A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Surviving Depression and Anxiety During the Holidays

(Carol W. Berman, M.D., NYU Medical Center) Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are commonly reported in the general population, especially during the holidays. People who may attempt suicide complain of hopelessness, rage, and the need to seek revenge. They are more impulsive than the average person. Other behaviors that may be associated with potential suicide include people making arrangements for someone else to care for their dependents, including children, pets, or elders…
[T]he following ideas can help lift depression and anxiety:
·       Try to schedule a theater or dance performance either the night before or the day of the holiday…
·       Go on a trip out of town…
·       Join a community group such as the YMCA…
·       Organize a hike into the countryside or a park tour with a group…
·       Go to a yoga retreat or a spa resort…
·       Plan an intensive exercise routine…
·       Help others who are less fortunate by volunteering at a soup kitchen…
·       Try an AA meeting if you find yourself drinking too much…
Experimenting with a different way of celebrating the holidays this year can lift your spirits and get you out of a funk. For some, major depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are alleviated if they are engaged in healthy activities leading up to and during the holidays.
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More Holiday Survival Tips

(Avidan Milevsky, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Family gatherings should be about great memories, fun times, warm conversation, good food, and family pride. It should not be driven by a feeling of “obligation.”
(Karen Rancourt, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Through the years and with the help of my readers sharing their suggestions, I have compiled a list of five ways the keepers of holiday dinner traditions can take pressure off themselves. Ignore I Don’t Eat This!... My House, My Rules—No Electronic Devices… Busy Kids are Calmer Kids… Give Up the Guilt about Elder Parents in Assisted Living… Family Holiday Dinner Without the Dinner.
(Rachel Pomerance Berl, U.S. News & World Report) You've heard the expression, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Well, the same might be said of a hostess and her party. If you're feeling stressed and flustered, that's the vibe you give your gathering… [H]ere are five tips to keep you and your guests feeling – what's that? – thankful for this occasion. 1. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time… 2. Know your limits – and don't be afraid to ask for help… 3. Set the tone to suit your style… 4. Honor your guests… 5. Remember, it's a learning opportunity.
(Gina Barreca, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Do not refer to any woman with white hair wearing a red suit as Mrs. Claus. The white haired lady in the red suit is not Mrs. Claus. She is Janet Yellen. And she might just be replacing Ben Bernanke as the head of the Federal Reserve. If you call her Mrs. Claus, she will audit you until the reindeer come home…
Okay, this one is for real: all festivals, all occasions for joy and all authentic fellowship are reason enough to have a good time if only we can allow ourselves to find the humor, pleasure and meaning in them. That comes, not from chintzy songs or over-sentimentalized pre-fab emotional scripts, but from the gift of true humanity we, at our best moments, celebrate.
(Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP, Psychology Today) Happy Thanksgiving! Keep three tips in mind to have a better time this holiday season: (1) be grateful regardless of what you might be dealing with now, (2) don’t eat until you explode, and (3) have reasonable expectations of those with whom you'll share the dinner table with for a better holiday experience.
(Bart Chilton, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission) When we understand others' concerns, we see beyond ourselves, comprehending how our needs may match. Listening. Understanding. Tolerating and enjoying crazy Uncle Joe without name-calling, raising issues without raising voices. Establishing a shared vision, a common goal: these are the fundamental steps of positive, lasting change. This year, let's add civility to public discourse and return to a nation bound by commitment to a common good. Wouldn't it be nice?
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Acting Surgeon General Declares Thanksgiving “Family Health History Day”

(U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) As we celebrate the Nation’s 10th annual Family Health History Day this Thanksgiving, I encourage everyone to spend time talking with their family members about their health.  National Family Health History Day is a great opportunity to draw attention to the importance of sharing family health history.
Both rare diseases and common ones, like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, can run in families. Understanding your family health history can help you and your health care provider predict your risk for health problems and keep you and your family healthy…
The Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait tool provides consumers with a free and easy way to record their family health information. Consumers are able to organize their family history information and share it with their family and health care professionals. 
During this Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you and your family will take a few minutes to create a family health portrait.  Learning your family’s health history is a great way to invest in the future of your health and your family’s health.
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How to Eat Well and Feel Well for Thanksgiving and Christmas

