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Archive for the ‘VBAC’ Category

Congress in Session

Today or tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives will pass a bill that repeals the Healthcare Reform Act that was signed into law last year.  That, of course, is the law that has generated so much controversy in this country.  I personally support this much needed law.

If you also support this law, don’t worry at all when you hear that the House has repealed it.  It’s all a big show.

The Republican Party campaigned in 2010 promising to repeal the law.  And they will take this first step.  But that’s as far as it will go.  The next step would be for the repeal to be considered by the U.S. Senate and the Democratic Party still runs things over there.  But, let’s think worst case scenario.  Let’s say that the Senate also repeals the law.    In that case, the next step is the repeal legislation would go to the President and guess what he will do?   He’ll veto the bill.

When a bill is vetoed, it goes back to the House and the Senate.  Both of those bodies can override what the President did but they have to get two-thirds of their body to vote for repeal.  And the Republicans don’t have those numbers.

So, you can watch what is going on with interest if you’ve got nothing to do.   The Republicans are just doing this so they can go back to their constituents and tell them that they “fought” to repeal that “horrible law.”

But, relax folks.  It’s all part of the show.

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John Boehner

At this point, I assume you know that a new health care system is being implemented in this country.  If you don’t know this then…..well, there is no sense in reading this cause, honey, you are on another planet.

We’ve heard all the arguing and seen some of the commercials and watched the elections and all.  We’ve heard how the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has vowed to repeal the new law.  Well, that’s a total crock because while the House of Representatives will vote to repeal it, it’s unlikely that the Senate will do the same and, if by some chance they do repeal it, well, Obama-Man is sitting there with his ole veto pen.  End of story.

We’re gonna be living with this new law for some time.  That being the case, I thought I would regularly send you a short explanation of what all of this means to you to cut through all of the stuff that you see and don’t have time to sort out.

A number of the provisions of the law will not take effect for quite a while, but some things are already in effect.  So, right now, here’s the deal:

Any health plan that you get through your job or any new individual plan has to let any kids you have under 19 to have coverage.  In other words, they cannot be denied coverage if they are already sick or have some medical condition.

If your health insurance allows you to have coverage for your dependents, then they can be covered until they are 26 years old.  After that, you kick them out of the house and they’re on their own.

Insurance companies cannot drop you from their plans when you get sick just because you made a mistake on your coverage application.

Many insurance companies say that during your lifetime you can only be covered up to a certain point.  Today, there are no limits.

If your employer offers a health plan, you generally can’t be turned away or charged a higher premium because of your health status or disability.  This protection is called “nondiscrimination.”

If family members are eligible but are not currently enrolled under your health plan at work, you may be able to add them during a “special enrollment” opportunity outside of the usual “open enrollment” period.

Not too shabby, huh?

There’s so much more to come!  Stay tuned.

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Abortion

Abortion

I am sipping my morning coffee, casually glancing at the television, when I see the screen yelling at me:  “Breaking News!”

It seems that yet another young man has allegedly been killed by a raging posse of – you guessed it – Los Angeles cops.  And, of course, it was all caught on tape by some guy who happened to be walking in the same dark alley at 3:00 A.M., who happened to be carrying a Panasonic R-543 Ultra Sleek Camcorder and who happened to have the cool presence of mind to turn on the “record” button as he observed some badges beating the crap out of some kid.

First of all, don’t the police know by now that EVERYONE is walking around with a video camera or at least a cell phone that takes videos?   I mean, if they feel it is totally necessary to pound on someone, wouldn’t you think by now that they would scope out the area for any would-be Stephen Spielbergs?  Don’t the police get special training on how to avoid being seen doing something that will not look so good on the local news?

Well, I guess that isn’t the case.  But what really weirds me out is that the very next day, the day after their SON HAS BEEN KILLED, while their son is lying in a morgue somewhere getting a paste up job, the parents of the kid are in New York City sitting right next to Matt Lauer giving him an “Exclusive Interview.”  Will they be going to Maxine’s for a late breakfast after pouring out their hearts to the world?

“Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, first of all, thank you for coming on to our show and please accept our sincere condolences on your son’s death.  This took a lot of courage for you to come.”

The couple, holding hands for the first time in fifteen years, look painfully at Matt and meekly manage a barely audible “thank you.”

Then Matt hits them over the head with:  “Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, you’ve seen the tapes of your son surrounded by six L.A. policemen and I can’t imagine what went through your mind as you watched it.  But there have been allegations that your son was resisting arrest after being pulled over for going 110 in a school zone.  The police also say that he had in his possession 14 grams of pure, uncut Columbian cocaine, three surface to air missile launchers and the floor plan of President Obama’s summer retreat at Camp David.  How do you react?”

