#1 See your doctor and get a blood test. This will help in identifying which health areas you need improvement on, and how your diet may need to be modified. Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure? Too much sugar in your diet? Overweight or obese? Issues moving your bowels? *Your doctor will tell you which types of food to avoid and which food is fair game.*
#2 The real truth about exercising- you don’t need to go to a gym or jog around a track. You have to try and be mobile at first by walking around the house and do household chores. Maybe stretch in the morning. Play with your kids or other family members. Once you get in the habit of moving around (as opposed to lying in bed or watching TV from the couch and being too lazy to get up), try a cool Wii exercise game like Wii Fitness, Wii Active, or Dance Dance Revolution.
#3 Set your daily exercise goal for just 10 minutes a day. That’s less time than taking a dump or surfing the web. Just 10 minutes. Once you get in the habit of stretching, walking around the neighborhood or beach, playing with kids, doing household chores, or using a Wii exercise game, push it to 15 minutes. Try to get it to 30 minutes a day- even breaking it up to 3 sets of 10 minutes is accepted by doctors. The key is: you want to break bad habits, and try to curb your food addiction or laziness addiction.
#4 Try to phase out and eventually get rid of the junk food. You can do a search to find out what junk food is, but I have a feeling you already know.
#5 If you simply cannot stick to a diet or are totally lost due to conflicting information, sign up with aweight loss program that allows you to choose delicious meals from healthy lists. You actually save money on those health diets when they send you food vs shopping on your own.
#6 A meal replacement diet like diet cookies curb your appetite without drugs.
#7 Diet pills and fat burners: your mileage will vary, so clear them with your doctor. They have been known to burn fat fast or suppress your appetite or give you energy.
#8 Those suffering from obesity fantasy about weight loss surgery: gastric bypass, Lap-band surgery, stomach staples, liposuction, and other weight loss procedures. I guess in these “losing weight fast fantasies”, your medical insurance covers weight loss surgery. I really hope it doesn’t have to come to that. If you follow these steps I outlined for you, it won’t.
The above video was a debate on the topic, “Big Government is Stifling the American Spirit.”
This was a great debate, which included Art Laffer (of the Laffer Curve) and Nouriel Roubini on the same stage, as well as Phil Gramm answering for his “mental recession … America is a bunch of whiners” comment from the 2008 election cycle, and Laura Tyson, who served as an economic advisor to President Obama and President Clinton.
I just want to point out one thing that was brought up that I’m tired of: the whole notion that the 2000′s decade was an economic disaster. Excuse me, but I lived during that time? Up until 2006, even as late as 2007, people were having a good old time. Politicians were bragging about the economy. Heck, it wasn’t even a big issue during the 2004 Presidential Election. You can’t write off a whole decade because of a crash. What. Times weren’t good in 1928? They were!
On a side-note: I love how pundits on the left choose to say that Bush’s tax cuts failed because revenues are down. Hello? The economy went south after 2005, regardless of tax policy. I would argue it was the Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates low for an extended period after the 9/11 attacks that helped create the Housing Bubble, not tax rates on the top 1%
I will say, though, listening to IQ Radio yesterday out of San Francisco, I heard an economist suggest that high tax rates on the wealthy may be related to higher wages for the bottom 50% wage earners. He stated that from 1959 through 1980, when tax rates were high on the wealthy, that income for the lower wage earners doubled. He also stated that since then, increases for the lower wage earners have been flat, while wealthy folks, who benefited from reduced taxes, saw their earning rise exponentially. This suggests that wealthy folks are more likely to share their earnings when tax rates are high.
Of course, tax rates may have had nothing to do with this. It could be a mere coincidence. Just like the Bush tax rates being in effect when the economy took a tailspin.
In a related topic, let’s go over the proposed deficit cuts of $4 trillion dollars, as reported on cnnmoney [MY COMMENTS IN BRACKETS]:
Set targets for revenue and spending: The report recommends that taxes be capped at 21% of gross domestic product. It would also limit federal spending initially to 22% of the economy and eventually to 21%. [THIS IS A BRILLIANT IDEA. SPENDING CAPPED BASED ON PERCENTAGES. MAKES SENSE. WHEN WE THE PEOPLE ARE HURTING, THE GOVERNMENT MUST TIGHTEN IT'S BELT. WHEN TIMES ARE GOOD, GOVERNMENT CAN EXPAND. THAT IS FAIR.]
