The Truth About Canadian Healthcare

(Just Updated)

Why can’t America’s healthcare system be more like Canada’s? Here’s a better question: why would you want it to be? French-Canadian entrepreneur Alain Lambert has first-hand experience with both Canada’s and America’s healthcare systems, and he offers some cautionary tales. Canadian-style healthcare might not be as good for your health as you think.

This next short video is by filmmaker Stuart Browning, who provides a cautionary lesson about a politicized health care system where politicians and bureaucrats determine medical priorities. See more at Dr. Brownings (dated) SITE.

See Also:

Stossel: Government-run health care may mean waiting in line for care. (ABC News blocked this from playing on my site, so click through to watch it at YouTube):

Claude Castonguay, the father of the Canadian Health Care system, and a model adopted by the NHS in Britain, has said his model is failing:

Just yesterday, I wrote about how unpopular the British healthcare system has become. Today comes news that the man largely responsible for Canada’s conversion to a single-payer health care system has admitted the system’s failure:

“Back in the 1960s, (Claude) Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.

The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: “the father of Quebec medicare.” Even this title seems modest; Castonguay’s work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.”

Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in “crisis.”

“We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.”

As more and more nations throughout the world seek to infuse more private, market-based solutions into their government-controlled healthcare systems, for some reason lefties in this country want to make the same mistake that countries like Canada made decades ago

(CR ONLINE)

One person eventually wrote a book about their experience, noting in a CITY JOURNAL article:

was once a believer in socialized medicine. I don’t want to overstate my case: growing up in Canada, I didn’t spend much time contemplating the nuances of health economics. I wanted to get into medical school—my mind brimmed with statistics on MCAT scores and admissions rates, not health spending. But as a Canadian, I had soaked up three things from my environment: a love of ice hockey; an ability to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit in my head; and the belief that government-run health care was truly compassionate. What I knew about American health care was unappealing: high expenses and lots of uninsured people. When HillaryCare shook Washington, I remember thinking that the Clintonistas were right.

My health-care prejudices crumbled not in the classroom but on the way to one. On a subzero Winnipeg morning in 1997, I cut across the hospital emergency room to shave a few minutes off my frigid commute. Swinging open the door, I stepped into a nightmare: the ER overflowed with elderly people on stretchers, waiting for admission. Some, it turned out, had waited five days. The air stank with sweat and urine. Right then, I began to reconsider everything that I thought I knew about Canadian health care. I soon discovered that the problems went well beyond overcrowded ERs. Patients had to wait for practically any diagnostic test or procedure, such as the man with persistent pain from a hernia operation whom we referred to a pain clinic—with a three-year wait list; or the woman needing a sleep study to diagnose what seemed like sleep apnea, who faced a two-year delay; or the woman with breast cancer who needed to wait four months for radiation therapy, when the standard of care was four weeks….

One of David Gratzer’s books opened my eyes to what was going on up in Canada and gave me ammunition to respond to silly liberal emotive arguments. The book is “Code Blue: Reviving Canada’s Health Care System.” But, many people believe the Michael Moore’s of the World:


Some More Videos


Obamacare, Trumpcare, Ryancare, Berniecare. Doesn’t matter what you call it, when you hand over control of healthcare to the Government through a single-payer, universal system: it sucks. Allow me, someone who grew up with socialized medicine in Montreal, Canada, explain why.

Government-controlled health care in Canada is “great unless you need it.” Ralph Weber, a Canadian medical refugee, explains why he and his family got the medical care they needed, not in Canada, but in the United States. Is Canada style waiting lists and rationing headed south, with the passage of ObamaCare?

This is another video I wish to save and it comes from CATO Institute. See more here “featuring Stuart Browning with a critique of SiCKO“. I believe the longer video is gone — sad. See more at Dr. Brownings (dated) site.

Dr. Scott Atlas Discusses Rise In Coronavirus Cases

AUDIO BELOW the hospitalizations excerpts/updates:

  • Lindsey Rosales, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, confirmed to Just the News this week that the state is categorizing every inpatient in the state with a positive COVID-19 test as a COVID-19 hospitalization. … (JUST THE NEWS)

AMERICAN THINKER notes the following, “We are told new cases are rising by double-digit percentages, including: “The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus.” Hospitalized with or from coronavirus? Is this really a surge or simply fear-mongering fake news?” Continuing they quote a Texas area hospital CEO:

….A Texas hospital CEO lets the fake news cat out of the bag.

  • Health officials in Texas are logging every single COVID-19-positive hospital patient in the state as a COVID-19 hospitalization, even if the patients themselves are admitted seeking treatment for something other than the coronavirus.

Most hospitals require a COVID test before elective surgery. This means that patients coming to the hospital for a non-COVID reason are tested for COVID, and if positive are being counted as a “COVID hospitalization.” If a patient goes to the hospital for a new hip or cataract surgery, and happens to test positive for COVID, they are counted as a COVID hospitalization.

Just like inflated death counts, there is a big difference between dying or being hospitalized due to coronavirus or with coronavirus. George Floyd tested positive for COVID but no one is attributing his death in Minneapolis to COVID. Yet that is how hospitalizations are being counted, leading to this so-called surge in cases.

This surge hit the news about two weeks ago, after the BLM protests and riots peaked and agitators were starting to be arrested. Is this the latest chapter in the ongoing saga to beat on Trump and interfere in the upcoming presidential election?…..

AUDIO

Larry O’Connor spoke with Dr. Scott Atlas, the Robert Wesson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, about the latest surrounding the country reopening following the coronavirus.

More from the DAILY CALLER:

Dr. Scott Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, offered a potential explanation about why COVID hospitalizations are rising among younger people in Texas.

Appearing on Monday night’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” Atlas said that, since everyone who gets hospitalized for any reason is getting tested for COVID-19, the people making up the inflated statistics could actually be “hospitalized for something else” but “classified as COVID-19 hospitalizations.”

“What is your thought on that, do you think that 25% of the cases are being hospitalized are people 20-29, does that seem unusual?” MacCallum asked.

“No,” Atlas said. “I think that’s counter to any other data point we have. We have a state that has detailed evidence, Florida. We see that although there is a huge rise in cases, they are almost all overwhelmingly healthy young people. They are not being hospitalized. They are not dying. The deaths are going down per day. The hospitalizations are going down per day. It’s just not likely.”

“I think that what is happening in Texas, I know that this is true, they are testing every person that gets hospitalized for Covid-19,” Atlas continued. “We know that the vast majority of people with COVID-19 who are young, particularly, are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. I question if those people who are positive for COVID-19 and being hospitalized for something else are classified as COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s a big difference.”

Atlas went on to explain that younger people getting the infection is actually a good thing because it leads to herd immunity over the long term…….

John Ziegler Truth Bombs Ventura County Board of Supervisors

[Dr. Robert Levin, Health Officer and Medical Director, Ventura County] He predicted 400-to-600 hospitalizations a day. He revised that to 200-to-400 a day…. we are barely over 200 for the ENTIRE ordeal…. We now have a panic over 51 total hospitalizations in a county with eight hospitals. Can you people do math? Can you PLEASE do basic math. This is not a crisis, you however, have created one. You, in an effort to try and prevent all deaths (we’ve had 43 deaths) you have ended all relevant life…. (See more at JOHN ZIEGLER’S site)

Infectious Thoughts On “The RONA” (My Facebook Posts)

JUMP TO: INFECTION RATES | HERD IMMUNITY | Uncommon Knowledge Bonus EXCERPT FROM FACEBOOK CONVO | CAPACITY OF THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM | Ventilator Myths

  • (A quick note, I am not saying we should have done nothing, please do not infer that from what is below. However, I am saying that pushing the shutting down of our infrastructure for anything past two or three weeks ~ is ~ dubious at best.)

As An Aside, this is one of the most important article I believe regarding this whole “pandemic” issue we are dealing with. While it focuses on New York City, this is multiplied ad infinitum around our nation and globe. I would highly recommend this article at CITY JOURNAL:

My computer is down, and its a brand new build (something I did surely found out it is a bad motherboard). But my phone is allowing me opportunity to expand on some thinking. In a conversation about reopening Minnesota I had the other morning. I will include the conversations end below the raw numbers and pics. Take note I start with my old numbers of THE RONA’S estimated infection rates, with newer studies, as well as some HERD IMMUNITY stats/commentary. Enjoy number crunchers. I will add some other Faceboook posts as well.

INFECTION RATES

This portion was the earliest idea to how widespread the virus was. People would continuously mention the KNOWN infection rate of Covid-19 to the KNOWN death rate from Covid. And then in the same breath compare those stats to the ESTIMATED flu infection rate to the SOMEWHAT KNOWN flu death rate. And then they would say “see, Covid-19 is more deadly.” But I wanted to compare the same stats… so this was my way of referenced “estimations” to the infection rate of Covid-19. These were the two referenced numbers:

  • There are probably 25 to 50 people who have the virus for every one person who is confirmed. (Dr. Makary BIO | YAHOO)
  • That 86% of infections went undocumented (Journal SCIENCE | NEW YORK POST)

The above older work can be found at MY SITE — last updated end of March using above numbers: RPT — Here is an example from my post:

MY ORIGINAL ESTIMATES

(March 30th)

WORLD WIDE CORONA NUMBERS (KNOWN)

35,236 (known deaths) | 740,743 (known cases) = 4.75%

WORLD WIDE CORONA NUMBERS (ESTIMATED)

(There are probably 25 to 50 people who have the virus for every one person who is confirmed. [Dr. Makary BIO | YAHOO])

LOW # 18,561,550‬ (0.19% death rate with known deaths);

HIGH # 37,123,100 (0.09% death rate with known deaths).

