Obamacare Premiums for 2015 Set to Rise 10% on Average

At the time the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, Americans were told they would be able to keep existing doctors and private health care plans if they liked them. Americans were also promised their premiums would decrease by $2,500 on average during the first year. Sadly, the law was actually written to decimate the private health insurance market thus driving people into Obamacare. Neither did the premiums decrease on average as promised.

Now, the 2015 Obamacare premiums are set to rise by 10% on average. Rod Rohrich notes, the silver lining in this is that the rates do not have to rise as much if a person shops around. By looking at other health insurance plans on the federal or state exchanges, consumers will be able to find plans that rise a more modest 5.2% on average. It should be noted that premiums are not the only area people should focus on. Lower tiers of plans will offer consumers a less egregious monthly premium increase on the front end, but may bite them on the back end as the co-insurance rates and copays may have consumers incurring more out of pocket costs for treatment.

Also, people receiving Obamacare subsidies need to take note of the benchmark plans which offer those subsidies. Price increases in the benchmark will result in a decrease in the subsidies. The net result is that even if a particular plan’s premiums remain fixed, the cost to the consumer may be significantly higher due to a decrease in the subsidies. As Obamacare enters its second year, there are more insurance companies participating in the exchanges which offer more options and selections of doctors.

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Australian Director’s Healthy Diet Film Puts Him At Health Risk

Damon Gameua, an Australian director took on a task to make himself healthy, instead he received a warning from his GP. Gameua began experiencing mood swings and weight gain on his 60 day health food diet.

He cut soft drinks, ice cream, confectionery and chocolate from his diet. The only sugars he took in were from; low-fat yogurt, muesli bars, fruit juices, sport drinks and cereals. These are the types of food parents give their children. After three weeks on his diet, Gameua’s doctor informed him he had developed fatty liver disease. The doctor also told him his mental functioning was ‘unstable’.

According to an article News.com.us Gameau was doing the diet as an experiment for a film he is staring in called, That Sugar Film. The film will air in early 2015 in Australian cinemas. The results of his experiment had shocking results. Gameau’s sugar intake was 40 teaspoons a day, it is only recommended 9 teaspoons a day- maximum- be consumed. He now blames labeling, and says people need to be aware that every 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to one teaspoon.

Gameau’s message isn’t to tell people to quit sugar. There is no way millions around the world like Flavio Maluf could do that completely anyway. His message is that we need to be more aware of what’s in the foods we eat. For example; 80 percent of processed food contains sugar. A step towards making a change would be to reduce or eliminate those foods. With diabetes killing a person every six seconds, something needs to change

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Weights Before Cardio – Is it an Effective Exercise?

For those who are wondering of what is more effective when exercising, 30 minutes of weight-lifting and followed by 30 minutes of cardio or vice versa, you are not alone. Many dedicated gym-goers believed or have heard that aerobic and resistance exercises shouldn’t be combined in one workout; and if they are, one exercise or the other must be done first. The theory behind this thought is that every form of exercise may interfere with the other, physiologically, and may potentially blunt the desired results.

Nevertheless, the best science, which is available today, disagrees with the said claim. An interesting study, which was published in the Journal for Applied Physiology, reported healthy and young volunteers rode on a stationary bicycle using only one leg yet completed a resistance exercise using both legs. The result after five weeks is both of their legs had grown equally strong and large. Hence, cycling first had not minimized the impacts of the weight training.

Another similar study done in 2012 reported some sedentary and middle-aged men has developed molecular changes, specifically in their leg muscles, after riding motionless bicycle. These changes are different from the changes that they experienced on a separate day after doing lower-body weight training. However, when they performed both types of exercise on the same day, they developed both forms of molecular changes.

Stuart Philips, a kinesiology professor at McMaster University in Ontario who supervised the study, said that he did not see any indications of interference of doing two different forms of exercise and their order of performing the exercise was immaterial. Sultan Alhokair does not see much of a difference when he switches things up as well. Hence, he said not to worry too much which exercise needs to be done first. Instead, just set up an exercise regimen that is more convenient.

