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Author Topic: Corporate Profits over Patient in the Health Care Field  (Read 2149 times)

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AGelbert

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Bernie Sanders announces 2020 run: Extended interview

316,970 views


CBS This Morning

Published on Feb 19, 2019

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he will run again for the Democratic nomination. In this extended conversation with "CBS This Morning" co-host John Dickerson, Sanders discusses taking another shot at the presidency and why he believes this campaign will succeed. He also discusses foreign policy, retail giant Amazon, and the bombshell claims made by former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Sunday's "60 Minutes."

Delivered by Norah O’Donnell, Gayle King, John Dickerson, and Bianna Golodryga, "CBS This Morning" offers a thoughtful, substantive and insightful source of news and information to a daily audience of 3 million viewers. The Emmy Award-winning broadcast presents a mix of daily news, coverage of developing stories of national and global significance, and interviews with leading figures in politics, business and entertainment. Check local listings for "CBS This Morning" broadcast times.

Category News & Politics
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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I already said, more than a year ago, that I'd vote for Sanders.

   

Sanders is the only left leaning candidate with the ethics and gravitas to be POTUS, in my opinion.




One other thing. I think the USMIC can co-opt any POTUS, after they are elected. It's metastatic cancer at the end stage. You can't kill the cancer without killing the host.

True.  :(



Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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SPECIAL REPORT - The film Amazon banned

Here's the film that made the Big Pharma go nuts.

They 😈 don't want you to see it. They 😈 don't want you to talk about it. They don't want you to think about it.

In coordination with Congress and the news media, Amazon, Google and Facebook have scrubbed search results, groups, and even books and videos from their service that question the safety and efficacy of products of the vaccine industry.


You can buy the film from YouTube

Click here to support: Next World TV

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/documentary-1/vaxxed-.html
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Anatomy of a SMEAR


The Cuttsy & Cuttsy - Wired UK 👹 Ratline That Smeared Kerri Rivera  >:(

How does fake news get created

Usually the story is out and all around the world before anyone even thinks to question it.

We found the party responsible for creating the fake news about the Kerri Rivera's book that caused it to be pulled from Amazon.

An interview with Kerri Rivera about her life, her work, and her book, the book Amazon pulled from its store based on an article in Wired UK.





Click here to support: Next World TV

We recommend these books 👍👍👍 as a foundation for educating yourself about health in the 21st Century:

Clean
https://amzn.to/2sYSk5V

Clean, Green, and Lean
https://amzn.to/2CYHrpv

Sherry Rogers MD Book List
https://prestigepublishing.com

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/health-and-medical-2/anatomy-of-a-smear.html
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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More Legal Troubles for Zuckerberg, and Why I’m Leaving Facebook

March 27, 2019
 
Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola
 
Quote
In light of Facebook's latest fiascos, security breaches and censorship, it may be time for a status change to protect yourself. Their new business model concentrates even more power in their hands, and will no doubt further imperil privacy. Should you trust them? I certainly don't. 👍👍👍

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

► The FTC recently launched a second criminal investigation into the company’s controversial data sharing practices. Facebook allegedly allowed tech companies broad access to Facebook users’ information, allowing companies to override privacy settings set by the user to access their data

► Facebook may now face FTC fines in the billions rather than hundreds of millions

► The German antitrust regulator, Bundeskartellamt, has become the first to prohibit the cross-application data sharing that underpins Facebook's data mining business model

In what appears to be a case of blatant censorship, Facebook removed campaign ads by senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, calling for the breakup of monopolies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook

Zuckerberg’s 👹 latest plan for 😈 Facebook is a shift away from being a platform for public sharing, toward “encrypted, ephemeral communications,” but invasive data mining will likely continue  >:(

Full article:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/03/27/facebook-criminal-investigation.aspx
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

Surly1

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AG,

Since I run the Diner FB page and Twitter, I am deeply conflicted about this. Of course, anymore, the Diner FB page bears as much relationship to the Diner forum as the Greenland colony bore to medieval Denmark.

Facebook is a poison hole, but it's also a decent publishing platform. So what to do?

AGelbert

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AG,

Since I run the Diner FB page and Twitter, I am deeply conflicted about this. Of course, anymore, the Diner FB page bears as much relationship to the Diner forum as the Greenland colony bore to medieval Denmark.

Facebook is a poison hole, but it's also a decent publishing platform. So what to do?


Well, I am prejudiced against Facebook, so my opinion is anything but objective .

However, I agree with your position (that you expressed to me over a year ago) that posts in other social media platforms besides the Doomstead Diner (and this one) are a good idea because of increased exposure. So, as long as the goal is to get more people to read posts, it is logical to try to get the most exposure.

