Former Sen. Bill Bradley, who has made expanded access to healthcare coverage a centerpiece of his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, uses temporary workers without health benefits on his campaign staff, according to the Associated Press.
The Bradley campaign used workers from five temporary agencies, which did not offer health insurance to the workers. Only full-time paid employees of the Bradley campaign receive health benefits, comparable to what other campaigns offer.
Bradley was the only presidential candidate to use temps between January and September. Bradley no longer uses temporary workers, a campaign spokeswoman told AP.
Anita Dunn, the spokeswoman, put just the right political spin on the situation.
If Bill Bradley's healthcare plan was already in effect, all of these people would have had their choice of coverage," she said.
Heavy medals. U.S. Oncology, the nation's largest manager of cancer practices, is cozying up to Washington.
After hiring a public policy director last year, the company recently unveiled an annual Medal of Honor Award for members of Congress.
Twenty-five awards were given this fall to members of both major parties who supported the company's causes, which included insurance coverage for routine treatment of patients participating in clinical trials, Medicare funding for hospital outpatient clinics and Medicare coverage of self-administered drugs.
Eric Berger, the company's director of planning and public policy, says cancer funding struck a chord with those lawmakers, many of whom have firsthand experience with the disease. For example, Robert Bud" Cramer Jr. (D-Ala.) lost his wife to cancer, and Sen. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) and his wife are both cancer survivors.
We've been able to have a very personal relationship with members. We wanted to do something special," Berger says.
Healthcare comes in from the cold. Physician organizations in Central Europe want more control over how their nations spend money and rebuild healthcare infrastructure.
Leaders of the region's national medical associations and the World Medical Association, meeting late last month in Prague, Czech Republic, decided to establish a regional secretariat to address inadequate and inappropriate allocation of resources" in nations such as Croatia, Slovenia and the Czech and Slovakian republics. They called for a greater role for national medical associations in the decisionmaking process.
On the agenda would be medical ethics, quality control, human rights and the development of sound healthcare systems, according to the WMA.
Also cited were public health concerns such as drug-resistant tuberculosis and increasing tobacco dependence. Jaroslav Blahos, president of both the WMA and the Czech Medical Association, said the regional secretariat would play a central role in training doctors in smoking-cessation classes for both themselves and their patients. Citing heavy tobacco marketing, Blahos says a concerted effort is needed to warn the public about the dangers of smoking.
Clueless. Many Americans aren't getting the word about some of the major healthcare issues kicking around Washington these days.
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University survey of more than 1,000 citizens nationwide, only 21% of Americans knew that more than 40 million of their fellow citizens lack health insurance. Nearly 40% of those surveyed thought the number was smaller, and another 17% didn't know.
Even scarier was the number of Americans who didn't know that Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley have made major healthcare reform proposals. Only 21% knew about Gore's plan, and 17% knew about Bradley's. One-fourth of those surveyed said neither had made a proposal, and more than half said they didn't know.
Those surveyed scored better when asked about managed-care reform. More than half knew that Congress is still debating the issue, and 30% said they didn't know what was going on.
Terminator stupidity. Americans also lack a historical perspective. According to the results of a survey by FitnessLink, an online health source at www.fitnesslink.com, Arnold Schwarzenegger is seen as the most influential fitness personality of the millennium and the person most responsible for the fitness revolution."
The poll presupposes that the fitness boom began with Pumping Iron," the 1977 movie about Schwarzenegger's days as a bodybuilder. It also ignores such recent (we're talking millennium here, folks) fitness pioneers as Roger Bannister, whose sub-four-minute mile wowed the Western world in 1954; Paul Dudley White, M.D., who as President Dwight D. Eisenhower's personal physician advocated daily exercise; Kenneth Cooper, M.D., who pioneered aerobics in the 1960s; or Frank Shorter, whose victory in the 1972 Olympic marathon is widely credited with spurring the running boom in the U.S. None were even among the 21 choices listed on the Web site.
Yes, folks, in the video age, where last week is ancient history, Schwarzenegger is seen as the pivotal fitness figure of the millennium. Now chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport, Schwarzenegger, with his omnipresent cigar and history of steriod abuse, is hardly the image of fitness as Outliers conceives it.
Arnold brought bodybuilding into the mainstream of fitness and positioned it as a healthy activity for anyone," says Shannon Entin, publisher of FitnessLink and co-author of the aptly named book, The Complete Idiot's Guide To Health And Fitness Online. Many of his films co-starred fit women, too, like Linda Hamilton in the Terminator' series."
Need we say more?