Archive for the ‘medical insurance’ Category

MDs plan to quit & its potential impact when 46 million uninsured Americans get their medical coverage

November 19, 2008

Before Pres. Barack Obama can assume office and work on his promised universal health care for Americans, primary care physicians in the United States are saying they are overworked.

Almost half of them plan to cut back on their practices or quit seeing patients. They are lobbying for rational reimbursements in their insurance claims particularly on Medicare and Medicaid patients.

In the survey by the Physician’s Foundation, 90% percent of doctors complain they devote too much time in paper work rather than take care of patients. Frustrated by the work environment, 60% of those surveyed is not recommending medicine as a career. Reuters (11/17/08, Fox, M; Wilson, C)

Experts say that there’ll be an increase in number of those who’ll need health care services. A rise of work load required for the aging Americans and the newly insured plus the upward climb in cost of treatment and medicines are likely to lead to a rationed medical care that Americans haven’t been used to.

Under the plan of Obama, 46 million uninsured will gain access to medical services. If not handled correctly, these may mean more triage of patients in the emergency rooms, longer lines in the doctor’s offices, greater cuts on tests, denials on procedures, and slowing of getting consultation appointments and treatments. The current health care isn’t ready to absorb the volume of work, much worse, if doctors scale down their practices or retire early from their jobs. (Photo Credits: by Julie70; Allsus)=0=

The legal immigration limbo & why playing by the rules is important

November 3, 2008

Mexican illegal immigrants in the United States range between 12 to 21 million. The problem is huge, but illegal immigration has taken a back seat away from the more important issues like the economy, homeland security and abortion.

The Republican and Democratic presidential candidates don’t focus on the immigration problem partly because they need the votes of immigrant-citizens. Both candidates have legalization plans for the gate-crashers of America whose number has become “unmanageable.” Obama has more perks for illegal aliens than McCain.

Against the wish of 75% of Americans, the country concedes that it can’t rationally keep the illegal aliens out. Many believe mass deportation isn’t a realistic option. In varying degrees, many politicians have become cozy with the illegal aliens mainly for their numbers and their votes (capacity to change the outcome of an election,) not because it is right thing to do.

In this backdrop people worldwide are waiting for their immigration papers to be adjudicated. Among them are those who have expected patiently for decades. They are frustrated with the extremely long wait. There are those who lose eligibility forcing them to change plans. Aging-out, marriage or death are among the reasons why others are unable to come. Some find ways to arrive illegally.

Abiding with the US immigration laws, those who apply for legal immigration obviously play by the rules. They deserve to be rewarded for siding with the law. Yet, in the waiting line, they are pushed aside.

Lacking fairness, their applications are decided slower than those of illegal aliens already in USA. Overstaying aliens enjoy the benefits of being in America way ahead of the legal applicants; they get higher priority in adjusting visa status.

Such injustice and disregard of standard rules are clearly illustrated in the visa delay shown in the November 2008 US visa bulletin issued by the USCIS. The waiting times to get an immigrant visa number from the Philippines under the 3rd and 4th preference family-based category is 17 years (05/08/91) and 22 years (03/22/86) respectively. They don’t include the 6 months to 1 year time to iron out the requirements of immigration. That’s incredibly long time, but true!

Filipinos are distressed. With huge backlogs in various categories, the visas intended for them are allotted to legalize aliens who are already in USA. The sluggishness of the immigration process gives more incentive for people to slip unlawfully into the country’s backdoor.

Think how polarizing these fixes are. It scares many law-abiding citizens when rules are tailored to suit a group at a disadvantage of another. Not only does the immigration service (INS) reward lawbreakers, they clearly frustrate the purpose of the legal family reunification enshrined in the immigration law.

