Tag Archives | Health Care
With conservative politicians riding high on their broad electoral success, red-dominated regions of the country are already considering sweeping changes: in Texas, lawmakers are debating the possibility of opting out of the federal Medicaid program. Will this mark the start of a trend of right-wing states, fed up with the federal government, seeking to withdraw and “go it alone”? From the Texas Tribune:
Some Republican lawmakers — still reveling in Tuesday’s statewide election sweep — are proposing an unprecedented solution to the state’s estimated $25 billion budget shortfall: dropping out of the federal Medicaid program.
Far-right conservatives are offering that possibility in post-victory news conferences. Moderate Republicans are studying it behind closed doors. And the party’s advisers on health care policy say it’s being discussed more seriously than ever, though they admit it may be as much a huge in-your-face to Washington as anything else.
“With Obamacare mandates coming down, we have a situation where we cannot reduce benefits or change eligibility” to cut costs, said State Rep.
Ben Smith writes on the Politico: “This slickly-produced new ad from Citizens Against Government Waste — in a major national buy, I’m told — attacks spending in the Mandarin-speaking voice of a gloating, future Chinese professor.”
Are CGI babies shilling for big insurance corporations? Mike McIntire of the New York Times did a little research and here’s what he had to say. It’s good stuff, so please do read it through to the end!
It was the wisecracking baby who caught my attention.
Sitting on a living room carpet and addressing the camera in a dubbed voice that growls like a Vegas bookie, he tells viewers, “Gramps is sad — Obama cut $455 billion from his Medicare.” He warns of dire consequences from the health insurance overhaul if voters do not take action in November.
“I don’t know what smells worse,” the little guy huffs, “my diaper or this new bill.”
A sign-off informs the television audience that this high-minded piece of issue advocacy was paid for by the “Coalition to Protect Seniors.”
I wonder how its bedside manners are? Probably less important than that it presumably is not subject to human error, hangovers, working without sleep for days, etc. From Fast Company:
Paging Dr. 3PO. One day soon robots could performing routine procedures in the OR.
Bioengineers at Duke University announced yesterday that they’ve created a robot that can “locate a man-made, or phantom, lesion in simulated human organs, guide a device to the lesion and take multiple samples during a single session,” all without a doctor’s supervision. Researchers hope these developments could one day lead to robots working autonomously on basic surgical operations.
Nicknamed the Biopsy Bot, the robot relies on 3-D and…
One of the positive things about the recession era is that it’s inspiring people to get creative — for instance, by performing their own minor surgeries, using how-to videos from YouTube. The Globe and Mail reports:
Before, doctors worried about patients who self-diagnosed after doing Internet research on questionable medical websites. But the social Web has given birth to a new beast: users who document their DIY medical procedures on camera and share the videos on YouTube.
Doug Southern would have preferred to see a doctor, but bad timing meant he was without health insurance. He was laid off from his job a short while before a three-year-old baseball-sized cyst on his back became infected.
When his brother-in-law, a family practitioner, and his sister came to visit him in Tuscaloosa, Ala., he decided to put down a towel and pillow on his kitchen floor and turn it into a makeshift operating room so his cyst could be taken out “Alabama style.”
The graphic, seven-minute YouTube video is punctuated with squeals of delight and revulsion from Mr.
I thought hospitals were supposed to make people healthier … I guess big business is big business, but can’t we agree to leave our drinking water alone? David Gutierrez writes on Natural News:
Five health care facilities have signed an agreement with the New York Attorney General’s Office to settle charges that they polluted the state’s watersheds by dumping pharmaceutical products down sinks and toilets.
In 2008, an Associated Press investigation revealed that the drinking water consumed by more than one-sixth of the U.S. population is contaminated with trace (but potentially biologically active) amounts of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. While some of these chemicals enter sewage systems after being excreted by people taking the drugs, many of them were traced back to a common practice in hospitals and other health-care facilities: disposing of unused pharmaceuticals by flushing them down sinks or toilets.
After state tests of New York watersheds revealed widespread pharmaceutical contamination, the Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation.
Claire Sibonney writes in Reuters via Yahoo News:
Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, kicked off a fierce battle with drug companies and pharmacies when it said earlier this year it would halve generic drug prices and eliminate “incentive fees” to generic drug manufacturers.
British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit — an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.
And a few provinces are also experimenting with private funding for procedures such as hip, knee and cataract surgery. It’s likely just a start as the provinces, responsible for delivering healthcare, cope with the demands of a retiring baby-boom generation.
Change you can believe in? Think again. Not as long as the insurance companies get to write the bills in Washington. Paul Harwood writes on MichaelMoore.com:
I caught Lawrence O’Donnell interviewing Michael Moore [on Countdown With Keith Olbermann] about health care.
Because I’m unemployed and so have time on my hands, and because there were so many bizarre claims about the contents of the HCR bill being tossed around during the debate, I’d already spent time spelunking through the depths of the bill … and so my ears perked up when I heard him saying this:
MOORE: If the insurance company is caught denying somebody because of a preexisting condition … their fine, according to this new law, is $100 a day. One hundred dollars. Now, do you think they’re going to take the fine, or do you think they’re going to pay thousands of dollars to help you if you have cancer?
From Nick Pell’s article “Hate To Say I Told Ya So” from the Black Sun Gazette:
And that’s not just a cliche. I hate being right about this shit. Believe me, nothing would make me happier than feeling like I could cheerlead for the Democrats or some broad-based left formation. It would certainly make my life a lot easier and I might be able to declare a “victory” from time to time. The sad fact is that the Democrats and the left groups who apologize for them are not merely misguided souls on the same team as me. Nor are they merely deceivers who mislead the working class. Rather, they are active participants in attacking the working class, their living standards and working conditions.
Case in point: Not only will the health care bill leave four million people uninsured — to say nothing of the people paying too much for sub-standard coverage — it will fine them for the privilege.