No, Health Care for All Would Not Turn Us into a Venezuela

In a recent editorial for the Wall Street Journal, James Freeman plays the red scare card against Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All (M4A) plan, which he compares to the policies of “Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, whose mania for wealth redistribution has brought a country to its knees.”
Freeman gets the causation backwards. Venezuela is not in crisis because Maduro has been too generous with socialist goodies like health care. Quite the opposite. The Lancet reports that from 2010 to 2014, Maduro slashed health care spending by a third — and then stopped the publication of official statistics. Since then things have only gotten worse. Collapse of the health care system is one of the major reasons Venezuelans are fleeing their country by the tens of thousands every day.
But enough of Venezuela. Freeman misses the point about Sanders’ health care plan in more important ways, as well.
It is true that M4A would be expensive. Freeman relies on a study by Charles Blahous for the Mercatus Center, which estimates that M4A would cost taxpayers $32.6 trillion over ten years, even after positing substantial savings in total national health care spending. A more detailed study by Jodi Liu for RAND (of which Blahous appears not to have been aware when he wrote his Mercatus paper) comes in a significantly lower. It estimates that a baseline version of M4A would add about $1.8 trillion a year to net federal healthcare spending without cost savings and $1.7 trillion a year with. (Those numbers assume that current revenue sources for health care remain in place but do not include any proposed new revenue sources.) A trillion here, a trillion there — either way, it’s real money.

But what are the implications and what are the alternatives? Freeman first tries framing the issue in terms of the debt and deficit:

Remember, before a single nickel is spent on a Sanders-style makeover of American health care, the Congressional Budget Office is already forecasting that U.S. government debt held by the public will surge over the next two decades to 118% of GDP from its current 78%.

That’s nonsense. Sanders’ plan, if implemented in full, would add nothing to the debt since he proposes paying for it in full with new taxes, mostly on high-income taxpayers. Freeman also neglects to mention that the added tax burden would be offset, at least to a substantial degree, by the elimination of the financial burden of insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs that those same taxpayers now pay.
The real issue, then, is whether the sharp increases in federal taxes that Sanders’ plan calls for are the best way to finance the universal, affordable access to health care that both Republicans and Democrats profess to want.
In my view, it is not. A better way to make health care affordable would be to implement a system of universal catastrophic coverage (UCC). As I have explained in detail elsewhere, UCC would use income-based deductibles to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of health care costs, but not more than their fair share. Under UCC, the poorest families would get full coverage without deductibles, middle-class families would face deductibles similar to those they pay under the ACA, and high-income families would be responsible for all but truly catastrophic medical expenses.
Using deductibles instead of taxes would reduce the administrative costs and deadweight losses of first levying taxes on upper-income families and then returning that money in the form of health care benefits. It would also mean that all but the poorest and sickest families would have “skin in the game.” To the extent at least a major part of their health care expenses would come out of their own pockets, middle- and upper income consumers would have an incentive not only to shop carefully but also to pressure their political leaders for reforms leading to greater transparency and competition in healthcare markets.

Proper scaling of the parameters of a UCC plan could make it revenue neutral, as Liu’s RAND analysis confirms. With further tweaking, the financial responsibility of households in various income categories could be made as “progressive,” (in the distributional sense) as Sanders’ plan, or less progressive, or more so, as desired by the collective political will of Congress and the electorate.
In short, Freeman poses a false dilemma. We do not have to choose between universal, affordable healthcare or a crushing burden of taxation. The quest for health care for all need not turn us into a Venezuela — a country where an especially noxious brand of authoritarian socialism has ruined both the economy and the health care system.
Reposted from Medium.

