Mentally ill man jailed over $5 worth of snacks dies in cell after waiting months for mental health care

Jamycheal Mitchell [Facebook]

Man, the first few paragraphs of this Washington Post story about a mentally ill man who died in a jail while waiting for medical care are so devastating. Read the rest

Texas governor bans Planned Parenthood from cancer screening program for poor women

Protesters rally in the rotunda of the State Capitol as the state Senate meets to consider legislation restricting abortion rights in Austin, Texas July 12, 2013. Texas on Friday is poised to enact a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, ending a bitter political fight that stirred national debate over what critics see as laws threatening the right to abortion in the United States. REUTERS/Mike Stone
Texas governor Greg Abbott OK's ban on healthcare provider's non-abortion-related services for the poor.
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Village designed as a home for forgetful seniors

Kelsey Campbell-Dollahan: " there's still no perfect way to care for sufferers of dementia and Alzheimer's. In the Netherlands, however, a radical idea is being tested: Self-contained "villages" where people with dementia shop, cook, and live together—safely." Read the rest

Hospitals will happily tell you the cost of parking; procedures, not so much

Fourteen-year-old Jillian Bernstein got herself published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by comparing the transparency of medical costs at Philadelphia hospitals with the transparency of parking rates at the same hospitals. Out of 20 hospitals, 19 were happy to provide information on the cost to park a car. Only three, however, were willing to tell her how much it would cost an uninsured person to get an electrocardiogram, and those prices were ridiculously variable — $137, $600 and $1,200, depending on the hospital. Read the rest

NHS campaigners' bid for #1 Christmas song

Noemi sez, "In much of the English speaking world 2013 was the year of the Battle for Health Care. While in the US people were fighting for the Affordable Care, others in the UK campaigned for high quality, free healthcare. A year ago a powerful campaign in South East London challenged the demolition of more than half of Lewisham Hospital. They fought the UK government in the High Court twice and won twice! What could be a more appropriate way to celebrate the power of people and the strength of communities than to help the good people of Lewisham land a beautiful Christmas Number One?" Read the rest

Tragic rabies death in China

A 41-year-old Chinese man died from a rabies infection that he picked up in an attempt to save his son from the disease. The boy was bitten by a rabid dog. The father sucked blood out of the wound in hopes it would remove any poison. The family ended up taking the boy in for shots, anyway, but the father turned them down, largely because of the cost. Read the rest

U.S. health insurance is a complex nightmare

Here's Glenn Fleishman on healthcare in America, where sufferers receive outsize bills and must engage with an insane, bloated bureaucracy to chop them down to size--if they have insurance.
Explain to me how this makes sense at any level? The raw cost, the billed cost, the premiums, the rest of it. The system is designed to have as many parties interceding to make profit as possible. It is not designed to produce the best care in the world; our care is fine. It does not exceed or meet comparable developed countries with national healthcare, and we pay vastly more and have steeply increasing costs.
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Another option for affordable healthcare: Marry a Norwegian

In a first-person account of his battle with chronic illness, Minneapolis musician Kevin Steinman explains why he's decided to move to Norway rather than keep fighting the American healthcare system. (Via Erik Hess) Read the rest