1980s, Key West was hit especially hard by AIDS. The group AIDS Help was created then to provide hospice care and treatment for people who had the disease.  Over the years, it changed its name to AH-Monroe and expanded its mission to address crises from affordable housing to the impacts of Hurricane Irma.

When it comes to health care, Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum and his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis couldn't be further apart.

State Uninsured Rate Increases, Tops National Average

Sep 13, 2018

More than 2.6 million people in Florida lacked health insurance at some point in 2017, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Editor's note: Shortly after this story by Kaiser Health News and NPR was published and broadcast on Monday, St. David's said it was now willing to accept $782.29 to resolve the $108,951 balance because Drew Calver qualifies for its "financial assistance discount." In a statement, the hospital said this offer was contingent on Calver submitting his application for a discount based on his household finances. Calver disputed that he owes any additional money to St. David's and said this situation should have been resolved long before now.

One day this spring, an elderly patient of mine became upset with me because, she said, I had betrayed her trust.

The issue was a short note I had written in her medical record about her difficult relationship with her child. The note was a reminder for me and anybody else in the hospital where I worked that the patient didn't have anyone who could accompany her to appointments.

My back hurts when I sit down.

It's been going on for 10 years. It really doesn't matter where I am — at work, at a restaurant, even on our couch at home. My lower back screams, "Stop sitting!"

To try to reduce the pain, I bought a kneeling chair at work. Then I got a standing desk. Then I went back to a regular chair because standing became painful.

I've seen physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons and pain specialists. I've mastered Pilates, increased flexibility and strengthened muscles. At one point, my abs were so strong my husband nicknamed them "the plate."

Taking a genetic test in your 20s or 30s could, indeed, affect your ability to get long-term-care insurance later — or at least the price you'll pay. And people who are considering enrolling in Medicare after age 65 would do well to read the fine print of the sign-up rules. Readers have insurance questions on these topics this month, and we have answers:

Q: Can getting a genetic test interfere with being able to buy long-term-care insurance in the future? If you do get a plan, can the insurer drop you after you find out the results of a genetic test?

Delay In Federal Approval Trims Medicaid Savings

Aug 7, 2018

Nearly $100 million the state assumed would be saved by changing a policy about patient eligibility for Medicaid won’t come to fruition this year.

The antipsychotic drug Seroquel was approved by the FDA years ago to help people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other serious mental illnesses. But too frequently the drug is also given to people who have Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. The problem with that? Seroquel can be deadly for dementia patients, according to the FDA.

Lisa Iezzoni was in medical school at Harvard in the early 1980s when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She started experiencing some of the symptoms, including fatigue, but she wasn't letting that get in the way of her goal. Then came the moment she scrubbed in on a surgery and the surgeon told her what he thought of her chances in the field.

"He opined that I had no right to go into medicine because I lacked the most important quality in medicine," Iezzoni recalls "And that was 24/7 availability."

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