Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
1. New health care changes are only the beginning, CNN.com, Sep. 23, 2010
Brief Intro:"The Armstrongs' story is familiar to many young adults and their families, and the frustration of being uninsured is taking its toll on people of all age groups. Thursday, six months after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, several provisions go into effect. Health officials are hoping this first wave of changes will "put consumers in charge of their health care." This week, President Obama unveiled a website to help provide critical information to consumers regarding the legislation."
2. Insurers scramble to comply with new rules, NYTimes.com, Sep. 22, 2010
Brief Intro:"The first big wave of new rules under the federal health care law goes into effect on Thursday, leaving many insurers scrambling to get ahead of the changes."
3. Chronically ill, and covered, NYTimes.com, Sep. 22, 2010
Brief Intro:"Joe and Mary Thompson had agreed to adopt Emily before her birth in 1999, and it never occurred to them to back out when she was born with spina bifida. But that same year, their residential remodeling business in Overland Park, Kan., went under, prompting job changes that left the family searching for health coverage with a child who was uninsurable."
4. Obese kids face bias from parents, MSNBC.com, Sep. 23, 2010
Brief Intro:"Studies have shown parents are less likely to help overweight or obese offspring pay for college but researchers from the University of North Texas in Denton have also found parents may be less willing to help their overweight child buy a car."
1. City reports nearly a fivefold increase in students repeating a grade, NYTimes.com, Sep. 23, 2010
Brief Intro: "The number of New York City elementary and middle school students who failed to move on to the next grade skyrocketed this school year, as weak students faced a higher bar on state tests and the broadening of the city’s tough promotion policy.
Nearly five times as many students in the third through eighth grades are being required to repeat a grade this year compared with last year, the city announced on Thursday. The weakest performance was in the eighth grade: 5,017 students, or 8 percent of all eighth graders, were held back."Vulnerable Populations
1. Some Obama allies fear school lunch bill could rob food stamp program, NYTimes.com, Sep. 23, 2010
Brief Intro:"At issue is how to pay for additional spending on the school lunch program and other child nutrition projects eagerly sought by the White House. A bill that the House is expected to consider within days would come up with some of the money by cutting future food stamp benefits.
When the Senate passed the bill in early August, Mrs. Obama said she was thrilled. But anti-hunger groups were not. They deluged House members on Thursday with phone calls and e-mails expressing alarm."
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The switch to e-readers would of course be a big boon to manufacturers who are trying to reach a textbook market worth almost $10 billion.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
1. Recession raises poverty rate to a 15 year high, NYT.com, September 16, 2010
Brief Intro:"With the country in its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, four million additional Americans found themselves in poverty in 2009, with the total reaching 44 million, or one in seven residents. Millions more were surviving only because of expanded unemployment insurance and other assistance."
2. Census: 1 in 7 Americans lives in poverty, Yahoo News, September 16, 2010
Brief Intro:" The ranks of the working-age poor climbed to the highest level since the 1960s as the recession threw millions of people out of work last year, leaving one in seven Americans in poverty.
The overall poverty rateclimbed to 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million people, the Census Bureau said Thursday in its annual report on the economic well-being of U.S. households. The report covers 2009, President Barack Obama's first year in office."
1. Teaching doctors about nutrition and diet, NYT.com, September 16, 2010
Brief Intro: "Research has increasingly pointed to a link between the nutritional status of Americans and the chronic diseases that plague them. Between the growing list of diet-related diseases and a burgeoning obesity epidemic, the most important public health measure for any of us to take may well be watching what we eat.
But few doctors are prepared to effectively spearhead or even help in those efforts. In the mid-1980s, the National Academy of Sciences published a landmark report highlighting the lack of adequate nutrition education in medical schools; the writers recommended a minimum of 25 hours of nutrition instruction. Now, in a study published this month, it appears that even two and a half decades later a vast majority of medical schools still fail to meet the minimum recommended 25 hours of instruction."
2. Can exercise make kids smarter?, NYT.com, September 15, 2010
Brief Intro:"Previous studies found that fitter kids generally scored better on such tests. And in this case, too, those children performed better on the tests. But the M.R.I.’s provided a clearer picture of how it might work. They showed that fit children had significantly larger basal ganglia, a key part of the brain that aids in maintaining attention and “executive control,” or the ability to coordinate actions and thoughts crisply. Since both groups of children had similar socioeconomic backgrounds, body mass index and other variables, the researchers concluded that being fit had enlarged that portion of their brains."
3. Number of insured drops for first time, CNN.com, September 16, 2010
Brief Intro:"The number of people with health insurance in the United States dropped for the first time in 23 years, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.
There were 253.6 million people with health insurance in 2009, the latest data available, down from 255.1 million a year earlier."
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I highly recommend this film to those who are interested in learning more about the educational experiences of students who are non-native speakers of English.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
This film is highly recommended for those who want to learn more about the day laborer population.
Monday, September 13, 2010
This film is highly recommended for those who want to learn more about the obstacles to health care that the working poor face today.
Friday, September 10, 2010
1. B vitamins shown to slow progression of dementia, MSNBC.com, September 9, 2010
Brief Intro: "Daily tablets of large doses of B vitamins can halve the rate of brain shrinkage in elderly people with memory problems and may slow their progression toward dementia, data from a British trial showed on Wednesday,
Scientists from Oxford University said their two-year clinical trial was the largest to date into the effect of B vitamins on so-called "mild cognitive impairment" -- a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia."
