3 Goals: Healthcare Changes to the American Families Plan Could Create Affordable Healthcare

3 Goals: Healthcare Changes to the American Families Plan & Health Savings Plans Could Make Medical Expenses More Affordable.

The new administration, like all of them, has plans for Americans and their healthcare. On this edition of the podcast Dr. Steven Goldstein, who founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative, will get us all better acquainted with what those proposals are and explore other possible ways for how healthcare can be fixed. The Biden administration has three goals.

3 Healthcare Changes are Goals for the Biden Administration.
There are three healthcare priorities for the Biden administration plus one more that Dr. Steven Goldstein suggests.

To listen to the podcast, click this link: https://soundcloud.com/harold-nicoll/three-biden-administration-healthcare-goals-plus-one-not-included. 

The Covid 19 Response

Of the three goals, first is the Covid-19 pandemic response. Part of the goal is to prevent over capacity of limited hospital beds and critical care space during spikes in the virus outbreak, like those occurring now. Others include the ability to establish temporary hospitals and better ways to track Covid surges via technology. Making telehealth options more widely available, tasking all relevant federal agencies to set up temporary hospitals and getting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to develop real-time tracking dashboards to better predict when surges will happen, where they are and other details needed to better inform healthcare professionals about the evolution of the pandemic.

The Affordable Care Act

The second of the three priorities has to do with the Affordable Care Act, or as it is more popularly known, ObamaCare.

The idea is to reduce medical costs for the American public. As part of a separate pandemic relief bill, there is $34 billion to help Americans who buy insurance from the health plan marketplaces that were created by Obama Care now through 2022.  Those who know about it state that this would help lower and middle-income Americans who have fallen through the cracks of the government’s eligibility requirements for ObamaCare subsidies. It would also help people who choose policies with lower premiums and higher deductibles. There is also assistance for the unemployed.

Medicare Reform

One of the more visible proposals is to increase the age of people who are eligible for Medicare from the current 65 to 60 years of age.

“While we can think of these as beneficial to society, there is a considerable cost that comes along with it,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “Instead of transferring more money to people, there are other ways to use existing healthcare payment strategies that will benefit everyone.” So why not fund Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) with this same amount of money?  It is tax-advantaged when received, if the money earns interest while in the health savings account the account owner can keep it and be prepared to pay cash for more health-related expenses. So what is a health savings plan?

Prescription Drugs

The Trump Administration launched a “Transparency in Coverage” ruling in December of 2020 that required health insurers to disclose current drug prices and provide patients with personalized cost estimates. The Biden Administration hopes to increase these efforts by repealing existing laws that prevent Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug corporations. “Plenty of people believe that the government already uses its mass buying power with Medicare to negotiate better rates,” Dr. Goldstein said. “That is not the case.”

Health Savings Accounts

The Health Savings Account. or HSA, is a type of savings account that is used for medical expenses. HSA’s were established for those with high deductible health insurance coverage. HSAs and high-deductible health plans were created to help control health care costs. The idea is that people will spend their health care dollars more wisely if they’re using their own money. The money deposited by individuals into their HSA account is not taxed.

Further, HSAs feature a triple-tax benefit: money you contribute to your HSA can be written off on your taxes and thus reduce your income tax bill; money in your HSA grows and compounds assuming investments rise. All is tax-free over time; and when HSA money is withdrawn for qualified medical expenses, no tax is paid on the withdrawal. It is owned by the individual so that he or she can pay their healthcare costs. These include everything from doctor visits to blood tests, paid for with cash from the health savings accounts.

As always, information about this and more than 50 other podcasts can be heard and read about at the website, www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Pandemic Lockdown Weight Gain & the Medical Reasons for it

It’s not all your fault, it’s evolution…

Pandemic Lockdown Weight Gain & the Medical Reasons for it. At a time when Americans should have been focused on their health, as a population they were anything but. During the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown the average American gained two pounds a month, according to a study published in the The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Network Open).

But the reasons for this trend were the result of brain chemistry that evolved in humans over the millennia, according to well respected neurologist, Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative. He described these on his regular podcast that can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Audacy, Houston Healthcare Initiative, iHeart, Podcast Addict, Podbean, Backtracks, Soundcloud, and just about anywhere podcasts can be heard.

Stress & More Stress

Dr. Goldstein told his audience that the main reason for the weight gain was related to stress. “The main reason is stress, especially given the really bad news about the seriousness of the pandemic and the controversies about different treatments early on,” he told his listeners. “That was stress of a long duration which exacerbated the physiological accompaniments of stress.”

