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*******www.taipanfinancialnews**** -- Cheap Canadian drugs are touted as the solution to U.S. healthcare cost. But they are not without risks. We may look to China for peace of mind.
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BY CHRISTY LEWIS
The United States Preventive Services Task Force sparked controversy after giving women in their 40s some words of wisdom: Don’t get an annual mammogram.
And that panel is at the center of controversy again. This time, with a suggestion for men.
Fox has more.
“A key government health panel is now advising that healthy men should no longer receive those PSA blood tests that test for prostate cancer because the test may be more harm than good.”
According to the American Cancer Society--studies have shown no evidence that PSA, or protein-specific-antigen tests, are lifesavers. If anything, they are the exact opposite. The New York Times explains.
“From 1986 through 2005, one million men received surgery, radiation therapy or both who would not have been treated without a P.S.A. test... Among them, at least 5,000 died soon after surgery and 10,000 to 70,000 suffered serious complications. … As a result of these complications, the man who developed the test … has called its widespread use a ‘public health disaster.’”
Health officials say 1 in 6 men will get prostate cancer, a normally slow-growing illness. And aside from death, a survivor could end up impotent and incontinent from testing and treatment. A CNN reporter says it’s those factors that could have the majority of men staying away from the test.
“Prostate cancers are usually really slow growing and they’re not really going to hurt you. So you might find this slow-growing prostate cancer when you go to look for it and then you can make a man impotent and incontinent with the treatment when the cancer was not going to hurt him.”
On the other end of the controversy is the group of people who argue in the end, the PSA tests are worth it.
DR. SAMADI: “PSA has shown that over the last 10-15 years that there is a decrease in deaths and mortality.”
DR. LOWE: “Because PSA isn’t 100% accurate, doesn’t mean we should not do it. I mean it has still made a major impact on people we are testing for cancer that we are detecting at a much earlier stage..one that can be treated successfully.”
Adding to the controversy is the cash. A blogger for the New America Foundation says the task force is more concerned with saving the government money.
And the real problem is that medical personnel are pushing the test too much.
“The marketing departments of many hospitals openly admit that they offer free PSA testing as ... a means of bringing in new (paying) customers. …According to … [the] chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, some physicians have openly complained that any criticism of PSA testing could hurt their wallets by cutting down on the number of patients diagnosed.”
Adding to that, the recommendations have an effect on the government. A Washington Post Health Editor featured on PBS News Hour says...
“Insurance companies look to this panel to decide what they should pay for. In fact, under the health care--the federal health reform legislation that passed this panel has actually become more influential because some of the basic benefits that the federal government will require under the health reform legislation will be influenced by this panels recommendations.”
The panel sought to make it clear that this is just a proposal draft. The recommendations are open for public comment and the final report will be released next week.
New National Coalition on Benefits Champions National Uniformity
The National Coalition on Benefits (NCB) launched today and announced its commitment to work with Congress to protect employers' ability to provide uniform health and retirement benefits to employees, their dependents and retirees across state and local lines. For employers to continue do this, it is essential to ensure that federal health reform initiatives preserve the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
The Coalition comprises a large range of business associations and companies from diverse industries, all united in their support for ERISA, which provides comprehensive federal regulation of employee benefits. The central element of the ERISA framework is that employers are able to maintain uniform benefit plans. Most Americans receive health insurance coverage from their employers, so a national standard is essential.
Found footage from the week following the passage of Health Reform.
Transcript by Newsy
BY ERIK SHUTE AND HARUMENDHAH HELMY
You're watching multisource headline news analysis from Newsy
This is Newsy Now, and here are the headlines you need to know.
First up, world news. Egypt’s demonstrations continue, even after talks between the government and opposition groups are underway.
The media report — talks are simply not enough. Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News says the demonstrators are still determined to see President Hosni Mubarak step down — stat.
Still, Cairo is slowly returning to business as usual, as authorities increase pressure on those still camped out in Tahrir Square. Al Jazeera has the video.
“Protesters say they’ll block any attempt to kick them out.”
Also in world news -- Julian Assange is set to fly around the world -- but he’ll be facing trial at every destination.
Today the Wikileaks founder started his two day court extradition hearing in Britain. CNN says Assange faces extradition to Sweden for charges of sexual misconduct, and then maybe even the United States to stand trial for espionage. Assange’s lawyer tells CNN he could end up n Guantanamo Bay or executed depending on the final destination.
