Category Archives: General Cynicism

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

Trump and the WHO: BBC Fact Check

Trump seeks to blame somebody……anybody will do.

“The WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion.”

“This has become a regular theme of Mr Trump’s criticism of the WHO, and in his letter to its head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on 18 May, he renewed this attack saying the WHO “consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier”.”

“Mr Trump specifically highlighted reporting by the Lancet medical journal.”

“The editor of the Lancet, Richard Horton, has written a letter in response, saying: “The Lancet did not publish any report in early December 2019 about a virus spreading in Wuhan. The first reports we published were from Chinese scientists on Jan 24, 2020.””

Read the rest of the article……

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 9.59.51 AM

Medicynical note:  The article exposes Trump’s unwillingness to accept facts and disarms his accusations against the W.H.O.  Trump denied the seriousness of the epidemic all the way into March.  He blew off intelligence briefings in December; reports of cases and spread in January; and the possibility of a pandemic into March.  As late as February 24 he fired a prominent CDC expert for raising the alarm about covid-19 disease spread.

And when he did his only “early” intervention, the stoppage of flights from China, he did not stop the entry of 40,000 or so U.S. travelers from China.  They received no serious screening on return and were forced to mingle in huge crowds at U.S. customs and immigration.  Trump also did little to nothing to stop the travel of infected citizens from Europe.  And as the W.H.O. predicted this type intervention is not particularly effective…..to whit we have the worst epidemic in the world in the U.S.

His vendetta against W.H.O. reminds me a little of the Korean era when the Russians dropped out of active participation in the U.N. and in doing so allowed the U.S. to put together an international force to oppose North Korea in the Korean conflict. They couldn’t veto an action when they weren’t present.

Abdication means loss of influence, not only in the W.H.O. but in all international multinational bodies.  If loss of influence around the world was Trump’s goal.  He’s succeeded.  Thanks to him, we, the U.S., are perceived as a declining power run by an ignoramus.  Congrats to us.

Relief for Corporations, of Course. People? Let Them Eat Cake

Our feckless president and his Republican Party controlled Senate propose using tax funds to rescue corporations and fashions a rescue that cuts out the lowest earners from financial support. It gets even worse..

“But he also injected new uncertainty into the government’s response, suggesting it was not his responsibility to meet the needs of health care workers on the front lines of combating the disease. A day after he said he would use the Defense Production Act — a Korean War-era law that allows presidents to force American industry to ramp up production of critical equipment and supplies — Mr. Trump told reporters that he would rather rely on states to deliver equipment to health care workers.” (Emphasis medicynic)

“On Capitol Hill, Republicans presented a bill that would offer bridge loans of up to $10 million each to small businesses, extend hundreds of billions of dollars in loans to large corporations in distressed industries and send checks as large as $1,200 per adult to individuals earning less than $99,000 per year. The payments would phase in for earners up to $75,000 — meaning lower earners would get smaller checks — and then phase out again at $99,000. Those who did not earn enough to pay income tax would receive much less: $600.”

“The Senate bill also includes a raft of temporary changes to the tax code that would reduce the tax liability of large corporations, many of them overriding provisions in the 2017 tax overhaul that were meant to raise revenue to offset corporate rate cuts.”

Medicynical note: Where to start. In the chaos of the Trump administration we learn that our leader doesn’t think it his responsibility to assure access to competent care and testing. Where I live the PeaceHealth hospital (a several state multi hospital organization ) is reporting shortages of all types of medical materials as well as test kits. The staff feels extremely vulnerable because of the lack of preparation. This is a microcosm of the nationwide situation. Remember Trump gutted the government’s ability to anticipate and plan for a pandemic after his election. What’s happening was predicted but our guy knew better (sic) he is reaping at the expense of citizens lives and fortunes what he has sowed.

The Senate plan pointedly gives little financial support to the poorest in our society while proposing yet another large tax cut for corporations. The last tax cut, you recall doubled, the federal deficit. Trump, meanwhile, says he’s going to cut social security Medicare and Medicaid because of the large government deficits from his tax cuts to corporations and wealthy. Chutzpah combined with chaos.

So corporations under Trump receive bailouts from tax payer funds from which they want to be excused from paying. While in effect taxing the sick and elderly by cutting their Social Security and access to health care. America, something terrible is happening and his name is……..Trump.

Read Between the lines (Trump vs the Science….again)

Today Anthony Fauci of the NIH said the following about the Coronavirus regarding recommendations to the elderly chronicaly ill. 

“You don’t want to go to war with a president,” he said. “But you got to walk the fine balance of making sure you continue to tell the truth.”

FoxNewsSunday

@FoxNewsSunday

Doctor Anthony Fauci talks about staying away from political spin when addressing the American public about the risks of the coronavirus.

Embedded video

Medicynical Note:  What’s going on here?  Think there might be a conflict between the scientists and the politican?  Trump has called global warming a hoax and recently called the Coronavirus worldwide epidemic bordering on pandemic a hoax as well.  Think he has your best interests in mind?

