Springfield - In passing HB3227 (formerly SB34) today, the Illinois Senate took a major step in establishing a state based health insurance marketplace that helps small businesses and individuals in Illinois.
State Senator David Koehler (D-46 Peoria), chief sponsor of SB34 (now contained in HB3227) commented after the vote, "I am pleased that a super majority of my colleagues in the Senate voted for Illinois to establish its own state health insurance marketplace. Expanding help and providing a voice for small businesses and individuals who will be utilizing the new Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace is the intention of the Affordable Care Act, and I am proud that the Illinois Senate has made that commitment."
Brigid Leahy, Director of Legislation at Planned Parenthood of Illinois, said, "If we're running things at the state level, we can fix things, we can make them better, we have better control over making sure that it works for consumers. If it’s in the hands of the feds, we don’t have that power."
HB3227 establishes a pro-consumer and pro-small business health insurance marketplace in Illinois. The health insurance marketplace will be the one-stop insurance shop for more than a million Illinoisans.
Speaking on behalf of the Illinois Public Health Association, Tom Hughes said, "The diversity of this board will best represent the population of Illinois and protect consumers in the new marketplace."
HB3227 ensures that the marketplace is governed by a diverse board that represents women, small businesses, communities of color, labor, public health, people with disabilities, and consumers, and provides for accountability of the insurance industry selling plans on the new marketplace.
Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care, said, "This historic vote by the Illinois Senate today shows the Senate's commitment to Illinois small businesses and individuals who will be eligible for the new Illinois health insurance marketplace. When fully implemented nearly 1.2 Illinoisans will be utilizing this marketplace. HB3227 will provide small businesses and consumers a direct voice in developing and implementation a State Based Marketplace that meets the needs of Illinoisans. Now it is up to the Illinois House to show their commitment and support to small businesses and individuals, and to President Obama's Affordable Care Act."
Careful Planning Now Will Bolster Successful Implementation of ObamaCare Next Year
The new program implements a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that allows states to expand Medicaid programs to cover most low-income individuals. The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) granted Cook County permission to launch this program in October 2012. Previously, as many as 250,000 Cook County residents were excluded from Medicaid because they did not meet the program’s restrictive eligibility requirements, such as being totally disabled.
The federally-funded Ryan White Program provides HIV medical care, medications, and supportive services to low-income people with HIV. The program is a payer of last resort, meaning all other sources of payment must be accessed before Ryan White Program funds can be used to cover needed services for people with HIV/AIDS.
Hundreds of people with HIV might have to switch from their current health care provider to one that is in the CountyCare network. Federal requirements prevented Cook County from enrolling all Ryan White Program providers in CountyCare.
It is estimated that half of all Americans diagnosed with HIV do not receive regular medical care, making CountyCare an unprecedented opportunity to reverse this trend in Northeast Illinois. Unlike traditional Medicaid, which requires single, low-income adults to be disabled, CountyCare eligibility is based solely on lawful residency in Cook County and income level.
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Newark Valley, NY, February 18, 2013
– Many of us know someone whose family is dealing with autism; once considered rare, now 1 in 88 children in this country are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Silently Seizing: Common, Unrecognized and Frequently Missed Seizures and Their Potentially Damaging Impact on Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders (AAPC Publishing) by Caren Haines, RN
, and valuable input by Nancy Minshew, MD, deals with the overwhelming challenge for those living with silent seizures. Many are confronted by anger and falsely accused of disorderly conduct, indecent exposure and drug abuse; while some are even unfairly arrested because the bizarre actions exhibited during a seizure have led to frequent misdiagnosis, medical mismanagement and, in the worst case, commitment to a mental institution.
Because they are difficult to diagnose, or due to a lack of awareness and understanding, as many as 30% of all children and young adults with ASD may have undiagnosed seizure disorders. Silently Seizing is a breakthrough book that explores what most doctors won't tell you – that often the symptoms of autism are caused by seizures, undetectable with standard diagnostic tools.
