Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Key Results

Kaiser Health Tracking PollThe Kaiser health tracking poll was recently released, and it provides a good overview of what Americans are thinking about as far as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is concerned. With the future of the ACA currently in question, many people are rightfully concerned. The following are some of the key findings of April’s Kaiser health tracking poll:

Trump’s negotiation tactics

Trump recently threatened to stop payments for the ACA’s cost-sharing reductions in an attempt to get Democrats to negotiate a healthcare law replacement. Such tactics could end up disrupting the insurance markets, not to mention could cause people to lose coverage. Around 60 percent of the American public disapproves of these tactics. Roughly 82 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Democrats disapprove, while 67 percent of Republicans approve.

The ACA’s favorability

Around 48 percent of Americans view the ACA as favorable compared to the 42 percent that view it unfavorably. However, 51 percent of the public still want a plan to repeal and replace the ACA.

Healthcare priorities

Repealing and replacing the ACA is not the number-one priority for most Americans. Instead, priorities include lowering healthcare costs and lowering prescription drug costs. However, 25 percent of Republicans believe that repealing the ACA should be the top priority.

The future of the ACA

Following the initial failure to repeal and replace the ACA, around 74 percent of Americans believe that the current administration should do what they can to make the current ACA law work. Around 64 percent believe that Trump and the Republicans are responsible for any problems that occur with the ACA from here on out.

Healthcare funding

Few Americans want to see healthcare funding cut as lawmakers negotiate the current federal budget. Only 21 percent of Americans want to reduce spending for reproductive health services for lower-income women and 24 percent believe Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood for non-abortion services should cease.

These are some of the key findings of the Kaiser health tracking poll. For all ACA-related news, be sure to keep visiting The Benefits Store.

Advanced Liver Cancer Treatment: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy Versus Sorafenib

Advanced Liver Cancer TreatmentWhen it comes to treating liver cancer, sorafenib has traditionally been considered the most effective treatment. However, a trial was recently conducted comparing sorafenib treatment to selective internal radiation therapy. Patients who were treated using selective internal radiation therapy displayed similar overall survival to those that were treated with sorafenib, not to mention that selective internal radiation therapy resulted in fewer treatment-related adverse effects.

The study was the very first hepatocellular carcinoma study of a liver-directed therapy against systemic chemotherapy. The results of the trial were showcased this year at the International Liver Congress in Amsterdam, Netherlands. According to the leading investigator of the trial, Professor Valerie Vilgrain, sorafenib has been the go-to treatment for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. She stated that even though the treatment has been proven effective at extending patients’ survival compared to a placebo, the treatment also resulted in side effects that diminished their quality of life.

The way that selective internal radiation therapy works is that it delivers internal radiation directly to the liver tumors through the hepatic artery. This form of treatment only requires two total treatments, whereas sorafenib is provided via a tablet that’s taken twice a day. Until now, sorafenib was the only treatment available for advanced liver cancer.

Over the course of the trial, the liver cancer patients/subjects’ quality of life was measured every three months using a questionnaire. The results clearly showed that patients treated with selective internal radiation therapy had a substantially better quality of life than patients that were being treated with sorafenib. These patients were also more likely to maintain their health status over time.

Although certain treatments can extend the life of individuals suffering from serious diseases, such as liver cancer, diminishing the quality of life in order to extend it isn’t a fair tradeoff. It’s why researchers are hopeful that selective internal radiation therapy can become an effective alternative to sorafenib for liver cancer patients.

New medical advancements are being made every day to improve people’s lives. To keep up-to-date with such medical advancements, visit us at The Benefits Store today.

Recovering at Home After Knee or Hip Replacement

knee or hip replacementMore and more people are experiencing problems with their knees and hips and are requiring surgery every year. This is because the elderly population is not only growing bigger every year, but people are generally outliving their joints.

Millions of surgeries are performed to replace worn-out knees and hips each year, and experts believe such operations will only increase substantially over the next couple of decades. To ensure that the surgery is a success, it’s recommended that patients spend time recovering at home directly following the operation.

