Those Damn High Drug Prices

The health care debate is silent for now….but it will return if Congress has its way……

Whenever the subject of a health care bill comes up one of the first issues they talk about but never do anything about is that of the High Cost of Drugs.

But who can we blame for the high costs?

First of all Bill Clinton…..and then on from him….

Why do Americans continue to pay the highest prices for medicine in the world? The answer lies in the fact that lawmakers have sculpted specific policies, often not found in many other nations, that boost pharmaceutical industry profits. Meanwhile, the drug industry has spent $61 million on state elections and nearly $67million on federal elections since 2010.

Amid rising public anger over the issue, Republican President Donald Trump campaigned for president on a promise to reduce drug prices — and, as recently as Monday, excoriated Merck & Co. CEO Ken Frazier, demanding that he “LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” Democrats, in the meantime, have long depicted themselves as fight-for-the-little-guy populists crusading against pharmaceutical industry fat cats.

However, key players from both parties have made pivotal decisions at the federal and state levels that have kept drug prices high — and pharmaceutical industry profit margins wide. As part of International Business Times’ ongoing coverage of the fight over drug prices, what follows is a look at six of those individuals, and how their actions have shaped America’s prescription drug market.

Source: Why Are Drug Prices So High? These Politicians Might Have The Answer

Now you know why we pay more for drugs than anyone in the world and thanx to the system these people set up….we will always pay more than they are worth.

Who will step up and make the high cost of drugs a priority?  The Dems?  Of maybe the GOP?

Will Dems Feel The Pain?

The Dems have been on a vision quest to find a message for the upcoming mid-terms…….right now they have nothing but slogans….maybe they think because one person can win with mindless slogans that it will work them as well.

Appears the health care is the proving ground for the next election……the progressive wing of the DNC is pushing for all to recognize and get behind a Medicare for all provision.

House and Senate Democrats have wondered for months whether Bernie Sanders’ supporters might choose to focus their energy on launching primary challenges to party moderates in 2018. They’re about to get an answer.

Sanders has decided the moment is right to launch his proposal for the single-payer health insurance system that helped form the backbone of his presidential message. And Democrats who don’t get behind it could find themselves on the wrong side of the most energetic wing of the party — as well as the once and possibly future presidential candidate who serves as its figurehead.

Source: Sanders ‘litmus test’ alarms Democrats – POLITICO

I see that the normally liberal media is jumping on the DNC to try and prevent it from moving more Left than they are now….

Thirty Democrats disillusioned with their party’s struggles in Middle America have unveiled a new group aimed at expanding its base beyond just the two coasts. The initiative, which comprises current and former mayors, governors, cabinet members and lawmakers, comes complete with a catchy new title, “New Democracy.”

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because it was the same as that given by Mao Zedong to his theory of democracy in communist China.  (of course it does not sound familiar because no one remembers that far back….but it makes for a great political attack)

“In a word, new-democratic culture is the proletarian-led, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal culture of the broad masses,” Mao wrote on New Democracy in 1940, nine years before coming to power in China.

Source: Democrats new slogan borrows from communist China

A shame when even a liberal media would use such yellow tactics against the Dems…..but their efforts may be a moot point….for you see the DSA is making headway against these cowards in the DNC……

The Democratic Socialists of America are meeting there this week as part of the group’s biannual convention. In the wake of a surge of new interest over the past year, the organization announced earlier this week that it now has 25,000 dues-paying members — a historic peak for the group that makes it the largest socialist organization in the country since World War II.

David Duhalde, DSA’s Deputy Director, was brought on by the organization in 2015. He told The Intercept that shortly before the November election, the organization had between 7,000 to 8,000 members. On November 9, they started seeing supporters of Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run and others flooding into DSA.

Source: Democratic Socialists of America Celebrate Record Membership in Chicago. Now What?

I for one think that this turn is for the best…..time for the DNC to return to being where it belongs….with the working class.

So the question is….will the Dems return to being the party of working America or will they stay in the lane with big money?

