Social security for all — for now

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

More deaths now in U.S. from coronavirus than 9/11 terror attacks

The coronavirus has now killed more Americans than the 9/11 terror attacks. Read the rest

NY now has ~8,000 cases of Coronavirus, about half of all cases in the US

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.

“The healthcare system is already getting overrun. Hospitals are running out of ventilators. Doctors are reusing masks,” says the New York Times' Brian Rosenthal.

Excerpt:

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.

Read the rest

Healthcare choice in America is a scam, according to the people who came up with it

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:

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.

Read the rest

Mom gets $3,000 bill after doctors remove plastic doll shoes from 3-year-old's nose

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

Woman got 500 letters from healthcare company in 5 days [VIDEO]

'I thought it was a joke'

A new drug that may help lots of people will apparently be more expensive than it should

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.

NPR:

"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.

Read the rest

Your massive surprise hospital bills are making bank for private equity

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

Joe Biden, 2006: “I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think it’s always a tragedy”

Biden said he was 'odd man out' with Democrats on abortion in 2006

House agrees to fund September 11th Victims Compensation Fund until 2090, one day after Jon Stewart's emotional plea

Bill would extend fund expiration to 2090, no specific amount, whatever funds needed.

Judge recuses himself from health insurance cancer-denial case because he considers the company "immoral" and "barbaric"

US District Judge Robert N Scola recused himself from a class action suit against Unitedhealthcare that alleges that Unitedhealthcare denied them promising proton beam cancer treatments by falsely claiming that they were "experimental." Read the rest

Here's how to help women in Alabama get an abortion

Here's how to help women who need and/or want an abortion in Alabama.

Alabama senate passes bill to ban abortion even in rape and incest cases

“Alabama is one signature away from enacting a near-total ban on abortions.”

Texas lawmakers want Death Penalty for women who get abortions

They're pro-life, you see.

Trump Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Varma tweets obscene Halloween joke

It's not funny. Read the rest

HACKED: U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS); 75K individuals affected

The United States Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said Friday it was responding to a data breach that exposed the files of about 75,000 people. Read the rest

There's an EpiPen shortage. Parents of kids with serious allergies prepare for back-to-school without the life saving medication.

The EpiPen is a widely used medical device that delivers emergency medication to prevent someone with a severe allergic reaction from going into anaphylactic shock. There's a shortage of EpiPens across the United States. Parents of kids with serious allergies are worried about sending their kids back to school without one. Read the rest

More posts