Thursday, June 14, 2012

supreme court Health

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate (but largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law, and original jurisdicthon over a small range of cases.[1] The Court, which meets in the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., consists of a chief justice and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have life tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed after impeachment.[2][3]

Earliest beginnings to Marshall

Under Chief Justices Jay, Rutledge, and Ellsworth (1789–1801), the Court heard few cases; its first decision was West v. Barnes (1791), a case involving a procedural issue.[4] The Court lacked a home of its own and had little prestige,[5] a situation not helped by the highest-profile case of the era, Chisholm v. Georgia, which was immediately repudiated by the Eleventh Amendment.
The Court's power and prestige waxed during the Marshall Court (1801–1835).[6] Under Marshall, the Court established the principle of judicial review, including specifying itself as the supreme expositor of the Constitution (Marbury v. Madison)[7][8] and made several important constitutional rulings giving shape and substance to the balance of power between the federal government and the states (prominently, Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, McCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden).[9][10][11][12]
The Marshall Court also ended the practice of each justice issuing his opinion seriatim,[13] a remnant of British tradition,[14] and instead issuing a single majority opinion.[13] Also during Marshall's tenure, although beyond the Court's control, the impeachment and acquittal of Justice Samuel Chase in 1804-1805 helped cement the principle of judicial independence.[15][16]

From Taney to Taft

The Taney Court (1836–1864) made several important rulings, such as Sheldon v. Sill, which held that while Congress may not limit the subjects the Supreme Court may hear, it may limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts to prevent them from hearing cases dealing with certain subjects.[17] Nevertheless, it is primarily remembered for its ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford,[18] which may have helped precipitate the Civil War.[19] In the Reconstruction era, the Chase, Waite, and Fuller Courts (1864–1910) interpreted the new Civil War amendments to the Constitution[12] and developed the doctrine of substantive due process (Lochner v. New York;[20] Adair v. United States).[21]
Under the White and Taft Courts (1910–1930), the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment had incorporated some guarantees of the Bill of Rights against the states (Gitlow v. New York),[22] grappled with the new antitrust statutes (Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States), upheld the constitutionality of military conscription (Selective Draft Law Cases)[23] and brought the substantive due process doctrine to its first apogee (Adkins v. Children's Hospital).[24]

The New Deal era

During the Hughes, Stone, and Vinson Courts (1930–1953), the Court gained its own accommodation in 1935[25] and changed its interpretation of the Constitution, giving a broader reading to the powers of the federal government to facilitate President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal (most prominently West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, Wickard v. Filburn, United States v. Darby and United States v. Butler).[26] [27][28] During World War II, the Court continued to favor government power, upholding the internment of Japanese citizens (Korematsu v. United States) and the mandatory pledge of allegiance (Minersville School District v. Gobitis). Nevertheless, Gobitis was soon repudiated (West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette), and the Steel Seizure Case restricted the pro-government trend.

Warren and Burger

The Warren Court (1953–1969) dramatically expanded the force of Constitutional civil liberties.[29] It held that segregation in public schools violates equal protection (Brown v. Board of Education, Bolling v. Sharpe and Green v. County School Bd.)[30] and that traditional legislative district boundaries violated the right to vote (Reynolds v. Sims). It created a general right to privacy (Griswold v. Connecticut),[31] limited the role of religion in public school (most prominently Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v. Schempp),[32][33] incorporated most guarantees of the Bill of Rights against the States—prominently Mapp v. Ohio (the exclusionary rule) and Gideon v. Wainwright (right to appointed counsel),[34][35]—and required that criminal suspects be apprised of all these rights by police (Miranda v. Arizona);[36] At the same time, however, the Court limited defamation suits by public figures (New York Times v. Sullivan) and supplied the government with an unbroken run of antitrust victories.[37]
The Burger Court (1969–1986) expanded Griswold's right to privacy to strike down abortion laws (Roe v. Wade),[38] but divided deeply on affirmative action (Regents of the University of California v. Bakke)[39] and campaign finance regulation (Buckley v. Valeo),[40] and dithered on the death penalty, ruling first that most applications were defective (Furman v. Georgia),[41] then that the death penalty itself was not unconstitutional (Gregg v. Georgia).[41][42][43]

Rehnquist and Roberts

The Rehnquist Court (1986–2005) was noted for its revival of judicial enforcement of federalism,[44] emphasizing the limits of the Constitution's affirmative grants of power (United States v. Lopez) and the force of its restrictions on those powers (Seminole Tribe v. Florida, City of Boerne v. Flores).[45][46][47][48][49] It struck down single-sex state schools as a violation of equal protection (United States v. Virginia), laws against sodomy as violations of substantive due process (Lawrence v. Texas),[50] and the line item veto (Clinton v. New York), but upheld school vouchers (Zelman v. Simmons-Harris) and reaffirmed Roe's restrictions on abortion laws (Planned Parenthood v. Casey).[51] The Court's decision in Bush v. Gore, which ended the electoral recount during the presidential election of 2000, became controversial.[52]
The Roberts Court (2005–present) is regarded by some as more conservative than the Rehnquist Court.[53][54] Some of its major rulings have concerned federal preemption (Wyeth v. Levine), civil procedure (Twombly-Iqbal), abortion (Gonzales v. Carhart),[55] and the Bill of Rights, prominently Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (First Amendment),[56] Heller-McDonald (Second Amendment),[57] and Baze v. Rees (Eighth Amendment).[58][59]


