The Right Way to Floss

By Shelley Levitt

It’s a simple piece of string, sometimes flavored, often waxed. Wrap 18 inches or so around your finger, and you have a powerful tool that can help prevent cavities and give your overall health a big boost.

Dental floss dislodges food particles trapped between the teeth and under the gums where toothbrushes can’t reach. Left unchecked, bacterial buildup can lead to cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.

If that’s not scary enough, Jyoti Srivastava, DDS, a New York City dentist with advanced training in tooth replacement and restoration, points out that “gum disease is an inflammatory disorder that can contribute to major problems throughout the body.” Recent studies suggest links between advanced gum disease and diabetesheart diseaseAlzheimer’s, and stomach cancer, though more research is needed.

If you practiced ideal dental hygiene, you’d be flossing after every meal. “Do that and you’ll have an absolutely immaculate mouth,” says Srivastava, “but we know that’s not practical for most people — so we hope our patients floss once daily.” Bedtime, rather than morning, is the better choice for once-a-day flossers.

 “Your salivary flow is very low when you’re sleeping,” Srivastava says. “So for those 7 or 8 hours you’re in bed, you’re not washing away the bacteria teeming in your mouth.”

Dentists recommend spending 2 minutes brushing your teeth. With practice, flossing will take you an additional minute. Begin on the upper right, go all the way around to the upper left, and then go from the lower left to the lower right.

If you’re so tired at the end of your day that you can devote only 60 seconds to dental hygiene, what do you do? Floss. “I’m not suggesting you skip brushing, but it’s absolutely essential to floss every day,” says Srivastava.

 

What Kind of Floss?

Stand in the dental aisle of your drugstore, and you’ll see a variety of dental floss. Srivastava breaks down the choices with these tips.

Waxed vs. unwaxed floss. They’re equally effective at removing tooth debris, but “I strongly recommend waxed. It’s much easier to slide between your teeth and much less likely to shred,” Srivastava says.

Flavored wax. It won’t add calories, so if you like how dental floss flavored with mint or cinnamon leaves your mouth feeling fresher, that’s a great choice for you.

Ribbon or tape vs. fine floss. Opt for wider floss. “Ribbon or tape floss covers a larger portion of the tooth, so it does a better job of cleaning,” Srivastava says. “It also feels more comfortable in your hand and is less likely to cut your gums.”

Floss picks. These disposable, pre-threaded floss-holders can help you reach into the back corners of your mouth. They’re also great for flossing on the go.

 

Original article: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/your-smile-flossing#2

The $3 Tool to Protect Against Alzheimer’s and Cancer

The long syringe of anesthetic… the minty grit of cleaning paste… the high-pitched whirr of the drill…

For many folks, all these are merely a prelude to the worst part of a dentist visit:

“Have you been flossing?”

If you lie about your habits, then you’re not alone… Survey results show that more than one-fourth of Americans lie to their dentist at every visit.

And more than 30% of the folks in the survey, run by the American Academy of Periodontology, said they’d rather do unpleasant chores – like scrubbing the toilet – instead of flossing.

We think that number is far too low. Other studies show only about 30% of Americans floss their teeth with any regularity. So not only are folks lying to their dentists… they’re also lying to the survey takers.

For floss haters, it’s an uncomfortable process that doesn’t seem all that important. Even folks on my research team are squeamish about it.

But skipping out on floss is lazy… and downright dangerous to your health.

Flossing every day could save your life.

Flossing removes the plaque buildup in your gums that brushing can’t reach. Getting that bacteria away from your gums means the bugs can’t get into your gums and therefore, into your bloodstream.

Gum disease is prevalent in about half the adult population. And lately, more and more research demonstrates just how many different kinds of bacteria grow in our mouths – the count now is up to 500 species.

Some of the more devastating ones, like P. gingivalis, travel through the blood to other sites and actually stick themselves to our cells, causing inflammation.

And new research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual conference found a link between certain types of gum bacteria and pancreatic cancer.

The strongest connection: the bacteria P. gingivalis. Study participants who had this type of bug in their gums had a 59% higher risk of getting pancreatic cancer than those without the bug. Pancreatic cancer, as we’ve discussed before, is the deadliest form of cancer. One of the main reasons for its lethal nature is that doctors often don’t catch it until it’s in advanced stages.