I don't do Facebook, but I have a Disqus following of 89 people . So, every time I post using Disqus, 89 people, theoretically ;), get the word. 🧐

Quote
agelbert
@AGelbert Retired Air Traffic Controller
 13360 Upvotes   http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/index.php
Comments 8774
Followers 89
Following 6

Also, when I post using Disqus, I often link back to this forum. That gets some extra viewers, depending on the pertinence of the subject matter to the viewers.

I mostly post on Cleantechnica and Truthdig, so that is where I snag some extra readers now and then. As you see by the "Most Online Ever" number of 52, sometimes I get a nice pop in viewers. Most of the time on the Cleantechnica and Truthdig posts linking back to here, I'm lucky to get 6 or so. :P

Another way I have of spreading information to combat all the brainwashing people are subjected to out there is to use  graphics. In the Gallery of this forum (it's easier to view than the one at the Doomstead  Diner, IMHO ;D) you can see how many times a graphic has been viewed. That gives me a feel for what people are interested in (or want to eliminate 😈, as is often the case with the Hydrocarbon Hellspawn 🦕🦖). 

If you peruse the Gallery you will notice duplicated graphics here and there. That is because the Hydrocarbon Hellspawn 🦕🦖 like to hack images that make them unhappy. So, I have resorted to making copies. I keep the originals in my computer and make a copy when a hacking occurs. I don't know HOW they do it (I change my password routinely and use LONG, diffcult to crack, passwords), but every now nd then a graphic I use a lot will not take, even if formatted properly. On Disqus, where no "image" formating is required, it just does not show. >:( This is one way I KNOW that SOMEONE out there is watching me and I must be doing something right because they are selectively trying to surreptitiously censor me. The nature of the hacked images points squarely at the 🐉🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon Hellspawn.

And THAT is with a TINY viewership! 😟

Surly, I am convinced that if the viewership on this forum was routinely above that 52 count, the Hydrocarbon Hellspawn/Trumpoids/Fascists'R'US Hackers would make life very, very difficult for me. 

Perhaps those evil 🦍 CAPITALIST bastards have anticipated that and are busy sending links somewhere else when I link back to the Renewable Revolution on Disqus. I don't know but I would not put it past them. As a former computer analyst, I know it can be done, even if I have never learned the ins and outs of server traffic rerouting.

Nevertheless, I will continue to do what I can to get more people to view posts here, though I will not do Facebook. For now, I just keep on doing what I can in my small way.

I am content, although it is refreshing to have a fellow warrier fighting for social justice, like you, posting here.

I know you like to use the wordpress format. If you know how to modify this forum so you can do that here, feel free to do so. I have tried to repost some of your Wordpress posts from the DD forum over here and they just don't show properly so I am reduced to a brief link  :(. When I check my onlne history, all my posts on this forum are categorized by Google Chrome with the Wordpress symbol, so there is something going on here that obviously relates to Wordpress.

Screenshot of  some Agelbert history today

Getting back to the Facebook fun and games, as long as you are not bothered by their barrage of ads and other activities their "business model " involves, there is no reason why you should stop being in Facebook.
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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"You're Damn Right": Sanders Stands by Call to Get Rid of Private Insurance

BY Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

PUBLISHED March 27, 2019

Arguing that piecemeal reforms to the U.S.'s for-profit health care system will not be sufficient to address the needs of millions who are suffering due to lack of insurance and soaring drug costs, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that the U.S. must "get rid of the insurance companies" and move toward Medicare for All.

Read the Article →
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

Surly1

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Your story puts me in mind od the parable of the blind men and the elephant.

As you know, the parable originated in ancient India, from where it made the rounds in many different cultures. However the meaning of the popular proverb differs in other countries. A group of blind men, who have never come across an elephant before and who feel a different part of the elephant's body, and then describe the elephant based on their limited experience. Of course, their descriptions are different from each other. The moral being that humans tend to claim absolute truth based on their limited, subjective experience as they ignore other people's limited, subjective experiences.

I know some limited things about WP. You know some stuff about Discus and Createaforum, whereas I would never even have the gumption to stand up such a thing.

Likewise I don't know about people hijacking graphics. I tend to rely on Occam's razor in such matters, and figure it's me that is **** up. Which is not to gainsay your experience; I don't know what is happening, but efforts like this, and even DD, are too small to attract t much notice on the part of the surveillance state.

But on. the other hand, there is the experience of K-Dog to consider, as described on the Diner.

Anyhow, I am glad to come on over here and pitch some stuff up from tome to time. Nice place ya got here, AG!!

AGelbert

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Your story puts me in mind of the parable of the blind men and the elephant.

As you know, the parable originated in ancient India, from where it made the rounds in many different cultures. However the meaning of the popular proverb differs in other countries. A group of blind men, who have never come across an elephant before and who feel a different part of the elephant's body, and then describe the elephant based on their limited experience. Of course, their descriptions are different from each other. The moral being that humans tend to claim absolute truth based on their limited, subjective experience as they ignore other people's limited, subjective experiences.

