Medical Costs Rising In America
May20

Medical Costs Rising In America

As the 2020 election cycle heats up in the United States, more politicians and voters are thinking about health care costs. Since 2008, when then-candidate Barack Obama made healthcare reform a central focus of his campaign, healthcare has been a decisive issue in many elections. The healthcare sector is gigantic. It includes minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, pharmaceuticals, and lifesaving surgical care. Every year, about 1.09 million laser hair removal procedures are completed each year, 340,000 people undergo cardiac bypass surgery, and 42.2 million injuries requiring emergency room care. In short, healthcare affects everyone, and there’s one aspect of the U.S. healthcare system that everyone can agree on — healthcare costs are rising. Fortunately, healthcare costs are not rising as quickly or intensely as they were prior to the passage of Obamacare; however, any increase in costs affects millions of Americans. And across the United States, healthcare costs are rising. Even regular visits to the dentist are putting a serious dent in medical budgets. A recent report from Kaiser Family Foundation found that one in two American adults say that they (or a family member) have delayed or skipped medical treatments due to high costs in the past year. Many Americans struggle to pay their medical costs without going into debt or struggling financially as a result. While certain prices may be expensive due to insurance companies not covering medically unnecessary procedures, many are facing debt and financial hardship due to being underinsured or uninsured. The top five medical diagnoses given in urgent care centers during 2016 were acute upper respiratory infections, acute sinusitis, acute pharyngitis, cough, and fever. Cost Of Living Across the nation, health care costs are increasing and creating barriers to care for many families. According to a recent report, as many as 137 million Americans have suffered financial hardships as a result of increasing medical costs. That amounts to roughly 56% of the adult population of the United States who have faced significant financial trouble as a result of medical expenses. While some Americans write off rising costs as being associated with elective care and expensive medicine, this is not the case, as many medical procedures have not changed significantly in many years, even though the U.S. is the number one consumer of prescription drugs and medical devices in the world. Gibbon developed the cardiopulmonary bypass in 1953, and the technique has not significantly changed enough to warrant steep rises in costs. Instead, many of the costs and financial issues related to medical care come from the large percentage of Americans who remain underinsured or entirely without insurance. Without a stable insurance plan, many Americans are forced...

Read More
Feeling Sheepish? So Is One French School That’s Enrolling Sheep as Pupils
May20

Feeling Sheepish? So Is One French School That’s Enrolling Sheep as Pupils

One French primary school has started feeling a bit sheepish, but it isn’t because of “shear” embarrassment: in an effort to prevent classes from being canceled, a farmer has enrolled 15 sheep from his herd to boost class numbers. This comes after concerned parents in the French Alps feared that falling student numbers would cause some classes to close. Upon hearing that the student numbers had fallen from 266 to 261 at the Crêts en Belledonne, herder Michel Girerd brought his flock to the school. He then enrolled 15 sheep out of his 50-strong flock as symbolic pupils to prevent one class from closing. The farmer even brought the sheep’s birth certificates to ensure they were enrolled properly. It was thanks to Girerd and his collaboration with concerned parents that the classes were able to stay open. “Now we won’t have to close any classes,” noted Gaelle Laval, one parent behind the initiative. Laval was one of the parents who accused the national education authority of caring more about the numbers behind the school than the actual students. The comic ceremony amused staff and children alike. The students were more than happy to pet the sheep whose skin and wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture. “Now we won’t have to close any classes,” Laval continued. “And so now, with this surge in numbers, we are good.” If the school had chosen to close one of its 11 classes, the average class size would have increased from 24 to 26. This is more than the recommended number of students supported by French President Macron who hopes to make 24 students the upper limit in his education proposal. It’s estimated that 5% of children entering first grade will already suffer from a noticeable speech disorder, making smaller classrooms essential in the learning process. Smaller classes enable teachers to give the necessary one-on-one time each student needs to succeed. Because every child learns differently, it’s thanks to smaller classes that each student is given the time, effort, and recognition they deserve in an educational setting. The decision to enroll the sheep was approved by Mayor Jean-Louis Maret, who had officially recognized the schooling of sheep as an additional boost to the parents’ campaign. Among the symbolic sheep pupils include Baa-bete, Dolly, and Saute-Mouton, the last translating roughly to “leapfrog.” And leapfrog the education system, they...

Read More