A Government of Self-Delusion

We’ve been dealing with a sociopath as president who is most times delusionary and incomprehensible.  The problem appears to have spread to the Supreme Court.  At the impeachment hearings John Roberts reveals that he has been asleep at the wheel for the last three year or more years.  The Senate isn’t what it used to be.  Quite unbelievably in 2020, this week, he actually stated:

“I think it is appropriate for me to admonish both the House managers and the President’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body,”

Medicynical Note:  With such feckless chutzpah I can only believe that the Chief Justice does not recognize his role in the decline of the Senate, which today is anything but the worlds greatest anything, much less, a deliberative body.

The conservative supremes are to a great extent responsible for our decline as a country and their disgrace as a court. 

“Ten years to the day before Trump’s impeachment trial began, the Supreme Court released its Citizens United decision, plunging the country into the era of super PACs and unlimited, unregulated, secret campaign money from billionaires and foreign interests. Citizens United, and the resulting rise of the super PAC, led directly to this impeachment. The two Rudy Giuliani associates engaged in key abuses — the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, the attempts to force Ukraine’s president to announce investigations into Trump’s political opponents — gained access to Trump by funneling money from a Ukrainian oligarch to the president’s super PAC.”

“The Roberts Court’s decisions led to this moment in indirect ways, as well. The court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County gutted the Voting Rights Act and spurred a new wave of voter suppression. The decision in 2014′s McCutcheon further surrendered campaign finance to the wealthiest. The 2018 Janus decision hobbled the ability of labor unions to counter wealthy donors, while the 2019 Rucho ruling blessed partisan gerrymandering, expanding anti-democratic tendencies.”

I’m doubtful that the country will recover from these insults and develop real insight anytime soon. 

Bye Bye Bernie

I certainly hope for a full recovery but he like Biden and Warren is older than any other candidate who has ever run for a first term as President.

FYI Trump was just 70 when elected. Warren would be 71 if elected. The oldest prior to them was Reagan who was 69 on his election. From our experience elderly presidents’ health and mental status is a real and challenging problem.

Medicynical note: Anybody but Trump.

It’s the Money $tupid– the busine$$ of dialy$i$

The Dialysis Duopoly Spends $100 Million to Protect Profits in California https://prospect.org/article/dialysis-duopoly-spends-100-million-protect-profits-california

“With Medicare for All being discussed in national circles, the situation with the dialysis providers is instructive. Faced with a single-payer system with lower reimbursement rates for their service, the dialysis industry bankrolled a charity to shift people into private insurance and jack up the cost. We don’t know what loopholes might enter the picture under Medicare for All, but the dialysis duopoly scam bears watching as a potential tactic. It speaks to how resourceful medical providers might be in their vigorous opposition to single-payer, and why politicians need to be mindful of their power.”

““I feel like it’s an unfair business practice all of us are paying for,” said Wood, who’s hopeful the bill will pass. “For me the bigger part of this is that, we’re trying to make sure we get access to care for as many people as possible, you can’t do that if you can’t contain costs.””

Medicynical note: In medicine as in other capitalistic enterprises the goal is to become a monopoly, gouge your customers and then fight like mad to protect your profits. Patient care. Access? Good outcomes? Value. All are nice goals but not a really the primary aim of the endeavor. It’s $ucce$$ is mea$ured by other parameter$$$$$.

Flip-flop-flip-flop

The attention span of a gnat. No core values–literally anything for a vote. Clueless about root causes.

Immediately after the carnage in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, Trump said “there is a great appetite” for tightening background checks on people who buy firearms. But in recent days, Trump has focused in public remarks on the need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill while emphasizing that the nation already has “very strong background checks right now” — positions that hew more closely to the views of the National Rifle Association.

Medicynical note: Sadly it will happen again and again. Vote this incompetent out of office.

The Wrong Man at Precisely the Wrong Time……Guess Who

Today, US policymakers could learn much by studying the actions of the Dutch Republic and Britain when they were global hyperpowers pursuing soft landings. In addition, they should read “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” the 1947 article by US diplomat George F. Kennan that advocated a US policy of containment toward the Soviet Union.”

“Three of Kennan’s points stand out. First, he wrote, US policymakers should not panic, but recognize what the long game is and play it. Second, America should not try to contain the Soviet Union unilaterally, but rather assemble broad alliances to confront, resist, and sanction it. Third, America should become its best self, because as long as the struggle between the US and Soviet systems remained peaceful, liberty and prosperity would ultimately be decisive.” 

“But since taking office in January 2017, Trump has steadfastly ignored such advice. Instead of forming alliances to contain China, Trump withdrew the US from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. And he continues to make random, incoherent demands–such as immediately eliminating the bilateral US-China trade deficit.”

“Rather than carefully playing the long game with regard to China, Trump seems to be panicking. And, increasingly, China and the world know it.”

https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/08/project-syndicate-publish-on-grasping-reality.html

Privatization…….. an invitation to corruption

Ro Khanna’s continuing fight against contractor rip-offs.

“When I talked to Representative Ro Khanna last week he sounded a bit groggy, coming off an all-night session in the House Armed Services Committee where he had put forward an amendment to fundamentally change how military procurement works. It came out of a two-year battle over TransDigm, a private equity–style supplier of spare parts for commercial and military”
— Read on prospect.org/article/ro-khannas-continuing-fight-against-defense-contractor-rip-offs