Archive for the ‘health care’ Category

Remember this asshole?

Thumbs up, y’all!

What an asshole. Hundreds of thousands died because of this asshole and his posturing. Now, let’s look at another group of assholes:

House Republican sociopaths on parade

They were high-fiving each other and shouting “Mission Accomplished!” because they, too, have condemned hundreds of thousands to die by depriving them of healthcare. More particularly: By removing the requirement that insurers offer insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.

Who has a pre-existing condition? Pretty damn well all of us who are past age 40, people. It’s called “living life”. Everybody gets there eventually. I know I’m personally uninsurable if insurers are allowed to deny coverage. Too much wear and tear over the years, plus chronic allergies, genetic in nature, not because I lived wrong. Thing is, anybody who is of a certain age has this wear and tear. It’s just how human bodies age. And there’s millions of people in my boat, any of whom will die if they have a heart attack or get cancer and they don’t have health insurance.

Sociopaths. We are ruled by sociopaths. By cold-blooded lizard people who view human beings as prey, not as fellow travellers in the human race. And people will die if this bill makes it through the Senate, guaranteed.

– Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

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People with Type 1 diabetes are having to turn to the black market for the insulin they need to stay alive. This is especially true if they’re allergic to the particular bacterium genetically engineered to produce the specific brand of insulin that their insurer covers. The new genetically-engineered insulin was supposed to solve the allergy problem that faced some users of the pig or cow insulin because it’s people insulin, not pig insulin or cow insulin. Instead it created its own allergy problems because some of the proteins of the bacteria that produced the insulin end up in the insulin, and allergies happen due to those proteins, too.

And to top it all off, because these are genetically engineered insulins, the vendors raised the price to outrageous sums. Meanwhile, the cheap animal insulins are no longer available on the U.S. market — the only way to get cheap insulin now is to import it illegally on the black market from Canada.

The core problem here is that insurers and drug makers are quite willing to kill Americans suffering from Type 1 diabetes in order to increase their profits. If you suffer from Type 1 diabetes and don’t get your insulin when you need it, you *die*. But insurers and drug makers don’t care. They don’t have to. It’s not as if there was some entity called “government” that had the power to regulate them and force them to bring cheap animal insulin back on the market again, after all. This “government” thing? It must be imaginary, right?

Say hello to Libertopia, folks, where drug makers are quite happy to kill people for profit because they don’t care and they don’t have to.

– Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

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A mentally ill man, Kori Ali Muhammad, kills four white men in Fresno.

This is not about terrorism, this is about mental illness. The shooter here, Kori Ali Muhammad, has been in and out of mental institutions for the past decade, released once he’s stabilized so he’s pretty much sane, then he gets back out on the streets, goes off his meds, and goes crazy again.

Both loony lefties and loony righties said that this man had the right to not take his meds after being released from a mental institution, the lefties because they consider mental illness to be merely “mentally different” and we shouldn’t take away their right to choose to be “different”, the righties because they consider mental illness to be a “moral failing” and that people have a right to choose such a thing.

The reality is that this man’s mental illness made these choices for him, not he himself. His brain was literally not working right and was incapable of making sane rational choices regardless of how much he desired to do so. And now four people are dead. Because some abstract “right to be crazy” is more important than both the welfare of the mentally ill, and the welfare of those around them.

– Badtux the Sad Penguin

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That’s the question, now that yet another single-payer plan has been floated for California.

30% of California’s population is on Medi-Cal. 13.3% of California’s population is on Medicare. Then there are an unknown number of military retirees with VA and TriCare benefits. These overlap slightly, so figure that around 40% of California’s population already is on single-payer. 5.6% receive coverage via Covered California (“Obamacare”). 7.1% are uninsured. Of the remainder of insured Californians, almost 50% get their health insurance via their employer. Of that number, roughly 50% of employees with employer-provided insurance are covered by a self-insured plan that is regulated by the federal government via ERISA, not by the state.

The question is this: can California create a single-payer health insurance plan out of this mess? Average family income in California is around $85,000 and average family health insurance in California is $15000, so to cover 60% not already on single-payer, you’d need to have let’s call it a 10% Healthcare Tax on California incomes. And if you’re going to give the lowest quintile a tax cut on that, it’ll have to be higher.