(That 86% of infections went undocumented [SCIENCE | NEW YORK POST])

5,303,300 (0.66% death rate with known deaths).




UNITED STATES CORONA NUMBERS (KNOWN)

2,597 (known deaths) |  144,280 (known cases)  = 1.79%

UNITED STATES CORONA NUMBERS (ESTIMATED)

(There are probably 25 to 50 people who have the virus for every one person who is confirmed. [Dr. Makary BIO | YAHOO])

LOW # 3,607,000 (0.07% death rate with known deaths);

HIGH # 7,214,000 (0.03% death rate with known deaths).

(That 86% of infections went undocumented [SCIENCE | NEW YORK POST])

1,030,571 (0.25% death rate with known deaths).

Now, as the testing for antibodies is getting under way, we are finding confirmation for the above numbers. Here are some articles to make the point (as well as some media) HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND regarding the Santa Clara County information….

Closer to the publishing date of the information garnered from the 3,300 volunteers getting the antibody test in Santa Clara County, there were 32-deaths attributed to the Coronavirus, or, THE RONA. So what we can assume is that as the death toll rises over a time-line, so does the infection rate. Here is what the REASON.COM ARTICLE notes closer to the studies publishing date:

Between 48,000 and 81,000 residents of Santa Clara County, California are likely to have already been infected by the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, suggests a new study by researchers associated with Stanford University Medical School. The researchers tested a sample of 3,330 residents of the county using blood tests to detect antibodies to determine whether or not they had been exposed to the coronavirus. If the researchers’ calculations are correct, that’s really good news. Why? Because that data will help public health officials to get a better handle on just how lethal the coronavirus is, and if researchers are right it’s a lot less lethal than many have feared it to be.

Currently, the U.S. case fatality rate, that is, the percent of people with confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19 who die, is running at 5.2 percent. But epidemiologists have known that a significant proportion of people who are infected are going undetected by the medical system because either they don’t feel sick enough to seek help or are asymptomatic. For example, recent research in Iceland suggests that about 50 percent of people infected with the virus have no symptoms.

In the new study, the researchers sought residents through Facebook to whom they could administer the antibody tests. The results were an unadjusted prevalence of coronavirus antibodies of 1.5 percent. After making various statistical and demographic adjustments, researchers calculated the likely prevalence ranged from 2.49 to 4.16 percent. At the time that these tests were administered, there were about 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 32* deaths from the disease in Santa Clara County. The upshot is that “these prevalence estimates represent a range between 48,000 and 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, 50- 85-fold more than the number of confirmed cases.”

Using these data, the researchers calculated the infection fatality rate, that is, the percent of people infected with the disease who die: “A hundred deaths out of 48,000-81,000 infections corresponds to an infection fatality rate of 0.12-0.2%,” they report.* That’s about the same infection fatality rate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates for seasonal influenza…..

  • COVID-19 Lethality Not Much Different Than Flu, Says New Study: Possible really good news from a population screening antibody test study in Santa Clara County, California (REASON | ABC NEWS)
  • Why A Study Showing That Covid-19 Is Everywhere Is Good News: If millions of people were infected weeks ago without dying, the virus must be less deadly than official data suggest (ECONOMIST)
  • Medical Experts Appear on ‘Life, Liberty, and Levin’ to Urge Leaders to Reopen America (PJ-MEDIA)
  • LA Study: Virus May Be More Widespread, Less Deadly Than Thought (NEWSMAX)

TWITTER: Andrew Bostom

YOUTUBE: Tucker Carlson

What is the actual death rate of COVID-19? (Multiple antibody tests mentioned)

See OANN’s video as well: The Best Argument against Govt Mandated COVID-19 Lockdowns

I mention to people that with all the precautions many states are forcing on its population they are retarding the rate of HERD IMMUNITY… which is important.

HERD IMMUNITY

Important because Dr. Fauci mentioned during one of his briefings that this is coming back in the winter season. But because we have chosen as a nation to not allow for normal contact that nature demands of us, we will be dealing with this at a higher rate than say Sweden.

Our governor, Gavin Newsom, thinks he “sounds” scientific — but has no idea [apparently] what or how to achieve “herd immunity.” Here is a MERCURY NEWS article discussing the issue statements by our “fearless” governor:

“The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and we get to a vaccine,” Newsom said. “So large-scale events that bring in hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of strangers altogether across every conceivable difference, health and otherwise, is not in the cards based upon our current guidelines and current expectations.”

Obviously he has no idea what he is saying, and, probably like Biden see’s this as an opportunity to advance a political agenda.

The article mentions no large gatherings until Thanksgiving… but then the flu and Covid-19 season starts again. Are we shutting down our economy (bars, restaurants, small businesses, etc) and flights, beaches, etc., in the 2020-2021 season? (THANKFULLY “Attorney General William Barr warned that states could find themselves in hot water from the Justice Department if their coronavirus lockdowns go ‘too far’.” | BREITBART)

  • Why Simply Waiting For Herd Immunity To Covid-19 Isn’t An Option: Waiting for enough people to catch the coronavirus could take a very long time (MIT TECH REVIEW)
  • Stockholm Will Reach ‘Herd Immunity’ Within Weeks (TELEGRAPH | AL ARABIYA)
  • Sweden Resisted A Lockdown, And Its Capital Stockholm Is Expected To Reach ‘Herd Immunity’ In Weeks (CNBC)

Sweden has allowed nature to provide a natural defense to future Covid-19 outbreaks. By doing so, the next time this comes around (2020-2021) Sweden will be the most prepared out of the Western Nations. Bravo Sweden, and they took the idea that destroying their economy was not the wisest of choices.

JOHN STOSSEL

UNCOMMON KNOWLEDGE BONUS

March 27th

April 17th

Steve and I agree on a lot, I do not wish to put Steve here in a bad light… he is a guy that I would probably enjoy conversation with over a beer or two (or three):

EXCERPT FROM FACEBOOK CONVO

(ME)

  • Steve W — you do know Steve that the same amount of death from and infection due to Covid-19 exists under the trend line of doing nothing and the most strict quarentine rules…. right? In other words, we are not saving lives. And, in fact, we have made it worse for our economy next fall/winter because it is coming back as it makes its rounds around the world.

(STEVE W)

  • Sean Giordano I have heard that said but not seen it from a credible source. So I think that is false.

(ME)

  • Steve W what is false?

(STEVE W)

  • Sean Giordano “the same amount of death from and infection due to Covid-19 exists under the trend line of doing nothing”

(ME)

Steve Wallace now you are saying don’t listen to Dr. Fauci?

Many bemoan Trump for not listening to him (even though he has), and some I meet do not support Fauci in the idea that this was to elongate the process as to not put any undue stress on our health care system. Even though he clearly announced multiple times this was the reason to do so

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM mentions the following, and all the graphs of the United States shown by Doctors Fauci and Birx have all used this idea as well (graph below from CDC and WEF)

CHRIS WALLACE: All right. You talk about slowing the virus down. You talk a lot, and I’ve very used to this now, you can either have a bump like this of cases or you could make it maybe the same total cases, but it’s a much more gradual and slower and longer curve. I want to put up some numbers. We have in this country about 950,000 hospital beds, and about 45,000 beds in Intensive Care Unit. How worried are you that this virus is going to overwhelm hospitals, not just beds, but ventilators? We only have 160,000 ventilators. And could we be in a situation where you have to ration who gets the bed, who gets the ventilator?

DR. FAUCI: OK. So let me put it in a way that it doesn’t get taken out of context. When people talk about modeling where outbreaks are going, the modeling is only as good as the assumptions you put into the model. And what they do, they have a worst-case scenario, a best-case scenario, and likely where it’s going to be. If we have a worst-case scenario, we’ve got to admit it, we could be overwhelmed. Are we going to have a worst-case scenario? I don’t think so. I hope not.

What are we doing to not have that worst-case scenario? That’s when you get into the things that we’re doing. We’re preventing infections from going in with some rather stringent travel restrictions. And we’re doing containment and mitigation from within. So, at a worst-case scenario, anywhere in the world, no matter what country you are, you won’t be prepared. So our job is to not let that worst-case scenario happen.

(…. STILL ME….)

STEVE W for you not to understand the goal of all this, and then get on here sharing insights is itself insightful. I am not blaming you STEVE I just see this fundamental misunderstanding of the underlying factors and goals of this whole endeavor of bending the curve as applicable to MANY A PERSON in these discussions here and elsewhere on social media. I am giving you, in fact, the most respectful benefit of a doubt, but am merely in conversation with you at this moment. This conversation is just multiplied (others are having) across social media many fold. Blessings to you and yours friend. Yet, this foundational view is not known well by othersthat is, the reason behind flattening the curve as well as the data underneath the trend line.

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Here I wish to switch gears a bit and start to discuss another “info graphic” post from MY SITES FACEBOOK I shared with my readers. And since the entire idea behind “flattening the curve” was to keep the health and hospital system working well by not getting inundated all at once, this should have lasted two or three weeks. Not as long as it has — our economy is important too! Damnit!

CAPACITY OF THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

The following was compiled after a conversation I had on Facebook. It touches on some of the issues above. Enjoy

  •  I note the bell curve because many are under the false impression we are doing this to “save lives.” This was never the case.

