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.

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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

Image result for fathers day images

Closing Thought–04Jun19

I am an old fart, a Baby Boomer generation, and as we all know we are the problems of society now…..but with that said an adequate health care system is a must…..because by 2035 seniors will outnumber children and that means long term care will be a must by then (kinda is now but not important to the post)…..

By 2035, seniors are projected to outnumber children in the U.S. population.

Maybe then we’ll look back and credit Washington state activists for being on the forefront of tackling America’s elder care crisis. On May 13, the state became the first in the nation to adopt a social insurance program for long-term care benefits.

“This is a huge victory for organizing and people power, for care and caregiving, and for older adults and people with disabilities,” said Josephine Kalipeni of Caring Across Generations, one of more than 20 groups that formed Washingtonians for a Responsible Future to push the path-breaking legislation.

Nationally, our long-term care financing system is broken. Medicare doesn’t currently cover home care or nursing facility care, while Medicaid coverage varies widely by state. To qualify, you have to meet poverty criteria, which requires people to spend down nearly all of their savings before getting coverage.

 
Medicare For All!  We need a health care system and this is one that the machinery of policy are already in place….logic dictates we have an answer…why not use it?
 
I want to enjoy a late Spring weekend……the heat, the humidity and the hurricanes are just around the corner.

‘Caravan’ Heads North!

OMG! The brown people are coming….again!  (and that is how you do ‘sarcasm’)

WE all know about the now infamous ‘caravan’ that was making it’s way through Mexico….it was a driving issue for Trump and the GOP in 2018.  Just an exaggerated attempt to foment hate and fear…..

But sadly I cannot join in the total bullshit of those immigrants looking for a better life……but I might consider joining a ‘caravan’…..and head North.

A “caravan” of Americans living with Type 1 diabetes made its way across the U.S. border into Canada over the weekend in search of affordable medical care in a country where they can get the “exact same” life-saving drugs for a dramatically lower price. 

“We’re on a #CaravanToCanada because the USA charges astronomical prices for insulin that most people can’t afford,” tweeted caravan member Quinn Nystrom as she shared updates on the journey. 

Nystrom was among a group of Minnesotans who piled into cars on Friday to make the 600-mile journey from the Twin Cities to Fort Frances, Ontario, where she said insulin, the hormone patients with Type 1 Diabetes rely on to regulate their blood glucose levels, can be bought for a tenth of what it costs in the U.S. 

https://www.newsweek.com/caravan-americans-crossing-canadian-border-get-affordable-medical-care-1417582

And the Trump has an answer for high drug prices……

Those ever-present TV ads for prescription drugs will soon reveal prices, too, the nation’s top health official said Wednesday, responding to a public outcry for government action to restrain medication costs. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration has finalized regulations that will require drug companies to disclose list prices of medications costing more than $35 for a month’s supply. “What I say to the companies is if you think the cost of your drug will scare people from buying your drugs, then lower your prices,” Azar said. “Transparency for American patients is here.” The AP has standout details and reaction:

  • Drug companies responded that adding prices to their commercials could unintentionally harm patients. “We are concerned that the administration’s rule requiring list prices in direct-to-consumer television advertising could be confusing for patients and may discourage them from seeking needed medical care,” said a statement from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main trade group.
  • But one major firm—Johnson & Johnson—has already announced it will disclose the cost of its blood thinner Xarelto in TV advertising.
  • Drug pricing details are expected to appear in text toward the end of commercials, when potential side effects are disclosed. TV viewers should notice the change later this year, perhaps as early as the summer.
  • The disclosure requirement will not apply to print or radio ads for the foreseeable future. It covers all brand name drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid, which is nearly all medications.
  • The government is hoping that patients armed with prices will start discussing affordability with their doctors, and gradually that will put pressure on drugmakers to keep costs in check.
  • According to the latest government figures, the 10 most commonly advertised drugs have prices ranging from $488 to $16,938 per month or for a usual course of therapy.
  • Although most patients do not pay the full list prices that will be included in ads, experts say those prices are still important. They’re the starting point for negotiations between drugmakers and insurers. Also, copays that patients face are often based on list prices. And many people who have high-deductible insurance plans pay list prices for medications because their insurance doesn’t start covering until patients have spent several thousand dollars of their own money.

