Tag: Healthcare

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Hillary buckles at the 9/11 Memorial…..   More

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Why Are We So Dumb About Healthcare?

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 11.20.03 AMWhen Sarah Palin first started talking about “Death Panels,” I cringed: Not because the prospect of a government panel empowered to make medical decisions on citizens’ behalf wasn’t totally creepy (it was) but because private insurance does the same thing. Now, I’d argue that a system based on free-market, private insurance has, regardless, enormous advantages to the alternatives, but this doesn’t mean that private insurers don’t sometimes need to be cold-hearted bastards. The sad fact of life is that there’s no way to pay for top-end medical care for everyone, so some form of rationing (even the free-market kind) is inevitable.

But for some reason, nearly every society tries to pretend otherwise. Some of this can be explained away as leftism, but it always seems to hit healthcare the hardest? Consider, for example, how Senator Bernie Sanders made “Medicare for All” a major part of his platform, but not “SNAP for All.” Via Megan McArdle, part of the answer may be that human beings are hard-wired to see providing healthcare as a social good in itself, rather than treating the matter as service we trade for. From a paper by economist Robin Hanson, whom McArdle cites, this may explain many of our irrationalities regarding health care:

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I didn’t know what to call this post. I just read that there was another police shooting today in Kansas City. It’s not a headline. Both are disturbing. We cannot allow this to become the norm – not by a long shot. Is it going to take a full blown walk on Washington – a […]

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Reading the Daily Shot I followed the link to the Reuters article on the House’s new healthcare plan. The article is not very informative, but the plan it describes seems to be basically the same as Obamacare. The article doesn’t even say explicitly if the individual and employer mandates will be removed. It does say […]

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House Republicans to Outline Health Care Proposals

 

Via the WSJ:

In place of President Barack Obama’s health law, House Republicans propose providing Americans with refundable tax credits that could be used to purchase insurance through the individual market. The credits would be provided on an advance basis each month and are estimated to cover at least the cost of catastrophic insurance. The exact value of the credit wasn’t specified.

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I read an article and watched a video from CNBC on possible price hikes from insurers for Obamacare. It seems to me that money has been and will continue to be an issue for this federal law. More

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Via First Things (but I’ve also heard it from someone I care about who works in a Canadian hospital): But what about doctors opposed to euthanasia? The court left with Parliament and the medical colleges (associations) the decision of whether and how to accommodate doctors with conscience objections, granting a one-year (now extended) period within […]

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Back in the Soup: Cancer Again

 

Almost exactly one month ago, I noticed thrice in one day that there was bright red blood in my urine. At my wife’s suggestion, I mentioned it to my physician the following Wednesday, and one week to the day after the appearance of the blood (which did not recur), I had a CT-Scan, and the radiologist at the Hillsdale Hospital noticed a nodule on the wall in my bladder.

Having been down a similar road back in 2012, I got on the phone, and the wheels began to turn. This past Friday, at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Piyush K. Agarwal conducted a transureth resesection, removed the tumor, which was located on the right lateral wall of my bladder whence it extended onto my right ureteral orifice, and resected down to the muscle and fat of the bladder. Here is what the tumor looked like before it was removed:Zoomed in Picture of Right Lateral Wall Tumor

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Making Drugs Affordable

 

shutterstock_197494286Remember Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical executive who jacked up the prices of an off-patent drug used by some AIDS patients last year and who was recently perp-walked for securities fraud? The Left treated his arrest as a victory for the common man, but it hasn’t made pyrimethamine, the active ingredient in Daraprim, any more available to those who need it.

Mark Baum, however, has done just that: Since last year’s media fiasco, the compounding pharmacy he runs has been selling drugs with the same chemical properties (with an added, relevant vitamin) for about a $1 a pill. That’s among the reasons why Shkreli’s antics didn’t lead to a pile of dead bodies.

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The Uneasy Legacy of Henrietta Lacks

 

henrietta-lacksRecently, Rebecca Skloot, author of the major best-seller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, wrote an impassioned plea in the New York Times, urging people to support sweeping revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, which is now under active review in the Department of Health and Human Services. These revisions are directed to the rules that now govern the collection and use of “clinical biospecimens,” which include all the organic substances that are routinely removed from the human body as a consequence of surgery, childbirth, or even normal testing. At first appearance, these materials look like waste products best disposed of in a safe and sanitary manner. But, in fact, they are invaluable in medical research to treat cancer and a host of other genetic and life-threatening diseases.

Without question, the most dramatic illustration of this process involves the so-called HeLa cell line derived from the cancer cells of Henrietta Lacks, an African American tobacco farmer who died of cancer in 1951 at the age of 31. When she was treated at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, her cancer cells were given to the pathologist Dr. George Gey. Gey found to his amazement that, unlike other cancer cells, Lack’s cells were immortal in that they could be cultured and reproduced indefinitely. Within three years of her death, her cell line helped develop the Salk polio vaccine. In the 65 years since Lacks died, about 20 tons of her cell line have been reproduced and distributed worldwide for medical research.

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A Glossary of 2016 Campaign Terms I Just Made Up

 

As hispandering (pandering to Hispanics) enters the American political lexicon, so too do a host of other terms whose meanings may not be immediately clear in the rapidly-changing landscape of the 2016 presidential campaign. Below is a glossary of some of the newest terms and their definitions.

