Category Archives: health care

These? all in the last century

But we know better.

In so many ways . . .

. . . we are really two different countries and the similarities to Civil War era America abound.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

And there’s this too  – the ten poorest States. I got it from a 2011 story at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze where commenters were not surprised, reasoning that that’s what Obama had done to us in just 20 months. The man worked fast!

  1. Mississippi
  2. Arkansas
  3. Tennessee
  4. West Virginia
  5. Louisiana
  6. Montana
  7. South CArolina
  8. Kentucky
  9. Alabama
  10. North Carolina

How about teen pregnancies? Below the mid point and dominating the list for ‘least teen pregnancies’, all of New England and most of the NorthEast. And what region dominates the list for ‘most teen pregnancies’? Lookee here:

STATES WITH MOST TEEN PREGNANCIES:
New Mexico – 93/1,000
Mississippi – 90/1,000
Texas – 85/1,000
Nevada – 84/1,000
Arkansas – 82/1,000
Arizona – 82/1,000
Delaware – 81/1,000
Louisiana – 80/1,000
Oklahoma – 80/1,000
Georgia – 78/1,000

STATES WITH FEWEST TEEN PREGNANCIES:
Iowa – 51/1,000
Nebraska – 50/1,000
Utah – 48/1,000
Wisconsin – 45/1,000
Maine – 43/1,000
Massachusetts – 42/1,000
North Dakota – 42/1,000
Minnesota – 42/1,000
Vermont – 38/1,000
New Hampshire – 33/1,000

How about high school dropouts by State? A pattern emerges.

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If you’re planning a journey into the health insurance exchanges . . .

. . . you might benefit from visiting  Health Sherpa, given the Looking-Glass world of health insurance at present. Since I don’t need insurance, I didn’t go deeply in, but it looks like a very very useful tool.

They describe themselves thusly:

The Health Sherpa is a free guide that makes it easier to find and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We only use carefully vetted, publicly available data.

The Health Sherpa is not affiliated with any lobby, trade group or government agency and has no political agenda.

 

He doens’t look so dead to me.

Aha. Jim Inhofe is 78 years old and has been on Medicare, a truly socialized medical insurance plan, for 13 years. inhofe

It’s all about the little guy

https://i1.wp.com/newsbusters.org/sites/default/files/main_photos/2013/August/Hannity%20Limbaugh%20O%27Reilly.jpghttps://i1.wp.com/blogs.kansas.com/weblog/files/kochs7.jpg

Never doubt that these people care deeply about the vast swath of Americans who believe their every word! Never doubt it!

They know America will be destroyed if everyone can afford health care for their kids. Destroyed I tell you!

And, according to them, they’ll save us from health care, a dismal fate, and they are brave. Brave I tell you!

  • Rush Limbaugh – NET WORTH $400 million
  • Sean Hannity – NET WORTH $39 million
  • Rick Scott – NET WORTH $85 million (down from a reported $250 million in 2010 after he spent $75 million of his own money on his 2010 campaign for FL governor and since it’s rumored he’ll spend $100 million of his own money for the 2014 election . . . puzzling numbers but then I was never very good at math.)
  • Koch brothers – NET WORTH more billions that I can count
  • Sarah Palin – NET WORTH $16 million
  • Rupert Murdoch – NET WORTH $13 billion
  • Donald Trump – NET WORTH $150 million
  • Anne Coulter – NET WORTH $9 million
  • Glenn Beck – NET WORTH $150 million
  • Dick Cheney – NET WORTH $12 million
  • Bill O’Reilly – NET WORTH $75 million
  • Newt Gingrich – NET WORTH $7 million (which is a disgrace since he’s earned $100 million since he left government)

 

Repeating myself, but . . .

Interesting that President Barry made this exact point yesterday. I guess he’s reading my Facebook feed cuz I said this on Monday in a comment thread – and in a post here. And I wish he’d said it sooner.

Obamacare is the law, as passed by the Congress, signed by the President, upheld by the US Supreme Court, and reaffirmed by the American people when they re-elected that President. That’s the way the US gov’t is designed to work. Half of those who tell pollsters they disapprove do so because it doesn’t go far enough – they wanted a single payer plan. The demand to defund or delay Obamacare comes from a single branch (and only a small minority of that branch) trying to undo – by holding hostage – a law created in the way designed by the Constitution.

 

So much for polls

Offered without comment:

While the House burns like Atlanta . . .