What say you?

Aging Sucks!

Another weekend begins and I have been dealing with lots of issues so a couple of days away from the “news crawler” would be nothing but a good deal.

There is an ad on TV these days about sending in your spit so they can analyze your ‘telemeres”…it is an aging thing…..and now some research has been done along those lines…..

To err is human—our own cells do it all the time. But new research suggests that when it comes to aging, there may be a workaround. Scientists report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that they triggered cells to produce the protein telomerase, which lengthens the telomeres at the ends of chromosomes. (Telomeres shorten as we age.) The scientists used cells taken from 17 children with the rare genetic condition progeria, which causes them to age fast and typically die in their teens. Before the therapy, the kids’ cells would “multiply very poorly and then die,” Cooke tells Vice. After delivering RNA right into the cells to spur the production of telomerase, they saw a “dramatic improvement” as cells “proliferated normally.”

The study is small and the research is young, and many experts are highly skeptical. One professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia goes so far as to call attempts at telomere lengthening “snake oil,” and says that while telomeres shorten as we age, the correlation isn’t perfect and doesn’t necessarily signal good health or longevity. Plus, there may be at least one evolutionary benefit to telomeres shrinking over time; when cells become too short, they stop dividing and die. At least in the case of cancerous cells, that’s a defense mechanism. Meanwhile, a study out of New King’s College London published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology finds that bipolar disorder may shorten telomeres faster, while patients treated with lithium appear to reverse that effect.

They say another sign of old age is when we start talking to ourselves……my grandfather once said…”when you talk to yourself you talk to a better class of people”…..

Believe it or not….but there has been some research done in this field…..

Talking to yourself doesn’t mean you’re crazy. In fact, the habit might be downright smart. That’s the takeaway from a new study in Scientific Reports, which involved two separate experiments. In the first, researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan monitored the brain activity of 29 students who were asked to review neutral and disturbing images and talk about how they felt while referring to themselves in the first and third persons, reports Today. In the second, researchers asked 50 participants to internally reflect on painful experiences in the same way. In both cases, “third person self-talk” allowed participants to better regulate their emotions to relieve stress, researchers say. “It kind of switches you to a different mode of experiencing negative emotions when you use your name rather than the word, ‘I,'” says the lead researcher.

Indeed, when students were met with disturbing images, activity in the regions of the brain involving emotions decreased within one second of third person self-talk, reports Newsweek. Both experiments also showed referring to oneself in the third person required no more effort than referring to oneself in the first person and much less effort than other forms of emotion regulation, like positive thinking. With third person self-talk, “it’s like you’re viewing [a situation] from an outsider perspective” and gaining “a tiny bit of psychological distance,” researcher Jason Moser explains, per a release. “It really does help.” An example, he says, would be to tell yourself, “Jason is really scared” and explain why during a stress-inducing situation. Moser even says psychologists should recommend it for those struggling with anxiety and stress. (Hearing voices might not be bad, either.)

This old fart is going to have some snacks and wine…..see you guys tomorrow….chuq

“Reversible” Abortion?

I am about to post on a subject that I do not normally do so…..abortion.

I guess we could say the this is a PSA (Public Service Announcement) or maybe even an FYI piece…..

I leave this subject alone for the most part because it is a personal decision and in that matter I have no say…..since I will never have to make that decision then my opinion means nothing as does everyone else….if it is not your choice then silence is advised.

But occasionally I read something while doing research that I feel I need to post it here on IST…..and yesterday was one of those days…..

I think everyone knows that there is a “morning after” pill….will there is a doctor that convinces people that he can nullify the effects of the pill……

George Delgado made his first attempt at reversing an abortion in 2009.

He got a call from Terri Palmquist, a missionary at the evangelical group LifeSavers Ministries who ran in the same California anti-abortion circles he did. Palmquist said she’d gotten a call from a young woman in El Paso, Texas, who had taken the abortion pill, a common method for ending a pregnancy, but changed her mind. The woman wanted to know if there was any way to reverse the effects of the pill. Palmquist turned to Delgado, a family practice doctor in San Diego, seeking advice.

