Category Archives: Health Care

You Want a Government Solution or One That Works?

I’m amazed how these politicians, or “activist groups”, get us to think we need another service or law to make our life wonderful. In spite of real world experience, we keep betting on the horse that never seems to win.

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The people we elect, have a variety of ideas, mostly about, how to remain employed by the federal government. If not the federal government, then as a lobbyist to that government. We debate these ideas and listen to candidates on how they will solve our problems.

Climate

Projections of global sea level rise by 2100, these projections range from 0.2 meters to 2.0 meters (0.66 to 6.6 feet) [Melillo et al., 2014]

In the recently updated Copenhagen Diagnosis, the carbon that we are releasing into the atmosphere today is in the process of ‘programming’ a potential 2-5 meters of sea level rise by around the year 2300.

That’s a wide range of predictions.

As you can see from the video associated with the above image, the young, ambitious, political candidate, believes the government will be able to manipulate climate if we allow them. These wonks and wizards can’t even control spending, which is far more tangible and predictable than the global climate. Examine the government’s historical record of managing anything to a degree which could earn them, well done.

What’s their solution? As usual, tax, spend, regulate.

Abortion

We begin the catastrophic tumble, down the bewildering, pandering, deceitful, rabbit hole of political marketing 101.

First, a problem is identified. Next, they advertise they’re the people who are going to solve the problem and give you what you want.

Do you want a safe, clean & Listerine abortion? Then vote for us.

Do you want to stop abortions? Then vote for us.

If you want to be “pro-choice”, they got you covered. If you want to be “pro-life”, they got that covered, too. It’s the complete package.

Now that’s some slick Madison avenue. Better still, if you don’t agree with them then they’re going to get in your face, march down your main street, and call you derogatory names to embarrass you through social media.

I have this crazy idea. How about we quit looking to government to solve our problems? What if we quit blaming each other, and start to do things for ourselves? Sure, it might be baby steps at first, but think for just one moment (maybe two). When have you witnessed a noteworthy, praiseworthy, glad the feds took over responsibility and solved that problem?

I found a relatively simple way to solve the problem of unwanted pregnancy, it’s guaranteed to work. Don’t have sex with someone you don’t want to co-parent. I know, what a crazy, stupid idea, right? Let’s just say, that’s not possible for you. Your impulse control is limited. Then why not get fixed? A vasectomy or tubal ligation. You, thought that’s too much to ask? How about safe sex? You know, when a man simply wears a condom. Wait! That’s not a 100% guarantee. Tell me something, anything in life is guaranteed. If you say there’s anything other than death or taxes, you’re a fool.

Health care

He claims it’s working. Wake up! For who? For example, my family members received their health care through employment and they still do. The shared costs have risen dramatically and the deductibles have as well. I personally tried to get insurance through the government web site and the premium costs exceeded 50% of my gross income. He continues to put forth the number, 44 million people were without health insurance, prior to the ACA. We solved that problem, really? All of these people are covered? The exceptional cost containment we were promised, the keep your doctor, and everyone is covered? Where is this magical solution no one I know is experiencing?

Do you know how well the Feds run the VA? I’ve had a hit and miss relationship with them. Sometimes I’m quite happy, and other times, I’m highly disappointed. It’s generally not top drawer care. To say we get what we paid for, isn’t exactly correct. Some have paid with their limbs or life. None the less, government doesn’t do a very good job with it, and yet people are clamoring for “free” or “single payer” health care. Our government doesn’t handle anything that’s large in an efficient cost effective way. Quit thinking about little countries like Norway, Sweden, or the UK. We have never seen our government demonstrate real concern or efficiency. Look at what the Feds do now with the VA, and tell me you think it’s going to get better on an even larger scale?

There are people in each political party, despite the lip service, who have raided the Social Security and Medicare funds using them to augment the general fund. They (Congress) continue to give themselves raises and perks, then tell us Social Security and Medicare are in financial trouble. Of course they are. Look who’s in charge! Even though those have been separately collected funds from our paychecks, they call them entitlements, then go on to say, they’ve got to cut back “our entitlements”. I suggest those who are entitled have offices in Washington DC and live very well off the populace.

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We’ve gone from stubbornly independent to stubbornly dependent

This is how you survive the unsurvivable, this is how you lose that which you cannot bear to lose, this is how you reinvent yourself, overcome your abusers, fulfill your ambitions and meet the love of your life: by following what is true, no matter where it leads you.
Augusten Burroughs

Sadly, year after year we fall for this nonsense. We take great pride in our “political utopias”, meanwhile the carrot(s) continue to get dangled in front of our collective noses and we chase after them.