UPDATED BELOW: From Forbes magazine this morning:

But a new survey of 1,976 registered voters finds that only 33 percent believe that the health law should be repealed, delayed, or defunded. 29 percent believe that “Congress should make changes to improve the law,” 26 percent believe that “Congress should let the law take effect” and see what happens, and 12 percent believe that the law should be expanded. The bottom line? Voters are skeptical that Obamacare will live up to Democrats’ hype. But they also believe that it should be given a chance to succeed.

Universal health care (which Obamacare is most assuredly not – at least not yet) has been a political objective, indeed a platform goal, of the Democratic Party  since Truman (Teddy Roosevelt and Nixon liked it too). So it has been a stated goal of at least half this nation for decades. It is now the law, as passed by the Congress, signed by the President, upheld by the US Supreme Court, and reaffirmed by the American people when they re-elected the President who sponsored it. That’s exactly the way our Federal government was designed to work.

The House GOP is not pursuing the will of the American people, they are pursuing a Party objective. They forget that they are only one of three branches of government (and only half of that branch!). 

Our Founders knew well to build in protections against a tyranny of the minority. UPDATE: commenter Alan Scott points out – correctly – that I am wrong here. Our Founders built in protections against a Tyranny of MAJORITY. My bad.

The minority half of one branch of our government is on the wrong side of this.

It’s this way because we want it this way

universalhealthcare_posterFrom Bloombery News, this is something that’s been screamingly obvious, and widely known. It has, however, been barred from any examination of American health care reforms. Because Denial isn’t just a streetcar, it is a national state of mind.

Americans are dying sooner and living with more illnesses than residents of Slovenia and other less prosperous countries . . . the U.S. is getting a poor return on money it spends on health care.

. . . lose more years of life to heart disease, lung cancer, preterm birth complications, diabetes and more . . . than most of 34 other developed countries from 1990 to 2010..

The study comes from the famously socialist Journal of the American Medical Association.

The U.S. failed to keep up with other nations in improvements in health care despite spending most per capita . . . U.S. death rate fell to 27th place in 2010 from 18th place in 1990.

Anything here you didn’t already know about?

Terry Schiavo redux!

Here is today’s outrage – from the Washington Examiner:

lung

According to some of the usual noisemakers on the right, a Cabinet Secretary is the appropriate person to make decisions about who gets organ transplants and who doesn’t.

If the regulation in question were waived, 20 more children (including three at the same hospital) would be added to the regular ‘adult’ lung waiting list, which currently has 1600 people on it. So for this kid to get the lung, a political appointee would have to put her at the front of the list based on – what? Because it would be caring? Thoughtful? Because of a mother’s grief?

The guns, the doctors and the utter nonsense being repeated as fact

Snuggling with #4

Snuggling with #4

As penance for some less than cordial behavior I exhibited over the weekend toward someone who was in the particular instance totally blameless, but had nevertheless been asking for it for a long time . . . as penance, this morning I exposed myself without any protection to a full five minutes of poisonous rant from the morbidly obese, four times married, indicted drug user, college dropout and all around moralist Mr. Rush Limbaugh, that arbiter of all things right and proper.

He had his size XXXXLLLL underwear in a knot – doctors! are! again! required! to! go! after! the! guns!  They must tell Obama. And name names. The ‘authorities’ said so. (the whole silly transcript is here under the headline “Regime deputizes gun-snitch doctors”).

Bet you didn’t know that long, long ago, doctors were required to inquire of their patients about whether there are firearms in the home. And to report. To the authorities. Whoever they are.

Who knew? Not me. Never heard of it. But there it was, hidden from us all until  Obamacare, which has now been revealed to be just a ploy to get our guns. Or something.

(Recently, some brave governors have gotten laws passed to put a stop to this outrage! The courts are slapping down the governors right and left but what else can we expect – they are, after all ‘in on it’.)

Writing about this stuff doesn’t capture the depth of the looney. But I must continue my penance to its logical conclusion and take words of Rush, from the mouth itself, and show them to be nothing but his brand of million-bucks-a-minute tonic for the rubes.

Sayeth the chubby one (after some cautiously phrased qualifiers):

So now doctors are being ordered  . . . to get information from them about gun ownership . . .   Doctors are now, quote, unquote, “permitted,” unquote, to do this. It makes ’em deputies, agents of the state. Look at the position this puts the doctors in  [if they don’t report].  The doctors are now under the thumb of Obamacare.  They had better comply.

And Rush gives us some history:

What’s happening here is this. For the longest time doctors have been required to ask parents and kids about this. I remember when this started, doctors were instructed to ask kids to rat out their parents on guns they had. That’s some years ago.