Fight or Flight Responses

As part of the ‘fight or flight’ response, the human brain goes on high alert. To maintain a high state of alertness requires more energy for the brain in the form of calories. “Heightened states of stress and anxiety like this require more calories to keep the brain on high alert, Dr. Goldstein stated. “We eat sugar to get a boost of energy. Sugar gets converted to energy faster but does not last long, requiring more sugar. It is a cycle that is unhealthy short term, but really bad long term.”

Long Term Fear of the Unknown as part of Pandemic Lockdown Weight Gain & the Medical Reasons for it

On top of that stress was the unknown. No one living had ever experienced anything like the Covid-19 pandemic and closure of practically everything. According to Dr. Goldstein, not knowing was a huge problem for the American psyche. Research shows that the unknown makes people more stressed than when they know something is about to happen. “In late March, April, and May of last year we really didn’t know what we were dealing with, in terms of how contagious the Covid-19 virus was or how potentially fatal it might be,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Obviously then, the unknowns of the virus and the dramatic worldwide lock downs were things none of us had any experience with and that is the perfect recipe for stress, anxiety and the overeating that accompanies both.”

To Flee or Not to Flee

Stress like this is in reaction to the ‘fight or flight’ response that is hard-wired into the consciousness of humans. According to the web site Psychology Tools, the fight or flight response is ‘an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. The perception of threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress response that prepares the body to fight or flee.’ When the duration of this automatic response is months or even over an entire year, part of the evidence that Americans endured all this stress is registered on the scale.

Brain Chemistry and the Pandemic Lockdown Weight Gain & the Medical Reasons for it

So what in the human psyche links eating with stress? “Humans evolved such that when faced with stress, the body does what it must to keep the brain on high alert,” Dr. Goldstein reported. “It decreases levels of some hormones and brain chemicals to discourage behaviors that won’t help in an urgent situation, and it increases other hormones that will.” Dr. Goldstein added more details, “our ancestors had to outrun predators and other humans or be ready to fight them. Thus, we evolved to release adrenaline in response to the fight or flight response. From an evolutionary perspective, that stress responses are tuned to environmental uncertainty suggests that they gave people a better chance at survival, depending on who or what was chasing you.”

A Gut Feeling

Dr. Goldstein also explained that there was a connection between the brain and the stomach. “The brain is connected to the gut through a two-way communication system called the vagus nerve,” he said. “When you are stressed, your body inhibits the signals that travel through the vagus nerve and slows down the digestive process.”  Eating for comfort can be a natural response to stress, but when combined with the lower motivation to exercise and consumption of low-nutrient, calorie-dense food, people can and did gain weight.

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

 

Job & Health Insurance Loss Come and Go Together; How To Find Affordable Coverage

In a time when so many lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 Pandemic….

Job & Health Insurance Loss Come and Go Together; How To Find Affordable Coverage

Affordable Fixes for Health Insurance
Many Americans lost their jobs and health insurance all at once and are looking for affordable, practical alternatives. That is the subject of this podcast.

March 2, 2021 — The Pandemic Cost Me My Job And Health Insurance Now What? In December 2020, 66% of Americans who answered a survey said they fear they won’t be able to afford health care this year. Of the 41% of respondents who are very or moderately concerned about health-care costs, 53% are parents with children.

The Pandemic Cost Me My Job And Health Insurance Now What?

The amount of people who were and remain unemployed because of the Covid-19 pandemic remains high. Since most individuals get their health insurance with their jobs, those same folks are also in need of medical coverage. On his regular podcast, Houston based neurologist and founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative Dr. Steven Goldstein has immediate and affordable medical insurance solutions for those who need coverage.

Healthcare Premiums? WHO WILL BEAR THE BRUNT OF THE COSTS?

Guest Link from Dr. CRISTIN A. DICKERSON, MD. Dr. Cristin A. Dickerson is the founding partner of Green Imaging. Her article about how the public will be sent the bill  for the Covid-19 pandemic is very revealing. To read it please follow this link:

WHO WILL BEAR THE BRUNT OF THE COSTS?

Written by Dr. Cristin Dickerson, MD

Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.

NOTE: Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week. Watch how Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, contributed to a major television feature on vaccine trials in the state of Florida. You can see him and the full story here:

WFTV ABC in Orlando, Florida news on Covid-19 vaccine trials.

Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week. Starting this week, researchers will begin testing one of the experimental COVID-19 vaccines on children, marking the first trial in the country to do so.

