To Help Our Veterans

I have been very critical of our president in the past……I will have to give him his props on one subject…..Veterans.

He has given them lots of lip service in the past but has shown little truly concern for their welfare….that is until yesterday…..

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at stemming a persistently high number of veteran suicides, urging expanded outreach by awarding grants to community programs. The order creates a Cabinet-level task force that will seek to develop a national roadmap for suicide prevention, bringing in state and local organizations to raise awareness among the high-risk group. It directs the task force led by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to finalize a plan in 12 months, the AP reports. “Veterans suicide is a tragedy of staggering proportions,” Trump said at a signing ceremony surrounded by military families and veterans’ organizations. “Today we can help end this crisis.”

He said the problem of veteran suicide can only be solved if the entire country works together to build communities that support and protect veterans from the first moment they return to civilian life. “They courageously fulfill their duties to our nation, now we must fulfill our duties to them,” Trump said. Currently, about 20 veterans die by suicide each day, about 1.5 times higher than those who haven’t served in the military. The government says about 14 of those 20 were not under VA care, pointing to a need for improved outreach. According to the White House, the new task force will look to create a grant system similar to the Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program, which provides funding to state and local programs. The effort, which is being dubbed the PREVENTS Initiative, will also aim to better coordinate research on suicide prevention across agencies, including Veterans Affairs, Defense and Homeland Security. PREVENTS stands for “President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide.”

I hope this is a real effort to help and not some “feel good” order.

I think we can save a bunch of money by admitting that war is the biggest contributor to the causes of vet suicides….end these worthless endless wars and the suicide rate may go down.

But DC will do what DC always does…..stretch this out for maximum cash outlay and issue a report that will not change a goddamn thing.

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Health Is Expensive

In the last decade as I grow older my health has come into question…..first a badly broken leg that needed screw to repair…..then loss of 4 toes because I was a heavy smoker for 50 years….then a diagnosis that I have diabetes and high blood pressure…..all that has been costly…..meds out my butt….the insulin alone is $450…..

My hospital stays are not completely covered by Medicare so I have been hit with bills on top of bills and then there are those “drug plans” that pay NOTHING hardly so drugs are expensive.

I pay monthly on my bill but if I cannot pay $200 a month I am turned over as a deadbeat and sent to a collection agency….the best health care in the world MY FUCKING ASS!

I am fortunate I have a pretty good retirement pension and I have some savings without that then I would probably be sleeping on the street with my honey and my dogs in a discarded packing crate under bridge somewhere……

I bring all this personal stuff up because of something the Dems are favoring…..Medicare for All…..

The concept of expanding Medicare coverage to not only seniors and disabled people but just about everyone, has recently shot up in popularity among Democrats and party activists at the national level.

Among proponents of so-called Medicare for All, there are varying ideas for how such a government-paid and government-administered health insurance system would work and how exactly it would affect patients, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies.

Still, there are key similarities in the proposals put out so far for either a national or one-state-only Medicare for All system:

They would all entail expanding insurance coverage — and raising taxes a lot.

Yet they also could result in lower total health care spending across the private sector that could make up for all the new taxes. For instance, businesses and families could end up paying less for health care overall, even considering the additional health care taxes.

Some of the overall savings, however, could require cutting the pay of highly skilled doctors.

Or read a better explanation from Vox.com……

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/7/2/17468448/medicare-for-all-single-payer-health-care-2018-elections

The main reason I got onto this rant was from an article I read while laid up in the hospital……

Medical problems contributed to 66.5% of all bankruptcies, a figure that is virtually unchanged since before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a study published yesterday as an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health. The findings indicate that 530,000 families suffer bankruptcies each year that are linked to illness or medical bills.

The study, carried out by a team of two doctors, two lawyers, and a sociologist from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP), surveyed a random sample of 910 Americans who filed for personal bankruptcy between 2013 and 2016, and abstracted the court records of their bankruptcy filings. The study, which is one component of the CBP’s ongoing bankruptcy research, provides the only national data on medical contributors to bankruptcy since the 2010 passage of the ACA. Bankruptcy debtors reported that medical bills contributed to 58.5% of bankruptcies, while illness-related income loss contributed to 44.3%; many debtors cited both of these medical issues.

http://pnhp.org/news/new-medical-bankruptcy-study-two-thirds-of-filers-cite-illness-and-medical-bills-as-contributors-to-financial-ruin/

This is an embarrassment….this country supposedly the “BEST” country in the world and most Americans cannot afford to get sick.

Time for a change and most freshman Congresspeople, the Dems, are on-board with Medicare For All…..I like the idea as long as Big Pharma is put into check….but I am afraid that the old guard Dems will do what they always do….turn coward and water down any health plans…..

A Medicare buy-in. A Medicaid buy-in. Medicare for retiring police officers and firefighters under the age of 65. Defend and strengthen Obamacare.

With Medicare for All polling at an unprecedented 70 percent support among the American public and headed toward its first-ever congressional hearing, Politico on Tuesday reported that there is a growing effort among congressional Democrats—including some 2020 presidential hopefuls—to “water down” the grassroots push for a transformative single-payer program by offering up more incremental approaches to solving America’s for-profit healthcare crisis.