While we don’t know exactly how P. gingivalis contributes to cancer, we do know it pries open passages in the gumline, allowing itself and other bugs to enter the bloodstream. Once in your blood, they can travel everywhere, including crossing the blood-brain barrier.

That’s why a study published this spring in the journal PLOS ONE raised concerns. It showed that Alzheimer’s patients with gum disease experienced six times faster mental decline than those with healthy gums.

We’ve also seen evidence that the bacteria T. denticola can find its way to your nerve cells through your jaw. It follows those cells directly up to your brain. While we don’t know if these bugs can directly trigger Alzheimer’s, we know that they cause inflammation… which in turn damages cells and contributes to the disease.

Several studies also highlight the importance of flossing for diabetics. Those with diabetes have a three to fourfold increase in their risk of gum disease. Scientists are still studying the link between diabetes and gum disease and which condition leads to the other, but one thing is clear – the increased inflammation from poor gum health hurts the body.

This is something I’ve been saying since I was in medical school back in 1998. Many of the worst diseases, like dementia, stem from infection and inflammation. Fighting these two things will go a long way toward preventing serious diseases.

Flossing is a cheap way to ward off a lifetime of infection, inflammation, and devastating diseases. Our local drugstores here in Baltimore carry single packs of floss for just $2 to $3. It’s a small price to pay for a major investment in your health.

And remember, after flossing, don’t turn to the alcohol-based rinses. Several studies show that the alcohol in mouthwash increases the risk of oral cancers. The proof isn’t absolute, but the link is strong. The alcohol used in the mouthwash breaks down into a known carcinogen, acetaldehyde.

Try a nonalcoholic mouthwash. Just check the label for alcohol. Many brands advertise that the mouthwash is alcohol-free on the front label. And do what I do… Alternate between nonalcoholic and regular mouthwash, 50% diluted with water and hydrogen peroxide (1.5%)… in conjunction with a good brushing and flossing.

A while back, I started using a mixture of baking soda and salt in place of mouthwash and toothpaste. The high pH in baking soda helps kill bacteria and strengthen tooth enamel.

There’s no reason not to take this precaution to improve your health. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who don’t floss, start today. Your immune system (and your dentist) will thank you.

 

Original Post: https://retirementmillionairedaily.com/the-3-tool-to-protect-against-alzheimers-and-cancer/

The Capital Report: Can the CBO be Trusted?

Week of June 2nd 2017

In This Issue: Can the CBO be Trusted?

The debate seemingly never ends in Washington. Every day brings a new story and a new issue comes to the forefront, and it’s up to us to decide what to care about and what to believe. Is too much debate a bad thing? When it comes to the newly proposed American Health Care Act, both sides are looking at the bill with their own agendas in mind. Although moderate Republicans have tried to sugarcoat the flawed bill, the Congressional Budget Office may have been biased in their treatment of it as well. The CBO said that people who are seriously ill will most likely face extremely high premium rates under this bill. U.S. Representative Tom MacArthur (a Republican from New Jersey) was close to the Obamacare bill and how it was handled, and he sits down for an interview to talk about what went right and what went wrong with the bill.


Error in CBO Report Hurts Debate Over Healthcare Reform

“It is possible both for the Republican’s American Health Care Act to be a seriously flawed bill and for the Congressional Budget Office to have unfairly maligned it in the report it issued last Wednesday afternoon. I come today not to plead the virtues of the AHCA, but to argue that the CBO’s lambasting of it is likely to prevent useful debate over the future of American health care.”

Read Article


Millions Of Ill People May Face ‘Extremely High Premiums’ Under House Bill, CBO Says

“The GOP bill passed by the House would leave as many as one-sixth of Americans living in states where older and sicker people might have to pay much more for their health care or be unable to purchase insurance at all, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.”

Read Article


Refreshingly Frank on Obamacare

“Members of this moderate Republican caucus were angered by MacArthur’s amendment, which put the GOP health care bill back on its feet after Speaker Paul Ryan’s failed attempts to bring it to the floor in March during the seventh anniversary of Obamacare. The entire Q&A interview is interesting, but don’t miss this: …”

Read Article


This Week’s Report in a Nutshell

Despite the access to information being easier than ever, it would appear that the access to truth has become a little more tricky. There seems to be a never ending storm of political discussion happening these days. With polarity on the rise, people on both sides are absolutely outraged at one another, and nobody seems to be interested in standing down in the slightest. New developments are constantly coming out, and depending on your side of the political spectrum, it either leaves you overjoyed or overwhelmed. When it comes to the issues that matter to you, make sure you are taking the time to do your own independent research, rather than getting all your news from sources that are on your side. In this age of vast information, there is also vast misinformation. The truth is more important now than ever. We all need to do our due diligence in finding it.


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The Purple Cow

By Mathew Kennedy

Think about your last last road trip…..  You’re driving down the road and on your right you’re seeing an enormous field, and in that field, you see a herd of cattle. Let’s say it’s your first time, it can be quite an experience.  The cattle look similar to one another, and they tend to move together in a group almost as if their thoughts are all from the same source. More often than not, all of the cows look incredibly similar.  Maybe the behavior of the cows is representative, considering when you really think about it, we’re all far more alike than we are different (but that’s a topic for a different blog post).

Imagine looking over that field of cattle. Your eyes shift trying to find a place to focus as they scan over an endless sea of cows. Then you spot it. You rub your eyes to make sure that they aren’t deceiving you.  But, it’s still there. Something purple. You focus in, and you see that right there, in the middle of the field, is a purple cow.

You chuckle with amusement, the more you look, the more you are amazed about that purple cow. Your eyes are inexplicably drawn to it, you look away for a brief second and then look back, the purple cow is the first thing your eyes search for and are drawn to. It has awakened you from the trance you were in.  It stood out from the mundane and has become the focal point of your attention.

Innovation and great ideas are like purple cows. They may seem unassuming at a glimpse, not particularly noteworthy, but then like a purple cow you look again (you have to rubber neck it.)  You might be reading this and thinking that the analogy is a simple one. “Purple cows and great ideas stick out like a sore thumb when you compare them to fields of regular cows or regular ideas.”  The analogy is a simple one, there is more that goes into it than meets the eye.

The beautiful thing about great ideas is that you don’t have to work too hard to get them noticed. Ideas and content that is truly great has a magical way of getting discovered by itself. This is especially true in the 21st century. People are combing the Internet day and night, looking for that next big thing. People now have access to a tool that they can use to get themselves discovered. Now, more than ever, people are finding out that if you want to get your ideas discovered or if you want to make a splash, the best way to do this is to craft something that is great. If there is an idea out there that is truly unique and truly special, it will stand out like a purple cow. Humans have an innate ability to notice something different and notice something special in the world around them.

Creativity is the ability to take a complex idea and create something that represents that idea in a way that other people can understand it and draw their emotions from it. So many people out there have great ideas, but due to busy schedule, laziness, or fear of rejection, these ideas will never live anywhere besides their own head. Producing a creative project that you’ve worked for a long time on is a vulnerable task, but also quite fulfilling. Creative people are the ones who take their ideas and find a way to make something that represents them in the physical world. Articulation is key. The more complex an idea or an emotion is, the harder it is to truly express it in its purest form. This is where people believe that talent comes in. The people that are reigned as “creatives” are really people who are good at articulating their emotions and feelings and have a good enough work ethic to get it manifested into a physical form.

This advice is applicable to people whether you want to become the next Elon Musk or the next Bill Gates.  If you really want to make a difference and change the status quo, one good way to do that is to work at it until you have something that is truly different and truly special.  It’s tough to be patient.  You may think what you have is good now, and that if you wait too long, someone is going to eventually steal the idea, and with it, your payday.  One of the best qualities a lot of the biggest people in the world have is patience. They know that what they have is special; so special, that there is no immediate risk of anybody coming to steal it from them. So, if you can really hunker down and work, and not emerge until you have a polished and unique product, the results will come.

Standing out is not all that you need to do. You also need to stand out in a way that builds momentum. You can have a great product or a great idea, but it needs to build momentum into action. Maybe you need people to read your great new magazine and then subscribe. Maybe you might have a great new product that you need people to buy. There needs to be a clear consumer journey for people to make sure that they know what to do with their energy once they are exposed to your idea. If you don’t have a natural “next step,” then you will have an infamous “fifteen seconds of fame.” People will appreciate your work, but they won’t know what they can do with their energy to help you out to do more good things.

