Posted in Health, news, Politics

Senate Reveals Their Version of the Healthcare Bill

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) revealed the Senates version of the repeal and replacement bill of the Affordable Care Act, The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.

On the Senate floor McConnell stated their plan would specifically do the following:

Repeal Individual Mandate

Repeal Employer Mandate

The text of the draft was to be made available soon, addressing the following:

Repeal of Tax on Health Saving’s Accounts

Repeal Tax on prescription medications

Repeal Medical Device Excise Tax

Repeal Chronic Care and Health Insurance Tax

Repeal Tanning Tax

Repeal Medicare Tax Increase

Redefine Federal Payments to the States

Redefining Medicaid Expansion

Reducing state Medicaid costs and allowing waivers to give states more options to allocate funds to where they have the greatest medical needs.

Establishment of a Prevention and Public Health Fund

Maintain protections for those with pre-existing conditions

Allow children up to the age of 26 to stay on their parent’s insurance plan.

Differences between the Senate and House bill

The Senate Bill will continue the Medicaid expansion until 2021 before phasing it down over three years, as opposed to the House version, which limited new enrollee funding in 2020.

Moreover those earning 400% above poverty level would not qualify for premium subsidies, being lowered to a 350% threshold.

The CBO is expected to release their analysis of the 142 page bill and score of the Senate revised bill by next week.  The Senate would then be expected to debate the bill after that.

The full draft of the Senate Bill is included here: Senate Health Care Bill

This is a developing story.

                                                                                                       LearnHealthSpanish.com

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

This Year’s Hurricane Season: Predictions

June 1st marks the official start of Hurricane season and runs until November 30th.  September is usually the most active month.  Hurricanes are categorized by their wind speed as designated as the following:

Category I have sustained winds of 74 to 95 mph

Category II have sustained winds of 96 to 110 mph

Category II have sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph

Category IV have sustained winds of 131 to 155 mph

Category V have sustained  winds of over 155 mph.

In a given year, the Atlantic Ocean averages 12 hurricanes with 2 becoming “major” meaning a Category III or greater.  Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was at one point a Category V and when it hit landfall it was a Category 3-4 (depending on the source), tragically killing over 1800 people and causing $108 billion in damage.  The deadliest hurricane to ever hit US soil was the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 in which over 10,000 people died.

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, The Weather Company and Colorado State University, the 2017 Hurricane season will be more active, with possibly 11-17 named storms, 5- 9 of which are expected to become hurricanes, 2-4 of which could become major hurricanes.

Dr. Phil Klotzbach, of the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorological Project, stated, “While the tropical Atlantic is warmer than normal, the far North Atlantic remains colder than normal, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO). Negative phases of the AMO tend to be associated with overall less conducive conditions for Atlantic hurricane activity due to higher tropical Atlantic surface pressures, drier middle levels of the atmosphere and increased levels of sinking motion.”

This year’s names for the 2017 Hurricane Season are the following

Atlantic

Arlene
Bret
Cindy
Don
Emily
Franklin
Gert
Harvey
Irma
Jose
Katia
Lee
Maria
Nate
Ophelia
Philippe
Rina
Sean
Tammy
Vince
Whitney

 

Pacific

Adrian
Beatriz
Calvin
Dora
Eugene
Fernanda
Greg
Hilary
Irwin
Jova
Kenneth
Lidia
Max
Norma
Otis
Pilar
Ramon
Selma
Todd
Veronica
Wiley
Xina
York
Zelda

If I was going to predict on names alone, I’d forecast Gert, Max and Xina to be doozies.

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How to prepare for the hurricane season

Preparation means starting early.

Make sure you keep informed of the latest alerts and official recommendations.

Evacuate when told to do so by city officials.

Many people will try to tough it out and unfortunately get walled up in their homes.  So make sure you have adequate water (1 gallon per day/person for at least three days) and 1/4 – 1/2 gallon/water/ per pet, except the fish obviously.

Canned foods, flashlights, medical supply kit, batteries, blankets, cash, medications in water proof containers should be set aside for disasters, and put important papers in waterproof/fireproof casings.

