Closing Thought–15Nov18

Recently a new program for Medicare has been offered….a program that my late father could have benefited from if it had already been policy…….

Medicare is experimenting with a new direction in health care. Starting next year, seniors in many states will be able to get additional services, such as help with chores and respite for caregivers, through private Medicare Advantage insurance plans, the AP reports. There’s a growing recognition that such practical help can have a meaningful impact on patients’ well-being—and reduce some costs for taxpayers. A couple of hundred dollars to install grab bars in the shower can prevent a fall leading to a broken hip, a life-changing injury. That may also help elderly people stay in their homes longer. The newly covered services are similar to what people might need if they required long-term care, said Howard Gleckman, a senior researcher at the nonpartisan Urban Institute think tank.

Change is starting slowly. Policymakers have yet to figure out how to bring similar benefits to traditional Medicare, still the choice of 2 out of 3 seniors. The new services will be offered by some Medicare Advantage plans in more than 20 states next year, and that’s expected to grow over time. There has to be a health-related reason to qualify, and costs will vary among plans. In some plans, there’s no added cost. But limits do apply. For example, a plan may cover one day per week at an adult day care center. For years, Medicare has permitted private plans to offer supplemental benefits not covered by the traditional program. Think free gym memberships, transportation to medical appointments or home-delivered meals following a hospitalization. The new benefits take that to a higher level.

(Read more Medicare stories.)

This program could have been a big help for my father was just months away from bankruptcy because of medical problems…..this is a program that needs to expand to all 50 states….

Plus I am an old fart and will most likely need some sort of program soon….

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The Warrior Spouse

Today we celebrate Veterans Day…….a day set aside to remember all those that have served their country…..and because we are fighting so many wars we have an uptick of mental health problems with our veterans…

On the front line of help for our broken warriors are the spouses….and I found a good article that tries to help military spouses cope and get the help for their warrior spouses…..

The purpose of this article is for the reader to understand and acknowledge the role of a warrior’s spouse and for this story to resonate with other women who are struggling to deal with their husband’s post-traumatic stress (PTS).

“I can’t talk to my wife; I don’t want to burden her with the details; I don’t want to bring the war home,” the warriors’s tell her.  “Make no mistake, the war is home; it walks in the door with you,” she said.

To the Warrior Spouse:

“No one trains a spouse to be a warrior, yet that is what is required to wage the war within on an unfamiliar battlefield. No one teaches the tactics and techniques to fight an enemy without a name or a face that shows up at the most unexpected times and places.”  Jen Satterly

All the help that can be had is a good thing for those suffering from PTSD……it is a silent killer that has killed way too many of our veterans……

Veterans March

As Veterans Day approaches our veterans need to come together and start demanding their rights and benefits….even if it means shutting down the DC machine.

I have given my readers an idea of how they could do this…..by taking a page from American history…..

https://lobotero.com/2016/11/11/we-need-another-bonus-army/

America has a long history of crapping on their veterans…..and the society as a whole is not much better.

In case my post was too long and you would like to know about the Bonus army then a short video may help…..

This is what our veterans need……a demonstration that they will NOT be ignored any longer…as it is now they are nothing more than political props to be trotted out during campaigns and then pushed aside when no longer needed.

Begin with a MARCH!  But do not end there!

 

Veterans are numerous and with organization they can win their case with DC…..remember veterans have a proud history of demanding their rights and benefits…..granted the government over-reacted….but that is what you want….the more they act to more the news will focus on you and your problems and solutions…..just do it!

Time for Veterans to band together and demand the benefits and the entitlements they earned fighting senseless wars for politicians and oligarchs…..

It is also time for this country to be reminded of our veterans and all they do so others can stay home and snuggle with their loved ones…..Veterans deserve better than they get!

For soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, coming home is more lethal than being in combat.”
~ Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston

Not all heroes wear the uniform of war.

In the United States, however, we take particular pride in recognizing as heroes those who have served in the military.

Yet while we honor our veterans with holidays, parades, discounts at retail stores and restaurants, and endless political rhetoric about their sacrifice and bravery, we do a pitiful job of respecting their freedoms and caring for their needs once out of uniform.

https://original.antiwar.com/jwhitehead/2018/11/08/a-badge-of-shame-the-governments-war-on-americas-military-veterans/

Time for veterans to stop depending on elected officials that care more about the cash they can raise than the vets they can help….veterans need to depend on themselves like they do on combat…..no one knows better than the person next to you in the “trenches”…..

Saying “Thank You” does not feed their children or repair their bodies….time for all Veterans to strike a blow for their broken promises……DO IT NOW!

A small token….but you have my support and the support of IST.

How About Those Lower Drug Prices?

