Maxine… What the Heck Did you Just Say?!

I’m… not even sure what she just said here. I’ve watched this clip literally about seven times, and I’m not sure what she’s saying here.

Does she think there are 700 billion people living in Kentucky?! Does she think 700 billion people in the USA are going to lose Medicaid?

Does she think there are 700 billion people on the entire planet?!

There are about 7.5 billion people on Earth. Click here to watch the clock.

So I am honestly not sure what she is talking about here. And why are our politicians so insane about grossly exaggerating everything? It wasn’t that long ago that Terry McAuliffe tried to tell us we lose 95 million Americans a day to gun violence. (On a bizarre side note, I just spent 20 minutes trying to find a link to that story. WTF?! Search it on Google. You’ll find it eventually, but you have to sift through all the salon.com articles and HuffPo articles about the horrors of guns first. And I know I posted a link on Twitter to this story, but damn if I could find it)

Check yourself, Maxine. Your crazy is getting out of hand.

Parents Of U.K. Baby Barred From Potential Life-Saving Treatment In U.S. Prepare For Son’s Mandated Death

Screenshot: Facebook

“Charlie suffers from a mitochondrial disease that destroys the muscles and the brain,” explained Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, on Thursday. “There was no available treatment in the United Kingdom, and so Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, raised $1.6 million to fly him to the United States for an experimental treatment. But the hospital argued that the treatment wouldn’t help Charlie, and would prolong his suffering, and that they knew better than the parents who had to suffer through his illness and care for him every single day. Thus, the hospital argued that it would be in Charlie’s best interest to die.”

Full article: Parents Of U.K. Baby Barred From Potential Life-Saving Treatment In U.S. Prepare For Son’s Mandated Death | Daily Wire

I’m sure a lot of you have already seen this story. But I wanted to talk about it anyway. I’m not an emotional person, I’m not a parent who gets the feels when they see an article about a sick child. But this one is really bothering me. I am literally tearing up as I’m writing this because I can’t stand it. I feel so awful for this baby and his poor parents that I could just scream.

And if you think this isn’t headed straight for the USA, you aren’t paying attention.

We have a treatment for this – experimental or not – because our system allows for medical innovation. The single payer system doesn’t allow for as much innovation.

Aside from that, think about what happened here. These parents raised $1.6 million dollars to get their child over here for this treatment, and the government in the UK with their single payer system decided they were not going to allow the parents to do this. Nevermind that the parents worked to raise the money. Nevermind that people cared enough about this child to help. Nevermind that there is a treatment available that could potentially help the child. And I’m sorry, whether it ends up helping him or not, the parents have a right to try. They have a right to do everything in their power to save their child. If the child dies anyway, fine. But at least they did everything they could for their child.

This is why I want government our of my healthcare. We’ve had horror stories from our readers and collected stories from around the internet. I told you folks one time about my friend in Canada who had to bring his mother here for hip replacement after their system kept telling her “18 more months,” all the while she was in screaming agony and couldn’t walk. I’ve told you about how, if government is funding a single payer system, they’d have the right to tell you how to live your life, what activities you could take part in, what kinds of cars you could drive, and they could deny you care based on an objection to your lifestyle of choice. And because it is taxpayer funded, they’d have every right in the world to do so.

This is another side effect. The government can now tell you that, regardless of whether or not you have the money, we’re not going to allow you to get treatment because we don’t approve it and think we know better. Maybe it’s your lifestyle, or maybe it’s because it wasn’t our own country’s innovation or treatment. Whatever it is, the government says no, even if it means certain death.

And if you think it won’t happen here, you are a damn idiot.

Senate GOP weighing penalties for uninsured in healthcare bill

© Greg Nash

Senate Republicans are mulling over a provision to their healthcare overhaul measure that could bar Americans from purchasing insurance on the individual market for six months if they don’t maintain continuous coverage, Vox reported Saturday.

The provision would address concerns over the bill’s current lack of penalties for those who choose not to purchase insurance, and could be introduced as soon as Monday, according to the report.

The Senate bill prohibits insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. But without penalties that would otherwise encourage healthy people to buy insurance, the bill could lead to a system in which only the sickest people purchase coverage, leading to staggering insurance premiums, Vox noted.

