Many of the nation’s hospitals serving small towns and rural areas are in deep financial trouble because of a heavy reliance on underpaying Medicare and Medicaid programs. The situation could be made much worse if Congress cuts Medicaid funding, a centerpiece of “repeal and replace” of Obamacare. Experts discuss the need for rural healthcare and the close link between hospitals and community economics.
Multitasking: Practically Impossible
Multitasking seems like a necessity for most people, and most of us think it inproves our efficiency. However, studies show that only a tiny proportion of people can juggle tasks well. Researchers discuss why our brains can’t do two things at once, and why “supertaskers” may be different.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated that there were more than 500,000 homeless Americans on a given single night in January. The U.S. government currently claims that, while there are high rates of homeless Americans, the number is actually decreasing. Many experts challenge that claim, saying that homelessness is on the rise. This week we speak with Eric Tars, Senior Attorney with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty; Scout Katovich, Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic at Yale University and Peggy Choudhry, Commissioner in Osceola County, FL about:
How the number of homeless individuals is increasing and why the published statistics don’t accurately represent the entire situation.
The criminalization of homelessness by passing local ordinances and the negative impact that these ordinances have on communities.
The Constitutional right violations of homeless individuals when bans and local ordinances are implemented.
The reasons that many homeless people are vulnerable to arrest and how this may impede rather than help them escape poverty.
Eric Tars, Senior Attorney, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
Scout Katovich, Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic, Yale University
Peggy Choudry, Commissioner, Osceola County, Florida
Many Americans view death as taboo or an uncomfortable topic to discuss. So, when someone passes away, their loved ones find themselves in a difficult situation, unprepared or unable to find the necessary documents and papers. A recent study has found that only 50% of adults have written and certified their will. Melanie Cullen, author of Get It Together, says that it is essential to organize everything in your life, as well as what will be needed after your death, to ensure that your family knows how to handle the situation.
Karen Lee Cline, co-author of If I Croak: The Things You Should Know, comments that the process surrounding death fifty years ago was much easier than it is today because so much of our lives are online and navigating through all that information often becomes overwhelming. To make this process easier, Cullen and Cline outline in each of their books how to deal with a death in the family. Cullen says that she wishes she had a book like hers to help guide her when she lost her mother. Even though many family members intended to help her, she was ultimately confused on how she should proceed.
How can we encourage our loved ones to consider preparing for death? Cline talks about using humor to help you address the issue, and also advises that you can lead by example; prepare your last will and testament and offer to help others. Cullen adds that even though talking about death may be tough, getting organized and knowing that you’ve prepared your family actually liberates you.
Melanie Cullen, author, Get It Together
Karen Lee Cline, co-author, If I Croak: The Things You Should Know
Many local jurisdictions have criminalized activities of the homeless, such as sleeping on public streets or panhandling. While these laws make cities feel like they’re doing something to ease public discomfort over the presence of the homeless, jail does nothing to address root causes of homelessness and may even make the situation worse.
Even though death is part of life, few people prepare for it by collecting important documents and contact points that survivors will need to know. Two experts discuss organizing for the inevitable.
Since 1978, about 5 million babies have been born from in vitro fertilization, and most of those children are biologically related to their parents. However, about 50,000 babies conceived via in vitro come from donor eggs. We talk with Dr. Linda Kahn, Postdoctoral Fellow in Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine; Dr. Richard Paulson, Professor of Reproductive Medicine at University of Southern California and and Dr. Wendy Chavkin, Professor of Public Health and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University about:
The arguments in favor of more regulation of the egg donation industry
What we don’t know yet about the long term effects of the process
The health and economic concerns for donors who donate multiple times
The importance of educating the public about the complexity and risks involved
Dr. Linda Kahn, postdoctoral fellow in pediatrics, New York Univ. School of Medicine
Dr. Richard Paulson, Prof. of Reproductive Medicine, Univ. of Southern California and President, American Society of Reproductive Medicine
Dr. Wendy Chavkin, Prof. of Public Health and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia Univ
New research indicates that shifting your sleep schedule by as little as one hour can lead to fatigue, increased grumpiness and sleepiness, which is referred by scientists as “social jetlag.” Sierra Forbush, a researcher at the University of Arizona-Tucson, says that social jetlag is comparable to jet lag, but instead of feeling tired because of the change in time zones, people feel tired because of the change in their social responsibilities. Further, it turns out that everyone experiences the same amount of social jetlag, regardless of age or gender.
Did you know that 86% of people say that they shift their sleeping schedule on the weekend? Even with so many people changing their sleeping schedule weekly, we don’t really know much about why it affects our health in the way that it does. What we do know is that when we wake up earlier or later than what we’re accustomed to, we can trigger a hormonal change that leads to fatigue and irritation. So, even if you sleep longer on the weekends, what affects your health and mood is not the amount of sleep you get, but the disruption in the natural cycle of sleep that your body is used to.
Sierra Forbush, University of Arizona College of Medicine