The proposals listed above, which Politico encapsulated with the term “Medicare for More,” are just a handful of ideas Democratic lawmakers have put forth as ostensibly more “pragmatic” paths to achieving a humane healthcare system.

But grassroots Medicare for All advocates and campaigners—whose voices were absent from Politico‘s report—strongly objected to any plan that leaves intact central elements of a status quo that has produced enormous profits for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, while leaving millions of Americans with soaring costs or entirely uninsured.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/22/progressives-warn-against-democrats-pushing-diluted-half-measures-alternative

I stand with the Progressives……do not let the industry write the bill like they did for Obamacare….the people of this country deserves adquate health care.

More Torture For Young Girls

It is Super Bowl Sunday and am not expecting much tarficc today….Me?  I’m not watching…I am a Saints fan and they were screwed so screw the Super Bowl.

Instead I post on a subject that few Americans know anything about.

There has been a concerted attempt to try and eliminate the process of FGM….about now if you are not all that interested this means nothing other than some title only the media would be interested….

Since today is a Sunday and I wrote a piece years ago as a Sunay posy…let me refresh your memory…..https://lobotero.com/2016/10/16/what-is-fgm/

But if you were to damn lazy to read my post……

It’s also known as “female circumcision” or “cutting”, and by other terms such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others.

FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts. It is illegal in the UK and is child abuse.

It’s very painful and can seriously harm the health of women and girls. It can also cause long-term problems with sex, childbirth and mental health.

There are four main types of FGM:

  • Type 1 (clitoridectomy) – removing part or all of the clitoris.
  • Type 2 (excision) – removing part or all of the clitoris and the inner labia (lips that surround the vagina), with or without removal of the labia majora (larger outer lips).
  • Type 3 (infibulation) – narrowing of the vaginal opening by creating a seal, formed by cutting and repositioning the labia.
  • Other harmful procedures to the female genitals, including pricking, piercing, cutting, scraping or burning the area.

FGM is often performed by traditional circumcisers or cutters who do not have any medical training. However, in some countries it may be done by a medical professional.

Now that you are caught up with the FGM thing……then we shall move on to another torture some girls are put through…

And that torture is called “Breast Ironing”……and yes it sounds horrible and it is …….

An African practice of “ironing” a girl’s chest with a hot stone to delay breast formation is spreading in the UK to “protect” young girls from unwanted male attention, sexual harassment and rape, a media report said on Saturday.

The Guardian reported that community workers in London, Yorkshire, Essex and the West Midlands informed the newspaper about cases in which pre-teen girls from the diaspora of several African countries were subjected to the painful, abusive and futile practice.

The UN has described the practice as one of five global under-reported crimes relating to gender-based violence.

The perpetrators, usually mothers, consider it a traditional measure which protects girls from unwanted male attention, sexual harassment and rape. Medical experts and victims, however, call it child abuse which could lead to physical and psychological scars, infections, inability to breastfeed, deformities and breast cancer.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/several-pre-teen-girls-subjected-to-breast-ironing-in-uk-report/story-YKa7nXekrBzBnn3LGyKk5N.html

This is so sad…..why must young girls be put through this archaic torture?  Women in Africa and the Third World have a difficult life then why make it worse?

Sorry to be a downer on this Sunday…..try to be well, be safe…..chuq

Opioids: The Great Epidemic

Trump is elected and his family decides that they will champion the opioid crisis the country is having…I have written several post on this subject……

 
 
 
I told my readers that I had a personal connection with this situation it was published on my Op-Ed blog, Gulf South Free Press……..https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/pain-management-a-personal-story/
 
All that is my build-up to the questions as who can we say caused this medical problem……

A federal judge has ruled that a massive lawsuit that blames drug manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies for the American opioid epidemic will proceed to trial.

“It is accurate to describe the opioid epidemic as a man-made plague, twenty years in the making. The pain, death, and heartache it has wrought cannot be overstated,” blasted U.S. District Judge Dan Polster of the Northern District of Ohio in his ruling last month.

This federal trial will take place in September.

The class action combines no fewer than 600 claims by local and state governments against the opioid industry. While the more cynical among us might think this is nothing but a cash grab by our nation’s prosecutors, the facts show that this is the least we can do to hold these corporate criminals accountable.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-the-corporate-pill-pushers-started-the-opioid-crisis/

Plus the hard core attitude to opiates is not doing true pain sufferers any good….as a matter of fact they are making it harder for these sufferers to get the relief they need.

Check That BP!

It is the weekend and I will attempt to be FYI today.

Us old farts have to keep a close eye on our BP (Blood Pressure) and most of us have a monitor at home so that we can make regular observations….and I would like to say here that ***I am NOT a medical person and that the information I give you should be checked with your medical professional.***

There are some things we must do when checking the BP or we will get a wrong reading (that could lead to minor panic)…..

