Sunday FYI–Colon Cancer

****First off…I am not a medical professional and any info I present is purely FYI and if you need more information then please visit your doctor for accurate information.****

The news is not good for there seems to be a rise in colon cancer among young adults and as we all know the older one gets the more ones needs to be vigilant on our health.

Colon cancer is on the rise among young adults, and the cases have been much more aggressive than they used to be. That’s why scientists hope the public pays attention to info out of a new study from St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine, which looked for early signals that someone may have colon cancer. NBC News notes that young adults typically don’t qualify for colonoscopies—that procedure is usually only offered at or after age 45—which is why the “red-flag signs and symptoms” spelled out in the research published Thursday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute are so important to look for and keep tabs on.

Among those early symptoms cited by the researchers, who looked at data from more than 5,000 patients diagnosed with early-onset colorectal cancer: extended bouts of diarrhea that seem to come out of nowhere, bellyaches, and iron-deficiency anemia. A fourth symptom, rectal bleeding, should especially raise eyebrows. These signs appeared up to two years before the patients’ diagnoses, with almost half of the study’s subjects experiencing at least one of those symptoms three months before diagnosis.

Researchers say people are often shy about talking to anyone about such things, especially when it comes to bloody stools and other subjects related to that part of the body, but that they shouldn’t be. “It can be difficult or embarrassing to talk about,” Dr. Matthew Kalady of Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center tells NBC. “But the reality is everybody deals with something like this.” The study’s authors urge anyone with such symptoms, especially if they last more than a week, to see their doctor, as they stress that colon cancer is a very treatable condition if caught early enough.

Again please check with your doctor if you have any signs or just want answers to your questions.

Have a great Sunday…..I will be grilling with my daughter and granddaughter….ribs and brisket…..beans and slaw.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Biden Enables The Fraud

This is one of my FYI posts for I watch policies that could effect our seniors….the biggest thing that seniors need to be aware of is the ‘medicare advantage plans’….they are not all they are cracked up to be.

I have made my thoughts known about these so-called Medicare Advantage plans….I think it is taking advantage of seniors who are worried about their aging body.

But as usual the insurance industry has spent its cash well….all the facts point to these ‘advantage” plans are little more than a scam….the president has allowed this raping of seniors to continue.

Medicare Advantage providers whined for months that they simply couldn’t survive without being able to rip off the government, so the government said ‘you can rip us off for just a little longer,'” The American Prospect‘s David Dayen tweeted in response to the CMS announcement.

The changes involve tweaks to the Medicare Advantage risk-adjustment model, which determines how much the federal government pays insurers to cover patient care.

Medicare Advantage plans are notorious for piling on diagnoses to make patients appear sicker than they are to reap larger payments from the federal government. CMS estimates that overpayments to Medicare Advantage totaled $11.4 billion in fiscal year 2022, a sizeable drain on the Medicare trust fund.

“Nearly every large insurer in the program has settled or is facing a federal fraud lawsuit for such conduct,” The New York Timesnoted Friday. “Evidence of the overpayments has been documented by academic studies, government watchdog reports, and plan audits.”

Medicare Advantage insurers have been fighting the Biden administration’s proposed changes for months, running ads warning that the reforms would result in higher premiums and worse care for patients—claims that federal health officials adamantly rejected.

The lobbyists for the insurance industry has buckets on money to throw at Congress we, the people, do not.

Plus Wall Street is happy with the Biden decision….

UnitedHealth Group, a dominant force in the lucrative Medicare Advantage market, has seen its stock jump over the past week as Wall Street analysts and investors embrace the Biden administration’s decision to delay reforms aimed at tackling abuse in the privately run, government-funded health program.

STATreported late last week that “Wall Street was overjoyed” by the announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which said it would phase in changes to the model that dictates how much government funding Medicare Advantage insurers receive to cover patient care.

Instead of implementing the changes all at once, the Biden administration will roll out the reforms over a three-year period, allowing Medicare Advantage insurers to continue overbilling the federal government in the meantime.

Oh there is AARP to protect seniors….that is a lie for they endorse a ‘plan’ that is scamming their members.

Please if you are considering one of these ‘plans’ think twice and check out the evidence before wasting your cash.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Be Well….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Another Epidemic Waiting To Happen?

Some interesting news to start your month.

Sunday and I spent the morning checking the orchard out….the olives are in bloom, so is the plum, tangerine and satsuma are filled with small young fruit…..fig is coming along and the blueberries are plentiful….appears it will be a good year for fruit.

Now that the mundane is out of the way….let’s move on to other news.

