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.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time For Men To Pay A Price

Roe v Wade decision has made our women second class citizens yet again….their personal choices out of their hands and put it into the hands of the old farts that run state governments.

Some have said that there should be some price for men to pay as well…..most of the concern is that of the popularity of Viagra….but I read about one idea that I could get behind and maybe you should as well if you are at all concerned about the loss of the right of choice.

An Oklahoma Democrat has proposed that young men in his state be forced to have vasectomies in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning the Roe Vs Wade ruling.

Last month, Mickey Dollens invited his fellow lawmakers to co-author a bill which would give a mandatory vasectomy to every young man in Oklahoma.

The vasectomy would only be reversed once each man could prove they were financially and emotionally stable, and not a moment before.

If any of this is sounding insane, that’s because Dollens is only raising the bill to make a point that the state having such invasive control over a person’s body is, indeed, insane.

This invasive control is exactly what will happen to many US women after the Supreme Court made the decision to overturn Roe Vs Wade last week, effectively ruling that the constitution doesn’t safeguard a woman’s right to an abortion.

The only exceptions to Oklahoma’s new abortion laws are in the case of rape or incest, and even then only if they have been reported to the authorities.

Saying he was thinking about introducing the legislation on forcing men to have vasectomies next year, Dollens suggested to Republicans who thought he was being ‘crazy’ that now ‘maybe you understand how 50 percent of Oklahomans feel’.

Republicans have argued that there is ‘nothing higher or more critical than the defence of innocent, unborn life’.

https://www.unilad.co.uk/news/lawmaker-mandatory-vasectomy-roe-wade-decision-20220627

It may sound a bit extreme but no more so than taking a woman’s right of choice.

I agree with this idea…..let men pay for a price as well as the women.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More SCOTUS Thoughts

Our political hacks that we call SCOTUS are rolling our country down the road to ruin because of a political agenda not what is right.

A few thoughts for you to consider.

We now know what the courts think about the right to choice…..but there is more than just abortions that could be the problem…..

More than 73,000 babies were born in the U.S. by means of in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques in 2020, slightly more than 2 percent of all births that year. About 85 percent of children born as a result of IVF procedures in this country are born from thawed embryos. Since 1987, more than 1 million Americans started their lives as embryos created outside of their mother’s bodies. By one estimate, as many as 1.4 million embryos remain frozen at U.S. fertility clinics.

It is not clear what effect the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will have on would-be parents seeking to use IVF as a way to have children. The majority opinion states that abortion destroys “potential life” and what the Mississippi statute at issue in the case calls an “unborn human being.” It does not, however, mention IVF or other assisted reproduction techniques.

Infertility advocates and practitioners of fertility medicine are, nevertheless, concerned about the long-term implications of the Dobbs decision. In an article in Contemporary OB/GYN, Jared Robins and Sean Tipton, respectively the executive director and the chief policy and advocacy officer of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, argue that the Dobbs decision puts fertility care at “significant risk.” Under current practice, patients of IVF clinics generally choose to create numerous embryos for possible implantation. As fertility treatments proceed, embryos are often discarded when pre-implantation genetic diagnosis indicates significant inheritable maladies or after patients have completed their families.

The Supreme Court’s Dobbs Decision Threatens Assisted Reproduction

Another ruling that could change everything and for a long time…..gerrymandering.

The Supreme Court handed down a brief order Tuesday evening that effectively reinstates racially gerrymandered congressional maps in the state of Louisiana, at least for the 2022 election.

Under these maps, Black voters will control just one of Louisiana’s six congressional seats, despite the fact that African Americans make up nearly a third of the state’s population. Thus, the Court’s decision in Ardoin v. Robinson means that Black people will have half as much congressional representation as they would enjoy under maps where Black voters have as much opportunity to elect their own preferred candidate as white people in Louisiana.

A federal trial court, applying longstanding Supreme Court precedents holding that the Voting Rights Act does not permit such racial gerrymanders, issued a preliminary injunction temporarily striking down the Louisiana maps and ordering the state legislature to draw new ones that include two Black-majority districts. Notably, a very conservative panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied the state’s request to stay the trial court’s decision — a sign that Louisiana’s maps were such a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act that even one of the most conservative appeals courts in the country could not find a good reason to disturb the trial court’s decision.

https://www.vox.com/23187117/supreme-court-louisiana-racial-gerrymander-ardoin-robinson-congressional-maps

Gerrymandering is not good for the country….at least with competitive districts makes our nation stronger….we are losing that capability…..

Competitive congressional districts have been steadily disappearing for decades. In the current redistricting cycle, six highly competitive districts in the House of Representatives were drawn out of existence. The Cook Political Report estimates that less than 8 percent of congressional districts will be competitive come November.

This is a problem. It’s not because competitive districts are a powerfully moderating force on our democracy — instead, the decline of competitive districts is a problem that reflects deeper causes of partisan polarization and leaves the overwhelming majority of Americans in places where their votes don’t matter, and where parties and candidates don’t need to work for anybody’s votes.

