Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Effect of Obesity on Health Care

The current epidemic that America has had to confront is the sudden and rapid growth of obesity rates in states across the nation. Not only does this affect the healthcare system, but it also affects families and the quality of life adolescents will have in the future.

      In today's society an affordable and easy dinner is ordering a greasy pizza from the local pizzeria down the street, and regular workouts just don't fit into our busy work and school schedules. According to one article, “In the year 2000, no U.S. state had an obesity rate above 30%. In 2010, 12 states did.” Although my main focus is the healthcare system, I've chosen to focus in on obesity to discuss the changes that need to be put in place. I will cover the affect obesity has on the economy, the average Americans health care, and the changes in place.

      At a time where America is trying to control the cost of healthcare, obesity is becoming a larger problem everyday. The economy is merely a small portion of the issue, according to a financial service called the Motley Fool, “obesity-related health care spending is estimated to cost up to $190 billion per year; more than 20% of total U.S. health care costs.” If the nation was healthier, ate better, and exercised regularly we wouldn't have such a large amount of money going into healthcare for obesity related issue. “A 5% reduction in BMI in every U.S. state could reduce health care spending by 7% or more, freeing up billions of dollars for the many needs of the future.” With just small changes the nation could work together to help the economy and allow for those dollars to be put to better use. “Smaller waistlines would also mean less fuel expenditure for airlines, cars, and other means of transportation, cutting down on both costs and emissions.”

      In addition to the economy being affected the healthcare system is also feeling the effects of obesity. In 2012 the U.S. spent more than $8,000 per person on health care,” it's no wonder we don't have enough money to fix our streets and buy books for our students. A 2011 article in The Lancet, reported that, between 2010 and 2020, new cases of Type 2 diabetes could increase tenfold; so could stroke, coronary heart disease, hypertension and arthritis. The number of cases could double again by 2030.” This only shows how much damage obesity could do to our health care system, causing more unhealthy Americans to seek physicians aid and using up insurance dollars that could have been avoiding through healthy planning.

      One may wonder where we can start to make changes, steps are being taken to control the sudden outbreak of obesity but we have yet to see any of these changes yield great results. First lady, Michelle Obama, has started her own campaign, titled Let's Move, with the program “ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food. And, helping kids become more physically active.” Small steps like these ones will some day result in great statistics that show our nation is becoming a healthier one. Not only does Let's Move help children but it also gives “parents helpful information and fosters environments that support healthy choices.” A healthy individual needs to receive the support from their family and by helping the parents of children we are able to attack the root of the problem. If bad habits are controlled at a young age then the individual has a better chance of avoiding obesity at an older age.
      Overall, America is a long ways from fixing the problem of obesity, but with a more conscious society and a nation that wants to help their citizens, steps could be taken to improve Americas health. Through changes of economy, healthcare, and individuals themselves the obesity epidemic could one day no longer be a problem.  

Carroll, Dan. "The Price of America's Obesity Epidemic." The Price of America's 
       Obesity EpidemicMotley Fool, 06 Mar. 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.
Let's Move." Learn The Facts. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Comparing Two Speeches

Persuasive Speeches:


Rhetorical Responce:
I watched two speeches that were based on healthy and unhealthy eating, these speeches focused on persuasion and changing ones lifestyle and incorporating healthier choices. The first speech was of a girl in her bedroom sharing her research and knowledge of the effects of unhealthy eating. While the second clip was of a mature woman in a hospital setting talking to a couple people about her experience and sharing her knowledge that she both learned over the years and also experienced in her work environment. The first speech to me seemed to be sympathetic and appealing to ones emotions. She seemed as though she may have been speaking from her personal experiences or experiences of someone close to her. She even recommended different methods to incorporate a healthier lifestyle in addition to healthier food choices.
The second speech seemed more of a professional informative speech, since she was a nurse she was most likely familiar with giving speeches like this on a daily basis to customers. Although this speech too, was informative and persuasive,  she lacked personal appeal and that comfort you should feel from a speech. She did however cover bad behaviors and ways to reduce risk of death from heart disease.
The girl with the webcam touched on the health issues that arrive even at a young age, and how people lose energy with overeating and weight gain. While the first speech brought up facts and information the second speech brought about examples such as what five pounds of fat visually looks like. Both ladies did however appeal to pathos, which is an appeal to emotion, the first speech brought up how people who eat more deal with depression and the second speech brought up the comparison of food addiction to drug addiction. Both speeches were able to use facts in addition to bringing up the positives of eating healthy and the negatives of over eating or eating poorly. Both ladies did a very good job of defending their cases and expressed their opinions very well.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Major Changes for Health Insurance in the Near Future

In recent response to the the governments plans of changing the health care system some might find themselves being forced to pay for insurance or having to pay a fine for not having any. As of January 1st, 2014, health care in the United States will take a turn that effects all of its citizens and occupants. Some might find these changes as a burden while others find it as a stepping stone for the US. Many other countries have a health care system that provides services for all of its citizens, ensuring that the nation as a whole is in good health or can receive the health care they need while the United States currently offers it only to those who can afford it or are qualified to receive it from the government. Some of the changes that will be put into place, according to, will be the requirement that all US citizens have insurance, there will be an insurance marketplace, and more tax credits to individuals who need it.