Rein in spending: The report proposes close to $200 billion in domestic and defense spending cuts in 2015. [WE ALL KNOW CUTS WILL HAVE TO HAPPEN. THIS IS REALITY. LET'S HOPE THE POLITICIANS HAVE THE COURAGE TO DO THIS. YEAH, RIGHT.]
Reform tax code: The report would lower income tax rates and simplify the tax code. It would abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax — the so-called wealth tax — and reduce tax breaks. [THIS MAKES SENSE.]
Change Social Security: The report aims to make Social Security solvent over 75 years through a number of measures, including smaller benefits for wealthier recipients, a less generous cost-of-living adjustment for benefits, and a very slow rise in the retirement age (from 67 to 68 by 2050; rising to 69 by 2075). It also would expand over 40 years the amount of workers’ income subject to the payroll tax. [THESE PROPOSALS ALL MAKE SENSE. I NEVER UNDERSTOOD WHY SOCIAL SECURITY WAS ONLY TAXED AT LIKE THE FIRST $95,000 OF GROSS INCOME. IT'S LIKE THE WEALTHY ARE EXEMPT FROM SUPPORTING THE LOWER CLASSES. ALSO, REDUCING BENEFITS FOR THOSE WHO ARE WEALTHIER, AND WHO PROBABLY SAVED FOR RETIREMENT, MAKES SENSE, AND IS IN KEEPING WITH ORIGINAL INTENT OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAM TO SUPPORT THOSE WHO NEED THE HELP.]
Control health care costs: The report recommends capping growth in total federal health spending — everything from Medicare to health insurance subsidies — to the rate of economic growth plus 1%. [THIS WON'T FLY. YOU CAN'T MANDATE CAPS ON HEALTH CARE COSTS UNTIL MEDICAL HYPER-INFLATION, WHERE WE ALL SEE INCREASES OF ABOUT 10% ANNUALLY ON OUR PREMIUMS, ENDS. OBAMA-CARE DID NOT ADDRESS THOSE ISSUES, AND NEITHER DOES THIS PROPOSAL.]
We here at the DailySkew endorse setting targets for revenue and spending, reining in spending, simplifying the tax code, and changing social security. This will bring stability to the Government and give the pundits less to complain about. Who knows? Maybe some talk show hosts will lose their jobs if we solve some of these issues!
Since we here at the DailySkew have endorsed these ideas, based on our track record, we fully expect these proposals to be completely rejected. Also, we expect the healthcare idea to be implemented against our better judgment.
I just heard on Glenn Beck some crazy audio — Congressman Massa from New York, who is supposed to resign today, ripped congressional leaders and Rohm Emmanuel, accusing them of setting him up because he refused to vote for Obamacare.
To me, the notion that politicians will, basically, blackmail one another to get legislation passed that favors political donors is not a Newsflash! You can watch Mr. Smith Goes To Washington to get a fictional example of that.
What is a Newsflash! is that Congressman Massa, who is a Democrat, has spilled the beans, giving us a rare, visceral, first person account of how the system really works … you know, what you miss when the C-Span cameras shut off.
Personally, I think this rant is fascinating. You can debate whether or not this is a truthful account; to me that is irrelevant. The real question is what would push a Congressman to spill the beans like this? Clearly, since he’s losing his seat, he has nothing left to lose and wants to take a parting shot.
Based on what I’ve heard about politics over the years — and Rohm in particular — I’m sure his rant is pretty much true.
That does not excuse Congressman Massa’s behavior, whatever it is that he did. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
However, if there are two wrongs, both need to be rectified. Congressman Massa is resigning; what is the White House doing to correct their way of pushing unpopular bills through Congress?
UPDATE — I forgot to mention that Congressman Massa accused House Leader Steney Hoyer of lying about informing him of the ethics probe; Massa claims Hoyer did not tell him about it.
UPDATE 2 — Rush just played the extended version of one of the clips. Holy cow! Rohm showed up at the showers of the Congressional gym (no shower curtains) NUDE to yell at Massa and poke, uh, his finger into Massa’s chest!