Delgado had never heard of anyone “reversing” a medical abortion before, but he had an idea for how to try. A medical abortion comes in the form of two pills: Mifepristone, the first, works by blocking the hormone progesterone and preventing a pregnancy from continuing. Misoprostol, the second pill, is taken 24 to 48 hours later to cause contractions that empty the uterus.

Source: Meet the doctor who convinces women he can “reverse” abortions – VICE News

Take away what you like from this piece…..I posted it only as a public service…/.I am sure that there are those rabid anti people waiting for something to write about….well Irene here it be….knock yourself out.

Bi-Partisan Health Care

Last week the GOP health care plan went down in flames….thanx to 3 brave Repubs….now there is scrambling to find a new health care plan…

News has come out that there could be a bi-partisan attempt at a repair….

“Centrist lawmakers plot bipartisan health care stabilization bill,” by Heather Caygle and Paul Demko: “A coalition of roughly 40 House Republicans and Democrats plan to unveil a slate of Obamacare fixes Monday they hope will gain traction after the Senate’s effort to repeal the law imploded. The Problem Solvers caucus, led by Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), is fronting the effort to stabilize the ACA markets, according to multiple sources. But other centrist members, including Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and several other lawmakers from the New Democrat Coalition and the GOP’s moderate Tuesday Group are also involved.

“Their plan focuses on immediately stabilizing the insurance market and then pushing for Obamacare changes that have received bipartisan backing in the past. The most significant proposal is funding for Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies. Insurers rely on these payments – estimated to be $7 billion this year – to reduce out-of-pocket costs for their poorest Obamacare customers.” http://politi.co/2vdbyY7

Sounds good?

To my mind any time that something can be accomplished with the help of both Houses then it is a good day for the Republic.

Then there is Bernie’s promise to introduce a “single payer” system….

As Senate Republicans go back to the drawing board on the proposed Obamacare repeal, Sen. Bernie Sanders has swung the national healthcare debate to the other side of the pendulum. The Vermont Independent says he’ll “absolutely” introduce a single-payer bill to the Senate, reports the Hill. Sanders didn’t give a timeline for the proposed bill, but told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union that, “We’re tweaking the final points of the bill and we’re figuring out how we can mount a national campaign to bring people together.” According to CNN, the senator admitted that the Republican-controlled Congress wouldn’t be the only obstacle in passing such a bill. Special interest groups all but sank Vermont’s bid to enact a single-payer system, he said, and would make such a proposal difficult to pass.

“Taking on the insurance companies and the drug companies, taking on Wall Street, taking on a lot of very powerful forces that make billions of dollars a year from the current health care system is not going to be easy,” he said, “and it’s not going to take place until millions of people get involved in this struggle.” Per the Hill, a spokesperson for Sanders called a single-payer amendment attached to the ObamaCare repeal Wednesday a “sham.” President Trump tweeted support for repeal Sunday morning, writing, “Don’t give up Republican Senators, the World is watching: Repeal & Replace…and go to 51 votes (nuke option), get Cross State Lines & more.” But Sanders isn’t taking the bait: “If people don’t like the private insurance that they’re getting, they should have a Medicare-type public option available in every state in this country.”

Neither will go far but at least there is an attempt at a repair job….not something as moronically simplistic as a slogan like “repeal and replace”…..

I wish them both luck for they will need it.

Latest Health Stories

Today my daughter’s family will join me and my better half for burgers on the grill…..my daughter and I will probably argue politics and stuff….great fun!

If this was not a Saturday then these words would be about the new health care bill….but since it is the weekend the post will be about the findings in the fields that deal with Health and medicine….

In the past we have heard a lot about the connection between football, concussions and death….well there is a hew study of the brains of 111 football players…..