According to ready.gov, its recommended to do the following:

  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
  • Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels.  

Always have an emergency plan, practice it with family members, discuss with distantly located relatives how you will notify each other of your safety, and stay tuned to your radio, TV, wireless emergency alerts encase evacuations are ordered.

                                                                                                       LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Carrie Fisher’s Autopsy Report Reveals Sleep Apnea and Drug Use

Carrie Fisher died December 27th, four days after suffering cardiac arrest onboard a flight from London to LAX and this week the autopsy report reveals cocaine, heroin, methadone and ecstasy could have contributed.

At the time of death, the 60 year old, was having multiple apneic episodes, in which she stoped breathing in her sleep.  A variety of factors can contribute to this but the coroner in his report stated, “Based on the available toxicological information, we cannot establish the significance of the multiple substances that were detected in Ms. Fisher’s blood and tissue, with regard to the cause of death.

The report also stated she took Lamictal and Abilify used for Bipolar disorder and mood stabilization, as well as Prozac, used for depression and anxiety.   She appeared to also take oxycodone, not prescribed to her.

It has not been confirmed that narcotics led to her respiratory depression that could have induced sleep apnea and later cardiac arrest.

Unfortunately its common for those who suffer from Bipolar Disorder to also suffer from drug addiction. Bipolar disorder, or commonly known as manic depression, is where one has unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity and can go from highs to lows in their mood within a short period of time.

Drugs may induce this type of psychiatric illness and conversely bipolar disorder may induce drug use.

The beloved actress battled drug addiction and in a 2013 statement to the Herald-Tribune said, “Then, by the time I was 21 it was LSD. I didn’t love cocaine, but I wanted to feel any way other than the way I did, so I’d do anything.”

In 1985 she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and had been an advocate for earlier diagnosis of mental health issues.

Her cardiac status was unknown until recently when she had her “episode” on the London to LA flight.  Carrie Fisher became a global sensation in the 1970’s in Star Wars‘ Princess Leia.

leia

Here autopsy report can be found here:  351717158-Carrie-Fisher-Autopsy-Report

 

                                                                                                       LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

 

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Demi Moore – Maybe Energy Drinks Caused her Tooth Loss

Image above from The Mercury News

Demi Moore confessed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that she lost two of her teeth. The 54 year-old actress cited stress as the reason.

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Stress could be a factor, however, that would mean all of us would lose our teeth before senior year high school.

What came to mind was a previous report on Moore’s diet.

In 2012, the actress was hospitalized and multiple rumors surfaced as to what caused her collapse.  Some reported an energy drink addiction, some cited anorexia, some said it occurred after inhaling the gas from a whip cream canister.  Witnesses reported seizure like activity.  According to Daily Mail,

A source told Radar: “She collapsed after having an epileptic seizure… she has not taken care of her health at all lately and has lost a ton of weight.”  “Demi is in getting treated for anorexia, as well as other issues that caused her seizure.”

After she recovered, it was revealed that her diet included: “Red Bull for breakfast. Red Bull for lunch. Red Bull for dinner, with a lettuce leaf and a tablespoon yes a tablespoon of tuna fish thrown in… That’s it.” as reported by Light987.com.

According to Medical Daily, Moore had been drinking energy drinks for over 10 years.

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Three energy drinks a day in the company of a poor diet could wreck havoc on one’s health. But what about teeth?

In 2012 a study from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine found the acidity of energy drinks to damage tooth enamel, thereby increasing risk of cavities.

Earlier this year, a 28 year old man from New Zealand, who allegedly drank three cans of energy drinks a day, lost multiple teeth and suffered from severe gum disease.

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Josh McKee and his xray demonstrating multiple teeth lost/Marion Van Dijk

 

Energy drinks provide little in the type of nutrition gums and teeth require.  Our jaws, gums and teeth were designed to chew, face a variety of forces, and then get washed down with water and our own saliva to avoid damage from non-neutral pH compounds.  A balanced diet, with food we need to chew, low on sugar and acidity is just what the human mouth needs.

