Calls for single-payer system includes physicians

In an editorial and proposal published recently in the American Journal of Public Health, 2,231 physicians called for a single-payer national health program to replace the current private insurance model of financing healthcare.

While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has increased access to healthcare services for millions of people, many physicians still have grave concerns over patients’ ability to get the care they need, said Steffie Woolhandler, MD, a co-author of the editorial and proposal…

Physicians are supporting a single-payer system, Woolhandler said, because they know that “lives are literally at stake.”

“I think doctors are seeing lots of patients who can’t get the care they need despite improvements that have come from the ACA. There are still 26 million to 30 million uninsured people, depending on the source, and there is no prospect of that going down because the ACA is almost fully implemented. Many patients will die because they can’t get the preventive or primary care they need,” she said. “Doctors see this in their practice. They also see patients all the time who are underinsured. They have insurance but still can’t afford the care they need … Many doctors feel the ACA has not solved the problems around access to care.”

Among the main points outlined in the national health program are:

Patients could choose to go to any doctor and hospital.

Most hospitals and clinics would remain privately owned and operated, receiving a budget from the NHP to cover all operating costs.

Physicians could continue to practice on a fee-for-service basis, or receive salaries from group practices, hospitals, or clinics.

The program would be paid for by combining current sources of government health spending into a single fund with modest new taxes that would be fully offset by reductions in premiums and out-of-pocket spending.

Co-pays and deductibles would be eliminated…

“Once you have a single-payer system, you have to decide how much you are willing to spend. Our group would say, at least initially, to spend what we are spending now for the first few years to avoid disruption, but over time there would be huge administrative savings,” she said.

RTFA for some discussion and debate. Most industrial, educated nations have some sort of single-payer national health service. Many provide better care than that received by most Americans. They all cost taxpayers and consumers less than our current system.

So-called administrative costs are where insurance companies hide their biggest lies. They claim to need 14-24% of costs for administration. Social Security and Medicare function well with less than 3% charged off to admin.

The CIA told apartheid South Africa coppers where to find and arrest Nelson Mandela in 1962

Nelson Mandela’s arrest in 1962 came as a result of a tip-off from an agent of the US Central Intelligence Agency…

The revelations, made in the Sunday Times newspaper, are based on an interview with ex-CIA agent Donald Rickard shortly before he died.

Mandela served 27 years in jail for resisting white minority rule before being released in 1990.

He was subsequently elected as South Africa’s first black president…

Rumours have circulated for years that the CIA trailed Mandela but the agency resisted previous attempts to shine a light on its alleged involvement in his arrest. Rickard’s admission will bring renewed pressure to declassify documents from the time…

ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said: “That revelation confirms what we have always known, that they are working against [us], even today.

Mandela, president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, was on a US terror watch list until 2008.

Before that, along with other former ANC leaders, he was only able to visit the US with special permission from the secretary of state, because the ANC had been designated a terrorist organisation by the former apartheid government…

President Ronald Reagan had originally placed the ANC on the list in the 1980s.

It doesn’t take a 19th Century paranoid like Reagan to enforce and support racist global policies. You don’t even need one of the Dulles brothers working their dead butt off to aid failing colonial regimes. In case you don’t remember – or know enough history – the CIA was operating in 1962 under the guidance of a liberal Democrat, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

A Gene Drive can transform the world – no guarantees for good or evil

A “gene drive” is a new technology that gives us the ability to change an entire species at will. It’s a bit tricky to grasp how this technology works, but we owe it to future generations to understand this stuff because gene drives are a freaking big deal.

A new TED talk provides a painless way to learn. It’s delivered by the exemplary journalist Jennifer Kahn:

A well-crafted gene drive could push disease-carrying mosquitoes to extinction in one year — possibly eliminating Zika virus and malaria, not to mention yellow fever and other diseases. The technology also has the potential to wipe out invasive species like kudzu and lionfish. In agriculture, gene drives could turn superweeds back into docile weeds, and eliminate pests that farmers usually spray with insecticide…

Except that the power of gene drives makes them frightening. To some. Some people are still afraid of electricity in any application.

Once a gene drive gets into a wild population it spreads relentlessly. Wipe out all the invasive lionfish in the Atlantic and you might wind up wiping out out the original population in the Indian Ocean. Most worrisome of all, they could be used for bioterrorism.

❝ …Weighing the risks and benefits, we have to consider the dangers of inaction as well as the dangers of action. “Humans have a tendency to assume the safest option is to preserve the status quo, but that’s not always the case,” she says. “Gene drives have risks and those need to be discussed. But malaria exists now and kills a thousand people a day. To combat it we spray pesticides that do grave damage to insects and other species including amphibians and birds.”

Bona fide scientists are conservative enough to spend time sufficient to grow hair on an egg – discussing pros and cons. The discussion on eradicating malaria-parasite-bearing mosquitoes has been going on for a spell. It doesn’t kill as many white people as smallpox did; so, folks feel they have lots of wiggle room. Whether they’re conscious of it or not.

And a barely-science-literate portion of the American Left still gets their knickers in a bunch over anything that has the four-letter word “gene” in any part of the discussion. They may not be joined at the hip with fundamentalist creationists; but, inside discussions filled with two columns of ignorance, the fear generated is the same.

Watch the video. Read a bit. Please.