Closing Thought–12Sep19

Health care has been a point of contention on the campaign trail for 2020….there are a wealth of “plans” to get the American people their health care…..from single payer to Obamacare.

Biden is the one that has hung his reputation and his campaign on Obamacare……but his support for the plan may be in jeopardy….Obamacare may be losing its luster….

The number of Americans without health insurance edged up in 2018—the first evidence from the government that coverage gains from President Obama’s health care plan might be eroding under President Trump, the AP reports. The Census Bureau also said in an annual report Tuesday that household income rose last year at its slowest pace in four years but finally matched its previous peak set in 1999. Median household income rose 0.9% in 2018 to an inflation-adjusted $63,179, from $62,626 in 2017. The data suggest that the economic expansion, now the longest on record at more than 10 years, is still struggling to provide widespread benefits to the US population. Solid gains in household incomes in the past four years have returned the median only to where it was two decades ago.

An estimated 27.5 million people, 8.5% of the population, went without health insurance in 2018. That was an increase of 1.9 million uninsured people, or 0.5 percentage point. More people were covered by Medicare, reflecting the aging of the baby boomers. But Medicaid coverage declined. The number of uninsured children also rose, and there were more uninsured adults ages 35-64. Though the increase in the number of uninsured Americans last year was modest, it could be a turning point, the first real sign that coverage gains under Obama could be at least partly reversed. This year, the number of uninsured could rise again because a previous Republican-led Congress repealed fines under the Affordable Care Act for people who remain uninsured if they can afford coverage.

If this is properly reported then Biden may have an epiphany and worm his way into some other plan…..or he could double down and use the media to help control any fallout from this report.

I prefer the Medicare For All and will vote that way for 2020…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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Are You An Organ Donor?

Closing Thought–03Sep19

I am not…..an organ donor that is……my thoughts are if I donate a kidney then why should all along the medical line make money off my free kidney?

When the whole process is free then all my organs can be had.

This is a story that I wish I did not have to read or report…..

Speaking of kidneys and transplants….

Every day, 12 Americans die while waiting for a kidney transplant. In what will be an especially hard pill to swallow for the 93,000 Americans currently on the waiting list, about 10 donated kidneys are discarded in that same period, reports USA Today. A study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine found that 17.9% of kidneys donated in the US over the decade ending in 2014 were rejected (28,000 kidneys in all), compared to 9.1% in France. In 2016 alone, about 20% of 3,631 donated kidneys in the US were discarded, per CNN.

France, it turns out, is more willing to use kidneys from older donors or those who have an ailment such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or Hepatitis C. Researchers cite the “intense regulatory scrutiny of US transplant programs, which may lose credentials if their one-year death and graft failure outcomes exceed predicted outcomes.” Meaning, the programs don’t want to risk their credentials and opt to use only organs in the best condition. But patients “using kidneys from diabetic donors do remarkably well,” study co-author Sumit Mohan of the Columbia University Medical Center tells USA Today.

You read it right 28,000 wasted kidneys in a decade.

Someone please explain that waste to me.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Speaking Of Mental Health

The panels have been gathered and the media is having their typical discussions on the subject of gun violence….and they discuss…..and more will die.

Our Dear Leader has decided that a focus on mental illness is a cure for gun violence, this after a talk with the NRA……

President Donald Trump on Sunday emphasized a need for the country to focus on “a very big mental health problem” in the wake of two mass shootings in one weekend that left 32 people dead earlier this month as he appeared to defend current US gun control measures, stating “we do have a lot of background checks right now.”

“It’s the people that pull the trigger, not the gun that pulls the trigger so we have a very, very big mental health problem and Congress is working on various things and I will be looking at it,” Trump told reporters on the tarmac before heading back to Washington after a vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
The White House, Trump said, is “very much involved” in the discussions Congress is having to address gun violence and while “a lot of things are happening on the gun level” he said “the concept of mental institutions” must be addressed.
 
These are people that have to be in institutions for help, I’m not talking about as a form of a prison, I’m saying for help and I think it’s something we have to really look at, the whole concept of mental institutions,” he said. “I remember growing up we had mental institutions, then they were closed — in New York, I’m talking about — they were, many of them closed. A lot of them were closed and all of those people were put out on the street.”
 
(CNN)
There is a method to this madness (pun intended)…..according to some…..
The U.S. president is widely mischaracterized as a cynical politician maneuvering for personal power and financial gain. Yet the situation is far more dangerous.
 