The quarantine was to lessen the apex of the bell curve as to not put pressure on the hospital/health system. The same amount of people in the elongated “quarantine bell curve” (the trend-line) would die and get sick. In other words, the same statistics exist below the line (POWERLINE). Here is a site cataloging the hospitalizations for the rona that POWERLINE used – US CORONAVIRUS HOSPITALIZATIONS  …they used both the CDC site and this one, but the CDC site has lower hospitalizations, so they opted for the most updated numbers. WHICH AS OF APRIL 21ST STAND AT 84,292 HOSPITALIZATIONS FROM JANUARY TILL NOW. This is important, because, the flu season of 2017-2018 we saw 810,000 hospitalization, and our health system didn’t collapse. Nor did the Swine Flu of 2009-to-2010, which saw 60-million American infected and 300,000 hospitalizations.

No quarantines then.

No exaggerated respirator shortages then.

SOME VENTILATOR MYTHS

  • The Ventilator Shortage That Wasn’t (NATIONAL REVIEW)
  • Report: New York City Auctioned Off Ventilator Stockpile (BREITBART)
  • New York City auctioned off extra ventilators due to cost of maintenance: report (THE HILL)
  • Gov Cuomo Refused To Buy Ventilators In 2015 Despite Knowing They’d Be Needed (INDEPENDENT SENTINEL)
  • Trump Was Right: Cuomo Admits New York Has ‘Stockpile’ of Ventilators, Says ‘We Don’t Need Them Yet’ (DIAMOND and SILK | BREITBART | WESTERN JOURNAL)

(What was different I wonder? Maybe the Orange Man Bad Syndrome?)

This then may explain why all the field hospital’s the ARMY CORE OF ENGINEERS built are being dismantled without a single bed being used.

  • The panic and fear among the people who cannot be bothered to read the actual statistics about this pandemic is what should concern most preppers. In fact, this virus has been so overhyped that the Army’s field hospital in Seattle, an “epicenter” of the pandemic has closed after three days without seeing one single COVID-19 patient. According to a report by Military.com, the hastily built field hospital set up by the Army in Seattle’s pro football stadium is shutting down without ever seeing a patient. [….] The decision to close the Seattle field hospital comes amid early signs that the number of new cases could be hitting a plateau in New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in the U.S., and other states. At a news conference Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “Overall, New York is flattening the curve.” — ZERO HEDGE (see: MILITARY TIMES | DAILY CALLER)
  • Unlike the Mercy, the Comfort is treating COVID-19 patients on board as well as patients who do not have the virus. The ship has treated more than 120 people since it arrived March 30, and about 50 of those have been discharged, said Lt. Mary Catherine Walsh. The ship removed half of its 1,000 beds so it could isolate and treat coronavirus patients. [The Mercy has seen 48 patients, all non-Covid related] (THE STAR)

And literally handfulls of patients on the Comfort (New York City) and the Comfort (Los Angeles) — *see comment below. There was never a shortage of respirators (NATIONAL REVIEW), and we may surpass the 2018-to-2019 flu death rate, but come nowhere close to the 2017-to-2018 flu death rate:

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

And it seems that we are reaching a plateau with The Rona, so there is good news in this regard (POWERLINE).


* Here is a comment from the Military Times article from a few days ago:

So, why did we spend all that Taxpayer’s money to move the Comfort to NYC and all the added Military medical personnel to staff the Javitt’s Center? Because Cuomo was crying WOLF.

“So far, the thousands of beds provided by a converted convention center and a hospital ship have not been needed, but the extra personnel are coming in handy for the city’s civilian hospitals.

About 200 doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and others are working in New York’s medical centers, where bed space has not been overwhelmed, but where hospital-acquired coronavirus cases have sidelined civilian staff.”

Doc Drew vs Media Hype!

Dr. Drew’s beyond fed up with the media coverage of the coronavirus, because he believes it’s majorly overblown and causing hysteria … while another major threat’s being ignored.

Dr. Drew talks with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about coronavirus, the media’s response to it, and why we shouldn’t be freaking out about it.

Coronavirus and Media Hype

First a post by ACE OF SPADES, with a large excerpt from the NY POST article:

The breathless reporting from pretty much every source, with the exception of Michael Fumento in the NY Post is typical of the no-nothings in the media and their tenuous relationship with logic and the Scientific Method and pesky little things like data and numbers and statistics.

And the facts are very, very thin. We don’t know much other than what the Chinese government is telling the world, and I believe them about as much as I believe that Epstein killed himself. Maybe it’s worse than they are reporting. Maybe it is overblown to deflect attention from other things in China, like Hong Kong! And maybe it is just like most of the other diseases that emerge from China and then fizzle in developed countries because we are healthier, cleaner, have better medical care and more efficient ways to get that care to the people who need it.

I have no idea how this will shake out. Is it the next pandemic, with hundreds of millions dead? Maybe, but I doubt it. Is it the next SARS? Probably. And how many Americans died of SARS? From the CDC:

  • In the United States, only eight persons were laboratory-confirmed as SARS cases. There were no SARS-related deaths in the United States. All of the eight persons with laboratory-confirmed SARS had traveled to areas where SARS-CoV transmission was occurring.

For all of American medicine’s faults, we do a pretty good job of minimizing the severity of things like the flu and TB and Measles and Pertusis and all sorts of diseases that are major killers in other parts of the world. Will I take a trip to Wuhan? hell no. But until there is evidence of this virus being a significant health threat in the developed world I will not worry too much.

Here is the NEW YORK POST:

A CNN reporter broadcasts from Wuhan, China, on the recent viral outbreak. There is nobody near who could possibly infect him ­— unless the cameraman has Guinness Book of Records coughs and sneezes. So why does he insist on wearing a blue surgical mask while talking?

It’s called “drama,” which is badly needed, because there appears to be nothing very special about this outbreak of the 2019-nCoV or Wuhan ­virus. It should actually be called the DvV, or Déjà vu Virus, because we have been through these hysterias before. Over and over. Heterosexual AIDS, Ebola repeatedly, the H1N1 swine flu that was actually vastly milder than the regular flu and, especially, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

Once you start debunking mass hysteria over outbreaks, it gets easy, because the same patterns repeat themselves.

The best remedy for all epidemic hysteria is perspective. How is this new outbreak different and thus potentially more dangerous from other diseases we have dealt with in the past or are dealing with now?

Wuhan is repeatedly labeled “deadly” — but so is every other ­virus most people know about. But especially deadly? Nearly 600 cases have been confirmed with at least 17 reported deaths.

[….]

What we can say for sure is that Wuhan will be a lot worse in China, simply because health care there is vastly inferior. It appears that, like flu, Wuhan usually kills through ­often treatable secondary infections. Well, treatable in the West. You’d be surprised at how many potentially deadly diseases ­(malaria, TB) Americans get that wreak havoc in much of the world but kill essentially none of us.

It also appears those most likely to die of Wuhan virus fit the same profile as flu fatalities: people over 65, those with compromised immune systems and those with serious pre-existing conditions. Two of the 17 Wuhan dead were 89-year-olds with pre-existing conditions; the youngest was 48 and suffering from diabetes and a stroke.

Contagiousness is highly important, of course. But so far, there is no evidence that Wuhan, first ­reported more than three weeks ago, is more contagious than ­influenza or spreads differently.

Those are the important factors; everything else is noise and tinfoil-hat paranoia.

[….]

It’s inherently bad because it’s new, we’re told. So were swine flu and SARS.

Chinese health officials warned it could mutate further to either become more deadly or more contagious. Same was said about the aforementioned outbreaks. Actually, viruses usually mutate to become less deadly, to preserve the host body and hence themselves.

The media are correct in saying the closest comparison here is SARS. It also was first reported in China and was what’s called a coronavirus. But while they want you to remember SARS as akin to the Black Death with cries of “Bring out your dead!,” fact is, there was a grand total of only 8,098 cases, of whom 774 died. Then the disease simply disappeared. More than 7,000 of those cases and about 650 of the deaths occurred just in mainland China and Hong Kong. The United States had just 75 cases and zero deaths.

By contrast, the CDC estimates about 80,000 Americans died of flu two seasons ago.

So if you want, buy a (probably worthless) surgical mask to play “twins” with those “courageous” TV newsmen. Or you may consider that flu shots are still available.

 

Two Myths I Commonly Hear About Dogs From Dog Lovers (Updated)

(Originally posted in 2014) I know facts can be the killjoy to personal feelings and beliefs… trust me, I know. However, here and now I wish to tread on the “good feelings” one gets from the belief in silly things heard of but never checked out. Often this deals with things like political positions and religious beliefs… but here I wade into the pet-owner world.

Firstly I wish to deal with a myth I just recently heard that dogs saliva heal your wounds well. This is a myth! Here for instance is some great veterinary info on the topic… and after reading it I may actually shoo dogs away from doing this:

DOG SALIVA GOOD FOR HUMANS

It’s not likely that your dog will pass on any illnesses to you through its saliva. Many of the bacteria in your dog’s saliva is specific to canines, and won’t harm you. However, it’s a good idea to discourage licking to reduce any chances of becoming sick from germs. Here are some myths about dog saliva and their associated facts.

Myths About Dog Saliva

Because dog saliva contains a special enzyme which promotes healing of the dog’s wound, some pet owners think it will have the same effect on their own cuts. The enzymes in your dogs saliva only work on the wounds of dogs. Allowing your dog to lick your cuts could lead to infection from any germs the dog may have in its mouth.

