The Inflation Reduction Act

Recently the Congress and the White House passed and signed a great bill that is suppose to help struggling Americans keep the prices of drugs down….

The Inflation Reduction Act is set to lower drug prices for millions of people in the U.S. — but experts fear pharmaceutical companies could exploit loopholes in the bill, ultimately keeping prescription costs high for many.

The law takes aim at insulin costs, caps out-of-pocket spending for Medicare beneficiaries, and allows the federal government to negotiate prices on the costliest prescription drugs. It also will require drugmakers to pay a rebate to Medicare if they raise prices too sharply.

These provisions won’t be implemented all at once.  Instead, they’ll go into effect gradually over the next several years, beginning with insulin price caps and rebates in 2023, out-of-pocket caps in 2025, and finally drug negotiations in 2026.

Because of the four-year gap before the law is fully implemented, policy and legal experts fear that pharmaceutical companies may have ample time to go on the offense and — if they don’t try to get the law thrown out in court — figure out ways to sidestep provisions that affect their ability to maintain their high profits.

The tactics may ultimately threaten the law’s ability to lower drug costs for consumers. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found about 8 in 10 adults say the cost of prescription drugs is unreasonable.

“Trying to reform the system is like playing three-dimensional chess,” said Robin Feldman, a pharmaceutical and intellectual property law expert at the University of California, Hastings. “Whatever move the government makes, companies will move on three different levels to try to get around it.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/inflation-reduction-act-aims-lower-drug-costs-s-big-pharma-get-rcna48341

This is typical….the Congress installs loopholes that can be exploited by the donors that pay their representatives to make it easier for them exploit the people of this country.

So bend over my fellow Americans and enjoy the ride….you will get use to it (sarcasm)….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–20Sep22

This an FYI for all my retired seniors that get a Social Security payment monthly….a must read to understand the news of the largest COLA in decades.

Our seniors got some good news recently…..it appears as if there will be a good substantial COLA for next year.

When we last read the tea leaves in May, it was looking like seniors could be looking at an 8.6% adjustment to their monthly Social Security checks in 2023. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) happens in October, and with just one month to go, the predicted increase has ticked up. The New York Times reports the Senior Citizens League is now projecting an 8.7% increase for next year. The Social Security Administration will make its announcement on Oct. 13. Our story from May 2022 follows:

Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) doesn’t happen until October, and it’ll be based on the previous three months of inflation numbers. But a forecast from the Senior Citizens League indicates those Social Security checks could see a big hike. CBS News reports the advocacy group for older Americans projected an 8.6% increase for 2023 based on the Consumer Price Index data for April that was released Wednesday. Consumer prices were up 8.3% last month from 12 months earlier, a slight decrease from March’s 8.5% annual increase. The COLA is calculated using a slight variation of that Consumer Price Index (CPI) called the CPI-W. The CPI-W was 8.9% in April.

Some 69 million Americans collect Social Security, and their average check is about $1,658 per month. Should that 8.6% hike come to pass, that would bring it to about $1,800 in 2023. As for the Senior Citizens League’s track record, it ultimately forecast a 6.1% COLA increase for 2022, versus an actual boost of 5.9%—an amount that isn’t keeping up with this year’s rate of inflation. The top three COLA increases since 1975 were 14.3% (1980), 11.2% (1981), and 9.9% (1979). An 8.6% increase would enter the list at No. 4. But it’s possible inflation will ease over the next five months. “I think the action at the Fed is going to slow things down,” Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League, tells CNBC.

Not to worry the insurance companies and your c-pays will go up…..meaning that seniors will probably see a lot less of the raise than anticipated.

2023 will bring some major changes to the program…..

https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/09/18/3-changes-to-social-security-retirees-must-know/

Happens every time we get a good COLA….we lose most of it to the health industry….

https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/09/19/kiss-your-101-social-security-raise-goodbye-2023/

One of the worse scams in history….the American healthcare system.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Do You Drink Diet Sodas?

I know we all are concerned about our health and the first place many start is the cutting out of sugar from their diets….but is that a wise decision?

First question to ask is….are these sodas healthier?

Diet sodas are popular beverages all over the world, especially among people who want to reduce their sugar or calorie intake.

Instead of sugar, artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame-k, or sucralose, are used to sweeten them.

Almost every popular sugar-sweetened beverage on the market has a “light” or a “diet” version — Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Pepsi Max, Sprite Zero, etc.

Diet sodas were first introduced in the 1950s for people with diabetes, though they were later marketed to people trying to control their weight or reduce their sugar intake.

