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Archive for the ‘Health Policy’ Category

By Sherylle Estrellas

Across the world, many developed countries supply universal health care, allowing everyone the health coverage and service he or she needs at no or little cost to the consumer. Meanwhile, America, among the most developed and richest countries in the world, still has yet to implement an equitable and efficient health care coverage system. Although the Affordable Care Act means to improve the system, one can only wonder why it has taken so long for America to change its ways. Economist Victor Fuchs suggests a few reasons why.

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-By Michelle Tagerman

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as ‘Obamacare,’ was recently implemented with the goals of making health insurance coverage more affordable by expanding coverage, controlling the spiraling costs of health care and making health care delivery more efficient (KFF, 2013). To do so, state health exchanges were created where people are able shop for health insurance. In addition, government subsidies to purchase insurance are available for the poor. By lowering the cost of health insurance, the law was aimed at making health care accessible to all uninsured or under-insured American citizens by providing government subsidies. Unfortunately, the act has failed to eliminate several health disparities, (Davis & Walter, 2011) as will be discussed. (more…)

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-By Katherine Storer

Video: 4 Shocking Facts about US Healthcare http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqLdFFKvhH4

As someone with a chronic illness the healthcare system is something I’ve had a lot of experience with. Since I was 9 years old I’ve never walked away from a doctor’s appointment feeling anything other than frustration. I was always met with endless hours waiting for late doctors, copious amounts of obscure tests, and never-ending stares of disbelief. I had large co- pays for each useless visit, expensive prescriptions, uncovered tests, and never any answers. I always knew it was a flawed system, but I never quite understood why. (more…)

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-By Vidya Attaluri

About nine years ago I was introduced to and learned more about the concept of euthanasia after seeing it portrayed on a television show I was watching. As a young teen I had what may be an unexpected reaction in full support of the concept of euthanasia for those who are terminally ill and have full understanding of what their decision to participate in euthanasia means for both them and their loved ones. But how do you determine who is mature enough to make this decision? Should there be an age limit on who can participate or what illnesses can be considered to require euthanasia? Who gets to decide these things?

In a groundbreaking decision on February 13th, 2014 Belgium became the first country in the world to allow euthanasia for incurably ill children. I learned about the impactful new law through an article in the New York Times, “Belgium Close to Allowing Euthanasia for Ill Minors” by Dan Bilefsky. This article discussed the new law as well as the criticisms and reactions that followed its adoption. The law states that euthanasia would be allowed for terminally ill children that are close to death, experiencing “constant and unbearable suffering” and show a “capacity of discernment,” which would mean they understand the consequences of the decision to participate in euthanasia, as well as written consent from a legal guardian (Bilefsky, Year). In Europe, as compared to the United States, euthanasia has been a more widely accepted idea. Currently in the United States, as of January of 2014, euthanasia is banned nationwide but assisted dying, doctors prescribing a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill patients, is legal in Oregon, Washington, Montana, New Mexico, and Vermont. In Europe euthanasia is legal in The Netherlands, Luxembourg and in Switzerland assisted dying is legal. (more…)

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-By Kathryn O’Neill

In the year 2000, the United Nations held a Millennium Summit in New York City to address the role of the UN in the 21st century. From the summit came the United Nations Millennium Declaration which contained eight goals that strive to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality rates, improve maternal health, combat communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development by the year 2015. All of the members of the UN and 23 international organizations committed to work toward these goals at the conference (1).  But it is now 2014, one year away from the target for the Millennium Development Goals, how far have we come in relation to these goals and how much further do we really need to go? (more…)

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By Alexandra Desir

In this new age of sexual exploration and desensitization, erectile dysfunction is just another topic that has made its way out of the confines of the doctor’s office and into our living rooms. The average person watching television for an hour is subjected to at least five advertisements for drugs like Viagra and Cialis. I have become so accustomed to constantly being bombard by these commercials that I rarely ever notice them anymore. However, I couldn’t help but take notice of a tweet with the words “Medicare”, “overpaying”, and “erectile dysfunction” all in the same sentence. (more…)

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Two universities on the same street, both with “Boston” in their titles, but with two radically different policies towards student sexual health, and in particular the provision of condoms and contraceptives.

At Boston College, a Jesuit university on Commonwealth Avenue in Chestnut Hill, MA, students who have been distributing free condoms to their fellow students have recently been told to cease and desist, or face disciplinary action. http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/2013/03/27/boston-college-threatens-action-condom-giveaway/9o2UKvn9czUK6QFA3lzfTM/story.html  (more…)

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