03 April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

It’s the foundation of Republican policy on health care.

Dick Polman considers recent attempts by some conservative commentators to convince the Republican Party that health care reform of some sort–if not the Affordable Care Act, then an alternative Republican plan–was inevitable, and the failure of the Republican Party to face the challenge. Here’s a snippet (emphasis added):

Psychological impulse indeed. (Ramesh) Ponnuru (one of the columnists linked in the article–ed.) knows darn well that Republicans have never gotten their act together on health reform; either they’ve had nothing to say, or they’ve floated various ideas without bothering to agree on any of them. Helping the uninsured and taming insurance company abuses – that’s not what Republicans do. Coalescing around a positive plan to replace Obamacare – that’s not what Republicans do. In fact, when the Kaiser Family Foundation polled rank-and-file Republicans last month, only 27 percent said they wanted to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a Republican plan. Clearly, their aversion to affirmative governance is endemic.

Read the rest.

02 April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care


Click for a larger image.

In other news, here’s the nearest thing Republicans have to a “health care plan.”


Pa. Republican Governor Corbett's limo drives over Medicaid recipient.  Voice from inside says,

This applies not just to Pennsylvania’s Corbett, but to most Republican governors. Their equation is simple:

    Most poors are black (that’s not true, natch, but it’s what they and their racist base believe), and Medicaid helps the poors, therefore it helps the blacks, and we can’t have that, now, can we?

It’s the politics of hate, because hate sells.

22 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

Stethoscope in shape of Gadsden flag snake.  Motto:  Don't tread on my Obamacare

Via Balloon Juice.


Just read it.

This is your fee market at work.

06 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

04 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

The true welfare queens stay out of the light.

Some of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies have slashed payments to health professionals for promotional speeches amid heightened public scrutiny of such spending, a new ProPublica analysis shows.


The sharp declines coincide with increased attention from regulators, academic institutions and the public to pharmaceutical company marketing practices. A number of companies have settled federal whistleblower lawsuits in recent years that accused them of improperly marketing their drugs.

“Promotional speeches.”



03 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

They’re not who you think they are, reports the Bangor Daily News.

For example, meet Welfare Queen for a Day Johnson & Johnson (emphasis added):

In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay the federal government $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations involving the marketing of off-label, unapproved uses of three prescription drugs.

Maine, according to a report in the Washington Post, would recover $2.8 million from the case, which involved alleged kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies for promoting a trio of drugs — two anti-psychotics and one heart medication.

The settlement funds, according to the Office of the Maine Attorney General, would serve as restitution for state Medicaid funds used to pay for the unapproved medications.

The story goes on to point out that, in Maine during the past three years, individuals have been required to repay a total of under $500,000 in fraudulently or mistakenly obtained benefits, a pittance compared to the amount that health care “providers” have been assessed.

02 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

21 February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

Learn more here.

Via Seeing the Forest.

27 January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

Deaths from whooping cough soar in Cali. I trust the anti-vaccine zealots find this gratifying:

California health officials cite a variety of reasons for the uptick. A major contributor, according to the state, was declining immunity among children who had been vaccinated years earlier and had yet to get the booster shot recommended at ages 11 or 12.

Other factors include the cyclical nature of the disease and an increasing number of parents opting out of immunizations for their children.

Much more at the link.

I can remember seeing grainy black and white pictures of kids in iron lungs because of polio on the telly vision when I was young. Mumps nearly killed my parents when I was about four (mumps is much more serious in adults than in children). There were many family tales of children almost dying from whooping cough or measles and perhaps tales I did not hear of those who did; I do know that, in the graveyard at the little country church my family has attended since before the War of 1812, there are lots of tiny little graves.

Vaccines put an end to that. Now, fear and hysteria based on fraudulent claims threaten to bring it all back.

Penn and Teller explain vaccination (Warning: Language).

Penn and Teller via PoliticalProf.

26 January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

Via AMERICAblog.

30 December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

The Affordable Care Act starts to have real-world effect. The Roanoke Times talks to one beneficiary:

“It has freed me from a weight, a chain, a prison of costs that were astronomical, especially considering my low income level,” said Auldridge, who makes about $20,000 a year working with people with autism.

For Auldridge and millions of others like him with pre-existing conditions, the Affordable Care Act codifies what had been a simple yet elusive concept: that sick people should have access to health insurance, and that the plans they purchase should actually defray their medical bills.

Much more at the link.

27 December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

It’s the best catch there is.

According to hospital rules, I was so sick I couldn’t leave until a cardiologist saw me, but I wasn’t sick enough to for the hospital to let me see a cardiologist.

Eat your heart out, Yossarian.

Follow the link for the Hellerian details.

14 December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

Epitaph:  At least I have affordable health care now.

11 December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

07 December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Gunnuttery, Health Care

Askew values:  healthcare a

Via BartCop.

02 December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

Lee Witting tees off on a recent column attacking the ACA in his local rag.

It’s a masteful takedown. A nugget:

The Republicans have no answers for the people who can’t afford coverage under today’s profit-driven system of outrageous rates, junk policies, claims caps and denials of coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Up until the implementation of Obamacare, this country had the worst system of health care coverage in the industrialized world. This is the mess that really matters — and not all the hypocritical noise being made about website problems, birth control coverage causing wanton sex or anything else opponents can drum up.

29 November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

Guy camped out in front of Black Friday sale for

Via My Local Rag.

25 November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Care

And a glitchy website does not mean a glitchy law.

The first time I rolled out my website back in the members dot AOL dot com tilde username days, it was glitchy, and I did not have the benefit of high-paid consultants to add extra glitches.

Really, grow up, people.

Let Wendy Wolf explain:

Recently, people who couldn’t afford health insurance were asked to use one word to describe how being uninsured felt. Overwhelmingly they said, “Scared.” Scared about not getting care when they needed it. Scared about medical debt that could bankrupt families. Scared about being unable to afford a prescription or recommended therapy.


Yes, the marketplace website rollout was a debacle — but it is making steady progress so that Maine people are finally getting enrolled. Yes, dealing with the cancellation of existing policies that people hold will require the thoughtful action of policy makers to address their concerns.

However, 75 percent of Americans agree that our health system needs to undergo fundamental changes or be rebuilt completely. Despite its shortcomings, Obamacare is still the best starting place for that change.

More stuff to help you grow up at the link.


As someone who must buy his health insurance on the open market, I predict that the Republican decision to tag the ACA as “Obamacare” will haunt them for years, as affordable health insurance is indelibly associated with President Obama and with the Democratic Party.

If you wonder why they are determined to destroy “Obamacare,” there is your reason.

Can you say, “Foot. Shoot.”?