Under the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, Americans who don’t purchase health insurance are subject to a fine.

Full article: Senate GOP weighing penalties for uninsured in healthcare bill: report | TheHill

This is why the whole damn thing needs to go. I’m sorry, but none of this is sustainable. None of it.

I will say again… I support doctors and hospitals having a “menu” with their prices so you can shop for the best care at the best prices, and I support concierge doctors and hospitals. When government gets involved, it gets too big, too complicated, and more and more people end up getting screwed.

Shulkin Says he is Considering Closing 1100 VA Facilities

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Photo Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP

According to this, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is considering closing 1100 VA facilities nationwide. Apparently, they are prepping to allow Veterans more use of the private sector.

For years now, we have heard stories of long wait times and Veterans dying while waiting to be seen. I personally had a fight with the VA (on behalf of my father) that required the assistance of a state Senator. Had my father been going to the private sector, he would have been treated faster, with less complaint, and more uniformly, which he actually needed because he was undergoing cancer treatment for stage 4 glioblastoma.

According to the article at Military Times:

In an internal agency document obtained by The Associated Press, the VA pointed to aging buildings it was reviewing for possible closure that would cost millions of dollars to replace. It noted that about 57 percent of all VA facilities were more than 50 years old. Of the 431 VA buildings it said were vacant, most were built 90 or more years ago, according to agency data. The VA document did not specify the locations.

I see no issue with this! Aging buildings in disrepair? Close them! I think we should allow our Veterans to see non-VA doctors with the use of a VA insurance that affords them the same benefits of using the VA. The remaining VA hospitals should be used for the most serious cases, such as our men and women coming home from overseas with injuries and rehab for those injuries. Everyone else, like my father, should be treated in the private sector.

We should also be expanding their nursing facility for long term care of aging and terminally ill Veterans. My father required the services of a 24 hour location as he got severely ill, and he very much wanted to be among his fellow Veterans in his final days. He was denied. There was no room. I personally believe that, if he had been granted a room, he would have lived longer. All my father would have needed to give himself a few more months would have been for some Vietnam era Marine to walk into his room and tell him to suck it up (my dad was Army, but he so admired the Marines that he preferred them and lamented the fact that he wasn’t one).

So let’s do this. Save the tax payers some money. And for the love of all things holy, let’s save our Veterans from long wait times, fights they shouldn’t need to focus on more than their illness or injury, and premature death.

Canada’s Single-Payer Health Care System: A Cautionary Tale

Photo: Flynt/Dreamstime

There’s just one problem: The Canadian model of universal coverage is failing.

Assessing Canada’s Single-Payer System

The Canada Health Act (CHA), introduced in 1984, governs the complicated fiscal agreement between the provinces, who administer health services, and the feds, who manage their health-insurance monopoly and transfer funds to the local governments. Unlike in the United Kingdom, where health care is socialized and hospitals are run by the National Health Service, in Canada health care is technically delivered privately, although given the Kafkaesque regulations and restrictions that govern it, the system is by no means market-based. In fact, Canada’s government-controlled health-care system has become more restrictive than communist China’s.

Debates about health-care policy typically revolve around three key metrics: universality, affordability, and quality.

Canada passes the first test with flying colors: Every resident of the country is insured under the CHA, with covered procedures free at the point of delivery. While medical providers are independent from the federal government, they are compelled to accept CHA insurance —and nothing else — by a prohibition on accepting payments outside the national-insurance scheme so long as they wish to continue accepting federal health-transfer funds. The spigot of money from Ottawa thus ensures a de facto government monopoly in the health-insurance market.

The CHA provides and ensures universal coverage from the top down. In Canada, the government determines what procedures are medically necessary. Bureaucrats, not doctors, decide which procedures and treatments are covered under the CHA — based on data and statistics rather than on the needs of patients. While private insurance does exist — an OECD report found that 75 percent of Canadians have supplementary insurance — it applies only to procedures and services that fall outside the CHA — including dental work, optometric care, and pharmaceutical drugs.