**This draft was written several weeks before the elections….it got lost in all the news that swirled around the airways**

This is a question I ask as someone who has to take pain meds as well as other forms thanx to old age…..but I ask because time after time I have heard Our Dear Supreme Leader tell the country that our health care will be better and that drug prices will be lower…..and after two years I have seen NO lowering of prices, at least on my drugs……

But wait!  All the bomb stuff the media was focusing overshadowed the news the Trump has a plan to lower drug prices…..

Less than two weeks before the midterm elections, in which health care has been a major issue, President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a plan to lower prices for some prescription drugs, the AP reports, saying it would stop unfair practices that force Americans to pay higher prices than people in other countries do for the same medications. “We are taking aim at the global freeloading that forces American consumers to subsidize lower prices in foreign countries through higher prices in our country,” Trump said in a speech at the Department of Health and Human Services. But consumers take note: The plan would not apply to medicines people buy at the pharmacy, just ones administered in a doctor’s office, as are many cancer medications. Officials said the complex proposal could take more than a year to put into effect.

Under the plan, Medicare payments for drugs administered in doctors’ offices would gradually shift to a level based on international prices. Prices in other countries are lower because governments directly negotiate with manufacturers. Drugmakers immediately pushed back, arguing the plan amounts to government price-setting. “The administration is imposing foreign price controls from countries with socialized health care systems that deny their citizens access and discourage innovation,” lobbyist Stephen Ubl said in a statement, calling the plan a “detriment.” HHS says overall savings to Medicare would total $17.2 billion over five years. Beneficiaries would save an estimated $3.4 billion through lower cost-sharing for physician-administered drugs. The proposal is structured as an experiment and would apply to half the country. Officials said they’re seeking input on how to select the areas of the country that will take part in the new pricing system. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said politics would have nothing to do with it. (This $69 billion deal may reshape health care as we know it.)

So the drugs that doctors give out….the drugs that doctors get paid by drug companies to give out….how does this help anyone that does not get their drugs from a doctor’s office?

The answer is….. not one goddamn bit!

So much for a better health care with the Trump tea…..another pile of steaming bovine fecal matter…..there seems to be more and more fecal matter accumulating around this president.

Those Were The Days

I admit it….I was a acid rock fan….those were the days….Bennies, Dex, Yellow Jackets, Acid, Weed, ‘shrooms, etc…..

But recent scientific research has shown that some of the magic drugs of my youth can be beneficial in treating PTSD……

Those magic mushrooms that grow liberally in cow dung could indeed have properties that could help those suffering from PTSD……

Want to quit smoking or alleviate depression? In a few years you might be taking the psychedelic “magic” in magic mushrooms—if the FDA ever agrees, the New York Times reports. Researchers from John Hopkins University suggest the FDA should reclassify psilocybin—the psychedelic drug in hallucinogenic mushrooms—to a Schedule IV drug, meaning it can serve a medical use and isn’t likely to trigger addiction or abuse. It would be like sleeping pills, but not a simple prescription: “We believe that the conditions should be tightly controlled and that when taken for a clinical reason, it should be administered in a health care setting” under professional guidance, study co-author Matthew Johnson tells Fortune.

Published in Neuropharmacology, the study looks at psilocybin data going back to the 1940s. “In the 1960s, they were on the cutting edge of neuroscience research and understanding how the brain worked,” says Johnson. “But then it got out of the lab.” Research stopped partly because the hippie counterculture embraced mind-altering drugs like mushrooms and LSD, but a recent cultural shift has seen professionals adopt “microdosing” to increase productivity, and consumers—particularly women—use psychedelics to alleviate anxiety and depression. And while psilocybin poses some health risks, Johnson says in a press release it’s safer than other surveyed drugs. But don’t hold your breath: FDA approval could take more than five years.

Another drug of choice in those days was the sugar cubed “ACID”…LSD…..and yes they are finding it useful in moderation……go figure (we could have told them that but no one would listen)….

Microdosing” on psychedelic substances like LSD—ingesting just enough to heighten cognitive faculties, enhance creativity, improve concentration and alleviate depression—is currently back in vogue among people not normally associated with anything remotely ‘countercultural’ in the USA.

The term psychedelic was coined in 1958 by British psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond and is derived from the Greek words psyche (“soul, mind”) and delein(“to manifest”), hence “soul-manifesting,” the implication being that psychedelics can access the soul and develop unused potentials in the human mind. It’s a contention that’s gaining increased acceptance in mainstream universities.

https://theantimedia.com/political-significance-lsd/

Fascinating stuff, eh?

Some related reading……

https://www.alternet.org/speakeasy/martharosenberg/why-are-suicides-climbing-military-lets-look-drugs-being-prescribed

https://lobotero.com/2016/05/06/the-war-on-drugs-failed-so-why-isnt-it-over/

For your musical enjoyment…..

