medical http://michiganradio.org en Riders and legislators work to repeal Michigan's motorcycle helmet law http://michiganradio.org/post/riders-and-legislators-work-repeal-michigans-motorcycle-helmet-law <p>Michigan&rsquo;s motorcycle helmet law is once again in the sights of advocates who say riders should be allowed to operate a bike without head protection.</p><p><a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billanalysis/Senate/pdf/2011-SFA-0291-F.pdf">Legislation approved today</a> by the state Senate Transportation Committee would allow licensed operators to forgo a helmet if they are 21 years old and have had a motorcycle endorsement for two years; or they have passed a motorcycle safety course.</p> Tue, 07 Jun 2011 20:38:39 +0000 Rick Pluta 2792 at http://michiganradio.org Riders and legislators work to repeal Michigan's motorcycle helmet law New health insurance options for people with preexisting conditions http://michiganradio.org/post/new-health-insurance-options-people-preexisting-conditions <p>People with pre-existing medical conditions now have the option of paying lower premiums and higher deductibles if they enroll with <a href="http://www.hipmichigan.com/">Michigan&rsquo;s Health Insurance Program</a>.</p><p>State officials are trying to get more people to take advantage of the program that is a precursor to national health care reforms taking effect in 2014.</p><p>Eric Schneidewind, president of the Michigan chapter of <a href="http://www.aarp.org/states/mi/">AARP</a>, says only a few hundred people have enrolled with the program so far.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s a new program, for one thing, and they just don&rsquo;t know it exists. And so they aren&rsquo;t aware of it, they haven&rsquo;t taken advantage of it, and so it&rsquo;s really potentially a very good deal for a person who has a chronic condition of health&mdash;bad health.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Schneidewind hopes offering the lower premium and higher deductible will encourage thousands of people to enroll. He says hundreds-of-thousands of people in Michigan are eligible.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;I&rsquo;ve run across members who have tragic stories about themselves or their children who really probably died prematurely because they couldn&rsquo;t get adequate health care for a chronic condition. What I&rsquo;m telling our members at AARP and elsewhere, there now is an option, it is affordable.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>The health care company that runs the pool recently got federal approval for a plan to bring down rates that can still be hundreds of dollars a month. The new plan allows people with preexisting conditions to pay higher deductibles and lower premiums than were previously offered.</p><p>Michigan is one of a group of states suing the federal government to opt out of national health care reform. Mon, 18 Apr 2011 21:37:35 +0000 Laura Weber 2121 at http://michiganradio.org New health insurance options for people with preexisting conditions Marijuana Clubs come under fire in state Senate http://michiganradio.org/post/marijuana-clubs-come-under-fire-state-senate <p>People with medical marijuana cards may soon be unable to smoke together in their support groups. A bill approved by a state Senate committee would prohibit so-called &ldquo;marijuana clubs&rdquo; or bars.</p><p>Republican state Senator Rick Jones says people who gather to smoke marijuana away from their homes could easily become a danger on the roads to other drivers.</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;There&rsquo;s really no good reason for people to gather and consume marijuana. If somebody really needs to know how to use it, their care provider can go to their home and teach them. They don&rsquo;t need to gather in a bar-like atmosphere.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Medical marijuana supporters say the bill is a continued attempt by lawmakers to add rules to the constitutional amendment approved by voters. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was approved by voters by a wide margin in 2008.</p><p>Greg Pawlowski is a representative of medical marijuana support groups. He told lawmakers that regulation of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act is an attempt to stifle the voices of patients.&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;I applaud you so much for taking the time to talk to us, but now you need to hear what we have to say, and not talk amongst each other that we&rsquo;re wrong. Because this is not an issue of being right or wrong, this is a human issue. I should not have to be a second-class citizen and have to have a patient card.&rdquo; Fri, 04 Mar 2011 11:41:49 +0000 Laura Weber 1505 at http://michiganradio.org Marijuana Clubs come under fire in state Senate Snyder says Medicaid provider payments will not be cut http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-says-medicaid-provider-payments-will-not-be-cut <p>Governor Rick Snyder says his budget will not call for cuts in payments to doctors, clinics, and nursing homes that take Medicaid patients.</p><p>Snyder administration officials say it is important to maintain those payments at their current levels to make sure providers continue to see patients.