There’s something really wrong with this picture and we never quite seem to catch on. Oh sure, we complain about it, but it’s that other party, race, or age group’s fault.

The Welfare of Children – Health Care 101

Potions, lotions, self-proclaimed notions aren’t a sensible substitute for modern medicine. Polio, smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, typhoid, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases have been successfully prevented through routine vaccinations. Some of the previous communicable diseases have begun to spread, primarily from those who have entered the country undetected from less developed countries, and the refusal of some people to not allow their children to be vaccinated. A person not vaccinated can spread disease to others who have weakened immune systems or pregnant women.

Advice concerning important health decisions for the welfare of your children should be sought from people who have years of education, research & training, not from celebrities or most politicians.

What you should know about child vaccinations. C - sitting in a tree

The efficacy or performance of a vaccine is dependent on a number of factors:

  • the disease itself (for some diseases vaccination performs better than for others)
  • the strain of vaccine (some vaccines are specific to, or at least most effective against, particular strains of the disease)
  • whether the vaccination schedule has been properly observed.
  • idiosyncratic response to vaccination; some individuals are “non-responders” to certain vaccines, meaning that they do not generate antibodies even after being vaccinated correctly.
  • assorted factors such as ethnicity, age, or genetic predisposition.

If a vaccinated individual does develop the disease vaccinated against (breakthrough infection), the disease is likely to be less virulent than in unvaccinated victims.

Bill & Melinda Gates in 2010 pledged to donate $10 billion over the following decade, to deliver vaccines to developing countries in an effort to reduce childhood mortality.

Jenny McCarthy, in a recent Time interview, believes vaccines cause autism. She stood firm behind her claim that the MMR vaccine caused autism in her son Evan, whom she believes is now cured thanks to a string of alternative therapies.

She’s another person who lacks credentials or sufficient scientific research to support her claims.

Bill Maher tweeted this opinion on the swine flu vaccine: “If u get a swine flu shot ur an idiot.” Maher, advised pregnant women not to get it, and said it was akin to “letting someone stick a disease in your arm.”

The swine flu shot contains a dead virus, and the nasal spray a weakened version of the virus, neither of which can cause you to contract swine flu.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr said that there is “a strong enough connection that the CDC should be looking into” the link between autism and the mercury-based ingredient thimerosal in vaccines.

According to the FDA, thimerosal has been “removed from or reduced to trace amounts” in vaccines for children 6 years or younger, except for the inactivated flu vaccine.

Thimerosal in Vaccines

Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been used for decades in the United States in multi-dose vials (vials containing more than one dose) of medicines and vaccines. There is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element found in the earth’s crust, air, soil, and water. Two types of mercury to which people may be exposed — methylmercury and ethylmercury — are very different.

Methylmercury is the type of mercury found in certain kinds of fish. At high exposure levels methylmercury can be toxic to people. In the United States, federal guidelines keep as much methylmercury as possible out of the environment and food, but over a lifetime, everyone is exposed to some methylmercury.

Thimerosal contains ethylmercury, which is cleared from the human body more quickly than methylmercury, and is therefore less likely to cause any harm.

Thimerosal is added to vials of vaccine that contain more than one dose (multi-dose vials) to prevent growth of germs, like bacteria and fungi. Contamination by germs in a vaccine could cause severe local reactions, serious illness or death. In some vaccines, preservatives, including thimerosal, are added during the manufacturing process to prevent germ growth.

Immunization Recommendations for Disaster Response Operations

Disaster Recovery Personnel

  • Adult. Ensure personnel are current for ALL routine adult
    vaccinations based on age and health status.
  • Hepatitis A. Review records for evidence of immunization. If needed,
    begin or complete the two-dose Hepatitis A vaccine series. This series
    may be completed using the monovalent or bivalent (combination)
    vaccine. Further guidance on completing the vaccinations series is
    available at http://www.health.mil/hepA.
  • Hepatitis B. Review records for evidence of immunization. If needed,
    begin or complete the three-dose Hepatitis B vaccine series. This series
    may be completed using the monovalent or bivalent (combination)
    vaccine. Further guidance on completing vaccination series is available
    at http://www.health.mil/hepB.
  • Influenza. Vaccinate personnel with the current seasonal influenza
    vaccine if available.
  • Tetanus. In accordance with the current Centers for Disease Control &
    Prevention (CDC) guidelines, responders should receive a tetanus booster
    if they have not been vaccinated for tetanus during the past 10 years. Td
    (tetanus/diphtheria) or Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis) can be used;
    receiving one dose of Tdap for one tetanus booster during adulthood is
    recommended to maintain protection against pertussis.
  • Consistent with CDC wound-management guidelines, anyone who develops a puncture
    wound or has a wound contaminated with dirt, feces, soil, or saliva needs
    a Td booster (or Tdap if applicable) if the most recent dose was more than
    5 years earlier.
  • Rabies. Veterinarians and people involved in animal-control efforts should assess the localized risk of rabies exposure and consider their need for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Persons who are exposed to potentially rabid
    animals should be evaluated and receive standard post-exposure
    prophylaxis, as clinically appropriate.

