Tag: Healthcare

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

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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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. 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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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. 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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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 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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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 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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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 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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When people are at their doctor’s office or in the hospital, often they let questions go unanswered because they feel the doctors and nurses are too busy or unwilling to talk to them. It may be something that the patient thinks will seem silly to the healthcare professional, or merely a concern that slipped their […]

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There has been chatter on the web about the Harvard faculty complaints about increased cost sharing in their 2015 health plan. Jon Gabriel posted about it here. Anyway, I thought it might be nice to compile the numbers I’ve seen tossed around into one place…just to get an overall picture of the changes. Here is […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Connecticut Yankee in Big Brother’s Hospital

 

Last week, Tenet Healthcare — a Dallas-based, for-profit company — withdrew its bids for five struggling Connecticut hospitals. It had been trying to work with regulators for two years on just the first of the purchases. But regulators in Connecticut’s Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) insisted on imposing 47 conditions on the acquired hospitals’ operations. The conditions, backed by hospital employee unions, included a five-year ban on reductions in staffing or consolidating services. As the company explained in a statement, “The extensive list of proposed conditions to be imposed on the Waterbury Hospital transaction… has led us to conclude that the approach to regulatory oversight in Connecticut would not enable Tenet to operate the hospitals successfully for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

The deal’s collapse caught Democrats and regulators (and only Democrats and regulators) by surprise. “I expected people to talk,” said a forlorn (Democrat) Waterbury state legislator. Now, Waterbury Hospital faces the prospect of closure. The hospital has lost tens of millions of dollars each year recently, and projects similar losses for the foreseeable future. There is also a consensus that the hospital needs $50 million of capital improvements. “There is a point — and it’s very close — where there are no more options,” said the hospital’s CEO. Nearly 75% of the its patients rely on Medicare and Medicaid. Some state Democrats are now trying to spin the loss by saying the state has too many hospital beds anyway.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. VA Fires Phoenix Hospital Director

 

About five scandals ago, the Veterans Administration hospital in Phoenix was accused of allowing dozens of patients to die while awaiting medical care. Following this shocking revelation, several other VA hospitals around the nation were found to have falsified treatment data and waiting lists. As care for our sick heroes was deferred and denied, VA administrators gained large bonuses and sterling performance evaluations.

Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix facility and career VA employee, was placed on administrative leave earlier six months ago. Today, finally, some slight justice was served —Helman was fired.

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The title is modified from a heading in an article published yesterday in the open access journal PLOS Pathogens: “War and Infectious Diseases: Challenges of the Syrian Civil War“ More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Obamacare Architect Thinks We Should Die by 75

 

Ezekiel Emanuel, former White House Special Adviser on Obamacare and current Director of Clinical Bioethics at NIH, has decided the optimal age for death: Seventy-five.

Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Can We Get Free Market Innovation in Healthcare?

 

nurse2Everyone knows how the dead hand of the FDA turns the development and delivery of new drugs into a multi-billion dollar process. And everyone knows about the liberal wish-list of compulsory coverage for health insurance products. But the extent to which regulation has progress-proofed the status quo is rarely appreciated. From ‘Certificates of Need’ — whereby investments in health facilities require the blessing of central-planning bureaucrats — to the socialization of insurance pools through ‘Community Rating,’ to forced coverage of pre-existing conditions, everything in the current system either unwittingly or deliberately resists innovation.

Where only giant organisations with vast compliance departments can meet the inhumanly complex requirements of ever-shifting regulation, where laws, upon regulations, upon rules bake-in the assumption that health insurance is the only means of delivering health outcomes, is real innovation possible? Where can the Ubers, AirBnBs or Googles of health possibly come from? Indeed, where can the sliced bread, resealable bags, or pop-tops of health come from? Where is the room for the thousand little improvements that can make life so astonishing for consumers, when the law assumes that the way things were done in 1964, 1972, or 1986 is the only way they can be done, and woe betide anyone who suggests otherwise?

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. A Time to Offer Choice

 

The lie that works is the lie with at least a particle of truth.

This is the case with the outraged feminist response to the Hobby Lobby ruling. Conservatives were frozen in disbelief in 2012 as the “war on women” campaign swept in votes for Obama, and they are equally amazed now as the Democrats plan to make Hobby Lobby a campaign issue. How can it possibly work?

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. ‘Do It Yourself, White Boy!’ Life at the VA

 

Gil C / Shutterstock.comAnother lifetime ago, those five words were spoken to me in a VA hospital in New Orleans. Another typical civil service, morbidly obese nurse biding her time until retirement. The patient was a WW1 vet (who’d been gassed, etc.) and he needed to have his bladder catheterized. I wrote the order that was countersigned by a resident but it didn’t happen.

A few hours later I returned. I asked about it and was told,”Do it yourself, white boy!” So I did, although I fumbled my way through the procedure since his 90-year-old prostate was the size of Delaware. He’d been hurting for hours while this lady did her very minimal job as well as her nails.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Healthcare Equality for All!

 

ambulanceJust over a week ago a beloved family member collapsed in the middle of the night, was rushed to the hospital in shock and underwent emergency surgery for internal bleeding. Sophie received a post-operative blood transfusion and spent two days in intensive care. Thanks to expert, timely and compassionate care, today she is back home and doing well.

Excellent emergency medical care is the norm in the United States, thank goodness. What stands out from my family’s recent hospital experience is the administrative side.

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