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Insurance, Refugees, Disability Inclusion, Stress, Holiday Eating

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Dec 22, 2015
  • 01:42:05

Private Insurance Costs (1:03) Guest: Zack Cooper, PhD, Professor of Health Policy and Economics at Yale University  The window for enrolling in health insurance through healthcaare.gov closed last week with a bang: more than half a million people signed up on Tuesday alone, prompting President Obama to highlight the success in his year-end press conference. The President also noted that health care prices are increasing at a slower pace than they have in 50 years. But prices are still increasing, as anyone who’s paid a hospital bill or renewed an insurance policy can tell you. One of the oft-cited criticisms of the Affordable Care Act is that it hasn’t really made care more affordable. Its primary focus has been getting more people covered by insurance through a variety of programs and penalties.  Tackling the high cost of health care in American has been a challenge, in part, because of a simple lack of data. The government knows what it pays for procedures covered by Medicare. But no one has had a good handle on how much the rest of us paying for scans or surgery at the hospital. Until now.  Huddled Masses (21:51) Guest: Leonard Greenspoon, PhD, Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies and of Theology at Creighton University and the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization  Just before leaving for Christmas vacation last week, President Obama attended a naturalization ceremony for 31 of the nation’s newest citizens, including people from Iraq and Uganda. He told the crowd that while most countries admit immigrants, America is different because it is a nation born of immigrants. And he offered a few stark historical comparisons for the skepticism facing current refugees.  Disability Inclusion (41:32) Guest: Mary Beth Bruder, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service Center at the University of Connecticut  By the time children with developmental disabilities get to elementary school, it’s fairly common across the country for them to have the option of attending a public school with some special education classes throughout the day. “Mainstreaming” is pretty mainstream, so to speak. But before elementary school, the options are a lot more limited. In fact, the US Department of Education says more than half of preschool children with disabilities are in settings entirely separate from their peers without disabilities. Often, they’re not even given the option of an inclusive pre-school setting.  The US Department of Education recently issued a policy statement urging a more focused state effort to create inclusive early childhood programs for preschoolers with disabilities.  Avoiding Stress (51:05) Guest: Daniel Levitin, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at McGill University and Dean of the College of Arts & Humanities at the Keck Graduate Institute’s Minerva Schools  If you’re anticipating a fair amount of stress in the coming days, with the feasting and the visiting relatives and the kids with their high, high expectations of gifts, plus the returns and the clean-up, do yourself a little favor: Take a moment to imagine just how bad it might get.  It’s a technique called “pre-mortem” and behavioral neuroscientist Daniel Levitin says it can help you stay calm during stressful times.  Parent Previews: Star Wars (1:06:53) Guest: Rod Gustafson, Reviews films at ParentPreviews.com  You may need a little of the force to offer any kind of critique on this new Star Wars movie. It is such a huge hit, making half a billion dollars in the opening weekend.  Decoy Packages (1:17:08) Guest: Thad Weiland, Resident of the Daybreak community in Utah  For the first time in history, nearly half of all Christmas shopping is being done online, according to the National Retail Federation. And so, mail delivery companies are working at full tilt and thieves are on the prowl for easy pickings off un-attended porches. One community near Salt Lake City called, “Daybreak” has been getting national attention for their grassroots approach to preventing package pilfering. No, it doesn’t entail spycams or lurking in the bushes for a bandit. They’re using decoy packages to foil thieves.  Healthy Holiday Eating (1:26:13) Guest: Nicholas Fischetti, Clinical Dietitian with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical Center  Don’t look now, but the calories are piling up on the counter—all those treats from the neighbors and the indulgent stuff you are obligated by tradition to make for the holiday feast. Skimping on the cream or sugar feels a little bah-humbug this time of year.  If it’s even possible to make the holidays healthy, then Nicholas Fischetti is going to show us how. Show More...

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