The term, health care 'super utilizers' or 'super users,' was first coined by Dr. Jeff Brenner of Camden, New Jersey to describe individuals who, despite very high levels of health intervention and expense, are still suffering from very ill health. His work also outlines the existence of 'medical hot spots' -- specific areas in a community that often incur the highest health bills.
The IT and software development companies responsible for the healthcare website are probably neck deep in trouble and pulling all-nighters to get it back up and working at an acceptable level. People think it should all work perfectly. I would be happy to debate that bugs, crashes, delays and hacks are in fact not mistakes but rather a healthy and normal part of a truly functioning technology.
The two best kept secrets in Washington are the degree to which Canadians have been rooting for a post-election American economic turnaround, and the extent to which that turnaround is dependent on removing the barriers to trade with the United States largest export market, Canada. Will Obama lead America there?
As a younger woman, I stood beneath the arch on countless occasions at the height of the Cold War. It was a time when there were far fewer allied nations and as a Canadian teen I knew my closest allies were those I could reach through the arch to connect with. In 1984 the Americans were not just my neighbors, they were my family in every sense of the word. Suddenly, it's 28 years later. You find yourself in 2012 in the midst of the US election and you realize, with shock and awe that the gate is closing - not because of economics or war or terrorist threat or because a guard is standing at the border locking the gate in front of you - but in the name of blind adherence to ideology.
The stage was set at Boca Raton's Lynn University. The desk dusted, chairs put in place and zingers primed and ready for volleying. Oh, and it was supposed to be about Foreign Policy. Right? Well it kind of was. Kind of. According to Romney, American grade school teachers are part of American foreign policy. Confused? Wait, there's more...
Obama has somehow managed to come across as a socialist during this election -- a man who believes in subsidizing insurance companies, who is consistently violating international and domestic law by killing people via drones, and only recently came to the epiphany that all people should be free to choose the person they marry. More alarmingly, however, is the ease in which the Conservative base in Canada has managed to sympathize with Romney. This of course brings a very important debate to the forefront: is the Harper government much further to the right than they would like to let on? After all, it seems rather odd that Canadian Conservatives could find anything in common with the current Republican Party of today.
Last night Obama needed to win. There really was no other option. Obama was so on (and then some) that you could feel Bill Maher's elation when he tweeted about the return of the "Black Ninja." Then it got seriously real when the issue of energy and drilling companies motivated both to pretty much get into each other's grills creating one of many unexpected and unforgettable moments. Moments such as a woman named Lorraine. Or was it Lorianne? In fact, there was a binder full of women. Romney attempting to spike the ball by asking Obama repeatedly if he has in fact checked his (much smaller) pension. And Michelle and Ann's fashion blunder.
Breast cancer mortality is 60 per cent higher for African American women ages 45-64 than for white women, even though African American women are less likely than white women to be diagnosed with the disease. So here we present to you the experiences of four African American women, all of whom are suffering from triple negative breast cancer. These are real photographs. These are real struggles.
The Harper government may choose to believe that a divided society is not bad for the economy, or that wealth will trickle down. Canadians from across the country may have to assure him that health will surely not. Canada has fared better than other nations in the global economic crisis, but success stories have not followed those who prescribed austerity.
We need leaders who will rise to the challenge of protecting and improving medicare, not shirk their responsibilities. Prime Minister Harper, you are needed back at the table for a 2014 Health Accord. Canadians have real expectations of you, not just to cut cheques -- and increasingly smaller cheques at that -- but to lead Canada on health care. Your absence will hurt the health of Canadians.
A Toronto Star article recently identified three potential areas of savings under bulk purchasing of drugs that amounted to $2.48 million, $968,000, and $325,000. While these amounts are significant, it is just barely scratching the surface of what the potential savings could be from bulk purchasing and tendering of medications in Canada.
With the victory that is known as Obamacare under his belt, a strong national security platform, and an opponent with a personality that has alienated the American public, Obama remains a strong incumbent president. While I hesitate to make any predictions, the odds are in favor of a second term for President Barack Obama.
As noted in a recent report by the Canadian Medical Association, Canadians are demanding health system reform now more than they ever have before--and seem to be coalescing around a "moral imperative" to create a system that will be sustainable for years to come. There is little agreement on how best to move forward, especially when it comes to the thorny issue of funding.
The good news is that, win or lose, President Obama has succeeded after decades of attempts in providing the type of healthcare the rest of the developed world provides. America's private-sector health experiment has failed abysmally and is on its way out. Governments outside the U.S. deliver medical care better and cheaper. The proof exists all over the world, except in the minds of partisans who would defend the indefensible.
It's the Canada Day long weekend, and though I know we're all enjoying our illegal fireworks and botany-themed pastries, let's not lose sight of another one of our nation's proudest patriotic traditions -- the vapid Canada Day editorial! Still hungry for some patriotism? Well, what could be more proudly Canadian than loudly telling Americans how to run their country?
The American healthcare debate is not a debate for Americans only. In two ways at least, the debate implicates the well-being of everybody in the developed world. More money spent on healthcare means less money for drug innovation -- a U.S. speciality that services the world. It also means less money for American defence -- something U.S. allies might be less than pleased with. Because when Americans talk about today's health costs, they are also talking about tomorrow's defense budget -- the budget that protects us all from a world of dangers.