Ouch! Did you know one of the fastest ways to go broke in America is to go to the hospital. As a physician-in-training, I see a lot of patients with similar stories, but I have noticed that these days it seems like almost everyone has an outrageous hospital bill story to share, myself included.
It is getting to the point where most people are deathly afraid to go to the hospital. All the financial progress that you have made in recent years can literally be wiped out in just a matter of hours. For example, you are about to read about an Arizona woman that was recently charged $83,046 for a three hour hospital visit. How in the world is anyone supposed to pay a bill like that? I have a really hard time understanding why a visit to the doctor should ever be more than a couple hundred bucks or why a hospital stay should ever be more than a couple thousand dollars.
The outrageous cost of healthcare, and hospital bills in this country are a real pet peeve of mine. What makes all of this even more infuriating is that Medicare, Medicaid and the big insurance companies are often charged less than 10 percent of what the rest of us are billed for the same procedures.
There is a reason why 41 percent of all working age Americans are struggling with medical debt right now. It is because our health care system has become a giant money making machine.
The recipient’s insurance covers the tab for both the donor and the recipient for the procedure. The donor needs regular follow ups for the rest of his/her life to make sure that one kidney is in tip top shape. The recipient’s insurance drops coverage because they can’t cover this tab forever. They cut the donor off. And then the donor is left with the bill.
Only in America. Our healthcare system is embarrassing.
Over 25 percent of teenagers and young adults in the U.S. admit to being binge drinkers (according to the CDC). And over 33 million adults admit to binge drinking in the past year. Binge drinking is defined as having over four or five drinks in a matter of a few hours. And, as we all know, it’s becoming a cultural norm.
Alcohol ranks third as the cause of preventable deaths (after cigarettes and poor diet) killing nearly 80,000 Americans a year. Half of those are due to binge drinking. That’s for adults. Binging is the major cause of alcohol related deaths for adolescents and young adults. To really hammer this home, think about this one: 90 percent of all the alcohol consumed by high school students is consumed through binge drinking.
As a culture, we seem to enable binging. Evenings of recreation for college students or young adults are often centered around drinking heavily as a primary activity — as opposed to alcohol being a compliment to other forms of entertainment. In this environment, what can people do to defend themselves against a such an underestimated problem so poorly understood or defined?
Alcoholism is generally thought of as someone who drinks every day. So is binge drinking a form of alcoholism as well? And what can people do to curb a binge drinking habit in a culture which encourages it?
The organizers of the anti-Muslim hate rally in Yorba Linda are suddenly on the defensive. Refusing to admit that they behaved like demented racists, or that there is anything wrong with demonizing Muslim citizens of the United States, the North OC Conservative Coalition’s Karen Lugo, Jewish Federation love instructor Rabbi David Eliezrie, and others are claiming that they participated in a peaceful “patriotic” rally that was corrupted by members of an unwanted “splinter group” (was it led by a one-armed man?) who appeared from out of the blue to shout racial slurs at families entering the Muslim charity event.
If it is wrong for these people to do it…
Then it is wrong for these people to do it!
Read more at: Islamophobia
With increasing security at airports around the world, flying has grown more stressful for all of us. But for people with disabilities, flying can be particularly daunting. Imagine if you were the Atlanta businesswoman who was asked to remove her prosthetic arm for further examination. Or if you were asked to remove your prosthetic breast, as a cancer survivor was in a North Carolina airport.
Take the case of Carrie Salberg, who has muscular dystrophy and must travel with a ventilator. She had boarded her flight home from a vacation in New Orleans when flight attendants ordered her off the plane with no explanation. Ms. Salberg had received approval to fly with the ventilator a month earlier and had flown without incident to New Orleans. She was finally allowed to board a plane five hours later, but the delay meant she couldn’t drink anything for hours because she is not able to use public bathrooms.
A series of 11 infographics from Mother Jones vividly illustrate the widening gap between America’s rich and poor, and how skewed Americans’ views of this inequality are. The myth of the American dream has led plenty of ordinary Americans to believe that they are rich-people-in-waiting, leading them to support policies that benefit the rich at their expense (see the chart after the jump for more).
If you were asked the leading cause of disability in America, what would your answer be? Consider your response carefully, as I can almost assure you that it is not any of the illnesses you are contemplating.
Could it be diabetes? This ailment certainly affects a significant portion of the adult public. Most of us have an acquaintance or two that suffers from the disease.
How about depression? Sure, it’s not a condition normally associated with disability, but it can certainly curtail the activities of an individual to a crippling degree.
Obesity, you might be thinking — a valid suggestion, to be sure. On the other hand, there are probably a number of huskier Americans who might just take issue with obesity being considered a disability. Well, how about heart problems? We are all friends with at least one person who eats way too many cheeseburgers. No?
You’ve given up already? Only because I would never want to cause undue mental anguish to my readers, I’ll tell you the answer. The number one cause of disability in these United States is Arthritis in all its forms.
The unseen picture of the Afghanistan war is now public after one of the biggest security breaches in history! The U.S. Army and Governments secret “War Diary.” Six years, and 90,000 entries. Written by the soldiers fighting it.
What is it? It is the most comprehensive history of a war to have ever been published during a course of a war.
How did this happen? Well, somewhere in the world, in the last six months someone accessed a secure military computer network, and copied its contents. That’s the claim of WikiLeaks, an anti-secrecy website. The information is now on the internet, 200,000 pages. Mostly classified secret.
So what exactly is in these documents? It’s the raw detail of Americas war in Afghanistan.
The current edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association includes an interesting study reviewing food commercials on TV. Over a 4 week time period, researchers taped food advertisements during 84 hours of prime time TV and 12 on Saturday mornings. In 3000 ads, 800 food items were promoted.