June 22, 2010
RAND Briefing to California Delegation on Health Costs of Air Pollution,
As you may know, RAND recently published a study that estimates spending on hospital care in California due to the harmful health effects of air pollution. The lead author of the report, John Romley, will be in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 24, to brief findings from the research to California delegation staff. The briefing is from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at 234 Cannon House Office Building. It is sponsored by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Congressman David Dreier
The harmful health effects of air pollution are well understood. Less is known about the cost burden that these effects impose on the health care system. RAND researchers addressed these questions by estimating spending on hospital care in California due to the failure to meet federal and state standards for particulate matter and ozone emissions. More people in California live in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards than in any other state.
The analysis found that:
* Failing to meet federal air quality standards led to nearly 30,000 hospital admissions and emergency room visits in California from 2005 through 2007.
* The resulting spending was about $193 million over the three-year period.
* Public insurers Medicare and Medi-Cal spent the most-$104 million and $28 million, respectively-and private insurers spent $56 million.
The results suggest that publicly funded insurers as well as employers and private insurers would benefit financially from reductions in air pollution.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-413-1100 ext. 5196, if you would like to schedule a meeting with Mr. Romley for a separate meeting.
June 8, 2010
Recent reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggest that the ongoing oil spill may not be the only disaster the Gulf Coast has to face this year.
The decade from 2000 to 2009 marked the warmest global temperatures on record, and despite unexpectedly heavy snowfall in the U.S. at the beginning of this year, 2010 is predicted to follow suit. Based on monthly analysis conducted by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, the period from January to April produced the hottest combined global land and ocean surface temperature since formal measurements began in 1880. The combined average surface temperatures from January to April exceeded measurements taken in the 20thcentury by 1.24°F (0.69°C), reflecting global warming predictions. Similarly, global ocean surface temperatures in April marked the warmest for that month in over a century, with NOAA observing rising heat “most pronounced in the equatorial portions of the major oceans, especially the Atlantic.”
Comparison of 2010 Temperature to the Two Other Years with the Warmest Annual Means
[Extracted from NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies “GISS Surface Temperature Analysis” Last Modified: 05-17-2010]
Read the rest of this entry »
May 19, 2010
The American Public Health Association (APHA) recently released “The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation,” a report that addresses how our nation’s current transportation system contributes to today’s soaring health costs and impedes progress toward improving public health. The APHA also released a longer background document for more detail on the research.
According to the report, “Our dependence on automobiles and roadways has profound negative impacts on human health: decreased opportunities for physical activity, and increased exposure to air pollution, and the number of traffic crashes. The health costs associated with these impacts, including costs associated with loss of work days and wages, pain and suffering, and premature death, may be as high as several hundred billion dollars.”