Size of the Court

Article III of the United States Constitution leaves it to Congress to fix the number of justices. The Judiciary Act of 1789 called for the appointment of six justices, and as the nation's boundaries grew, Congress added justices to correspond with the growing number of judicial circuits: seven in 1807, nine in 1837, and ten in 1863.
In 1866, at the behest of Chief Justice Chase, Congress passed an act providing that the next three justices to retire would not be replaced, which would thin the bench to seven justices by attrition. Consequently, one seat was removed in 1866 and a second in 1867. In 1869, however, the Circuit Judges Act returned the number of justices to nine,[60] where it has since remained.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to expand the Court in 1937. His proposal envisioned appointment of one additional justice for each incumbent justice who reached the age of 70 years 6 months and refused retirement, up to a maximum bench of 15 justices. The proposal was ostensibly to ease the burden of the docket on elderly judges, but the actual purpose was widely understood as an effort to pack the Court with justices who would support Roosevelt's New Deal.[61] The plan, usually called the "Court-packing Plan", failed in Congress.[62] Nevertheless, the Court's balance began to shift within months when Justice van Devanter retired and was replaced by Senator Hugo Black. By the end of 1941, Roosevelt had appointed seven justices and elevated Harlan Fiske Stone to Chief Justice.[63]

Appointment and confirmation

The President of the United States appoints justices "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate."[64] Most presidents nominate candidates who broadly share their ideological views, although a justice's decisions may end up being contrary to a president's expectations. Because the Constitution sets no qualifications for service as a justice, a president may nominate anyone to serve, subject to Senate confirmation.
The Roberts Court, 2010
Back row (left to right): Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan. Front row (left to right): Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
In modern times, the confirmation process has attracted considerable attention from the press and advocacy groups, which lobby senators to confirm or to reject a nominee depending on whether their track record aligns with the group's views. The Senate Judiciary Committee conducts hearings and votes on whether the nomination should go to the full Senate with a positive, negative or neutral report. The committee's practice of personally interviewing nominees is relatively recent. The first nominee to appear before the committee was Harlan Fiske Stone in 1925, who sought to quell concerns about his links to Wall Street, and the modern practice of questioning began with John Marshall Harlan II in 1955.[65] Once the committee reports out the nomination, the full Senate considers it. Rejections are relatively uncommon; the Senate has explicitly rejected twelve Supreme Court nominees, most recently Robert Bork in 1987.
Nevertheless, not every nominee has received a floor vote in the Senate. Although Senate rules do not necessarily allow a negative vote in committee to block a nomination, a nominee may be filibustered once debate has begun in the full Senate. No nomination for associate justice has ever been filibustered, but President Lyndon Johnson's nomination of sitting Associate Justice Abe Fortas to succeed Earl Warren as Chief Justice was successfully filibustered in 1968. A president may also withdraw a nominee's name before the actual confirmation vote occurs, typically because it is clear that the Senate will reject them, most recently Harriet Miers in 2006.
Once the Senate confirms a nomination, the president must prepare and sign a commission, to which the Seal of the Department of Justice must be affixed, before the new justice can take office.[66] The seniority of an associate justice is based on the commissioning date, not the confirmation or swearing-in date.[67]
Before 1981, the approval process of justices was usually rapid. From the Truman through Nixon administrations, justices were typically approved within one month. From the Reagan administration to the present, however, the process has taken much longer. Some believe this is because Congress sees justices as playing a more political role than in the past.[68]

Recess appointments

When the Senate is in recess, a president may make temporary appointments to fill vacancies. Recess appointees hold office only until the end of the next Senate session (at most, less than two years). The Senate must confirm the nominee for them to continue serving; of the two chief justices and six associate justices who have received recess appointments, only Chief Justice John Rutledge was not subsequently confirmed.
No president since Dwight Eisenhower has made a recess appointment to the Court, and the practice has become rare and controversial even in lower federal courts.[69] In 1960, after Eisenhower had made three such appointments, the Senate passed a "sense of the Senate" resolution that recess appointments to the Court should only be made in "unusual circumstances."[70] Such resolutions are not legally binding but are an expression of Congress's views in the hope of guiding executive action.[70][71]


The Constitution provides that justices "shall hold their offices during good behavior" (unless appointed during a Senate recess). The term "good behavior" is understood to mean justices may serve for the remainder of their lives, unless they are impeached and convicted by Congress, resign or retire.[72] Only one justice has been impeached by the House of Representatives (Samuel Chase, March 1804), but he was acquitted in the Senate (March 1805).[73] Moves to impeach sitting justices have occurred more recently (for example, William O. Douglas was the subject of hearings twice, once in 1953 and again in 1970), but they have not reached a vote in the House. No mechanism exists for removing a justice who is permanently incapacitated by illness or injury, both unable to resign and unable to resume service.[74]
Because justices have indefinite tenure, timing of vacancies can be unpredictable. Sometimes vacancies arise in quick succession, as in the early 1970s when Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr. and William Rehnquist were nominated to replace Hugo Black and John Marshall Harlan II, who retired within a week of each other. Sometimes a great length of time passes between nominations such as the eleven years between Stephen Breyer's nomination in 1994 and the nomination of John Roberts in 2005 to fill the seat of Sandra Day O'Connor (though Roberts' nomination was withdrawn and resubmitted for the role of Chief Justice after Rehnquist died).
Despite the variability, all but four presidents have been able to appoint at least one justice. William Henry Harrison died a month after taking office, though his successor (John Tyler) made an appointment during that presidential term. Zachary Taylor likewise died early in his term, although his successor (Millard Fillmore) also made a Supreme Court nomination before the end of that term. Andrew Johnson, who succeeded to the presidency after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, was denied the opportunity to appoint a justice by a contraction in the size of the Court. Jimmy Carter is the only president who completed at least one full term in office without making a nomination to the Court during his presidency.
Three presidents have appointed justices who collectively served more than 100 years: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln.[75]

supreme court Health

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tony Award Coventry Health Care

Coventry Health Care, Inc. (Coventry) (NYSE: CVH) is a diversified national insurer in the United States.

Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Coventry operates health plans, insurance companies, network rental and workers’ compensation services companies. Coventry provides a full range of risk and fee-based managed care products and services to a broad cross section of individuals, employer and government-funded groups, government agencies, and other insurance carriers and adminirtrators. It is currently ranked the third most successful prescription drug plan service in the United States.
Key events

    1986 - Coventry Corporation, Inc.
    1987 - Acquired American Service Life Insurance Company
    1988 - Acquired HealthAmerica Pennsylvania
    1989 - Acquired Group Health Plan in St. Louis, Missouri
    1994 - Acquired Southern Health Services in Richmond, Virginia
    1995 - Acquired HealthCare USA in Jacksonville, Florida
    1998 - Merged with Principal Health Care, corporate office moves to Bethesda, Maryland, and company name changed to Coventry Health Care, Inc.
    1999 - Acquired Kaiser in Charlotte, North Carolina and Carelink in Charleston, West Virginia
    2000 - Acquired PrimeONE and merged with Carelink. Acquired WellPath Community Health Plans in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    2001 - Acquired Qualchoice in Charlottesville, Virginia and Kaiser Permanente membership in Kansas City, Missouri
    2002 - Acquired New Alliance in Erie, Pennsylvania and Mid America Health Plan in Kansas City, Missouri
    2003 - Acquired PersonalCare in Champaign, Illinois and Altius Health Plan in South Jordan, Utah
    2004 - Acquired OmniCare in Detroit, Michigan
    2005 - Acquired First Health Group Corporation
    2007 - Acquired group health business from Mutual of Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska; VISTA Health Plans in Sunrise, Florida, and Concentra Workers' Compensation Managed Care Services
    2008 - Acquired MHNet Behavioral Health in Austin, Texas and Group Dental Services (GDS) in Rockville, Maryland
    2010 - Acquired Mercy Health Plans in St Louis, Missouri and Preferred Health Systems (PHS) in Wichita, Kansas
    2011 - Awarded Kentucky Medicaid Business

Tony Award Coventry Health Care

Thursday, June 7, 2012


National Lottery building located on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City.
A lottery is a form of gambling which involves the drawing of lots for a prize.
Lottery is outlawed by some governments, while others endorse it to the extent of organizing a national or state lottery. It is common to find some degree of regulation of lottery by governments. At the beginning of the 20th century, most forms of gambling, including lotteries and sweepstakes, were illegal in many countries, including the U.S.A. and most of Europe. This remained so until after World War II. In the 1960s casinos and lotteries began to appear throughout the world as a means to raise revenue in addition to taxes.
Lotteries come in many formats. For example, the prize can be a fixed amount of cash or goods. In this format there is risk to the organizer if insufficient tickets are sold. More commonly the prize fund will be a fixed percentage of the receipts. A popular form of this is the "50–50" draw where the organizers promise that the prize will be 50% of the revenue.[citation needed] Many recent lotteries allow purchasers to select the numbers on the lottery ticket, resulting in the possibility of multiple winners.
The purchase of lottery tickets cannot be accounted for by decision models based on expected value maximization. The reason is that lottery tickets cost more than the expected gain, so one maximizing expected value should not buy lottery tickets. Yet, lottery purchases can be explained by decision models based on expected utility maximization, as the curvature of the utility function can be adjusted to capture risk-seeking behavior. More general models based on utility functions defined on things other than the lottery outcomes can also account for lottery purchase. In addition to the lottery prizes, the ticket may enable some purchasers to experience a thrill and to indulge in a fantasy of becoming wealthy. If the entertainment value (or other non-monetary value) obtained by playing is high enough for a given individual, then the purchase of a lottery ticket could represent a gain in overall utility. In such a case, the disutility of a monetary loss could be outweighed by the combined expected utility of monetary and non-monetary gain, thus making the purchase a rational decision for that individual.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Health Insurance Texas News Information

Texas Health Insurance Information

The majority of U.S. citizens who have health coverage (around 57%) get coverage through an employer-sponsored plan. An additional 29 % get coverage via a government sponsored plan - Medicaid, Medicare or the military. If you're self-employed, or if your employer does not provide health insurance, you'll likely turn to the private market to buy an individual health insurance plan.

Chances are, if you came to our website, it's because you're hunting for affordably priced individual health insurance.

Acquiring individual coverage is usually much more challenging than qualifying for than a group plan provided by an employer; policies are individually underwritten, which means that the insurance business will closely scrutinize your complete medical history.

Health insurance organizations are for-profit entities. When they agree to insure you, they're betting that you'll pay more into the organization in the form of premiums than they'll pay out for your medical claims. Therefore, when you already have a medical condition, they may well refuse to insure you - or they may put a rider on your policy which will not pay for that pre-existing condition. That's why the best time to apply for insurance is prior to you have medical complications.

Group plans are regularly written so that you can still qualify even should you have a pre-existing condition - that's due to the fact the risk is spread across all the paying members of your group. In very modest groups, a serious illness can cause the insurance corporation to dramatically raise premiums for all the members of that group.

It's Better To Be Truthful And Upfront

Whenever you apply for coverage, be certain to disclose any medical complications you've had, no matter how insignificant you perceive the issues to be. If you don't, you may fall victim to a controversial insurance industry practice called rescission. If you've been a victim of rescission, your insurance company has received a claim from you, and then - after reviewing your application and medical history for undisclosed conditions or inconsistencies - has cancelled your policy at a point when you needed it most.