So: Is it possible? Sure. The money is being spent already, it’s just going through insurance companies rather than through a state single-payer plan. Is it *probable* that Californians would vote to tax themselves that much? It doesn’t seem likely. The people at the top end of the income scale — the people who’d end up paying much more than they’re paying now, since 10% of a $250,000 income is $25,000 — would squawk loudly, and they have the politicians in their pockets. Still. It’s financially possible. It’s just a matter of political will. Unfortunately, political will has been in short supply lately…

– Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

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So Spicey Spice sez that the CBO is wrong about how many people will lose insurance when the CBO says 24 million people will lose their health insurance under the House bill.

Turns out he might be right. According to the Trump Administration’s own estimates, the actual number is 26 million. I.e., the CBO underestimated how many people will lose their health insurance.

Which isn’t exactly what Spicey Spice was implying, but anyhow: The end result of 26 million more uninsured people is, of course, dead bodies. Lots of dead bodies. Uninsured people have a 40% higher death rate in a given year than insured people.

But they’re not rich people, so I guess that as far as Spicey Spice and the rest of His Fraudulency Donald the Trump’s regime is concerned, they don’t really count.

– Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

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… quit proposing Nazi policies like genocide. Yeah, some fine MAGAts in Maricopa County (Arizona) proposed liberal genocide and deportation of the Jews to save America for white people. Thereby proving that Maricopa County is one of the Orange Racist Pussy Grabber’s strongholds. Yay, Arizona.

Meanwhile, Paul Ryan literally flunks the answer to the question, “what is insurance?”. The answer to that question, of course, is that insurance is risk pooling. Let’s take leukemia. Leukemia is pretty rare, but when it happens, it costs $1,000,000 to cure it. So if leukemia strikes one in 10,000 people in a given year, then 10,000 people can each put $100 into the pot, and the lucky individual who comes down with leukemia gets his leukemia treatment.

Here’s the point: Yes, the healthy people are paying for the healthcare of the sick person with leukemia, but that’s because they didn’t know at the beginning of the year whether they would be the one person in the pool who came down with leukemia. So they pooled the risk — they put $100 into the pot so that if they did turn out to be the one person who came down with leukemia, they would get the health care they needed instead of dying. The whole point of a risk pool is that the people who don’t “win” the leukemia lottery end up paying most of the costs of the person who does “win” the leukemia lottery, so that if next year *they* are the one who “wins” the leukemia lottery, their leukemia treatment will be paid for too. It’s basically gambling, but gambling with the purpose of reducing overall risk rather than increasing it. The fact that 9,999 people don’t “win” the leukemia lottery doesn’t make it theft, no more than with any other lottery. It just means that if they play that game again next year and they *do* “win” the leukemia lottery, their health care is paid for.

What happens if you *don’t* have risk pooling? Lots of dead bodies. Because the vast majority of the people who do “win” the leukemia lottery every year are not millionaires like Paul Ryan and thus don’t have the personal resources to pay $1,000,000 for treatment. That’s why they joined a risk pool — to pool their money with other people so that if they *do* “win” the leukemia lottery, there’s enough money in the pot to pay the bill. That is why both the American Medical Association and American Hospital Association are both against any plan that reduces the number of insured people — uninsured people generally die when they don’t have the $1M to pay to cure an expensive illness. But the thought of dead bodies apparently gives Paul Ryan a woodie…

Yeah, if you don’t want to be called a Nazi, quit proposing policies that end up with dead bodies. Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Bodycounting Penguin

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AARP comes out against health care bill. Their takeaway: shortening the life of Medicare, hiking costs for those who can least afford higher insurance premiums, risking seniors’ ability to live independently, increasing insurance premiums for older Americans and not doing anything to lower drug costs, and giving tax breaks to big drug companies and health insurance companies.

In other words: A real shit sandwich.

And in the news yesterday, overshadowed by the health care shit bill, it’s Muslim Ban II. Whiter, cleaner, less offensive constitutionally, doesn’t violate due process rights of visa holders so the White House figures the courts are going to okay it. We’ll see.

So anyhow, Trump accused President Obama of releasing hundreds of Al Qaeda terrorists from Gitmo who went back to their old ways again. Only problem: Most of those were released by George W. Bush. Man, that Barack Obama and his magic negro ray of time travel mojo. He traveled back into time, all the way into the Bush Administration, and using his magic negro ray of mind control, forced President Bush to release 113 prisoners who later went on to join Al Qaeda! Wow, now if Obama could only use that time travel ray to go back in time and get us a better President…

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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