Going to an “Urgent Care” facility? Question their reliance on antibiotics!

❝ Patients seen at urgent care centers for common conditions such as asthma, the flu, and the common cold are more likely to receive antibiotics unnecessarily, compared with patients treated for the same illnesses at other types of health care facilities. In fact, nearly half (46 percent) of patients in urgent care centers who were diagnosed with one of the acute respiratory conditions for which antibiotics are neither recommended nor effective received an antibiotic prescription anyway.

In retail health clinics, just 14 percent of patients did

❝ This new information is part of an ongoing collaboration between Pew and CDC to better understand and improve antibiotic prescribing in the U.S., which is key to slowing the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The findings build on previous research led by Pew and CDC using different data sources, which showed that:

High amounts of unnecessary prescribing persist across various outpatient settings in the U.S. Acute respiratory infections—such as common colds, the flu, and bronchitis—are the main source of inappropriate prescribing in outpatient settings, accounting for the largest proportion of unnecessary use.

❝ Patients with acute respiratory infections often do not receive the recommended treatment.

Ask questions, folks. Learn to say “NO” if you feel the answers aren’t made clear.

I know it’s a battle to find the right doctor – if you can find one who understands the economics of our crappy healthcare system. Unless you’re independently wealthy, of course. My wife and I have been fortunate enough to spend recent years with a young couple of physicians, husband-and-wife, who are well-educated and open-minded. Good for us! Still, there’s always a disaster imminent that requires urgent care. Keep your options open.

The Justice Department Abandons the Law, the Constitution

❝ A continuing challenge of covering the three-ring circus that is the Trump administration is not letting the outrageous antics and statements of the president and his allies distract attention from the outrageous policies being implemented on his watch.

One example, unfolding right now in the midst of the president’s various rhetorical wars — with our G-7 partners, with the special counsel, with his own attorney general — is the administration’s remarkable move not to defend the constitutionality of key parts of the Affordable Care Act…

This is crazy. Nobody imagined — not members of Congress who happily gutted the individual mandate, not President Trump in signing the new law, not members of the public who wanted to learn about what the tax change meant for them — that the consequence was also to eviscerate perhaps the most popular part of the health care law, the protection for those with pre-existing conditions.

You might have thought if that was going to happen, it would have come up at some point in the public debate. You might have thought it would receive some notice from the president, who in his first address to a joint session of Congress proclaimed that it was his priority to “ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage,” and who signed the tax law without any peep about this provision’s supposed unconstitutionality.

I wouldn’t say “crazy” and I’m not surprised. I expect nothing less than absolute allegiance to the most corrupt ideology of America’s class rulers. In this instance, Trumps/Sessions lifetime of butt-kissing of the whole medical-industrial complex.

From insurance companies to Big Pharma, there is no masquerade of new evidence or revelation. The corruption of these two politicians has always been as self-evident as their racism, snobbery, sexual hangups. You pick out something disgusting and backwards about American politics there’s a good chance they’re standing in line for a hug.

Every “New” GOP Health Proposal Would Mean Less Money for States


Graham-Cassidy Bill would have stolen $205 billion from states over 6 years

❝ U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, was joined by other GOP senators as he talked to reporters this week. The bill authored by Graham and Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy would have shifted health policy decisions to the states while sending them much less federal money…

❝ “Under our approach, the money and power in Washington is given to state officials who will be accountable at the ballot box and therefore more accessible than any Washington bureaucrat,” Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said after their Graham-Cassidy bill died this week.

But authority is less enticing when it’s accompanied by the cuts in federal dollars that the proposals have entailed, said Mari Cantwell, chief deputy director of the California Department of Health Care Services and director of the state’s Medicaid agency. Under Graham-Cassidy, California would have lost $74 billion between 2020 and 2026.