Having a full bladder – This can add 10-15 points to your reading. You should always empty your bladder before measuring blood pressure.

Slouching, unsupported back/feet – Poor support when sitting can increase your reading by 6-10points. Make sure you’re in a chair with your back supported and feet flat on the floor or a footstool.

Unsupported arm – If your arm is hanging by your side or you have to hold it up during a reading, you may see numbers up to 10 points higher than they should be.

You should position your arm on a chair or counter so that the measurement cuff is level with your heart.

Sitting with crossed legs – While polite, it could increase a blood pressure reading 2-8 points. It’s best to uncross your legs as well as ensure your feet are supported.

Talking – Answering questions, talking on the phone, etc. can add 10 points. Stay still and silent to ensure an accurate measurement.

Normal blood pressure is typically less than 120 for systolic (the number when your heart is contracting) and less than 80 for diastolic (when your heart is relaxed).

I hope this will be helpful….

My day is going to be iffy…..rain predicted and much cooler temps….so my snacks and wine will be had indoors….MoMo has decided that bed is the best place to be since she has taken a liking to my favorite blanket…..and I let her have it…..she plays me badly…tee hee

Have a good day my friends…..chuq

Screw Those Veterans Again!

Closing Thought–23Jan19

Everybody knows that the federal deficit is outrageous…..and everybody has a party that has a plan to control the deficit…..the only problem it is seldom that important until election time and then it is paramount and will destroy the nation if not brought under control.

All that is pure rancid manure spread by small minded idiots in the Right.

As usual the way to control the deficit is by screw someone in society…..the poor, the aging and the veterans…..well the CBO has a good plan to screw the veterans again……

Some vets use the VA but more have access to Tricare…….and this is where the CBO said changes needed to be made……

With the federal deficit expected to top $1 trillion this year, the Congressional Budget Office in December published a list of options for reducing the imbalance over the next 10 years, including three suggestions on Tricare and six that address veterans benefits.

In its Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028, the CBO laid out 121 opportunities for curtailing spending and raising revenue. These include raising Tricare enrollment fees for military retirees, instituting enrollment fees for Tricare for Life and reducing veterans benefits.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/01/14/cbo-suggests-raising-tricare-fees-cutting-veteran-benefits-slash-deficit.html

Here’s a better idea….since the problem is a lack of income thanks to all the mindless tax cuts for decades….approve the higher tax on the uber-rich and increase the income….will not solve all the problems but will help the loss of income.

History proves that taxing the rich is beneficial…..

Do high taxes really hurt the economy as much as they believe, and will lowering them have much of an impact on stimulating it? The economic literature is clear — tax breaks to encourage economic relocation or investment decisions are inefficient and wasteful. Hundreds of studies reach this conclusion. When businesses are surveyed regarding factors important to their investment decisions, taxes often come in behind proximity to markets, suppliers, and the quality of the labor force. These other factors occupy a larger percentage of a business’s budget than do taxes, and all of them are far more critical to long-term success than are taxes. Businesses occasionally admit this. Nearly 62 percent of those interviewed in a California study on hiring tax credits indicated that they had never or rarely affected their decision to employ individuals.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/09/tax-the-rich-history-proves-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-may-be-correct/

Please stop believing the LIE that tax cuts are beneficial!  They help very few and raise the deficit….time to consider the alternatives to GOP bullsh*t.

Go North Young Man

Closing Thought: 17Jan19

The GOP’s hit man has been Rand Paul, a bit of a Libertarian, in our Congress…he usually runs to a camera and spouts his opposition to this policy or that and then when the time comes he supports it. To me that makes him a “media whore” (those that will do or say anything to get on camera and in the news)…..

But the best thing is he is a rabid opponent of “socialized medicine”…very local in his opposition…so when the news came out that he had to have surgery I found his choice of locations an interesting one……

The fallout from Rand Paul’s 2017 fight with a neighbor continues: The Kentucky senator is going to Canada for surgery he says is related to an injury he got when Rene Boucher attacked him while he was mowing his lawn. Paul ended up with six broken ribs and a bruised lung, and is scheduled to have outpatient hernia surgery next week at Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario, the Courier-Journal reports. Of course, much is being made about the fact that Paul is an opponent of socialized medicine and has compared universal health care, which Canada uses, to “slavery.” But his spokesperson had a response for the criticism, noting the hospital Paul is utilizing is privately administered.

“This is more fake news on a story that has been terribly reported from day one—this is a private, world renowned hospital separate from any system and people come from around the world to pay cash for their services,” the rep says. The Hill notes that the hospital bills itself as “the only licensed hospital in the world dedicated to repairing hernias.” According to documents filed as part of Paul’s civil lawsuit against Boucher, which is seeking money for medical costs related to the attack, the procedure is estimated to cost between $5,000 and $8,000. A jury trial for the civil case is scheduled for Jan. 28. Boucher pleaded guilty to the attack in March.

But I thought that the Canadian system was inferior……That should tell you everything you need to know about the American health care……a Libertarian will not support it in deed.

Time for that Medicare For All thing!