At age 2, the author’s son was diagnosed with autism. By the time he was 12, his diagnosis didn't account for his uncontrollable aggression, the acrid smells that lingered in his mind and the odd voices that screamed at him from inside his head. By the time he was 18, his out-of-control behavior mirrored a mood disorder with psychotic features. Silently Seizing begins with a close-up look at this family's journey and examines a disorder that cannot always be identified in a clinical setting.
As a registered nurse, Caren Haines relied on her training to help her decipher her now 24-year-old autistic son’s perplexing behaviors. Based on knowledge gained from years of intensive research and information from top researchers in the field of autism, she is helping families become free from the debilitating symptoms of silent seizures and psychosis.
Haines’ says, “Intersecting at two medical subspecialties, neurology and psychiatry, the child who has autism and partial seizures is at a serious disadvantage. By inadvertently allowing children's brains to “silently seize,” we are robbing them of their ability to function normally. Untreated, these seizures can predispose children to develop behavioral disturbances, such as self-injury, aggression and psychosis, which are seen in many cases of autism. If they are treated early with anti-seizure medications, many children show amazing gains in expressive language and comprehension. More importantly, many children lose their diagnosis of autism.”
Backed by up-to-the-minute research, Silently Seizing: Common, Unrecognized and Frequently Missed Seizures and Their Potentially Damaging Impact on Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders is a must-read book that includes sections describing autism, the seizure-autism connection, tips for diagnosing and treating seizures, as well as how to better understand children's behavior. It acts as a virtual guide to help parents navigate through this complex and mystifying disease. For more information, please visit: www.bit.ly/Rb2WBW
Psychologist Offers 4 Tips for Maintaining Balance in Difficult Times
It’s no wonder nearly one in 10 Americans suffers from depression. “Top risk factors include being unable to work or unemployed; having no health insurance; suffering from obesity,” notes psychologist Gregory L. Jantz
, citing a Centers for Disease Control
“Unfortunately, those topics have dominated headlines for the past five years. What’s worse, by 2020, the World Health Organization estimates depression will be second most debilitating disease worldwide.”
The author of “Overcoming Anxiety, Worry and Fear,
) says these negative emotions along with sustained, excessive stress can lead to depression, which now overshadows other problems for which patients seek help at his clinic.
“Depression can be rooted in a number of problems, and those need to be addressed – simply taking a pill is not usually effective treatment. Anger, fear and guilt can all be underlying causes, even when the person isn’t aware he’s experiencing those feelings.”
A holistic treatment approach, which may or may not include medication, helps people overcome a bout of the debilitating illness, and learn techniques to manage it themselves, he says.
People at risk of depression can work at maintaining their emotional equilibrium by counterbalancing negative feelings with optimism, hope, and joy. This is most effective if they do this holistically, addressing the four main categories of human need.
“By purposefully feeding the intellectual, relational, physical, and spiritual aspects of your life positive emotions, you can achieve balance,” Jantz says.He offers these suggestions:• Intellectual:
Be aware of what you’re feeding to your mind. Try reading a positive, uplifting book, and setting aside time in your day to fill yourself up intellectually with constructive, encouraging messages. Be aware of what you are reading and listening to, and seek to counter the negative input we all get with positive influences.• Relational:
Think of a person you really enjoy talking to, someone who makes you feel good about yourself or someone who’s just fun to be around. Plan today to spend time with that person this week, even if it’s just for a moment or two. Make the effort to verbalize your appreciation for his or her positive presence in your day.• Physical:
Physical activity is a wonderful way of promoting emotional health. Engage in some mild exercise this week. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Stroll through a city park. The goals are to get your body moving and to allow you to focus on something other than yourself and your surroundings. Greet your neighbors, stop at the park and watch someone playing with his dog, or cheer at a Little League game. Intentionally open up your focus to include the broader world around you.• Spiritual Support:
Take some time to nourish your spirit. If you are a member of a religious organization, make sure to attend services this week. If you are not, listen to some religious or meditative music. Spend time in quiet reflection, meditation, or prayer. Intentionally engage in an activity that replenishes and reconnects your spirit.