Nationally the cuts would have reduced federal health funding to the states by $205 billion in that period of time, according to an analysis by Avalere Health, a health policy research company…

❝ Graham and Cassidy pledged to try again, saying that replacing the Affordable Care Act, often known as Obamacare, is inevitable. “It’s only a question of when…”

Teresa Miller, acting secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services, said that statements like that from Republican leaders are the opposite of reassuring. “The problem we need to address is stabilizing the insurance market and the longer this discussion about repealing and replacing goes on, the longer it’s going to take to stabilize.”

This is just the latest attempt at Republicans dragging their feet in response to the growth of public support for universal healthcare through the Obama years. Rationales duel with outright lies for supremacy in Republican agitprop. No matter. Lies always become clear to a voting public that may be slow to respond – but, you can’t hide this crap forever.

RTFA for as many details as you can stand.

A Good Job to Have in America: CEO of Health Insurer

❝ Do you ever wonder if you’re in the right industry, but the wrong profession?

Even though many major health insurance companies, like Aetna and UnitedHealth, are continuing to pull out of exchanges, most have seen their stocks nearly double since the Affordable Care Act was signed in 2010. Their executives have also cashed in with annual compensations that have been climbing alongside their companies’ stocks.

Here’s what the high-rollers of health insurance get paid. We looked at publicly-traded companies, which have to reveal executive compensation in annual proxy statements submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Total compensation includes salary, bonus, stock and options (valued at grant date), incentives, and other benefits.

❝ Centene’s Michael Neidorff was the highest paid CEO, making $22 million in 2016. During a three-year period from 2014 through 2016, he made $62 million.

Like other health insurance CEOs, his $1.5 million-dollar salary only represented a small fraction of his income. Most of his compensation came in the form of stock awards — around $13 million worth each year.

Centene’s stock performed the best among these companies, nearly doubling over three years. A booming stock means Neidorff takes home even more than what’s reported to the SEC.

RTFA to see who owns the biggest pies. Ah, compassionate conservatism.

GOP senators trust Paul Ryan as little as they trust Trump. Want written guarantee “skinny repeal” of Obamacare won’t become law!


Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ron JohnsonAP

The Senate Republican healthcare process descended into disarray Thursday evening, as four GOP senators threatened to withhold support for a more moderate, “skinnier” attempt at repealing certain parts of the Affordable Care Act.

“I am not going to vote for the skinny bill if I’m not assured by the House there will be a conference where my idea and other ideas will be taken up so we can actually repeal Obamacare,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a press conference Thursday with Sens. John McCain, Ron Johnson, and Bill Cassidy.

Graham added: “I’m not going to vote for a bill that is terrible policy and horrible politics just because we have to get something done.”

The last-ditch, so-called skinny repeal effort would consist of a series of amendments would aim to repeal certain unpopular parts of the Affordable Care Act, including mandates to get health insurance.

At the end of the 20-hour debate period, if no bill has been picked up, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would move on to the “skinny repeal” plan. If passed, it could lead to the House and Senate working together to compromise on one final bill in conference.

You’ll hear lots of rationales saying this is how a compromise will be worked out. The senators made it clear that compromise will include Democrats.

After the press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed a willingness to take the bill to conference.

“If moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do,” he said.

The four GOP senators said they wanted assurances from House Republican leadership — including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — that they would not pass the bill, which Graham called a “fraud.”

The senators didn’t specify what kind of assurances they would request.

It’s like pornography. You’ll know it when you see it,” Graham said.

No one in the Senate is ready to take Ryan’s word. If Trump is impeached – and Senators working on that plan to include Pence in any criminal cover-up – Ryan gets to be President. He can taste it, already.

The Senators realize that, too. And BTW everyone expects ANY conference on this bill to fail. Requiring a do-over.

The so-called skinny repeal of Obamacare is the kinder, gentler version of Republican politics. It would only screw 16 million eople out of health insurance.

Republican healthcare


Click to enlarge

Here’s how Republicans want to “repeal and replace” Obamacare…

❝ Republicans have repeatedly identified what they don’t like about the Affordable Care Act: It doesn’t cover enough people, and the deductibles are too high. They then went ahead and drafted legislation that would cover fewer people and drive deductibles even higher.

Thanks, Vox