Unless you live in Wonderland, there are probably not any real “purple cows” out there in the world. But, they do exist metaphorically. Purple cows have been presented to us in many different shapes and forms throughout the history of humanity. And, they will continue to be presented to us. We just have the not-so-daunting task of spotting them when they arrive.

The Capital Report: Healthcare Reform on the Horizon


Week of April 7th 2017

In This Issue: Healthcare Reform on the Horizon

Despite some highly publicized speed bumps, the Trump administration is off and running as his first 100 days in office is coming to a close. One of the most notable “failures” of his administration has been the inability to immediately pass a healthcare bill to repeal Obamacare. So, seeing that Obamacare is currently the law of the land, the first article explores ways that the health care system can be “re-accommodated”. Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price wants to fix healthcare in the country, but in a different way than you might expect. Perhaps one of the reasons the original Donald Trump/Paul Ryan plan failed was because the world is changing. The digital health revolution is coming, and it is important to find out what that exactly means.


“Re-accommodate” Obamacare

“Most prefer real repeal, but AHCA does not repeal Obamacare. It does not guarantee lower premiums or expanded choices. It does not guarantee greater access. It does not guarantee wider provider networks. It does guarantee continued federal control over health care.”

 

Read Article


Secretary Tom Price wants to fix US healthcare

“Price runs a department with a budget of more than $1 trillion dollars and more than 80,000 employees who’s work touches on “the lives of every single American.” The orthopedic surgeon — the third doctor to hold the secretary position — said he was visiting Georgia to meet leaders at the CDC.”

 

Read Article 


Prepare for the Digital Health Revolution

“This status quo is ripe for disruption. And while true reform will require all the relevant parties—government, industry, and health care consumers themselves—to make major adjustments, an insurgent group of digital health companies is doing its best to drag American medicine kicking and screaming into the 21st century.”

Read Article


This Week’s Report in a Nutshell

The president’s first 100 days in office, for whatever reason, has been made into a big deal in this country. We take it as an indication of what the country can expect for the next four years. And, if these first 100 days have taught us one thing, it’s that the next four years will be filled with drama. However, in this world of crazy headlines that may or may not be true, it’s important to take the time to read the information out there and form opinions for yourself. If you don’t, you allow the world to tell you what to think and how to feel.

 

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The Undoing Project and the Endowment Effect

By: Zack Pace

Specifically addressing why employees remain in the higher-priced health plans, let’s consider The Undoing Project’s presentation of Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler’s endowment effect:

People attached some strange extra value to whatever they happened to own, simply because they owned it, and proved surprisingly reluctant to part with their possessions, or endowments, even when trading them made economic sense.

The endowment effect, for example, explains this scenario: Your friend buys a new kitchen table and promptly places his old table in off-site storage for $75 a month in storage fees. You then ask him, “If you never owned that old table and came across it at a yard sale, would you consider buying it and putting it in storage for $75 a month?”

Your friend exclaims, “Are you kidding? No way!”

Here’s another example:  An employer that previously offered one health plan option (to their employees). It was a traditional 100/70 PPO with no in-network deductible. Years ago, they introduced an additional (more) modern plan option. Out of courtesy, the employer felt compelled to continue offering the previous 100/70 PPO plan, (with a defined contribution component,) even though it was all but impossible for an employee to spend less in the new plan, via premium contributions combined and out-of-pocket expenses in the 100/70 PPO than in the newly offered plan. In short, for individuals staying in network, enrolling in the 100/70 PPO was similar to spending $750 to insure a $500 risk. There was no way to win the bet.  

While I argued that this 100/70 plan should simply be terminated, the employer figured that employees would understand the math and migrate out of the plan, meaning the plan would fade away on its own. That was 7 years ago. There is still more enrollment in the 100/70 plan than in the modern plan.  

How can we use the endowment effect to turn this choice on its head? One idea is to cease describing to employees how much they could save by changing plans. Instead, we could (or should) ask the employees to imagine that they are already enrolled in the lower priced, modern plan. Then, we would ask them if they would ever considering paying more in premium than the underlying risk to buy-up to the 100/70 plan.

The idea is to break the endowment effect by changing the perspective. We change the perspective by changing the story: “People [do] not choose between things. They chose between descriptions of things,” according to Lewis.