Why Gymnasium Goers Are Switching To ZMA Supplements

ZMA Supplements
So, what exactly is a ZMA nutritional supplement? Referred to as Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, ZMA is a sporting supplement manufactured to boost the overall performance and physique of sportsmen and musclemen. In many bodybuilding circles, ZMA use is starting to be as common as protein health supplements and steroids. This dietary supplement is fairly new but on account of the advantages presented, it keeps on getting more widely used. Many studies are now being conducted to understand much more of ZMA as a body supplement.
ZMA includes three primary ingredients: Magnesium, vitamin B6 and Zinc. These three are highly important in fortifying our body. Levels of Zinc and Magnesium can become really low in the bodies of professional athletes. This is a fact, that has been proven on a number of occasions by scientific research. A lack of adequate food along with water loss through sweating is normally behind this deficit. Zinc is the substance in charge of the synthesis of protein and the development of cells in the body. Magnesium is additionally important and vital since it is essential for a good immune system and nervous system. It also helps to reinforce bones. Possessing a fair amount of magnesium inside your body can also help with sleeping peacefully. As for vitamin b6, it can help in changing protein to energy.
These nutrients mentioned provide plenty of benefits but mixing them makes their effect much better on the body. Therefore, taking ZMA tablets can be highly helpful, as the tablet combines all of these elements. One advantage is it lowers catabolism. Catabolism is also referred to as a destructive metabolism, which is often very disadvantageous for people who exercise on a regular basis. Decreasing catabolism can give more prospects for our bodies to get more robust. An additional advantage of taking ZMA is it will allow you to recover more quickly after exercise. Body builders and sportsmen make use of this since it diminishes the time they need to recover from muscle sores and it provides additional time to train and workout. Also, taking ZMA may also help stop professional athletes getting ill, as it beefs up the body’s defence mechanism.
However, the advantages linked with taking ZMA tablets aren’t only related to the arena of muscle development and exercise. For example, ZMA has been scientifically proven to improve the male libido.According to research, there are no known unwanted side effects of ZMA yet that can be damaging to the body, but, to be on the safe side, people must take this dietary supplement with precautions. Firstly, you shouldn’t take ZMA without first conversing with your personal doctor. Taking ZMA should be accompanied with a diet program that is extremely high in protein. Protein rich foods consist of sea food and animal meat, together with milk and chicken eggs. ZMA supplements should not be taken with calcium too as it will prevent zinc absorption.

Is The Extra Expense Justified For The Medifast Cereal?

Medifast Cereal
I sometimes hear from people who are trying to determine what they will include with their first Medifast order. When they are doing this, many notice items that are relatively new and they wonder if it is worth making a special effort to include these items. One such item is the newer cold cereals.
I might hear a comment like: “would it be worth it to order some of the cereal? I don’t think that the cold cereal comes with any of the packages and I know that the oatmeal or hot cereal is typically included. Are the cold cereals so tasty that it makes it worth it to pay a little extra for them?” I’ll tell you my opinion on this below.
You have a couple of different options with the cold cereals. You don’t have to order them individually, which I’ll get to in just a second. But, if you were going to purchase them a la carte, they cost $16.50 for a box of seven servings. This is pretty typical for all of the Medifast foods. The cereal isn’t any more expensive than other items. As of this writing, the cold cereal is being offered in two flavors – the mixed berry crunch and the cinnamon brown sugar crunch. This cereal is shaped like little O’s and it taste similar to the popular brand that we all grew up with except both flavors are a little sweeter than just the plain version.
Frankly, I am a huge fan of cold cereal. If every one is out of the house or are somewhere else and not eating dinner at home, I fully admit that I will sometimes have cold cereal as my dinner. I have done this all of my life and even when I’m not on a diet. So it is nice to have that option while on a diet. I would personally be willing to buy some individual boxes of the cereal with my order if I had to. But quite honestly, the cereal is currently part of the packages.
For example, a box of both the mixed berry and the cinnamon and brown sugar is included in both the gluten free and the on the go favorites packages. The Medifast favorites package includes a box of the cinnamon and brown sugar cereal. The only package that doesn’t contain any cold cereal is the chocolate lovers package.
I’m only guessing here and every one’s taste is different. But I believe if you like cold cereal in general and often ate it before starting this diet, you will likely find it worth it to get a couple of boxes whether you do this via design a menu and you chose the cereal as one of your menu choices or you go with one of the favorites packages which includes it. This is a pretty popular new addition and it’s my observation that most people like it.