We went through the all divisive Covid epidemic…..we have a flesh eating bug out there….even a brain eating beast….and now we have yet another problem waiting to explode.

More than six years ago, news of a newly discovered drug-resistant “killer fungus” started making the rounds in the US, and scientists hoped to “contain and stop the spread” of it. Now, a concerning development, as the CDC notes that the possibly fatal fungus has been charging through health care facilities around the country, reports NBC News. A new CDC study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on the fungus—a yeast called Candida auris that especially affects older people and those with weakened immune systems—found that not only is the number of people with an infection from the fungus spiking at an “alarming rate,” but the number of those carrying C. auris is also rising. The New York Times has the numbers: In 2019, state and local health departments reported about 500 cases of the fungal infection.

By 2021, that had reached nearly 1,500—a 200% increase. Although the study itself didn’t include 2022’s numbers, a CDC website noted that last year saw 2,377 cases. C. auris is now found in more than half of the nation’s states, with Nevada, Florida, California, Texas, Illinois, and New York seeing the highest concentrations, per the CDC site. The fatality rate of C. auris patients is also concerning: The CDC says about half of those who become infected die, though researchers acknowledge they aren’t able to point to the fungus itself as the main cause of death, as those who die often have other medical issues. Then there’s the fact that the fungus is highly resistant to various drug classes, including echinocandins. Per the Times, health officials say “if resistance to echinocandins becomes more common as the germ evolves, C. auris could become extremely difficult, if not impossible, to treat.”

Scientists believe that the fungal infection may have worsened during the pandemic due to attention and resources being directed toward COVID, and because medical professionals’ personal protective gear, which C. auris clings to, was changed out less often due to shortages. None of this means that fighting the fungus is a lost cause, as there has been progress on stopping the spread in New York and Illinois. And Dr. Waleed Javaid, an epidemiologist at Mount Sinai, says that patients who contract the infection are typically “extremely ill individuals” with other issues. “We don’t want people who watched The Last of Us to think we’re all going to die,” he tells NBC.

Oh goody something else to worry about these days….as if we do not have enough on our plates to worry about these days.

Be warned and be prepared.

Please people do not run out and buy up all the toilet paper you can find…..see where this is going before you panic.

Enjoy your Sunday….Be Well and Be Safe.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

These Are The ‘Cleanest’

Continuing with my FYI Sunday….

My previous post I warned my readers about the ‘dirtiest’ fruits and veggies….today I want to show that not all our produce is ‘dirty’.


This is the list of the ‘cleanest’ produce in our local markets.

And, as a bit of a palate-cleanser, the group lists its “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables. In order of least to most contaminated:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Frozen sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Mangoes
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Watermelon
  15. Carrots

These may be considered ‘safe’ but I still suggest that you wash them thoroughly before preparing and consuming.

I hope that these two post were helpful in some small way….I do try to keep my readers abreast of health issues.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

These Are The ‘Dirtiest’

A little FYI for your Sunday.

In these days when most people are concerned with the food they eat I feel I need to help them out as much as possible.

When you grow to the store to buy your fresh fruits and veggies this list i a good one to have with you.

These are the ‘dirtiest’ fruits and veggies….

Mama (and the US government) always said to eat your fruits and veggies, but nowhere in that conventional wisdom was there anything about getting your daily allotment of pesticides. Yet, as CNN reports, that’s exactly what some of us are inadvertently doing. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group rounds up a list of the “Dirty Dozen” most contaminated nonorganic fruits and veggies, according to the group’s testing after washing the produce in a way normal Americans might. And sorry, blueberry lovers: Your blue gold has found its way onto the 2023 list. In order of most to least contaminated:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard greens, mustard greens
  4. Peaches
  5. Pears
  6. Nectarines
  7. Apples
  8. Grapes
  9. Bell and hot peppers
  10. Cherries
  11. Blueberries
  12. Green beans

This produce needs to be thoroughly cleaned before then are consumed.

So are all our fruits and veggies the ‘dirtiest’?

No they are not….

Tune in tomorrow for the cleanest fruits and veggies.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–08Mar23

Scamming our seniors.

My regular visitors know that since I am an old fart I try to keep an eye on the scams and policies that will effect most people as they retire.

The insurance industry is getting worse by the year….they have been scamming seniors for decades and it just gets worse with the passing of time.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a report Wednesday highlighting the splashy incentives—from luxury vacations to cash bonuses—that private insurance companies offer agents and brokers for enrolling seniors in potentially higher-cost Medigap plans.

Medigap is federally regulated supplemental health insurance offered by for-profit companies such as UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and Aetna.