Our new story would also factor in our tendency to bend probabilities. Per Kahneman and Tversky, we tend to convert the true mathematical probability into a much different probability in our mind by applying emotion. For example, while the mathematical probability might actually be one in a billion, the emotion in our mind converts it into just one in ten thousand.

This insight might explain why employees tend to overpay for the ability to go out of network, even when the probability of ever getting through the out-of-network deductible is remote.

We need to change our description of things. We need to change the story.                          

Epilogue: Surprisingly, Kahneman’s and Tversky’s insights were published decades ago, long before I studied the history of economic thought. Figuring I’d just forgotten the chapter on Kahneman & Tversky, I just picked up my old textbook and thumbed through the index. My memory didn’t fail me — they aren’t mentioned. Fascinatingly, these two weren’t even on Lewis’ radar screen until 2003.

How to be the Next Apple

By Mathew Kennedy

Apple, Nike, Oprah, McDonalds, Google, The Wright Brothers, Yelp, Kleenex, Uber.
These companies, people, and ideas all have something in common; they absolutely dominate their market and their competition. In fact, we often don’t think about their competitors. In some instances, we don’t even know who their competitors. These brands have taken such control over their service that they have become synonymous with the service themselves: We “Google” something, not search it. We ask for a “Kleenex”, rather than a tissue.
But, how have these companies done it? What are they doing that is so essentially different than the thousands of other companies out there that are trying desperately to do the same exact thing that they are doing? What they are doing isn’t so fundamentally unique, so why is their success so impossible to replicate? Well, the answer to that question is simple, but at the same time quite complex. The best way to answer it is to re-word those questions. Instead of asking what they’re doing, try asking why they’re doing it.
Simon Sinek explains this by saying, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This sentence is repeated constantly throughout his TED talk, and for good reason. It’s a window into one of the defining factor’s that make certain businesses, people, and ideas great, compared to the countless others that are good. The “great” address the why, and the “good” deal with the what. All the examples given earlier are of businesses or people that dealt with the “why” first. This is something everyone should do. Sinek highly recommends focusing on the “why” (the philosophy or lifestyle you’re trying to sell) before focusing on the “what” (the end goal/profit). This difference is crucial, says Sinek, because people don’t really care about buying products; they care about buying the transformation that a product will bring them. Try to understand the values, desires, and lifestyle of your target audience; focus your promotions on that, then connect your product or service to those values. That is when you will succeed, because people want to relate and be related to based on their choices.
If your intentions of who you are and why you do what you do are out there on the table, you are going to immediately attract people who are into what you are doing. Alternatively, you are also going to cast away people who don’t get it and simply never will.  Although this might feel like you’d be losing potential customers or partners, in the long run, it’s for the best, because if they can’t buy what you’re about and why you do what you do, it wouldn’t be a happy and successful relationship.
Despite being highly intelligent creatures, we still answer mostly to the limbic parts of our brains. This is the part of our brains that, along with handling things such as hunger, thirst and threat, also handle emotions like trust and loyalty. Have you ever been nearing a purchase of something where all the facts make sense and all the numbers line up, but you backed out because “it just doesn’t feel right”? That’s your limbic brain telling you that despite what the logical part of your brain is telling you, this purchase just isn’t right for you for whatever reason. And, unfortunately to the salesman, no amount of facts and figures can change this. The “why” simply did not align with your and beliefs.
This also shows why some companies seemingly have better employees than others. They don’t have better pay packages or better benefits. Those things are all nice, but the average grind of a work day will wear on any employee and cause them to eventually turn to auto-pilot mode. The best employee-employer fits happen when the employee believes in what the company is doing and wants to be a part of it. This is when the employee gives their blood, sweat and tears to make the company better, because they believe that it’s a good company to grow with. When beliefs align, that is when the magic happens. People will only ever really work hard consistently if it’s for a cause that they truly believe in.
So, how does this apply to you right now? Well, whether it be in life or business, the first thing you should do is take a good, long look at what makes you feel passionate about your work, and how you can align your beliefs with your company’s message. This is the best way to cultivate an authentic and believable voice for your business. Once you can truly do this, the rest should come surprisingly easily. Just remember to really take the time to mindfully think through what you want to set as your “why”, because it should be at the core of everything you build in your business. If you rework your “why” too late in the game, or promote things that are out of alignment with it, it will only erode the integrity and cohesiveness of your company’s brand appearance.