</p><p>The governor’s communications director,<span> Geralyn</span> <span>Lasher</span>, says that is a less costly alternative to people showing up at emergency rooms when they get sick:</p><blockquote><p>"We want people having a medical home, having a physician’s office, having that physician really guiding as far as quitting smoking, leading a healthier life, we're going to see much lower healthcare costs down the road if people take those steps right now."</p></blockquote><p>Lasher says there will be other changes in Medicaid.</p><p>There are almost two million people in Michigan in the health coverage program for low-income people.</p><p>Medicaid makes up about 20% of the state budget. Tue, 15 Feb 2011 14:23:10 +0000 Rick Pluta 1292 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-61 <p><strong>Gearing up for snow</strong></p><p>People in the state are gearing up for the coming storm that's expected to dump around a foot of snow in the region in less than 24 hours. Survival instincts are kicking in as people flock to grocery stores, gas stations, and hardware stores. <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2011/02/snow_plow_drivers_residents_br.html">The Kalamazoo Gazette</a> reports some plow drivers are getting their sleep now in anticipation of staying up for the next couple of days. Andy Northey, the owner of R &amp; A Lawn Maintenance and Landscaping in Plainwell, said:</p><blockquote><p>"We're not going to be able to keep up with all the snow that’s expected," said Northey, whose company clears snow from residential and commercial properties from Allegan to Kalamazoo to Battle Creek. "Absolutely no way."</p></blockquote><p>The <a href="http://www.detnews.com/article/20110201/METRO/102010380/Salt--shovels--plows-ready-for-wallop">Detroit News</a> reports that Delta airlines is allowing people to change their flight plans without charging an extra fee:</p><blockquote><p>Delta and other airlines encouraged passengers to change their travel dates. Anyone scheduled to fly this week can switch their flight to a time through Feb. 8 without incurring a fee, said Delta. The waiver involved Michigan and 19 other states expected to be hammered by the storm. The states range from Nebraska to Maine, and Wisconsin to Oklahoma.</p></blockquote><p>The <a href="http://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=MIZ075&amp;warncounty=MIC161&amp;firewxzone=MIZ075&amp;local_place1=Ann+Arbor+MI&amp;product1=Blizzard+Warning">National Weather Service</a> has issued a blizzard warning for the southern part of Michigan as the dense snow band travels across the state. The warning takes effect around 5 p.m. for the western part of the state and around 7 p.m. for the eastern half. The warning will last through much of the day tomorrow.</p><p><strong>Snyder releases report on state's finances</strong></p><p>Governor Rick Snyder released the "<a href="http://www.michigan.gov/snyder/0,1607,7-277-57959---,00.html">Citizen's Guide to Financial Health</a>" yesterday around 3 p.m. The Governor said the report is "<span class="shortdesc">a plain-English, easy-to-understand look at Michigan's financial situation and the challenges </span><span class="shortdesc">ahead."</span></p><p><span class="shortdesc">One of the more controversial parts of the report </span>said that state employees are over-compensated compared to their private sector counterparts. Many state employees and union members are disputing the numbers in the report. <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110201/NEWS06/102010392/1001/news">The Detroit Free Press</a> said that Snyder called the report a 'call to action':</p><blockquote><p>"Here are the facts; let's solve the problem," he told 430 people who attended the Business Leaders for Michigan Summit in Lansing. "Now we can have an intelligent discussion about what we need to have to put the state on the road to success."</p></blockquote><p>Snyder is expected to release his budget proposal for the state's next fiscal year on February 17th.</p><p><strong>Red Cross looking for blood</strong></p><p>Bad winter weather has hampered the Red Cross' blood supply. They've <a href="http://michiganradionews.org/post/bad-weather-leads-low-blood-supply-american-red-cross">made pleas before</a>, and now with a big storm bearing down on the Midwest, they're renewing those pleas. Monica <span>Stoneking</span>, communications manager for the <a href="http://www.redcross.org/">American Red Cross</a>, was quoted in today's <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/02/red_cross_issues_urgent_plea_f.html">Bay City Times</a>:</p><blockquote><p>"Those who live in the path of the storm are asked to schedule a donation time when it is safe to travel," Stoneking said. "All blood types are needed, but there is a special need for donors with O-Negative and B-Negative blood."</p></blockquote><p>The Red Cross says 18,000 expected blood donations have gone uncollected over the last several weeks due to bad winter weather. Tue, 01 Feb 2011 13:15:06 +0000 Mark Brush 1109 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... A call for safer CT scans http://michiganradio.org/post/call-safer-ct-scans <p>No doubt CT scans have improved a doctor's ability to make diagnoses. The ability to see inside the body without cutting it open has meant better treatment.</p><p>But CT scans can deliver high doses of radiation, which can lead to cancer later in life, or in severe cases, can cause severe burns and even death.</p> Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:42:07 +0000 Mark Brush 359 at http://michiganradio.org A call for safer CT scans