OPINION ALERT — Damn. This sounds like a scene from a Scorcese movie.
Another clip he played that I forgot — the unions threatened to not fund Massa’s campaign if he votes no for Obamacare.
UPDATE 3 — Rush made an interesting point. The biggest health insurance company is the U.S. Government, with Medicare and Medicaid. President Obama ripped greedy health insurance companies today in a speech, but failed to talk about the deficiencies of government healthcare.
Here’s what I learned about the human genome project from the NIH Record:
- Dr. Eric Green launched an 11-lecture series on Current Topics in Genome Analysis. He talked about the history of genetic research from Mendel to the present
- the human genome has 3 billion base pairs … he compared the way to break it all down to an encyclopedia with pages, books, and volumes
- The Human Genome Project officially ended October, 2004. Dr. Eric Green says, “Now the challenge is the application of genomics to human health”
- There are still small parts — “… centromeres and other parts of chromosomes still can’t be fully recovered” — of the human genome that are not mapped yet
- Dr. Green: “Completely interpreting the human genome sequence may take decades. It is a huge undertaking”
- The experts know that 5% of our genome is common to all mammals. This is about 150 million base pairs — no one knows where those base pairs are
- RNA functions are not mapped — so lots of functions remain unknown. The experts are comparing human genome to other mammals to find answers
- ENCODE is a project whose goal is to find out what the parts of the human genome actually do
- Humans all have approximately 99.7% of the same genes. The remaining .3% (about 3 to 5 million pairs) are different. Dr. Green: “Most [variants] are innocent and have no phenotypic consequence, but some are metaphorical bombs”
- using GWAS (genome-wide associations studies), Dr. Green says that, “regions conferring risk often reflect non-coding parts of the genome…the non-coding functional landscape is of great interest in many labs now”
- it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to sequence the human genome [OPINION ALERT: Glad capitalism still works]
- analyzing all the incredible amounts of data is a huge challenge to experts [OPINION ALERT: I feel that way trying to keep up with current events]
Here’s the full lecture — I made it through 15 minutes or so before I had to attend a meeting — it was very interesting. He did a great job with the history of Genome Research and explaining the unexplainable:
On a related side-note: I am a firm believer that our basic personality types are encoded in our genes. What we do is up to us, of course — I also believe we choose to be healthy or unhealthy beings.
Anyway, I hope we see some groundbreaking gene research related to the field of psychology someday.
Also — for individuals with rare genetic defects like my son, I certainly hope that gene therapy continues to improve. I spoke with one expert recently who said that someday, perhaps a decade from now, we’ll be able to map someone’s genome, figure out what’s wrong, and use gene therapy to cure the defect. He talked about how we’ll look back at this time and joke about our crude methods.
From what I understand, gene therapy is a pretty radical concept. It involves viruses entering cells to reprogram the DNA — something like that.
I sure hope the scientists of our time are up to the challenge.
On last night’s All Things Considered, they interviewed the editor of Politifact.com, a website run by the St. Petersburg Times that, according to the site, won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize. Their gimmick is to judge whether or not a public figure is lying or not — kinda like factcheck.org and other sites.
Well, as they were about to announce the lie of the year, I said to myself, “Death panels. They’re going to choose death panels.” Sure enough, they chose Death panels.
I decided to reserve judgment until I read their article … the verbal commentary was short on rebuttals for Republican talking points.
When I read the article, I ran across the following passage, regarding Democrats failed to counter-act the Death Panel comment properly (my comments will be in [BRACKETS]:
Democrats responded by saying the accusation wasn’t true and highlighting the actual Medicare provision and what it said [THEY DID?].
That wasn’t necessarily an effective strategy, said Drew Westen, a psychologist who studies political communication and advises Democrats on messaging. “Instead of stopping and asking themselves, ‘What are Republicans trying to appeal to?’, the Democrats rolled their eyes and said, ‘Isn’t this stupid,’ ” he said. “On one level, it was stupid, but on another level, it was hitting seniors very close to where they live.”