How to Defeat Goliath in the Modern World

By Mathew Kennedy

The tale of David and Goliath is a classic. A young boy with no fighting skills, armed only with a slingshot and courage, faces off against the monstrous Goliath, an infamous giant who has terrorized all those who have tried to best him. Despite being completely outmatched on paper, David overcomes the giant and defeats him with a well-shot stone launched right into the eye of Goliath. Many people love this story, and it’s easy to see why. It is literally the original underdog story, and everybody loves an underdog story.

David and Goliath battles happen every day, all around us. Seeing that giants do not exist (besides some NBA centers), these battles are not literal giant vs. man fights. Instead, they take place in the world of business. So many small companies are currently in battle with the monster brands, such as Apple, Google, Target, etc. So many of them try to take down the beast and fail miserably. Some decide to avoid the fight, and instead stay in their lane, afraid to upset the giant and feel it’s wrath. These businesses may feel safe or smart, but by refusing to go after the giant, they have already lost.

But some companies are different. Some companies have a little bit of David in them. They have the courage and the resources to do some dent to the giant. They will obviously not take it down completely, but they are able to stun the giant and give it some problems. They possess the two qualities that can help you defeat a giant: courage and knowledge.

In the olden days, when a goliath company was defeating a small business, it would open up a store across the street and steal the small store’s customers. While this still happens, most of the bullying nowadays happens online. These days, small businesses are fighting big budgets, search engine optimization, online branding, and an overall larger Internet presence. Give these big businesses credit where it’s due. They recognized what the Internet would become and they invested a lot of money early in order to transfer their dominance to the web. And in the Internet, as with life, the more money you have, the better you will do and the greater your chances of success.

So how does David win? Well, in terms of the online marketplace, there are a couple of ways that you can ensure the most success possible. But, be ready, because it’s going to take more work than it would take Goliath. Just like Goliath can easily bench press hundreds of pounds, big brands can easily put out a bunch of ads that will do well mainly due to their large budgets and name recognition. David has to put in more work to be able to bench press hundreds of pounds. David needs to go above and beyond, because being just as good as Goliath won’t be good enough. He needs to stand out and be better.

The two tangible things that you can do to stand out is to be diligent in your research and your idea creation. Big companies are spending great deals of time finding out exactly who their target audience is, what type of media they’re consuming, how they’re consuming it, when they’re consuming it, how they interact with ads in their media, etc. There are so many different categories that can be looked into when it comes to developing a target persona and really getting inside the head of your desired customer. If you’re going to put a bunch of money into online advertising and marketing, you’d best make sure that you’re putting it in front of the right people.

The second thing that you can do is have great ideas. Many people are under the impression that only “creatives” can come up with great ideas. That you need to wear a skinny tie, have a fancy hairstyle and lens-less glasses in order to come up with a company-saving idea. But, that isn’t true at all. So many people consider creativity a talent, but isn’t talent just being proficient at something? That comes with practice. Everyone can come up with a great idea. It just comes down to their perseverance. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to come up with a good idea, eventually, you will come up with something.

Coming up with a great idea is a lot like digging for gold. You will dig and dig for hours and find nothing. But, eventually, after hours of grueling work, you come across a flake of gold. Do you stop there? No. You keep digging and digging until you find a gold coin. You’re almost there. Keep going as far as you can until you either find all of the gold or collect everything you can in that deposit. The more you can dig at an idea, the better chance you have of getting the good stuff out. It’s tough, but that’s why it’s some people’s jobs.

The basis for great ideas is always there. That’s the beauty of creativity. Everything that you need is already there. You have to make incremental improvements on the current state of things in order to make things great. All of the great ideas in history came from improving on the current technology or current state of the world. You want to improve the current system until it’s something new and something better.

Goliath is intimidating. It’s understandable. It’s unfair that some company is just seemingly “born” with features that help it out, like large budgets or great brand recognition. But, that doesn’t mean that you back down. People respect courage and other people that are willing to stand out. If you take a stand, do your due diligence, and have a little bit of courage, some good things will come from it.