Total nonsense. The American Association of Pediatrics, as a policy (not a requirement) urges its practitioners to counsel parents of young children about the dangers of firearms in the home. There is no reporting requirement. The government is not involved in any way. The AAP guidelines are here.

On to where the ACLU is per FatBoy:

 Don’t ask me where the ACLU is.  I mean, anything to get rid of guns, the ACLU’s right there. Leftists are leftists, and that comes first with them.

Where the ACLU actually is, per their own website:

For seven decades, the Supreme Court’s 1939 decision in United States v. Miller was widely understood to have endorsed that view [guns are about militia, not about an individual right].

The Supreme Court has now ruled otherwise. In striking down Washington D.C.’s handgun ban by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in D.C. v. Heller held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, whether or not associated with a state militia.

The ACLU disagrees . . . . We do not, however, take a position on gun control itself. In our view, neither the possession of guns nor the regulation of guns raises a civil liberties issue.

This doctor/guns/government nonsense has been circulating via mass emails from the fringe for some time now. (A related history here from Snopes.) I first heard of it a few weeks ago when a family member informed me that this has been going on and that doctors have been helping the guvmint build a database so they can – let’s say it together – get! the! guns!

Meh but I’m tired of this.

The best medical disclaimer evah!

Send the children from the room before you read this!

I notice that the pharmaceutical industry has invented itself a new medical condition called ‘low T’ for which they – remarkably – have cures at hand. And for sale.

Something else they have is sublime confidence – confidence that their target customer will not be deterred. Confidence that even this disclaimer (for Axiron, a topical testosterone) won’t stop the rush to the pharmacy:

Signs of puberty that are not expected (for example, pubic hair) have happened in young children who were accidentally exposed to testosterone through skin to skin contact with men using topical testosterone products like AXIRON. Women and children should avoid contact with the unwashed or unclothed area where AXIRON has been applied. If a woman or child makes contact with the application area, the contact area on the woman or child should be washed well with soap and water right away.

Stop using AXIRON and call your healthcare provider right away if you see any signs and symptoms in a child or a woman that may have occurred through accidental exposure to AXIRON. Signs and symptoms in children may include enlarged penis or clitoris; early development of pubic hair; increased erections or sex drive; aggressive behavior. Signs and symptoms in women may include changes in body hair and a large increase in acne.

Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should avoid contact with the area of skin where AXIRON has been applied.

Other risks:

  • Possible increased risk of prostate cancer.
  •  In large doses AXIRON may lower your sperm count.
  • Swelling of your ankles, feet, or body.
  • Enlarged or painful breasts.
  • Problems breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea).
  • Blood clots in the legs. This can include pain, swelling or redness of your legs.

The most common adverse events include: headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and increase in blood level of Prostate Specific Antigen. Other side effects include more erections than are normal for you or erections that last a long time.

And the most amazing of all the side effect warnings is this one:

AXIRON is flammable until dry. Let AXIRON dry before smoking or going near an open flame.

How can this even be legal?

The year in review?

In a comment thread below, reader Jim Wheeler – a thoughtful and sassy man with whom I share certain generational allegiances – offers some new bumper stickers for 2012. Roll the presses . . .

“Guns don’t kill people, they make it easier to kill a lot more people.”

“I can’t fathom that I live in a society that considers gun ownership to be a right, but health care to be a privilege.”

Got any more?

A good speech at last

Alright, I’ve only seen a few of tonight’s speeches but nothing excited me till just now, when Sister something-or-other of Nuns on the Bus  did a bit of much needed barn burning. She was wonderful, joyous, generous and very mischevious. Thank you Sister.

As Catholic Sisters, we must speak out against the current House Republican budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Hell-o-o-o . . .

The Republican presidential ticket is planning to save Medicare from the mean Democrats who are trying to take it away.

If this works, we’re toast.

Solving our nation’s problems: any semblance of rational thought has now left the room

At a fundraiser in Israel, Mitt Romney marveled at how little Israel spends on health care relative to the United States. He was jealous and wished we could find a way to contain our costs like they have. He probably likes the quality of their health care too – Israel ranks #18 in life expectancy; we’re #50.

Israel has had completely socialized health care since they became a nation 65 years ago.

“When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation,” Romney told donors at a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, speaking of a health care system that is compulsory for Israelis and funded by the government. “We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways, not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care costs.

But, but, but  f-r-e-e-d-o-m !  (Or maybe you could just look around you Mitt.)

Just make it stop

What is it with these Republican men?  They’re at it again in Congress because  apparently contraception is still the enemy of freedom.