(Mark Hyman, MD) With all the parties and family gatherings, it's inevitable that temptations will arise this time of year. Your best bet to overcome them is to prepare yourself for these bumps in the road. Here are 10 tips to help you avoid the holiday pitfalls:
1 .    Begin your day as any other day on the plan; do not skip meals to save calories or carbohydrates.
2.     Eat a protein-packed snack an hour before your holiday meal.
3.     Don't think of the holidays as an excuse to gorge on unhealthy food. Plan in advance to make sure there are options available that you can enjoy.
4.    Scan the spread before putting anything on your plate. Choose wisely!
5.     Set an intention for how you would like to feel after the meal and hold yourself accountable by sharing with a close friend or family member. Or write it in your journal.
6.     Start the meal with a soup, fresh vegetables, or a salad, and avoid any refined flour pastries or sweet appetizers to prevent the cycle of craving.
7.     Drink two glasses of water with lemon before the meal.
8.     Plan an activity to look forward to after the meal -- a group walk, visiting with other friends or family, a group game, or playing with younger family members. Or try offering to clean up and help your host!
9.     Eat Mindfully:
      Take five deep breaths before your meal.
      Sit next to someone you genuinely find interesting and engage in pleasant conversation.
      Appreciate the colors and smells of your food.
      Chew thoroughly and slowly.
      Put your fork down between bites.
      Breathe in through your nose while you eat.
      Express gratitude with others before the meal. Later that evening, write about your gratitude in your journal.
      Halfway through the meal, put fork down and pause. Take three deep breaths and assess your hunger on a scale of 1-10. Ask yourself how much more you need to eat in order to walk away feeling energized and comfortable. Hint: Usually, this is around "6" or "7."
      Close your meal by saying something out loud about how delicious it was and how satisfied you are. Hearing yourself say this can help signal to you and others that you are finished.
      Have a trusted friend or family help hold you accountable to your goals.
      Begin and end the day by spending some time alone with your thoughts. Journaling is a great activity to help ground your intentions for the day. Use your journal to set goals, express your thoughts and feelings about how the day went, and track what you ate, how much you exercised and how your body felt.
10.  Most importantly, take time to enjoy healthy, wholesome meals with your friends and family and remember that you can heal your body and mind with each forkful of delicious food you enjoy.
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More on Holiday Eating

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Being on a budget doesn't have to mean giving up holiday traditions. There are simple ways to help cut the costs of holiday dinners. Read on - your wallet and your health will thank you! 1. Focus on vegetables. .. 2. Make it a potluck… 3. Make your own dessert… 4. Calculate how much food you really need… 5. Clip coupons… And don't forget to use your leftovers! Turkey soup, potato pancakes, casseroles that combine some of the side dishes - there are plenty of ways to use traditional holiday leftovers. Visit the Recipes section for some ideas!
(U.S. News & World Report) Give thanks: Hosting Turkey Day doesn’t have to be expensive with these tips.
(SouthBeachDiet.com) Thanksgiving is fast approaching, so now’s the time to start talking turkey. When it comes to buying your bird, there are several types to choose from, so let us help you determine what kind of turkey is best for you and your family.
(Consumer Reports) Ham, turkey, duck, beef, and pork roasts are all a beloved part of many holiday meals. But because a lot of us only cook these once or twice a year, we run a higher risk of preparation and cooking goof-ups that can compromise taste at best—and at worst make people sick. Don’t want your guests to join the one in six people who get food poisoning each year in the U.S.? Use this guide to selecting, storing, cooking, and serving those holiday staples.
(Fast Company) Serve your thanksgiving turkey with a side of raspberry pi and watch it tweet from the oven.
(Los Angeles Times) [H]ere are 47 super easy ways to trim the carbs in your diet by 50% by focusing on processed carbohydrates and food, empty calories and portion sizes. Best of all? We suspect you'll barely miss a thing.
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Recipes

Cooking Light:
Best Ever Thanksgiving Recipes
Let us help you make a beautiful bird, delicious side dishes, and sweet treats for dessert.
SouthBeachDiet.com:
Your Ultimate Thanksgiving Feast
Whether you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a dish as a guest, we've rounded up the best South Beach Diet-friendly recipes for your holiday celebrations.
EatingWell:
Save 1,273 calories and 92 grams of fat with this Thanksgiving menu (you'll never taste the difference!)
Here are our 6 recipes and simple secrets that make this menu's classic Thanksgiving dishes better and healthier than ever.
Mediterranean Foods Alliance:
Sweet Potato Pumpkin Seed Casserole
This casserole makes a perfect Thanksgiving side dish. It packs classic Thanksgiving flavors like maple and sweet potato without being laden with butter or cream. Serve it alongside turkey, or make it part of a vegetarian holiday feast.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
Mashed potatoes make a hearty, honest dish. It has sometimes been referred to as comfort food because it evokes memories of both big, special-occasion dinners and the simple, family dinner intended for no other reason than to share a good meal. This version of mashed potatoes tastes good because it's dense with the mildly sweet flavor of parsnips and just enough butter to please, but without the extra calories you usually find in mashed potatoes.
Huffington Post:
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Cranberries: They May be Small, But They Are Mighty