I know some limited things about WP. You know some stuff about Discus and Createaforum, whereas I would never even have the gumption to stand up such a thing.

Likewise I don't know about people hijacking graphics. I tend to rely on Occam's razor in such matters, and figure it's me that is **** up. Which is not to gainsay your experience; I don't know what is happening, but efforts like this, and even DD, are too small to attract t much notice on the part of the surveillance state.

But on. the other hand, there is the experience of K-Dog to consider, as described on the Diner.

Anyhow, I am glad to come on over here and pitch some stuff up from time to time. Nice place ya got here, AG!!


Thanks Bro. I'm glad for your company. ✨

As to the graphics, I may be paranoid, but that don't mean they ain't out to GIT me.

Sorry about the censor on this forum. The place is free and words like (without the hyphen) fu-ck, sh-it, pi-ss, and, as ridiculous as it seems, even gam-ble ::) (and so on) are automatically X'ed out 🙊.

The word BULLSHIT is okay though! I use that one a lot, though certainly never in regard to the content of my posts. ;D

I have a partial list of hacked images (they do not display). Here is one of them:


You don't see a thing, do you? Me neither.  Well, it is there. It is in my "All Graphics Enchilada" (I told you how I store my smileys and other images for quick use some years ago) document with the exact same code generated when I created the graphic.

THIS is the code (with spaces here and there so you can see it):
Quote

[cen ter][img width= 640]http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-251117173650.png [ /img][ /ce nter]

Now if you take that "http link and slap it on the internets, here is what you GET:

Quote
Create a Forum Free Forum Hosting
HOMESIGN UPFORUM DIRECTORYSUPPORTBLOG
Hmmm, we can not find a forum with that address
Did you mean to create a forum?
You can sign up for a free forum here.

ALL the hacked ones give EXACTLY the same results. 😈 Still, the elephant may be just a big mouse or an irrelevant moose. So, we need to look at the nature of the images that don't show AND the ones that are always good to go. Smileys are always good to go. I've never had a problem there. To make a long study short, with the exception of a gif of dripping water, that I have used repeatedly to imply that we-the-people have just about HAD IT with government fascist corruption, ALL of the images that do not show are images that attack, expose, or otherwise criticize the Fossil Fuel Industry's Profit Over People and Planet mendacious propaganda which is peddled to undermine the threat of Catastrophic Climate Change to the biosphere in general, and humans in particular. 

I may be groping in the dark but this thing sure feels like a Republican Fascist Elephant to me! However, I have not presented my case to you with some evidence that may convince you that something very bad is going on here and it is quite deliberate, no matter how few my viewers are.

🤔Let's take the image example I gave you. what is it about that image (which is a screenshot from a video hosted by Kevin Anderson) that may have made some Status Quo Defending Fossil Fuelers a bit noivy?

This is the video:

Kevin Anderson on Climate Change: Universities making things worse

I'll watch the whole video again and make another screenshot of the original image (I unfortunately hadn't saved the one that was hacked on my computer before it stopped displaying).

Then I'll quote this post and post it. The reality may be as the establishment elephant below states, but I do not think so.


Okay, I just found the place on the video that I took the Screenshot that was hacked. I created another image (this time I stored the original in my computer, so hackers reading this can expect me to recreate said image every time the one I am about to post "mysteriously" will not display  ;)) and uploaded it to this forum.

This is it:

NOW, perhaps you can see why SOMEBODY that makes a lot of money from the CORRUPT, Biosphere degrading status quo, would not want the IRREFUTABLE TRUTH quoted above (IOW mens rea modus operandi of the elite planet polluters) to get around too much...


That is just one of the hacked images. Like I said, the subject matter "dots" on all of them connect to exposing those empathy deficit disordered psychopaths who profit over people and planet. I can show you five or six others if you wish.

I had to make BOTH of the following images three times because of the lack of display "problem".


The diagram of doom from methane and the methane monster graphics I frequently used experienced the same "would not display" thing. Statistically, the dots add up. This is not coincidental nor the product of some code error on my part. I have confirmed that empirically.

You need to understand the effects of this. EVERY post I made on Disqus AND on this forum AND in the Doomstead Diner with those graphics over the last 7 years or so NO LONGER DISPLAYS those images. I am convinced it was deliberate. They are erasing graphics in posting that used the graphics to make important points. The KNOW that. THAT is why they are doing the old "Down the Memory Hole" MindFORK ORWELLIAN TRICK hither and yon. It will get worse unless these Fossil Fuel FASCIST 🐉🦕🦖 F U C K S are removed from power.

What happened to K-Dog?

« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 12:12:37 am by AGelbert »
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Why this veteran oncology nurse quit
And focused on nutrition instead


The big problem: Nutritional deficiency plus poisoned immune system

Why a veteran oncology nurse quit - and focused on nutrition instead.

There has been progress in three or four areas - but they've made almost no progress in the major cancers: lung, breast, and colon cancer in the last 60 years.

What cancer patients need to know when they sign up for "mainstream ☠️" care.

The big problem: Nutritional deficiency plus poisoned immune system.

Does "modern" medicine address these two causes?

NO! They make them markedly worse.

Go here for the resources described in this interview.

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/health-and-medical-2/why-this-veteran-oncology-nurse-quit.html
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Donald  Trump’s lies about healthcare go down in flames

Shirley Kennedy | 3:01 pm EDT March 30, 2019

Palmer Report » Analysis

In yet another move to hurt the American people, “President” Donald Trump is trying to rid us of the little healthcare coverage that we have. Trump throws out sound bites that have absolutely no grounding in either substance or fact. His tweet that the Republicans will be “the party of health care” is merely another example of what he does best: try to bullshit the American public. It is unfortunate that so many exist who believe his nonsense, but thankfully, people knowledgeable about the subject have plenty of things to say.


In a new article titled “There Is No GOP Obamacare Replacement And There Never Has Been,” Jeffrey Young of the Huffington Post writes that those who “pay attention to the world around [them]” know that Trump is lying. Young states: “Trump’s latest vow to reform the health care system is as bogus and disingenuous as all his others.” Let’s be real: Trump has never had a good idea about anything, let alone health care. He will, of course, never admit that, and instead he lies. Young points out a great example of that. Last year, Trump publicly bragged about having “record sales of health plans his administration authorized.” What? They have authorized nothing, just as they have done nothing.

AP Fact Check decided to look at Trump’s claim that if the Supreme Court were to overturn Obamacare, “we will have a plan that’s far better than Obamacare.” The fact is that neither Republicans in Congress nor Trump’s Health and Human Services group have any type of plans to provide “far better health care than the Affordable Care Act.” AP further states that they have seen no indications that the Trump administration is even working on a plan, let alone has one.

In a rebuke of Trump and his lies about health care, Judge John Bates (appointed by Bush) ruled Thursday that any effort by this administration to introduce plans that don’t meet coverage rules under the ACA “is a deliberate and illegal ‘end run’ around the federal health care law.” This ruling refers to something the Trump administration calls “association health plans,” which do offer lower premiums but also offer substandard benefits. Judge Bates’ ruling followed another federal judge’s ruling against work requirements for people on Medicaid, which he defined as “violat[ing] the program’s primary goal of delivering health care coverage to low-income Americans.”

Ending the ACA will effectively remove 20+ million Americans from the insurance rolls, according to Young. He reminds us that throughout the nine years of the ACA’s existence, Republicans have repeatedly promised a “great plan” that “reduced health care costs” and ensured that “people had access to affordable health care,” promises that will never materialize. Republicans are the party of NO health care, and they know it. Even Mitch McConnell is backing away from this fight according to Politico because he is up for re-election in 2020, and talk as they all might, the Republicans are well aware that affordable health care is at the top of most voters’ lists. Personally, I hope they continue to push it so that we will be ensured of having a Democratic president in 2020.

https://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/healthcare-flames-trump-lies/17082/
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AGelbert

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Trump 🦀 and Pelosi 🐍 Both Cater to Private 👹 Health InsuranceWendell Potter

April 4, 2019

Trump’s “great healthcare plan” and opposition to Medicare for All’s “socialism” and Pelosi’s defense of the ACA and opposition to single-payer are both aimed at garnering support from the private insurance industry


Story Transcript

PAUL JAY: Welcome to Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay.

Ten years ago, Wendell Potter had quit his job as a senior executive at CIGNA health insurance. He’d been in the business for about 20 years and had risen to a very senior executive position, head of communications at CIGNA, and he decided he’d had enough. He took a year off to decide what he would do with the rest of his life. Well, here’s what he decided to do.

WENDELL POTTER [CLIP]: It recently became abundantly clear to me that the industry’s charm offensive—which is the most visible part of duplicitous and well-financed PR and lobbying campaigns — may well shape reform in a way that benefits Wall Street far more than average Americans …. The industry and its backers are using fear tactics, as they did in 1994, to tar a transparent, publicly-accountable health care option as a “government-run system.” But what we have today, Mr. Chairman, is a Wall Street-run system that has proven itself an untrustworthy partner to its customers, to the doctors and hospitals who deliver care, and to the state and federal governments that attempt to regulate it.

PAUL JAY: That was June 24, 2009. And that kicked off the rest of Wendell Potter’s life, where he became a fighter for health care reform, consumer rights advocacy, fighting to keep money out of politics, and now working in investigative journalism. He’s the author of several books; Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans, also with Nick Penniman, he wrote Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It. And his new project is Tarbell.org   , a website which does investigative journalism into how money in politics impacts millions of Americans. Thanks for joining us.

WENDELL POTTER: My pleasure, Paul. Thank you.

PAUL JAY: So normally on Reality Asserts Itself, we do this sort of biographical and then we get into the issues. But because of all the recent brouhaha about how the Republican Party is going to become the party of great health care, and the Democrats all now fighting Trump on health care after the Mueller report didn’t give them what they wanted, at least not so far, we’re going to start with this current iteration of the health care debate. And then in following segments we’ll get into the more biographical issue, and then we’ll pick up again drilling into the whole health care and some of the other issues you’re interested in.

WENDELL POTTER: Sure.

PAUL JAY: So as we say, Trump–there’s a court case going on, they’re trying to rule the Obamacare as unconstitutional. Trump’s jumping on that, saying now we’re going to have an opportunity to do a Republican health care plan. Nancy Pelosi is taking him up on it, saying no, they need to fix the ACA, Affordable Healthcare Act. In the wings, people are running for president, many of whom are various versions of Medicare for All, single payer health care. What do you make of the politics of all this?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, the politics of all of it is that nothing is actually going to happen in Congress one way or another that will affect our health care system, even though Pelosi and Schumer are saying–well, at least Pelosi–they’re going to be able to introduce some legislation to, as they put it, “shore up the Affordable Care Act.” That’s not going to go anywhere. Even if they pass it in the house, it’ll surely not pass the Senate and never reach the president’s desk.

The president has really got Republicans in Congress quite concerned, because he has said publicly–and he’s had to backtrack–he’s said that the Republicans would come up with some kind of bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, which they spent years saying they would try to do and never did. And of course, he said that his administration would support this lawsuit that is challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. That actually could work its way through the court system and even reach the Supreme Court this year or next. No one knows exactly how long it would take. But that could–if the Supreme Court upholds a decision in a Texas court–that could really undo the Affordable Care Act. That’s where things stand right now. But in terms of legislation, don’t expect to see anything out of either chamber that will reach the president’s desk.

PAUL JAY: Now, a lot of this is positioning for the 2020 elections.

WENDELL POTTER: Absolutely.

PAUL JAY: On both sides. In terms of the judicial process, I mean, how quickly can this proceed. If, for example, the Supreme Court found against the ACA–although previously, not that dissimilar numbers of the court. Roberts went with saying the ACA was constitutional, but there’s some new twist with the case this time that maybe would change his vote. I mean, what timeframe might this happen in, and how realistic is it that Roberts may go the other way this time?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, the case is being appealed. The decision of the Texas federal court which sided with the attorneys general of the Republican states that filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law, that is being appealed at a federal appeals court in New Orleans. Don’t know exactly when we’ll hear about that case, but I would expect probably that that case will overturn the Texas judge’s decision. It’s all political, and the judge in New Orleans was appointed by Democrat, so there is some expectation that he will overturn that earlier court decision. Whatever happens, it likely will proceed on to the Supreme Court, because whoever loses probably will try to get it to the Supreme Court. How long that will take is really unknown, but conceivably if the court decides to take it up, it could take it up next year.

PAUL JAY: I mean, one would think, given Trump has so many allies on the Supreme Court, that they will make damn sure that they do not make a decision pre-election, or they will be handing Trump and the Republicans a dog’s breakfast mess, no health care system at all, going into the 2020 elections.

WENDELL POTTER: I think you’re exactly right.

PAUL JAY: So this is a good propaganda move, but this is not… Be careful what you wish for President Trump, because if you get this handed back to you, this is going to kill you in the 2020 election.

WENDELL POTTER: Yeah, it absolutely will. And I think the attorneys general that brought this suit did this. Without really understanding what would happen if this law is declared unconstitutional. And you’re exactly right. If the Supreme Court were to side with those attorneys general, it would be an absolute chaotic mess for the president– for everybody, for that matter, but it would be a disaster–

PAUL JAY: First and foremost for the American people, who will have no idea what their health insurance is anymore.

WENDELL POTTER: Exactly. And it would be worse than the reality of our healthcare system before the Affordable Care Act was passed, because health care costs, they’ve continued to go up. And so, it would be, as you put it, a dog’s breakfast. It would be a real mess. And for that reason, I don’t think we’ll see the Supreme Court being eager to take this up, quite frankly, and they may never do it. But if they do, there are two Trump appointees on the bench now.

PAUL JAY: And for Trump’s base, it makes him look good. Because one of the accusations of the base is how they didn’t repeal and replace Obamacare. Some of the right wing radio pundits give him hell for it and give the Republicans hell for it. So he can now show, “I haven’t given up on this,” even though it’s mostly BS probably. Another kind of BS that’s happening on the side of the Democratic Party–Ryan Grim from The Intercept had an interesting story how behind the scenes, Nancy Pelosi is actually meeting with–or her representatives are–meeting with the private insurance companies and saying, “Don’t worry, we who actually really run the Democratic Party are not interested in single payer Medicare for All style health care.” What do you know about this?

WENDELL POTTER: It’s terrific reporting by Ryan Grim at The Intercept. And it’s been verified that a guy named Wendell Primus  , who is Pelosi’s chief healthcare policy 😈 guy, was meeting behind closed doors with health insurance company executives, more or less reassuring them that “not to worry, we’re not going to do anything that will bother your profits.” And even more recently, reports surfaced about his having yet another closed door meeting, this time with staff of Democrats in the House, essentially saying, “We know some of you guys have introduced and are cosponsoring a Medicare for All bill. Go slow on that. We’re not going to really pay any attention to that legislation.” So what’s behind this, quite frankly, is money in politics, Paul. Because a lot of the Democratic leaders have taken a boatload of money from the health insurance industry, from the pharmaceutical companies, and they don’t want that to end anytime soon.

PAUL JAY: Yeah. Let me say to our audience go, to Tarbell.org. Because there’s an article there which actually lays out which of the Democrats have gotten money from the health care industry. You’ve done a lot of that kind of reporting.

WENDELL POTTER: We have. And we’re going to continue to take a close look at that. As we go through this election cycle, we’re going to continue to report on which Democrats are on the take, and there are a lot of them in the House in particular. Both in the House and the Senate, but it’s clear that those that have taken a lot of money–and one of those who has is a congresswoman from Illinois, 😈 Cheri Bustos, who is now the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

PAUL JAY: And if I remember from your article, she’s a former insurance executive as well. You guys went in kind of different directions.

WENDELL POTTER: Exactly. She and I had exactly the same title, Vice President of Corporate Communications. And yes, we went different directions. But she is one of the members of the House, the Democratic Caucus, who’s taken big checks from all five of the political action committees of the big for-profit insurance companies. And she’s, her own self, been throwing cold water on the idea of moving toward a Medicare for All type system. So she’s really carrying water for the health insurance industry. 


PAUL JAY: Well, we’ll get into some of the detail of the objections to single payer coming from the Democratic Party and the Republican Party leadership in one of the future segments. But the current situation, I think it’s kind of ironic in some ways. When President Obama got Obamacare passed, he made a deal with pharma that “if you don’t fight me on this health care reform because we’re ‘taking on the private insurance companies'”–I think in the early stages, maybe the private insurance companies didn’t like what was coming, but in the end, watch what happened to their stock once it got passed. They didn’t mind it whatsoever. But in the beginning, they didn’t like the fact that it was even being talked about, how to change the system.

But President Obama says to pharma, “Stay out of this and we’ll leave you guys alone, and we’ll protect you from this importation of Canadian generic drugs and such.” Now it’s a bit of the reverse. Pelosi is saying to the insurance companies, “Don’t worry, we’ll protect you from single payer, Medicare for All, but don’t you fight us, because we want to bring down drug prices,” when the whole thing’s an integrated problem.

WENDELL POTTER: Oh, it is. It is an integrated problem. In fact, all the special interests in health care–we’re talking about insurance companies, drug companies, big hospital companies, medical device manufacturers, the AMA–they have symbiotic relationships. And it’s just foolishness to think that there is any interest among any of those parties, including the insurers, to really do something about bringing down health care costs. There’s a lot of finger-pointing going on, and that serves a useful purpose for them. The drug companies point the finger of blame at insurance companies, and the insurance companies say it’s pharma or the pharmacy benefit managers, which is another layer of middlemen that we might talk about. But it’s an extraordinarily complex system.

PAUL JAY: We’re going to get into this in more detail, but let me just ask you one question. I don’t understand why the insurance companies don’t have a self interest in being more active in reducing certain costs. And I’ll give you an example from my personal experience. My kid needed a CPAP machine for apnea. And for a technician to come to the house, bring the machine, shove it on his head, and in about four minutes, do it up, the insurance company–which wound up getting the whole bill because I’d already met our crazy 3000 dollar deductible for the year–but 2300 dollars for a machine that sells on Amazon for 125 dollars, and ten minutes of this woman’s time. I don’t understand, why do insurance companies put up with that?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, they don’t have any real incentive to bring costs down. They talk a good game. And they sold us, the American public, a bill of goods over many years, trying to make us believe that they can bring costs down, or have an interest in doing that. See, they have kind of a monopoly situation. You are not eligible for Medicare, so you have to get your coverage through the private insurance market. Not one of them, even those big ones, including the big ones that I used to work for, has enough market share to really negotiate favorable deals with the drug companies or big hospital companies. So that’s number one. They’re not big enough, they don’t have enough clout to do it. The other is they don’t have much of a desire to do that, despite what they say. Because as health care costs go up, and because they’re kind of the only game in town for most of us, they’re able to raise premiums.

PAUL JAY: I was about to say, it helps justify crazy deductibles and all the rest.

WENDELL POTTER: Yeah. It’s just a matter of their, over time, being able to shift more and more the cost of premiums and the cost of health care to us. And as health care costs go up and they are able to take in more premiums, that means they get more revenue. So they grow, and they have more revenue to convert to profit. So that’s why it’s all a game, and that’s why all this finger pointing is just nonsense. They’re all in on the game and they’re making out like gangbusters, and the rest of us are getting screwed.

PAUL JAY: OK. On the next segment of Reality Asserts Itself with Wendell Potter, we are going to go back to those days leading up to his testimony at the Senate hearing. And we will go through the process of transitioning from a communication person, executive, defending the private insurance industry, to a communication activist attacking, or exposing, the private insurance industry. That’s on Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network. Thanks for joining us.

https://therealnews.com/stories/trump-and-pelosi-both-cater-to-private-health-insurance-wendell-potter
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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ANALYSIS, HEALTH CARE   03.27.2019

Drug company payments to doctors may influence prescription choices

By Trudy Lieberman


Recently Peggy, an Indiana woman and reader of this column, sent me a lengthy email about her 94-year-old mother who is rapidly spending down her minimal savings to pay for prescription drugs. 

Peggy didn’t hold out much hope that prices would come down before it was too late for her mom.  But she succeeded in lowering her mom’s drug costs and what she learned along the way can be helpful to others strapped by high pharmaceutical bills.

Her mother is typical of many women in old age who have only a tiny financial cushion to absorb the continual price hikes imposed by the drug makers.  She was raised during the Depression, didn’t work much outside the home, lived in a condo her son bought, and then moved to an assistant living facility almost two years ago.

The facility’s $3,100 monthly fee plus drug copays bit into her savings, which totaled about $30,000 when she moved to assisted living.  Government benefits earned by Peggy’s father who served in the Korean War, a very small pension from a former employer, and Social Security benefits cover all but about $600 of the assisted living fee. The rest comes from her savings, which now are about half of what they were in 2017.

While most of her mother’s drug copays and other out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenses have been manageable, Peggy explained it was the $313 copay for a three-month supply of a well-known, heavily advertised blood thinner a cardiologist had ordered that was the biggest culprit causing her mother’s savings to shrink.

That was the price her mom was paying when she hit Medicare’s infamous donut hole last year.

Peggy said every time her mom visited the physician, the doctor told her she was lucky to take the expensive blood thinner instead of the other “stuff”, which he called “rat poison” implying a cheaper drug was inferior, even dangerous. Peggy said at every visit he 😈 told her that she was fortunate to be taking something better.

Then a family member discovered openpaymentsdata.cms.gov 👍👍👍, a database maintained by the Medicare program that reveals the amounts of money pharmaceutical companies pay to doctors in speaking and consulting fees, in research fees and for food and drink expenses. Her mom’s cardiologist had received nearly $80,000. 😲

Peggy had a bad feeling about the doctor and switched her mom to another physician who kept her on the high-priced drug for a couple months. Then she was diagnosed with anemia, taken off blood thinners and prescribed low-dose aspirin.

In the meantime, Peggy’s husband had a heart attack and developed a blood clot.  His doctor prescribed a low-cost blood thinner that’s been on the market for years. She said he’s doing just fine on the “rat poison” disparaged by her mother’s first doctor. His cost: a $6 copay every 30 days.

For a long time, impartial medical experts have thought that the choice of drugs and devices may be related to payments doctors receive from drug and device companies.

Since 2014 the Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires drug and device makers to report to the government the payments they make to doctors.

The Medicare database is a treasure trove of some 11 million payments  to physicians.


The online publication ProPublica found that drug and device makers gave more than one billion to doctors and hospitals from August 2013 to the end of 2016. Some of them have received payments totaling millions of dollars.

However, the drug and device database may be one of health care’s best-kept secrets. 

A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that only about 3 percent of respondents said they knew if their own doctor had received payments from the medical industry. Unlike Peggy’s family, they had no idea that Medicare’s Open Payments database existed.

Most Americans don’t readily switch doctors sometimes – even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the doctors performed badly. The Lown Institute, a Boston medical think tank, reporting on the BMJ study, concluded, “maybe we should be more open to switching doctors based on their relationship with industry.”

Peggy had some advice of her own: “Do the research. Did the doctor receive money to push the drug? Ask questions?  How much does the drug cost? Is it really a better alternative?”

Do you have an experience about health insurance you’d like to share or a question you’d like to ask? Write to Trudy at trudy.lieberman@gmail.com.

This piece was originally published as part of Rural Health News Service series, “Thinking About Health”, on 3/26/19.


https://tarbell.org/2019/03/drug-company-payments-to-doctors-may-influence-prescription-choices/
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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ANALYSIS, HEALTH CARE   03.15.2019

Democrats on the take: New DCCC Chair is a best friend of health insurers
How health insurance cash forms opinions on Medicare for All.

