09 January 2011
AAPSOnline Covering Its Tracks
by: Dark Wraith
A brief article at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer calls attention
to a strange little side story (perhaps) related to the assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. It has to do with a YouTube video of one of those Tea Party "protests" at a health care reform town meeting hosted by Rep. Giffords. First, the video got marked "private" by someone associated with it, and now it has been removed entirely. What's even stranger is that, according to the SeattlePI
post, the YouTube channel on which the video was being hosted was from the "AAPSOnline
." That's the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
, a "conservative" political advocacy group
involved in activities ranging from legal challenges to the federal healthcare reform legislation enacted last year to publication of articles linking illegal immigration to increased incidence of leprosy. The AAPS has also published articles claiming that legislation addressing climate change could be a threat to human health.
Wait. What? Yes, go to the AAPSOnline YouTube Channel and have a look at some of the issues that obsess this seemingly legitimate little group.
Despite a general willingness to publish rather questionable content, the AAPS apparently determined that something in that scrubbed video
wasn't good PR right now.
07 January 2011
Goppers Want to Gut Healthcare Reform - Let's Start with Theirs!
by: Anna Van Z
I'm no fan of the existing health care reform legislation, because it didn't go far enough in most areas, and too far in one way - requiring individuals to buy health insurance from corporate insurers.
At the very least, there should have been a public option; ideally, they should have simply expanded Medicare and allowed any citizen to buy Medicare coverage if they wanted or needed to. And whoever wanted to keep their corporate plan would be free to do so. This would have been an affordable option for most, and coverage subsidies could have been implemented for the poorest citizens. This would have resulted in for-profit insurance providers implementing competitive rates real quick!
But as usual, Obama and the Democrats gave away the farm before even sitting down to negotiate. As a result, what ended up passing is little more than an insurance industry bonanza. The idea that what resulted is somehow government health care (or socialism) is beyond absurd. There is nothing even remotely "socialized" about it - that's what's wrong with it.
Having said that, I'm against repug plans to rip it apart without any plan to replace it. They don't give a rat's ass if millions of Americans lack access to health care, or that thousands of Americans die every year
because of it (those "pro-life" values, doncha know). It's just that goppers hate it when taxpayer money goes to anyone but their corporate masters and the ultra-rich investor class.
I also think it's the very pinnacle of hypocrisy of for a congress of multi-millionaires who enjoy government-paid health care FOR LIFE, at our expense, to bitch about the rest of us getting some help with the utter racket that passes for health care in America.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager of CREDO Action says, "For two years, GOP leaders in Congress fought tooth and nail to oppose health care reform. They did their best to keep tens of millions without coverage, decrying any effort to help citizens as "socialist," "fascist" or some other equally baffling "ist."
Incredibly, now that they are the majority, their first act will be to vote to repeal health care reform that gives affordable care to 32 million Americans.
And yet, when it comes to their own coverage, Republicans in Congress are not only using government-sponsored health care, they even whined about having had to wait for it.
As the Republicans are gearing up to repeal health care reform for Americans who need it, Senator Chuck Schumer is calling the GOP on their hypocrisy, and calling on them to give up their government-sponsored health care:
"It was a central value to us when we passed health care, and a central value to the American people, that members of Congress should get the same health care as everyone else. It seems unfair that house Republicans want to deprive middle-class Americans of the same health care as members of Congress but to keep it for themselves."
"Will Eric Cantor urge every Republican who is going to be for repeal to not take government health care themselves and to drop their existing health care?"
We think he should, and applaud Schumer for his challenge. Write Eric Cantor, and ask him if he will practice what he preaches — and ask other GOP members to do the same." Click here
to sign this petition.
31 August 2010
by: Peter of Lone Tree"With a number of polls showing a sustained level of opposition to the Democrats’ health care reform efforts more than five months after passage, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the Obama administration has 'a lot of reeducation to do' heading into the midterms."
Sebelius: Time for 'Reeducation' on Obama Health Care Law
Maybe those who refuse to be reeducated will be beaten to death.