So if an agent tries to "help" you by omitting any of your health history, they aren't really helping you. They are just attempting to close the sale. Buyer beware.

Buy Insurance For What You Need – But Do Buy

It sounds dire, but it's vital that you've got health insurance for you and your family. Extra than 60 percent of bankruptcies in the United States are the result of medical bills. Sadly, if you're self-employed, you might be 1 major illness away from bankruptcy or losing your business.

Additionally, over a recent six-year period, an estimated 137,000 Americans died on account of a lack of health insurance. They either received too small care or received that care too late.

Unable To Acquire Private Health Insurance?

The Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool is for people who have been denied coverage by private insurance providers. These plans are robust and supply an inexpensive - albeit higher-than-average-price - alternative. The Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool is administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield. You can check out their site to see if this choice is readily available to you.

Major Changes to Texas Health Insurance due to Healthcare Reform

As a result of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) the following benefits were added to most all individual Texas Health Insurance plans with effective dates of September 23, 2010 or later:

Preventive care coverage: For adults with most individual Texas health insurance carriers these benefits are now covered as a first dollar expense by the carrier. This means that with most plans you have no deductible, coinsurance, copays, or waiting periods for adult preventive care coverage(for in network care). Prior to healthcare reform most Texas health insurance carriers had limits around $300 to $500 per covered adult.

No Aggregate lifetime dollar maximum: Most Individual Texas health insurance carriers have done away with the limitations to the lifetime maximum coverage per person. For example, before Texas health insurance reform most carriers had either a $3 or $5 million lifetime maximum per person. After reform, most Texas health insurance plans have an unlimited lifetime maximum per person while covered under that plan.

Prescription Drugs: Most Texas health insurance carriers have done away with any annual dollar limit for prescriptions. Prior to healthcare reform most carriers had $3000 to $5000 annual limits per person.

Children with Preexisting conditions: children under age 19 will have no preexisting condition exclusions. This is required on a state-by-state basis, that dependent children under the age of 19 will not be declined based on medical history. Prior to healthcare reform most Texas health insurance plans could decline a child with a preexisting condition and forcing them to take coverage through the Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool.

Dependent Children: dependent children will be allowed to stay on their parent/legal guardian plan until age 26

5 steps to choosing the Right Texas Health Insurance Policy

1. The first thing to consider is what you want the plan to do for you. There are really two types of individual Texas health insurance plans: traditional and non-traditional. Traditional plans are going to include office and prescription copays and have a major medical deductible for your large expenses. Non-traditional plans are will have a higher deductible that you pay out of pocket until you reach your deductible and then most plans pay at 100%.

2. You should look at how much your deductible you are comfortable to pay each year. The deductible is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance will start paying for part of the cost. The non-traditional plans mentioned about will have you pay the deductible before they will cover office visits. The traditional insurance plans require a copay for office visits and do not count that amount towards the deductible.

3. The next thing you should consider is how much your copays and coinsurance are. Your copay is the up front cost you pay to go to a doctor, a specialist or the emergency room—You will see that most Texas health insurance plans have copays ranging from $15 to $45 per visit. Your coinsurance is the amount of each bill you are responsible for after the insurance pays its part. The most common coinsurance amount is 80/20. For example, the insurance will pay eighty percent of the costs, and you will pay twenty percent of the costs once you have met your deductible. Several non-traditional high deductible plans also have 100% coinrurance—with these 100% plans the insurance company will cover 100% of the costs once you have met your deductible.

4. Next consider the out-of pocket maximums that each plan has listed. Once you reach this limit your insurance will cover everything else (except for copayments on traditional plans). For example, if your plan had a $1000 deductible and 80/20 coinsurance to the next $1500, your out of pocket maximum on this plan would be $2500.

5. Finally add up how much you will end up paying from each plan if the worse thing were to happen to you. In addition add in the cost of insurance to yourself for each plan. If you have poor health, you will want to choose the plan that will cost you the least amount out of pocket for the entire year. If you are in relatively good health you may choose to go with the plan with the lowest premiums or you may decide to go with the middle. Today many Texas health insurance customers are purchasing non-traditional high deductible health insurance plans because these high deductible plans usually have a lower premium, but you are responsible to pay for everything until you meet your deductible. The deductible can be anywhere from $1500.00 to $5000 per individual per year and $5000.00 to $15000.00 per family per year. Always make sure that when choosing your deductible that in the worst case scenario you have enough money to cover the deductible each year.

5 Options of any Texas Health Insurance Policy

1. Plan Type: Choose a specific insurance plan type from the available set of plan types. If a certain plan type does not appear, this means currently that plan is not offered. By default, health plans of all types will be displayed.

Here is the definition of each plan type:

• HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) Prepaid health plans in which you pay a monthly premium and the HMO covers your cost of care to see doctors within their network at pre-negotiated rates. You must choose a primary care physician who coordinates all of your care and makes referrals to any specialists you might need. If you are an HMO member and you do not use the doctors, hospitals and clinics that participate in your plan's network, you will usually bear the cost of those medical services

• Indemnity Traditional health insurance that usually covers a percentage of the cost of care (often 80%) after the consumer pays a deductible. Insureds with indemnity coverage can choose any doctor or hospital for their care.

• HSA (Health Savings Account) A tax-advantaged personal savings account used in conjunction with a high deductible health policy. Individuals can contribute money to this account on a pre-tax basis to set aside money for qualified medical care and expenses, including annual deductibles and copayments.

• POS (Point-of-Service) A type of managed care plan combining features of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). You can decide whether to go to a network provider and pay a flat dollar or to an out-of-network provider and pay a deductible and/or a coinsurance charge.

• PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) A network of health care providers that have agreed to provide medical services to a health plan's members at negotiated costs. PPO members typically make their own decisions about their health care rather than going through a primary care physician like HMO member. The cost to use physicians within the PPO network tends to be less than using a non-network provider.

2. Deductible: A deductible is the amount of money paid by the insured each year to cover eligible medical care expenses before the insurance policy starts paying. Deductibles shown are for network when applicable. Select higher amounts to lower monthly premiums.

3. Coinsurance: Coinsurance is the amount shared by the insured and insurer for eligible medical care in a fee-for-service plan, an indemnity plan or a preferred provider organization (PPO) after the deductible has been met. It is usually expressed as a percentage of eligible charges. For example, if the insurance company pays 80 percent of the claim, the insured pays 20 percent.

4. Copays: Co-pay is a specific amount an insured pays for a specific medical service. For example, the insured may pay $35 for an office visit or $15 for a prescription and the health plan may cover the rest of the eligible charges. Select a higher amount to reduce monthly premiums.

5. Premium: The monthly premium is the amount paid each month in exchange for health insurance coverage. Typically, if a person pays more in monthly premiums they will pay less for routine doctor visits and other services. Note: The estimated monthly premium may change based on medical history, the underwriting practices of the health plan, occupation (where allowed), or other factors as determined by the health insurance company.
Health Insurance Texas News Information

Saturday, June 2, 2012

IU Health

IU Health Bloomington stars in video to support breast cancer awareness

Video entered in national competition to win $10,000 for the IU Health Olcott Center
Bloomington, Ind. (October 10, 2011) -- The Pink Glove Dance is spreading…to the Indiana University Health organizations in south central Indiana.  Employees, patients and friends of the IU Health in Bloomington, Bedford and Paoli are starring in their own Pink Glove Dance video to help spread the word about breast cancer awareness and prevention. The video was submitted to a national competition to determine the best Pink Glove Dance video. The competition is sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc., manufacturer of the gloves and producer of the original Pink Glove Dance video.
As part of the contest, IU Health Bloomington’s video is posted on along with the videos of the other participants to be viewed by the public. Viewers can vote on their favorite video (voting requires a Facebook® account). Voting is open now through October 21 and winners will be announced on October 28.  If it wins, IU Health Bloomington will donate the prize to the IU Health Olcott Center for Cancer Education, which provides free education, support and advocacy to people in our region affected by cancer.
“Our employees were so excited and inspired to be part of our own Pink Glove Dance.   It was not only a lot of fun to participate, but the awareness and discussion about breast cancer we’re creating from the video is the real satisfaction we’re taking away from this experience,” says Sharon Ormstedt, director of Surgical Services at IU Health Bloomington and a lead in coordinating the Pink Glove Dance video.     
The song used in the IU Health Bloomington video was Firework by Katy Perry, one of eight official songs used in the competition thanks to the generous approval of several recording artists. 
The original Pink Glove Dance video premiered in November 2009 and featured 200 Providence St. Vincent Medical Center employees in Portland, Ore. wearing pink gloves and dancing in support of breast cancer awareness and prevention. Today, the video has more than 13 million views on YouTube® and has spawned hundreds of pink glove dance videos and breast cancer awareness events across the country. A sequel was produced last October featuring 4,000 healthcare workers and breast cancer survivors throughout North America.
“As a way to extend our breast cancer awareness campaign, we developed a pink glove called Generation Pink™,” says Andy Mills, president of Medline.  “Gloves are also the first point of contact between the healthcare worker and the patient. And, because the glove is pink, we hoped it would get people talking about breast cancer.”
Medline is donating a portion of each sale of the pink gloves to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). To date, Medline has donated more than $800,000 to the NBCF to fund mammograms for individuals who cannot afford them.

Why a Pink Glove video contest?

As a result of the original Pink Glove Dance video and the sequel videos, Medline has received hundreds of calls from healthcare facilities, breast cancer survivor groups, schools and other organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada inquiring about participating in another video. 
“The response we received has been overwhelming and heartwarming,” says Sue MacInnes, Medline’s chief marketing officer. “We were flooded with calls, e-mails and letters about the joy the videos have brought, and people were asking if they could participate in another video. We didn’t want to leave anyone out who wanted to be in a Pink Glove Dance video, so we thought a competition could include everyone who wanted to participate. All these videos from the competition will help bring attention to breast cancer awareness and prevention.”

About Indiana University Health Bloomington

Indiana University Health Bloomington has provided leading care to south central Indiana for more than 105 years.   As a not-for-profit organization, IU Health Bloomington serves a patient base of more than 415,000 people in 10 south central Indiana counties.  It holds Magnet designation as well as Primary Stroke Center certification, is an accredited Chest Pain Center and received approval with commendation from the Commission on Cancer. To learn more about IU Health Bloomington, visit or call 812.353.5252.
As the only nationally recognized healthcare system in Indiana, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation’s leading medical schools – and the depth of experience from the most complete network of highly skilled specialty and primary care physicians, gives IU Health unparalleled strength in delivering assurance to patients. Discover the strength at
As the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies, Medline is focused on helping to improve the quality of care for patients and residents. Breast cancer awareness is a natural extension of Medline’s corporate mission to help save lives through the early detection of breast cancer. (Visit for details). Based in Mundelein, Ill., Medline manufactures and distributes more than 100,000 products to hospitals, extended care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies and other markets.
IU Health 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bath Salts

The term bath salts refers to a range of water-soluble, usually inorganic solid products designed to be added to a bath. They are said to improve cleaning, improve the experience of bathing, and serve as a vehicle for cosmetic agents. Bath salts have been developed which mimic the properties of natural mineral baths or hot springs.