It’s one of several big developments in the race to approve a vaccine.

Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 4.23.06 PM Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.
In this story Dr. Steven Goldstein discusses liability waivers for vaccine trials starting in the state of Florida.

So far, more than 600 Central Floridians have walked into a DeLand lab, willing to test the Moderna vaccine.

Moderna and Pfizer are in the final phases of testing their vaccines. For Pfizer, that includes testing children 12 and over.

On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson paused its study after one person got “an unexplained illness.” And it’s been over a month since AstraZeneca’s trial had been put on hold in the U.S. after two British participants experienced neurological issues.

When a vaccine is approved and available by, at the earliest, the end of the year, companies cannot be held liable for any unexpected complications. A good place to start with answers is here as Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.

“Now, if there are expected complications, and the company hid that information, like they knew about something that it would happen, and they don’t tell people about it, you can still sue for that,” said Dr. Steven Goldstein of the Houston Healthcare Initiative.

A recent Gallup Poll found people are split right down the middle when asked if they’d take a vaccine, down from the 66% of people who were willing to take it three months ago. People in Florida will help the entire country find answers.

The Source of the Misunderstanding: Retracted Article Mischaracterizes Hydroxychloroquine

Like un-ringing a bell.

Retracted Article Mischaracterizes Hydroxychloroquine. No one can un-ring a bell. No article can be ‘un-read’ or any eventual retraction definitely seen and understood. There are few more illustrative examples lately than when respected medical journals published information about the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for the Coronavirus/Covid-19 virus they later retracted.

HCN
Large French Real World Observational Study Reveals Hydroxychloroquine Azithromycin-Associated with Reduction in Hospitalization-Death for COVID 19 Patients.

On his podcast, respected, Houston based neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein describes how the well-established, inexpensive drug Hydroxychloroquine was mischaracterized. To listen to the podcast please visit: SoundCloud, Libsyn,iHeart, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site.

Article Retracted But Damage Done

Early in the pandemic, Hydroxychloroquine looked like it could be a possible treatment for Coronavirus/Covid-19 ,but use of and studies about the drug quickly lost favor after articles in the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicinecast doubt. The later retracted study and reporting about it had an immediate impact. The World Health Organization (WHO) stopped their research into hydroxychloroquine. Multiple news web sites carried the message that Hydroxychloroquine was not effective, citing the New England Journal of Medicine as its source. One example was from the NBC News web site read, “Hydroxychloroquine fails to prevent COVID-19, large study finds.”

Damage Done

While the articles were retracted the information originally published, could not be ‘unseen.’ “The news media touted these articles, that falsely claimed there was no evidence that treatment with Hydroxychloroquine was effective,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners.  “A French study published March 20, 2020 suggested the drug helped people with coronavirus, reporting it “is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in patients with COVID-19.”

The article and its author, French physician and scientist, Dr. Didier Raoult, who authored papers showing favorable results, were personally and professionally attacked (The New York Times) among others. Suffice to say that way more people saw and continue to see these refuted articles, even though they were retracted. But the harm from them remains.

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

Houston Healthcare Initiative is a group of physicians and health conscious patients that have joined together in a Healthcare cooperative to maintain and improve the physical and mental health of each member of the group. Visit online at https://houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Sources and Links

“Retraction: Cardiovascular Disease, Drug Therapy, and Mortality in Covid-19.” N Engl J Med. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2007621. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2021225.

June 25, 2020 N Engl J Med 2020; 382:2582. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2021225

“Retraction—Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis.” Published: June 05, 2020.

By: Mandeep R Mehra,   Frank RuschitzkaAmit N Patel.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31324-6/fulltext

“Two elite medical journals retract coronavirus papers over data integrity questions”

By: Charles PillerKelly Servick Jun. 4, 2020 , 5:30 PM

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31324-6/fulltext

“He Was a Science Star. Then He Promoted a Questionable Cure for Covid-19.” The New York Times By Scott Sayare. Published May 12, 2020 Updated May 21, 2020

“French Doctor Leads Charge for Treating Coronavirus With Antimalarial Drug”

Health authorities say evidence is inconclusive that the treatment, which President Trump has backed, is effective. By Nick Kostov and David Gauthier-Villars

Updated April 11, 2020 7:52 pm ET

https://www.wsj.com/articles/french-doctor-leads-charge-for-treating-coronavirus-with-antimalarial-drug-11586629801

Retracted Article Mischaracterizes Hydroxychloroquine.

Retracted Article Mischaracterizes Hydroxychloroquine.