13 April 2010
Karma Creeps Up
by: Foiled Goil
Well now, this is certainly interesting:
CRS: Members of Congress May No Longer Have Health Insurance!
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, it turns out that very same members of Congress who voted for this bill may have unintentionally stripped themselves of their own health insurance, with nothing to replace it until 2014.
From the New York Times:
The law apparently bars members of Congress from the federal employees health program, on the assumption that lawmakers should join many of their constituents in getting coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.
But the research service found that this provision was written in an imprecise, confusing way, so it is not clear when it takes effect.
The new exchanges do not have to be in operation until 2014. But because of a possible "drafting error," the report says, Congress did not specify an effective date for the section excluding lawmakers from the existing program.
Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, "a law takes effect on the date of its enactment" unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law. The law was enacted when President Obama signed it three weeks ago.
From comments, Here's the relevant part of the law:
(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.—'this subtitle' refers to the containing subtitle which is the section that sets up the exchanges. And the exchanges don't exist until 2014.
(i) REQUIREMENT.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are—
(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or
(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).
I have to go ROF and LMAO, now.
30 March 2010
Reconciliation Act Signed
by: Foiled Goil
Today, President Obama signed into law H R 4872
, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
, which was passed by the Senate and the House last week
Senate bill H R 3590
, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
, was passed on March 21, 2010
and signed into law on March 23, 2010
"A Great Battle Pitting the Interests of the Banks and Financial Institutions Against the Interests of Students"
Today at Northern Virginia Community College, President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, the last step on health reform that provided fixes for some elements and which improved upon the core health reforms by increasing tax credits for the middle class, investing in community health centers, and strengthening efforts to fight waste and fraud. [snip]
President Obama Signs Historic Health Care and Education Legislation
The President explained that the government will reinvest the savings back into education by upgrading community colleges, increasing Pell Grants, and making it easier for responsible students to pay off their loans. Brian Levine from the Middle Class Task Force explains how the Income Based Repayment program will benefit students and help borrowers avoid unmanageable debt burdens here. [snip]
Joined by Dr. Jill Biden, who spoke on the boost for community colleges in a video here earlier today, the President explained that this law takes another important step to invest in the country's future through education:
For a long time, our student loan system has worked for banks and financial institutions. Today, we’re finally making our student loan system work for students and our families. But we’re also doing something more.
From the moment I was sworn into office, I’ve spoken about the urgent need for us to lay a new foundation for our economy and for our future. And two pillars of that foundation are health care and education, and each has long suffered from problems that we chose to kick down the road.
With the bill I signed last week, we finally undertook meaningful reform of our health care system. With this bill, and other steps we’ve pursued over the last year, we are finally undertaking meaningful reform in our higher education system. So this week, we can rightly say the foundation on which America’s future will be built is stronger than it was one year ago.
Legislation will end government subsidies to banks for guaranteed federal student loans and free nearly $68 billion for college affordability and deficit reduction
Today, President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which delivered a significant down payment on the President’s ambitious agenda to make higher education more affordable and help more Americans earn a college degree.
Making Higher Education More Affordable
This legislation strengthens the Pell Grant program, invests in community colleges, extends support for Historically Black Colleges and other Minority Serving Institutions, and helps student borrowers manage their student loan debt by capping repayments at 10% of their discretionary income. These efforts will be fully paid for by ending the government subsidies currently given to banks and other financial institutions that make guaranteed federal student loans and free up nearly $68 billion for college affordability and deficit reduction over the next 11 years. [snip]
This historic law:
* Invests more than $40 billion in Pell Grants to ensure that all eligible students receive an award and that these awards are increased in future years to help keep pace with the rising cost of college. These investments, coupled with the funding provided in the Recovery Act and the President’s first two budgets, will more than double the total amount of funding available for Pell Grants since President Obama took office.
* Ensures that Americans can afford their student loan payments by expanding the existing income-based student loan repayment program. New borrowers who assume loans after July 1, 2014, will be able to cap their student loan repayments at 10 percent of their discretionary income and, if they keep up with their payments over time, will have the balance forgiven after 20 years.