In business news — AOL is acquiring progressive online news site The Huffington Post for $315 million.
One blogger at the Guardian seems critical of the deal, saying, quote, AOL’s grubby hands have long been grabbing the stars of the web, hoping a little stardust might rub off.
The purchase is the latest in AOL’s news operation shopping spree — the company bought TechCrunch and its family of websites last year. CEO Tim Armstrong is on a mission to reinvent AOL as the “most influential company in content space.”
In sports -- the Vince Lombardi trophy is headed back to Green Bay. Last night at Cowboy Stadium, the Packers toppled Big Ben and the Steelers to win their fourth Super Bowl title, 31 to 25.
The New York Post reports Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers took home the MVP trophy as well, something former QB Brett Farve had yet to accomplish during his time with the Packers.
Christina Aguilera opened the games with her sweeping rendition of the National Anthem. The Telegraph and other news sources report -- she might have gotten carried away, repeating the same verse twice in front of an audience of more than 100 million viewers. Despite the flub, Aguilera hopes fans can see the “true spirit of the anthem came through.”
Stay with Newsy**** for more analysis on news throughout the today. For Newsy Now I’m Erik Shute -- highlighting the top headlines from around the world making you smarter, faster, and first to know.
Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska has compiled research that shows less then promising results for Nebraskans, should current health reform bills make it through Congress and onto the President's desk.
Rep. James Langevin (D-RI) and Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) talk with The Hill about their healthcare bill and their hopes to introduce a healthcare debate before a new President is in office.
Sardonic humor and political message merge in this song parody with a powerful point, from the South Florida branch of activist group, Raging Grannies. Distributed by Tubemogul.
BY MALLORY PERRYMAN
Transcript by Newsy****
You're watching multisource politics news analysis from Newsy
A federal judge says the government can’t force you to buy health insurance. Judge Henry Hudson heard arguments on both sides of the issue from U.S. attorneys and the Virginia Attorney General.
MSNBC’s Pete Williams sums up Virginia’s argument.
PETE WILLIAMS: “The argument of the state of Virginia was that that’s unconstitutional. That it would be one thing to require people who are already in the health care system, that they had to buy a certain kind of insurance. What the state said is if you aren’t part of that stream of commerce, then Congress can’t reach out and grab you into it and say you have to buy insurance.”
It’s important to point out Judge Henry Hudson’s ruling is not against the entire health reform bill - just Section 1501 - the part that penalizes people for not having insurance. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein says, the specific nature of Hudson’s ruling really limits the scope of the court’s action.
“Go to the text of the health-care law and run a search for ‘1501.’ It appears exactly twice in the bill…There do not appear to be other sections that make ‘specific reference’ to the provision, even if you could argue that they are ‘directly dependent’ on the provision.”
The Virginia lawsuit is separate from a Florida lawsuit, which 19 other states have joined in to argue the law is unconstitutional. CNN reports, Virginia’s case hinged on the argument of whether the insurance clause is a tax or a penalty.
ELIZABETH COHEN: “Now it’s interesting that the penalty - or tax - depending on which one you want to use, that you would pay if you don’t get insurance is actually cheaper than getting insurance.
ALI VELSHI: “You make a good point. This is actually about what would happen if you didn’t buy insurance. It’s not that you can’t impose the insurance it’s that you can’t impose the penalty for not doing it.”
Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren explains the tax versus penalty language is critical because Virginia argued - Congress has the right to tax, but not to force people into the market.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: “The legislators didn’t want to call it a tax because they didn’t want to tell the American people they were raising their taxes. But then the lawyers went into court and they suddenly wanted to call it a tax because if it were a tax then it couldn’t be argued now on the tax clause.”
A blogger for TPM says- Judge Hudson is a George W. Bush appointee- calling the ruling...
“…an example that decades of Republicans packing the federal judiciary with activist judges has finally paid off.”
But a blogger for Insurance & Financial Advisor says- no one in the media seemed to care the two judges who upheld the health care law in previous lawsuits were appointed by Democratic presidents.
“It appears that the ‘mainstream’ media is already setting the stage for arguing that rulings against the law are for political purposes, and not based on law. Regardless, the law IS unconstitutional… in a word, they are ‘wrong.’”
Judge Hudson refused to issue an injunction to stop the legislation from taking effect. It’s pretty much a sure thing that the Supreme Court will make the final call on this one.
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Ford: By excluding single payer plan, Obama allowed the right to dominate the reform debate