Health Care

Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and public-health researcher, states what most of us already know: there is a tremendous amount of unnecessary, costly and unpleasant medical care taking place throughout the healthcare…








From AP on Youtube: Lincoln Hospital in New York City has started a new program that allows artists to trade their talents for health care. For every hour they work at the hospital, the artists will receive $40 of credit towards their health care.




254668516_97856d3d0fThe New York Times reports on a new model of emergency care—debt collectors posing as medical staff:

Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside.

This and other aggressive tactics by one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debts, Accretive Health, were revealed on Tuesday by the Minnesota attorney general, raising concerns that such practices have become common at hospitals across the country.

To patients, the debt collectors may look indistinguishable from hospital employees, may demand they pay outstanding bills and may discourage them from seeking emergency care at all. The attorney general, Lori Swanson, also said that Accretive employees may have broken the law by not clearly identifying themselves as debt collectors…


Antonin ScaliaCan’t make this stuff up. Reid Pillifant writes on Capital New York:

To some longtime observers of the Supreme Court, the surprising part of yesterday’s oral argument wasn’t that Justice Anthony Kennedy critically questioned the individual mandate; it was the harshly skeptical tone from Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia, one of the court’s most outspoken characters, has long been an originalist villain to those on the left, but there was a distinct strain of thought, at least among some constitutional scholars, that he might be inclined to look favorably upon the Affordable Care Act.

That idea rested primarily on his concurrence in Gonzales v. Raich, a 2005 case out of California, in which the court found that the federal government’s power to regulate interstate commerce extended to marijuana that was grown at home solely for personal consumption…






Call for solidarity from the UK! Poverty pimps and well known corporate slime Atos Origin have taken their harassment of disabled people one step further by using flaky legal threats to censor…


Via Modern Mythology: (Update: Since writing this entry, I recently discovered a Mother Jones article informing me that the Republican/Tea Party Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, founded a company called SOLANTIC that specializes…







Pharma DrugsKyle Wagner writes on Gizmodo:

Everyone’s cracked wise about cheerful voices in commercials telling us that an erectile dysfunction drug might make you blind, but have you ever read the full list of side effects? Prescription medication labels average an insane 70 possible side effects, according to a new study.

The study examined 5,600 medications, and found the worst offenders to be antidepressants, antiviral medications, and restless leg syndrome medications treatments. One especially ridiculous drug listed 525. The exhaustive lists fly in the face of FDA guidelines asking drug companies to keep the lists manageable. Obviously, 525 is a preposterous number of side effects to list on a label, but isn’t it just as concerning that we’re prescribing drugs that could go wrong in 500 different ways?


Created by Dorothy via Sad And Useless:

Toy SoldierSays Dorothy:

The hell of war comes home. In July 2009 Colorado Springs Gazettea published a two-part series entitled “Casualties of War”. The articles focused on a single battalion based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, who since returning from duty in Iraq had been involved in brawls, beatings, rapes, drunk driving, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping and suicides. Returning soldiers were committing murder at a rate 20 times greater than other young American males. A separate investigation into the high suicide rate among veterans published in the New York Times in October 2010 revealed that three times as many California veterans and active service members were dying soon after returning home than those being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. We hear little about the personal hell soldiers live through after returning home.