What to Expect in Medical Spa Weight Loss Plans

Spa Weight Loss
Previously, we’ve focused on many of the medical treatments available at local medical spas to help you lose weight or slim down. And while all of these treatments are beneficial, quite often the best weight loss approach is to maintain a healthy diet.
Indeed, the professional staff and bariatric specialists at medical spas constantly study nutritional science in order to identify the best foods – including combination of foods – for losing weight. What’s more, these doctors and other medical experts can review your medical history, your ongoing health concerns or conditions, and your overall weight goals to create a realistic nutrition strategy that works best for you.
In the remainder of this article, we’ll look at what else medical spas can offer you with respect to weight loss programs, including: the benefits of weight loss programs, what to expect when you visit a medical spa, and importance of working with trained professionals. Ultimately, all of the information here is designed to help you get healthy, feel great and look your best!
The Benefits of a Weight Loss Plan 
A weight loss plan from a medical spa gives you so much more than just instructions on how to follow a diet. Rather, a plan takes into account many different aspects of your lifestyle, and identifies what steps you need to take to reach your goals. It also provides you with a realistic framework of what you can expect, helps determine what steps to take along the way, identifies the ideal diet designed to shed pounds while meeting any dietary restrictions, and displays test results that give you valuable insights into what caused or causes you to gain weight.
And perhaps most importantly of all, a plan also gives you the motivation, guidance and encouragement you need to take – and keep – control of your weight, so that you can start seeing results!
What to Expect During your Medical Spa Visits 
When you visit a medical spa for your first session, you should prepare to cover a lot of territory. Generally the process involves a consultation, followed by an exam performed by a doctor who specializes in bariatric medicine or nutrition. After that, your doctor will chat with you to collect more information about your medical history and other basic details, and then perform a body fat analysis, a Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement, and any other laboratory tests or EKGs as necessary. Once your doctor and her or his team have a solid understanding of your medical history and needs, it’s time to discuss various options to find a diet that will achieve your weight loss goals while, of course, keeping you healthy.
The Benefits of Going to a Doctor-Owned Medical Spa for Your Weight Loss Program 
Why are programs available at medical spas so successful? It’s largely because each one is developed and implemented by an experienced doctor who truly understands the science of weight loss. What’s more, these doctors are constantly learning, and as such they know how to separate facts from fiction, and other best practices in the field of non-invasive weight loss treatments.
Add it all up, and it simply and clearly means that when you go to a medical spa with bariatric specialists on staff, you can be assured that your personalized diet or weight loss plan will be safe, medically appropriate, and scientifically proven. What’s more, you’ll discover unparalleled insights into your root causes of weight gain, which will help you stay healthy and happy for decades to come!