* Includes $2 billion over four years for community colleges to develop, improve, and provide education and career training programs. President Obama also asked Dr. Jill Biden to host a White House Summit on Community Colleges this fall to provide an opportunity for community college leaders, students, education experts, business leaders, and others to share innovative ways to educate our way to a better economy. Click HERE for a link to a video from the Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden.
Starting July 1, all new federal student loans will be direct loans, delivered and collected by private companies under performance-based contracts with the Department of Education. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, ending these wasteful subsidies will free up nearly $68 billion for college affordability and deficit reduction over the next 11 years.
Click HERE for more information and fact sheets on this historic legislation.
This legislation means $40 billion more dollars in the Pell Grant program to ensure that eligible students receive an award, and that awards increase to keep pace with rising tuition. And a $2 billion investment over four years for community colleges to develop, improve, and provide education and career training programs. Students will be able to choose to limit their student loan payments to 10% of their income, with any remaining balance forgiven after 20 years. And public service workers can have their loans forgiven after 10 years.
Remarks by the President and Dr. Jill Biden at Signing of Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act
Because special interests have been benefiting from taxpayer subsidies for too long, we’re cutting out the middlemen by ending government subsidies currently given to banks and other financial institutions that make guaranteed federal student loans. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, ending these wasteful subsidies will free up nearly $68 billion for college affordability and deficit reduction over the next 11 years. So these investments are not only paid for, but they’ll reduce the deficit in the long run.
Because of the legislation enacted today, we’re finally undertaking meaningful reform to our education system and making college more affordable and accessible.
For more information on these federal student aid programs, please go to www.studentaid.ed.gov, or call 1-800-4FED-AID.
25 March 2010
Congress Passes Reconciliation Act
by: Foiled GoilH R 4872
, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
, was passed in the Senate
by a 56 43
vote, and was passed in the House
by a 220 207
This bill will now be sent to President Obama.
23 March 2010
by: Foiled Goil
President Obama with Vicki Kennedy and Marcellus Owens
21 March 2010
House Passes Healthcare Reform
by: Foiled Goil
Senate bill H R 3590
, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
, has been passed by the House in a 219 212 vote.
This bill will go to President Obama for signing into law.
The Reconciliation Act
of 2010, H R 4872
, passed by a 220 211 vote
This bill will go back to the Senate.
20 March 2010
Pain In Perspective
Being home from the hospital less than 48 hours after having facial surgery involving two incisions, two titanium plates, and two or more screws (I didn't inquire about the quantity of screws), it just doesn't seem right that I hurt everywhere except
where I had surgery!
This additional pain started to kick in Friday afternoon when I awoke from my 2nd nap around 4:00 PM. It increased throughout the evening and into this morning. The worst of it was this morning when I was trying to get myself out of bed. It was dark outside and I had no idea what time it was. It hurt so much just trying to raise my head and turn it in the direction of the clock that I decided it just wasn't that important. I needed to urinate but not "like a horse" as the saying goes.
20 February 2010
This Is What Happens When You Don't Have Health Insurance
I am a single woman who ran her own business for almost 17 years. It was a small business but it kept the roof over my head and food in the tummy. And that's about it. I applied to several insurance companies for coverage and was turned down to preexisting conditions. There was one HMO that was willing to cover me but it was only for catastrophic care and it cost more than the rent for my office. I ended up receiving health care by way of the emergency room.
This was okay in my thirties and forties, not so good for my fifties. Then I moved to Reno and one of the guys at the dog park told me that I would probably be able to receive care from the VA. I checked, and lo and behold, I was eligible. Serving my country was finally worth something other than the pride I felt wearing the uniform.
The morning before you see your doctor for the first time you show up at the lab and they draw blood and urine samples. The doctor has the results before you see him and is prepared to discuss with you your symptoms and ailments. I left the VA that afternoon with blood pressure medicine, a new type of asthma inhaler and thyroid replacement hormone. Nothing for pain as I am allergic to almost everything except Demerol.