Saturday–08Sep18

I try to make IST something for everyone and a good source of FYI…

As the weekend begins news comes that my state has the second highest incidents of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs)……another list that my state should be embarrassed of ….if it is a “Good” list we are at the bottom, if it is a “Bad” list we are at the top and it has been that way for a very long time.

http://backgroundchecks.org/these-are-the-most-sexually-diseased-states-in-the-us.html

All that comes with more terrible news about STDs…..

A record has been set in the US, but not one to celebrate: Almost 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed last year—more than 200,000 over the record set in 2016, per the CDC in a report released Tuesday. One CDC director says there have been “steep and sustained increases” in sexually transmitted diseases over the past five years, a “very concerning” trend that hasn’t been seen in two decades. Experts suspect that with newer drugs lowering the risk of HIV infection and making the virus itself less lethal if it is contracted, condom usage has declined, leading to the rapid rise in STDs. But experts tell NBC News that other factors likely contributing include less funding for agencies focused on STD prevention, doctors failing to test patients for STDs, and a general lack of awareness about sexual health—including the need to get tested even if no symptoms are present.

These are the estimates of the number of people with new and existing cases of eight STDs in the United States. The estimates are based on 2008 data.

Another fact is the Deep Red South has 10 out of the top 15 states with the highest cases of STDs.

Sad that in the 21st century that this health issue should be in the news…..and as an aunty of mine use to always say…”keep in your pants and you will always smile”…..

As long as sex is the subject of this post…..there is another aspect of the exercise…..this study is one that I would never have considered…..some of this is not news that is uplifting….actually it is kinda sad.

Daniel Noah Halpern checks in on the state of the world’s sperm in a lengthy piece for GQ, and the upshot at its worst is that there is “the possibility that we will become extinct.” That line comes from Hagai Levine, who co-authored a 2017 Hebrew University/Mount Sinai meta-analysis of 185 studies that involved more than 40,000 men’s sperm and found a worsening picture, and sharply so: In 1973, sperm counts were about 99 million sperm per milliliter of semen; by 2011, that count was down to 47 million per milliliter, and it’s still dropping. “We are producing half the sperm our grandfathers did. We are half as fertile,” writes Halpern, and the numbers prod him to ask: “Would 40 more years—or fewer—bring us all the way to zero?”

Halpern explores a number of other questions, among them, why haven’t we noticed such a drastic change, and what’s the cause? In his view, the answer to the latter question is clear, and “the scientists I talked to were less cautious about embracing this explanation than I expected”: chemicals, which we’ve been ingesting since the industrial revolution but even more so since WWII. He offers a primer on endocrine disruptors like phthalates and BPA, which are found in more obvious places like water bottles, less obvious places like grocery store receipts, and far, far less obvious places like pasta and eggs. He also talks about the significance of a man’s anogenital distance (that’s the distance between the genitals and anus) and how it interrelates with those endocrine disruptors. What’s the solution? IVF, perhaps ultimately. Read his full piece for more.

The “Anogenital” distance?

chuq is out….I will relax today and tomorrow…..there is a “honey do” list waiting…..a really long list……have a good day.

The VA Needs Saving!

Every American veteran should be concerned in what is happening to the institution that tasked with their care…..

The institution that is there to aid all veterans with their health and entitlements (and yes if one uses the VA then they are using entitlements) and in years past there has been scandal after scandal…..but it soldier on….and then we elected a dude who was always harping about Vets and behind the scenes is screwing them……

“On any veterans issue, the first person the president calls is Ike,” says a former administration official. If the name Ike doesn’t ring a bell, at least in relation to Veterans Affairs, that’s appropriate. A ProPublica expose by Isaac Arnsdorf explains he’s “reclusive” Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter, one third of “a previously unknown triumvirate” that has clandestinely been exerting influence over the VA—never mind that none of them have served in the military or worked in government. Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz and lawyer Marc Sherman round out the trio, which is referred to within the VA as “the Mar-a-Lago Crowd,” as that location serves as their informal HQ. Arnsdorf ran into some walls on the interviewing front: the men, a VA rep, and a White House spokeswoman declined to answer questions.

His reporting is therefore based on hundreds of documents he got using the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with former administration officials. The story he has pieced together is one of significant power: The men have the president’s ear and influence over personnel, with those who “were at odds with the Mar-A-Lago crowd,” including those in a slew of top positions (secretary, deputy secretary, chief of staff, director of electronic health records modernization), “pushed out or passed over.” Arnsdorf alleges that decisions have to be run by them, officials fly to consult with them on taxpayers’ dime, and initiatives pushed by the men in some cases have benefited their own interests. Read the full piece for much more on an “arrangement … without parallel in modern presidential history.”

This does not surprise me at all……as usual he, Dear Leader, was all talk and action is questionable where the veterans are concerned…….once again someone that is big talk that has never served…there ought to be a law!

Time for veterans to take control of their benefits (watch for a Veterans Day march)…..something on the line of the Bonus Army from the past….(dammit Google it!)

So I Have Written!

Turn The Page!