The Health News – 2 May 2014

Overview

  • The Audit Commission has recommended slowing the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Australians with disabilities will be forced to wait longer for the rollout of the landmark national disability insurance scheme, the NDIS, if the Abbott Government accepts advice from its Commission of Audit.
  • Women who get seriously ill are at an increased risk of divorce from their husbands, according to research conducted at the University of Michigan. The study noted that men did not face a greater risk of divorce from their wives when they fell ill.
  • A majority of Americans support mandatory birth control coverage as part of Obamacare, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan.

This is The News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  2nd of May, 2014. I’m Neal Howard. Health News
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2014/s3996201.htm Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Reporter: Kerry Brewster

The Audit Commission has recommended slowing the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Australians with disabilities will be forced to wait longer for the rollout of the landmark national disability insurance scheme, the NDIS, if the Abbott Government accepts advice from its Commission of Audit.

On the paid parental leave scheme the commission is sharply at odds with the Prime Minister, recommending a further watering down of the scheme so that savings can be pumped into child care.

But today the Prime Minister’s Commission of Audit recommended the nine month old landmark scheme put on the brakes, pointing to overspending on participants; $46,000 per person per year instead of an anticipated $35,000.

The head of the scheme says the commission has got it wrong, relying on outdated figures.

The National Disability Insurance Agency published data up until the end o f March. They cover 5,440 participants and what it shows is that the scheme is well within the productivity commission estimates of cost. So average participant cost are now below $35,000. So the scheme is tracking extremely well.

During the election campaign Tony Abbott promised to go all the way with the NDIS…

But the Commission of Audit is having second thoughts. It thinks the NDIS’s annual $22 billion budget is too big for an independent board to handle and that Government should take over the running.

Tony Abbott’s big-ticket paid parental leave scheme, the signature policy he took to two elections, is too expensive according to the commission. The Prime Minister originally promised to pay half the annual wages of women earning up to $150,000. Yesterday, after months of back bench grizzling, his upper limit fell to 100,000.

But today the commission rejected the $100,000 limit, saying 57,000 should be the cut-off, with a maximum pay-out of 29,000. It’s a recommendation welcomed by the Australian Council of Social Service.

The commission recommends the money saved on the paid parental leave scheme be invested in childcare, including home nannies. The Government isn’t saying whether it will accept the advice.

The Treasurer’s intentions on this and a host of other controversial issues will become clear in two weeks when he hands down his first Budget

Divorce More Common When A Wife Falls Ill
http://www.rttnews.com/2312983/divorce-more-common-when-a-wife-falls-ill.aspx?&SimRec=1 
by RTT Staff Writer

Women who get seriously ill are at an increased risk of divorce from their husbands, according to research conducted at the University of Michigan. The study noted that men did not face a greater risk of divorce from their wives when they fell ill. Researchers examined how four diseases – cancer, heart disease, lung disease and stroke – affected marital relationships. The study collected data on over 2,700 couples over the course of about 20 years, finding that roughly a third end in divorce. “We found that women are doubly vulnerable to marital dissolution in the face of illness,” said Dr. Amelia Karraker, one of the study’s authors. “If they are the ones who become ill, they are more likely to get divorced.”

Researchers noted that they did not analyze which partner initiated the divorce. However, added, Karraker, women are likely more prepared to offer support and care for an ill spouse:

“It’s more normative for women to provide care as opposed to men. We speculate that some men might not have been engaged in caring for children. Being in this caregiving role may make it more stressful for them.”

Support Birth Control Mandate In Obama Care 
http://www.rttnews.com/2306158/most-americans-support-birth-control-mandate-in-obama-care.aspx? Most Americans
by RTT Staff Writer

A majority of Americans support mandatory birth control coverage as part of Obamacare, according to a new study from researchers at the University  of Michigan. In the study the researchers found that 69 percent of all the respondents were in favor of such coverage. “In this study, women, blacks, and Hispanics were more likely to support coverage of birth control medications than were men, older individuals and adults without children in the home. In other words, support is higher among individuals who may be more likely to directly benefit from affordable birth control,” the researchers wrote in their study report. The issue is currently bound for the U.S. Supreme Court, who will decide next month whether for-profit companies will be required to cover birth control in their health care packages.

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