Last week I had low back pain that was radiating down my legs and up my back and the on call nurse suggested that I come into the emergency room because it was becoming hard for me to breathe. It was about ten pm and there were only a few people there and none of them were in the waiting room. They immediately took me into a room and started an EKG. My heart was okay but my breathing wasn't so they gave me an asthma treatment right away. Then they sent me for X-rays for my low back.
My doctor called the next day with the results and prescribed a muscle relaxer to help reduce the pain and increase movement and asked me to make an appointment. Before I even saw him the nurse gave me my H1N1 and pneumonia shots. Then the doctor scheduled MRIs for my low back and neck.
The VA has a new program that directly targets female veterans and as I left his office they snatched me up, did an intake and performed all those girl specific tests. That doctor suggested that I get an ultrasound and abdominal CAT scan.
All test were performed this Wednesday and Thursday. The MRIs were first and my doctor called me that afternoon with the results. There is some impingement in the low back, but the neck is a crisis area. According to the MRI there is very little spinal fluid from C5 down and very little space for the nerves to pass through comfortably which is why my hands go to sleep whenever I type or hold something as small as a book. He suggested that I immediately go get a cervical collar while I waited for an appointment with a neurologist.
The CAT scans and ultrasound were performed on Thursday and even I could tell there was something wrong from just looking at the monitors. Although my mammogram and Pap smear were normal, the rest of the girlie parts aren't and they are inhibiting the function of other organs in the abdomen. I had surgery in that area in 1990 and it looks like they will have to perform another one to remove said girlie parts. Oh joy.
All of this could have been prevented if I had had medical coverage. Now everything is at a crisis level that can only be addressed by surgery. As an acupuncturist I am offended because most of this could have been avoided with preventative health care and as a patient I am uncomfortable with the possible outcomes. As I used to tell my patients, waiting until you are thirsty to dig a well is not efficient. Or smart.
American health care is always touted as the best in the world, but that only applies if you can afford it. If you can't, then you are reduced to using the emergency room which is much more expensive than preventative care. Luckily, I happen to be a veteran and will have health care for the rest of my life unless the GOP gets its way and starts eliminating services for veterans like they did under Reagan.
America has become so polarized that individuals and their needs are being lost in the "debate". A single payer system would be the best option for the people, but not for the insurance companies that like to hike premiums whenever they want and on whoever they want and then deny needed services until the patient dies or gives up. Meanwhile the GOP distorts the truth and inflames their base by inventing bogeymen and blaming everything except global warming on those who are not melanin impaired and innocent people are dying due to lack of services. How is that the best in the world?
03 February 2010
Big Eddie: Fired Up
by: Foiled GoilThe Ed Schultz Show
on MSNBC was broadcast today from Hartford, CT, where he was covering another free clinic by The National Association of Free Clinics
Bringing health care to the uninsured [ 15:38 ]
Feb. 3: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz and panel talk about President Barack Obama’s plan to move forward on health reform as well as the free health clinic which took place in Connecticut on Wednesday.
Here is a shorter YouTube version
. [ 9:59 ]
The MSNBC transcript
should be up on Thursday.
Like last December 11, it was yet another chapter in the continuing story
of inadequate health care:
Senators Should Visit a Free Health Care Clinic to Really See the America They Represent... and Deny
Congress, fix Health Care Reform. Now.
The stories were gut wrenching. I couldn't help but think this is where the Senate needs to do their business. Do it right in front of the eyes of the people in their own country who are struggling to make ends meet and live in dignity. The Senate should do business in front of the families that have played by the rules and have been dealt a personal set back for one reason or another. Have the guts to tell these people to their face that they aren't worthy of health care because they don't have money. They may see these faces briefly on the campaign trail, but they make no decisions in front of them when they are standing in line in pain, in agony and in desperate need.
America has a heartless side to it as well. That is demonstrated when U.S. Senators put the God Almighty Dollar in front of people who put them in office. How any law maker could deny full access and full health care coverage is beyond me. Senators who put themselves ahead of the people and who have been spoiled by the Washington good life have lost their soul and what it means to be an American. We throw billions of dollars at wars, often without hesitation, but some in the Congress are willing to treat humans in their own country like a piece of machinery that can be left in a junk yard.