By Wendell Potter
 
Here’s a headline you can bet my former colleagues in the health insurance business were thrilled to see last week: “DCCC chief: Medicare for All price tag ‘a little scary.’”

That headline topped the lead story in the March 6 edition of The Hill, a newspaper widely read by Congressional staff and lobbyists and others in the influence-peddling business in Washington. You’ll see ads in The Hill by big corporations and special interests you won’t see anywhere else—like the full-page “we’re-not-a-bad-guy” ad on page 2 by opioid maker Purdue Pharma and the two full-page “we’re-part-of the-solution” ads a bit deeper inside by Eli Lilly.

I mentioned  Bustos in a story I wrote on June 25, the day before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stunned party honchos with her upset victory over longtime incumbent Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic primary. Crowley, as I pointed out, was one of a handful of House Democrats who received campaign contributions from the political action committees of all five of the biggest for-profit health insurers—Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group. But Crowley wasn’t those PACs’ favorite Democrat in Congress. That distinction at the time went to none other than Cheri Bustos.

So it came as no surprise to see Bustos pouring a big bucket of ice-cold water on the very idea that Congress would give serious consideration to improving and expanding the Medicare program to cover every American, which polls show a big majority of Democratic voters—and even a sizable percentage of Republican voters—favor. When Medicare covers all of us, there will be no need for health insurers as we know them—and we know them increasingly as barriers to getting the care we need. To delay for as long as possible the day Medicare covers everybody, the insurance industry and its allies are showering Democrats with campaign cash and providing their friends in high places—including Cheri Bustos—with talking points designed to scare the daylights out of people. >:(

(video at article link) Produced by Joey Rettino

Bustos and I have a lot in common. We both were journalists in our first career: She was a reporter for the Quad City Times in Davenport, Iowa; I was a reporter for Scripps-Howard newspapers in Tennessee and Washington. She left journalism to go work for a big hospital system in Iowa; I went to work for a big hospital system in Tennessee (and from there to Humana and Cigna). She and I even had the same title at the end of our corporate careers—Vice President of Corporate Communications—and we both were paid handsomely. The Quad City Times reported that Bustos was making north of $300,000 when she quit to run for Congress. She took a sizable pay cut when she was sworn into office to represent Illinois’ 17th congressional district in 2013. I took an even deeper pay cut when I left my corporate job and blew the whistle on my former employers. I have written about politicians on the take; she is one of those politicians.

Bustos was a proven fundraiser from the start. Since 2011, when she launched her first campaign, she has raised nearly $13 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Even though she was widely favored to win reelection last year (she beat her Republican opponent by more than 24 points), she still raised $4.5 million, much of which she didn’t need or spend. That big pile of Benjamins was considerably more than the average raised by other House members.

And there’s this: Nearly 85 percent of what her campaign took in came from corporate and special interest PACs and large individual contributions. Less than 13 percent came from small individual contributions.

Most of Bustos’ campaign cash last year came from people who couldn’t even vote for her. Nearly 80 percent came from outside of her district and more than half from out of state. None of the big five for-profit insurers that wrote big checks to her campaign are based in Illinois.

Bustos’ comments in the Hill story came a week after Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) introduced The Medicare for All Act of 2019 with 107 cosponsors, and they tracked with talking points now flooding Washington by the health care industry’s new front group, the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, which comprises health insurers, drug companies and big hospital systems like the one Bustos used to work for. It was created for the explicit purpose of scaring Democrats away from any Medicare for All legislation.

“What do we have—130 million-something Americans who get their health insurance through their work?” Bustos was quoted as saying in the Hill article. “The transition from what we have now to Medicare for all, it’s just hard to conceive how that would work. You have so many jobs attached to the health care industry. I think the $33 trillion price tag for Medicare for all is a little scary.”

Now compare that to the messaging in the Partnership’s first digital ad last month attacking Medicare for All proposals. And note, too, that that “scary” $33 trillion figure—which, by the way, covers a ten-year-period—came from a study produced by a think tank funded by the Koch Brothers, two rich guys no one would mistake for Democrats. What Bustos didn’t mention is that even that study, biased as it was, concluded that sticking with our current private insurance driven-system would cost $2 trillion more than Medicare for All. Bottom line: Medicare for All would be a bargain compared to the status quo Bustos , who thrives in the swamp that is Washington, is defending.

Bustos clearly is one of the health care industry’s reliable go-to Democrats on Capitol Hill. She’s not the only one, though, not by a long shot. In the coming days, Tarbell will be publishing a comprehensive analysis of Congressional Democrats on the take from health care special interests. Watch this space.  

https://tarbell.org/2019/03/democrats-on-the-take-new-dccc-chair-is-a-best-friend-of-health-insurers/?ref=feed

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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