Facts About Dog Saliva

One potential health risk associated with being licked by your dog is the transmission of roundworms. These intestinal parasites are commonly found in kittens and puppies and are passed through licking. Symptoms of roundworm are coughing, a fever and headaches. Of course if your dog has been given deworming medication, and is tested on a regular basis, your risk of contracting roundworm is slim. Leptospirosis, salmonella and E. coli are other illnesses that can be transmitted by your dog’s saliva; ….

One site even goes as far as to warn that “People with weakened immune systems and young children probably should not have direct contact with dog or cat saliva.” So, strike that ol’ wives tale, bottom line is this:

Some people believe that the dogs’ saliva can heal the wounds as well. It is absolutely wrong. Dogs are different specie with diverse specifications. Their saliva is useful for them and but not for humans….

  • One dog saliva myth is that it’s beneficial both for dog wounds and human wounds. There is a bit of truth in this belief, but putting dog saliva on a human wound can result in any number of problems. The bacteria in the saliva may infect a human’s skin and prove to be harmful for the human. (DogsHealth.com)

Here is an updated story for your purview via PJ-MEDIA:

A Wisconsin man has lost both of his legs due to an infection that he caught from a dog. Greg Manteufel was reportedly licked by his own pet. As a result, a bacterial infection called capnocytophaga raged through his body and wreaked havoc.

Initially, Manteufel thought that he had the flu. He went to the emergency room, and was so covered in bruises that it looked as if he had been beaten. Blood tests soon revealed the cause of his symptoms. His body’s response to the bacteria “caused Greg’s blood pressure to drop, and the circulation in his limbs to decrease rapidly,” according to ABC7.

“Sometimes it decreases so much that the arms and legs just die,” Dr. Munoz-Price of Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin said…

.

HYPOALLERGENIC DOGS

Okay, let us move onto “hypoallergenic dogs.” This is another myth born from my wife going into sneezing/stuffy nose fits at a co-workers house with poodles. She mentioned that her dogs are “hypoaalergenic.” I too thought this was a breed that would in the least cut down on my wife’s reaction to the dog. Upon further study, I was wrong. Here is the Globe and Mail comments on a recent study:

Forget about that labradoodle: A new report suggests household allergens are no lower in homes that keep hypoallergenic dogs versus hairier, dander-heavy breeds.

“We found no scientific basis to the claim hypoallergenic dogs have less allergen,” senior author Christine Cole Johnson said in a release.

“Exposure to a dog early in life provides protection against dog allergy development. But the idea that you can buy a certain breed of dog and think it will cause less allergy problems for a person already dog-allergic is not borne out by our study,” said Dr. Johnson, who chairs the Department of Public Health Sciences at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital.

(Globe & Mail)

And this from HuffPo, via Dr. Karen Becker (Proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian):

A 2011 study published in The American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy reveals the amount of dog allergens found in households with dogs does not vary depending on the breed. In other words, families with so called “hypoallergenic” dogs are living with the same level of allergens in their homes as people who own non-hypoallergenic canines.

Study researchers measured the level of the most common dog allergen, Canis familiaris 1, or Can f 1, found in the homes of 173 families that owned one dog. Out of the 173 samples, only 10 had less than measurable amounts of Can f 1. No matter what type of dog was in the home, there was no significant difference in the level of allergens measured.

No One Knows How the Myth of Allergy-Free Dogs Got Started

“I have no idea where this whole concept came from. It’s been around a long time, and maybe people associated it with shedding. I think it’s just a legend,” says Dr. Christine Cole Johnson, an epidemiologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and senior author of the study.

The scientists who conducted the study discovered 60 of 161 recognized breeds were named as hypoallergenic on various Internet websites. However, there is no official list of hypoallergenic breeds, though the American Kennel Club (AKC) does suggest 11 canine candidates for people with allergies. The kennel club only suggests certain breeds might be beneficial for allergy sufferers — it doesn’t recommend or endorse any specific breed.

(HuffPo)

Bottom Line:

  • No matter how they did their comparisons, the scientists found no statistically significant differences in the levels of Can f 1 in dust samples in those 163 homes. (National Institutes of Health)

So these two oft repeated statements of fact by many are merely wives tales passed on by those that love animals so much that their critical thinking skills are suspended. And while I think the video below is cute as hell… is someone asked me the following: “My dog licks my babies in the face, should I make him/her stop?”

BEST ANSWER:

There are several thousand cases of children going blind from hookworm infections that are passed to their eyes from dogs every year. [Cats too!] Children can also be infected with hookworms from dogs licking them in the face if the dog is infected. The most common bacterial infection that causes GI upset in humans resides in dogs’ mouths.

We actually have a brochure at work that we give to parents about infection that can be passed from dogs to children via dogs’ mouths, and before we started giving out the brochure, we actually had a client whose daughter got hookworms from their dog.

If it were me, I’d make the dog stop liking the child’s face and train it to lick other places (or to just not lick at all…)

Hope this helped!

(See more at THE DAILY PUPPY)

A Big Mac False Alarm – More Super Sized Lies via Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock admitted something that cast more doubt onto his lauded documentary entitled “Super Size Me” to which an excellent documentary response already noted the secrecy behind Spurlocks health records, “Fat Head.” Here are a couple article’s noting Phelim McAleer’s article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “A Big Mac Attack, or a False Alarm?,” which Dennis Prager reads from:

  • Morgan Spurlock’s Alcoholism Confession Casts Doubt on His ‘Super Size Me’ Health Claims (BREITBART)
  • Super-Size My Doubts About Morgan Spurlock’s Snide Documentary About McDonald’s (AMERICAN THINKER)

Myth About Trump’s Unilateral Rescinding Obama’s Mental Health Law

Rush Limbaugh dismantles a lie from the Left expressed by Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue regarding Trump’s first few days in office and his rescinding an Obama era bill that was an Executive Order.

If the Left do not like this legal snafu of one President rescinding another’s E.O., pass laws through Congress dammit! U-n-l-e-s-s they just want to u-s-e the controversy to support their wild positions that have no reality in the real world. Here are the organizations who supported Trump’s action (via the WASHINGTON FREE BEACON):

Officials at the American Civil Liberties Union opposed the rule and called for its repeal because the process did not include sufficient due process protections.

  • “The rule includes no meaningful due process protections prior to the SSA’s transmittal of names to the NICS database,” the group said in their letter. “The determination by SSA line staff that a beneficiary needs a representative payee to manage their money benefit is simply not an ‘adjudication’ in any ordinary meaning of the word. Nor is it a determination that the person ‘[l]acks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs’ as required by the NICS. Indeed, the law and the SSA clearly state that representative payees are appointed for many individuals who are legally competent.”

The National Council on DisabilityConsortium for Citizens With Disabilities, and National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery all submitted letters calling for the reversal of the rule during hearings conducted by the Ways and Means Committee….

The WASHINGTON EXAMINER also looks into the pressure from right and left organizations

….This is why America’s new favorite charity, the American Civil Liberties Union (along with many other groups that are not particularly conservative or pertinent to gun rights per se) advocated and wrote in favor of what House Republicans did yesterday. This is from the ACLU’s letter of support:

On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), we urge members of the House of Representatives to support the resolution disapproving the final rule of the Social Security Administration which implements the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvement Amendment Acts of 2007….

In December 2016, the SSA promulgated a final rule that would require the names of all Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit recipients – who, because of a mental impairment, use a representative payee to help manage their benefits – be submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is used during gun purchases.

We oppose this rule because it advances and reinforces the harmful stereotype that people with mental disabilities, a vast and diverse group of citizens, are violent. There is no data to support a connection between the need for a representative payee to manage one’s Social Security disability benefits and a propensity toward gun violence. The rule further demonstrates the damaging phenomenon of “spread,” or the perception that a disabled individual with one area of impairment automatically has additional, negative and unrelated attributes. Here, the rule automatically conflates one disability-related characteristic, that is, difficulty managing money, with the inability to safely possess a firearm.

The rule includes no meaningful due process protections prior to the SSA’s transmittal of names to the NICS database. The determination by SSA line staff that a beneficiary needs a representative payee to manage their money benefit is simply not an “adjudication” in any ordinary meaning of the word. Nor is it a determination that the person “[l]acks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs” as required by the NICS. Indeed, the law and the SSA clearly state that representative payees are appointed for many individuals who are legally competent

…[R]egulation of firearms and individual gun ownership or use must be consistent with civil liberties principles, such as due process, equal protection, freedom from unlawful searches, and privacy. All individuals have the right to be judged on the basis of their individual capabilities, not the characteristics and capabilities that are sometimes attributed (often mistakenly) to any group or class to which they belong. A disability should not constitute grounds for the automatic per se denial of any right or privilege, including gun ownership.

So, if you donated the ACLU after President Trump’s executive travel ban, congratulations. Yesterday’s vote was your victory, too…..

The WASHINGTON TIMES also brings some historical clarity to the issue:

In recent years, advocates for the mentally ill created more boundaries for law enforcement and healthcare workers to forcibly hospitalize Americans who are suspected of being a danger to both themselves and others. The 1966 Lanterman Petris Short Act (LPS Act) was California legislation designed to reform the antiquated state of mental institutions in the state. 

It should be noted that LPS was signed by Governor Reagan in California but only after pressure from groups like the ACLU stepped in and sued on behalf of patients who were being involuntarily hospitalized. Other states followed suit with their own similar involuntary and voluntary commitment statutes.

