Donald Trump, June 16, 2020: “They’ve come up with the AIDS vaccine.” Read the rest
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs said Friday that it will not stop use of hydroxychloroquine, an unproven malaria drug pushed by Trump, on veterans with COVID-19. Read the rest
IMAGE: Health Insurance Coverage Before and After Job Loss Among People in a Family Experiencing Job Loss as of May 2, 2020, courtesy kff.org
In today's edition of impeached president Donald Trump's brain melting down on live television, fresh word salad featuring health care and the verb 'terminate.' Read the rest
Britain and the United States said on Tuesday in a joint warning that government-backed hackers are attacking healthcare and research institutions with the goal of stealing valuable information about the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read the rest
The U.S. government spent $30 billion last month in stimulus payments last month to most healthcare providers that billed Medicare last year, part of the $2.3 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress to address the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic. Read the rest
“'The difference now is the speed with which it spreads, and the denigration of the institutions that we rely on to understand the truth. I think we're in dangerous territory.'”
Don't miss the New York Times investigation detailing Russia's decade-long health disinformation campaign against the United States and other Western democracies, using social media and news outlets to sow confusion and hurt institutions. Read the rest
America has no fire drill for economic uncertainty. What is going to happen today, April 1st, in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic, when everyone's rent, mortgages, and bills are due? Read the rest
The coronavirus has now killed more Americans than the 9/11 terror attacks. Read the rest
The number of coronavirus cases in New York sharply increased to nearly 8,000 cases on Friday, a result of increased testing and the continuing uncontrolled spread of the virus that causes the respiratory illness COVID-19.
This is 10 times higher than what was reported earlier in the week.
New York now has half of all coronavirus cases in the US.
In a startlingly quick ascent, New York was closing in on 8,000 positive tests, about 1/2 the cases in the country. The # was 10x higher than what was reported earlier in the week. The sharp increase is thrusting the medical system toward a crisis point. https://t.co/SPPe5PESWT
— Adam Goldman (@adamgoldmanNYT) March 20, 2020
“The healthcare system is already getting overrun. Hospitals are running out of ventilators. Doctors are reusing masks,” says the New York Times' Brian Rosenthal.
Read the rest
The sharp increase is thrusting the medical system toward a crisis point, officials said.
In the Bronx, doctors at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center say they have only a few remaining ventilators for patients who need them to breathe. In Brooklyn, doctors at Kings County Hospital Center say they are so low on supplies that they are reusing masks for up to a week, slathering them with hand sanitizer between shifts.
Some of the jump in New York’s cases can be traced to significantly increased testing, which the state began this week. But the escalation, and the response, could offer other states a glimpse of what might be in store if the virus continues to spread.
One of the most frustratingly incredible things about Corporate PR Con Artistry is that even when the chaos magicians behind it reveal their tricks, there are still people who will continue to insist that somehow, this makes the lie even more real. We've seen it before with climate change, and the bullshit connection between vaccines and autism.
And now, in a new op-ed from The New York Times, we can see this phenomenon happening in real-time with healthcare. Most rational-thinking people understand that the private healthcare system in America offers no more "choice" than the socialized, single-payer, or other government-subsidized systems in other developed nations. Yet that idea of "choice" — and the fantastical fear-mongering about wait times in Canada — has become a popular talking point with those opposed to healthcare reform. Which is precisely what it was designed to do, by people like Wendell Potter, a former vice president for corporate communications at Cigna. As he writes in the Times:
Read the rest
To my everlasting regret, I played a hand in devising this deceptive talking point about choice when I worked in various communications roles for a leading health insurer between 1993 and 2008, ultimately serving as vice president for corporate communications.
Those of us who held senior positions for the big insurers knew that one of the huge vulnerabilities of the system is its lack of choice. In the current system, Americans cannot, in fact, pick their own doctors, specialists or hospitals — at least, not without incurring huge “out of network” bills.
A mom in Las Vegas got a shocking bill -- $3,000 -- after doctors removed a plastic doll shoe from her 3-year-old daughter’s nose. Read the rest
Pretomanid, developed by the non-profit TB Alliance, offers a new, safer and more effective treatment for tuberculosis. The non-profit is organized to improve access and affordability of life-saving treatments, but has currently only allowed one drug manufacturer to produce pretomanid. Doctors without Borders fears high prices will limit availability.
"In all of the lower-income countries, we will be encouraging other manufacturers, generic manufacturers, to get into the market — to get competition to drive down the price as well," he says.
But Lynch of Doctors Without Borders thinks there is a better way to keep these drugs affordable: baking a low-price requirement into the TB Alliance's licensing agreement with Mylan, which the organizations have not disclosed.
"What works even better than competition — which, by the way, will take a while — is you set the price reasonably low to begin with," she says.
Private equity firms like Blackstone and KKR have acquired massive health companies like Teamhealth and Emcare, which bill out doctors to the hospitals they work for, taking those doctors out of the hospitals' insurance agreements and massively hiking their fees -- that's why when you go to a hospital, even one that's covered by your insurer, you still end up with massive surprise bills for your care. Read the rest