Kasichiness – Most often afflicting Democrat and establishment Republican governors, this condition results in the irresistible itch to expand your state’s roll in bankrupting the already insolvent Medicaid program. Scratching this itch usually only makes the condition worse.

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Grassroots Conservatives Stage GOP Intervention

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 4.42.24 PM

Hey, GOP, what’s happening? I assume you’re wondering what we’re doing at your place. I understand you’ve been fearful that this Trump fellow will end up running a third-party campaign. But let’s talk turkey: Given that you’ve lost the popular vote in five of the last six national elections, it’s safe to say that Trump’s running a third-party campaign right now. So let me just cut to the chase: we’re worried about you and are staging an intervention.

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With more Obamacare co-ops closing their doors the death spiral is upon us (don’t look for the MSM to report this). After personally losing my Dr. of over 15 years (who no longer takes individual policies) my deductible is now so high I pay for EVERYTHING out of pocket by negotiating cash prices, including prescriptions. My […]

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To Be an Informed Healthcare Consumer

 

shutterstock_93062659I cannot imagine how it is even remotely possible to be an informed healthcare consumer under the current system. With some effort and a helpful provider, one can accumulate useful knowledge about diet and exercise, the effectiveness of various treatments, etc., all of which is well and good. But when it comes to being a consumer in a supposedly capitalist system, one cannot operate as an informed consumer. Throw in government regulation, and all bets are off.

My recent travails with obstructive sleep apnea provide a perfect example of this. I’ve had the study done because I must in order to remain employed but — were this merely a matter of personal health — I would be lost in a raging sea of costs on a night darkened by ignorance. Though I have tried to determine the out-of-pocket costs for this simple procedure, the data is simply not available. In short, I could not (and cannot) use cost as a determining factor. Allow me to explain.

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I found ricochet a few years ago and I have enjoyed it everyday. I’m embarrassed to say that I just tuned out Rob Long’s call for membership at the beginning of every flag ship podcast, but recently I would fast forward through that part. I was beginning to feel a real sense of guilt, because I […]

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I have many liberal friends with whom I do not discuss politics at all, ever. I do sometimes comment to them when they get a little overly excited about how Obamacare is paying for their birth control. Their birth control and well-visits mean that others necessarily have less care. The system as it is designed, […]

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Are Nurse Unions Needed to Fight Obamacare?

 

shutterstock_172496525Recently, I uttered words that I swore would never escape my lips: “I think, maybe, it’s time that the nurses come together and do something. Like … make a union.”

I have been vehemently and rabidly anti-union all my voting life. The daughter of a member of the California Teachers Association, I was introduced at a tender age to the many evils of unions. I was taught the different ways that unions manipulate members, abuse their dues, provide money to pet political causes, and make life difficult for the teachers. In public school, however, I was taught all of the ways that the teachers’ union was magnanimous, benevolent, and essential to a Good Education.

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When You Start Making Maureen Dowd Look Classy By Comparison…

 

BarnicleI’ve never much liked the “you won’t believe what the liberal media just said” game. Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad other people are doing it. It’s just never been a big part of my portfolio. It seems a little too easy. If — like me and, I’d imagine, many of our readers — you find most of the Left’s more prominent talking heads these days to be intellectual flyweights, it rarely feels worth the candle.

That said, I do harbor a longstanding vendetta against pundits who feel no compunction about shoehorning their ideology into other people’s tragedies. Last year, for instance, I posted about Paul Krugman trying to score political points off of Tom Coburn’s cancer, as well as Maureen Dowd’s shameless attempt to get a column on Hillary Clinton out of Robin Williams’ suicide, both efforts I found utterly tasteless. Well, MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle — who, the few times I’ve seen him on TV, has struck me as crazy but not MSNBC crazy — rounded out the triumvirate this weekend. Barnicle’s newest Daily Beast column starts out as a seemingly thoughtful reflection on last week’s shooting in Charleston:

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Repeal the Medical Device Tax … But Not Yet

 

Picking up on a point I hinted at in my post on Friday, Republicans need to think very carefully — and strategically — about repealing Obamacare’s medical device tax. There’s no question that the tax is destructive — but the same is true, on a much grander scale, of Obamacare as a whole. And we have to recognize that repealing the former on its own may make it harder to get rid of the latter.

The medical device industry has reportedly already spent $30 million trying to get the GOP to kill the tax. But if Republicans go along with that plan, the industry’s support for the broader repeal/replace agenda will evaporate as soon as they get what they want.

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What the Public Wants on Obamacare

 

We know that ObamaCare is unpopular with the public, but do voters agree with conservatives about what should happen next? Some new polling from McLaughlin Associates, on behalf of Independent Women’s Voice and our Bridge to Better project, shows encouraging results:

No surprise, American voters disapprove of Obamacare 52% to 44%. But the survey provided important insight into what Americans want to do with the unpopular law. Only one-in-four voters want to either keep the law as is (4%) or make minor changes to it (21%). On the other side, 20% want full repeal with no further legislative action, 28% want it repealed and replaced, and an additional 22% would keep the law, but with major changes. This is an important finding for Republicans: Most Americans want more than just repeal. They want a better health care system, either after repeal or by significantly changing current law.

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