According to U.S. Veteran’s Affairs, “Maurice Rodgers, spokesman for the California State Psychological Association, called the plan the “Magna Carta of the Mentally Ill,” while the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), officially in support of the legislation, raised objection to the fact that the patient had to personally petition for a due process hearing at the initial point in the commitment. 

Tying this all together for us is THE CZAR OF MUSCOVY:

….Later, the Carter administration signed into law the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980, which largely promoted the same idea for national facilities. In 1981, when both parties in Congress agreed to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, President Reagan signed that into law. One of it many provisions was to eliminate federal funding for community services and thereby transfer funding back to individual funding or state-funded efforts. Had Reagan even been aware of that part of the Act, he would have immediately realized the Act was negating the disastrous effects of the LPS he experienced as governor of California.

In other words, the State needs more funding control over mental health facilities, whether local, community, or state. Serious cases could still be funded through Medicaid, creating a virtual federal funding pool of money. This was formalized in the Mental Health Planning Act of 1986.

In effect, bipartisan policies recommended that the Federal government transfer government funding of community mental health facilities back to the states. State-funded facilities as well as privately-funded facilities were not affected by that policy. Reagan signed the bill into law as part of an overall spending cut package. As he would have known, complete state funding of facilities resulted in terrible mental healthcare, but state governments had an obligation to provide for this. However, in 1986, he also signed into a law another bipartisan solution to have Medicaid assist with funding. The laws closed not a single facility.

Ergo, to the liberals, REAGAN CLOSED THE MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES. The fact that states closed some facilities and let staff go at others due to their own budget issues is unimportant because, of course, liberals hated Reagan. And still do.

[…..]

So when you hear the argument that Reagan closed the mental health facilities, ask the name of one health facility that Reagan actually closed. And when it closed. And how he closed it. And if you hear that Reagan closed it by extenuation of a funding cut, ask which particular bill he signed into law specified that particular facility be closed.

Or is it a case that bipartisan governments at the state and federal levels attempted to improve healthcare treatment and that bipartisan governments within the states screwed things up so badly that individual departments of health closed down less effective facilities? You will have lost the typical liberal at the word bipartisan….

A lifelong Democrat at the DAILY JOURNAL LETTERS ties this all in a neat bow for us:

As a lifelong Democrat (of the Irish-Catholic-Labor variety), I think Reagan did some good things and other things I didn’t support. But one thing Reagan didn’t do was single-handedly “close down” mental hospitals thus triggering 40 years of mental health hell.

Two other forces actually determined the fate of mental health care in this state. You might call them acts with unintended consequences. Here’s the history.

In 1967, the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS Act) a so-called “bill of rights” for those with mental health problems passed the Democratic-controlled Assembly: 77-1. The Senate approved it by similar margins. Then-Gov. Reagan signed it into law.

It was co-authored by California State Assemblyman Frank Lanterman, a Republican, and California State Senators Nicholas C. Petris and Alan Short, both Democrats. LPS went into full effect on July 1, 1972.

The bipartisan law came about because of concerns about the involuntary civil commitment to mental health institutions in California. At the time, the act was thought by many to be a progressive blueprint for modern mental health commitment procedures, not only in California, but in the United States.

Its main purposes were:

  • To end the inappropriate, indefinite, and involuntary commitment of mentally disordered persons, people with developmental disabilities, and persons impaired by chronic alcoholism, and to eliminate legal disabilities;
  • To provide prompt evaluation and treatment of persons with serious mental disorders or impaired by chronic alcoholism;
  • To guarantee and protect public safety;
  • To safeguard individual rights through judicial review;
  • To provide individualized treatment, supervision, and placement services by a conservatorship program for gravely disabled persons;
  • To encourage the full use of all existing agencies, professional personnel and public funds to accomplish these objectives and to prevent duplication of services and unnecessary expenditures;
  • To protect mentally disordered persons and developmentally disabled persons from criminal acts.

Initially, mental health advocates pushed for community-based mental health facilities that would replace the closed mental hospitals.

But that never happened because even though post-Reagan the legislature was still controlled by Democrats, no major funding for new community-based mental health facilities ever occurred. And that situation basically is still the case today.

The second force at work in the mental health care issue were the courts and what is known as “deinstitutionalization.”

During the 1960s, many people began accusing state mental hospitals of violating the civil rights of patients. Some families did, of course, commit incorrigible teenagers or eccentric relatives to years of involuntary confinement and unspeakable treatment. Nurse Ratched, the sadistic nurse famously portrayed in the book and film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” became a symbol of institutional indifference to the mentally ill.

By the late 1960s, the idea that the mentally ill were not so different from the rest of us, or perhaps were even a little bit more sane, became trendy. Reformers dreamed of taking the mentally ill out of the large institutions and housing them in smaller, community-based residences where they could live more productive and fulfilling lives.

A mental patient could be held for 72 hours only if he or she engaged in an act of serious violence or demonstrated a likelihood of suicide or an inability to provide their own food, shelter or clothing due to mental illness. But 72 hours was rarely enough time to stabilize someone be held another two weeks for evaluation and treatment.

As a practical matter, involuntary commitment was no longer a plausible option…..

Are Medical Insurance/Big-Pharma Company Profits… Evil?

R & D Costs for “Big Pharma”

This comes via ChEMBL-og:

Came across a link on Google+ to a post to a Forbes article (via Greg Landrum) and thought I would post a link here. It’s a simple economic analysis of the costs of Large Pharma drug discovery. Very simple, money in vs. drugs out. There is however a lot of complexity behind the numbers, for example – quite a few of the drugs will have been licensed in, the transaction costs for these in-licensing events have probably been factored in, but what about all the other burnt capital in the biotech companies that supplied the in-licensed compounds – this will inflate the numbers further. Of course the majority of these costs are incurred on the failed projects, the wrong targets, the wrong compounds, or the wrong trials.

To put the AstraZeneca number of $11.8 billion per drug in some national context (equivalent to £7.5 billion) – this is almost 17 years of the entire BBRSC budget (£445 million in 2011), or only two drugs from the entire investment portfolio of the mighty assets of the Wellcome Trust (~£14 billion in 2011) – that’s right, not two drugs from their annual research budget, but two drugs by shutting down the investment fund and putting it all into drug discovery and development (at Astra Zeneca ROI levels).

Scary numbers, eh? Are public funding agencies up to the task? Do we really know what to do differently? There’s also a POST on the same Forbes article on the In THE PIPELINE BLOG.

(An updated Forbes article is HERE)

Some Objections to the AHCA via Facebook (w/Responses)

I will first post a serious challenge/worry that the MSM (mainstream media) will be using as “special cases.” BUT FIRST, why is this not a good way to write law? That is, write law using special cases. Being that I am “conservative” and lean towards this bias, I will use some examples from these similar thinking people. The first zeroes in on a separate issue, but in regards to writing laws, it is the same:

…Proponents of gay marriage fail utterly to comprehend the idea that laws are made with society, not the individual, in mind. That is why they also fail to grasp the idea that law is predicated upon averages, not outliers. Interestingly, both libertarians and progressives suffer from this lack of understanding…

…But more often they try to undermine the link between marriage and childrearing by pointing to outliers—marriages in which couples choose not to have children or cannot have them because at least one partner happens to be infertile. But this argument only reveals the weakness of the progressive understanding of the law. Put simply, rules that are justified by the average case cannot be undermined by the exceptional case, otherwise known as the outlier. Thus the old maxim, “Hard cases make bad law.”…

Mike S. Adams, Letters To A Young Progressive (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2013), 81, 82.

The following two media files are the same analogy of car insurance explained by Dennis Prager, but two different times:

PREEXISTING CONDITIONS

With the above in mind, here is my first response via Facebook to a thoughtful post:

This is a thoughtful and understandable challenge by a single mother who is on a fixed income… she asks a question about her child with a malady and what the change in “pre-existing” is according to the current bill (remember, it will go through the senate, then most probably “conference,” reconciliation [by this time the CBO will have gone through the bill then — which will be tweaked from the one we are speaking to currently], and then be re-voted on)…

…here is her concern:

✦ My child’s digestive and respiratory issues caused by her being born prematurely and her grief depression caused by her farther dying when she was 5 are all considered pre-existing. As a single mother on a fixed income, her health care is an issue I do get very excited about!

With the AHCA, and the future fixes, premiums will fall dramatically. If you are caught without insurance for 63-days, you will pay about 30% more, but again, the overall payment will be much lower. Due to Obama-Care imploding (the latest example out of the many is Iowa having zero insurance coverage options, in other words, if you are a single mother on a fixed income in many states, you have zero options.

This was and is untenable. One of the GOP’s goals is to allow cross state competition for insurance groups that will increase pool sizes and lower costs dramatically. This has been illegal. Also, tort reform would be the single most beneficial thing that could be done… This is hard because injury lawyers are the first or second largest donors to the Democrat Party, so until we get enough conservative and other Republican’s to take this part of the issue seriously, the Democrats will continue to stand in the way of effective ways to lower your cost and increase your coverage options.

ADDENDUM 1
Just to add to make what I said clear (wanting clarity to reign). If you have not had insurance for 63-days — and AFTER this point you get an illness, this is when “pre-existing” kicks in. You see, I run a warehouse, and while the owner (a close friend) could afford the rise in his premiums, and I had insurance through my wife, the responsible young man who made $12 bucks an hour had insurance through Blue Cross on his own, lost his insurance because of Obama-Care. When he could find a policy again, it was more expensive. Two years after this it was more than twice as expensive as he was paying before O-Care. And he made the least in the warehouse. Why was it so expensive? His plane included pregnancy tests, Pap smear, mammogram, etc.

