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Archive for the ‘health care’ Category

So, today the Republicans held their one and only hearing on the latest Trumpcare atrocity, which would basically defund Medicaid, kick most older Americans off of their Obamacare health insurance, and otherwise kill lots and lots of Americans. So a bunch of disabled people in wheelchairs showed up courtesy of the Medicaid funds that keep them alive to protest the fact that Turtle Mitch’s cuts would kill them.

The Capitol Police dragged them all away, in some cases hauling them bodily out of their wheelchairs and dragging them down the hallway by their feet.

What brave manly men our Capitol Police are, man-handling crippled people like that in order to protect Turtle Mitch and Orin Hatch from the unseemly sight of the people they want to murder!

And what did our brave Republican Senators think about all of this? Well… they seemed bored. In fact, Sen. Bill Cassidy actually yawned as disabled people were ripped out of their wheelchairs and dragged away. Ho hum, just another person he wants to kill whining about not wanting to be killed. Nothing to interest a cold-blooded lizard person from planet Sociopath. Nope, nosirree, those aren’t fellow people, those are just prey as far as our cold-blooded sociopathic lizard overlords are concerned.

Symbolism more suited to what Trump’s America has become — a hard-hearted place where anybody who has the bad luck to become old or sick or disabled should just die, already — could not be devised by any number of Democratic think tanks. This is America, y’all. This is America — cops dragging disabled people out of hearings rather than letting their voices be heard. Because the disabled aren’t people, as far as the sociopaths leading our nation are concerned. The disabled — and hell, pretty much all of us — are prey.

– Badtux the Sociopath-smellin’ Penguin

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So, Bernie Sanders just introduced his latest single-payer healthcare bill, and most of the serious Presidential candidates for 2020 have signed on. My kick-ass Senator, Kamala Harris, has signed on. Elizabeth Warren, another kick-ass Senator, has signed on. Kirsten Gillibrand, *another* kick-ass Senator often mentioned as a possible Democratic Presidential candidate, has also signed on.

And the reaction of Clintonistas?

“You liberals are doing it wrong!”

We’re not telling people how we’re going to pay for all of this, they whine. We must have a detailed policy proposals with 1,000 page policy papers describing every detail, they whine. At which point, I gotta say: Wha?

Look, Clintonistas: You fucking lost. You lost to an orange-hued baboon that proposed building a 2,000 mile wall and proposed a funding mechanism (“Mexico will pay for it!”) that was so stupid that only an idiot (or 48% of Americans, but I repeat myself) could believe it. You lost to an orange-hued baboon that proposed deporting 15 million workers without any hint as to how to replace them in the workforce given that we don’t have 15 million unemployed Americans. You had your fucking chance, people. You had your 1,000 page papers out the fucking wazoo on your candidate’s web site. And she fucking lost, okay?

Have Democrats learned something? Yeah, they’ve learned that embracing mediocre incrementalist “third way” proposals like Hillary Clinton did is how you lose elections. This was an election that shouldn’t have even been close, you had a political pro against a complete amateur, you had a candidate with experience and poise against a reality show host most noted for being an ass on the public airwaves, you had a candidate with detailed policy proposals against a candidate who fucking handwaved everything, and your candidate fucking lost. Trump went big with “build that wall!” and “drain the swamp!”, and he beat Hillary everywhere that it counted. Unless you go big, you go home. Figuring out the details is something that happens after you get elected, first you have to get elected.

So yeah, Democrats learned something. Well, some Democrats learned something. Mainstream Clintonian “Third Way” Democrats with their thousand-page position papers and detailed cautious and incrementalist policy proposals… not so much.

So these Clintonistas say that “Free College for All” and “Universal Health Care” without attempting to determine how to pay for those things or even how much they might cost are false promises which usually means not following through on those promises because they’re unrealistic. Here’s the thing. First of all, if you don’t get fucking elected, you can’t do a goddamn thing anyhow. People like free shit, so just handwave paying for it, already. Don’t scare people with details they really don’t give a shit about. Second, we know the money is there to pay for universal health care, because we’re already paying for it, just in the most inefficient way possible, thanks to emergency room visits and other such things caused by lack of access to primary care. And we already know that the money is there to pay for college for everybody who qualifies for college, because we’re already paying for it, just in the most inefficient way possible (and in a way that basically lands a lot of young people into what’s little more than slavery, forever giving virtually all of their money to debt collectors). If there’s one thing that government is efficient at doing, it’s collecting taxes — there’s a *reason* why we fund roads through taxes rather than tolls. Setting up the street in front of my house as a private toll road would be horrifically expensive given that it has maybe ten cars per hour go down it. Collecting the taxes at a far smaller number of gas stations and via my registration fees for my car is far cheaper than that.

So in my opinion it’s fair to say “we’re already paying for that, we’re just going to do it in a fair and efficient way” and leave sweating the details until after being elected. And they’re unrealistic promises only because rich fucks don’t want to give up any of their billions that were earned by the labor of their 180 million peasants in order to provide basic services for those peasants. Hey, just serfin’ USA, yo. (In case you wonder what I’m talking about — the Walton family would make $0 if it wasn’t for all the checkout tellers and store stockers and truck drivers who make it possible for their store to sell stuff, yet, the Waltons get all the money and the people who make it possible for the stores to operate get to go on the government dole to make ends meet).

– Badtux the Serfing Penguin

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Researchers find that 40% or more of residents of a neighborhood in Lowndes County, Alabama, have or have had hookworm.

This is a disease of extreme poverty that results in anemia, confusion, extreme lethargy on the part of its sufferers. The end result was generations of Southerners stereotyped as lazy and dim-witted. It was eradicated, people thought, by septic systems and shoes. But now it’s back.

And don’t think this is just a disease of poor blacks. Some of my white relatives in Louisiana are living under similar conditions where they regularly come into contact with raw sewage pouring out from underneath their decrepit trailer homes. Really, they were living under more sanitary conditions before they got indoor plumbing — outhouses, at least, didn’t drizzle raw sewage onto the ground. But the Public Health Service that eradicated hookworm by building twenty million outhouses in the 1920’s and 1930’s is long gone. As are the outhouses, and people for some reason don’t want to go back to using outhouses, they insist on using the toilets that deposit raw poop straight onto the ground outside their decrepit trailer homes.

There are two other alternatives that at least sort of resemble a toilet in that you don’t have to go outside your house in the middle of winter and sit on a cold outhouse toilet seat — composting toilets, and the Incinolet. The wiring in many of these homes won’t support an Incinolet, and nobody is pushing or subsidizing composting toilets as a solution. Not to mention that composting toilets are rabidly opposed by the poor people who would use them, “we want to just sit down on our toilet and flush like you rich people, we don’t want to have to mess with throwing dirt in with our shit and turning a handle and such.” That’s if they even know composting toilets exist — most don’t, because we no longer have a Public Health Service that is focused on sanitation, and county health departments only fine people, they don’t educate people, so nobody contacts the county health department asking what they should do.

And the result of this Libertopia, where nobody enforces sanitation laws or helps poor people comply with sanitation laws, is the return of a parasite that plagued the South for centuries and led to all the stereotypes of lazy stupid Southerners… yay, Libertopia! But maybe that’s the point. If you keep them lethargic they won’t rise up in rebellion. If you keep them dazed and confused, they won’t vote for the Democrats who could help them. Why, if you’re a Republican, a hookworm epidemic or a brain-invading parasite epidemic is exactly what you want! Yay!

– Badtux the “Libertopians are idiots” Penguin

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The stupidest argument I’ve ever heard about Medicare For All is that it will “raise taxes”. Look. I’m already paying a healthcare tax. I’m just paying it to a private insurer that skims 20% off the top for their profit, rather than to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that skims less than 1% off the top for their expenses.

Frankly, I don’t care who takes that healthcare tax out of my pocket — whether it’s government or a private insurer. I just want the least amount pulled out of my pocket. So, hmm, so you’re saying I could save 19% on my health insurance costs with Medicare For All versus private insurance? And I’m supposed to dislike that because it’s a GOVERNMENT tax rather than PRIVATE tax? Erm. WTF?

— Badtux the “Math is hard, apparently!” Penguin

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John McCain cast the deciding ballot to make the bill fail, 49-51. If he’d voted for it, Vice President Pence would have been the tie-breaker. His services were not needed.

Don’t worry, though, I’m sure it’s only a momentary lapse on the part of McCain. Still, McConnell was so disgusted by the vote that he yanked the bill completely off the floor. No more discussion. No more later vote.

Still, like a zombie, I’m sure Obamacare repeal will rise from the dead soon enough. Maybe after John McCain becomes dead. Or dead-ish. Given that he’s dying, and everybody knows it, maybe even him.

– Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

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They don’t care about whether the blue-collar workers they hire know how to do the job, they’ll train them. But even with that, employers *still* can’t find enough workers who aren’t dope addicts.

Wow. Just wow. Some of the stories in this article are crazy. They can’t even rely on people passing the drug tests for assuring that they get a reliable employee who won’t OD or show up zoned out on drugs. There’s one employer that says he’s hired over 100 people who passed the drug tests, who got clean for long enough to pass the drug tests, and after six months he’s only got a dozen of those people left, the rest all fell off the wagon and showed up at work stoned or with the works for injecting themselves or whatever and had to be fired.

This is a problem way too big for individual businesses to handle, especially the smaller businesses, like the roofer who can’t find people willing and able to stay clean enough to climb up on roofs and hammer nails. Not brain surgery, but you can’t do it stoned, you’ll fall the fuck off the roof. What the fuck is he supposed to do? He can’t afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars to send employees to rehab clinics! Roofing doesn’t have that kind of profit margin!

In short, this is a problem that government needs to step up and solve, because that’s the whole fucking point of government — to take care of problems too big for individuals to solve. I mean, that’s why we have a fucking military, not just everybody having their own rifles and shotguns and taking care of national defense by themselves — it turns out that building fucking atomic bombs, nevermind tanks and jets and shit, is too big a deal for individuals to do it on their own.

Expecting to hear Republican legislators talking about the laws they’re going to pass to help their constituents beat this narcotics addiction problem in 3 … 2 … 1…. NEVER. Because they’re too busy sneering that all these dope addicts need to just quit using or die, already. In fact, the Republican politicians of many of these states have even talked about cutting off Narcon to people who have had to be resuscitated multiple times. Think I’m kidding? Nope, I’m not kidding. Just let them die. That’s the Republican solution to the opioid crisis.

Yeah, let them die.

I guess that’d solve it. But it’s part and parcel of Republican solutions to every single other problem facing this nation, all of which solutions seem to involve stacking bodies like cordwood ’cause, like, dead bodies give them fucking woodies and shit. Sick sociopathic cold-blooded lizard fucks, the whole lot of them. Bah.

– Badtux the Drug Penguin

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So, the Senate decided to start deliberating their bill to repeal Obamacare. That’s the vote that succeeded today. That’s not a vote to repeal Obamacare, that’s a vote to bring the bill to the floor for debate. Will it pass? We’ll see.

But really, what I want to talk about is John McCain.

He showed up on the Senate floor to vote to bring it on the floor. A vote that, basically, is a vote for 20,000 people to die if the bill passes.

I don’t get it. He’s a dead man walking. He’s going to be dead within 15 months. That’s how this brain cancer thing works. He is going to be dead well before his term of office runs out in 2022. He doesn’t have to worry about being primaried in 2022. Because he will be dead. Why did he vote for party unity, when party unity is useless to a dead man?

The only thing I can think of is that the evil that permeates the Republican party has eaten away his soul, leaving only a black cesspool heart of old man yelling at cloud, “you darn Democrats, get off my lawn!”. Sad. Really sad. At one time, he had integrity. Now… not so much.

– Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

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