Looking back across many eventful years, this commentator can attest that life is an apt vehicle for learning but not without exemplary teachers. In this respect, no one could have been luckier than I. The eventful year was 1986 and my nonpareil mentor was an indomitable New York State Assembly-person. Louise Slaughter was elected several years earlier, as a democrat in a habitually conservative suburb of Rochester. She’d espoused an interest in the arts and legislative leaders decided the Arts Committee was just the spot to keep her involved in diversionary limbo, away from the attract
The debate over how to provide health insurance to 50 million Americans – nearly 3 million of them New Yorkers – was center stage last week. The US Supreme Court quizzed lawyers supportive of and opposed to the federal health care reform law. In Albany, the debate over Governor Cuomo’s plan to create a health exchange – the entity that would provide health insurance to the states’ uninsured – was a key obstacle to conclusion of the state budget.
This week the US Supreme Court will take up the question of the constitutionality of federal health care reform, the Affordable Care Act. The Court has scheduled three days for debate, each day focusing on a different challenge to the law.
Governor Cuomo and the legislative leaders had a busy week -- redistricting changes, creating a new pension tier, broader DNA collection for criminal activities, and a first step toward legalized gambling. Despite all of that activity one big issue remains: they have to wrap up the state budget.
Both houses of the legislature advanced their separate budget plans this week. As part of its plan, the New York State Assembly included the governor’s proposal to create a health exchange. The health exchange is the mechanism through which New Yorkers lacking health insurance, as well as small businesses, could obtain coverage. According to the US Census, nearly 3 million New Yorkers lack health insurance.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in New York. In 2011, nearly 10,000 new cases of colon cancer were diagnosed in New York State, and about 2,900 died of the disease.
It doesn’t need to be. The earlier colon cancer is found the better the chances of survival. The good news is that more people in New York are taking advantage of screening tools available; but a large percentage are still finding their colon cancers at a later stage. In New York, many colon cancers are still being detected at later stages when survival rates are lower.
A generation ago, smoking was the number one cancer menace in America. From the 1930s through the early 1960s, smoking was portrayed as glamorous. Advertisements even suggested that smoking was healthy. And those advertisements were everywhere. For those of you old enough to remember, cigarette companies even sponsored some of the most popular TV shows.
According to government statistics, that advertising blitz worked with nearly half of all adult Americans smoking by the mid-1960s.