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

60 Congressional Democrats form a Medicare For All caucus

When Bernie Sanders made a bid for the Democratic presidential candidacy in 2016 with a pledge of "Medicare For All," the party establishment (coffers fattened with money from the health insurance industry) claimed that the policy was a nonstarter that would never find popular support. Read the rest

Blue Cross employees are instructed to donate to the boss's daughter, a "Democrat" who opposes single-payer

Gretchen Whitmer wants to be the Democratic governor of Michigan, and she has distinguished herself from her opponents Abdul El-Sayed, and Shri Thanedar by opposing single-payer healthcare and endorsing the broken, expensive, murderous private system, a subject she has deep expertise in thanks to being raised by Richard Whitmer, who built the family fortune during his 18-year tenure as president of Blue Cross of Michigan. Read the rest

Million-dollar lotto winner finally can afford a doctor visit, discovers he has terminal cancer and promptly dies

Donald Savastano was a self-employed carpenter eking out a marginal living without retirement savings or health insurance; when he won the $1 million jackpot in New York's "Merry Millionaire" lotto, he could finally afford to see a doctor to check out his long-term sense of unwellness. Read the rest

Incentives matter: America's for-profit medical industry thrives on massive wastage, unnecessary procedures, overbilling and overtreating

The first time I interacted with the US medical system was when I was a student at Michigan State University with a comprehensive travel insurance package my bank sold me before I left Canada: the cafeteria food gave me my first case of acid reflux and after it had persisted for several days, I went to the walk-in clinic on campus. Read the rest

America's private health-care is rationed, but socialized medicine is luxury medicine

To hear America's fearmongering private health-care shills describe it, socialized medicine is a kind of Soviet death march, where rationed care and long waits are imposed on all and sundry; but if that state of affairs sounds familiar, it's because of how neatly it describes America's dysfunctional private care system, where you need to change doctors every time you change employers, where your care is denied and your prescriptions are deemed unnecessary by faceless insurance-company bureaucrats, and where three quarters of your family doctor's overheads are dedicated to filling in insurance forms in triplicate and chasing payment in a kind of LARP of Terry Gilliam's Brazil or a Stalinist hospital in deepest Siberia. Read the rest

Here are the three most common dishonest arguments used to derail universal healthcare proposals

The US is the only developed country in the world without universal healthcare. Americans pay more for their healthcare than anyone else, and get significantly worse outcomes than people in every other developed nation. The majority of Americans support universal healthcare. And yet, we are told that universal healthcare is impossible in America. Read the rest

The copay assumes the 99% treat healthcare like spiteful buffet gorgers

The basis for the health-insurance copay is that the 99% need to be disincentivized from "abusing" their health-care and going to the doctor for frivolous ailments (if this was really a thing, we'd have sliding-scale copays that charged rich people astounding sums to see the doctor, to ensure that everyone's incentives were properly aligned). Read the rest

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and 15+ key Democratic Senators back Medicare for All

It's "single payer" and not "universal health care" and there some potential structural pitfalls in this incarnation, but Sanders, Warren and the two dozen progressive and health activist groups who've backed this proposal are planting a flag and declaring that healthcare is not something that markets can provide -- it's the duty and right of civilized states to protect the health of the people who live in their borders. Read the rest

Chuck Jones directed this Oscar-winning government-funded cartoon promoting universal health care (1949)

"So Much for So Little" is a 1949 Warner Brothers cartoon promoting universal health care. It was funded by the federal government and directed by Chuck Jones, with music by Carl Stallings, and narrated by Frank Graham. It won the Academy Award in 1950 for Documentary Short Subject.

From Open Culture:

While our country looks like it might be coming apart at the seams, it’s good to revisit, every once in a while, moments when it did work. And that’s not so that we can feel nostalgic about a lost time, but so that we can remind ourselves how, given the right conditions, things could work well once again.

One example from history (and recently rediscovered by a number of blogs during the AHCA debacle in Congress) is this government propaganda film from 1949—the Harry S. Truman era—that promotes the idea of cradle-to-grave health care, and all for three cents a week. This money went to school nurses, nutritionists, family doctors, and neighborhood health departments.

....

Three cents per American per week wouldn’t cut it now in terms of universal health coverage. But according to [John] Maher, quoting a 2009 Kingsepp study on the original Affordable Care Act, taxpayers would have to pay $3.61 a week.

Read the rest

Senate rejects GOP effort to repeal Obamacare without a replacement

The U.S. Senate has voted to reject a proposal to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA, aka Obamacare) without providing a replacement. Read the rest

VP Pence breaks tie, Senate votes to begin debating GOP bill to kill Obamacare in win for Trump

The U.S. Senate, aided by Trump's second in command, has voted to begin debate on the GOP's plan to destroy Obamacare. Read the rest

Under Trumpcare, surviving a gunshot wounds gives you a "pre-existing condition"

More than 1 million people have been non-fatally shot in the USA since 2000: all of them would have uninsurable pre-existing conditions in the eyes of insurers if Trumpcare passes. Read the rest

GOP abandons vote on health care repeal after CBO predicts 22 million would lose insurance

The Trump administration is failing to pull off its latest efforts to 'repeal and replace Obamacare' with a draconian plan that would leave 22 million or more without health coverage.

After a growing number of Republican senators voiced opposition to the GOP plan, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) today said he'd delay the vote on legislation until after lawmakers return from the July 4th recess.

“We will not be on the bill this week, but we will still be working to get at least 50 people in a comfortable place,” McConnell today said.

It's a big setback for Trump. It's fantastic news for every American who may need health care now, or in the future, or may have a child or parent who does. The fight isn't over, but these monsters aren't winning just yet. Read the rest

Draft of Senate GOP health-care bill is out. Subsidies linked to income, Medicaid cut dramatically.

The Washington Post was first to get a draft copy of the 'secret' GOP health care bill.

The 'discussion draft' is making the rounds among GOP Senators' aides and lobbyists. It would repeal Obamacare taxes, reduce Medicaid coverage, give states greater ability to opt out of Affordable Care Act regulations, and kill federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The GOP House bill linked insurance subsidies to your age, and the Senate's version links them to income, as ACA/Obamacare did. Read the rest

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