Category Archives: General Cynicism

Ted Cruz: The New Voice of ……..Ignorance

Medicynical Note: Ted Cruz’s mind is a little like an empty room–nothing at all useful there. Remember Ted became a Trump loyalist even after Trump criticized his “deeply” held religious beliefs; his wife’s looks; his qualifications to run for office (birther-ed him); and even called Cruz a liar who had done nothing for Texas. Now Cruz a Texas politico who knows nothing and hold nothing sacred has the nerve to criticize Australian COVID rules.

And guess what, the Australians are not having it:

Liability and Covid…..who bears the costs

I read three articles this morning that raised concerns about liability and COVID. It’s inevitable in a litigious society that this will become an issue.

The first article concerned a State Trooper who died from COVID. It was disclosed that he had not received a COVID vaccination but was at work until he became ill. Who would be liable if they developed COVID after exposure to this guy?

The second article involved public employees in Washington State resisting the mandate for vaccination. Who would be liable if they were allowed to resist the mandate and infected colleagues or others who they met in the course of their work?

The third article points out that the vaccine mandate is working. The vaccine proved to be safe is assuring vital institutions a protected work force going into the third winter of the epidemic. And perhaps more vitally it limits their risk of facing suits regarding negligence if a person was thought to have acquired COVID in a hospital setting.

Medicynical Note: There are strong arguments for vaccination. It is safe and appears to offer almost complete protection against fatal COVID infections. Breakthroughs cases appear to be in the immunocompromised and the debilitated elderly.

With a safe and effective intervention it could be posited that an employer was negligent and liable in allowing customers (patient or other workplace contacts) to be exposed to a sometimes fatal disease. The mandates protect more than the vulnerable individuals, they protect their employers and their contacts.

In a related thought, the insurance industry denies or charges more for insurance coverage for people at increased risk. Perhaps as an another incentive to vaccinate, private and government insurers should provide only limited medical cost coverage to those refusing to protect themselves. As my conservative friends point out there are consequences to bad behavior.

Why We Pay More (Drugs)? Because We Let Them

Last week, we learned that Merck is planning to charge Americans 40 times its cost for a Covid drug whose development was subsidized by the American government. The situation spotlights two sets of facts that have also gone largely unmentioned in the legislative debate over whether to let Medicare negotiate for lower drug prices.”

“Fact one: Americans are facing not merely expensive drugs, but prices that are examples of outright profiteering.”

“Fact two: in many cases, the medicines we are being gouged on are those that we the public already paid for.”

Medicynical note: It’s safe to say that we, in the U.S., pay more for medications than any other country in the world. We consider newly developed medications akin to new inventions and offer generation long monopoly like patents, having ceded our financial interests to the companies in the 80’s and 90’s.

Drug companies are not part of the health care community. In fact they care more about revenue and the exhorbitant pay of their executives and the price of their stock (stockholders wealth) than the health and well being of their customers.

They benefit from a system fixed in their favor. They do this in part by financially supporting numerous congress people to forestall congressional oversight and then charge U.S. customers whatever they wish–no discounts to offset previous taxpayer support and no negotiation with their largest customer (Medicare) to assure reasonable pricing and profits on U.S. sales.

In fact, we pay more than any other locale in the world because we let them charge us more. Do we have any right to complain?

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/10/mercks-thor-inspired-covid-treatment-hammered-for-700-price-a-46x-markup/

American Healthcare isn’t About Care. Hint: Deep Throat’s Tip to Woodstein

But the hospital never sent her bills to Medicaid, which would have paid for the care in full, and the hospital refused requests to do so. Instead, it pursued an amount five times higher from Ms. Smith directly by placing a lien on her accident settlement.”

“Parkview is among scores of wealthy hospitals that have quietly used century-old hospital lien laws to increase revenue, often at the expense of low-income people like Ms. Smith. By using liens — a claim on an asset, such as a home or a settlement payment, to make sure someone repays a debt — hospitals can collect on money that otherwise would have gone to the patient to compensate for pain and suffering.”

Medicynical Note: No surprises here, to understand the core values of American healthcare providers just follow the money and observe the trickery used to maximize revenue……which of course discourages service. Charging the least able to pay the most is a long-standing American hospital tradition.

The Endless Morass of Religious Persecution

It opens a window onto a deeply misogynistic culture in Ireland over several decades, with serious and systematic discrimination against women, especially those who gave birth outside of marriage,” he said. “We did this to ourselves as a society.”

“Survivors of the homes say urgent action by the state is needed, and many say the Roman Catholic church, which ran the homes, needs to be held more fully accountable.”