Other causes of teeth loss (edentulism) include:

Smoking

Diabetes

Poor dental hygiene

Periodontal (gum) disease

Heart Disease

So not only is it important to brush, floss, water pick and see one’s dentist regularly, but taking care of one’s non-dental health can be just as crucial to keeping our pearly whites.

 

                                                                                                       LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

 

 

 

Posted in Health, news

Father’s Day- Do’s and Don’ts

This Sunday is Father’s Day and millions of Americans celebrate it the wrong way.  Why? Because no one asks Dad what he wants, and Dad is too nice to say.

Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of every June.  Although first celebrated in 1910 when Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to honor her veteran father like mothers are on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day became an official holiday in 1972 by  President Richard Nixon.

Although Father’s Day is supposed to honor Dads, retailers and even families seem to miss the mark.  Here’s some Do’s and Don’ts for this Father’s Day.

Rethink the BBQ celebration

Whenever a BBQ gets planned, someone needs to prepare the backyard, clean the grill, bring out the furniture, work the grill, serve the food, clean up the grill, clean up the backyard……and guess who that is…Dad.  And its hot, super hot outside. Not the most fun way to celebrate one’s day.  Go out to eat instead. Retailers like it and no one has to do the lifting.

The in-laws are coming

Many households this Sunday will see Dad and the in-laws in the same room at the same time. For some this could be a pleasant occasion.  For others, uncomfortable and stressful.  Wives feel conflicted as they want to celebrate with their Father, but make the day spectacular for hubby.  If an issue, I recommend splitting up the day where Grandpa has a Father’s Day brunch and Dad celebrates a Father’s Day dinner.  Or designate a different day to celebrate each.

Buying Dad the wrong gift

Avoid the following gifts for Dad:

Grill tools or BBQ Apron– remember the BBQ is a lot of work, don’t remind him of it

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Cologne –  most men don’t like “parfuming” up….. they wear it for others but it’s not for them

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Lawn Mowers – unless its a ride-on, lawn mowers remind Dad of lawn work.

 

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Dress/ Suit Shirts – button-up neck-constricting linens are not one’s most cherished gift. Unless they save him a trip to the department store, buy him something more comfortable.

 

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Funny Underwear – underwear should never be a gift, its underwear….

 

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Personal Hygiene/Shaving Products – this equates to getting a disposable razor for Mother’s Day.

 

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Instead, opt for the following…

Let Dad Have a Real Day Off – Take the kids out and give Dad a day to himself.  Sure the kids could give Dad his gifts during brunch or dinner but allow Dad to spend the day how he wants to:  in his underwear, taking a much needed nap, going for a drive, fishing, etc.  Too bad there’s no skiing in June.

Ask Dad what He Wants – this doesn’t seem to get done all year round.  Why not start on Father’s Day?  Maybe he wants a Google Home or the next video game installment. Which brings us to….

Gift Cards Make the Best Gift – he can buy what he wants, and not feel awkward asking for it.

A Big Hug and Kiss Hits the Mark – despite any level of macho-ness, Daddies love this.  Make him feel special.

dad and me.jpg

My Daddy, 1996

Happy Father’s Day!!!  Enjoy!

                                                                                                       LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

Why Do we Celebrate Birthdays? Your Birthday Questions Answered.

The concept of celebrating birthday’s and blowing out candles is an ancient one.  But many want to know why we sing “Happy Birthday to You”, why we blow out candles, why do we have a cake, which is the most common birthday, etc……here’s the scoop.

When did the birthday celebration originate?

Birthday celebrations during early civilizations coincided with astrology.  In later centuries, religious groups were slow to adopt birthday celebrations in fear of adopting pagan rituals.

According to WCCO TV:

Pagans thought that evil spirits lurked on days of major changes, like the day you turn a year older.

The ancient Greeks believed that each person had a spirit that attended his or her birth, and kept watch. That spirit “had a mystic relation with the God on whose birthday the individual was born,” says the book The Lore of Birthdays.

Why do we have birthday cake?