Despite being free of sugar and calories, the health effects of diet drinks and artificial sweeteners are controversial.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/diet-soda-good-or-bad

This is what happens to your body with the consumption of diet drinks…..

Every food or drink you include in your diet can affect your health. From orange juice consumption being linked to immune support to a cup of tea being linked to reduced inflammation, your dietary choices can profoundly impact your overall health.

And while you might lean on diet soda for that distinct sweet effervescence without worrying about loading up with sugar, doing so may have other effects on your health that you may not realize. Here are six other effects (positive and negative) that can happen when you sip diet sodas on the regular.

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7964257/this-is-what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-drink-diet-soda/

You can break your Diet drink addiction…..

There are plenty of simple steps you can take to decrease your intake of diet soda.

Start by slowly swapping it for other drinks in your diet. Here are a few alternative drinks to consider:

Look for versions of these drinks that either are unsweetened or have a lower sugar content. Try adding a splash of juice to water or seltzer.

You can make flavored water by adding cucumber slices, fresh or frozen fruit, herbs like basil and mint, or citrus fruits like lime or lemon to plain or sparkling water for a hint of flavor without added sugar.

Tye best way to handle this is talk with your medical professional….for I am in no way qualified to give medical advice…..

This post is just FYI and a place to start if you have an addiction to these drinks….

Always put your health first.

Have a great weekend…..Be well and Be Safe…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those MediCare Advantage Plans

You have seen the ads…..everybody sells these plans, even AARP, that say they can put money back into your Social Security check….but what of these plans?

First of all the whole US health care system is a scam.

But what of these ‘advantage’ plans?

At least one Senator is not convinced these are anything but a deception….

Sen. Ron Wyden on Tuesday launched an inquiry into “potentially deceptive” marketing tactics being used by private insurers and other companies that offer Medicare benefits through Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans, citing “alarming reports” about contractors “engaging in aggressive sales practices that take advantage of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities.”

In his capacity as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal healthcare programs under the Social Security Act, including privately run Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D drug plans, Wyden (D-Ore.) sent letters requesting more information from 15 state insurance commissioners and state health insurance assistance programs.

The letter—sent to officials in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas—comes amid a surge in complaints about MA and Part D marketing materials that purport to inform seniors of their coverage options.

In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which has the authority to regulate materials used to market MA and Part D plans, reported that complaints from seniors more than doubled from 2020 to 2021.

Among other things, Wyden wants officials to provide data on the number of complaints about MA and/or Part D marketing materials they have received in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, including possible patterns of discrimination, as well as “examples of potentially false or misleading marketing materials and advertisements in MA or Part D, including mailers, robo-calls, websites, television commercials, and online advertisements.”

Of Medicare’s 60 million beneficiaries, nearly half are enrolled in MA plans and 50 million are enrolled in Part D plans. Corporations that manage MA plans have come under fire for upcoding, or exaggerating patients’ illnesses in order to reap larger payments from the federal government—something they do while refusing to provide necessary care for tens of thousands each year.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/08/23/wyden-launches-probe-deceptive-marketing-medicare-advantage-plans

So the question remains….is Medicare Advantage a necessary expense?  Is it a scam?

My thoughts are this is an unnecessary expense with promises that may not be realized or needed.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

New 988 System

It is a Sunday and I would like to present to my readers a Public Service Announcement (PSA)……

We all are well aware of the need for the 9-11 system which is used in emergencies…..all calls for criminal activity, medical emergency and mental health issues that have become serious……as of today a new system will be in place from all over the country…the new 988 system…..

Starting Saturday, anyone across the US can simply call or text 988 at any time to reach what used to be called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained mental health professionals will respond, NBC News reports. Now called 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, it will provide free and confidential support 24/7, and will connect callers to local crisis centers. A surge of millions more calls is expected due to the change, the Washington Post reports.

“Trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary,” per the website. The Lifeline currently has a 10-digit 800-number, and this three-digit version will be easier to remember for people in distress. It also offers an alternative to calling 911 during a mental health crisis, since 911 callers are typically directed to law enforcement rather than mental health professionals.

“I look at 988 as a starting place where we can really reimagine mental health care,” says Hannah Wesolowski, chief advocacy officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The 988 number already works in some areas, but will work nationwide by Saturday. In the meantime, anyone who needs to can still call the old Lifeline number, 800-273-8255, which will remain active even after the 988 number is implemented. You can also text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.

Write it down…put it in your phone….keep it close in case it is needed.