2. Pre-teen brothers battle obesity: One family's story, MSNBC.com, September 9, 2010
Brief Intro: "Last spring, Doubrava decided to take action, thanks in part to the help of a Cleveland Clinic program that targets the heaviest kids and their families.
She banned soda from her family’s refrigerator and cut out fast food and high-fat snacks. She filled bowls with fruit and platters with vegetables and she sent everyone outside for long walks and bicycle rides."
3. Too little sleep raises obesity risks in children, MSNBC.com, September 8, 2010
Brief Intro: "Children aged four and under who get less than 10 hours of sleep a night are nearly twice as likely to be overweight or obese five years later, according to a U.S. study. Researchers from the University of California and University of Washington in Seattle looked at the relationship between sleep and weight in 1,930 children aged 0 to 13 years old who took part in a survey in 1997 and again five years later in 2002.
For children who were four years old or younger at the time of the first survey, sleeping for less than 10 hours a night was associated with nearly a twofold increased risk of being overweight or obese at the second survey."
4. Kids eligible for, absent from, U.S. health programs, MSNBC.com, September 8, 2010
Brief Intro: "An estimated five million uninsured children in the United States were eligible for Medicaid or the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) but were not enrolled in either plan, according to a new report.
The study published Friday in the journal Health Affairs recommended policy reforms and broader efforts to get uninsured children into government medical programs, including the use of income tax data for automatic enrollment."
1. Teachers get chance to fix poorer schools, NYT.com, September 6, 2010
Brief Intro: "Shortly after landing at Malcolm X Shabazz High School as a Teach for America recruit, Dominique D. Lee grew disgusted with a system that produced ninth graders who could not name the seven continents or the governor of their state. He started wondering: What if I were in charge?"
2. Feds are investigating Arizona's stance on teacher fluency, Educationweek.com, September 8, 2010
Brief Intro: "Arizona's superintendent of public instruction says the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice are investigating whether the state discriminates against teachers whose first language isn't English, according to the Associated Press.
The AP news comes from a story published by The Arizona Republic. It says that in April, state education officials began telling school districts to fire teachers who weren't fluent in English. However, state officials have contested that version of events to me, as I've reported on this blog. State officials sent me a copy of a protocol that shows they monitor the fluency of teachers of English-language learners."
Race and Culture
1. Anger flares in L.A. after fatal police shooting, NYT.com, September 8, 2010
Brief Intro: "City officials and Guatemalan leaders have moved to calm feelings and quell anger after the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan construction worker by a Los Angeles police officer set off two nights of violent protests in a neighborhood populated largely by Central American immigrants.
On Monday and Tuesday nights, people perched on rooftops in the Westlake district were seen hurling objects at officers in riot gear as they sought to control crowds of as many of 300 people who were yelling and waving fists. The Rampart police station was pelted with rocks, bottles and eggs, officials said,"
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Most students blame the attacks on a small group of trouble-makers and don't endorse the violent actions that have been taken against another minority group. In the wake of this violence, the school has established 50-50 programs that bring together groups of Asian and African-American students to participate in school-sponsored group outings. In addition, more bilingual trainers and diversity training has been added.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
1. Majority of Caesareans done before labor, August 31, 2010, New York Times
Brief Intro: "A new study suggests several reasons for the nation’s rising Caesarean section rate, including the increased use of drugs to induce labor, the tendency to give up on labor too soon and deliver babies surgically instead of waiting for nature to take its course, and the failure to allow women with previous Caesareans to try to give birth vaginally."
2. Returning to classrooms and to severe headaches, August 30, 2010, New York Times
Brief Intro: "Doctors say frequent headaches and migraines are among the most common childhood health complaints, yet the problem gets surprisingly little attention from the medical community. Many pediatricians and parents view migraines as an adult condition. And because many children complain of headaches more often during the school year than the summer, parents often think a child is exaggerating symptoms to get out of schoolwork."
3. Child's ordeal shows risks of psychosis drugs for young, September 1, 2010, New York Times
Brief Intro: "More than 500,000 children and adolescents in America are now taking antipsychotic drugs, according to a September 2009 report by the Food and Drug Administration. Their use is growing not only among older teenagers, when schizophrenia is believed to emerge, but also among tens of thousands of preschoolers.
A Columbia University study recently found a doubling of the rate of prescribing antipsychotic drugs for privately insured 2- to 5-year-olds from 2000 to 2007. Only 40 percent of them had received a proper mental health assessment, violating practice standards from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry."4. Improving access to health care data, September 1, 2010, JAMA
Brief Into: "The April 2010 release of the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS’) Open Government strategy was a major step forward in expanding health data access. The DHHS developed the strategy in response to President Obama's Open Government Directive.."
1. Deal would provide dialysis to illegal immigrants in Atlanta, August 31, 2010, New York Times
Brief Intro: "Thirty-eight end-stage renal patients, most of them illegal immigrants, would receive the dialysis they need to stay alive at no cost under a rough agreement brokered Tuesday among local dialysis providers and Atlanta’s safety-net hospital, Grady Memorial."
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Sheila ultimately had to drop out of chemotherapy and was told by her doctor to go to the county hospital. She went in for another checkup and was told the cancer had spread but the nurse on the phone told her that they could not help her as she did not have insurance.
I highly recommend this video to those interested in learning more about the serious barriers uninsured patients face.