It is important to call these actions what they are: the personal decisions of an incontinent individual, not the result of legislative action or the outcome of any semblance of public deliberation. Remarkably, 230 years after its constitution was adopted, the United States suffers from one-man rule. Trump has rid his administration of anyone of independent stature, such as the former defense secretary, retired General James Mattis, and few congressional Republicans murmur a word against their leader.
 
That aside…have you ever listened to the president explain something to the media?
 
He sounds like a 8 year trying to justify his last lie while trying to remember what he said earlier…..his constant redundancies make him sound like a mental midget.
 
I agree with the findings…..Trump is a mental case that needs immediate help and institutionalization.
 
But I have no say in the problem….just my bitching and moaning….something we Americans do very well…..and as an old fart I do it better than most.
 
“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Thoughts On Veterans

Closing Thought–22Jul19

Veterans are once again making news…first it is a situation that they face overseas that is making them ill…..

The Department of Defense seemingly acknowledged the dangers of burn pit exposure in a new report released by Congress — but falls short of offering solutions.

A feasibility study conducted by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, which was provided to Congress last month, was supposed to figure out how to end burn pits for waste disposal on overseas military bases. Instead, critics said, the report seemingly defended the use of burn pits because there are no other options.

Since veterans returned home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been a long and contentious debate over the data surrounding the effects of burn pit exposure. Thousands of veterans have linked their chronic medical issues, including cancer and respiratory illnesses, to burn pits that release dangerous toxins.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/pentagon-fails-to-provide-accountability-for-veteran-burn-pit-exposure-in-report-to-congress

Bad enough there is an enemy that wants them dead and now the Pentagon is helping with that desire.

Looks like veterans are finally starting to ask questions about their forever wars.

It is undoubtedly my favorite part of every wedding. That awkward, but strangely forthright moment when the preacher asks the crowd for any objections to the couple’s marriage. No one ever objects, of course, but it’s still a raw, if tense, moment. I just love it.

I suppose we had that ubiquitous ritual in mind back in 2007 when Keith – a close buddy and fellow officer – and I crafted our own plan of objection. The setting was Baghdad, Iraq, at the start of the “surge” and the climax of the bloody civil war the U.S. invasion had unleashed. Just twenty three years old and only eighteen months out of the academy, my clique of officers had already decided the war was a mess, shouldn’t have been fought, and couldn’t be won

What Was It All for For: Vets Have Finally Turned on America’s Endless Wars

If there is anyone that has the RIGHT to oppose war then it is the veterans that must fight them.

They need to make their voices heard …..a LOUD voice…..time to make the society actually feel the guilt of aiding the death of so many.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Old Idea For Health

Closing Thought–19Jul19

Many years ago I wrote a letter (days before emails) to my representative, Gene Taylor, with an idea I had….a proposal that I wanted him to look over and try to find a way to make a bill out of it.

I proposed that practicing doctors would dedicate one day a week to treat the poor….they could deduct their time, meds and services, day’s rent and costs of operations from what they owe in taxes/student debt.  The proposal was more extensive in the proposal but that is the gest…I sadly cannot copy the original for it was lost in Katrina.

I got a letter back thanking me for my support and hope to see me at his next rally….apparently the letter was written by a staffer who did  not read my letter……so I wrote off Taylor as a possible person to look to for help….and my support for him was gone.

I got to wax nostalgic after reading something taking place in California…..

As a remedy for its shortage of physicians, California has begun paying off the medical school debt of doctors who commit to making low-income Medi-Cal patients 30% of their caseload. The five-year commitment could suppress doctors’ pay at the beginning of their careers, Forbes reports, but erase debt that can total several hundred thousand dollars. The state has allocated $340 million for the program so far. It’s one more offer for new physicians, who are in demand, to consider: Two-thirds of physicians finishing their training last year had been contacted more than 50 times by recruiters, a survey found.

“This really is life-changing,” said Bryan Ruiz, a new dentist, after finding out that he no longer owed $300,000 in medical school loans. Ruiz already was serving mostly Medi-Cal patients at a community health clinic, per the Los Angeles Times, and expected to spend decades paying off the loans. “He’s committed his life to this kind of service, and that’s what our loan repayment program is about,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference. Using tobacco tax revenue to pay for the program, California dispensed $10.5 million in debt relief to 40 dentists and $58.6 million to 247 physicians this month in its first installment.

I knew I had heard the idea somewhere before.