When it comes to affordability, the Canadian system also passes, if just barely. Canadians pay for health insurance through their taxes; most never see a medical bill. But that doesn’t mean the system is affordable. Au contraire, it relies almost entirely on current taxpayers to subsidize the disproportionately large health-care needs of elderly Canadians in their final few years of life. Rather than pre-funding the system to deal with the coming tsunami of aging Baby Boomers, Canada’s provincial governments pay and borrow as they go — and rank among the most indebted sub-sovereign borrowers in the world. According to Don Drummond, an economist appointed by Ontario’s Liberal government to help fix its finances, Canada’s largest province is projected to see health-care costs soar to the point where they will consume 80 percent of the entire provincial budget by 2030, up from 46 percent in 2010.

In the meantime, to address scarcity in the health-care system, government central planners ration care and cap the number of procedures offered in a given year, leading to queues, longer wait times, and a deterioration in the quality of care. Speaking of which#…#

#…#When it comes to the final metric, quality of care, Canada lags behind most other developed Western nations. A 2014 report by the Commonwealth Fund ranked Canada tenth out of eleven wealthy countries (ahead of only the United States) in health-care quality, and dead last in timeliness of care. The report showed that 29 percent of adult Canadians who fell ill and needed to see a specialist waited two months or longer, and 18 percent waited four months or longer, compared with 6 percent and 7 percent of Americans, respectively.

Canada’s quality of care is poor, and it continues to deteriorate in the face of a looming fiscal crunch and further rationing. In Canada’s single-payer system, citizens cannot pay directly for procedures, and they cannot purchase private insurance to cover services provided by the CHA. They must instead wait in line or seek health-care services outside the country.

Full article: Canada’s Single-Payer Health Care System: A Cautionary Tale | National Review

For full disclosure, my example is a story from about ten years ago. But it is one that has stuck with me and comes back to me every time someone says we should do like Canada. Because when people tell me that, I think to myself… then where will the Canadians go for surgery?

I had a police officer friend who lived in Canada and was caring for his elderly mother. She was in massive amounts of pain because of a hip injury. When she saw a doctor, she was told she needed a double hip replacement. At this point, she was completely unable to walk and was in chronic pain. My friend was devastated watching his mother cry on her sofa from the pain.

The doctor told her she had to wait 18 months for the surgery. I don’t remember what the reasoning was at this point, but I remember he said they had to wait 18 months. She agreed, and she dealt with this living hell for 18 solid months. When the time came for her appointment, she was again reassessed and the results were the same: she needed double hip replacement.

My friend asked the doctor to schedule the surgery and he was told… she had to wait 18 months. My friend, at this point, lost his mind. He told the doctors they had just waited 18 months and she had been told then that she’d get the surgery in 18 months. Now they were told they had to wait another 18 months. The doctor told him there was nothing they could do.

So, my friend wheeled his sobbing mother out of the hospital, put her in the car, and drove to New York. She had her double hip replacement surgery done within the month. He made arrangements to pay for it out of pocket on a payment plan. But his mother got her new hips and was on her way to healing and living life again.

Why is that? And how was what happened to him even fair? Was his mother going to be told in another 18 months that she had to wait another 18 months? Were they just hoping she’d die before they did the surgery? I have no idea what the motivation or reasoning was here. But every time someone tells me we need health care like Canada, I think of this friend of mine and his mother, and I look my mother with her double knee replacements and her spinal stenosis. Would my mother, on single payer, be allowed to get the acupuncture that is helping to relieve so much of her pain? Would she have access to the drugs? Would she get much help considering her pace maker and the drugs she is on for life from having contracted MRSA? And if not, where would I take her? My friend had the option to take his mother to New York to use the health care system so many Americans seem to loathe. But if we went the Canadian route, where would I take my mother?

Betsy DeVos backs a technique claiming to cure ADHD without medication — but the science is questionable

(Donald Trump and education secretary Betsy DeVos.AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Of the approximately 6.4 million American children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), some 85% take stimulant drugs like Adderall. (Another 8 million American adults have the disorder, but estimates of their rates of drug use are less clear).

Studies suggest that treating ADHD with stimulant drugs improves symptoms in about 70% of adults and 70% to 80% of children, but there is a risk of side effects that range from minor to debilitating. These include headaches, insomnia, nervousness, weight loss, and in some cases even heart problems. Some people who have been treating their ADHD with stimulants for years say even more serious issues can arise, from anxiety and panic to social isolation. Often, it can feel as though they’re managing two different personalities — one on the medication and one off of it. That’s not mention the other 20% to 30% of people for whom medication either isn’t an option or doesn’t help.

The goal of neurofeedback training in people with ADHD is to pinpoint where the brain was misbehaving and re-balance its activity patterns, says McIntyre. Some new and very preliminary studies using fMRI to measure brain activity in people with ADHD who have done neurofeedback are just beginning to suggest that this is actually what is going on.

“The people who come [to Neurocore] are already at their wits end and struggling because nothing’s working,” says Michelle McIntyre, who worked at Neurocore for four years as an intern, a technician, and a sales representative. McIntyre’s says that during her time as a Neurocore technician, she saw many patients — about half of them children, half adults — with attention issues. Many had previously been diagnosed with ADHD by a physician and were having a rough time finding any treatment that helped alleviate their symptoms.

“Ultimately what we’re trying to do is relieve the symptoms that brought the physician to that diagnosis,” she says. “Ultimately what we’re trying to do is balance the brain.”

David Rabiner, a Duke University professor of neuroscience who practices neurofeedback, maintains that the scientific evidence leans more strongly in favor of conventional, medication-based treatments for people with ADHD than it does for neurofeedback. While there has been an outpouring of recent research on neurofeedback in people with ADHD, the largest and strongest studies remain undecided on whether or not it works. And the studies that do say it works have mixed conclusions about how well.

Two large and promising recent meta-analyses (reviews of studies) examined neurofeedback and ADHD in children. While both concluded that the treatment helped reduce children’s ADHD symptoms, one said it was “probably efficacious” while the other said it was “efficacious and specific.” In the first case, that phrasing corresponds to a level three out of five (3/5) on a scale created to evaluate biofeedback methods (zero is the weakest and five is the strongest). In the second case, the researchers gave it a five out of five (5/5).

A few years after those studies were published, another equally large review came to the opposite conclusion, finding that the “evidence … currently fails to support neurofeedback as an effective treatment for ADHD.”

Full article: Betsy DeVos backs a technique claiming to cure ADHD without medication — but the science is questionable – Yahoo

I know this is a little different than the stuff I normally post here, but I wanted to say something about it.

So what if the science on it is weird? I’m all for trying things that don’t involve drugging our children. If it doesn’t work for one child, then move on to something else. Drugging our kids should be a last resort.

My friend has four children. Two of them are ADHD (although, to be fair, I’m not sure the younger of the two was formally diagnosed, so we won’t discuss her). The older of the two, a boy I believe is about 9, is a swimmer, a very imaginative kid, and really just a nice kid. He has always been extremely high energy, and when he went to school the teachers began pushing to have him diagnosed because he was having trouble making it through the school day without completely losing it.

He was diagnosed and given a medication. I am not 100% sure what drug they gave him. But it turned him into a zombie. He was nothing like himself anymore.

His mother decided to treat him with essential oils. Now, I am not a huge fan of essential oils. I think they can be useful for smaller issues, but not big issues. I do carry peppermint essential oil with me because I have a bad stomach and it settles it down. She, however, swears by the stuff, and she made a mixture to treat her son with.

It works for him. He was able to go off the medication and is closer to the young man he used to be. So while I’m not a fan of the essential oils, I support her using them for him because they seem to work for him, and they don’t have to pump him full of drugs.

So I don’t have an issue with DeVos supporting something even if the science is weird on it. Medication is a last resort. It won’t hurt to try every other option first.

Dems Push Pelosi for Single-Payer Health Care After AHCA Fails

Local public radio station KQED reported:

Image: Breitbart

“I extend my hand to the president if he wants to improve the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi told a crowd of several hundred people gathered at a town hall meeting at Balboa High School in San Francisco.

The first audience question was more of a long argument for a socialized health system that some are calling “Medicare for all,” which would eliminate insurance companies.

