Health Updates 15 December 2011

  • Lawmakers offer bipartisan plan to overhaul Medicare: “A Democratic senator, Ron Wyden of Oregon, and a Republican member of the House, Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, unveiled a bipartisan plan on Wednesday to revamp Medicare and make a fixed federal contribution to the cost of coverage for each beneficiary.  The lawmakers aim to reshape the debate over the giant health insurance program by addressing concerns that have provoked fierce opposition to similar ideas in the past….The proposal would make major structural changes in Medicare and limit the government’s open-ended financial commitment to the program.” (NY Times)
  • American diet gets failing grade: “Americans are still falling short of national dietary recommendations, eating too many sweets and not enough vegetables and whole grains, according to the CDC.”  When measured by the Healthy Eating Index, or HEI-2005, American adults are well below the maximum standards in all areas except total grains and meats and beans.  “Scores for dark green and orange vegetables and whole grains were particularly poor”.  Women did better than men, and adults ago 60 and up had better scores regarding fruit, vegetable and bad calorie intake. (Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today)
  • Taking a look at the effect of marriage on health as fewer people are tying the knot: “Several studies have found that marriage can have a substantial influence on various aspects of health and well-being, but no one is sure how these shifting demographics will affect that.  Overall, research shows that marriage is beneficial to health – having a spouse is typically a marker for better overall care – but one study finds that may be changing.  A 2008 study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that, although married people are generally healthier than unmarried people, the gap is narrowing.  Using data from the National Health Interview Survey, researchers discovered that health has improved overall for unmarried men, women, blacks and whites.” (LA Times)
  • Two and a half million young adults gain medical insurance coverage: “The number of young adults lacking medical coverage has shrunk by 2.5 million since the new health care overhaul law took effect, according to a new analysis the Obama administration is to release Wednesday.  That drop is 2.5 times as large as the drop indicated by previous government and  private estimates from earlier this year, which showed about 1 million Americans ages 19-25 had gained coverage.” (Associated Press)

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