Peace Out my friends.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden’s Answer To SCOTUS

By now we all are aware of the decision by those political hacks we call the Supreme Court on Roe v Wade…..

What to do?  What to do?  Well the president has an idea…..

President Joe Biden said Sunday he is considering declaring a public health emergency to free up federal resources to promote abortion access even though the White House has said it doesn’t seem like “a great option.” He also offered a message to people enraged by the Supreme Court’s ruling last month that ended a constitutional right to abortion and who have been demonstrating across the country: “Keep protesting. Keep making your point. It’s critically important.” The president, in remarks to reporters during a stop on a bike ride near his family’s Delaware beach house, said he lacks the power to force the dozen-plus states with strict restrictions or outright bans on abortion to allow the procedure, the AP reports.

“I don’t have the authority to say that we’re going to reinstate Roe v. Wade as the law of the land,” he said. Biden said Congress would have to codify that right and for that to have a better chance in the future, voters would have to elect more lawmakers who support abortion access. Biden said his administration is trying to do a “lot of things to accommodate the rights of women” after the ruling, including considering declaring a public health emergency to free up federal resources. Such a move has been pushed by advocates, but White House officials have questioned both its legality and effectiveness, and noted it would almost certainly face legal challenges.

The president said he has asked officials “to look at whether I have the authority to do that and what impact that would have.” On Friday, Jen Klein, the director of the White House Gender Policy Council, said it “didn’t seem like a great option.” “When we looked at the public health emergency, we learned a couple things: One is that it doesn’t free very many resources,” she told reporters. “It’s what’s in the public health emergency fund, and there’s very little money—tens of thousands of dollars in it. So that didn’t seem like a great option. And it also doesn’t release a significant amount of legal authority. And so that’s why we haven’t taken that action yet.”

Will this do any good?

NO it will not!

Sounds to me as if it is a PR ploy looking toward 2024….after all he is not all that popular right now with the American people.

Whatcha think?

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Mississippi Is ‘Famous’

By now the whole country has heard of the landmark court case on Roe v Wade…..but did you know that it originated in my state of Mississippi?

And that is not the only ‘famous’ court decision that originated in Mississippi…..25 years ago the landmark tobacco settlement originated in Mississippi.

Yep time for that short trip into history.

If Mississippi’s political leaders had stuck to their plan, the state would now have a trust fund of more than $4 billion earning about $320 million annually to spend on health care, based on projections made in 1999.

But, as often is pointed out, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Such is the case with the health care trust fund that was created in 1999 with the money from the state’s settlement with the tobacco companies of a landmark lawsuit to collect government funds spent treating smoking-related illnesses.

The settlement funds have been delivered to Mississippi as promised, but the promise of a trust fund was broken long ago.

The lawsuit, which originated in Mississippi, turned into a $365 billion national settlement that was announced by then-Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore and others on June 20, 1997 – 25 years ago.

The lawsuit guaranteed Mississippi $4 billion over 25-years with annual payments of $100 million or more, based on a formula, continuing forever.

https://mississippitoday.org/2022/06/26/landmark-tobacco-lawsuit-settled-25-years-ago-what-happened-to-money/

The new cash was earmarked for health issues….but since the GOP runs this state and their push to cut spending the state Congress has been hitting the fund to plug all the holes that they have created by all the austerity measures.

This is typical for Mississippi…they lie.

Like casino tax money was earmarked for education and yet the state education system sucks because there is little money.

Do you pay attention to how your tax dollars are spent?  Or do you just care about issues that mean little to the people of your state?

I can wait for the answers.

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scrfibo”

Biden Moves On Abortion

Since SCOTUS did what the conservs have wanted for 50 years and made Roe v Wade a mere shadow of its former self…..all activists have been bitching and ranting that the Dems are doing nothing but throw out platitudes…..with all that criticism Biden has decided to do something that might help in November during the mid-terms….

President Biden will take executive action Friday to protect access to abortion, according to three people familiar with the matter, as he faces mounting pressure from Democrats to be more forceful on the subject after the Supreme Court ended a constitutional right to the procedure two weeks ago. The White House said Biden will speak Friday morning “on protecting access to reproductive health care services,” but the actions Biden was to outline were expected to be limited in scope, the AP reports. He is expected to formalize instructions to the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to push back on efforts to limit the ability of women to access federally approved abortion medication or to travel across state lines to access clinical abortion services.

