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Maternity Care: U.S. v. Malaysia

March 29, 2012

Undoubtedly, one of the happiest times of family life may also be one of the most stressful if a pregnant woman, in the United States, finds herself without health insurance, or with health insurance that doesn’t cover maternity care. Between, 1993-2007, the average cost of an uncomplicated cesarean section more than doubled; and the cost of an uncomplicated vaginal delivery tripled. “Looking at a sample of 9 states, researchers found that 17% to 41% of childbearing women lacked insurance before coming pregnant,” says Carol Sakala, director of programs at Childbirth Connection, a nonprofit organization that works on behalf of mothers and babies to improve the quality of maternity care in the

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Affordable Care Act: What’s In Effect Now?

March 28, 2012

March 23, 2012 marked the second year anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) also known as the Affordable Care Act. This week the Supreme Court is hearing testimony both for and against the requirement that US Citizens purchase medical insurance if they are not provided the coverage by their employer; or pay a tax penalty. We won’t know the outcome until June. Insurance Coverage for Children What portions of the PPACA been passed and are in effect right now? You can now cover your dependent children up to age 26. They do not have to be a full time student. They can be

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The Slippery Slope of Regulating Perceptions

March 27, 2012

As I write this post, there are two, seemingly mutually exclusive, events rocking the nation and a third about to re-ignite; the Trayvon Martin tragedy, the battle over women’s health rights and the Supreme Court hearing on healthcare. I can’t help but thinking somewhere in the depths of these events there is an important point missing from the conversation. On the one hand, a child was shot and killed as he walked home from the store. His killer remains free and protected by a poorly written law giving the shooter justification by self-defense. The killer believed  the child was a threat to him and that is all that was needed

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Falling Through the Cracks

March 26, 2012

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was previously on www.Huffingtonpost.com and www.Middleagedfeminist.com In the early nineties, I lived in Oxford, England, as the new mother of a six-month old. Nurses regularly came to our flat for well baby check-ups; all of my medications and doctors’ visits and all those for my child were free for the first year of her life. My prescriptions averaged around ten dollars each, no matter how expensive they were. I was only a temporary resident. Ten years ago, I lived in France for two years and my prescriptions were uniformly 7 Euros each, even though the medication cost close to three hundred dollars in the

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Why We Need the Affordable Care Act

Be afraid, be very afraid… Folks are running around with their hair on fire complaining that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and a sure sign that America has turned socialist. All sky-is-falling predictions aside, universal coverage makes economic sense for taxpayers since the cost of providing services to the 15 percent of Americans who are uninsured is passed along to us with insurance in the form of ever-escalating premiums. It also makes sense to private insurers who fought for the individual mandate because it ups their rolls by 45-50 million subscribers. Finally, it makes sense to many who, like me, have insurance, but are forced to navigate a current

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Help us become the voice in women’s health

March 22, 2012

Women’s health matters. Hormones matter. These are the principles that drive Lucine. We believe that women have the right to understand and manage their own health and healthcare choices.  We’re building a company based upon those core principles. Yes, we are a corporation, a tax designation necessitated by regulation, and yes, based upon Citizen’s United I suppose Lucine could be considered a person (or by Roman mythology- Lucina -the goddess of pregnancy and light). But really, we are so much more. Lucine is about empowering women with information. It is our goal to give women (and their physicians) the tools and data they need, we all need, to live healthier lives.

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Hot Flash & Heartburn: the Musical

March 19, 2012

3:30a.m. BP 130/78. It’s every 3 hours. Hot flash followed by a bathroom break and a craving for a PB & J sandwich. I am a Type A personality. A High C or so I’ve been told. Control is my thing. As a Virgo, my ability to balance work, family and fun is an exercise in plate spinning, and that is also the sum total of my gym routine. My approach to life is head-on, take charge, let’s go. Take no prisoner’s and beg for forgiveness. Add a dose of the serenity prayer for good measure and CYA. “You’ll know when IT happens,” my girlfriends chant. IT, is men-o-pause, about

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Health Lessons from the Amazon

The morning after I picked up my discharge papers from the Marine Corps, I boarded a plane bound for Peru. After 4 years of being told where, when and what to do, I decided that the best plan was to have no plan. Against the advice of my direct supervisor, parents and a lot of friends, I left for 2 months with the attitude, whatever will be, will be. On the first morning in Lima, I met Dany, a tour guide – sorta, in my hostel. In America our tour guides accompany large groups of people around cities explaining the historical significance of buildings and areas. In Peru, tour guides

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My Story: Levothyroxine and Bone Density

Recently, I had my first bone density screening. When I got the results I was shocked to learn I had been diagnosed with osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis. How could this be? I’m a very fit 49 year-old who has only recently experienced perimenopausal symptoms. I drink milk, eat yogurt, and participate in weight bearing exercises 4-5 times per week. So I did what any self-respecting, newly diagnosed person would do in this day and age and went straight to Google to look up osteopenia.  Osteopenia, it turns out, is a fairly controversial diagnosis that was originally put on the map in 1992 by the World Health Organization. There are those on the Web

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Chemical Toxins in Commonly Used Herbicide

Herbicide Chemical, Glyphosate, Not So Safe Do we know what we’re eating? That’s the question that I constantly ask myself, because I know that at this point in time, my own regulations are the only thing protecting my health. It seems that the moment I become lax with my rules, I am quickly reminded why I must enforce them. Monsanto is a corporation that manufactures herbicide and genetically engineered plants. Today, I learned that Roundup and other herbicides from the Monsanto corporation are made with a chemical ingredient called glyphosate. Glyphosate has been linked to a number of health-related issues ranging from birth defects to endocrine disruption (the endocrine system regulates the

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