Blair Horner

One year ago, Governor Cuomo signed a law prohibiting the use of indoor tanning facilities by minors under the age of 17.  The reason that this restriction became law was the mounting evidence that indoor tanning is dangerous – particularly to young people.  The more you indoor tan, the more likely you will get skin cancer.

Last week’s big news included the release of New York students’ academic test performance.  The news was grim:  Statewide, less than a third of the students in third through eighth grade were proficient in math and English.  And in some areas, only a tiny fraction passed: On the reading exams, a mere 5.4 percent of Rochester students passed, 8.7 percent of Syracuse students passed and 11.5 percent of Buffalo students passed.  In New York City, 27 percent passed English and 30 percent passed math.

Albany is well known for its overblown promises and rhetorical hype.  Often newly passed laws are promoted as “historic” and criticisms of health reforms paint a picture of the end of civilization as we know it.

Bruce on flickr

A number of cancer organization and anti-smoking groups has penned a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, asking him to bolster what they say are lifesaving programs, and not cut them.  And, the groups contend, for the first time, the programs appear differently in the governor’s proposed budget.

It’s often hard to know how things are going on the cancer-fighting front without looking at health statistics over the long haul.  Annual statistics reporting from the American Cancer Society provided that insight last week.  In its report, “Cancer Facts & Figures,” the death rate from cancer in the US has fallen 20% from its peak in 1991.

Blair Horner:

Nov 12, 2012

As we look at the 2012 election in the rear view mirror, the nation’s attention now turns to the impact of the re-election of President Obama and the partisan leadership in the Congress.  Last week, Americans kept in place a Democratic majority in the Senate as well as a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

Essentially, the same partisan national leadership structure that existed prior to the election.

What will the election mean to our health care?  It creates both certainty and uncertainty.

Blair Horner: Every vote counts

Oct 31, 2012

As much as medical care, public policy decisions have a tremendous impact on Americans’ health care.  And there is no decision more important than next week’s Presidential choice. 

Americans who watched the 2000 Presidential election – including Al Gore – know that it’s not the nation’s total popular vote that chooses the President.  In fact, there have been a total of three Presidents elected while losing the national popular vote.

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