My God, what has happened to America?
Later, Ed talked with Keith Olberman
about the moral imperative for providing affordable health care: "it will save lives."
Need for health reform grows [ 6:52 ]
Feb. 3: Countdown’s Keith Olbermann and MSNBC’s Ed Schultz discuss how the intensity of the health care reform debate may have diminished, but the need for it has not, as evidenced by another free health clinic in Connecticut.
The same questions apply now as they did back in January 2007
What is the price, we ask the other side? What is the price that you want from these working men and women? What cost? How much more do we have to give to the private sector and to business? How many billion dollars more, are you asking, are you requiring?
Pass. The. Damn. Bill.
When does the greed stop, we ask the other side?
That's the question and that's the issue.
~ Ted Kennedy
January 25, 2007
29 December 2009
This IS your mummy's health care!
by: Father Tyme
For all you college kids, consider a career in mortuary science - THE hot job of the coming Teens!
18 December 2009
Up or Down on the Senate Health Care Reform Bill
by: Dark Wraith
21 November 2009
Senate Moves Health Care Reform Bill Forward
by: Foiled GoilThe Senate
will resume consideration of H.R. 3590
(pdf) on November 30, 2009, after this evening's 60-39 vote
) on the Motion to Proceed
(video) to consideration of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
18 November 2009
B O O !
by: Father Tyme
Yep! You Betcha! Let’s worry ourselves silly over H1N1 (Swine Flu, HOne(y)NOne)! It’s gonna kill us all!!!! Aaaaarrrrghhhh!
These are stats on some causes of deaths from 2006.
Heart Disease kills 630,000
Chronic Respiratory Disease 125,000
Influenza and Pneumonia 56,000
But…the pandemic, the apocalypse, the Rectification of the Vuldronaii!!
…Swine Flu this year so far - ~ 1000
The Sky hasn’t fallen…yet. But maybe if more people don’t die from H1N1 some cloud seeding may be necessary by our government. Why? Well, scare tactics just aren’t enough today. Pharma Companies are struggling to make ends meet and the government is doing everything it can to make sure they get all the help they need!
But since the U.S. (that’s America for the teabag challenged) doesn’t have nearly as many Pharma facilities dedicated to actually producing those superfluous things like vaccines and other medications (we just have the corporate headquarters for the CEOs and MBAs) , they have to rely on getting them from their overseas plants! You know, the ones where Europeans and Asians and Australians have taken American jobs?
So the vast majority of H1N1 vaccines come from…where? Oh! Europe, Australia and…China!
Does anyone remember a few years ago, during Bushwack 2 when some of our then concerned Democratic Representatives wanted to allow drugs to be imported from, gasp! Canada!! Or, Terror of Terrors…France? But the Republicans and the Bushwacker himself claimed that those drugs weren’t safe, aren’t approved by the FDA, and if they should come here testing could take years, and we couldn’t really trust them to be made to our standards anyway? (Even though we have NO standards because we DON’T MAKE THE FUCKING DRUGS OURSELVES IN THE FIRST PLACE!)
Well, pshaw! Don’t worry your little asses about that. Since this lil ol’ piggy crisis has left the sty, we are so worried about meeting St. Peter that it’s now okey dokey to get drugs from the companies who just a few years ago weren’t capable of meeting U.S. standards. Imagine that!
And since we really, really need protection against something that’s been compared to the 1918 outbreak that killed 20 million people (who were not as naturally healthy as we are today because of better living conditions, nutrition (supposedly!), better health care, and generally we’re all in better shape than our grandparents who worked in terrible conditions, ate and drank things that were produced in rat infested factories, breathed heavily polluted air, etc) it’s all of a sudden ok to buy these questionable drugs.
We ARE healthier overall by a great deal more than our ancestors of the early 20th Century and much less susceptable to many things that killed them. To deny that is foolish.
So what’s a poor, struggling drug company to do? Well, they can start off by creating a virus for which they can later provide an expensive semi-cure! Get a greedy administration and group of companies who just want to leech as much money as they can from the people, then scare the shit out of them by telling them they’ll all die unless they sacrifice their hard earned dollars to Big Pharma for salvation and you have a perfect scenario for unlimited greed.(which I understand is “good.”)
