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Radiation Dose Comparison
Diagnostic Procedure
Typical Effective Dose (mSv)1
Number of Chest X-rays for Equivalent Dose2
Time Period for Equivalent Dose from Natural Background Radiation3
Chest X-ray (PA film)
2.4 days
Skull X-ray
8.5 days
Lumbar Spine
158 days
IV urogram
304 days
Upper GI exam
1.0 year
Barium enema
2.3 years
CT scan (head)
243 days
CT scan (abdomen)
3.3 years
1. Effect dose in millisieverts (mSv).
2. Assumes an average "effective dose" from chest X-ray (PA film) of 0.02 mSv.
3. Assumes an annual average "effective dose " from natural background radiation of 3 mSv in the US.

European Commission, Radiation Protection Report 118,
"Referral guidelines for imaging." Directorate-General for the Environment of The European Commission; 2000.

Low-cholesterol diet This is the original diet in the first scientific study:
One-Day Menu Plan for a 2,000 kcal Diet

   Menu with alternatives (superscript footnotes) provided on other days
  Breakfast   Snack Lunch
35 g Oat bran
150 g Orange 1
7g Metamucil 9
33 g Oat bran bread
8g Margarine 10
18 g Double fruit jam
250 g Soy milk
14 g Almonds
250 g Soy milk
65 g Vegetarian chili 5
67 g Oat bran bread
17 g Margarine
62 g Soy deli slices 6
80 g Tomato
150 g Orange 1
Snack Dinner Snack
14 g Almonds
7g Metamucil
250 g Soy milk
295 g Vegetable curry 7
85 g Soy burger 8
80g Northern beans 3
35 g Barley 4
100 g Okra
200 g Eggplant
200 g Cauliflower 2
80 g Onions
60 g Red pepper
175 g Soyagurt
7g Metamucil
10 g Double-fruit jam
1 Fruit alternatives: apple, pear
2 Vegetable alternatives: broccoli, carrot
3 Legume alternatives (canned): kidney bean, lentils, chickpeas
4 Four times a week
5 Lunch, soup alternatives: Lentil with curry, vegetable barley, black bean, minestrone and pasta
6 Lunch, soy alternative: hot dogs
7 Dinner, frozen meal (4 times a week) alternative: 3-bean chili
8 Dinner, soy alternatives: ground soy, tofu
9 Taken each time in 250 ml of water
10 Plant sterol margarine


When it becomes evident to all reasonable people that our current health industry needs significant reform, respect for the opinions of friends and adversaries requires that we should declare the causes which impel reform.

We believe that all men, women and children are created equal and are endowed with the right to health and well-being. To secure this right the American people have instituted a great system of democratic government. When a long train of abuses by the current health industry has made that industry destructive to the health and well-being of the people, we have a right and indeed a duty through our legitimate government to devise new options for our health insurance and for the delivery of our health care. The history of the present system of commercial health insurance is a history of repeated abuses having the direct object of enriching company stockholders and corporate executives. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a reasonable people.

1. Private insurers are prone to \"confuse their customers and dump the sick. The number of uninsured people has increased as more have fallen victim to deceptive marketing practices and bought what essentially is fake insurance.\" This according to Wendell Potter, former CIGNA executive, testifying before a recent Senate hearing June 24, 2009.

2. Large medical bills have contributed to half of bankruptcies and foreclosures.

3. American manufacturers are paying more than twice as much on health benefits as most of their foreign competitors (measured in cost per hour).

4. On the individual and small group market, women are routinely charged higher premiums than men.

5. Nearly 160 million Americans have job-based insurance, but many are just a pink slip away from joining the ranks of the uninsured.

6. Private insurers routinely deny coverage because of a preexisting condition.

7. Executives from United Health\'s Golden Rule Insurance Co., Assurant Health and WellPoint Inc. refused at a recent House hearing to stop the practice of canceling coverage of sick policyholders for an unrelated medical reason, even in cases where the firms cannot show intentional fraud by the policyholders. Boston Globe 6/25/09.

8. Fear of being sued drives doctors to defensive medicine which dramatically increases health care cost. Meanwhile, private insurers are largely protected from malpractice liability lawsuits by federal law.

9. Congressional investigators say large health insurers are relying on faulty databases to underpay valid insurance claims. The flawed databases are owned by Ingenix, a subsidiary of United Health. News Journal 6/26/09

10. Half of companies with nine or fewer workers do not currently provide employee coverage because they have to pay so much more than large corporations or the federal government for the same coverage. The total health insurance premium charged a small group employer on average is $6,500 per employee per year and $12,000 for a family. The Federal Employee Health Plan, depending on level of coverage the employee chooses, pays as little as $3,200 per employee per year and $7,100 for a family.

11. For people who work part-time or are self-employed, if they can get insurance on the individual market, premiums are on average three times higher than premiums paid by people with employer sponsored insurance.

12. Health insurance premiums are expected to increase another 9% next year.

13. A primary care doctor averages $72,675 in annual costs for fulfilling commercial insurance paperwork ($14 a visit). Health Affairs 5/09

14. By merging and stockpiling capital resources worth millions of dollars which dwarfs the resources of any physician group, they have created giant databases of patients and physicians which are then used to micromanage our medical care thereby obstructing the proper relationship between the doctor and patient.

15. CEO total compensation is outlandish. $4.7 million in 2008 to Michael McCallister at Humana, $9.0 million to Dale Wolf at Coventry Health Care, $12.2 million to H. Edward Hanway at CIGNA, and $24.3 million to Ron Williams at Aetna. Compiled from the Securities and Exchange Commission/FierceHealthcare 6/15/09

16. The current system of commercial health insurers has given us high-deductible, high-co-payment policies that are increasingly popular with employers. This has lead to disparities and indeed rationing of care by race, sex, and socioeconomic status. Annals of Internal Medicine 4/09

For over fifty years, the American people have petitioned for reform. Our repeated petitions have been answered by repeated injury. Such a commercial health insurance industry is unfit to manage the health and well-being of a free people. They have been deaf to the voices of justice and reason. We must therefore denounce the commercial health insurance industry and while they are our friends and neighbors in daily work, they are adversaries in health reform.

The way to defeat these insidious forces is to offer the American people a national public health insurance option that they can choose to buy or choose not to buy as an alternative to the current commercial health insurance plans. We therefore appeal to Senator Thomas Carper, Congressman Michael Castle, and Senator Ted Kaufman to support our right to choose a national public plan option.

Respectfully submitted by Jo Ann Fields, MD
Kent County League of Women Voters, Dover, DE

July 4, 2009