A Letter to the Editor in my paper a few weeks ago provided a nice list of religious beliefs and rules that are ignored, indeed violated,  by civil law:

  • The Catholic ban on divorce
  • Muslim and Jewish laws about women and children
  • Buddhist and HIndu prohibitions against killing animals
  • Capital punishment
  • Quakers and conscientious objectors pay taxes that finance wars
  • Christian Scientist pay taxes to support medical care they abjure.

This isn’t the first time, is it? I think he ‘threatened’ this before.

Exactly: “The Roberts Court is born”

And this is why I always thought the Chief Justice would find a way to uphold Obamacare.

 Had Obamacare been voided, it would have inevitably led to charges of aggressive judicial activism.  Roberts peered over the abyss and decided he didn’t want to go there.

Roberts’ decision was consistent with his confirmation hearings pledge to respect the co-equal branches of government, push for consensus, and reach narrow rulings designed to build broad coalitions on the Court. He promised to respect precedent. His jurisprudence, he said, would be marked by “modesty and humility” and protection of the precious institutional legitimacy of the Court.

Today, the institutional legitimacy of the Court was buttressed. President Obama wasn’t the only winner at the Supreme Court today. So was the Supreme Court itself.

So this case was the one where he finally decided to adhere to those oft stated principles, which he’s previously ignored. But he has also expressed the hope that he could loosen the partisan divide on the Court, reduce the number of 5-4  votes, and has said he would like more unanimous decisions.

I don’t think Canada will want you, guys. You might try Somalia. Or Yemen.

Reminds me of when one of my brothers proclaimed he was moving to Ireland during Clinton Administration to escape the  awful tax burden here and all teh socialism. But then he found out, you know . . .

Now this – lots and lots of this. Bye-bye.

 

Anything else you want to ask me?

It’s been an unbloggy week, but I think I managed to say this on Monday:

(I’m staying out on my limb – I think Roberts votes for Obamacare. And if he does, so does Kennedy.)

Yup. That’s what I said. Gotta go. CNN’s calling.

(Whoops. My bad. Kennedy dissented.)

Think of it this way

If the Supremes overturn the ACA, four justices appointed by Republican presidents will have voted in lock step with Congressional Republicans, not one of whom voted for the bill.

(I’m staying out on my limb – I think Roberts votes for Obamacare. And if he does, so does Kennedy.)

Governor Voldemort has a better idea because he knows all about health care.

My Gov don’t like him none of that Muslim-Keynan Obamacare stuff. He’s no fan of Medicare/Medicaid either (even though his criminal abuse of both made him and his co-conspirators millions). Nevertheless, we the people chose him to run things here in Florida, trusting, I assume, that he’d gotten ethically born-again.

He knows – made it clear on Day One – that Obamacare is not for Florida and so has refused to institute any of the legally mandated reforms. He has a better idea. States, he says:

. . . can do a better job . . . we should have 50 laboratories to see which is the best approach.

Yeah, that’ll work.

Here’s a little summary of his earlier career as head of Columbia/HCA (that’s Health Corporation of America):

On March 19, 1997, investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities in El Paso and on dozens of doctors with suspected ties to the company.[21] The Columbia/HCA board of directors pressured Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO following the inquiry.[22]He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million.[23][24][25] In 1999, Columbia/HCA changed its name back to HCA, Inc.

I always like that getting rewarded with $10million dollars for screwing up your company part. It’s the new American way you know. Also, job creators.

In the settlements,  Columbia/HCA pled guilty and agreed to a $600+ million fine in the largest fraud settlement in US history. They admitted systematically overcharging the government . . . They also admitted fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA. They filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare . . .  In addition, they gave doctors “loans” never intending to be repaid, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.

That ‘overcharging the government’ part? That’s us, that’s taxpayer money he stole.

In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the U.S. government $631 million, plus interest, and pay $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims.[26]In all, civil law suits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle, by far the largest fraud settlement in US history.[27]

 

Why we’re fat: it started a long long time ago. And never let up.

Let the fittest survive . . . and get rich. USA! USA! USA!

An interesting graph from a column in the venerable Journal of the America Medical Association (JAMA) : it details who is covered by Medicaid, the program Paul Ryan described as “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency”.

The largest group covered by Medicaid by far is children. The second biggest group, adults, contains large numbers of pregnant women. Medicaid covers about 40% of births in the United States. The third largest group includes people who are blind or disabled. That leaves what are known as dual eligibles. Those are elderly people who are so poor that they receive both Medicaid and Medicare benefits.

If I’m reading this chart correctly, while children constitute the largest constituency, the blind/disabled receive the most dollars.