This way, through this legislation, the premiums should drop (esp. through more free market options in the future), but the cost won’t be a burden to poorer responsible people who have health insurance.

I just wanted clarify the above, as, I feel for you. Your concern is real! The call at the end of this interview is similar to your case (via my YouTube upload):

ADDENDUM 2
Sorry, one last thing, and this is to help you get through the weeds of Main Stream Media and all the other sources you will come across — yes, even me. The best non-partisan summary is this:

➤ States may opt-out of requiring premiums to be the same for all people of the same age, so while individuals with pre-existing conditions must be offered health insurance there is no limit on the cost of that insurance. A new $8 billion fund would help lower premiums for these individuals.

So even with the “ding” against “pre-existing” cases, there is money set aside for people just like you… if your state chooses to participate. BTW, this is called Federalism light… it is more Constitutional than the previous plan. Something we should all be moving towards.

The above Kellyanne Conway Tweeting of a WASHINGTON POST OP-ED by Cathy McMorris Rodgers:

Hearing late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional monologue this week about his son’s condition and his family’s experience in the moments after his birth, I had a flashback to the day my son was born and we learned he had Down syndrome.

My husband and I had a lot of questions about Cole’s future. Whether he’d have health care shouldn’t have had to be one of them. When you’re facing years of doctor’s appointments, you want to know that having a preexisting condition, such as an extra 21st chromosome or a heart defect, won’t prevent you or your loved ones from accessing the care you need.

Protections for children such as Cole Rodgers and Billy Kimmel have long existed, as they should. And despite what people are saying, House Republicans aren’t seeking to strip these protections — or anyone’s protections — away.

[….]

To me, protecting people with preexisting conditions isn’t just good policy — it’s a personal mission.

All across the country, families like mine have real concerns about the future of health care, and they are why we’re focusing on results and working on these reforms. Obamacare is wrong for America. It has failed, and it’s only getting worse — making health care more expensive and less accessible. To stand by and do nothing would be irresponsible. The AHCA is a monumental step forward that trusts the American people — not the federal government — to make the best decisions for themselves and their families….

She does state elsewhere that for two years premiums will still rise, but that this is a “PART 1” of a three-part “fix,” and from all I have read, they will not rise nearly as fast as under O-Care.

OTHER NATIONS OFFER HEALTH-CARE…

…EXCEPT THE FASCIST GOP…

Here is another challenge, albeit not so thoughtful:

  • The United States Government is stupid… every civilized nation on the globe offers citizens health care…this country can’t and won’t because of greed and big business! Fuck Trump and the fascist GOP!

Just a quick note… Hitler’s Germany offered single-payer health care… speaking of “fascists.” Here is my FB response, I will add something a bit later:

Canada, the UK, Norway, etc., Are all moving toward free-market health-care as their single payer systems fail… I have read quite a few books on this over the years (a classic I recommend is “Code Blue: Reviving Canada’s Health Care System”) dealing with the issue, it is a bit more complicated than your “erudite” synopsis. For instance, to exemplify my point a bit, here is some commentary by the guy who is the founder of the Canadian model of health care, which the UK also used for their model:

“Back in the 1960s, (Claude) Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.

The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: “the father of Quebec medicare.” Even this title seems modest; Castonguay’s work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.”

Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in “crisis.”

“We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.”

But that is why most insurance companies backed O-Care to begin with, as a way to weed out competition. Private practices could not compete, other option (that allowed for groups of private citizens to form their own catastrophic care groups became illegal), etc… So greed plays a part, but not the way you think. Here are a couple of short examples of Econ 101 to make my point on my site: BAM! WHAT IS CRONY CAPITALISM


Here Is My Addition Here On My Site

SCANDINAVIAN SOCIALISM


One can read and listen/watch all the media on my main post about “

Economics 101

In an excellent Bloomberg article entitled, “Booming Sweden’s Free-Market Solution,” the myth is dismantled in toto by Anders Aslund. Here is a snippet:

…From 1970 until 1989, taxes rose exorbitantly, killing private initiative, while entitlements became excessive. Laws were often altered and became unpredictable. As a consequence, Sweden endured two decades of low growth. In 1991-93, the country suffered a severe crash in real estate and banking that reduced GDP by 6 percent. Public spending had surged to 71.7 percent of GDP in 1993, and the budget deficit reached 11 percent of GDP.

TURNING POINT
The combination of the crisis and the non-socialist government under Carl Bildt from 1991 to 1994 broke the trend and turned the country around. In 1994, the Social Democrats returned to power and stayed until 2006. Instead of revoking the changes, they completed the fiscal tightening. In 2006, a non-socialist government returned, and Finance Minister Anders Borg, with his trademark ponytail and earring, has led further reforms. Sweden successfully weathered the global financial crisis that started in 2008, and the Financial Times named Borg Europe’s best finance minister last year.

Before 2009, Sweden had a budget surplus, and it has one again. For the past two years, economic growth has been 4 percent on average, and the current-account surplus was 6.7 percent in 2011. The only concerns are the depressed demand for exports caused by the current euro crisis and an unemployment rate that is about 7.5 percent.

Sweden’s traditional scourge is taxes, which used to be the highest in the world. The current government has cut them every year and abolished wealth taxes. Inheritance and gift taxes are also gone. Until 1990, the maximum marginal income tax rate was 90 percent. Today, it is 56.5 percent. That is still one of the world’s highest, after Belgium’s 59.4 and there is strong public support for a cut to 50 percent.

The 26 percent tax on corporate profits may seem reasonable from an American perspective, but Swedish business leaders want to reduce it to 20 percent. Tax competition is fierce in some parts of Europe. Most East European countries, for example, have slashed corporate taxes to 15-19 percent….

[….]

A Challenge Directed At Me

In conversation about an audio upload to my YouTube Channel of Dennis Prager discussing Bernie Sanders, I was challenged with this:

  • Sweden is not a Nato member so how does the US pay for Sweden defense? Pointing at Whittle and saying “because he say they do” won’t cut it.

To which I responded with a quote from an International Business Times article:

Finland is joining military exercises with other Scandinavian countries, as well as several members of NATO, in late May, Finnish media report. The maneuvers called Arctic Challenge will span 12 days, starting May 25, and include nine countries and close to 100 planes. The drills, over Sweden and northern Norway, come amid increased tensions between Russia and its Baltic and Nordic neighbors.

Sweden and Switzerland, which like Finland are not members of NATO, are expected to join the exercise, along with NATO members Norway, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany and the United States. Finland plans to send 16 F-18 Hornet fighter jets, while the other countries will supply Gripen “multirole” fighters, F-16s, Eurofighters and Jet Falcons, as well as transports and tankers, Russian news agency Sputnik reported. The Norwegian armed forces said the purpose of the Arctic Challenge exercise is to “learn to coordinate efforts in complicated flight operations conducted in cooperation with NATO.”

Russia has ramped up military activity along its borders with northern Europe, causing consternation in several Baltic and Nordic countries and pre-emptive actions to head off — or prepare for — a possible military crisis. Latvia, which reported a Russian submarine near its coast in mid-March, is beefing up security on its eastern border, while Finland recently began a letter campaign notifying some 900,000 reservists of their duties in a potential crisis. Sweden also intercepted four Russian planes flying over the Baltic Sea in March with their radios off. Russian jets have been intercepted in other instances while flying in European international airspace….

I also pointed out that this promise went back to the Cold War, and was not known about till a Swedish defense think-tank/security firm uncovered the agreements in 1994. The original story’s link has been lost, but it is here on FOI’s site. FOI’s “about us” page has this:

  • FOI is one of Europe’s leading research institutes in the areas of defence and security. We have 1,000 highly skilled employees with various backgrounds. At FOI, you will find everything from physicists, chemists, engineers, social scientists, mathematicians and philosophers to lawyers, economists and IT technicians…. The Armed Forces and the Swedish Defence Material Administration are our main customers. However, we also accept assignments from civil authorities and industry. Our clients from the defence sector place very high demands on advanced research, which also benefits other customers.

Here is the info from the old article via WIKI:

Initially after the end of World War II, Sweden quietly pursued an aggressive independent nuclear weapons program involving plutonium production and nuclear secrets acquisition from all nuclear powers, until the 1960s, when it was abandoned as cost-prohibitive. During the Cold War Sweden appeared to maintain a dual approach to thermonuclear weapons. Publicly, the strict neutrality policy was forcefully maintained, but unofficially strong ties were purportedly kept with the U.S. It was hoped that the U.S. would use conventional and nuclear weapons to strike at Soviet staging areas in the occupied Baltic states in case of a Soviet attack on Sweden. Over time and due to the official neutrality policy, fewer and fewer Swedish military officials were aware of the military cooperation with the west, making such cooperation in the event of war increasingly difficult. At the same time Swedish defensive planning was completely based on help from abroad in the event of war. Later research has shown that every publicly available war-game training, included the scenario that Sweden was under attack from the Soviets, and would rely on NATO forces for defence. The fact that it was not permissible to mention this aloud eventually led to the Swedish armed forces becoming highly misbalanced. For example, a strong ability to defend against an amphibious invasion was maintained, while an ability to strike at inland staging areas was almost completely absent.

