blair horner

Commentary & Opinion
3:15 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Blair Horner: A Look Back on the Fight Against Cancer

Blair Horner
Credit C.W. McKeen / The Post - Standard, 2006

The dawn of a new year is the time to reflect and to plan a new course.  When it comes to fighting cancer, in 2012 New York took one significant step forward by restricting the use of indoor tanning booths.  As 2013 dawns, more steps are needed.

First some background:  In July, Governor Cuomo signed into law a new restriction on the use of tanning beds by children.  The law, which went into effect in August, bans the use of indoor tanning beds for those aged 16 years old and younger. 

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Commentary & Opinion
3:26 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Blair Horner: The Fight Over Obamacare Continues

Credit C.W. McKeen / The Post - Standard, 2006

Blair Horner - The fight over Obamacare continues

The clock is ticking for Obamacare.  The federal health care law goes into effect in one year – with uninsured Americans allowed to sign up for coverage in about ten months.  Last Friday, implementation of the new law took a big step forward.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:25 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Blair Horner: The Nation is Losing Control of the Tobacco War

Tobacco kills more than 400,000 Americans every year and costs the country about $100 billion in health care bills.  Despite successes in curbing tobacco use over the past four decades, it still is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.  

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Commentary & Opinion
3:42 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Blair Horner: The Case for Expanding Medicaid

A new report issued by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute – two health care think tanks—described the benefits to states which choose to expand Medicaid coverage as allowed under the federal health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act.  The report found that states will receive more than $9 in federal money for every $1 they spend to cover low-income residents.

That’s right: a $9 to $1 ratio.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:34 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Blair Horner: Steps to Reverse the Obesity Epidemic

For too many Americans, the end of the Thanksgiving meal was followed by a “food coma.”  During the holidays, many of us know that we eat too much.

It turns out that, on average, Americans eat too much during the rest of the year too.

Unfortunately, eating too much can have devastating consequences.  Three quarters of all healthcare costs are attributed to chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The major drivers of those costly chronic conditions are tobacco use and obesity which are both preventable and treatable.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:29 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Blair Horner: The Great American Smokeout

The nation just celebrated its 37th annual “Great American Smokeout.”  The Great American Smokeout has been offered as an opportunity for smokers to think about quitting and as an opportunity to reflect on society’s gains against the tobacco menace.

And big changes have occurred over the decades.  Nationally, the smoking rate peaked at 42 percent when the U.S. Surgeon General’s report was issued and proved the link between smoking and cancer.  Today the nation’s smoking rate is 19 percent, and here in New York that rate is even lower.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:06 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Blair Horner: Fact checking the health care debate

As we all know, the fate of the federal health care reform law is to be decided by voters this November.  There are those running against the law that argue that they want to “repeal and replace” the law. 

However, there has been no alternative offered by opponents – just vague promises, partial pledges and grotesque distortions of the federal law itself.

In the heat of the political season, it’s important to take a closer look at opponents’ promises.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:30 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Blair Horner: Help to discover new cancer treatments

For many of us, our civic participation begins and ends with voting.  Though voting is crucial to the health of our democracy, few of us have the opportunity to take part in something that can really change the lives of people all around the world.

One of those rare opportunities has just come our way.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:55 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Blair Horner: New York State must help its poorest smokers

New York State’s efforts to reduce smoking have had a tremendous impact.  Between 2003 and 2010, the adult smoking rate in New York fell by 28 percent.  During that time, the nation’s smoking rate slipped only 11 percent.  New York high school students’ smoking rate dropped an incredible 38 percent, more than twice the nation’s decline.

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Commentary & Opinion
3:35 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Blair Horner: End of year federal budget cuts could mean more cancer

The White House today released a report on the impact of mandated budget cuts scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2013.  The cuts are mandated under the Budget Control Act of 2011, which arose for the debate over the debt ceiling last year. 

The Budget Control Act required an automatic $1.2 trillion in cuts if the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (also known as the “Super Committee”) failed to agree on budget cuts on its own – which it failed to do.

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