This is a truly sad situation….that Americans have to resort to this….especially since we have the best health care in the world (another sarcasm)……

Why do I not feel confident that my insulin will be cheaper with this plan.

If you want to have good health care….then I suggest you check into Medicare For All…..Medicare X is a cop-out.

Learn Stuff!

Then go VOTE!

Medicine Vs Religion

Closing Thought–07May19

I admit it….there is not much about the Trump presidency that I find tolerable….but a recent ruling is just beyond the pail in my book….

Doctors, nurses and other health workers can opt out of procedures such as abortions and sterilizations which violate their personal or religious beliefs, under a rule issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The rule, proposed more than a year ago, reinforces a set of 25 laws passed by Congress that protect “conscience rights” in healthcare, HHS said. Those laws allow health providers and entities to opt out of providing, participating in, paying for or referring for healthcare services that they have personal or religious objections to, HHS said.

Trump chose the National Day of Prayer to announce the new regulation.

 
Okay my problem here is the oath doctors take to do no harm….if this contradicts their religious convictions then maybe they should have picked a profession that would not interfere with the religious beliefs….like hermit, monk or dog walker.
 
This is just stupid!  If they cannot tolerate doing certain procedure then get out of medicine and open a soda shop (do they still have such things?).
 
I realize that this is all about some thing about abortion…but how long will it take before circumcision or a blood transfusion will be opposed based on religious objections?
 
I do not really care about their religion when it comes to medical procedures….and if the person I love suffers because these people have a religious objection I will gladly give them the name of my lawyer for they will be talking with her.
 
We need Medicare For All and soon…….and the president needs to stay out of religion……when can we expect the forced religious beliefs end?
 
That is my posting day…….I must call my attorney and check in with her…..she may be needed and soon.
 
 
 

Accept No Substitutes

The 2020 election is a mere short months away from its kick-off….and the Dems are fighting amongst themselves….as usual…..healthcare will be a hard sell this time around.

There is a debate on health care…..not between parties for the GOP has already lost that debate many years ago……instead the debate is between progressives and others…….Medicare For All is the answer and the attacks have begun……

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2019. A companion bill of the same name has already been introduced in the House by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). That’s good news for the country. Unfortunately, these bills are facing opposition from what, for some people, will be an unexpected direction.

I don’t mean Republicans. They’ve already lost the health care debate, in one sense, now that large majorities of voters support Medicare for All. The real threat may well come from its Democratic friends. They’re the people who say they support Medicare for All’s “goals,” but claim to have found a better way to achieve them.

Intentionally or not, Medicare for All’s “frenemies” are sowing confusion about it. Among them is Ezekiel Emmanuel, who argues, “At least four different approaches to health reform could truthfully carry the Medicare for all label.”

 
Those in opposition are those from the Obama admin that let the industry write the law that created the ACA, Obamacare if you are dense……that same industry that is pulling no punches to defeat the idea of Medicare For All……
 
In an effort to inform the public about the corporate forces working to crush Medicare for All, an employee at the insurance giant UnitedHealthcare leaked a video of his boss bragging about the company’s campaign to preserve America’s for-profit healthcare system.

“I felt Americans needed to know exactly who it is that’s fighting against the idea that healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” the anonymous whistleblower told the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein.

During an employee town hall in February, Stein reported on Friday, UnitedHealthcare CEO Steve Nelson boasted about how much his company is doing to undermine Medicare for All, which is rapidly gaining support in Congress.

“One of the things you said: ‘We’re really quiet’ or ‘It seems like we’re quiet.’ Um, we’ve done a lot more than you would think,” Nelson said. “We are advocating heavily and very involved in the conversation. Part of it is trying to be thoughtful about how we enter in the conversation, because there’s a risk of seeming like it’s self-serving.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/12/i-felt-americans-needed-know-insurance-industry-whistleblower-gives-glimpse-effort

My personal opinion is the Medicare For All would be the best and the easiest to put into action……we will hear all the tired old excuses…like it will stifle innovation…..BS…..or that the quality of care will go down….another BS…..

We all agree that adequate health care is needed then why not take the easiest road to that end?