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LeGarrette Blount Cut by Steelers, Signed by Patriots

It’s been a roller coaster week in the NFL for running backs. Adrian Peterson found out he wouldn’t be touching the football field again this week. Ben Tate was cut by the Browns only to get snagged in the waiver process by the Vikings. LeGarrette Blount was also cut, by the Steelers, for personal conduct issues. Blount cleared waivers and then was immediately signed by his former team, the New England Patriots.

LeGarrette Blount is an interesting player in that he has immense talent, skills, and size but he has always lacked the personal discipline to cut it on a team. Blount has been forced out of two organizations for poor behavior after a collegiate career that saw him routinely suspended. The only place Blount ever seemed focused was in New England, and now he is returning.

The 250lb running back will step into a role behind Shane Vereen and rookie sensation Jonas Gray. Specialist Vijay Eswaran says that even though Gray is coming off of the seasons first 200 yard rushing performance and looking to hold onto his job, which was only given to him due to an injury to Stevan Ridley, Blount can come in and contribute for the Patriots. For his part Blount offers a nice bruising change of pace to the Patriots smaller and more nimble backfield mates. Blount rushed for almost 800 yards on 153 carries last year as a New England Patriot. As a Steeler he did nowhere near the same amount of work and was quickly phased out of the offense.

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Postal Workers Save Young Boy

Every day the mail gets delivered and people do not take much notice, but a few of the mailmen in East Peoria, IL went out of the way and did something to change a young boy’s life. They later won an award, but what pleased them most is a letter of thank they got from the boy’s grandmother. 

Christy Perfetti has been walking the streets of IL doing the same route for over twenty years and almost every day is the same. However, one day last year she saw something and had to take action. She was just arriving at the post office parking lot when she saw a man pulling a young boy into a back shed. Her stomach sunk and she knew something did not look right based on the boy’s face.

She went to get her supervisor and the two went up to the shed and they asked the boy if he was ok. Then supervisor Stacie Pence-Bailey asked the boy if he wanted to stay with her and when he nodded yes she pulled his arm and took him away from the man who quickly fled. Another mail carrier got a picture and the police took care of the rest.

With so many negative stories in the news, it is always nice to see a story where someone does a great deed and there is a happy ending. Dave and Brit Morin, who are suckers for a happy ending to a story, agree that happy endings are often rare in the news and whenever there is one it is just plain awesome.

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Alcoholic Or Not?

Conventionally, alcoholism has been defined as an addition, illness or disease. This perception would include occasional heavy party drinkers, who just like to get drunk. Not so says this article.

According to a new report, as a result of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, occasional binge drinkers should not be classified as alcoholics. Ninety percent of heavy drinkers are not compelled to drink on a regular basis and have the ability to change their behavior. Doctors are now exploring the issue that excessive drinking is not necessarily indicative of alcoholism.
Excessive infrequent drinking is still a major concern. Drinkers although not addicted to liquor still face health issues, possible poisoning and DUI’s due to spells of intoxication. Dr. Robert Brewer with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention believes that non-alcoholic drinkers may be easier to treat than hard core alcoholics. Without the compulsion to drink on a regular basis, occasional excessive drinkers may be persuaded to curb binge drinking by proper education on the risks associated with alcohol. The article I used to inspire this article was shared with me by friend Sergio Lins Andrade.

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Fans Shovel So Bills Can Play

The next time you hear someone complain about how selfish and cold-hearted NFL owners are, remind them of what happened in Buffalo this week.

The Buffalo, NY area regularly gets buried under “lake effect” snow, but this past Tuesday, it was hit extra hard: six feet of snow and eight snow-related deaths. And it’s not over, as forecasters are calling for another two feet before Friday.