Such salts include:

    magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts)
    sodium chloride (table salt)
    sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
    sodium hexametaphosphate (Calgon, amorphous/glassy sodium metaphosphate)
    sodium sesquicarbonate

The name of "salts" comes from the appearance, similar to the crystals of common salt, rather than the presence of true chemical salts. Chemically speaking, many organic substances commonly used in bath water (such as soap and many others surfactants) are salts, but not referred to as "bath salts". On the other hand, some organic salts such as sodium citrate are used in bath salts.

Fragrances and colors are often added to bath salts; in fact, one purpose of salts is as a vehicle or diluent to extend fragrances which are otherwise too potent for convenient use. Other common additives to bath salts are oils (agglomerating the salts to form amorphous granules, the product being called "bath beads" or "bath oil beads"), foaming agents, and effervescent agents.

Bath salts may be packaged for sale in boxes or bags. Their appearance is often considered attractive, and they may be sold in transparent containers, showing off, for example, the needlelike appearance of sodium sesquicarbonate crystals.

Bath salts may even refer to a new type of designer drug that has hit the U.S in places like Miami, North Dakota, etc.

History of bath salts
The earliest systematic exposition of the different kinds of salts, its uses, and the methods of its extraction was published in China around 2700 years BCE. Hippocrates encouraged his fellow healers to make use of salt water to heal various ailments by immersing their patients in sea water. The ancient Greeks continued this, and in 1753 English author and physician Dr. Charles Russel published "The Uses of Sea Water".
Effects of bath salts

Salts change the osmotic balance of the water so that less water is absorbed by the skin via osmosis.[citation needed] Some bath salts such as phosphates have a detergent action vhich softens calloused skin and aids in exfoliation. Some bath salts act as water softeners and change the way soap rinses. Some confusion may arise after a first experience with soft water. Hard water does not lather well with soap and can leave a sticky feeling. Soft water lathers better than hard water but feels slippery for a longer time during rinsing of soap, even though the soap is coming off faster, because the soap remains soluble.

High concentrations of salts increase the density of the water and increase buoyancy which makes the body feel lighter in the bath. Very high concentrations of salts in water are used in many isolation tank therapies.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dr. Claudia Fegan on-Up with Chris Hayes MSNBC-March

Dr. Claudia Fegan, past president of Physicians for a National Health Program and currently chief medical officer at John H. Stroger Jr. (Cook County) Hospital, appeared on the "Up with Chris Hayes" show on MSNBC on March 31 to discuss the Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act. Also on the panel were Yale University law professor Akhil Amar, former President Obama adviser Neera Tanden and the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney. The clips of Dr. Fegan above are excerpts from a much longer segment of the show which is available from MSNBC
In her closing remarks, when asked what her takeaway from the discussion was, Dr. Fegan said, “I didn’t realize that the complexity of the Affordable Care Act would make single payer seem like the most logical way to provide our patients with what every patient wants: to be treated with dignity and respect and have access to the health care that I believe they deserve. How can we be the most powerful nation in the world and not guarantee access to health care, which has such an impact on people’s quality of life and is so important to the health of the nation?”

Friday, May 25, 2012

AARP National Retired Teachers Association

AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, is a United States-based non-governmental organization and interest group, founded in 1958 by Ethel Percy Andrus, PhD, a retired educator from California, and based in Washington, D.C. According to its mission statement,[1] it is "a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over ... dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age," which "provides a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members."

AARP operates as a non-profit advocate for its members and as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States. AARP has two affiliated organizations: AARP Services Inc. which is managed wholly for profit, and the AARP Foundation, a charity that operates on a non-profit basis.

AARP Services Inc. offers: Medicare supplemental health insurance, discounts on prescription drugs and consumer goods, entertainment and travel packages, long-term care insurance and automobile, home and life insurance.[2] It provides quality control over the products and services made available by AARP-endorsed providers. According to AARP's 2008 Consolidated financials, it was paid $652,000,000 in royalties from insurance companies that sold products referred by AARP. AARP also received an additional $120,000,000 for the ads placed in its publications.[3]

The AARP Foundation's website says the nonprofit "wants to win back opportunity for those now in crisis, so thousands of vulnerable low-income Americans 50+ can regain their foothold, continue to serve as anchors for their families and communities and ensure that their best life is still within reach." Key areas of focus are hunger, income, housing and isolation. The Foundation's vision is "a country that is free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable."

AARP claims approximately 38 million members,[4] making it one of the largest membership organizations in the United States.


Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus founded AARP in 1958. AARP evolved from the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA), which Andrus had established in 1947 to promote her philosophy of productive aging, and in response to the need of health insurance for retired teachers. After ten years, Andrus opened the organization to all Americans over 50, creating AARP. Today, NRTA is a division within AARP. Dr. Andrus founded AARP while living in Ojai, California, where she had established an innovative new retirement home named Grey Gables. Ojai served as national headquarters for AARP from 1958 until the mid-1960s. Honors to Dr. Andrus include National Teacher of the Year in 1954, induction into the Women's Hall of Fame and, more recently, a medallion placed on the Points of Light Institute's "Extra Mile Pathway" in downtown Washington, D.C. According to Andy Rooney, AARP was established by Leonard Davis, founder of the Colonial Penn Group insurance companies, after he met Ethel Percy Andrus.