Recovering at Home Following Joint Surgery

The majority of patients who undergo some sort of knee or hip surgery tend to recover without any type of complication if they go directly home following the operation instead of spending time at a rehab facility. This should come as good news for those about to go into surgery since recovering at home is a lot less expensive than recovering in a rehab facility.

Many patients are sent to rehab facilities after undergoing replacement on both hips or knees or who have serious underlying health conditions. While some of these patients may benefit from inpatient rehabilitation, a new recovery study reveals that patients who go directly home instead can recover just as well – if not better. The study showed that patients who perform exercise recovery programs from the comfort of their own home recover just as well as those that spend ten days in a rehab facility.

The study consisted of 252 patients, 81 of whom underwent knee replacement surgery and received ten days of inpatient rehab followed by a home-based recovery program lasting eight weeks. 84 patients performed all their rehab at home, while 87 patients acted as a nonrandomized observation group that performed only home-based rehab. Six months after the operation, the study found that there was no difference in recovery between patients that got inpatient rehab and those that recovered at home.

Patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery can recover at home just as well as at an inpatient rehab facility. For more health-related news, visit The Benefits Store today.

5 Reasons Positivity Is Good for Your Health

Positive OutlookHaving a positive outlook on life isn’t just beneficial to people’s mental attitude and ability to motivate themselves. It can actually have an impact on their overall health as well – including their physical health. At this point, the scientific community is in agreement that what happens in a person’s brain will influence what happens to the body, which is why a positive attitude can result in improved health. The following are just five reasons why positivity is good for health:

  • Staying positive reduces stress – People who are positive tend to be less stressed out. Stress can have a negative impact on one’s immune system and energy levels, which can affect the overall health of a person, reducing the risk of depression.
  • Staying positive reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease – Several studies have shown that people with more optimism are at a lower risk of heart disease or failure than those who are pessimistic.
  • Staying positive is linked to lower cholesterol levels – A study performed by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed participants who scored as being optimistic on their test tended to have higher levels of good cholesterol.
  • Staying positive makes it easier to cope – People who are have a positive outlook on life have a stronger ability to cope with a worse turn in luck – such as developing a disease. By being able to cope with an illness better, it will have less of a negative impact on their life.
  • Staying positive allows the enjoyment of life – Being positive won’t cure certain diseases, but it can give the person the ability to enjoy their life as they are living it – even while they are sick. Imagine having been negative for ten years while ill, only to have the illness disappear! That’s ten years of one’s life that was spent in misery when it could have been enjoyed.

These are just five reasons why a positive outlook on life is so important to one’s health. For all the latest health-related news and advice, be sure to stay up to date with The Benefits Store.

Healthcare: Moving in the Right Direction

American healthcareAmerican healthcare is in a state of flux right now. Nobody knows what condition it’s going to be in a year from now, due to how politicized the subject has become. The Affordable Care Act recently survived an effort to repeal and replace because of public outcry, but that doesn’t mean that Americans’ healthcare is safe.

The Importance of Healthcare

American healthcare is more important than it’s ever been. In 2012, the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine), announced the current generation of children and young adults here in the U.S. would be the first generation to experience fewer healthy years of life as well as shorter life spans than their parents. In 2015, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), reported that the average American life expectancy went down for the first time in over 20 years.

These recent discoveries on the state of American health are worrisome, to say the least. In order to ensure the U.S. moves in the right direction to help improve the health of Americans, there are three things that must be done:

  1. Americans will need better access to health insurance – Although the Affordable Care Act managed to help insure an additional 20 million Americans, there are currently still 28 million people who are uninsured as of 2015.
  2. The country has to invest more in health and prevention – Around 75 percent of healthcare costs are related to conditions that are preventable, including tobacco use and obesity. Investments in prevention can help lower these costs as well as save lives.
  3. Health disparities among various demographics must be addressed – There are health inequalities that are related to income and access to coverage across different demographics. For example, Hispanics are 65 percent more likely to develop diabetes than white Americans.

To help American healthcare head the right direction, tell Congress to continue to support the Affordable Care Act and to authorize Medicaid expansion. To stay up-to-date with all of the latest healthcare related news, be sure to visit us at The Benefits Store today.