Cool Research: Diets Need to Be Personalized!

SOURCE: Food Navigator


RIP Obamacare Repeal


After a protracted battle with politics, Obamacare repeal died swiftly last night due to a policy complication stemming from an issue related to insurance market design. Although supporters had high hopes for the bill, in reality it may never have had a chance. In its life and in its death, it was a testament to Republican incoherence about health care.

The repeal plan, which close associates knew was never really full repeal, began life as a Republican campaign mantra—repeal and replace—which was uttered and promised by nearly every GOP politician for seven years, since the passage of Obamacare in 2010.

It was always more of a slogan than an actual plan: As early as 2011, Republicans promised that a replacement could be expected in short order, but a real candidate never arrived. It wasn’t that Republicans and conservative health policy scholars never developed any alternatives. There were op-eds and white papers and even a full-fledged draft of legislation or two. But there was never any consensus on any of these options.




Interesting Article About the Use of Psychedelic Medicine


The maturation of the field is not nearly as remarkable as the medical utility researchers are beginning to uncover, but the latter is the result of the former. The world lost a generation’s worth of promising research and medical discovery following the tumult of the 1960s. For more than 30 years, Doblin and a small band of experts and professionals have worked to overcome the bureaucratic and scientific barriers to safe and legal access.

The challenge for a medical model is that it requires treating psychedelics like any other pharmaceutical product—which is to say, like science, with clear mechanisms of action and a demonstrable chain of cause and effect. And when it comes to psychedelic drugs, even those synthesized in a lab and administered by researchers in white coats, that is not always easy, in part because their use has long been linked with mysticism, and in part because psychedelic researchers face a scientific challenge: Although they know that the drugs do work, they have not always understood how. Theories, however, abound.


Free Markets in Healthcare: Its All About the Economics

SOURCE: Intellectual Takeout

A real free market in health care would provide affordable, high-quality health care for all, not as a matter of right, but rather as a matter of market logic. How do we know? Look at any market that is largely free. The impossibly brilliant and complex smartphone went from luxury to mainstream in a mere 10 years. The same is true for millions of services, from groceries to clothing to home appliances to software. The driving logic of competitive markets is to provide universal access.

Frederic Bastiat was the first to describe the problem. People who want to preserve the existing system are looking at the seen beneficiaries rather than the unseen costs of regulating against a free market. This amounts to a failure of imagination. The reformers have failed to comprehend – and so they cannot persuasively argue for – the creative and transformative benefits that would flow from freeing the sector.

A related fundamental error is described by Henry Hazlitt: the failure to look at the effects of policies on all groups over the long run rather than merely focusing on the effects on some groups in the short run.

Yes, pushing public opinion and political consensus in a certain direction does take work. But it is not hopeless. People can learn economics. It takes focus and it takes concentration, but economics is not incomprehensible.

What is the alternative? For health care to go through the current route: falling ever-further behind the market-driven direction of history, riddled with bureaucracy and undergoing unending pressure toward the disaster of single payer. This is an intolerable result.


The Mediterranean Diet May Reduce the Risk of Dementia


Healthy eating habits, particularly the Mediterranean diet, which was originally developed to improve cardiovascular health, may lower your risk of developing cognitive impairment up to 35%, the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference said Monday.

A group of U.S. scientists, who studied the diets of 6,000 older adults, found that those who consistently followed a Mediterranean diet or a MIND diet—full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — had a 30% to 35% lower risk of developing cognitive impairment later on in life.


Healthcare Costs in the U.S. Are High Because of Government Controls!


But there’s another economic problem caused by government – price controls on insurance – that is very important. Indeed, the fights over “community rating” and “pre-existing conditions” are actually fights about whether politicians or competition should determine prices.

Such a system is a recipe for inefficiency and rising prices since consumers generally don’t care about cost and providers have no incentive to be efficient. And since government figures show that nearly 90 percent of health care expenditures are financed by someone other than the consumer, this is a major problem.


How Does Mexico’s Healthcare System Compare to the U.S.?

SOURCE: Healthline

As U.S. politicians continue to battle over healthcare plans, some medical tourism experts are predicting an increase in Americans traveling to Mexico in search of affordable medical and dental care.

A study published this year in The Lancet found that Mexico’s Healthcare Access and Quality Index rating rose from 49.2 in 1990 to 62.6 in 2015.

This 100-point scale is a measure of citizens’ access to quality healthcare. It is based on the death rates for 32 diseases that can usually be treated easily, including heart disease, diabetes, maternal and infant diseases, as well as diseases that can be prevented with vaccinations.

Over the same period, the HAQ Index for the United States rose from 73.7 to 81.3.

The average for all countries was 53.7 in 2015. Andorra topped the list that year at 94.6, with Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea at the low end.


BREAKING NEWS: Should Illegal Residents Get Free Medical Care in the U.S.?!

SOURCE: Washington Post

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants could be locked out of the health insurance marketplaces if the Senate’s new health-care bill becomes law.Buried among the bill’s provisions that roll back the Medicaid expansion and lower marketplace subsidies is a shift in eligibility requirements. Rather than all legal immigrants being able to receive tax credits and buy coverage in the marketplace like under the Affordable Care Act, the new bill — aside from a few, narrow exceptions — allows only permanent residents and people who immigrated for humanitarian reasons to participate.

Conservatives defend the exclusion, saying it prevents medical tourism — where sick people move to the U.S. temporarily to get subsidized medical care but don’t stay in the insurance pool while they’re healthy. “For people to jump in, file a claim, and jump out, it’s very destabilizing for the market,” said Ed Haislmaier, a research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation.