Jan 152015

Diabetes is a disease in which a person has high blood sugar either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. Diabetes symptoms include frequent urination and increased thirst and hunger. Long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure and retinal damage. There are three main types of diabetes and all are treatable with insulin. Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, results from the body’s failure to produce insulin and requires a person to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. Type 2, or adult-onset diabetes, results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly. Type 3, gestational diabetes, occurs when pregnant women without a previous diagnosis of diabetes develop a high blood glucose level. This may precede development of type 2 diabetes. Nearly 26 million people, or about 8% of all Americans, have diabetes -not counting the 7 million people who are undiagnosed and another 80 million people who have pre-diabetes. Adequate treatment of this disease is important, as is not smoking and maintaining control of blood pressure and body weight.

Pending Legislation:

S.1318 & H.R.1761 – HELLPP Act

S.907 & H.R.1915 – GEDI Act

H.R.1257 – Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current diabetes policy and wish to defeat H.R.1257, S.1318 & H.R.1761, and S.907 & H.R.1915

I support amending title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act to include podiatrists as physicians in order to cover their services under the Medicaid program; revising requirements for coverage of therapeutic shoes for individuals with diabetes regarding the processes of documentation by a physician of, and certification of a comprehensive plan of care related to, the diabetic condition; prescription by a podiatrist or other qualified physician upon a finding of the medical necessity for the therapeutic shoes, including findings communicated to a certifying doctor of medicine or osteopathy of certain related foot conditions; and fitting and supplying the shoes, and wish to pass S.1318 & H.R.1761

I support developing a gestational diabetes research project to expand and enhance surveillance data and public health research on gestational diabetes; developing and testing novel approaches for improving postpartum testing or screening and for preventing type 2 diabetes in women with a history of gestational diabetes; awarding grants for demonstration projects to reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes, the recurrence of such disease in subsequent pregnancies, and the development of type 2 diabetes in women with a history of gestational diabetes, and wish to pass S.907 & H.R.1915

I support amending title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to extend coverage for medical nutrition therapy services to such beneficiaries with pre-diabetes or with risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, and wish to pass H.R.1257

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

About one out of every five Americans will acquire heart disease or suffer a stroke in their lifetime. Heart disease is any condition that causes one’s heart to malfunction. This includes heart attack, stroke, angina and arrhythmia. Cardiomyopathy, or heart muscle disease, is the deterioration of the heart muscle leading to heart failure. People with this condition are often at risk of sudden cardiac death. Every year, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America. Although strokes are more common in men, they are much more fatal for women. About a million Americans die from heart attacks and strokes each year -with women accounting for more than half these deaths. In fact, heart disease kills more women than the next 14 causes of death combined. Experts have suggested that one reason for this could be because women live longer than men, giving them a greater likelihood of stroke. However, there may be other unknown factors involved. African Americans also suffer a disproportionate number of strokes compared with their peers. Studies have shown a solid link between low blood pressure and a low risk of heart disease. People with high blood pressure are often older, overweight and have high levels of cholesterol. Studies show cholesterol-lowering statin drugs benefit all heart patients including those with normal cholesterol levels. Diet, exercise and medication are seen as primary ways to demote heart disease from first place on the list of America’s killers.

Pending Legislation:

S.254 & H.R.565 – Cardiomyopathy Health Education, Awareness, Risk Assessment, and Training in the Schools (HEARTS) Act of 2013

S.1026 – Return to Work Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current heart disease policy and wish to defeat S.254 & H.R.565 and S.1026

I support developing and disseminating to school administrators, educators, school health professionals, coaches, and families, as well as to state and local health departments, pediatricians, hospitals, and other health professionals, of public education and awareness materials and resources that include: background information to increase education and awareness of cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle) and other related causes of sudden cardiac death among school administrators, educators, and families; a cardiomyopathy risk assessment worksheet for use by parents, guardians, or other caregivers; guidelines regarding the placement of automated external defibrillators in schools and child care centers; training information on defibrillators and cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and recommendations for how schools and child care centers can develop and implement a cardiac emergency response plan, and wish to pass S.254 & H.R.565

I support authorizing the Secretary of Labor, acting through the Job Accommodation Network, to promote awareness and assistance among employers to enable survivors of stroke to return to work, and wish to pass S.1026

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

It is estimated that during any given year, more than 50 million Americans of all ages suffer from a diagnosable mental illness. These diseases include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. Each year, at least a quarter of all Americans also experience mood, anxiety, impulse control or substance abuse disorders. Childhood mental illness often results in substance abuse and suicide attempts later in life. Each year, about 35,000 Americans commit suicide with four times as many men as women choosing to end their lives. Over 90% of these people suffer from either substance abuse or a treatable mental health disorder. Studies have also shown that about 60% of women hospitalized for mental illness also have a history of trauma. The majority of women suffering from both substance abuse and mental health problems have been victims of rape, incest or physical or emotional abuse. Furthermore, at least 49 of the 62 U.S. mass shooting suspects between 1982 and 2012 suffered from mental illness.

Pending Legislation:

S.162 & H.R.401 – Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2013

S.195 & H.R.628 – Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013

H.R.1100 – Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act

S.562 – Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current mental health policy and wish to defeat S.162 & H.R.401, S.195 & H.R.628, H.R.1100 and S.562

I support awarding grants to establish or expand veterans treatment court programs to provide qualified veterans with intensive judicial supervision and case management, treatment services, alternatives to incarceration, and other appropriate services, including housing, transportation, job training, education, and assistance in obtaining benefits; peer to peer services or programs to assist such veterans in obtaining treatment, recovery, stabilization, or rehabilitation; practices that identify and provide treatment, rehabilitation, legal, transitional, and other appropriate services to such veterans who have been incarcerated, and wish to pass S.162 & H.R.401

I support providing grants for school districts to hire on-site mental health professionals to provide prevention and early intervention services for students; including providing comprehensive school mental health programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, trauma-informed, and age appropriate, and wish to pass S.195 & H.R.628

I support awarding grants to eligible institutions of higher education to improve mental and behavioral health services and outreach on college and university campuses; giving special consideration to programs that demonstrate the greatest need, propose effective approaches for initiating or expanding campus services, target underserved and at-risk populations, coordinate with a community mental health center or other community mental health resources, and wish to pass H.R.1100

I support mental health services for Seniors by amending title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage of marriage and family therapist services and mental health counselor services under Medicare part B (Supplementary Medical Insurance), particularly those provided in rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers, and in hospice programs, and wish to pass S.562

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat often has an adverse effect on health and life expectancy. People are considered obese if their body mass index, a measurement derived by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of the person’s height in meters, exceeds 30 kg/m2. In other words, a 5’9” person would be considered obese if he or she weighed over 200 lbs. The incidence of American obesity and being overweight is increasing for all age groups. An estimated 32% of men, 36% of women and 17% of our children and adolescents are considered obese. There is now twice the number of overweight children and 3 times the number of overweight adolescents as there was 35 years ago. Obese individuals have a 50% to 100% increased risk of premature death and at least 300,000 deaths a year are associated with this condition. The direct and indirect costs of obesity are nearly $120 billion each year. And these costs, which exceed the cost of tobacco-related illnesses, appear to be rising. Recent research also shows that obesity plays a much bigger role in causing cancer than previously believed, accounting for 14% of cancers in men and 20% of cancers in women. Recent studies show that being overweight and obese puts one at greater risk of developing 10 of the most common cancers. Health advocates say weight control programs should promote a healthy lifestyle which includes regular physical activity and healthy eating.

Pending Legislation:

S.1184 & H.R.2415 – Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2013

S.39 – Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention America Act

I oppose reforming current obesity policy and wish to defeat S.1184 & H.R.2415 and S.39

I support providing seniors with weight management medications and behavioral therapy for obesity, and wish to pass S.1184 & H.R.2415

I support directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and implement a plan to coordinate the efforts of all HHS officers and agencies to treat, reduce, and prevent obesity and overweight in the adult population; authorizes the Secretary, in addition to qualified primary care physicians and other primary care practitioners, to cover intensive behavioral therapy for obesity furnished by: a physician who is not a qualified primary care physician; or any other appropriate health care provider (including a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, a clinical psychologist, and a registered dietitian or nutrition professional) upon referral from, and in coordination with, a physician or primary care practitioner in an office setting, a hospital outpatient department, and wish to pass S.1184 & H.R.2415

I support programs for children’s nutrition and physical activity in schools and with child care providers, expanding the free fresh fruit program; sets forth requirements to expand healthy activities in the community, permitting use of schools for recreational and nutritional purposes during nonschool hours, awarding grants for sports and athletic programs for individuals with disabilities, awarding grants to establish community gardens, requiring physical activity guidelines for the general public, and promoting healthy foods and physical activity at national parks; establishes a program to assist federal departments and agencies in integrating health goals into their activities; addresses workplace wellness by allowing a wellness program credit for employers, excluding from an employee’s income the fees paid by an employer to an athletic or fitness facility on the employee’s behalf, and promoting breastfeeding among working mothers; establishes requirements for federal buildings, including those for application of menu labeling requirements to food establishments and nutritional standards for food provided in such buildings; prompts encouraging individuals to use stairs, and installation of bicycle storage areas, and wish to pass S.39

 Posted by at 12:00 am