Valuable Guidance For Successfully Treating Yeast Infections

Treating Yeast Infections
Yeast infections are a common condition, and everyone should be able to recognize the signs of such an infection. If you know what to look out for, you will be able to get treatment right away so that the infection does not become more serious. The following advice can help you out.
One of the things that you will want to make sure of during the day is to wear all natural clothing. Try to stick predominantly to cotton and silk as these materials can help prevent moisture on your body, versus other materials such as nylon, which can yield more moisture.
There are certain foods you can avoid eating to prevent yeast infections. Candida is a trigger of yeast infections and it thrives on foods that are high in sugar, yeast, caffeine, sulphates and moldy foods, like dairy products. Avoiding these foods will increase your chances of avoiding yeast infections altogether.
Don’t douche. Although it may seem like “cleaning” the vagina would prevent yeast infections, the opposite is actually the case. Good bacteria is destroyed along with any bad bacteria. The inner lining of your vaginal wall is also flushed out in the douching process. This leaves your vagina susceptible to infections, both yeast infections and others.
To help in the prevention of yeast infection, be sure to wear cotton undergarments. Other materials, such as nylon and rayon, hold moisture in, providing an ideal environment for yeast to grow. Cotton stays drier, and keeps moisture away, making the skin less vulnerable to the growth of yeast.
Try to maximize your sleep during the night. Your body’s system can help prevent yeast infections. Not getting the proper amount of sleep can weaken your immune system. You need to get your 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night to stay completely healthy.
A great home remedy for relief of the symptoms of a yeast infection is apple cider vinegar. Be careful to never apply straight vinegar to your vagina, it will kill the yeast but will very painful. Putting about a cup and a half in your bathwater for a nice hot soak will bring instant relief.
It should be noted that some products such as bubble baths, feminine sprays and scented soaps can actually cause irritation to the vagina. This in turn could increase the likelihood of getting a yeast infection. As a general rule of thumb, try to stay away from anything that is dyed or scented.
For a home remedy that’s natural, apple cider vinegar is recommended. You can drink it in order to get some relief, and it can also be used topically. However, it may burn when you apply it directly, so be very careful. A good way to get relief is by adding about a cup or so of the vinegar to your bathwater.
Do not wear panty liners. The liners will absorb the moisture from your body and trap it inside them. If you do wear a liner, be sure to change it regularly. The dryer you keep your crotch area, the less likely you will be to suffer from a yeast infection.
Look into preventative measures if you often have to deal with yeast infections. Look at what in your lifestyle can be causing these recurrent yeast infections. Clothing choices, birth control methods, diet and sexual encounters can all play a part in the occurrence of yeast infections.
Don’t feel badly about having a yeast infection. While there is a persistent myth that all you have to do is keep clean to avoid a yeast infection, there are a number of reasons that you may have one. A yeast infection is not a reflection on your cleanliness, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed.
If you have a yeast infection, you may want to get your sexual partner checked. If your partner is affected by the infection, it can be transmitted to you during intercourse. Make sure that if you are practicing sex, to use protection so the chances of transmittal is minimal at best.
If you have a yeast infection you’ll want your vagina to get enough air. Cotton panties are an ideal solution to help your vaginal area breathe. Synthetic fiber undergarments can trap heat and humidity, worsening a yeast infection.
Do not use tampons that are scented. While you may think you feel more clean during your period with something that smells pleasant, they can irritate your genital area. Irritation can cause yeast infections which are hard to cure. Try using unscented feminine products to avoid this uncomfortable condition.
Try boric acid as a yeast infection treatment. You can have capsules of boric acid made at a compounding pharmacy to use as vaginal suppositories, but do not attempt to make them yourself. The pharmacist will know the correct dosage to ensure that the capsules are effective and safe.
Always make sure that you take a shower at least once a day and put on some clean, dry clothes. It is imperative that you follow high hygienic standards in order to prevent yeast infections. Yeast thrives in moist and unhygienic environments, making it imperative that you take extra precautions to stay clean.
Natural Remedies For Yeast Infections
There are many natural remedies for yeast infections, but be careful not to overdo them. Many taught the benefits of vinegar, but too much vinegar will irritate the skin. Some say applying yogurt the vaginal area is a great cure, but yogurt contains sugar. Too much sugar will have a negative effect. Use natural remedies sparingly and only under the advice of your physician.
There are many holistic approaches that can be taken concerning yeast infections. Drink enough water to help prevent and treat yeast infections and many other health problems. Even though this sounds simple enough, it is crucial that you get enough water in order to regulate natural pH levels inside you so you avoid getting infections.
Once you are aware of the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection, you will be able to more easily recognize if you might be suffering from one. If you think you might be, you should talk to your doctor right away. This way, you can get the treatment you need to get rid of your infection.