If you are not depressed but feel anxious and stressed, have trouble sleeping or find your not content much of the time, Jantz says it’s time to start taking care of yourself.
“Depression is painful and as debilitating as any other disease,” he says. “Take steps to de-stress your life and to work on emotional balance before it gets worse.”About Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D
Gregory L. Jantz has more than 25 years experience in mental health counseling and is the founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, near Seattle, Wash. The Center, “a place for hope,” provides comprehensive, coordinated care from a treatment team that addresses medical, physical, psychological, emotional, nutritional, fitness and spiritual factors involved in recovery. He is the best-selling author of more than 20 books, including “When Your Teenager Becomes…The Stranger in the House.” If you’re concerned you or a loved one may be depressed, visit www.aplaceofhope.com
and click the “Are You?” tab for a self-evaluation.
In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
, this infographic poster was created to highlight the facts about the impact HIV/AIDS has on black men who have sex with men. You can help raise awareness by sharing this infographic on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.
photos (L to R) : Duane Cramer, App and Mondo GuerraHIV Treatment with New Interactive Digital Toolsby David Cohen
In observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
, Merck announced
on Thursday, February 7, 2013, that Duane Cramer, an acclaimed photographer and HIV advocate, will be joining the national HIV education campaign named I Design. Duane has partnered with Project Runway star Mondo Guerra, who served as the voice of the campaign in 2012. The new campaign geared to help people living with HIV to find way to work with their doctors and to approach their treatment of HIV "through their own lens" said Duane. These interactive digital tools will help HIV people to manage their life better and make evryday an easy day to bare. You will be able to find these tools on www.ProjectIDesign.com,
where you can download a conversation checklist
. This list will offer you tips on how to engage your Dr. in an open and honest conversation, by designing a digital textile illustration to your approach of managing your HIV.
There are few apps that can help you manage your health: “My Health Matters
” and “My Positive Agenda
” for mobile and for desktop. These easy-to-use tools help you track the symptoms of your HIV, set up reminders to take your medications on time, and keep a record of when you have taken them, which can serve to prompt you on important discussion points when you are with your doctor.
“As a person who has lived with HIV for a long time, I’ve learned that self-expression is incredibly important, especially when it comes to working with my doctor on a treatment plan,” said Cramer. “I am thrilled to join Merck and Mondo on the I Design
campaign and to be kicking off the second year of this successful initiative on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. I look forward to helping people living with HIV understand the importance of an open and ongoing dialogue with their health care provider to manage this chronic disease.”
An internationally known photographer, Duane has lived with HIV for nearly two decades. He is also a passionate activist for HIV awareness and education, particularly for the African-American community, who are disproportionately affected by the disease. Since being diagnosed as HIV-positive, HIV has become his artistic lens, no matter the subject. Some of his most rewarding work, through his photography and his personal life, comes from bringing attention to African-Americans living with HIV.
For additional tips and to follow Merck, Mondo, and Duane’s collaboration on I Design
, join them on Twitter: @Merck, @LoveMondoTrasho, and @DuaneCramer.
As New Year's resolutions go into full swing, you may notice fewer patrons at restaurants and more frequent visitors to gyms and health food stores. Healthy living is no longer an inconvenient chore. High quality products are available online and can be delivered quickly straight to your front door, including vegan cleanses for jumpstarting healthier eating. Kaeng Raeng
is one of several natural products now focused on lower prices, and thorough customer service it can be shipped and delivered to consumers in only 2 days, or you can buy it at the Whole Food stores. Kaeng Raeng provides the benefits of cleansing in the 21st century, and all you have to do is add water! You'll receive 3 packets per day (9 or 18 total) of the detox program you choose.
Kaeng Raeng is an all natural dietary supplement made in the US. It is not recommended for pregnant women, women who are nursing, anyone with a history of eating disorders, or any customer under the age of 16. None of the statements on the Kaeng Raeng packaging has been evaluated by the FDA. Kaeng Raeng is not meant to treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease. For more info visit www.kaengraeng.com
. Cost: $69.99
by Dr. Eudene Harry
So you overindulged during the holidays and gained a few pounds or, even more distressing, you’ve added even more weight to the weight you were trying to shed all year.
