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BofA Museum Program Connects Customers with the Arts

Arts lovers take note: Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders can visit The Dixon Gallery and Gardens for free this Saturday and Sunday and the first full weekend of each month in 2013.

Through the Museums on Us program, Bank of American and Merrill Lynch customers can get free access to more than 150 museums in 94 cities on June 1 and 2 and also the first full weekend of each month.

Cardholders should bring their Bank of America or Merrill Lynch debit or credit card and a photo ID. For more information and a list of participating institutions visit: http://museums.bankofamerica.com/pdf/MOU_Participant_Roster.pdf

 

 

 

 

Should Smokers Pay More for Health Care Insurance?

Over a fifth of Tennessee’s adult population smokes, giving the state the dubious No. 46 ranking among the states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state’s smokers might want to take note of a debate playing out across the nation about whether smokers should pay more for health insurance. National Public Radio, WBUR and Kaiser Health News reported the debate is creating unlikely alliances; tobacco companies are working with cancer societies and consumer advocacy groups to convince states they should not allow higher rates for smokers.

The Affordable Care Act allows insurers to charge smokers up to 50 percent more for insurance premiums than non-smokers.

Smoking is expensive.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says smoking costs the country $193 billion a year in lost productivity and health care spending. That’s not including another $10 billion for secondhand smoking.

But consumer advocacy groups are concerned the financial incentives won’t change behavior and could limit access to health care.

Earlier this week, The Daily News reported on the state of women’s health in Tennessee. Dr. Karen Johnson, a professor and interim chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center told the paper smoking remains on her top list of local health concerns.

Johnson said smoking is tied to increased rates for a host of cancers, including lung, stomach, oral, bowel, ovarian, cervical and many others.

 

A Sneak Peak at the FedEx St. Jude Classic Event Lineup

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is busy gearing up for the 2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic, which runs from June 3 through June 9. The PGA tournament has been played annually in Memphis since 1958.

There will be plenty of golf, but here’s a sneak peak at other events that will take place throughout the tournament:

  •  The St. Jude Women’s Club Golf-a-Round takes place from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on June 4 at the Danny Thomas Pavilion on the St. Jude campus. Patients will welcome FedEx St. Jude Classic golf professionals for a game of miniature golf.
  •  John Rich will perform alongside his friends Wynonna, Larry the Cable Guy and Big Kenny, Rich’s partner in Big & Rich, and special guest Lisa Rinna at the St. Jude Presents John Rich & Friends. The concert takes place Tuesday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.
  •  On June 5, FedEx will honor St. Jude patient Hayes by naming a FedEx Cessna plane after him. Hayes, whose father works for FedEx, will unveil his name after a special introduction from FedEx and St. Jude executives. The ceremony will take place at noon between the 12th and 18th fairways near the FedEx Cabana. Throughout the day, St. Jude patients also will serve as honorary caddies during the tournament. Each patient will meet a pro at the 11th tee and carry their putter to the par 3 hole green.
  •  St. Jude patients will wear seersucker clothing to congratulate the champion who will be presented a trophy and a Brooks Brothers seersucker champion’s jacket on June 9.

St. Patrick Catholic Church Dedicates “Green Machine”

St. Patrick Catholic Church on Sunday held a blessing and dedication for  The Green Machine Mobile Food Market. The market will create access to healthy food for areas of Memphis that don’t have ready access to traditional supermarkets.

The mobile market will begin making stops at 15 area locations June 2, Kenneth Reardon, a professor and director of the graduate program of City and Regional Planning at the University of Memphis, told an audience of community leaders, parishioners and volunteers gathered at St. Patrick.

Reardon also shared the history behind the mobile food market and thanked the many community partners who have helped get the project off the ground.

St. Patrick Parishioners and members of the community await a blessing and dedication for a Memphis Area Transit Authority Bus that has been transformed into a rolling deliverer of healthy foods for the city’s neediest areas.

The Green Machine Mobile Food Market will begin making stops at 15 city locations beginning June 2 to sell fresh, affordable produce supplied by Easy-Way Produce Stores.

Antonio Raciti, a University of Memphis visiting professor in city and regional planning, speaks with a local parishioner on the newly rehabbed bus. Raciti created the overall design and detailed construction plans for transforming the bus into a retail sales environment.

Actuarial Study Predicting Soaring Health Care Costs Failed to Disclose Industry Ties

A study produced by the Society of Actuaries predicted medical claim costs could jump 32 percent nationally by 2017 for individual policies under the Affordable Care Act. The research study was widely written about in the press, including The Daily News.

Kaiser Health News and Politico Pro are now reporting the study failed to note the close ties between the actuaries making the forecasts and the insurance industry.

“Undisclosed in the SOA report was the fact that about half the people who oversaw it work for the health insurance industry that is warning about rate shock. The chairman of society committee supervising the project was Kenny Kan, chief actuary at Maryland-based CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield,” Kaiser Health News and Politico Pro reported.

Optum, the sister company of UnitedHealthcare, performed the research for the study. UnitedHealthcare is the nation’s largest private health insurer, the news organizations jointly reported.

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act pointed out that the actuary society’s study failed to factor in the potential for competition to lower prices and the subsidies people will receive to purchase coverage.

Dansette

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