Research on 202 former football players found evidence of brain disease in nearly all of them, from athletes in the NFL, college, and even high school. It’s the largest update on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a brain disease linked with repeated head blows. CTE was diagnosed in 177 former players or nearly 90% of brains studied, but the report, published Tuesday in JAMA, doesn’t confirm that the condition is common in all football players. Rather, it reflects high occurrence in samples at a Boston brain bank that studies CTE. Many donors or their families contributed because of the players’ repeated concussions and troubling symptoms before death, reports the AP.

That includes 110 of 111 brains from former NFL players; 48 of 53 college players; nine of 14 semi-professional players, seven of eight Canadian Football league players, and three of 14 high school players. The disease was not found in brains from two younger players. The average age of death among all players studied was 66. There were 18 suicides among the 177 diagnosed. “There are many questions that remain unanswered,” says lead author Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University neuroscientist: “How common is this” in the general population and all football players? “How many years of football is too many?” and “What is the genetic risk? Some players do not have evidence of this disease despite long playing years,” she notes.

Maybe keeping your children from playing the sport would help prevent a lot of the concussion problems….just a thought.

For well over 50 years there has been lots of research into the different strains of cancer and its cure….a recent study on cancer came to some pretty amazing conclusions…….

Cancer is a man-made disease fuelled by the excesses of modern life, a study of ancient remains has found.

Tumours were rare until recent times when pollution and poor diet became issues, the review of mummies, fossils and classical literature found.

A greater understanding of its origins could lead to treatments for the disease, which claims more than 150,000 lives a year in the UK.

There you have the updates in the health field….now go have a good day and enjoy some time to yourself……
See you guys tomorrow…..chuq

Today’s The Big Day

The GOP is up to their typical stuff…..total confusion and butt scratching stupidity.

Today there will be a vote of the whole “Repeal and Replace” debacle…the Senate will vote…..the problem is so far NO one seems to know just which version of what health bill that they will be voting on…..

The Senate will move forward with a key vote this week on a Republican health bill—but it’s not yet known whether the legislation will seek to replace ObamaCare or simply repeal it, the third-highest ranking Republican senator said Sunday. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will make a decision soon on which bill to bring up for a vote, depending on ongoing discussions with GOP senators, the AP reports. Thune sought to cast this week’s initial vote as important but mostly procedural, allowing senators to begin debate and propose amendments. But he acknowledged that senators should be able to know beforehand what bill they will be considering.

President Trump has said he wants Congress to repeal and replace ObamaCare, but would accept a straight-repeal of the law if senators couldn’t reach agreement. In a sign of the high stakes involved, Trump exhorted senators anew Sunday night to pass health legislation. “If Republicans don’t Repeal and Replace the disastrous ObamaCare, the repercussions will be far greater than any of them understand!” Trump tweeted. At least two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Rand Paul, Sunday appeared to reaffirm their intention to vote against the procedural motion if it involved the latest version of the GOP’s repeal-and-replace bill. “We don’t know whether we’re going to be voting on the House bill, the first version of the Senate bill, the second version of the Senate bill, a new version of the Senate bill, or a 2015 bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act,” Collins said. “I don’t think that’s a good approach to replacing legislation that affects millions of people.”

There is more on this vote if you would like to know……

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Monday said Republican senators have no idea what Obamacare repeal bill they’ll be voting on Tuesday at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) request.

“Senator, what is up for a vote tomorrow? Could you update me?” Fox News’ Neil Cavuto asked.

“I thought you were going to tell me,” Paul replied. “I thought I was coming on air for you to tell me.”

Paul said Republican senators are completely in the dark about what measure they’ll cast on-record votes for or against on Tuesday.

Source: Paul: GOPers ‘Have No Earthly Idea’ Of Repeal Bill They’ll Vote On Tomorrow – Talking Points Memo

Personally I love this confusion…for after 7 years of chanting the same tiring slogan…over and over….and then they have their chance and they have NO plan, never had a plan, to replace the law…..ain’t it great?