Passed under the guise of legislation that would provide better healthcare to more people, the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare has revealed itself as a gimmick designed to take away our individual liberties. As the Affordable Care Act approaches its third anniversary, it further proves itself to be unaffordable and ineffective. ObamaCare is already killing jobs, taking away our freedom of choice, and completely eroding the quality of healthcare in this nation.
Soda is a hot topic. The conversation is full of opinions and myths but not enough facts. The number one myth is that the obesity epidemic can be reversed if people stop drinking soda. This argument ignores the complexities of obesity by assuming – insisting – that there’s a silver bullet to this serious health issue.
Let’s clear it up. Calories from soda and other sweetened beverages like teas, fruit drinks, and sports drinks, are in decline. Calories in the average American diet from added sugar in soda has declined 39 percent since 2000. Sales of full-calorie soft drinks have declined 12.5 percent from 1999 to 2010. If calories and consumption are down, and obesity is up, it makes no sense to focus on soda as a unique driver of obesity.
Senior military leaders have been working tirelessly on the challenge of preventing suicide among the men and women who serve our country, from the secretary of Defense to commanding officers to sergeants. Yet the problem of military suicide continues to increase. So what can the military do to begin to reverse this trend and save lives?
In his State of the Union speech President Obama talked about “smart savings” instead of “reckless cuts” and “smarter government” rather than “bigger government.” For the last two years, a proposal has been under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that, if modified, could become an example for the administration of “smart regulation” as opposed to overregulation or ineffective regulation.
Now that sequestration is in effect, healthcare leaders are eager to see exactly how these cuts will take shape and the impact they will have. While the sequester remains politically unpopular with both parties, cuts to programs geared toward saving Medicare funds such as HHS’s Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control program, seem to make even less sense than others.
In the past two decades, we have made great progress in the fight against colorectal cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer incidence rates have been in decline since the mid-80s, and since 1998 the rates have declined for men and women in every major racial and ethnic group.
Yet, in 2012 an estimated 143,600 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, claiming the lives of 50,000 and making it the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. My family has been touched by this horrible disease. It took the life of my brother-in-law. For such a preventable disease, these numbers are still too high. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which offers an occasion to appreciate the progress we’ve made, but it must also spur us to take the action necessary to continue driving down cancer rates in communities throughout our nation.
With the budget battles moving to center stage, entitlements must be part of the debate.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted the need to reform our nation’s entitlement programs, specifically citing the need for “modest reforms” of Medicare and Social Security so they don’t “crowd out the investments we need for our children and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations.”
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has proposed a plan to convert Medicare into a market-driven program with more competition and choices for seniors while putting it on a path to long-term sustainability.
It’s just gym, huh?
Well think again. It’s the only subject I know of that directly reduces a kid’s long-term risk of heart failure, diabetes, depression, anxiety, several cancers, and obesity — and at the same time enhances fitness, cognitive function, self-esteem, teamwork, and overall good health.
Like it or not, the truth is, if we keep cutting PE out of our schools and physical activity out of our lives, America’s next generation will be dying at younger ages; losing its competitive edge; finding itself displaced on the world’s stage; and bearing the physical, emotional, and financial burden of obesity and chronic disease for years to come.
Recently, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) took a stand on physical education in our nation’s schools. He introduced in the 113th Congress the “Promoting Health as Youth Skills in Classrooms and Life (PHYSICAL) Act.”
Our veterans, returning from two protracted wars, deserve the very best. Most agree that includes access to jobs, education, affordable housing, quality health care, and equal opportunity employment. After defending our freedom overseas, our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are clearly facing a crisis at home. We need to ensure that those who have taken care of us abroad are taken care of once they transition back to civilian life. One area that is often overlooked is the proper diagnosis and treatment for veterans suffering from chronic pain.
It’s in our nature to want to romanticize invention and innovation. We conjure up images of the lone inventor, working diligently night after night in his or her garage until, in one glorious moment, intellectual lightning strikes and the next great life-changing or lifesaving device has emerged.
In real life, it seldom works that way. The history of medical innovation in this country is defined by dedicated physicians, academicians and researchers working with the healthcare industry to develop new cures, treatments and technologies that extend and enhance patients’ lives. The physician-industry relationship is one that benefits all Americans. Doctors guide companies in making sure new innovations will work as they’re envisioned when they reach the operating room or the patient’s bedside. Companies make sure medical professionals are properly trained in the use of new drugs and devices.