Damn!  I knew it was a good idea.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Designer Babies–Pros?

I try to be as neutral as I can be on some subjects….I try to give both sides of an issue so the reader can make up their own mind.

There have been several SciFi movies and TV series that have touched on the subject of genetic engineering of humans…think Khan Noonien Singh…..

Because I a m an opinionated SOB I have written about thise subject and let my thoughts be known over the past decade or so…..

https://lobotero.com/2009/03/08/design-a-kid/

https://lobotero.com/2015/02/06/could-it-lead-to-designer-babies/

https://lobotero.com/2015/05/03/on-the-road-to-designer-babies/

Yeah, I had a lot to say on the subject……most of which was in opposition….so in the sense of fairness I have read a report in support of “designer kids”……

Soon, some of you will try to make “better babies.”

Already, people pay labs to examine embryos so they can pick ones with DNA they like. Some screen for gender or eye color. Some screen out certain diseases.

So far, they’ve been limited to selecting genes that exist in the parents. They haven’t designed genes. But that is about to change.

Chinese scientists recently altered DNA in human embryos.

The designed babies—twin sisters—were born with immunity to common strains of HIV, claims the scientist responsible. (The added gene might also shorten lifespans. Most scientists say it’s too soon to gene-edit humans safely.)

The Case for Designer Babies

I know the good this could do…..but I also know the greed of the human race and that will lead to this process being misused in search of higher profits.

All Those Transplants

I am amazed at all the successes they are having with transplants these days….hearts, livers, kidneys, corneas, penal and even face transplants…and with all these successful medical procedures there is one that made me ask…… WTF?

Ever heard of Fecal Transplants?

First of all…EEEwwwwww!

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) is an innovative investigational treatment that has – in randomized, controlled clinical trials – resolved 80-90% of infections caused by recurrent C. difficile that does not respond to antibiotics. During FMT, a fecal preparation from a carefully screened, healthy stool donor is transplanted into the colon of the patient. There are multiple routes of administration (e.g., via colonoscopy, naso-enteric tube, capsules), each of which has unique risks and benefits. 

How does FMT work?

Though the mechanism has yet to be determined, it is believed that FMT works by repopulating the patient’s microbiome with diverse microorganisms that competitively exclude C. difficile

In a healthy gut community, C. difficile is out-competed by many different bacterial species. However, receiving antibiotic treatment disrupts this ecosystem by killing those protective bacteria. C. difficile forms spores that are resistant to antibiotics. No longer outcompeted, this pathogen establishes itself in the gut and produces toxins that leave patients suffering from severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, and, often, fever. With an infusion of bacteria from a healthy donor’s stool, the C. difficile is again out-competed.  

Researchers are also exploring FMT’s potential role for treating other gastrointestinal diseases, such as IBS and Crohn’s Disease. 

I had never heard of this procedure…but then I am an old fart and new technology is slow to be absorbed…….what made me ask the question was this article that I read about a death from a fecal transplant……

Fecal transplants, though experimental, have been lifesaving, reports the New York Times, citing the cases of some patients who were being ravaged by “uncontrollable diarrhea” caused by the the bacterial infection C. difficile. But in one recent case, such a transplant was deadly. The FDA announced on Thursday a patient recently died after receiving a fecal transplant, in which healthy fecal matter from a donor is processed in a lab and given to a patient via an infusion or pills in an attempt to reset the intestine’s bacteria. The FDA said it was halting fecal transplant clinical trials until researcher can prove to the FDA that they have measures in place to verify the fecal matter is free of deadly bacteria. That was not the case with the patient who died.

That patient, along with a second patient, received stool from the same donor that had not been screened and developed infections. After they were sickened, testing of the donor’s remaining stool samples showed it contained multi-drug-resistant microbes: E. coli that produced extended-spectrum beta-lactamase. The FDA didn’t offer details on the identity of the patients, what they were being treated for, or where the transplant took place, though they did say the two had compromised immune systems and were participating in a clinical trial. Fecal transplants are typically used as a treatment for C. difficile, which per CDC stats kills 29,000 Americans yearly, reports NBC News. USA Today notes antibiotic-resistant infections kill another 23,000. The FDA emphasized all standard treatments for C. difficile should first be tried.

Just when you think that you had lived long enough to have heard everything there is….then BAM!  They hit you with something like “Fecal Transplant”….

On that note I bow out for the day…….MoMo has me scheduled for a play date in the back 40……May all my Fathers have a good day………TTFN

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