The expedient decision favoring illegal aliens has been justified on humanitarian grounds, but UCIS/INS rarely gives this to those who have waited 20 years to become an immigrant. This is another area where the US tradition of fairness and compassion is wearing away. Americans have reasons to be worried of foreigners coming to USA who don’t respect its laws. (Photo Credits: BHowdy; http://www.hedgerley.net; wanderingangel)

US STATE DEPARTMENT VISA BULLETIN, NOVEMBER 2008

FAMILY CATEGORIES PRIORITY DATES
——–Worldwide—China (PRC)—India——-Mexico—–Philippines
1st—–05-01-02— 05-01-02— 05-01-02— 09-15-92—05-01-93
2A—– 02-08-04— 02-08-04— 02-08-04— 07-15-01—02-08-04
2B—– 01-15-00— 01-15-00— 01-15-00— 04-22-92—06-15-97
3rd—–07-01-00— 07-01-00— 07-01-00— 09-15-92—05-08-91
4th—–11-15-97— 06-08-97— 07-22-97— 01-22-95—03-22-86

EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES PRIORITIY DATES
———Worldwide—China (PRC)—India—-Mexico—-Philippines
1st——–Current—Current——-Current—-Current—Current
2nd——- Current—06-01-04—-06-01-03—Current—Current
3rd——–05-01-05—02-01-02—10-01-01—09-01-02—05-01-05
Unskilled—01-15-03—01-15-03—01-15-03—01-15-03—01-15-03
4th——— Current——Current—–Current—-Current—-Current
Religious—-UA———UA———–UA———-UA———UA (unavailable)

The ageing population & the challenges ahead

September 13, 2008

After rising four-fold in 2006, the number of 100-year olds in Japan rose again from 28,395 to 36,276 (21.8%) at the end of September 2008. This increasing trend of centenarians, 86% of which are women, is a worldwide reflection of longer life expectancy attributable to improvements in health care, diet, exercise, and lifestyle. To date, the world’s known oldest person is Edna Parker, 115 years old who lives inn a nursing home in Indiana, USA.

274,000 American Centenarians by Year 2025

The number of centenarians — people who are 100 years or older — in the United States has grown 60% since 1990, to about 61,000 people, and will continue to increase in coming decades, according to the Census Bureau. In another 10 years, the number will more than double to over 130,000 people, and it’s expected to double yet again to 274,000 in 2025.”—Healthy Aging Center (WebMD)

WHO STATISTICS

Number of Doctors per Capita by Countries

Countries/ Doctor Nos./ (Doctor numbers per 1000 )
Europe (Advanced countries)
Belgium 46,268 (4.49)
Denmark 15,653 (2.93)
Finland 16,446 (3.16)
France 203,487 (3.37)
Germany 277,885 (3.37)
Ireland 11,141 (2.79)
Italy 241,000 (4.2)
Netherlands 50,854 (3.15)
Norway 14,200 (3.13)
Sweden 29,122 (3.28)
UK 133,641 (2.3)

North America
USA 730,801 (2.56)
Canada 66,583 (2.14)

Oceania-Asia PacificAustralia 47,875 (2.47)
NZ 9,027 (2.37)
Japan 251,889 (1.98)
S Korea 75,045 (1.57)
Malaysia 16,146 (0.7)
Philippines 44,287 (0.58)
NB: the doctor figures from different countries may be from different years- as reported to WHO. (Source: nofearSingapore.blogspot.com/02/20/07)

The decrease of birthrates in many industrialized countries and rising longevity, worry economic planners who foresee greater strain in health care and the social security system (SSS.) Demographers observe that more people marry late, want few or no children, and more are likely to devote greater time for their careers, finances, and preferred lifestyles. With expanding elderly population, more people will need doctor services and greater health care in the future.

The above is also true in the United States with the graying of the baby boomers and the rise of retirees. With a per capita expenditure of $5,711 (followed by France with $3,048,) there are about 46 million Americans without medical insurance coverage. Of these, about 11 million are illegal aliens, 15 million are eligible for state-sponsored Medicaid, but don’t apply, 15 million adults with children eligible for free insurance and 10 million childless adults. The number of medically uninsured Americans is about half the total population of the Philippines, a country also trying to fix its healthcare system.(Photo Credit: Koroko1; highschoolphotojournalist/bythekevichang)=0=

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