(Appetite for Health) We’re always looking for ways to add a quick nutritional punch to our diet, and lately we’ve been on a cranberry kick! 
These little red berries are packed with nutrients such as vitamins C, E, and K, and manganese.  They’re also a good source of fiber and they’re loaded with phytochemicals—compounds found in plants that may benefit your health…
Their strength lies in their phytochemicals (over 150 kinds!) which have antibacterial and antioxidant properties. In fact a new review by ten worldwide nutrition experts … concludes that cranberries provide unique compounds that may help reduce the incidence of certain infections, improve heart health and temper inflammation.
Compared to 20 other common fruits, cranberries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants.  This substantial reservoir of antioxidants arms cranberries in the fight against heart disease, inflammation, certain cancers (e.g., prostate, breast), and age-related conditions like loss of memory and coordination…
You can also get the benefits of cranberries with whole cranberries or cranberry juice.  For inspiration, try some of the recipes below:
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6 Superfoods that Should Be in Your Kitchen

(Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, Appetite for Health) Eating the same old, same old everyday? Here are 6 superfoods that are often overlooked but should be on your grocery list. Not only do they taste delicious, they pack a serious nutritional punch!
Bulgur
Bulgar is a whole grain with a nutty flavor. And in just 1 cup it has 8 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein…
Escarole
Escarole is a member of the chicory family — related to radicchio, frisee (another fancy name!) and endive.  It is a little on the bitter side, so I recommend sautéing it or using it in soups, stews and sauces…
Lentils
Not only are lentils inexpensive, they are packed with protein, fiber, potassium, iron and B vitamins…
Kale
This low-calorie green provides an excellent source of both vitamins A (as beta-carotene) and C, along with a decent amount of fiber. Kale also delivers vitamin B6, which helps maintain healthy nervous and immune systems, as well as iron and calcium…
Acorn Squash
Easy to prepare, rich flavor, loaded with fiber, magnesium, potassium, as well as B vitamins and vitamin C…
Beets
Low in calories and high in folate and antioxidants, beets are a great way to boost nutrition and taste at the same time.
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Don't mix your meds with these foods

(Consumer Reports) Kale is great for you—usually. If you’re taking some drugs, it might cause some bad side effects.  Same with grapefruit juice and other healthy foods and drinks, and some other common treats.
Turns out, what you take with your medications can be just as important as taking them in the first place. Here’s why: Research shows that some foods and drinks can rob your medications of some of their powers. Or they can cause serious, even life-threatening, reactions.
Here’s a list of seven foods that don’t mix well with common drugs.
Bananas…
Kale…
Black licorice…
Milk…
Grapefruit juice…
Salami…
Walnuts.
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Fixing Food Stamps for All? Could be a SNAP

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) [W]e -- the American taxpayers -- send the Feds about $100 billion annually to underwrite SNAP so that poor people can choose poor food to get to poor health. We then spend a whole lot more money than that through Medicaid to pay the costs of all that disease care. Who, exactly, wins in this scenario?...
But if SNAP as it exists is encumbered by unintended consequences, and bumping families off SNAP simply adds insult to injury while harming the economy at large and hindering human potential -- where might we go from here?...
[W]e might try spending a little to save a lot… We might link a comprehensive, soup-to-nuts program of financial incentives to an objective and validated measure of nutritional quality, and expand and contract the purchasing power of SNAP vouchers in accord with that metric. Buy a bread in the bottom quartile of bread scores, in other words, and your dollar is worth a dollar. Buy a bread in the top quartile, and your dollar is worth two dollars…
If the approach, which I have called FINGER TIPS, worked as intended -- and we should let the data decide -- then why stop with SNAP? A similar approach could readily populate private sector opportunities.
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AHA: PCSK9 Drug Lowers LDL Over Longer Term

