Monthly Archives: March 2013

NYC Ban on Soda Won’t Happen After All

Justice Milton Tingling struck down Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on large soda drinks, calling it “arbitrary and capricious”.

The ban was an attempt to improve the health of NYC citizens, after seeing obesity rates rise from 18% of adults in 2002 to 24%. The ban was championed by Bloomberg and approved by the Board of Health in September, 2012. Justice Tingling wrote that the power to create the ban belonged to the elected City Council, and not the Board of Health appointed by the mayor.

According to city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, obesity-related illnesses cost the city about $2.8 billion a year.

Businesses faced costs associated with the change that they would not be compensated for – reprinting menus, changing bottles and labels, and movie theaters in particular were concerned about losing soda sales that account for 20% of their profits.

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Breast Pumps For All, But Not Necessarily The Best

The ACA requires insurance companies to provide new mothers with breast pumps and other equipment that is necessary to help them breast feed.

Unfortunately, the law doesn’t specify the type or quality of the breast pumps to be provided, so the companies (with doctors’ recommendations) get to decide. This issue leads to whether a company will provide a manual or an electric pump.

The benefits of an electric pump over a manual pump are several: they’re high-powered and can simulate a nursing child, while manual pumps can be weak, clumsy, and cumbersome for a working mother to use. They take more time to pump than an electrical pump.

The costs are also considerably different, when a high-end electric pump coming in at around $300, and a manual pump costing as little as $35.

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Surprise Benefit of Obamacare: Less Spending

On March 7th, Kathleen Sebelius of Health and Human Services announced that there has been a slowdown in medical spending since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare, Sebelius said, is due the credit for increased efficiency and slowed medical spending growth.

“The health care law’s push for coordinated care and paying for quality rather than quantity is putting downward pressure on medical costs, the article reports,” Sebelius wrote in a blog post. “It’s improving the way health care providers do business, and that’s good news for patients.”

Sebelius cited a USA Today study that found the ACA’s cost-control measures are working.

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