Travel-Related Vaccines. When responding to a disaster outside of the
United States, non-routine vaccines may be recommended based on the
CDC Health Information for International Travel (commonly called the
Yellow Book) or required by the Force Health Protection Guidance issued
by the Combatant Command Surgeon’s Office.

Keep it simple.

by Dr. John H Schumann MD

In spite of all the science and technology in medicine, what we doctors do is more about making educated guesses. Especially in primary care, it’s often a matter of playing the probabilities more than providing precise diagnostic information.

But prevention is different. We know a lot about it, based on huge bodies of epidemiological research. Most of prevention is fairly straightforward. You’ve heard the advice again and again. In fact, the repetition may make it easy to tune out.

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Move your body throughout the day.
  • Eat well — a healthy assortment of foods. Mostly plants, and not too much. (An idea popularized by author Michael Pollan.)
  • Interact socially. Isolation is not good for the body, soul or mind.
  • Take some time to reflect on what you are grateful for.

John Henning Schumann is a writer and doctor in Tulsa, Okla. He serves as president of the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa.

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Ben_young_Collie_1Children are given shots (vaccines) at a young age because this is when they are at highest risk of getting sick or dying if they get these diseases. Newborn babies are immune to some diseases because they have antibodies they get from their mothers, usually before they are born. However, this immunity lasts a few months. Most babies do not get protective antibodies against diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, tetanus, hepatitis B, or Hib from their mothers. This is why it’s important to vaccinate a child before she or he is exposed to a disease.
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Veterans Health Care – My Experience

If you’re a U.S. military veteran. or a family member of a veteran, then this blog post is for you. Those whom are also interested in government managed health care, and haven’t first hand knowledge, this may help you.

Most of what I’m going to discuss is only one man’s opinion, but in a sea of opinions, I’m going to do my best to accurately inform anyone still reading past the opening paragraphs.

CH-46s on runway destined for Viet Nam

CH-46s on runway Kaneohe Hawaii, destined for Vietnam

I’m a Vietnam era veteran. That means something specific, and to anyone that has also served during a time of war, but wasn’t a directly involved participant, meaning they weren’t in the designated country, served in a non-combat role, their benefits may differ from those serving during peace time operations.

The VA has different designated levels of assistance, depending on the time someone has served. They provide service for all in some capacity, but you may need to pay more for services rendered, depending on your current income, and when you served. Those details are available online, and if you aren’t aware of them, please follow this link.

VA heath care and the Affordable Care Act.

If you read the information, don’t fully understand it, and need more help, you can drop a response at the bottom of this post, along with your real name and how to contact you. Nothing you send will be automatically posted. I have to review comments before yours goes public. If you send personal information, I’ll not publish it. Of course I’m hoping I won’t be deluged with questions or some scammer trying to take advantage of my willingness to help explain what the VA can provide. I may just post a link, if I see the answer already available for your specific question.

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Me standing outside of a TAC – 1975

I want to encourage any veteran or family member that hasn’t been involved with VA health care to not defer or postpone the services which you’ve earned. Of course, if you’re enlistment or your appointment with the military wasn’t based on what you might later receive, it’s natural to ignore your benefits.

I enrolled about 2 years ago. Since then, I’ve been in for two annual physicals, and an eye examination and a new prescription with glasses.

I went into the Atlanta VA hospital yesterday on a scheduled surgery. It was a same day, recovery at home afterwards type of care. I went in at 9am and was out by 5pm. 0900 & 1700, military time.

I can tell you my experience was as positive as I’ve had. As it has not been my first or second hospital rodeo. I think my national and international health care provided experience gives me a basis from which I can make comparisons.

I’m at home recovering today. The surgery appears to be completed without complications. I’ve had two calls from the VA. The last one was from one of the doctors who assisted in the surgery. She left her pager number on the discharge sheet in case I have a problem.

All of that without copay or out of pocket expenses. That of course is based on my time, duration of service and current level of income. If you’re a veteran or a close family member, I urge you to become acquainted with the VA. Be sure you’re not missing out on health care services. If you’ve read or heard horror stories, which I’m not going to suggest aren’t based on fact, my experience doesn’t align with those concerns. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite.

Find a VA location near you.