(MedPage Today) The anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibody evolocumab maintained dramatically reduced cholesterol levels over 1 year, phase II trial extension studies showed.
Mean reduction in LDL was 52.1% over baseline at 1 year in the extension phase, similar to the 50.4% reduction seen in the initial 12-week phase II studies for patients who were on evolocumab in both phases…, Michael J Koren, MD, … and colleagues found.
Patients who were in the control group in the initial studies and switched onto the drug in the extension phase caught up quickly.
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National standards urged for US tornado protection

(Reuters) National standards should be set for building construction, storm shelters and emergency communications to reduce death and damage from tornados, a federal agency that studied the deadly 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, recommended on Thursday.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology said 135 of the 161 deaths from the May 22, 2011 tornado resulted from building failure. The EF-5 tornado was the deadliest single tornado in the United States since official records were first kept in 1950, the agency said.
The study was the most detailed ever conducted after a tornado, the agency said, and comes in the wake of Midwest tornadoes early this week that caused $1 billion in damage and killed six people in Illinois and two in Michigan.
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Supplement linked to liver failure, hepatitis recalled

(UPI) Following U.S. Food and Drug Administration actions, USPLabs in Texas recalled and destroyed a supplement linked to liver failure and hepatitis, officials say.
"As soon as we suspected a possible link between OxyElite Pro products and cases of liver failure and non-viral hepatitis in Hawaii, we warned the public and immediately began an investigation with state officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Daniel Fabricant, director of FDA's Division of Dietary Supplement Programs, said in a statement.
"Our mandate to protect the public was fulfilled by ensuring the swift removal of the product from the marketplace."
The dietary supplement was advertised as an aid to losing weight and building muscles.
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Painkillers May Ease Marijuana Side Effects

(LiveScience) Pain relievers found in many medicine cabinets may help prevent some of the learning and memory problems often experienced by people who regularly use medical marijuana, a new study suggests.
In a series of experiments done on mice, researchers found they could prevent or lessen marijuana's cognitive side effects by giving the drug's active ingredient, a chemical called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in combination with either Celebrex, a prescription pain reliever, or ibuprofen, an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
"Our findings suggest that the unwanted side effects of cannabis could be eliminated or reduced, while its beneficial effects can be retained," said study researcher Chu Chen.
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Only Half of Drugs Removed by Sewage Treatment

(Scientific American) Only about half of the prescription drugs and other newly emerging contaminants in sewage are removed by treatment plants.
That’s the finding of a new report by the International Joint Commission, a consortium of officials from the United States and Canada who study the Great Lakes.
The impact of most of these “chemicals of emerging concern” on the health of people and aquatic life remains unclear. Nevertheless, the commission report concludes that better water treatment is needed.
“The compounds show up in low levels – parts per billion or parts per trillion – but aquatic life and humans aren’t exposed to just one at a time, but a whole mix,” said Antonette Arvai, physical scientist at the International Joint Commission and the lead author of the study. “We need to find which of these chemicals might hurt us.”
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More think doctors should try to extend lives, no matter how painful

(Los Angeles Times) A growing minority of Americans believes that doctors should do anything possible to save a life, no matter what, instead of saying there are some situations in which a patient should be allowed to pass away, the Pew Research Center found in a survey of nearly 2,000 adults.
In addition, an increasing number of people say that even if they were suffering an incurable disease and were in severe pain, they would not ask their doctors to halt treatment.
The surge in such attitudes surprises bioethicists who want physicians and families to carefully weigh aggressive medical treatments for patients near death. Invasive procedures may not lengthen or improve life for the chronically ill, they warn. Such procedures also can drive up healthcare costs.
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Affordable Care Act News