In the early 1960s U.S. nuclear submarines armed with mid-range nuclear missiles of type Polaris A-1 were deployed outside the Swedish west coast. Range and safety considerations made this a good area from which to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike on Moscow. The submarines had to be very close to the Swedish coast to hit their intended targets though. As a consequence of this, in 1960, the same year that the submarines were first deployed, the U.S. provided Sweden with a military security guarantee. The U.S. promised to provide military force in aid of Sweden in case of Soviet aggression. This guarantee was kept from the Swedish public until 1994, when a Swedish research commission found evidence for it. As part of the military cooperation the U.S. provided much help in the development of the Saab 37 Viggen, as a strong Swedish air force was seen as necessary to keep Soviet anti-submarine aircraft from operating in the missile launch area. In return Swedish scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology made considerable contributions to enhancing the targeting performance of the Polaris missiles.

…READ IT ALL…


End Of Addition For This Posting


REPUBLICAN’S EXEMPTED THEMSELVES FROM THE BILL

After a friend posted something asbout the house passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA), his own flesh and blood… his mother… wrote:

American Health Care Act (AHCA),

  • If their legislation is so great why did they vote themselves exempt from it? Good enough for us – not ok for them?

I respond,

Yes, this is a great example of misinformation via the MSM [the Left]. But the reason that separated the two is explained well in this article…. BUT BEFORE THAT EXCERPT, which is more in-depth, let’s go barney style first:

NYT CORRESPONDENT FALSELY REPORTS HOUSE MEMBERS VOTED TO EXEMPT THEMSELVES FROM GOP HEALTH CARE BILL

A New York Times correspondent falsely reported Thursday on Twitter that members of the House of Representatives unanimously voted to exempt themselves from the Republican health care bill.

A day earlier, reporters noticed that a provision in the American Health Care Act would exempt lawmakers and their staff from losing some of the repealed Obamacare provisions. In response to the criticism, House leadership announced they would vote separately on the issue.

The House voted 429-0 to pass a bill rectifying the mistake, preventing lawmakers from being exempted. But the New York Times‘ chief White House correspondent, Peter Baker, apparently misunderstood the vote…..

(WASHINGTON FREE BEACON)

OKAY, now that the short synopsis is done, let us get into the weeds for those interested in how BIG GOVERNMENT works.

This comes from BUSINESS INSIDER:

HERE’S WHY CONGRESS EXEMPTED ITSELF FROM THE NEW HEALTHCARE BILL

Last week, Vox dug into the Republican healthcare bill and found a provision that would exempt Congress and its staff from many of the bill’s effects.

This provision was bad “optics,” as they say in Washington.

But instead of taking it out — like you would usually do with a provision you aren’t wedded to and can’t defend politically — the House passed the American Health Care Act with the exemption intact after first passing a separate bill that would repeal the exemption that would be created by the AHCA if both bills became law.

There’s a reason for this mess, and it’s not about Republicans in Congress not wanting to be subject to their law.

It’s about Senate procedure.

Republicans are attempting to pass the AHCA through a process called reconciliation. This process, created by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, allows the Senate to pass certain bills relating to the federal budget with just a simple majority. There is no need to get 60 votes — and, in this case, some Democratic support — as there is for other legislation.

A variety of complex rules govern what matters may and may not be considered through reconciliation.

One of those is that reconciliation must be conducted pursuant to reconciliation instructions passed by both chambers of Congress. That happened earlier this year — Congress sent reconciliation instructions to two Senate committees (finance; and health, education, labor, and pensions) that were designed to allow those committees to write bills making changes to healthcare policy.

The problem, as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget explains, is that Congress’ healthcare is governed by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and that committee was not sent any reconciliation instructions.

Therefore, if a reconciliation bill makes changes to the way Congress gets its healthcare, it might become subject to a 60-vote threshold because it addresses a matter that is supposed to be the purview of a committee that doesn’t get to participate in reconciliation this year.

(BUSINESS INSIDER)

Here I add some information I came across a day later:

ADDENDUM 1
And also from FACTCHECK.ORG, there was this updated insight that confirms the above:

….Indeed, Republican Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona proposed a stand-alone bill to strike the exemption of Congress from state waiver provisions should the AHCA be enacted into law. From the House floor, McSally said that “due to very arcane Senate procedural rules within the budget reconciliation process,” the MacArthur amendment “does not and cannot apply to members of Congress.”

“I believe that any law we pass [that] applies to our constituents must also apply equally to members of Congress,” McSally said. “Individuals who are stewards of public trust must abide by the rules that they make.”

McSally’s bill passed on May 4 by a 429-0 vote. Unlike a reconciliation bill, the McSally bill would require 60 votes in the Senate to pass.

So there are now two bills that the House sent to the Senate. The AHCA — for esoteric procedural reasons — would exempt members of Congress and their staffs from state waiver provisions. But then there’s a bill that would strike that exemption if the AHCA becomes law. Clearly, based on the unanimous vote for the McSally bill, there is bipartisan agreement that a health care law Congress passes should apply in the same way to members of Congress.

NOW, to the last, and the worst of them all… and I will link to the many articles refuting it with a couple commentaries from a few.

RAPE AS A PREEXISTING CONDITION

It is the — yes crazy — understanding that RAPE is a pre-existing condition. Dumb! [<<< my commentary]. Here is the first “non-partisan” [left-leaning] POLITIFACT notes this claim is… WAIT FOR IT

~ MOSTLY FALSE! ~

And the WASHINGTON POST gives it their MAXIMUM debunking rating of FOUR PINOCCHIOS

I know… crazy huh? Someone told my wife — roughly this:

  • “I hope you never get raped… because that is a pre-existing condition.”

I sent her this post from the not Trump friendly REASON.ORG website… to which yesterday the last article makes clear their bottom line:

If Democrats and progressives would just stick to actual details of the AHCA, they would still have plenty of material to make Republicans look bad (and the same goes for traffic-thirsty bloggers). But once again, that’s not enough for them. In their zeal to portray Donald Trump and the current GOP as worse than Nazis, the actual details of the bill don’t matter—and if that terrifies a ton of sexual-assault survivors and terrorizes American women in the process, so be it.

Since yesterday the article has been updated substantially, which I will post a portion of:

Update | May 6, 11:30 a.m.: Since I posted this, several other media outlets have investigated the rape-as-preexisting-condition claims and come to similar conclusions as mine. Politifact declared the claim “mostly false,” and The Washington Post—which yesterday morning published an op-ed yesterday perpetuating the rape claim—ran a Fact Checker column today giving it Four Pinnochios. “The notion that AHCA classifies rape or sexual assault as a preexisting condition, or that survivors would be denied coverage, is false,” wrote the Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee. In addition, “almost all states (at least 45 to 48) have their own laws protecting survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.”

“It takes several leaps of imagination to assume that survivors of rape and sexual assault will face higher premiums as a result of conditions relating to their abuse,” Lee continues.

A person would need to be in the individual or small-group market (most Americans under 65 are on employer-provided plans), in a state that sought waivers, and in one of two to five states that did not prohibit insurance-company discrimination against survivors of sexual abuse.

In other words, this claim relies on so many factors — including unknown decisions by a handful of states and insurance companies — that this talking point becomes almost meaningless.

We always say at The Fact Checker that the more complicated the topic, the more susceptible it is to spin. Both media coverage and hyperbole among advocates are at fault for creating a misleading representation of the House GOP health bill. We wavered between Three and Four Pinocchios, but the out-of-control rhetoric and the numerous assumptions pushed us to Four Pinocchios.

[….]

Pre-Existing Sub

What is also sad is that people do not read the bill outside it being put into political talking points outside the media or their organizations. I have already noted the following above:

The best non-partisan summary is this:

➤ States may opt-out of requiring premiums to be the same for all people of the same age, so while individuals with pre-existing conditions must be offered health insurance there is no limit on the cost of that insurance. A new $8 billion fund would help lower premiums for these individuals.

But here is more of a response to the broader challenge at hand:

Myth #2: People with pre-existing conditions will lose their coverage or pay more.

In fact, people who have health insurance and want to make changes to their coverage during open enrollment or after a qualifying life event (birth of a child, job loss, marriage, death, divorce, move, etc.) cannot be charged more for health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

That said, if someone went uninsured and waited until they got sick to enroll in a health insurance plan, the MacArthur amendment to the AHCAgives states the authority to try to prevent that from happening.

One of the things a state could do, under this amendment, would be to allow insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions more money for their health insurance, if they’ve been uninsured for an extended period of time.

Those higher charges can last a maximum of one year. 

The AHCA also provides $138 billion to help states cover the high cost of caring for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

(eHealth)

One of the authors of the AHCA has a congenetital heart issue, he says this in an op-ed:

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) that I voted for and passed in the House does just that:

  • It establishes a healthcare system built upon free-market and consumer-driven principles that will revive competition, increasing quality, drive down costs, and expand coverage.
  • Cuts $1 trillion in burdensome ObamaCare taxes.
  • Congressional members and staff are not exempt from the AHCA. The McSally Amendment made sure this legislation applies equally to everyone.
  • THOSE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS CANNOT BE DENIED COVERAGE. I HAVE A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION WITH MY CONGENITAL HEART DEFECT, AND I UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO MAINTAIN COVERAGE FOR OTHERS.
  • Low-income Americans are not losing coverage and will still receive coverage under Medicaid.

(THE HILL)

And finally, here are a repition of what is above, but for good measure:

1. The Upton Amendment: The Upton Amendment, named after Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mi.), adds another $8 billion on top of the aforementioned $100 billion to cover high-risk patients with chronic and/or pre-existing conditions. This amendment was put in place to help satisfy more moderate-leaning Republicans who felt the AHCA took too much away from their constituents.