And the Catholic Church features itself as an arbiter of morality.

Medicynical Note: Nothing new here the church has abused and persecuted people on every continent for hundreds of years. Children and women have been their victims–the most vulnerable in societies. It continues today.

But somehow this flawed institution persists. It self-righteously tries to be the arbiter of morality and as such continues to abuse the rights of women and children.

I have no doubt there are good “moral” well meaning people in this organization but its roots are rotten and corrupt. As such it should be discounted as a arbiter of morality.

Black Voters Matter

“A Republican congressional ally of President Trump solicited more than 100 of his fellow GOP lawmakers to sign on to a brief with the Supreme Court in support of a long-shot lawsuit filed by Texas seeking to delay certification of presidential electors in four battleground states won by President-elect Joe Biden.”

Medicynical note: let’s be clear, just as the reaction to recent police shootings says black lives don’t matter, the legal action by republicans against Biden’s election is saying, very loudly, that black voters don’t matter. It’s not subtle.

COVID: More U.S. Deaths than in WWII

I’ve been following the COVID epidemic watching as the death toll rose from zero in January to over 290,000 today. For perspective these are the U.S. deaths in WWII.

Deaths in WWII–Combat deaths, Other Deaths, Total deaths

Medicynical note: While Republican political hacks have been minimalizing and denying the impact of covid, the deaths have inexorably risen. Today they will exceed the U.S. battle deaths in WWII (291,557). This was an unbelievable (till now) failure of government. The focus of Trump was almost solely on money, not citizens. Billionaires have done well while wage earners were exposed to the virus and many have died.

Trump denied, obstructed, provided misinformation and largely ignored the deaths and suffering. He’s soon to be gone while the aftereffects of his gross incompetence will linger on.

More deaths than in WWII, unF#@kingbelievable.

The Uniquely Trumpian Response to COVID– Stupidity

Mad magazine could not have satirized libertarian/Republican hypocrisy better. Its just American Exceptionalism….again and again. Approaching 250,000 dead and these people wants more.

Medicynical note: Ignoring common sense, a politically corrupt Dr. Mengele clone arrives on the scene.

And the so-called Hoover Institution……..awaiting this guy’s dismissal.

Trump’s Failures

The COVID pandemic is raging in the U.S. and Trump thinks he handled it perfectly. His low standards is literally killing us.

Medicynical Note: Benign neglect is Trump’s approach and it has resulted in thousands of deaths. His fear of failure, his remarkably short attention span and his obvious intellectual shortcomings have contributed to the fiasco.

Trump’s Pre-existing Illness NON-PROMISE

“The Trump administration touched off another politically charged battle over the future of Obamacare with its latest maneuver to dismantle the law amid a pandemic — a move that Democrats immediately weaponized for competitive campaigns this fall and few Republicans defended.”

“The 82-page brief filed late Thursday to the Supreme Court in a high-profile case brought by GOP state attorneys general undercuts President Trump’s repeated pledges to ensure coverage for people with preexisting conditions as his administration and the broader Republican Party seek to wipe away that protection.”

“Trump vowed as recently as last weekend, at a campaign rally in Tulsa, that he would “always protect patients with preexisting conditions, always, always.” But his own administration’s position in court is that the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, and therefore so is the entire law — even its most popular provisions, such as coverage for those with preexisting conditions.”

Medicynical Note:  And now the fine print on Trump’s pre-existing illness non-guarantee. 

Trump’s promise to protect patients with pre-existing illnesses does not guarantee affordable pricing.  Insurers can and will charge people with pre-existing problems more, much much more. 

And if the patient can’t afford the insurers price for coverage,  republicans then usually propose to put them into high risk pools and charge for subsidized insurance based on income (an ability to pay test).  The problems with such pools is that they are underfunded (run out of funds to pay for care) and still too expensive for most people to afford.

The president’s promise also does nothing to limit deductibles and co-pays for people with pre-existing illnesses.  And these extra charges can also be based on  income and assets. 

Remember Trump is a health care ignoramus.  He knows nothing about health insurance or funding it.  He really can’t be bothered with details and has no understanding that health insurers  have primary fiduciary responsibility to stock holders not patients.  They really have limited to no interest in caring for very sick people. 

It’s a fact that Medicare was first established for that very reason.  Insurers didn’t want to provide coverage for the elderly, after all they might be sick.  As a group they have too many pre-existing illnesses. 

Maybe in a more rational time we’ll come to conclude that Medicare type insurance makes the most sense for everyone in the only industrialized country in the world which has no national health care scheme.  Maybe, who knows?  VOTE