Governing in America requires compromise. But when over 90 percent of congressional districts lean toward one of the two major parties, that means most representatives have little incentive to compromise. In fact, representatives increasingly face strong pressures to be very partisan, which has made governing very difficult.

But perhaps more importantly, when there isn’t competition, citizens and parties have little reason to show up and vote. Instead it becomes the highly organized donors and activists who are engaged, while the rest of the district is ignored. It’s true that competitive districts might not produce especially moderate candidates, but they are important when it comes to engaging and informing citizens. And this participation has valuable spillover effects for communities, well beyond our elections. 

What We Lose When We Lose Competitive Congressional Districts

Gerrymandering is just politicians choosing their voters not the other way around.

Any opinions?

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Pentagon Does The Right Thing

In my opinion for the wrong reasons…..

The Pentagon has come out on the side of ‘reproductive rights’….(for now)

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday that the Pentagon is working to ensure that members of the military, their families and its civilian employees will still have access to “reproductive health care” after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Why it matters: The Defense Department currently does not have a policy to accommodate service members or employees who are seeking an abortion but are stationed in a state that has outlawed abortion, Politico reports.

  • Federal law currently allows military medical facilities to provide abortions only in cases of rape, incest or if a woman’s life is in danger, while the military’s health program is allowed to cover abortions at private facilities for those same reasons only.

What they’re saying: “Nothing is more important to me or to this Department than the health and well-being of our Service members, the civilian workforce and DOD families,” Austin said in a statement on Friday.

  • “I am committed to taking care of our people and ensuring the readiness and resilience of our Force. The Department is examining this decision closely and evaluating our policies to ensure we continue to provide seamless access to reproductive health care as permitted by federal law,” he added.

The big picture: The court’s decision may further strain the military’s recruitment efforts — already hampered by low employment and other factors as potential recruits may fear being stationed in states that have banned abortions, according to Bloomberg.

  • Women make up around 20% of the military’s 1.3 million-member active-duty force, and 95% of them are of reproductive age, according to Stars and Stripes citing department statistics.

(axios.com)

Ain’t that some kind of special?

My thoughts is that this will be a recruiting tool…..I mean the Pentagon has a hard time doing anything about sexual assaults, rape and such, in the military why else would they be so concerned about reproductive rights?

Next this ought o make conservs lose their under productive little minds.  (Something that would give me hours of enjoyment)

But here is a thought for them….punish the Pentagon by slashing their budget by $250 billion and use the cash for infrastructure and social programs.

That is just my wishful thinking for that will never happen….the M-IC and its oligarchs will slip lots of cash to our Congress to soothe their troubled minds.

This is nothing more than a news trap….in other words bullsh*t.

Any thoughts of this little piece of theater?

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”

Closing Thought–23Feb22

Just days ago the Winter Olympics ended with Norway running away with the meddle count….the US could not manage many medals……..

I use to cross country ski so those events are to my liking……

A whole new meaning to the term ‘blue balls’…..

A cross-country skier froze in a very sensitive spot following the men’s 50km mass start skiiing race at the Beijing Olympics Saturday. After finishing 28th, Remi Lindholm of Finland applied a heat pack to his genital area, the Guardian reports. “You can guess which body part was a little bit frozen when I finished,” he told reporters. “When the body parts started to warm up after the finish, the pain was unbearable.”

Organizers had been concerned about competitors because of Saturday’s freezing winds, Reuters reports. They ultimately shortened the race by 20km, making it just 30km long, but Lindholm still told reporters it was “one of the worst competitions I’ve been in.” He was on the course an hour and 16 minutes, the New York Post reports. Skiers wear only thin suits and under-layers along with plasters covering their faces and ears.

Alexander Bolshunov took gold, followed by his teammate Ivan Yakimushkin. Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger took bronze in his only Olympic event due to a lengthy isolation period following a positive COVID test. “Just to get to the race today is a small victory in itself and the rest is really a bonus. I think I got absolutely everything out of my body today and I didn’t have a chance to do any better,” he said. Bolshunov is now the only man to have won five cross-country medals at one Olympics; in addition to his three golds, he took home a silver and a bronze, having medaled in every event in which he competed.

Broken bones….strained muscles…..but frozen genitals is not something one would expect as a hazard for the Olympic sports.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–04Feb22

Yipee skippy! Mississippi finally enters the 21st century….well at least on the weed front.

A pretty good start…..

Mississippi is legalizing medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and sickle cell disease, the AP reports. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed the legislation Wednesday and it became law immediately. It could be months before the first marijuana dispensaries open. “There is no doubt that there are individuals in our state who could do significantly better if they had access to medically prescribed doses of cannabis,” Reeves wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “There are also those who really want a recreational marijuana program that could lead to more people smoking and less people working, with all the societal and family ills that that brings.”

