Medi-Cal Debt Weight Shaming Salty Kids
By DR. JERRY DeCAPUA
• Governor Brown has until September 30th to sign or veto several critical health and consumer protection bills, including SB1124 (Hernandez), a crucial bill that protects California families from having to choose between their health and their home. Current California law directs the state to recover from the estate of a deceased Medi-Cal recipient to recoup its long-term costs of the Medi-Cal beneficiaries. In 1993, the federal government began requiring all states to recoup the costs and apply liens on assets from the deceased Medi-Cal beneficiaries older than 55 years of age.
SB1124 (Hernandez) would limit Medi-Cal estate recovery. Presently the estate recovery law or “death tax” discourages people from signing up for Medi-Cal managed care on Covered California.
Many people in California who signed up for new health coverage on the Covered California exchange have no idea about the “estate recovery” clause and its effect on their assets. The new law would prohibit asset recovery from the estates of surviving spouses of deceased Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
The bill may not be able to get the Governor’s signature because the state Department of Finance recently said it would eliminate $30 million in revenue that partly funds the Medi-Cal program.
• Discrimination against overweight or obese people, commonly known as “fat shaming,” does not help them lose weight and may do more harm than good, according to research from London. Being harassed or treated with disrespect, receiving poor service while shopping or being thought of as stupid, may actually lead to more weight gain, the researchers found. “Our study clearly shows that weight discrimination is part of the obesity problem and not the solution,” said Jane Wardle, director of Cancer Research of the UK Health Behaviour Centre at University College, London.
Many obese patients noted “weight bias” and being treated disrespectfully when among health professionals. The new observational study noted that weight discrimination was associated with a weight gain of roughly 2 pounds. The researchers noted that those who were not shamed lost about 1.5 pounds. Previous studies have found that people who experience discrimination reported comfort eating. Stress response to discrimination can increase the appetite for unhealthy, energy dense food.
• Nine out of 10 American kids eat more salt than they should, raising their lifelong risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, a new federal government report shows. On average, kids aged 6 to 18 eat 3,300 milligrams of sodium a day, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found. Current dietary guidelines recommend that children eat less than 2,300 milligrams a day.
About 43 percent of salt ingested by children come from the 10 foods they eat most often, the CDC found. These foods include pizza, bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, savory snacks, sandwiches, cheese, chicken patties and nuggets, pasta dishes, Mexican dishes and soups. All the excess salt in these foods not only harms the child’s immediate health, but can also shape their future dietary habits. The CDC researchers state that the taste for salt is established through diet at a young age. Not only are children eating too much salt (sodium on food labels), they are establishing a high threshold or taste for salt beyond childhood.
• Last week’s article on thylakoids decreasing hunger and helping people lose weight resulted in much interest and many inquiries. Thylakoids are not yet in supplement form other than vegetable and green powders. If it’s a dark green vegetable, it’s high in thylakoids. Green leafy vegetables, including spinach, kale, collard, wheat grass, alfalfa, hemp protein and green tea are high in thykaloids. Green peppers, cabbage and peas also are loaded with thylakoids. The earlier you consume these greens during the day, the more effective they will be at curbing hunger later in the day.