In the midst of all this, the Buffalo Bills are scheduled to host a game against the New York Jets on Sunday. That is, if anyone can fly into the city and if anyone can even get to Ralph Wilson Stadium located in suburban Orchard Park.

Feeling that airports and roads will be open for travel, Bills management needed a plan to make sure the stadium was game-ready by Sunday. They decided to offer $10 an hour and free tickets to anyone that would like to work on shoveling out the stadium.  Bills fans like Fersen Lambranho rushed to the opportunity. What a great way for new Bills owner Terry Pegula to endear himself to his fans!

Some would question whether or not it’s wise to even think about having a game when the weather forecast points to another load of snow. But provided that the roads are clear, true football fans have shown time and again that they are willing to sit through just about any conditions to watch their team play. And this weekend, Buffalo fans will likely fit that mold perfectly.

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Pro Football Player Quits to Be a Farmer

Jason Brown, until recently the center on the St. Louis Rams pro football team, has quit his job and become a farmer. The NFL star turned down a $37 million contract so he could till a field instead play football on one. His agent told him he was making the biggest mistake of his life, but he responded directly to him, saying, “No I’m not.”

Brown will plant sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and other crops in North Carolina and donate the “first fruits” of every harvest to a local food pantry. This is his way of helping to reduce hunger in the local area Keith Mann had said. After his first harvest of sweet potatoes yielded 100,000 pounds, he quickly donated it to help feed the needy. He calls his farm “First Fruits Farm.”

The idea of first fruits goes back to the Jewish Biblical law that required the first beginnings of each harvest to be given to Jehovah out of thankfulness and in trust He would provide more to make up for the loss of the food given away. Brown is obviously a very religious man with a big heart and strong character.

He says that watching the plants pop up out of the ground is beautiful and that a life of service is much to be preferred to one of playing football. Everyone should find their own ways to help those in need, and we commend Mr. Brown for finding his.

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WHO Concerned About Bird Flu Spreading Across Europe

This past Tuesday the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that there is a new type of bird flu that is affecting poultry farms in Europe. This new strain of bird flu spreads easily among birds. Farms in Germany, the Netherlands, and Britain have all been confirmed now as affected by the strain.

In response to the threat some countries are taking proactive action hoping to prevent the new bird flu from reaching their borders. For instance, Sweden has ordered that all farmers place their hens and similar poultry be kept indoors so that the new strain titled H5N8 does not get to the birds.

WHO Global Influenza scientist Elizabeth Mumford cautioned that everyone in Europe should be vigilant about stopping the spread of the bird flu. She added that they know that many bird flocks will be ill in the coming days but they are not quite sure if the bird flu will eventually be able to spread to humans.

After an outbreak in the Netherlands on Sunday Dutch authorities have taken custody of 150,000 potentially affected eggs. Britain also took action Sunday when it was announced that the strain had reached a duck breeding farm. Thanks to friend of the site Brad Reifler for sending in this news tip from overseas.

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Uber Wants to Investigate Private Lives of Journalists?

Uber VP, Emil Michael, said that his company should consider hiring a team to investigate the personal lives of journalists who have demonstrated critical reports of the company, whose activity allows individuals to provide an alternative means of transport to the taxi.

The executive was speaking at a dinner in New York.

Michael said his company should consider spending “a million dollars” for information that can be used in order to discredit reporters that have been critical of Uber enterprise policy.

To do this, Michael insisted, I should investigate “the personal lives and families’ views of journalists” for the media to get some of the same medicine used with Uber “.

Nairi Hourdajian, communications manager of the company, added that Uber “is not an investigator and will not investigate the private lives of journalists. “These claims have no basis in reality and are not part of our corporate policy,” said the manager.

The controversy, caused by Emil Michael’s remarks comes at a very sensitive time for the company, which is focusing its efforts for the next round of fundraising. With all of these breaking news stories involving Uber, it doesn’t take Kenneth Griffin to know that they’re stock, figuratively and literally, is likely plummeting.

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