Obamacare or the new Affordable Care Act has managed to stay in news for the last 6 months. As the deadline, March 31st, for signing up under the new Act fast approaches; the debate has gotten even more intensified. It won’t be harsh to admit that the government started with an unrealistic target. It was at first estimated that Obamacare will receive more than 6 million sign ups and most of them will come from young individuals and hence the risk factor for the new Act will be greatly minimized. Later on the government realized that 7 million is a surreal figure and hence they revised the target to 6 million sign ups. But even with this new and revised target, Obamacare is facing troubles.
According to the latest reports, only 4 million people have signed up for Obamacare. With less than three weeks left for the deadline to expire, Obama administration is falling short of two million enrollees. What’s even more troubling is that the young American citizens have not shown a considerable support in favor of the new Act, hence the risk factor that the Obama administration ignored now looms at large. Whether the target figure of 6 million signups will be achieved or not is a question that can only be answered after the deadline expires, so for now let’s focus on what Obamacare has to offer. In this article we will discuss some of the positive aspects of the new Affordable Care Act.
- Underwriting banned:
Underwriting is the favorite tool of insurance companies for mitigating the risk factors involved in the insurance business. For those who do not understand the term ‘Underwriting’, it is the practice of denying coverage to anyone who has a pre-existing medical condition. Insurance companies have used the practice of Underwriting extensively and have even denied coverage on natural and harmless conditions such as acne and pregnancy. To some readers the practice of Underwriting will appear as nothing but nonsense and that’s exactly what the government perceived it as. According to the new Affordable Care Act, insurance companies have been barred from denying coverage to anyone based on some pre-existing medical conditions. This is a very welcoming provision of the new act, especially for those who have serious health ailments. Previously it was difficult for cancer survivors to get private health insurance, in most of the cases they had to rely on the last resort insurance providers. Even though you can get insured from a last resort insurance provider but the premium costs that you end up paying are much higher. But from now on insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage to anyone based on his/her medical history.
- Great benefits for women:
The new Affordable Care Act showers a lot of benefits on the fairer sex. According to the new Act, it has been made mandatory for insurance companies to provide full coverage on screening tests related to Cervical Cancer. Considering the fact that Cervical Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in women, this provision will definitely help in screening the cancer at an early stage.
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This article is written by Dr Amanda Michells. Dr Amanda works at a hospital in the state of Washington. As a doctor she has seen many patients suffer due to the lack of insurance hence she strongly advises everyone to get themselves covered by major medical insurance.
An investigation conducted by the University of California, San Francisco found that too many Americans have had unnecessary thyroid biopsies. The investigators collected and analyzed data of 8,800 patients who had thyroid ultrasound scans. The report from the investigation concluded that 98% of thyroid nodules on the 8,800 patients were not cancerous. JAMA International Medicine published a copy of the report.
The lead investigator, Dr. Rebecca Smith Bindman of the USCF stated that “Right now, we’re doing far too many thyroid biopsies in patients who are really at very low risk of having thyroid cancer.” The study recommended that patients should not be recommended for biopsy unless the imaging test shows that the thyroid nodules have microcalcification. Microcalcifications are tiny flecks of calcium on the nodules. According to the investigators, this would lessen the number of people who will undergo unnecessary biopsy.
The investigators emphasized that biopsy is an unnecessary procedure and unnecessary cost for many patients. Moreover, being recommended for biopsy also causes a lot of anxiety for patients. Patients must also take time off from work. All these can be avoided if new guidelines will be adapted by doctors.
As demonstrated by the investigation, a new guidelines is necessary. At present, there is high rate of thyroid nodules in the US today. It is therefore necessary to find guidelines that are more cost efficient and less invasive. Moreover, in women thyroid nodules are usually benign. There is no need for women a lot of women to spend money and be under a lot of worry for something that is less likely to be cancerous.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Drugs recently published a clinical report stating that many of the medications today are safe for breastfeeding. The AAP Committee on Drugs also stated that taking the drugs poses more benefits than the risk of possible harm to the babies. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, mothers are “inappropriately advised”. They are told to either stop breastfeeding when taking medication or not to take medicine when breastfeeding.
Many women are in fact misguided. They decided not to breastfeed their children because they are taking medication. They are worried about the adverse effects of the drugs on their babies. What they do not know is that the benefits of breastfeeding far outweighs the danger of taking medications when breastfeeding. Many of the drugs today are safe for breastfeeding while the benefits of breastfeeding include short and long term health benefits for children. Children who are breastfed, for example, have low risk of infection, asthma and sudden infant death syndrome. Children who are breastfed also grow up healthier.
According to Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, it is difficult to classify which drugs are safe for breastfeeding. This is because it is always a case to case basis. As such, it is a risk benefit decision. What they want to emphasize is that many of the drugs today are safe. More importantly the benefits of breastfeeding are something that every mother should consider. The report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Drugs identified the drugs that may potentially harm breastfed children.
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