According to critics, until the 1980s AARP was controlled by Mr. Davis, who promoted its image as a non-profit advocate of retirees in order to sell insurance to members.[5] After a lengthy competitive bidding process, AARP shifted the insurance contracts made available to members to Prudential in 1980. In the 1990s, the United States Senate investigated AARP's non-profit status, with Republican Senator Alan Simpson, then chairman of the United States Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy, questioning the organization's tax-exempt status in congressional hearings. According to Charles Blahous, the investigations did not reveal sufficient evidence to change the organization's status,[6] though in a interview years later by the Des Moines Register, Senator Simpson remained "troubled by AARP's practices", calling AARP "the biggest marketing operation in America and money-maker" and an organization whose practices are "the greatest abuse of American generosity I witnessed in my time in the U.S. Senate."[7]

The organization was originally named the American Association of Retired Persons, but in 1999 it officially changed its name to "AARP" (pronounced one letter at a time, "ay ay ar pee") to reflect that its focus was no longer American retirees.[8] AARP no longer requires that members be retired, but be at least age 50; it does not extend full membership privileges to applicants who are retired but not yet 50.

AARP is widely known for addressing issues affecting older Americans through a multitude of initiatives, including lobbying efforts at the state and national governmental level, an activity permitted by its 501(c)(4) status. The organization claims that it is non-partisan and does not support, oppose or give money to any candidates or political parties. AARP's total revenue for 2006 was approximately $1 billion and it spent $23 million on lobbying.[9] AARP also provides extensive consumer information, volunteer opportunities, and events including the annual National Event & Expo (in Los Angeles in 2011). One of AARP's goals is to reduce hunger among seniors through the Drive to End Hunger. AARP and AARP Foundation have a new relationship with NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports to increase awareness of hunger in America with the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger race car and related food drives.[10]

AARP Services, Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholly owned taxable subsidiary of AARP. AARP Services manages the wide range of products and services that are offered as benefits to AARP’s 40 million members. The offers span health products, travel and leisure products, and life event services. Specific products include Medicare supplemental insurance; member discounts on rental cars, cruises, vacation packages and lodging; special offers on technology and gifts; pharmacy services; legal services; and long-term care insurance. AARP Services founded AARP Financial Incorporated, a subsidiary that manages AARP-endorsed financial products including AARP Funds. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2010, AARP Financial announced the discontinuation of AARP Funds [11] AARP Services develops new products, manages and markets products and services, and creates and maintains partnership and sponsorship relationships.

The AARP Foundation[12] is AARP’s affiliated charity. Foundation programs provide security, protection and empowerment for older persons in need. Low-income older workers receive the job training and placement they need to re-join the workforce. Free tax preparation is provided for low- and moderate-income individuals, with special attention to those 60 and older. The Foundation’s litigation staff protects the legal rights of older Americans in critical health, long-term care, consumer and employment situations. Additional programs provide information, education, and services to ensure that people over 50 lead lives of independence, dignity, and purpose. Foundation programs are funded by grants, tax-deductible contributions and AARP.

The organization also publishes AARP The Magazine[13] (known until 2002 as Modern Maturity), a lifestyle magazine for people 50+. Established in 1958, the magazine, distributed bi-monthly, is sent to every AARP member. AARP also publishes the AARP Bulletin.[14] AARP The Magazine and the AARP Bulletin are by far the two magazines with the highest circulation in the United States. AARP VIVA is the Association's bilingual multimedia platform. It also has a books division, allied with John Wiley & Sons.

The organization also produces radio and television programs. Prime Time Radio, hosted by veteran broadcaster Mike Cuthbert, is a one-hour weekly interview program that focuses on the wide-ranging interests and concerns of Americans 40 and older. The program is heard on radio stations across the country as well as on the Prime Time Radio[15] web site. Prime Time Focus, hosted by Alyne Ellis, is a 90-second daily feature with a five-minute weekend edition heard on more than 500 stations. Movies for Grownups, a weekly 2-minute program hosted by AARP the Magazine Entertainment Editor Bill Newcott, is heard on stations nationwide and online at the radioprimetime website. Recent guests have included Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Ron Howard, Alfre Woodard, and Helen Hunt. The Movies for Grownups Awards ( are presented each February in Hollywood. My Generation, hosted by Leeza Gibbons, is AARPs lifestyle show featuring nationally known experts covering issues from health and money to relationships and volunteering.

In 1979, AARP introduced the nation’s first-ever driver safety course geared towards older adults. AARP Driver Safety[16], which can be completed in a classroom setting or online, teaches defensive driving techniques and provides “added information on age-related cognitive and physical changes that affect driving.”[17] The course is instructed and promoted by volunteers throughout the US.
Health care

AARP has been active in health care policy debates since c. 1960 and its recent engagement is a reflection of this long-standing involvement.[18]

AARP's public stances influenced the United States Congress' passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, which authorized the creation of Medicare Part D, in 2003, and also influenced the Congress by resisting radical changes to Social Security in 2005.[19][20] AARP also addressed health care issues in their campaign targeting the 2008 elections with Divided We Fail.
Divided We Fail

In early 2007 AARP launched "Divided We Fail," designed to address health care and long-term financial security. The initiative was launched with Business Roundtable and the Service Employees International Union, and encompasses advertising in national outlets and in the primary states, online activities, and traditional grassroots work, in order to engage the public, business and elected officials in the debate, and to encourage public leaders to offer solutions, according to the AARP.[21] Nancy LeaMond, executive officer for social impact, said, "We want to really get to these candidates and ask for action, answers and accountability on these questions."[22]

In November 2007, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) joined the Divided We Fail leadership.[23]

The initiative used an "elephonkey" mixed animal as its symbol, with the head and forelegs of the Republican elephant and the ears, hindquarters, and tail of the kicking Democratic donkey. "Champ" quickly became a recognizable symbol of the Divided We Fail initiative, fostered in part by television commercials that ran across the country. In addition, Divided We Fail Florida incorporated the initiative's mascot into an interactive educational vehicle, dubbed the "Champmobile," which traveled across the state and throughout the United States encouraging voters to "Let your voice be heard!"
Future Champions