According to Warren, the Medigap marketplace is rife with “incentive trips and other perks for brokers and agents” who—in pursuit of such rewards—could be motivated to “push seniors into the most expensive Medigap plans, regardless of whether those plans meet their needs.”

The senator found that the estimated 32 private companies that entice agents with vacations and other incentives to boost Medigap sales provided the supplemental insurance to around 6.6 million people in the U.S. in 2021 and raked in nearly $16 billion in premiums from beneficiaries that year.

Warren acknowledged that her report “may underestimate the prevalence of incentives and rewards in the Medigap insurance industry” given that insurers and third-party companies are often not transparent about their incentive practices.

In a statement, Warren lamented the weak federal and state regulations that are giving insurance giants “free rein to scam millions of seniors in Medigap, offering agents lavish vacations to steer unknowing beneficiaries into more expensive plans.”

“Regulators must act to make sure seniors aren’t getting fleeced,” said Warren, who noted that around 40% of Medigap enrollees had less than $40,000 in annual income in 2018.

I have always thought that these so-called “advantage’ plans were nothing more than a scam to screw seniors out of what money they have….these insurance toads are unfeeling ass wipes…..and that includes the senior’s best friend, AARP….which pushes their own brand of ‘advantage’ policies.

Keep an eye on your finances there are slugs that will come for your money.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–13Jan23

GOP has taken control of the House and they promised to do many things and so far they have done nothing that would indicate they have any concern for this country and its people.

They have removed the metal detectors in and around the House and their most recent ‘improvement’ was to allow smoking…..

There’s a lot of history repeating itself in Congress this year — the House is in GOP hands, Democrats control the White House and Senate and there’s an inescapable stench of tobacco smoke in the Capitol’s hallways.

The smoke evokes memories of the old guard of Republican House leadership. Former House Speaker John Boehner smoked so many cigarettes that new carpets, a fresh coat of paint and an ozone machine were required when Paul Ryan took over his office.

Going further back, David Dreier, a GOP chairman of the House Rules Committee in the late 1990s and early 2000s, was fond of cigars. Today it’s another Rules chairman — Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma — who can often be found smoking in the committee’s space on the third floor of the Capitol.

This makes the US Capitol one of a handful of places in Washington, DC, and among the few remaining office buildings in the country where smoking is still allowed inside. Despite efforts going back more than 150 years to prohibit tobacco from the building, smoking is still allowed in members’ offices.

The Capitol, and the surrounding congressional office buildings, are federal property but operate independently of other government buildings and many rules — including those about smoking and pandemic procedures — are at the discretion of House and Senate leadership.

This makes the old image of the ‘fat cat’ lighting his cigar with 100 dollar bills….

I can hardly wait to see what is the next move to improve government the GOP has on tap.

I did not have to wait long… seems if they have their way they will get a $34,000 raise.

In one of their final acts in power, House Democrats secretly passed through a rule change that will see lawmakers in the lower chamber get a $34,000 pay raise. 

The new rule, proposed by Democrats on the House Administration Committee, allows House members to be reimbursed for the cost of lodging, food and travel while on official business in Washington DC.

It was tucked into the House’s internal rules, rather than in annual spending bills, and therefore was not debated on the House floor, according to the New York Times. 

Under the new rule, House members could be subsidized about $34,000 for their expenses in DC, where they live for weeks on end. That means that if all 440 current members and delegates requested the maximum amount, the reimbursements would total around $15.1 million. 

Members of the House already earn an annual salary of $174,000, an amount set in 2009, which has not changed since even as the cost of living increased.

Additionally, House members get annual allowances averaging $1.27 million to staff and manage their offices as they see fit, and while members of Congress are required to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act, they receive a subsidy amounting to 72 percent of their premiums, according to Axios.

The federal lawmakers are also eligible for lifetime health insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.

And depending on the member’s age and length of service, he or she could also receive a lifetime pension of 80 percent of his or her salary — amounting to $139,200 a year.

Not bad salary and benefits for a group that are basically part-time help.

Have a good weekend my friends.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Who Profits From Medical Debt?

You hear about the people that are screwed by medical debt….how they have lost everything to pay those massive bills that come in the mail and phone calls.

But that is all too common….every thought about who profits by throwing people into debtors prison (not really but has the same results)…..IST would be remiss if I did not tell the rest of the story…..

Patients at North Carolina-based Atrium Health get what looks like an enticing pitch when they go to the nonprofit hospital system’s website: a payment plan from lender AccessOne. The plans offer “easy ways to make monthly payments” on medical bills, the website says. You don’t need good credit to get a loan. Everyone is approved. Nothing is reported to credit agencies.

In Minnesota, Allina Health encourages its patients to sign up for an account with MedCredit Financial Services to “consolidate your health expenses.” In Southern California, Chino Valley Medical Center, part of the Prime Healthcare chain, touts “promotional financing options with the CareCredit credit card to help you get the care you need, when you need it.”

As Americans are overwhelmed with medical bills, patient financing is now a multibillion-dollar business, with private equity and big banks lined up to cash in when patients and their families can’t pay for care. By one estimate from research firm IBISWorld, profit margins top 29% in the patient financing industry, seven times what is considered a solid hospital margin.

Hospitals and other providers, which historically put their patients in interest-free payment plans, have welcomed the financing, signing contracts with lenders and enrolling patients in financing plans with rosy promises about convenient bills and easy payments.

For patients, the payment plans often mean something more ominous: yet more debt.

Millions of people are paying interest on these plans, on top of what they owe for medical or dental care, an investigation by KHN and NPR shows. Even with lower rates than a traditional credit card, the interest can add hundreds, even thousands of dollars to medical bills and ratchet up financial strains when patients are most vulnerable.

How Banks and Private Equity Cash In When Patients Can’t Pay Their Medical Bills

You now see that your health issues money in the bank for Pharma and the health industry.

While you were rotting your brain on Twatter, Tik Tak and other mindless sites your life is being dismantled….and seemingly with your permission.

Pay Attention!

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Drugs And You

If you are a senior that has to take medications or a regular person the new year will bring us more expensive drugs…..something else to look forward to in this new year.

Big Pharma is set to screw the public again…..

Drugmakers including Pfizer Inc (PFE.N), GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK.L), Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY.N), AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.L) and Sanofi SA (SASY.PA) plan to raise prices in the United States on more than 350 unique drugs in early January, according to data analyzed by healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors.

The increases are expected to come as the pharmaceutical industry prepares for the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which allows the government’s Medicare health program to negotiate prices directly for some drugs starting in 2026. The industry is also contending with inflation and supply chain constraints that have led to higher manufacturing costs.

The increases are on list prices, which do not include rebates to pharmacy benefit managers and other discounts.

In 2022, drugmakers raised prices on more than 1,400 drugs according to data published by 46brooklyn, a drug pricing non-profit that is related to 3 Axis. That is the most increases since 2015.

The median drug price increase was 4.9% last year, while the average increase was 6.4%, according to 46brooklyn. Both figures are lower than inflation rates in the United States.

You would think that elected representatives would care what is happening to their people….but I guess suitcases of cash carried by lobbyists has a a way of blinding the corruptible.

Be prepared for higher outlay for drugs in 2023.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Falling Russian Syndrome

There has been an uptick of a dreaded disease that is running rampant through Russia’s ‘High Society”…..a situation that started during the dark days of the Covid outbreak in Russia.

I wrote about it before in the early days……

Those Russians And Windows Are Back!

The disease has struck again…..

It’s been a while since the murky death of a Russian oligarch or other high-profile exec has made headlines, but this month saw that streak broken. Per the BBC, 65-year-old sausage magnate Pavel Antov, who’s topped Forbes‘ list of the richest Russian businessmen, was found dead Sunday at a hotel in Rayagada, in the Indian state of Odisha—apparently after a fall out of a window, according to local cops. The Jerusalem Post notes Antov, who’d just celebrated his birthday, was discovered lying in a pool of blood.

A local police superintendent suggests Antov died by suicide, as he’d been “depressed” over something that had happened at the hotel just two days earlier: His friend Vladimir Budanov, a 61-year-old Russian businessman who’d accompanied him on the trip, had been “discovered unconscious” in his own hotel room, surrounded by wine bottles, per the Daily Beast. He later died at a nearby hospital. Budanov was said by Indian and Russian officials to have died of either a stroke or heart attack. As is often the case in these mysterious Russian deaths, Antov’s past included alleged criticism of the Russian government: The BBC reports that in June, he’d reacted to a Russian missile attack on a Kyiv neighborhood, posting on WhatsApp, “It’s extremely difficult to call all this anything but terror.”

Antov later denied he was the one behind the post, which was deleted, claiming someone else had posted it and that he was a “patriot of my country” who supported President Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine. WION reports that an investigation is ongoing, and that “they are probing all angles in this case, including an accidental fall.” The Beast notes there’ve been more than a dozen strange deaths of Russian businessmen this year, often executives in the gas and oil industry. One of those deaths happened over the same weekend that Antov and Budanov died: Alexander Buzakov, head of Russia’s Admiralty Shipyard, died “suddenly and tragically” on Saturday at age 66, his cause of death unclear.

How far will this go?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”