The Capital Report: Healthcare Prognostications

Week of April 7th 2017

In This Issue: Healthcare Prognostications

As Americans we continue to live in a land governed by the ACA (aka Obamacare) and are all waiting to see what the GOP’s next round of improvements for health care will entail. Until then, we can only speculate as to what types of changes will be made and what the future will bring. Our first article comes from the controversial Ann Coulter, who lays out her own idea of a health care plan that she jokingly states is “so simple, even a Republican would understand it”. Second, we take a look into an idea that President Trump has about combining infrastructure with tax reform and healthcare. He believes that doing this will sweeten the pot and make his plan more appealing to both sides of the political aisle. Finally, we take a look at one of the reasons why some people are so hesitant when it comes to any changes in healthcare. Half of Americans make up only 3% of healthcare costs, because quite frankly, most Americans are quite healthy. While this is great thing for them, we are given a glimpse into why that can be a bad thing for the other part of us need healthcare.


 

A Health Care Plan So Simple, Even A Republican Can Understand!

“Federal and state laws make it illegal to sell health insurance that doesn’t cover a laughable array of supposedly vital services based on bureaucrats’ medical opinions of which providers have the best lobbyists. As a result, it’s illegal to sell health insurance that covers any of the medical problems I’d like to insure against.”

Read Article

Trump eyes combining infrastructure with tax reform, healthcare

In an interview with the New York Times, Trump said he may use infrastructure as a sweetener because it is “so popular” among lawmakers, especially among Democrats, who Trump referred to as “desperate for infrastructure.”

Read Article

 

Half of Americans are responsible for only 3 percent of health care costs

“The top 1 percent of health-care spenders use more resources, collectively, than the bottom 75 percent, according to a new study based on national surveys. Slice the data a different way, and the bottom half of spenders all together rack up only about 3 percent of overall health care spending — a                                                                 pattern that hasn’t budged for decades.”

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This Week’s Report in a Nutshell:

It’s no secret (and an understatement to say) that when it comes to healthcare, the United States of America is no longer a leader. Our struggle with finding a healthcare system that works for everyone has been well-documented for some time now. As the GOP struggles to create a system that works we are beginning to see why. Healthcare is a complicated issue that has a lot of moving parts and needs to work for everybody. Different constituencies have their own ideas when it comes to the direction we should be going, but one thing is for certain: change is coming and we are all going to have to prepare to adapt to whatever those changes mean.


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Get Dental Work Before You Retire

 

By:Kim Blanton

Caps, gum surgeries, implants, dental exotica – all kinds of things can and do go wrong in retirees’ mouths.

But dental coverage also drops sharply for older Americans, because when people retire, they give up their employer’s dental insurance. Without it, retirees needing dental work can face an unexpected, mini financial crisis.

Medicare does not cover routine dental procedures, a fact that a majority of working baby boomers are unaware of. But most seniors also aren’t covered through a spouse or under, say, a union dental insurance plan for retirees. The private dental insurance market is their only option for care, and very few purchase it.

Uninsured older Americans shell out $1,126 annually, on average, for dental work, which is $400 more than people with coverage spend. Out-of-pocket costs can be much higher in a year when extensive work is required.

There is also a hidden cost to not being covered.  Failing to deal with dental problems can cause other serious illnesses, from malnutrition to heart trouble.

For the rest of the U.S. population, cost has become less of a barrier to dental care, the American Dental Association reported in 2015. Seniors are the lone exception. One in four Medicare beneficiaries polled two years ago said cost is a higher barrier to dental care than it is for any other type of medical service, including hospital care and prescription drugs that are covered by Medicare.

Getting dental care is especially difficult for people over 65 with low incomes.  While state social programs cover low-income children, coverage rates have declined for their low-income grandparents.

Many uninsured middle-class retirees also struggle to pay for dental care.  Half of older households earning as much as $50,000 haven’t seen a dentist in the past year, and 21 percent earning more than $75,000 haven’t been to a dentist, according to an Oral Health America survey in 2015.

A “lack of money or insurance are the prime reasons to skip a visit,” the report said.

In rare instances, Medicare covers dental procedures as part of overall medical care, such as a tooth extraction prior to heart surgery or a dental procedure prior to radiation for oral cancer.

Most seniors aren’t covered, and they either prefer to go without it or can’t afford it.

 

Reposted from http://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/