According to hankeringforhistory.com, cultures have been using celebratory breads and cakes for centuries.  But the modern day birthday cake might have originated in Germany during the 1400’s.

Cakes might have been made with dough and sugar, but some would be have rings, coins and buttons thrown in.  If one received the piece with the ring, marriage would be in their future.  If they chose the piece with coins, financial luck was in their future.

Why do we use and then blow out candles?

Ancient cultures would add candles to foods for various reasons, i.e. the smoke would ward off evil spirits.  But it wasn’t until the 1700’s when Germany would adorn birthday cakes with candles for children’s cakes, called Kinderfeste.  Each candle represented a year of the life with additional candles put on for future years.

What are the most popular birthday cake flavors?

A PR Newswire survey, reported by 97.3 The Dawg, found the following flavors to be in the top ten birthday cakes:

 

  • Chocolate
  • Cheesecake
  • Chocolate chip
  • Vanilla or yellow cake
  • Red velvet
  • Marble
  • Carrot
  • Lemon
  • Coconut
  • Funfetti

Not sure why cheesecake is on there, let alone #2??!

Why do we give gifts?

It’s believed the tradition of giving gifts was another attempt to ward off the evil spirits as guests coming to the celebration were asked to bring good thoughts and gifts.

 

Where did the song “Happy Birthday to You” come from?

According to Wikipedia, in 1893 a school principal, Patty Hill and her sister, Mildred, composed a song entitled “Good Morning to All”, the same melody as our modern day “Happy Birthday to You.”

Wikipedia then describes:  The complete text of “Happy Birthday to You” first appeared in print as the final four lines of Edith Goodyear Alger’s poem “Roy’s Birthday”, published in her book A Primer of Work and Play, copyrighted by D. C. Heath in 1901, with no reference to the words being sung.[23] The first book including “Happy Birthday” lyrics set to the tune of “Good Morning to All” that bears a date of publication is from 1911 in The Elementary Worker and His Work, but earlier references exist to a song called “Happy Birthday to You” including an article from 1901 in the Inland Educator and Indiana School Journal.

What is the most popular birthday gift?

In the past it could be a plate of food, the cake, a song, or an ash tray made in art class.  Currently, the most popular gift is a gift card.

When is Dr. Daliah’s Birthday?

June 16.  Yeah!  Happy Birthday to me!

baby d

Which month has the most birthdays?

Various studies have found August, September and October to be the busiest birthday months (probably because their parents snuggled during the winter season).  But one Harvard study looking at babies born between 1973 and 1999 found September 16th to be most popular birthday.

Which day the least popular birthday?

For obvious Leap Year reasons, less people have their birthday on February 29 than any other day of the year.  However, the month of January per VizWiz below have the least amount of birthdays.

How-common-is-your-birthday (1)

 

                                                                                                       LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

The Real “Soup Nazi” Company Files for Bankruptcy

The famous Seinfeld episode, The Soup Nazi, was modeled after a real chef, Al Yaganeh, who opened his soup store back in 1984.   His restaurant, Soup Kitchen International closed in 2004.  Rumor had it Yaganeh resented the Seinfeld episode as it deterred business.  His restaurant reopened under the name “The Original SoupMan”.  And although the Soupman franchise appears to be thriving with multiple locations and online orders, it is filing for bankruptcy protection.

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Soupman, Inc. CEO Jamison Karson, stated “the combination of legacy liabilities and recent company developments have made it necessary to seek bankruptcy protection,” and he expected no disruption in service.  This comes one month after CFO, Robert Bertrand, was charged with failing to pay federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes for employees.

Favorites such as lobster bisque, chicken gumbo, jambalaya, and mulligatawny will still be available, choices the Seinfeld cast appeared to love.

 

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Mulligatawny, by the way, is a curry soup of Indian origin that may include rice, chicken, vegetables, spices, and sometimes fruit such as lemon or apple.

 

 

Larry Thomas (right) played Yev Kassem, the “Soup Nazi”, a role inspired by Al Yaganeh (left), and was ultimately nominated for an Emmy.

 

                                                                                                       LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician