Archive for the ‘health care’ Category

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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Donald Trump held a rally where the Trump Youth of America chanted “U S A! U S A!” to Trump’s promise to repeal Obamacare and deprive 22,000,000 Americans of health insurance.

Oh sure, they *said* they were the Boy Scouts of America. But hey. Look. Scouts are about helping people, not about hurting people. Depriving granny of her nursing home meds by defunding Medicaid? Dude. Not helping.

So surely these couldn’t be Boy Scouts up there cheering their God-Emperor declaring a death sentence of thousands of Americans deprived of health insurance, right?

Oh wait, this is 1932…. err….. alrighty, then.


– Badtux the WASF Penguin

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That’s the only thing I can assume, due to the fact that he blames Democrats for the fact that all of the repeal-and-replace a.k.a. “Trumpcare” proposals in Congress have failed.

What next? He blames Obama? The pope? The final season of Game of Thrones?

Last time I checked, Congress is run by Republicans. Sorry, Deadbeat Donnie. This fiasco is all on youse guys’ hands, not ours. We’re just sittin’ back munching popcorn.

– Badtux the Democrat Penguin

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More on health care — who pays?

I’m having fun reading the CMS’s 2015 National Health Expenditures report.

Some takeaways:

We spent approximately 17% of GDP on healthcare in 2015, the highest in the world.

What 17% of GDP is spent on:

Hospital care — 32%.
Doctors — 20%.
Other professional services — 3%
Dental — 4%
Other healthcare-related personal care / residential care services — 5%
Home health care — 3%
Nursing homes — 5%
Prescription drugs — 10%
Medical equipment — 2%
Medical supplies and OTC medicines — 2%.

Who pays:

Medicare – 20%
Medicaid – 17%
Private health insurance — 33%
Out-of-pocket — 11%
“Other”, including VA, state / county / city hospitals and clinics funded by taxes, charity care, etc — 19%

Where did the money come from:
Federal government — 29%
Households — 28%
Private businesses — 20%
State and local governments — 17%
Other/unknown – 6%

What’s especially interesting is that private health insurance is only 33% of who pays for health care. Medicare and Medicaid pay more than private insurers for health care. If you include all payment by government, we’re talking at least 46% of healthcare is already funded by government — or more than the amount paid for by private insurance.

– Badtux the Healthcare Finance Penguin

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According to a report on medical tourism that I’ve read, 1.5 million Americans go overseas every year to obtain medical that is either unaffordable or unobtainable here at home. Roughly 200,000 non-Americans come here each year for health care unobtainable at home — mostly from the Caribbean or from Central America. This is a tiny fraction of the 15,000,000 or so people per year worldwide who go to other countries to obtain healthcare not available or affordable in their own.

So where are people going for health care, instead? Thailand is the biggy. Over 1,000,000 people go to Thailand each year for medical procedures that they can’t get at home. Next up is India, with 600,000 medical tourists per year, mostly from surrounding countries. But wealthy people generally go to either Singapore, or Switzerland. France is also a popular destination in the francophone world, but has the disadvantage (to tyrants) of being a signatory to the World Court, unlike the United States. Thus third world dictators risk being arrested and put on trial at the Hague if they go to France for medical care. So they go to neutral countries like Singapore or Switzerland instead, or if they’re too controversial even for those countries, then, and only then, do they go to the United States. But the United States is a third choice for these people — our healthcare is expensive, but by every measure possible is mediocre. Whether you’re talking outcomes, physicians per capita, hospital beds per capita, whatever, the United States is #1 in none of these, and usually is ranked down with former Iron Curtain eastern European countries like Bulgaria and Romania.

None of this is news to those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while. I’ve already pointed out the mediocre results we get for being the most expensive health care in the world in many, many posts, like this one about prostate cancer that points out that we spend twice as much on health care as Canada, yet have basically the same mortality rate from prostate cancer. But I just felt like addressing today the notion that people come here en masse for healthcare they can’t get in their own countries. They come here, certainly… but not in large numbers, and not as a first choice for many who do come here. Remember, the reason that the Iranians took over our embassy back in ’79 was because we admitted the Shah of Iran here for health care when nobody else in the world would admit him into their country… that’s the quality of people we let in to get health care. If the Shah had been popular rather than reviled, he likely would have gone to Switzerland. But Switzerland wouldn’t have him….

– Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

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