Healthcare Is Healthcare

What a marvelous topic…it has been the butt of jokes and the stuff of rants for years….not to mention all the wasted time Congress has spent on the issue…..is the ACA a bad idea or is it just a bad idea because it came from a president that some dislike?

With all the back and forth over Obamacare does any one have any thing positive to say about it that is more along the facts and not a rant…..

I do!  I do! (he said waving his hand in the air like a crazed primate)…..

For the first time ever, fewer than 10% of Americans lack health insurance, according to data released Tuesday by the CDC. And CNBC calls that “a clear sign of ObamaCare’s impact.” In 2015, only 9.1% of Americans—about 28.6 million people—were uninsured. That’s down from 14.2% in 2013 when ObamaCare really started to go into effect, the Hill reports. That drop amounts to another 16.2 million Americans who now have health insurance. “Today’s report is further proof that our country has made undeniable and historic strides thanks to the Affordable Care Act.” Sylvia Burwell, secretary of health and human services, tells CNBC. “Our country ought to be proud of how far we’ve come and where we’re going.”

But regardless of ObamaCare’s success in reducing the ranks of the uninsured—the Obama administration estimates more than 20 million Americans have gained insurance since the ACA passed in 2010—the Hill reports that Republicans still plan to use it as a wedge issue in November. Donald Trump and Senate Republicans believe hitting Hillary Clinton over ObamaCare will propel them to victories. “This healthcare law has been devastating to the Democratic Party,” John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, tells the Hill.

Is there any other facts that pertain to our health care?

Oh so much more…..since Bernie entered into the race for the Dem nomination there has been a new call for a single payer health care system…..and surprisingly enough a good portion of the populace agree with Bernie……

A majority of Americans support the single-payer, “Medicare-for-all” style health care system proposed by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

A new Gallup poll found that almost six in 10 U.S. adults would prefer a federally funded health care system that provides insurance for all Americans

Gallup presented the three leading presidential candidates’ proposed health care policies, without naming the candidates, and asked participants what they thought of them. A majority of Americans agreed with Sanders’ proposal, without knowing that it was his.  (read one…..)

Source: They agree with Bernie: Majority of Americans support single-payer, “Medicare-for-all” health care system – Salon.com

Americans And Their “Snake Oil” Salesmen

A Sunday and pleasant weather and a granddaughter that kicked my butt in Dominoes……she is out for revenge….

We Americans are suckers……we will fall for every gimmick and fad around.  You jumped all over the kale BS….the juicer BS and the idea of a “slider”…..back during the mid to late 19th century we had traveling salesmen that sold “snake oil”….a cure for everything that ailed one…..pimples, hemis, liver, heart and STDs…..

I recall my youth and my grandmother that thought all health came from regular bowel movements…..an apple a day sort of thing……that brings me to the con job sold to us about probiotics……we have special pills….special yogurt…..special probiotic diets…..so on and so on….blah blah……

Is it possible that all this probiotic rhetoric is just so much noise?

Probiotics are all the rage—the so-called “good bacteria” teeming naturally in foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut or worked into drinks and pills comprise a growing industry that Fortune reports posted more than $1 billion in annual sales in the US last year. It’s expected to grow a whopping 15% this year alone. But the science of studying how billions of good and bad bacteria alike interact in our bodies is obviously complicated and slow, and critics argue that there isn’t sufficient evidence to market probiotics as having any positive health benefits—some even suggest that these bacteria are killed by stomach acids before reaching the intestine. Now a meta study out of Denmark published in the journal Genome Medicine reflects this skepticism.

“There is little, if any, evidence of an effect of probiotic treatment in circumstances where the microbiota is unperturbed,” researchers write. There are, however, some caveats. First, all studies reviewed were extremely small, with sample sizes ranging from 21 to 81, which calls into question any results, reports the Guardian. And while there doesn’t appear to be any change in the fecal matter of healthy adults using probiotics, some effect was observed in people with “perturbed” microbiota, including “alleviation of gastrointestinal symptoms.” People on antibiotics, for instance, may reap some benefits from eating yogurt. But until better studies are done, the researchers conclude that if you’re healthy, you shouldn’t waste your money.

People…..eat a balanced diet and your bowel should be fine……

But why not?  We have a pill for everything from sleep to sex….better living through chemistry….”there are suckers born every minute”….and the consumer is more gullible than most.

Veterans And The Choice Program

I have been an outspoken critic of the services that this country is withholding from its veterans…..and as usual Congress, especially the conservatives are looking for a “better” way for the vets to get what we owe them….

The Veterans Choice Program?  What is this?

For Veterans who have faced unacceptable waiting times for needed medical care, or for whom a regular VA medical facility is inaccessible, the Veteran Choice Program (VCP) will make it possible for you to receive the needed care from a non-VA health care provider in your community.

The Veterans Choice Card (Choice Card) has been distributed to all Veterans enrolled for care at VA. Veterans will receive a letter in the mail along with the Choice Card and information about eligibility. The cards were mailed first to those VA believes are in immediate need and meet the eligibility requirements. If you have recently moved or your primary residence has changed, complete VA Form 10-10EZR to update your information and contact your enrollment coordinator at your nearest VA medical facility.

The Choice Card will enhance other treatment options already available at VA and is designed to improve wait times and access. It does not impact existing VA health care or any other VA benefit – it just offers other options for care when VA cannot meet Veterans’ health care needs.

There seems to be a bit of a push back against this program by several veterans groups……

The nation’s largest veterans groups have lined up to oppose any expansion of the Veterans Affairs Choice program that would allow all veterans who are eligible for VA medical care to use it.

The stand, by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and others, places the groups squarely in the corner of VA Secretary Bob McDonald, who has called proposals favoring private care for veterans over VA facilities, a “dereliction” of department duties, and at odds with seven powerful U.S. senators, including Arizona Republican John McCain, who have proposed legislation to lift restrictions on Choice.

Source: Veterans groups oppose Choice program expansion

There seems to be a gimmick when it comes to the health of our veterans….why is that?

I am not very knowledgeable about this program but if there are any vets out there that would like to shred some light on this for the readers of IST……I would appreciate the help understanding.

VA bosses in 7 states falsified vets’ wait times for care

My regulars know that I will post on veterans issues whenever I see something that is not kosh….

The big story for the last decade or so is how bad our veterans care has become….of course and predictable the bureaucrats will say that they are looking into the problems and that solutions will be forthcoming…..and almost every year there is a new problem that needs a solution…..

In the past the biggest problem has been the waiting times the vets must endure to get the care they need…..and it is still a problem in search of a solution…..

Supervisors instructed schedulers to falsify patient wait times at Veterans Affairs’ medical facilities in at least seven states, according to newly released investigation reports from the department’s inspector general.

Source: VA bosses in 7 states falsified vets’ wait times for care

Does anyone else find this a bit pathetic?  As I have said many times before……our veterans deserve better than their present day treatment.

Trump On Health Care

I try to give my readers as much information as I can….but of course with my commentary on the issue……and I will do this to the candidates that I would not support…..

Health care is a big deal for the voters….especially the Seniors who must survive on a limited income…..but I have heard all the slogans the Donald has on the subject….but what about some substance……

And just like that…out of the blue…….BAM!….here it is……

Up until now, Donald Trump has mainly said his health care plan would be “something much better” than the Affordable Care Act, CNN reports. On Wednesday, Trump released some specifics about how he would “repeal and replace” ObamaCare in the form of a seven-point plan, which he calls “simply a place to start.” CNN notes Trump has previously taken heat for saying “everybody’s got to be covered” and “the government’s gonna pay for it.” His plan, however, “rests more on conservative ideals” and, as NBC News points out, backpedals on his previous support for requiring people to buy insurance. Under point No. 1 (“Completely repeal Obamacare”), he writes, “No person should be required to buy insurance.” Further, “if we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws,” the US would save $11 billion annually, which he says is the cost of providing health care to people in the country illegally.