(UPI) Seventy-seven percent of U.S. adults who don't have health insurance and haven't signed up for any say they are aware of the fine, a U.S. survey indicates.
(McClatchy) In a new analysis released on Thursday, Families USA, says the outrage over the cancellations is being overblown. "I don't mean to suggest that it doesn't deserve attention, I do think, however, that this issue has been blown out of proportion," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA… [R]oughly 1.5 million people out of 267 million Americans under age 65 [are] at risk of losing their individual coverage and not receiving any financial assistance, the report finds.
 "It's really important to remember that this is truly a tiny portion of the people that will be affected by the Affordable Care Act," Pollack said.
(Politico) Veteran House Democratic aides are sick over the insurance prices they’ll pay under Obamacare, and they’re scrambling to find a cure. “In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before,” Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. “Simply unacceptable.”
Community: So now we see why members of Congress and their aides should always be forced to abide by the laws they pass. A single payer system could be set up so that everybody pays the same price.
(USA Today) Sweeping differences in health care exchange pricing among states and counties is leading to sticker shock for some middle-class consumers and others who aren't eligible for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. The average prices for the most popular plans are twice as high in the most expensive states as those with the lowest average prices, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data for 34 states using the federal health insurance exchange.
(Reuters) The Obama administration announced a flurry of fixes to its troubled HealthCare.gov website on Friday that officials said would soon double its current capacity, a crucial step toward getting the system working by a November 30 deadline.
(New York Daily News) In another acknowledgement of the botched rollout of the health-insurance law, the agency delayed the cutoff date for coverage starting Jan. 1, and also pushed back the start of 2014's signup period so that it begins after Election Day.
(CQ HealthBeat) With the federal insurance exchange website sputtering, industry executives and Health and Human Services officials are looking harder at added ways to build health plan membership, with "direct enrollment" a particular focus. It's a potentially powerful tool, says one insurance expert, and if that's true, it would be welcome news for the Obama administration, whose sign-up efforts thus far through the federal marketplace have bordered on the disastrous. But developing the approach isn't going to happen overnight, analysts say.
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Medicare Advantage Plans Cutting Docs to Save $$

(MedPage Today) Medicare managed care plans are dropping doctors from their networks in an effort to improve their star ratings and save money, financial analysts … said.
Some Medicare Advantage plans -- particularly UnitedHealthcare in the Northeast -- are cutting thousands of doctors from their networks, forcing patients to scramble in some cases to find new providers.
The pressure comes as the Affordable Care Act cuts $300 billion in Medicare Advantage spending over the next decade.
"It almost seems as though they're trying to get their star quality scores up by culling out the physicians who contribute to low scores," Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, said Thursday at a discussion he moderated. The star ratings -- ranging from one star for "Poor" to five stars for "Excellent" -- are provided by Medicare to help patients select plans.
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The US Lags in Life Expectancy Gains

(Peter Coy, Businessweek) Life expectancy in the U.S. has been growing more slowly than in other developed countries and is now more than a year below the developed-country average, according to a new report (PDF) from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development…
Why has the U.S. fallen off pace? The OECD report sums up some American studies by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine that suggest some causes. None of the theories reflect well on the U.S.:
1.    The highly fragmented nature of the U.S. health system, with relatively few resources devoted to public health and primary care, and a large share of the population uninsured;
2.    Health-related behaviors, including higher calorie consumption per capita and obesity rates, higher consumption of prescription and illegal drugs, higher deaths from road traffic accidents and higher homicide rates;
3.    Adverse socioeconomic conditions affecting a large segment of the U.S. population, with higher rates of poverty and income inequality than in most other OECD countries.
Ouch.
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Spending More and Getting Less for Health Care

(Pauline W. Chen, M.D.) Studies since the 1980s have shown that despite spending enormous sums on health care, Americans are less healthy than their counterparts in other developed countries. In the most recent studies comparing the United States to 17 other wealthy industrialized nations including France, Japan, Canada and Britain, Americans had a shorter life expectancy, higher rates of disease, the highest rates of infant mortality and the lowest chance over all of surviving to middle age…
[I]n 2011, in a well-respected professional journal and in The New York Times, Dr. Elizabeth H. Bradley…, Lauren A. Taylor…, and their colleagues offered one of the most compelling and cohesive explanations yet.
As with other researchers, they had found that the United States spends a significantly higher percentage of its gross domestic product — as much as 50 percent more than other developed countries — on health services like acute hospital care, rehabilitative care, diagnostic imaging, laboratory tests and health insurance. But when that percentage is combined with the much smaller amounts spent on education, old age pensions, disability and sickness benefits, family support and employment programs, unemployment benefits and housing support, the United States ranking drops precipitously to one more in line with its poor health care outcomes…
Now in their new book [The American Health Care Paradox], Dr. Bradley and Ms. Taylor expand on these findings…
[T]he authors review the critical historical and cultural turning points of American medicine and social services and show how in the United States these two sectors developed along markedly different paths. Health care became a profitable industry, with powerful special interest groups battling each other for the spoils. Social services, on the other hand, fell into the domain of government agencies and a handful of nonprofit organizations, utilized by only those who couldn’t afford care otherwise. In a country that continued to cling to the ideal of rugged individualism, reliance on such services came to be seen as evidence of a person’s weakness and a sign of financial and moral impoverishment…
[It is] hard to ignore the enormous funding and reimbursement disparities between high-tech diagnostic procedures like M.R.I.’s and intensive care on the one hand, and housing support, education and job training on the other. It is difficult to accept all the lost potential for an inclusive and holistic approach in policy proposals and health care plans. And it becomes clearer than ever after reading the book how even in our own lives, doctors, medicine and all the latest treatments are not the only things that keep us healthy.
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21 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare

(Ralph Nader) Costly complexity is baked into Obamacare. No health insurance system is without problems but Canadian style single-payer full Medicare for all is simple, affordable, comprehensive and universal…
Below please find 21 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare…
In Canada,
everyone is covered automatically at birth – everybody in, nobody out…
the health system is designed to put people, not profits, first…
coverage is not tied to a job or dependent on your income – rich and poor are in the same system, the best guaranty of quality…
health care coverage stays with you for your entire life…
you can freely choose your doctors and hospitals and keep them. There are no lists of “in-network” vendors and no extra hidden charges for going “out of network.”…
the health care system is funded by income, sales and corporate taxes that, combined, are much lower than what Americans pay in premiums…
there are no complex hospital or doctor bills. In fact, usually you don’t even see a bill…
costs are controlled. Canada pays 10 percent of its GDP for its health care system, covering everyone…
it is unheard of for anyone to go bankrupt due to health care costs…
simplicity leads to major savings in administrative costs and overhead…
when you go to a doctor or hospital the first thing they ask you is: “What’s wrong?” In the United States, the first thing they ask you is: “What kind of insurance do you have?”...
the government negotiates drug prices so they are more affordable…
the government health care funds are not profitably diverted to the top one percent…
there are no necessary co-pays or deductibles…
the health care system contributes to social solidarity and national pride…
delays in health care are not due to the cost of insurance…
nobody dies due to lack of health insurance…
an increasing majority supports their health care system, which costs half as much, per person, as in the United States. And in Canada, everyone is covered…
the tax payments to fund the health care system are progressive – the lowest 20 percent pays 6 percent of income into the system while the highest 20 percent pays 8 percent…
the administration of the system is simple. You get a health care card when you are born. And you swipe it when you go to a doctor or hospital. End of story…
the majority of citizens love their health care system…
For more information see Single Payer Action.
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More Affordable Care Act News

(The Hill) The White House on Wednesday released a report that shows healthcare spending has grown at the slowest rate on record under the Affordable Care Act.
The report, produced by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), comes as the administration tries to emphasize positive news about the new law amid stories about its troubled website and the cancellation of millions of individual health plans. The report said healthcare spending between 2010 and 2013 grew at an annual rate of only 1.3 percent. That’s the lowest rate dating back to 1965, when the metric was first calculated.
(Kaiser Health News) The Medicare program created by the Affordable Care Act focuses on smarter, targeted care to save lives and money. 
(ThinkProgress) A new study estimates that over 70 percent of Americans will get government subsidies to help them buy insurance under Obamacare.
(New York Times) Despite weeks of work by a small army of software experts to salvage HealthCare.gov, navigators in states that depend on the federal insurance exchange say they still cannot get most of their clients through the online enrollment process. Those navigators said they had seen improvements in the system since its disastrous rollout on Oct. 1, particularly in the initial steps of the application process. But the closer people come to signing up for a plan, the more the system seems to freeze or fail, many navigators said.
(Bloomberg) States and insurers are already working to bail out President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, anticipating the system’s online insurance exchanges may not be ready by a critical December deadline.
Community: Remember that you can find out if you’re qualified for a subsidy at HealthLawHelper.org, and you can check for qualified plans and their prices in your area at TheHealthSherpa.com.
(McClatchy) No surprise here....House Speaker John Boehner tried to access the Affordable Care Act web site and got nowhere. "After putting in my personal information, I received an error message," he said after trying to access the Washington, D.C. exchange. "I was able to work past that," Boehner added, "but when I went to actually sign up for coverage, I got this 'internal server error' screen." He couldn't get any further, and he's now got a call into the help desk.
Community: It’s like O.J. trying desperately to pretend that the glove didn’t fit. Somebody should tell Boehner about the special assistance available to members of Congress and their staffs.
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