In 2014, there will no longer be discrimination due to per-existing conditions or gender, ensuring that insurance companies can not refuse to sell coverage or renew policies because of an individuals pre-existing conditions. This can be seen as a benefit to the health care system because so many times citizens are faced with the need for health care but no means to pay for it since they are faced with tragic illnesses such as cancer. Citizens might argue that the acceptance of a wide variety of customers will decrease the quality of care in the health care facilities but it's evident to others that with this new change there will be a decreased need for care because the populations health as a whole is going to increase.

In addition to no discrimination the health care system will now be making it mandatory for individuals in the US to have health care insurance (Kaiser Health Reform). One might argue that the requirement to have health care is too much for 2014 but others see it as a step closer to a healthier United States. Those who do not buy their own insurance will pace penalties, according to the health care website, “tax credits are being put in place to make it easier for the middle class to afford insurance” and in addition to making it affordable they are making it possible to pay through reduced cost sharing which includes co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles. The government is doing everything in its power to make this new and approved Affordable Care Act one that is appealing to everyone.

The government is also creating a marketplace where “Individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans in the new transparent and competitive insurance marketplace” (Affordable Care Act). What the people of our country would like about this part of the new act is that by allowing individuals the freedom to see all possible options it's putting the control back into the citizens hands. So although there is the mandatory insurance for everyone, the government is changing the rules in order to make it favorable to everyone.

Through tax credits, the elimination of policy cancelations and acceptance for all the people of the United States will soon see that the changes coming to us in 2014 are going to create a safer environment full of healthy people. No plan is perfect and accommodating changes will most likely rise when 2014 comes around, but for now the Affordable Care Act can be seen as a step towards a better future.

"Affordable Care Act." Health Care. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,
         Web. 12 Mar. 2013.

"Kaiser Health Reform." Implementation Timeline - Kaiser Health Reform. Kaiser Permanente,
         Web. 12 Mar. 2013.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot Yet?

Release date: January 12th, 2013
Location: New York City

Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot Yet?
Because It May Not Matter

On January 12th, 2013, the New York Times published an article, written by Donald G. McNeil Jr. titled, Flu Season Death Reach Epidemic Level but May Be at Peak, C.D.C Says.

With health care at such high costs some families are opting out on flu shots, bundling up their children with thicker jackets, and hoping they can pass this season by like the last. Flu season is here and “its numbers on the death total are reporting to have crossed the “epidemic” territory” (McNeil). For those who can afford the flu shot or have insurance are still not promised one hundred percent protection from the flu, actually the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported to only be effective “50 percent to 70 percent of the time,” the flu shot is also known as only being “moderately” effective (McNeil). This flu season we suffered a greater number of loses and it is reported and confirmed through a flu test that twenty children have passed away due to conditions pertaining to the flu. While the number is significantly larger, not all children were tested for the flu, but deaths were still reported as a cause of the flu (McNeil).

Some illnesses that the flu shot has no effect on include norovirus and the whooping cough along with the common cold these diseases that are spreading in the United States are coming at a time where the flu is already hitting hard, making the winter time a difficult one for all families across the nation. Not only is there a problem of not getting the vaccines but another issue circulating right now is the problem of supply and demand. It is reported that, “the industry had made and shipped only about 130 million doses, and it is reported that in a typical year only thirty seven percent of people get vaccinated” (McNeil). Families across the nation are battling with the flu and we can see it in the results of studies being held today. Dr. Bresee even goes on to compare this year’s epidemic results to that of 2003 and 2004, where the H3N2 virus killed more Americans than normal. These types of situations and past incidents help doctors today to do a better job, catching illnesses early on and providing patients with the necessary medication or advisement. The Center of Disease and Control stated “a new vaccines offering lifelong protection against all flu strains, instead of annual partial protection against a mix-and-match set, must be created” (McNeil). Although this is obviously a great idea locals and doctors realize that no ones desires to create a magic vaccine of such are strong enough to provide the funds necessary. The cost of creating a vaccine to such extent would cost around one billion dollars, money that the government would never give up easily. The issues on the flu will always be here until the government comes together with doctors to create a plan that works with everyone, whether they don’t have insurance or just don’t care to get the vaccine, rules that enforce people to receive a vaccine need to be put into place to create a virus free environment.

Jr., Donald G. Mcneil. "Flu Season Deaths Reach Epidemic Level but May Be at Peak, C.D.C. Says."
      The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Jan. 2013 Web. 06 Mar. 2013.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Health Insurance, is it Where We Want it?

Welcome to my blog, I will be covering political issues that have to do with the current health care system and health insurance for the citizens of the United States. Many changes have been made since 2010, with additions such as, expanded access to free preventive care for patients of all ages. Although the changes made are great for the citizens of this country it does involve money and that is a major red flag for the government. In 2014 the United States health care services will take a turn, but will it be for the better or for the worse? My blog will cover subjects such as insurance exchanges, mandatory health care plans for individuals, penalties, the expansion of Medicaid and so on. Not only will I cover the future issues but I'll also discuss the current health care system, it's perks and it's flaws. I'll keep you posted on new information and discuss my personal opinions as well, hope you enjoy my blog!