Regain the upper hand by following a simple P.L.A.N. for weight-loss success as follow:
P: Preparation. Whether you are the CEO of your home or CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you know that the odds of success increase with preparation. One of the biggest missteps is to depend on “will power.” If you are stressed after a long day at work, you didn’t sleep well the night before and you missed your afternoon snack, what will you choose when you get home: the chocolate chip cookies or preparing a sensible dinner? If, on the other hand, there are no cookies available and you have already prepared dinner, then what do you chose? That’s the difference between will power and preparation.
Step 1: Go through the pantry and fridge and dispose of tempting leftovers. You will not help starvation in Africa or any other country by overindulging. Restock with your favorite fruits, vegetables and raw nuts, all of which make easy snacks. Divide the nuts into appropriate single-serving sizes. Remember: preparation, not will power.
Step 2: Take one a day a week to prepare for the week ahead. If you already know what you are going to have for breakfast, you’re less apt to skip this meal, which sets you up to overindulge the rest of the day. If you know that you’ll be eating out this week, take time to look at the menu items and nutrition facts for the restaurant online. You can also use the time to plan appropriate substitutions. With this strategy you accomplish two things: making better choices and appearing spontaneous and decisive to your dining partners.
L: Identify your limits. This is the key to success for many weight management programs. It may be presented as daily points, calorie count or prepackaged foods, but the take-home message is the same: Know your limits.
A simple rule of thumb is to eat your vegetables first, perhaps with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil or crushed nuts to ensure absorption of all the nutrients vegetables offer, then consume your protein source (a portion the size of your palm), and finally, the carbohydrate. Keep carbs whole grain, high fiber and limit to a half-cup. Eating this way has several advantages. It slows down the absorption of sugar and thereby prevents insulin spikes and reactive hunger; it helps you to feel fuller more quickly; and it maximizes absorption of nutrients.
Other things to consider are limiting sodium to less than 2,000 mg a day; limit alcohol to one to two drinks a week; and put all sauces and dressing on the side so you control the amount used – no more than 1 tablespoon. Avoid fried foods, trans fats and foods whose primary ingredient is sugar.
A: Increase activity level. You want to increase activity not because it will help you to lose weight but because it will improve your energy, moods and muscle tone. All are important ingredients in any weight-loss program. The first rule of thumb is to pick an activity that you like – or one you don’t hate. Next, shoot for consistency before quantity. Starting out with an hour a day may feel overwhelming and exhausting, and can also cause an injury, which would derail all your good intentions. If 10 minutes four times a week allows you to be consistent, then start there and build up. Rome was not built in a day.
N: Finally, cut the negative talk. Remember when your grandmother said you could attract more flies with honey? I think this is what she meant. Beating up on yourself gives you the excuse you need to continue the habits that have kept you in the same place. We have just left a season where, hopefully, we have been reminded of the importance of being kind to others. Why not extend that kindness to yourself? Instead of constantly looking for proof of why you are going to fail, look for evidence of success: “I exercised 10 minutes a day for four days last week and already I am feeling a bit better. Wow, imagine when I can do it for 15 minutes.”
I often hear patients say, “It’s been a month and I have only lost three or four pounds.” This is not defeat; this is success! In 12 months that will be 36 pounds. Another thing I hear frequently is, “It has been two weeks. I feel better but I haven’t lost any weight so why bother.” Try – “It’s only been two weeks and already I am starting to feel better. Imagine what I can accomplish in three, six, or 12 months. Remember Einstein’s rule: You can’t solve a problem from the same mind frame in which it was created.
About Eudene Harry, M.D.
Dr. Eudene Harry completed her medical degree and residency training at Thomas Jefferson University. She has been practicing medicine nearly 20 years, including 10 as an emergency physical for Level II trauma centers. She is the medical director for the integrative and holistic Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, and is founder of Oasis for Optimal Health, a private practice focused on integrative, holistic wellness and empowering and educating the patient.