Category Archives: General Cynicism

Sad Story of Bad Judgment

It’s a case of god’s will going bad. Anyone think this guy deserved his fate?

Medicynical Note: His talibaneque beliefs lead to his downfall. From the time of Copernicus and Galileo religious believers have battled scientific facts and advances. But the world is not flat, Darwin was right, and yes, vaccines work. Repent ye true believers.

Nuclear By Gates…..Bury the Waste in Gates’ Yard

Bill Gates dabbles. He’s developed an elegant expensive highly technical garbage disposal system first deployed in a third world county. The only catch being that countries in the third world have neither the money nor the technical expertise to keep such endeavors going. Little has been heard since 2015 about this gadget aside from lessens learned communications from the Gates Foundation about future plans for this Rube Goldberg like processing system. One wonders how applicable economical and effective it will be for other locations.

Moving on Gates now is proposing pocket-sized nuclear energy plants for small towns and cities cooled with highly flammable liquid sodium……what could possibly go wrong?

Medicynical note: Gates dabbles and comes up with innovative but impractical solutions. That’s his modus. His waste plant had problems in it’s first iteration and will, i predict, never fly—I also said that to Orville and Wilbur. His pocket sized nuclear plants also seem to have little chance for success. Multiple locales using high risk energy producing contraptions doesn’t seem like a good idea either. However, should he succeed I would suggest burying the waste in Mr. Gates’ back yard. Nuclear power, with current inadequate safeguards and nuclear waste handling is akin to kids playing with matches.

The Price of Ignorance: American Healthcare Costs

Procuring and paying for healthcare in the U.S. is an exercise more opaque and yes, potentially even more expensive than buying a new car. Ever try and get a firm price for healthcare services? You’ll find that no one can give a total price and guarantee that’s what you’ll be charged.

We have a system of revenue generation not healthcare. Your doctor in modern America is an employee and has little to no control over his office. And doctor’s fees it turns out are only a small part of the total cost.

Adding insult to injury our non-system of healthcare is set up to charge the neediest the most.…..unless they are fortunate enough to have insurance of some type (Obamacare policies, Medicare, Medicaid or private coverage). In the wealthiest (maybe) country on earth we have a system of health care revenue that charges those with the least, the most.

Medicynical Note: I’m an elderly retired M.D. and am well covered by insurance. This year so far my Medicare/Medicare Advantage policy was billed $5,954 for services. Because they have agreements with providers they paid only $2,210.34 for the services with me paying a very modest $10/visit co-pay. Not a bad deal if you have the coverage.

If I were one of the un-insured the providers would charge the entire $5,954……ironically or perhaps by design charging those least able to pay, the most. It’s really an absurd way of paying for health care and is the only such faux health care system/revenue generation system in the industrialized world.

Health care costs in the U.S> are among the leading causes of bankruptcy. Such bankruptcies are unknown in other parts of the world.

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.