Here is the final explanation to be clear:

….As the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities puts it, without community rating, “Insurers could increase premiums by unlimited amounts for people with a history of cancer, hypertension, asthma, depression, or other conditions.”

Likewise, lifting the essential health benefits requirement would allow insurers to offer plans that don’t cover chemotherapy, maternity care, prescription drugs, or other expensive treatments.

In other words, insurers could effectively turn away the sick by refusing to sell policies that cover the services they need at any price, much less an affordable one.

These concerns are wildly overstated.

First, the only people supposedly at risk of being denied affordable coverage by these waivers are the 7 percent of Americans who buy coverage in the individual insurance market.

Insurers have long been banned from discriminating against the sick in the employer-sponsored market, where a little less than 160 million Americans get their coverage. Those with pre-existing conditions who get their coverage from Medicare, Medicaid, or another government program have nothing to worry about, either.

Second, the House-passed American Health Care Act would only allow insurers to base premiums on the health status of an applicant if that person went without coverage for 63 days or more the previous year. Those in waiver states who maintain continuous coverage could not be medically underwritten — and so would be protected from egregious premium hikes.

Further, pre-existing conditions are far less common than Rep. Pallone and his fellow travelers claim. A 2010 congressional investigation found that, pre-Obamacare, insurers denied just one in seven applicants in the individual market because of a pre-existing condition.

That means that about 1 percent of the total non-elderly population has a health problem serious enough to even need those pre-existing condition protections.

Even if we add the entire uninsured population to the individual market and assume the same denial rate, the share of non-elderly people declined coverage because of pre-existing conditions would be less than 3 percent. That estimate is almost certainly high, as a number of the uninsured are probably eligible for coverage elsewhere, whether through work or a government program.

For this small share of the population that could potentially be priced out of the individual market because of pre-existing conditions, the AHCA includes several additional layers of protection. The House bill seeds a Patient and State Stability Fund with $130 billion over ten years to reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs for these folks.

A last-minute amendment to the AHCA provides an additional $8 billion over five years specifically earmarked to help those with pre-existing conditions in waiver states who let their insurance coverage lapse for more 63 days or more pay their premiums. Insurers can consider these folks’ health status when determining premiums — but only for one year. After that, they’d pay the standard rate for their age.

Many waiver states will choose to direct at least part of that $138 billion toward high-risk pools — programs that offer subsidized coverage to those rendered uninsurable because of a serious medical condition.

By removing these most costly patients from standard risk pools, high-risk pools would help keep premiums down throughout the insurance market — and ensure that younger, healthier patients have affordable coverage options.

The AHCA has plenty of flaws. But it’s dishonest to argue that it abandons individuals with pre-existing conditions.

(FORBES)

LINKS

Here are some other sources:

  • Liberal Media Claims Trumpcare Makes Rape A Pre-Existing Condition, It Doesn’t (Young Conservatives);
  • FAKE NEWS: No, The Republican Health Care Bill Didn’t Just Make Rape A Pre-Existing Condition (DAILY WIRE);
  • No. Rape Is Not A ‘Pre-Existing Condition’ Under The Republican Health Care Bill (CHICKS ON THE RIGHT);
  • No, Rape is Not a Pre-Existing Condition Under GOP Health Bill: Hysterical allegation vastly misstates impact of partial Obamacare repeal passed by House (POLIZETTE);
  • When the GOP Isn’t Murdering People, It’s Exploiting Rape Victims (NATIONAL REVIEW);
  • Just Stop: No, the AHCA Does Not Make Rape a Pre-Existing Condition (VICTORY GIRLS);
  • NY Mag Falsely Claims Rape Is a Pre-Existing Condition In AHCA (NEWSBUSTERS).

Dental Care in Europe Compared to America (Health-Care Mantras)

I have to get an implant to my #8 tooth… well, I could get a bridge, but that would ruin the teeth surrounding the removed #8 tooth. This procedure will take about 7-8-months (bone graft, healing, stud insert, healing, tooth) and cost me almost $4,000 dollars. An acquaintance my wife and I know said we should go to Europe to have the procedure done to save money. So I am taking this opportunity to explain why the American dental plans and payment options are still superior to the National Health Care options of Europe.

Some use to plane for vacations around such surgical options. Obviously I cannot afford either a ticket or being in Europe for the 7-months for all the steps to be completed. But there are other reasons behind this no longer being an option:

A few years back, the “hottest” trend in medical tourism was bargain-priced dental treatments in Eastern Europe—notably the Czech Republic and Hungary. But that was when the dollar was stronger; now that it’s really weak; those prices no longer look so good.

Instead, most focus has shifted to Latin America and Asia where, according to reports, medical and dental practitioners operate modern, well-equipped clinics and centers, many of which are attached to or affiliated with resort and hotel complexes. I checked the websites for several Asian and Latin American dental complexes that cater to American visitors, and found typical prices for dental services around $350 to $500 for a crown, $700 to $1,000 for a full denture, and $2,000 to $3,000 for an implant. Those prices are about half of what I pay locally.

(source)

$3,000 down south of America is not too far off from my $3,800 I will pay here. But in Europe, the NHS [for instance in the UK] typically settles on the cheaper of the options, which is filling down the teeth on either side of the affected area and making a bridge. Not to mention the cost of a plane ticket!

All treatment that is, in your dentist’s opinion, clinically necessary to protect and maintain good oral health is available on the NHS. This means the NHS provides any treatment that you need to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy and free of pain, including:

  • dentures
  • crowns
  • bridges

Dental implants and orthodontic treatment, such as braces, are available on the NHS, but only if there’s a medical need for the treatment.

(source)

Why the “settling” for the cheaper option? The Guardian newspaper answers this us for us, and it goes a long way to explain the end-result of the reality of what are called “death-panels” here in the States:

Waiting times for treatment and the rationing of care have worsened and will get worse still because of the NHS‘s £20bn savings drive, health service bosses have warned.

Seven in 10 chief executives and chairs of hospital trusts, clinical commissioning groups and other NHS care providers fear that the length of time patients have to wait for treatment and their ability to obtain it will be hit hard in the coming year.

A report by the NHS Confederation says half of health service bosses think the two politically vital areas of NHS provision have already been affected over the last year as the service has sought to make £20bn of “efficiency savings” demanded by Whitehall.

A survey of leaders of 185 NHS organisations shows that 64% also believe that patients’ experience of the NHS will suffer, while 27% expect the availability of particular treatments or drugs will be hit and 16% fear patient safety will be compromised.

This gloomy view of the NHS’s prospects is compounded by 62% describing the financial situation confronting them as “very serious” (40%) or “the worst I have ever experienced” (22%).

Gloomy indeed. In one chat-room in the United Kingdom we see some exchanges about a dental emergency:

  • My poor boy was assaulted on Wednesday, leaving him with a broken nose and his front tooth was knocked clean out His other front tooth is also badly damaged and needs root canal work to save it. The dentist said they can make him a little plate or he could have a bridge. The other option would be an implant but at a cost of £2000 and not until he is 21 (he’s 15). She said that implants are extremely hard to get on the NHS.

One practicing dentist in the UK responded:

  • He would have no chance of getting an implant on the NHS I’m afraid. On the plus side, you’ve got 6 yrs to save up. Adhesive (Maryland) bridges are a very good alternative though, and I have many patients that have been happy with these long-term.

Another person chimed in:

  • Be aware that if he was assaulted you may be able to put in a claim for criminal injuries compensation for him. This takes a long time to come through and will not pay for an implant but will go a way towards the cost. Ask when he makes statement to police. Only cancer patients, thosecongenitally (born without) missing 6 teeth or more , or major trauma patients may get implants. I’m afraid your son won’t qualify.

(source) Hidden waiting lists seem to be one way government health-care deals with controlling costs. Recently in our country this has come to light with the VA, and is not foreign to other European countries (Scotland, England, Canada, UK, etc.).

 In yet another chat room this question was asked:

  • i am 26years old and my teeth are in a bit of a state my canine teeth have not moved into place and there is not enough space for one to move in place. i am on income support and i have been ill since i was a teenager . 

The two top responses are these:

  1. nhs dentists are only obliged to maintain your oral health. anything else they can quote u private that’s if ur dental surgeon has orthodontic skill and your mouth is kept immaculately clean .so unfortunately u’ll have to start saving.
  2. Hi you CAN get braces on the NHS considering how bad your teeth are and if you are willing to wait 1-2 years to get seen. There is a waiting list for adult ortho on the NHS and its very difficult to get on the list but its worth a try…..see you dentist! Failing that you will have to pay roughly £2000 for them as income support does not make you exempt.       

Another answer to a similar question is found on a blog dealing with dental issues:

  • Hi no unfortunately implants and cosmetic treatments are not covered by the NHS just as boob jobs are rarely given on the NHS etc. You would probably need to go private and if you want implants your talking £2000 a tooth! ask your dentist what you can do as you are not happy with the appearance of your teeth.

I think there is a misconception here about health-care abroad, and those that tout such systems as superior to our health care system. Many procedures here can be done for close to the same cost, without years of waiting, and often times, much more reliably performed. Why? Because unlike government positions, the American dentist relies on the free market. The free-market makes the dentist accountable to the customer and can be run out of business if doing a sub-par job. It is near impossible to hold government programs to any standard that truly threatens it “integrity.”