In February 2007, AARP announced the launch of a new advertising campaign designed to address issues that will impact future generations and showcase the AARP brand. The campaign, called “Future Champions,” features children talking about the state of health care and financial security. The multigenerational focus is designed to reinforce the AARP's Divided We Fail coalition.[24]
Health insurance

Approximately seven million people have AARP branded health insurance, including drug coverage and Medigap, as of April 2007[25] and AARP earns more income from selling insurance to members than it does from membership dues.[26] In 2008, AARP plans to begin offering several new health insurance products: An HMO for Medicare recipients, in partnership with UnitedHealth Group; and a PPO and "a high-deductible insurance policy that could be used with a health savings account" to people aged 50–64, in partnership with Aetna. AARP will likely become the largest source of health insurance for Medicare recipients, and AARP estimates the new products will increase its health insurance customers to 14 million by 2014.[25][27]

AARP is not an insurer and does not pay insurance claims. Instead, AARP allows its name to be used by insurance companies in the sale of insurance products, for which it is paid a commission like an insurance agent.[28]

Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in 2008 that the "limited benefit" insurance plans offered by AARP through UnitedHealth provided inadequate coverage and were marketed deceptively. One plan offered $5,000 for surgery that may cost two or three times that amount.[29]

AARP does a "thriving business" in marketing branded Medigap policies. As of October 2009, Medical care reform contained a proposal to trim an associated program Medicare Advantage, which was expected to increase demand for Medigap policies.[30] However, as cited above, AARP also brands a Medicare Advantage plan (MedicareComplete), and would also be subject to cuts under health care reform.[31]
Single payer

On the other hand, single-payer advocates have criticized AARP for not supporting the single-payer or public option during the health care debate.[32] Single-payer advocates supported H.R. 676, proposed by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). @ARP released a statement explaining to its members why the organization was not supporting H.R. 676:

    Starting over with a new, "single-payer" program will not eliminate the problems Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP currently face, such as the spiraling costs of procedures and prescription medications, as well as technological advances that are often not comprehensively tested to be proven safe or effective before marketing. H.R. 676 does not address the problem of increasing health-care costs. Rather, it allows costs to continue to grow, which will result in unaffordable coverage.

John Rother, AARP's former chief lobbyist, said the single-payer model would “disrupt the system that is currently in place” and “would require a very significant tax increase.” But Rother admitted that it would be possible to design a system that would avoid these problems and function well. AARP's priorities now are to protect the current programs and implement the Affordable Care Act. Rother said that any effort to promote single payer would be undercutting health reform. Rother said. “To go to a single-payer you do have to trust government. The climate we’re in right now is a very hostile climate for something like that.”[32]

Rother also thought that an educational effort on the benefits of single payer would undercut the ACA. AARP has not published any material relating to single-payer health insurance on its website, in its several hundred page policy book, or through its Public Policy Institute.[32]
Social Security

In June 2011, AARP dropped its longstanding opposition to cutting Social Security benefits. A news release [1] emphasized "AARP has not changed its position on Social Security." In 2005 AARP led the effort to kill President George W. Bush's plan for partial privatization. AARP now has concluded that change is inevitable, and it wants to be at the table to try to minimize the pain. "The ship was sailing. I wanted to be at the wheel when that happens," said John Rother, AARP's policy chief and a prime mover for the new position. AARP declined to join a coalition of about 300 unions, women's groups and liberal advocacy organizations created to fight Social Security benefit cuts. "The coalition's role was to kind of anchor the left, and our role is going to be to actually get something done," said Rother.[33]

In an editorial column within the Los Angeles Times, critic Dale Van Atta wrote that AARP does unauthorized lobbying for its membership, and lobbies against the best interests of its membership. Van Atta says that by lobbying for the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, AARP leaders betrayed the membership.[34]

According to an Annenberg Public Policy Center report, critics have said AARP had a conflict of interest in supporting the Act, because AARP “derives income from the sale of health and life insurance policies,” by licensing its brand to insurance dealers such as New York Life,[35] and would benefit financially from passage of the legislation.[36]

In 2004 BusinessWeek said questions have arisen in the past about whether AARP's commercial interests may conflict with those of its membership, and characterizes many of the funds and insurance policies that AARP markets as providing considerably less benefit than seniors could get on their own.[37]

Approximately 60,000 AARP members quit AARP between July 1 and August 18, 2009, in a controversy that arose over AARP's support for U.S. health care reform. FOX News stated, "The Atlanta-based American Seniors Association, which is opposed to President Obama's health care plan, is trying to capitalize on growing public dissatisfaction with the AARP." AARP spokesman Drew Nannis responded that AARP loses about 300,000 members a month on average, and the controversial 60,000 of those that had left had specified leaving over the Health Care debate. Nannis also stated that the AARP gained 400,000 members and that 1.5 million members renewed their memberships within the same period of time.[38] The American Seniors Association is a for-profit organization operated by the American Seniors Association Holding Group, Inc (ASAHG, Inc).[39][40]

Thomas C. Nelson, Past Ex-Officio / Past COO AARP Foundation & AARP respectively, received $1,176,614 salary/compensation from the charity. This is the 5th most money given by any charity to the head of a charity, according to Charity Watch. It includes a separation payment of $682,285. The full amount of Thomas Nelson’s compensation was paid by AARP, not AARP Foundation. Despite this, Charity Watch rates AARP a "B-".[41]
AARP National Retired Teachers Association
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