Pelosi, unruffled by the at times unruly crowd, noted: “I supported single payer since before you were born.”

Full article: Dems Push Pelosi for Single-Payer Health Care After AHCA Fails – Breitbart

It doesn’t need to be improved. And not repealing it is not a “win” for this country, Hillary Clinton and everyone else on the left.

Sit down, let’s talk a minute.

So this year, I did the unthinkable. I actually bought insurance through the marketplace. I didn’t have a choice. I am trying to start up a small business right now, and I didn’t have insurance last year, so my taxes really hit me in the gut. I managed to avoid the tax penalty, to be fair. But I don’t know how much longer that will last. I avoided it because my state didn’t expand Medicaid. We have a new governor now, so that could change, meaning next year my taxes would be devastating.

My experience? Well, I have been out of work for a while, so my income was listed at very low rates (I have had some contract work, but nothing steady). I didn’t qualify for a subsidy. Which is fine. I don’t expect you to pay for my health coverage; I don’t want you to! And since I am starting a business now, I don’t know what that would do to my insurance anyway if the business picks up in a few months.

I got my card and my insurance was active as of March 1. So I decided to make some appointments. I needed to visit an Oby/gyn (for those who weren’t aware, yes, I am a female). It’s been a few years, and the doctor I had gone to before had retired, so I needed a new one.

Now, there was only one insurance company offering plans in my state, so I had to pick a plan from them. I have a mid-range plan. I went to their website to search for doctors who fit. Joy of joys, there were tons of Oby/gyns listed! I was overjoyed to see page after page of doctors to choose from, and I began comparing and contrasting. I chose one and was happy with my choice – a middle aged African-American woman who graduated from a really good school and has been practicing for twenty years. I was thrilled with my choice. Picking an Oby/gyn isn’t easy. We all hate them. But this woman just seemed… OK. I don’t know how to describe it, she just felt like the perfect doctor, someone I could get comfortable with, which is important to someone like me. I don’t get real cozy with doctors easily, especially doctors that have to go into my private areas for exams, because that isn’t an area I let a whole lot of people examine!

Just as I was about to hit send to make the appointment, a notice popped up saying that they were out of network. What? I thought the search I did showed me doctors who were in network only. Nope! I went back through to find another doctor because I need them to be in network; out of network was just too unaffordable, and I have some problems with my lady bits that could require a hospital stay at some point in my life, so I have to keep costs down.

Folks. I went through page after page after page of doctors. I opened up pages for 40 doctors. Only one of them accepted my insurance. I was floored. There was no choice there. I had only one option.

Curious, I began searching around in other areas for other doctors. It’s a good thing I don’t have mental health issues, because there isn’t a single psychologist or psychiatrist who takes my insurance within 100 miles of my home. There is one eye doctor. Four primary care doctors. Etc.

Basically, the government told me I have to be insured or pay a fine. So now I am paying $500 a month for insurance that very few doctors within 100 miles of my house actually takes (and my area is extremely doctor heavy). I’m really not sure this even worth my time.

I know Obamacare was designed this way to fail so an entitlement was created, but people would scream for single payer. Do you want to know how single payer would work out? Go to your DMV. That’s how it would work out. Better yet, go to your local VA! Those waiting lists never got handled. Heck, when my dad – a combat veteran from the Vietnam War – was diagnosed with cancer, he was told our local VA wasn’t set up to do cancer treatments. I had to get a damn senator involved! And suddenly – miracle of miracles – they were able to treat cancer patients on sight (and believe me, Senator Burr had to do some work to get it to that point, this was a long standing issue, to the point that I felt I needed to send Senator Burr a letter when my father passed away so he’d know)! Imagine that! Remember that story not long ago where the people took pictures of the guy laying on the floor in the VA and the other guy in the wheelchair crying in pain? That was my dad’s VA! That’s the one he used. My father was also on Medicare at the time. Do you know Medicare doesn’t cover cancer treatment? Not at all! He had to pay for chemo and radiation out of pocket and with the help of a grant my mom applied for. That, folks, is your government run healthcare.

So do I support single payer? Not on your damn life! Repeal the damn thing!