People intuitively understand that health care reform is about lowering costs, and end-of-life care can be quite costly, he said [THANK YOU -- IT IS RATHER OBVIOUS. CUTTING MEDICARE COSTS = CUTTING BENEFITS AND ACCESS POINTS TO CARE]. The “death panels” claim exploited fears that people already had [EXPLOITED? IF THE BILL IS CUTTING MEDICARE BENEFITS, AREN'T DEMOCRATS EXPLOITING THE OLD FOR THE SAKE OF THE MIDDLE-AGED AND YOUNG VOTERS?]. Rather than just saying the claim wasn’t true, Westen said, a better response would be that there already are “death panels” — run by insurance companies [HAHAHA ... NOW THAT'S THE KICKER. POLITIFACT SPENDS THOUSANDS OF WORDS EXPLAINING WHY DEATH PANELS IS THE LIE OF THE YEAR, AND THEN THEY ALLOW THIS GUY TO SAY INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE DEATH PANELS. I SAY PRECISELY! INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE DEATH PANELS WHEN THEY DENY CLAIMS ... AND A GOVERNMENT RUN INSURANCE POLICY WILL ALSO DENY CLAIMS, PARTICULARLY IF THE MEDICARE BUDGET HAS BEEN CUT! THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A DEATH PANEL! JUST BECAUSE THE TERM DEATH PANEL IS OVER-THE-TOP DOES NOT MEAN IT'S A LIE, OR IT ISN'T A USEFUL TWO-WORD PHRASE TO DESCRIBE WHAT PRIVATE INSURANCE AND PUBLICLY-RUN INSURANCE COMPANIES DO TO US WHEN THEY DENY CLAIMS!].
“That’s the response that should have been there, from the first day the attack was made,” Westen said. “You never let an attack like this stand or go unresponded to in any 24-hour cycle.” [SO, WHICH ONE IS IT, POLITIFACT? ARE YOU ENDORSING RESPONDING TO A LIE WITH ANOTHER LIE? OR ARE YOU ADMITTING THAT DENIAL OF CLAIMS AND REDUCED BENEFITS = DEATH PANELS?]
For the record, here are my suggestions for health care reform. I, too, would like everyone to have access to health insurance and good quality care. I certainly would like denials for pre-existing claims to be made illegal. I certainly would like health care costs to be reduced. I think my suggestions would help.
As for politifact and their Lie of the Year award — I guess it’s just another way to bring hits to your website.
New York – Apparently, in response to Sarah Palin’s ongoing success, Katie Couric decided to commit verbal hari-kari last night with a health care rhyme on the CBS Evening News.
“It was a noble effort,” stated Dr. Richard Hofmann from the National Enneagram Council. “It is clear that Couric has carried a boatload of guilt after taking a naive Alaskan and deconstructing her before a national audience last year. This is a healthy response and a good way to make amends.”
Others had their doubts.
“Look, she’s clearly appealing to the Sarah Palin audience,” stated Angel Jimenez, noted Internet provocateur. “I think if she could have worked in a line about not reading books, she would have.
“This is not sincerity. It’s desperation.”
Members of the Time Variance Authority have yet to report on future Neilsen ratings for CBS Evening News, or whether Couric will continue hosting the show. We here at the M.O.T. News will deliver that information if and when we receive it.
For now, check out the DailySkew Year 5w6 eBook, and turn to page 221, where M.O.T. News reported that Gallup polls are “Inherently inaccurate.”
- Allow insurance companies to sell health insurance policies across state lines.
- Ban insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
- Require everyone to buy health insurance, the same way drivers are required to carry auto insurance on their cars. Make the penalties greater than the cost of carrying insurance.
And, as an alternative for uninsured individuals who require emergency medical care … anytime a person visits an ER or doctor without insurance, make them purchase the insurance policy then and there. You can bill them for the first month's premium, and hit them with late fees and penalties if the individual does not comply.
In the case of an emergency, the policy can be bought after treatment because pre-existing condition denial will no longer happen.
Oh, and have each State administer this. It shouldn't be too difficult, since they already handle auto and homeowner's insurance, and the DMV has already been offered up as a place to sign up for health insurance by the bureacrats in Washington, D.C.. So, might as well use the existing institutions and expand them.
- Offer Medicaid as an insurance option for low income and middle income families, with a sliding price scale.