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 36 states and four territories already allowed the medical use of cannabis. Mississippi becomes the 37th state. “For all the people who are touched in some way by a loved one or someone they know who benefits from medical cannabis, this brings their quality of life back,” said Ken Newburger, executive director the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association, a group that pushed for legalization. A majority of Mississippi voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in November 2020, and it would have allowed people to buy up to 5 ounces a month. The state Supreme Court invalidated it six months later by ruling that the state’s initiative process was outdated and the measure was not put properly on the ballot.

The state House and Senate, both controlled by Republicans, passed the final version of Senate Bill 2095 last week. The new law will allow patients to buy up to to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day, up to six days a week. That is about 3 ounces per month. It sets taxes on production and sale of cannabis, and it specifies that plants must be grown indoors under controlled conditions. Reeves said because of the reduction from 5 ounces a month in the initiative to 3 ounces a month in the new law, “there will be hundreds of millions of fewer joints on the streets because of this improvement.” The new law prohibits the state from providing economic development incentives for the cannabis industry, and it gives cities and counties 90 days to opt out of allowing medical marijuana facilities, for growing or selling.

I am sure the demonizing will soon begin.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–27Jan22

Is Medicare paying for the Covid miracle cure?

Ivermictin?

That miracle of medical technology that has been pushed by idiots on the Right as a treatment for Covid.

Is Medicare on the hook for this pipe dream?

If you’re in the camp that believes ivermectin is a wonderful drug … for ailments other than COVID, a new Mother Jones article is likely to raise your ire. It flags a January study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that looked at just who is paying for the ivermectin doctors have been prescribing COVID patients despite the FDA’s warning that doing so is dangerous. The answer: well, you. A team led by Kao-Ping Chua of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health looked at a sampling of Medicare Advantage claims (excluding ones involving patients who had a diagnosis code for a parasitic infection prior to filling the ivermectin prescription). They found that Medicare Advantage covered, on average, 74% of the cost of each ivermectin prescription, or $39 a pop.

The team added in what private insurers paid (61% of the cost) and arrived at a total of $2.5 million in insurance coverage per week, with Medicare’s portion of that being about $925,000. The researchers point out the total is an undercount because it doesn’t include Medicaid. “Findings suggest that insurers heavily subsidized the costs of ivermectin prescriptions for COVID-19, even though economic theory holds that insurers should not cover ineffective care,” they write. Mother Jones has this takeaway: “Chua’s findings are especially noteworthy when considering one of the main arguments of ivermectin proponents: The drug is cheap, often just a little more than a dollar a dose. Yet the study vividly illustrates that while individual costs can be low, on a population level, they add up fast.”

Forbes notes the researchers looked at private and Medicare plan spending during the week of Aug. 13, 2021, and “it’s not yet clear how ivermectin prescribing levels may have fluctuated after that week in August.” It adds another caveat, which is that the sample used wasn’t a random or nationally representative sample but a convenience sample, meaning a sample of the people who happened to be in the database used. The sample they ended up with had a higher proportion of people from the Midwest and a lower proportion from the South.

This needs a review.

The taxpayer does not need to be on the ook for bogus science.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Privatization Of Medicare

Since I can remember the GOP has hated the very idea of Medicare and almost every Congress they have worked tirelessly to try and give the health industry a win by privatizing the program.

Every year since the election of Reagan the foundation of Medicare has been chipped a way….then there is Biden……a president that is heavily invested in the chipping……

A Trump-era pilot program that could result in the complete privatization of traditional Medicare in a matter of years is moving ahead under the Biden administration, a development that—despite its potentially massive implications for patients across the U.S.—has received scant attention from the national press or Congress.

a group of physicians from around the nation will try to grab the notice of lawmakers, the Biden White House, and the public by traveling to Washington, D.C. and demanding that the Health and Human Services Department immediately stop the Medicare experiment, which is known as Direct Contracting (DC).

The doctors plan to present HHS with a petition signed by more than 1,500 physicians who believe the DC pilot threatens “the future of Medicare as we know it.”

Advocates have been publicly sounding the alarm about the DC program for months, warning that it could fully hand traditional Medicare over to Wall Street investors and other profit-seekers, resulting in higher costs for patients and lower-quality care.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/30/congress-asleep-switch-biden-continues-trump-era-ploy-privatize-medicare

Once again the Democrats prove that they are NO better than the GOP….their concerns are for the donors NOT the people.

Medicare could be lost in the name of ‘compromise’ and word that does more damage than good.

At what point do the American people start paying attention to their future and stop living on social media for instant gratification?

The ONLY answer to getting proper health care for the people of this country is Medicare For All.

Not only is this country being hollowed out but your well-being is in jeopardy….and yet you prefer to see what moron has posted a cat video on Twitter or Instagram or whatever other mindless stupidity is out there.

Until the voter starts truly paying attention then we deserve all the silliness and mindless stupidity we get.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”