Before they can answer, their lawyer, who is joined at their hip and who was on the phone to them minutes after their son’s death, whispers into their ears.  Mr. Murphy nods his head and responds.  “Well, Matt, all I can say is that Seymour was a good boy.  He was well like by his classmates and his teachers.  He was a leader in his church group.  Clearly, the police had the wrong man and we will fight until we receive justice.”  Or until HOB contacts us for our story.

Then Matt interrupts to announce that they have another “exclusive.”  They have Seymour’s third cousin on the show who will share with the world his memories of Seymour.

“Thanks, Bobby G, for joining us.  Tell us about Seymour.”

“Well, I only met him once, you know.  Actually, I never spoke to him but one night I saw him hitting on some girl at this party.  He seemed like a cool guy.”

“Thanks, Bobby G,” says Matt, “I’m sure you’re gonna miss your friend, Seymour.”

Needless to say, I feel for any family that has gone through such a tragedy.   I can’t imagine the pain.

But why do so many people have this compulsion to grieve, to admit to an addiction or to confess to an affair in front of the whole friggin world?  Can that really be the healthy thing to do?

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A few weeks ago, I was asked by the owners of this website to start providing content for the “Keep Women Healthy” blog.  That sounded simple enough.  Since then, I’ve written about the dangers of tanning machines, abortion and a few other items.  I’ve provided you with facts and figures in an effort to try to keep you up to date on that particular issue.

But I soon found myself getting bored as I just regurgitated a bunch of stuff I found from a variety of sources, stuff that you could no doubt find on your own if you wanted to take the time.  So, I started thinking about how I could make this blog a little different and more useful.  How can we use this page to really help “Keep Women Healthy?”

Then, this morning, over a bowl of Honey Oats cereal (one percent milk- can’t yet make the leap to skim), it hit me.  You see, my background is in political action.  I’ve worked on numerous political campaigns, served as a Legislative Aide on Capitol Hill and am a former lobbyist for a women’s reproductive rights organization.  My experience has taught me that people can influence their government (despite the protestations of the Tea Party and Sara Palin).  You can get things done if you are willing to put in the effort.

So, I’ve decided to use my expertise in political organizing to help “Keep Women Healthy.”

Every day in Washington, D.C., your government is doing something that concerns women’s health.  Or, if they are not doing anything, they could be.  I know it is impossible for you to sort out all of the issues and decide where to put your energy.  You’ve got a life.  That’s where I come in.

In the future, I will use this column to give you some simple ideas.  It may be a suggestion to contact your Member of Congress about a specific piece of legislation.  Or, I may recommend you email the White House to urge the President to take some executive action on some issue.  Maybe the FDA needs to hear from people on a new, woman-friendly drug.

I promise not to overwhelm you.  Personally, I hate it when I get a message (usually in big red letters with lots of exclamation points) from some national organization urging me to do ten things, ten very complicated things.  That just guarantees that I will not do any of them.

So, I will keep it simple.  If we are organized, we can accomplish things.

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vbacVaginal Birth after Cesarean Section (VBAC) has proven to be a safe method of delivery in a wide variety of pregnancies.  Sadly, with changes in insurance and malpractice laws, the threshold to allow such a health delivery, and circumvent unneeded additional Cesarean Sections is being sabotaoged by this environment.

Bottom line, mommies and babies suffer.

The literature continues to glean that all our sophisticated interventions seem to do much less than we expect.

Yes, Modern Obstetrics made tremendous strides over the past 80 years. Dropping maternal mortality rates from 1,200/100,000 to around 7/100,000.  But this was due primarily to control of hemmorhage, infection, and preeclampsia or toxemia of pregnancy.  Genetic screening has been a welcomed intervention as well.

Sadly we have not done what we expected for more.  Drop in preterm labor rates, decreased hypoxia or cerebral palsy,, or other diseases that we have just not been able to decrease despite our modern interventions.

There are more but beyond the scope of this note.

Back to VBACs.cesarean-vbac-rate-graph  

The graph shows it all.

What is going on here?

Doctor life style, poor management and timing of labor, premature amniotomies, poor epidural managemnt, and low tolerance to minimal risk of VBAC are partially to blame.  

Doctors are overworked and underpaid, and are unwilling to take the smallest risk of the right subset of patients.

VBAC when monitored, in the right setting (ie NOT a vertical incision on THE WOMB), when all the parameters have been looked is a safe and effective means of delivery.  There is no need to go back to the days of high section rates because we are afraid of a simple VBAC.

There should be a call to arms of advocacy.  Talk to your doctor. Show them the graph. Read up on this. This is a crime against women and babies that suffer higher levels of Transient Tachypnia of the Newborn as well as other phenomenon.

It is your body, make an informed choice.

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