On a side-note: correct how Government calculates the threshold for qualifying for low income programs. Taking the cost of food and multiplying by three is antiquated and inaccurate.
- Offer tax breaks and grants to hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies for waiving expensive deductibles for low income families.
The above Health Care Reform 2009 plan would expand existing institutions, force the uninsured to add money to the pot, provide coverage for the poor, eliminate denial due to pre-existing conditions, give individuals more options when shopping for insurance, and keep doctors, insurance companies, and trial lawyers relatively happy.
Side-note: in our DailySkew Year Two eBook, we discuss personality types, a topic which can also help an individual’s healthiness and well-being.
Here's what I learned this morning: - Goog 411 still sucks — both the text and voice version. I tried it awhile back and was very unimpressed with the results. I tried it again today (since it's "free") and, once again was given old information and unrelated results what I needed.
This doesn't bode well for Chrome OS, as far as I'm concerned.
- On Glenn Beck, his lawyer Joe Kelly (who also doubles as a DC comic writer, I guess) explained in detail how trial lawyers will force private insurance companies out of business if health care reform 2009 becomes law.
Basically, there is an ERISA provision that protects insurance companies from pain and suffering damages when they deny coverage to a patient. This ERISA provision will be waived in the bill that passed the House of Representatives.
Trial lawyers support this, of course.
This will cause insurance companies to raise premiums, which will end up — through another legal caveat — subjecting them to more government regulation.
So, basically, the bill is designed to do away with private insurance.
Here's my reaction to what I learned on the Glenn Beck Show: - so, there are restrictions on pain and suffering already, and premiums continue to go up. So much for the Tort Reform argument.
- It's hard to sympathize with insurance companies who deny people medical coverage. Sorry.
- It's hard to sympathize with trial lawyers.
- I do believe having choices helps consumers … so, I am against one monopolistic Government-run health insurance plan, because we're all going to get, as Zane Black says, "The magic enema."
Getting back to Goog — their ever-present expansion into everything (Chrome OS, anyone?) reminds me of a great quote from our DailySkew Year Four eBook:
“”Who watches the watchmen? The answer is: who doesn’t? Privacy is out the window. Someday, you’ll be able to Google Earth what your neighbor is doing. We’ll have real-time video of crimes, and automated justice. The circle will soon be complete … we will all be monitoring each other.”
Well, I don't know about the masses, but I can speak for myself on the issue of Obama and his party's Healthcare plan. Here's how Obama could get my support for Healthcare reform:
- Allow the sale of multi-year health insurance policies
I used to sell insurance in a previous life, and policies would get more expensive to buy the older you got. So, a young person could lock in the savings if they bought a 20-year health policy, and have affordable insurance coverage once they started having health issues.
- Limit damages on medical lawsuits, i.e. Tort reform.
If people, as a whole, young and old, really want savings on health care costs, then victims will have to do with less money for pain and suffering. To be frank, I think doctors should only pay for damages and lost present/future wages. That should be plenty. I'm okay with that.
- Allow insurance companies to sell across state lines
I mean, BC/BS is in every state I've ever lived in some form or another … so, I guess these companies can consolidate, lay-off people, and pass the savings to consumers? So, you'd have less local choice and more national choice?
I guess I'm not really sold on that last idea. Might as well have a government Medicare-for-all-ages plan if you go in that direction.
Anyway, if Obama will push for multi-year policies and limited tort reform, I'm in.
Oh, one more thing — if he could push for insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions, that would be great, too.
If he pushes for all that, I'm okay with Medicare-for-all.
I have zero sympathy for insurance companies, in general. We, the poor, are at their mercy when it comes to health, life, car, and homeowner's insurance. We don't have the power to fight them. We need Government to stand up and fight for us. We don't have a choice.
I mean, are the 9/12 Project folks going to march on BC/BS for high Health Insurance costs, or State Farm for dropping coverage in hurricane-affected areas like Florida?
Nope. They might as well be paid by corporate interests, because they're never going to fight them. Where were they after hurricanes Katrina, Rita, or Wilma? Were they marching on State Farm or All-State when homeowners were denied coverage? Ha ha. Riiiiiiight.