Thursday, May 9, 2013

Affordable Care Act

A lot of people don’t know that if you are insured you should not be paying a co-payment, deductible or anything for any of these services. But the doctor’s office or insurance company will not tell you that.

Direct from the website:

"Preventive Services Covered Under the Affordable Care Act

If you have a new health insurance plan or insurance policy beginning on or after September 23, 2010, the following preventive services must be covered without your having to pay a co-payment or co-insurance or meet your deductible. This applies only when these services are delivered by a network provider.
15 Covered Preventive Services for Adults
  1. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm one-time screening for men of specified ages who have ever smoked
  2. Alcohol Misuse screening and counseling
  3. Aspirin use for men and women of certain ages
  4. Blood Pressure screening for all adults
  5. Cholesterol screening for adults of certain ages or at higher risk
  6. Colorectal Cancer screening for adults over 50
  7. Depression screening for adults
  8. Type 2 Diabetes screening for adults with high blood pressure
  9. Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease
  10. HIV screening for all adults at higher risk
  11. Immunization vaccines for adults--doses, recommended ages, and recommended populations vary:
  12. Obesity screening and counseling for all adults
  13. Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) prevention counseling for adults at higher risk
  14. Tobacco Use screening for all adults and cessation interventions for tobacco users
  15. Syphilis screening for all adults at higher risk

 22 Covered Preventive Services for Women, Including Pregnant Women

The eight new prevention-related health services marked with an asterisk ( * ) must be covered with no cost-sharing in plan years starting on or after August 1, 2012.
  1. Anemia screening on a routine basis for pregnant women
  2. Bacteriuria urinary tract or other infection screening for pregnant women
  3. BRCA counseling about genetic testing for women at higher risk
  4. Breast Cancer Mammography screenings every 1 to 2 years for women over 40
  5. Breast Cancer Chemoprevention counseling for women at higher risk
  6. Breastfeeding comprehensive support and counseling from trained providers, as well as access to breastfeeding supplies, for pregnant and nursing women*
  7. Cervical Cancer screening for sexually active women
  8. Chlamydia Infection screening for younger women and other women at higher risk
  9. Contraception: Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling, not including abortifacient drugs*
  10. Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling for all women*
  11. Folic Acid supplements for women who may become pregnant
  12. Gestational diabetes screening for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes*
  13. Gonorrhea screening for all women at higher risk
  14. Hepatitis B screening for pregnant women at their first prenatal visit
  15. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) screening and counseling for sexually active women*
  16. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA Test: high risk HPV DNA testing every three years for women with normal cytology results who are 30 or older*
  17. Osteoporosis screening for women over age 60 depending on risk factors
  18. Rh Incompatibility screening for all pregnant women and follow-up testing for women at higher risk
  19. Tobacco Use screening and interventions for all women, and expanded counseling for pregnant tobacco users
  20. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) counseling for sexually active women*
  21. Syphilis screening for all pregnant women or other women at increased risk
  22. Well-woman visits to obtain recommended preventive services*

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Medical Marijuana

First, I live in one of the medical marijuana states. I believe for a few individuals it could be a useful medicine. It helps cancer patients, glaucoma patients and some others. But let’s get real most people who claim they use it for medical purposes are just getting stoned.

I was thinking about this again today because I heard on the radio that San Jose had 70 pot club or medical marijuana dispensaries and only 41 Starbucks. They want to regulate and close many of them. So a quick Google search revealed this is common in many big cities like Denver and LA, where medical marijuana is legal. They also have almost twice as many pot clubs or medical marijuana dispensaries as Starbucks. Funny they use Starbucks as a gauge, because we all know they are everywhere. 

If you have ever seen or been in a pot club or medical marijuana dispensary then you know 95% of them are a joke pretending to be clinics selling medicine. Remember the Speakeasy’s during prohibition or the 1800’s traveling snake oil salesman, that sold alcohol tinctures to cure everything from your libido to the mother-in-law visiting. Well probably cured both of those at times.

Anyway, most of these medical marijuana clinics and pot clubs are nothing more than bars with pot instead of booze.  They have counters, menus of different way to smoke or eat your marijuana, and tables to hang-out with your friends.  Does this sound like a clinic or an Applebee's. 

Two states have now legalized marijuana and a bunch more pretend that it is only distributed as medicine. In addition more than twenty states will fine you less than $100 for getting caught with less than an ounce or growing a few plants. Not even a slap on the wrist.

Outside of a few cases, people need to stop pretending it is some kind of wonder drug for everything from hangnails to gonorrhea,  and the states need to just legalize and tax the shit out of it, like alcohol.