Wisconsin: Health Insurance Plan of Last Resort, Basic Coverage for Un

Wisconsin: Health Insurance Plan of Last Resort, Basic Coverage for Un…
A fall at the post office last December tore tendons in Bob Campbell’s right shoulder and left him with a compression fracture.
The 52-year-old Somerset man still owes money for emergency treatment. But surgery to fix the injury? Forget it. Campbell had no insurance. He previously worked in low-paying jobs and since 2006 he’s had no job at all?except as full-time caregiver for his 84-year-old mother.
On July 1, help arrived for Campbell and thousands of other uninsured Wisconsin residents: BadgerCare Plus Basic. It is a self-funded, stripped-down health plan for state residents with no other alternatives.
“Just knowing that I have some health insurance takes a big burden off my shoulders,” said Campbell, who signed up in June.
BadgerCare Plus Basic is for people stuck on the waiting list for BadgerCare Plus Core Plan, a program for adults with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and no dependent children. The Core plan expanded the state’s BadgerCare health coverage, originally for poor families with children. Just four months after the Core plan was added in July 2009, enrollment was closed at 54,000 patients because of budget restrictions. A waiting list grew to 50,000? many of them middle-age workers who retired early without health inurance or lost jobs in the economic downturn.
Campbell is grateful for the option and hopes he can get the surgery he needs. (more…)

ER visits linked to energy drinks doubled in four years: U

ER visits linked to energy drinks doubled in four years: U.S. report
SAN FRANCISCO — A new U.S. government survey suggests the number of people seeking emergency treatment after consuming energy drinks has doubled nationwide during the past four years, the same period in which the supercharged drink industry has surged in popularity in convenience stores, bars and on college campuses.
From 2007 to 2011, the government estimates the number of emergency room visits involving the neon-labeled beverages shot up from about 10,000 to more than 20,000. Most of those cases involved teens or young adults, according to a survey of the nation’s hospitals released late last week by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The report doesn’t specify which symptoms brought people to the emergency room but calls energy drink consumption a “rising public health problem” that can cause insomnia, nervousness, headache, fast heartbeat and seizures that are severe enough to require emergency care.
Several emergency physicians said they had seen a clear uptick in the number of patients suffering from irregular heartbeats, anxiety and heart attacks who said they had recently downed an energy drink.
Two senators are calling for the Food and Drug Administration to investigate safety concerns about energy drinks and their ingredients.
The energy drink industry says its drinks are safe and there is no proof linking its products to the adverse reactions. (more…)