(link is from a Paul Krugman column)

Donald Trump: pretend conserative, genuine liberal but opportunism always comes first

(Narcissist that I am), I’ve been perusing old posts here at Whatever Works (actually, I am trying – without much success – to find something).

My browsing brought me back to this one. It’s from last April when Donald Trump was flirting with being the most-powerful-man-in-the-whole-widest-world, while simultaneously planning his epic expose to prove Obama’s really a secret KENYAN!

But he wasn’t always on Sean Hannity’s ‘A’ List. Here’s the pre-birther Donald:

“By imposing a one-time 14.25 percent net-worth tax on the richest individuals and trusts, we can put America on sound financial footing for the next century.”Writing in his book, The America We Deserve, January 2000

“I’ve been around for a long time. And it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” –Interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, March 2004

Bush is probably the worst president in the history of the United States.”Interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, March 2007

“I’m totally pro-choice.”Interview with Fox News Sunday, October 1999

“I want to see the abortion issue removed from politics. I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors.”Remarks to reporters, December 1999

“I’m very liberal when it comes to health care. I believe in universal health care.”Interview with CNN’s Larry King, October 1999.

“The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans… We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan.”Writing in his book, The America We Deserve, January 2000

Because they’re all out to get us

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE:
In the comments, David links to this (the defense part). I’m looking to tie dollars to that and to health care. It’s out there. Spending on defense, by country (the top ten by US$billions):

Ah, but did Hitler diddle little boys?

From a recent homily by Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria (unfortunate name that):

[some governments] “tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches . . . Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services and health care . . . In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda – now seems intent on following a similar path.”

So . . . comprehensive health care / ethic cleansing and genocide . . . not very different actually.

 

You have to love Investors Business Daily

Rick Perry and Herman Cain went home, but we still have these guys – to wit, today’s editorial:

Is Obama ‘Dangerously Close To Totalitarianism’?

Given the president’s end-runs around Congress, his shredding of the Constitution and his assault on the authority of the courts, a second term free of electoral restraints may be a frightening prospect.

Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News commentator, raised the question on Neil Cavuto’s “Your World” show Wednesday. And while it seems fanciful in light of the safeguards built into our democracy and its institutions, it recognizes the threat posed by the president’s policies and actions if left unchecked.

“I think the president is dangerously close to totalitarianism,” Napolitano opined. “A few months ago he was saying, ‘The Congress doesn’t count, the Congress doesn’t mean anything, I am going to rule by decree and by administrative regulation.’

“Now he’s basically saying the Supreme Court doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter what they think. They can’t review our legislation. That would leave just him as the only branch of government standing.”

I guess Judge Napolitano has a poor memory*, something I understand completely as I am deficient in that way myself. Which is why I don’t opine on the teevee about how Obama is doing stuff that’s never been done in our history. (*see previous post.)

IBD has cleverly provided itself with some cover – by putting that headline in the form of a question. So they can always claim that: “We didn’t say that! We said Napolitano said that! We just wondered if it was true!”

Take to the fainting couches! Obama criticized the Court!

(Apologies to someone – I grabbed this Daily Kos link from a blogfriend and have now lost track. So whoever put this up before me, thanks. Nice catch.)

Sen Mitch McConnell now:

“The president crossed a dangerous line this week,” read McConnell’s prepared remarks. “And anyone who cares about liberty needs to call him out on it. The independence of the court must be defended.” […]

So, some ‘reporters’ decided to visit the way back machine to see just where this ‘line’ not to be crossed falls.

Candidate Ronald Reagan then:

… campaigning in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, Reagan blasted the court’s most recent abortion ruling as “an abuse of power as bad as the transgression of Watergate and the bribery on Capitol Hill.” …

Reagan administration then:

Attorney General William French Smith accused the federal courts of “constitutionally dubious and unwise intrusions upon the legislative domain,” and vowed to oppose such “subjective judicial policymaking.” […]

President George W. Bush then:

For the judiciary, resisting this temptation is particularly important, because it’s the only branch that is unelected and whose officers serve for life. Unfortunately, some judges give in to temptation and make law instead of interpreting. Such judicial lawlessness is a threat to our democracy—and it needs to stop.

And oh yeah, the good Senator had few words back then too (about the Schiavo case):

MCCONNELL: I don’t know. These are findings of fact that presumably the court, had it looked at it de novo from the beginning, which is what we granted the federal courts the authority to do, could have taken into account

[Between the lines – the Court overstepped ‘what we granted the federal courts the authority to do’?].

(there’s more at the link from lesser lights.)