Trump calls for “much-needed free market reforms to the healthcare industry,” including allowing the sale of insurance across state lines, making insurance premiums tax-deductible for individuals, importing cheaper drugs, and “price transparency” that would allow consumers to shop around for the best price for medical care. Trump also calls for reforming “our mental health programs and institutions.” Trump supporters on Twitter praise the plan as an “awesome breakthrough” and “beautiful in its simplicity.” But the net effect: “These proposals, including repeal of the [Affordable Care Act], would lead to a significant increase in the number of people uninsured,” an exec with a nonpartisan group tells the Hill.

Sorry Donald fans….to me he has just done what all politicians do…..kick the can down the road…..(maybe he is a politician after all)…….

I end my day of posting by saying……Thanx for stopping by and reading my stuff……I appreciate all the comments and all the interest……

Zika:  Can The GOP Pass This Up?

The crazies that have lurked on the conservative side of life have used every disease outbreak to their advantage….remember the Ebola outbreak?  It posed a problem (mostly imaginary) to this country……from immigrants to sick people to a conspiracy to infect the country by those darn Muslims……

Well there is a new disease waiting to happen…….When I read the news about this Zika outbreak south of the border……sadly I thought of how idiots will make hay out of the news instead to worrying what it will do to the people infected……I feel ashamed that I thought that first….but if recent history is any indication then I would suspect thgat there will be something in the Right wing press and then make its way onto the lunatics that write a blog…..

World Health Organization foresees outbreak of mosquito-borne virus throughout the Americas, prompting travel warnings.

Source: WHO: Zika virus to spread to much of Americas – Al Jazeera English

“Tiny Purple Fishes……”

Saturday and I start my restful weekend with a tune by Cream, Tales Of Brave Ulysses…..

(Pause here for a musical interlude)

Fish….that is the subject of today’s post…….

We have been told for many years the the Mediterranean diet is the best diet if one wanted to be good and healthy……lots of fiber with vegetables and such and of course a steady diet of fish……

Good advice from everything I have read on this subject……but there may be a slight hiccup in this plan…..

Global overfishing might be much worse than previously thought, Discovery reports. A new study finds that UN figures have vastly understated the problem and that yearly fish hauls are declining three times faster than realized. According to the study, the UN—using numbers from the Food and Agriculture Organization—stated that global fishing peaked in 1996 at 86 million metric tons, but the researchers say it was actually closer to 130 million metric tons. Since then, the study claims the total amount of fish caught has declined by 1.2 million metric tons per year—not 0.4 million metric tons as the UN had said, the Guardian reports. “Our results indicate that the decline is very strong and is not due to countries fishing less,” study author Daniel Pauly says. “It is due to countries having fished too much and having exhausted one fishery after another.”

The study, which was published Tuesday in Nature Communications, is based on a decade of work by 400 researchers around the world. The numbers used by the UN come from the self-reporting of more than 200 countries and territories, and governments might not always be inclined to give accurate fishing counts, notes the Guardian. Researchers undertook a “Herculean task” to get more accurate counts for the years from 1950 to 2010, says one professor not involved with the study. “The world is withdrawing from a joint bank account of fish without knowing what has been withdrawn or the remaining balance,” Pauly tells Discovery. And while the Food and Agriculture Organization disputes the study’s new numbers, it does agree with its conclusion that countries need to improve their reporting, according to Science.

The best way to crap on anything good is to make it a fad or a trend……

Can you imagine what your seafood meal will cost when the fish are in short supply?  Oh well back to Bugles and Peanut Butter…..

Is there a possible way to reverse this trend……there is one that I found……

Source: One Fish Two Fish, No Fish: Rebuilding of Fish Stocks Urgently Needed | Inter Press Service

Please let me know your thoughts…….

Go!  Enjoy the start to your weekend…….