Below is some information from Shocked Investor
that shows some of the companies that manufacture the vaccines for the virus that was created by God…or his minions on earth. (That pesky HIV thing isn’t as profitable as Pat and Jerry thought!)
The chart at the bottom shows the amount of money given by America to the Pharma Companies from May to August 2009. Over 2 billion of our dollars! They expect more! Much More!
I expect the next great Pharma Crisis (probably 2011) will be to provide a vaccine for mind-numbing stupidity. That should break the bank!
By the way...some of the companies and their subsidiaries below were involved in things ranging from helping the Chinese poison Americans and their pets to ripping off medicare and other crimes against America. But that's ok 'cause they promised not to do it again!
Novartis is the Swiss company we reported a few weeks ago was the first to have a successful H1N1 vaccine. It expects to have a vaccine ready by October. It has several orders for H1N1 vaccines.
[Non U.S. – U.K.]
Glaxo is testing a H1N1 flu vaccine in humans and expects to start giving the results to government agencies in September. It has won orders for H1N1 swine flu vaccine from nine governments, for a total number of doses ordered to 300+ million, with more orders still to come. Potential windfall: $3 billion in the next six months or so.
[Non U.S. – France]
SNY is one of the world leaders in flu shots and has received large orders from the U.S. and France, and it is in discussions with more than 30 countries about supplies.
It has a $250 million deal to provide the U.S. with the swine flu antigen in bulk.
Astra had an initial $90 million order from the U.S. Its vaccine technology is different from traditional injectable flu shots in that it is a mist sprayed into the nose, making it far more comfortable to apply.
China's SVA was the first company worldwide to complete clinical trials for an H1N1 vaccine, and that received approval from Chinese health authorities.
Baxter completed its first commercial batches of H1N1 vaccine made using a cell culture process designed to be faster than traditional chicken egg-based vaccine production methods. It has supply contracts with several countries (Britain, Ireland and New Zealand). It said it could not take on additional orders.
[in 2008 the company supplied contaminated heparin; in 2009 lethal H5N1 avian flu virus was delivered to laboratories across Europe mixed with seasonal influenza vaccines; also, the company was charged with excessive billing of Kentucky Medicaid.]
INOVIO BIOMEDICAL (INO)
Inovio claims its DNA-based H1N1 flu vaccines provide protection against the swine flu strain in pigs and mice. It expects to begin manufacturing vaccine supplies for H1N1 clinical studies soon (this was August) hut it does not yet have the U.S. approval to begin human trials.
U.S. biotech company Novavax has a new kind of influenza vaccine that works against the swine flu virus in animals. It would have to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before it could test the new vaccine in people and years of testing are likely to be required before such a new formulation could be widely used in humans.
[Human Testing (PLANNING)
Novavax plans to test a range of vaccine doses and booster in human trials once its vaccine candidate is cleared by regulatory authorities for clinical studies. The number of doses of H1N1 vaccine to be used may vary according to age. A disproportionate number of children and young adults have been infected with this virus, suggesting that they may not have pre-existing immunity in contrast to older adults who may have some limited immunity to a swine-origin influenza A virus.] This was written after July 2009. No info on whether they got approval. But their vaccine is ready for market!
Australia's CSL trades as an over the counter stock, it has been in mass production of H1N1 vaccine for several weeks, completed a first batch of 2 million shots and is producing 1-1.5 million doses per week until it fills all orders.
It has received $180 million contract from the U.S. for H1N1 flu vaccine and an order for 21 million doses from Australia. It expected to book sales of about $250 million from swine flu vaccines in the year to 2010.
Belgium's Solvay said that production of a cell-based H1N1 vaccine for clinical studies would start in August.
This Chinese company received the go-head from a Chinese panel of experts for an H1N1 vaccine.
South Korea's Green Cross can be expected to benefit from the $155M set aside for H1N1 vaccine preparations.
Medical Counter Measures