Biden’s executive order will also direct agencies to work to educate medical providers and insurers about how and when they are required to share privileged patient information with authorities—an effort to protect women who seek or utilize abortion services. The order, coming two weeks after the high court’s June 24 ruling that ended the nationwide right to abortion and left it to states to determine whether or how to allow the procedure, comes as Biden has faced criticism from some in his own party for not acting with more urgency to protect women’s access to abortion. Since the ruling, Biden has stressed that his ability to protect abortion rights by executive action is limited without congressional action.

For me this is a limp wrist attempt to appear as doing something when doing as little as possible.

Yes Biden is at least doing something…..but my question is….Is he really doing anything substantial or is it just part of the election two step?

Your thoughts, please.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What’s It Like? (The Gun Debate)

I have stated that I think that actual photos of what these bullets do to the human body would wake the American people up to the horror of the actions taken by some…..

This is part of the conversation that most want to avoid…..and then there are people that want you to know the consequences of the violence.

I made my opinion on this recently…..

Viewing The Dead

NPR has taken a look into the aftermath of a shooting…..

A wave of mass shootings has plagued the country in recent weeks, including in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Philadelphia.

There have been more than 240 mass shootings this year, a grim statistic that follows gun violence being at its highest point in more than 20 years in 2020, according to CDC data.

It’s a pattern some doctors have noticed even without the numbers in front of them.

Bullets from weapons such as handguns typically pierce straight through a target, medical experts say. By comparison, weapons such as the AR-15s used in many mass shootings, can liquefy organs because of their much higher projectile speeds.

“Assault weapons … cause a condition called cavitation, meaning that as the projectile passes through tissue, it creates a large cavity,” said Dr. Ian Brown, a trauma surgeon at UC Davis Health in Sacramento, California. “And that does a ton of of tissue damage, both initially at the impact, and then even further as that tissue begins to necrose, or die off.”

The damage is much greater in children, as the surface area of their organs and arteries are smaller, said Dr. Joseph Sakran, the director of emergency general surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Where the projectile lands is critical, added Dr. Eric Savitsky, an emergency medicine specialist at UCLA Medical Center.

“From a survivability and morbidity perspective, what the bullets hit, whether (bullets are) small caliber or large calibers, is the primary determinant of patient outcomes,” he said.

https://www.npr.org/2022/06/06/1103177032/gun-violence-mass-shootings-assault-weapons-victims

I have seen first hand what the rounds from an M-16 and AK-47 do to the human body and it is images that I wish I could cleanse from my mind….but they will stay with me until I take that dirt nap.

I truly think that the people should see what these weapons are capable of doing.

But instead we debate semantics and throw deflection into the conversation….all this is doing no one any good.

How many more children need to die before the bullshit is set aside and a real conversation is had?

Thoughts?

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

M4A (Again)

In case you are not up on the latest acronym–M4A stands for Medicare For All….

Our health care is getting more expensive as the Congress keeps allowing the industry to screw Americans at every turn.

Since the dialog has come to the possibility of Medicare For All I have been a supporter…there are too damn many Americans without health care for this to be anything but a ‘gimme’.

Sen. Sanders has once again brought the proposal to the forefront……

Slamming the current U.S. healthcare system as a morass of waste, dysfunction, and profiteering, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday introduced Medicare for All legislation that would eliminate out-of-pocket insurance costs and provide comprehensive coverage to everyone in the country.

“It is not acceptable to me, nor to the American people, that over 70 million people today are either uninsured or underinsured,” Sanders (I-Vt.), chair of the Senate Budget Committee, said during a Medicare for All hearing that he convened Thursday morning.

“As we speak,” the Vermont senator continued, “there are millions of people who would like to go to a doctor but cannot afford to do so. This is an outrage.”

Under the system that Sanders’ bill would usher in, patients would no longer have to fork over copays, deductibles, and premiums to hugely profitable insurance companies.

“If Medicare for All becomes law, your taxes will go up,” Sanders noted, anticipating insurance industry talking points against his bill. “But what they won’t tell you is that there would be no out-of-pocket costs.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/05/12/realistic-humane-and-just-choice-sanders-unveils-medicare-all-act-2022

For  break down on this issue then I have a post that can help the reader understand what this bill will detail….

Medicare For All

Before you start bumping your gums in opposition please read about the bill and tell me why Americans do not deserve coverage.

Realistically whether you are for or against M4A your choice matters not…..for the the government from top down is swayed only by bribes….sorry I mean campaign donations….not what the best for the people of this country…..their ( elected officials) means nothing!  Their only motivation is the cash they can siphon off…not the will of the people.

Like I stated before I am in favor of the idea…but that is just me….

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”