Tag Archives: medicine

More Guns, Less Medicine: Trump’s Military Spending Binge Would Swamp Savings From Health Care Repeal

THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE (CBO) released its analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on Monday, finding that the Trump-backed House Republican bill that seeks to repeal and replace Obamacare would save the federal government $337 billion over 10 years — at the cost of throwing 24 million people off of health insurance coverage by 2026.

But those theoretical savings would be more than wiped out by an also theoretical increase in military spending that President Trump wants Congress to pass.

Shortly after the release of the CBO report, House Speaker Paul Ryan put out a statement embracing its findings, claiming among other things that it found that the AHCA would “dramatically reduce the deficit.”

Yet Ryan has offered no objections to Trump’s request for an additional $54 billion in annual military spending in this coming year. The increase alone amounts to 80 percent of Russia’s current military spending; it would make the United States responsible for almost 40 percent of global military expenditures.

Assuming that the Trump administration set the new amount as a baseline going forward, over 10 years it would amount to $540 billion in additional spending. This eclipses the $337 billion that would ostensibly be saved were the AHCA to pass in its current form and remain in place.

And the CBO also finds that the vast majority of savings from the law will come after 2020, when the Medicaid expansion is rolled back. In fact, it wold add $56 billion to the deficit in its first three years:

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Congressional Budget Office

The reason the AHCA doesn’t save more is because it also includes a $600 billion tax cut, most of it aimed at benefiting wealthier taxpayers, by paring back taxes used to support the Affordable Care Act.

AHCA’s impact on the federal budget deficit is hardly the whole picture, of course. The CBO estimates that 14 million people would lose health insurance coverage in its first year. The cost of health insurance premiums would go up for many. The CBO notes, for example, that someone 64 years old earning $26,500 a year would see their net premiums increase from $1,700 annually to $14,600:

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Congressional Budget Office

President Trump can offer any number of justifications for hiking military spending while embracing a health care bill that would throw tens of millions off of health insurance. But he just can’t claim to care about the deficit.

By Zaid Jilani/TheIntercept

Posted by The NON-Conformist

CDC used 40% less sensitive Zika test, punished whistleblower for raising concerns – investigation

The US health agency in charge of fighting Zika used a less effective test to diagnose the virus and punished a whistleblower who raised his concerns both internally and to health officials, an investigation revealed.
Dr. Robert Lanciotti, a microbiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accused the federal agency of prioritizing a substantially less sensitive test versus an alternative approach that in his studies proved to be more effective in detecting Zika.

He claimed that the CDC “created a substantial and specific danger to public health” when it did not disclose lower sensitivity of the test it used.

The tests Lanciotti was talking about are the Trioplex and the Singleplex. The first detects not only Zika, but also dengue and chikungunya, and is recommended for testing by the CDC. The second test is only used for diagnosing Zika, the virus transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas known to cause microcephaly in newborn babies.

More from RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist

End Patent Monopolies on Drugs

The United States stands out among wealthy countries in that we give drug companies patent monopolies on drugs that are essential for people’s health or lives and then allows them to charge whatever they want. Every other wealthy country has some system of price controls or negotiated prices where the government limits the extent to which drug companies can exploit the monopoly it has given them. The result is that we pay roughly twice as much for our drugs as the average for other wealthy countries. This additional cost is not associated with better care; we are just paying more for the same drugs.

More from NY Times Opinion

 

Posted by the NON-Conformist

Chris Christie’s Terrible Vaccine Advice

Posted by Libergirl

TIME

Last I checked, Chris Christie isn’t a licensed commercial pilot, which is one reason he probably doesn’t phone the cockpit with instructions when his flight encounters turbulence. Chances are, he doesn’t tell his plow operators how to clear a road when New Jersey gets hit by a snow storm either. But when it comes to medicine, the current Governor, former prosecutor and never doctor evidently feels pretty free to dispense advice. And doncha’ know it? That advice turns out to be terrible.

Asked about the ongoing 14-state outbreak of measles that has been linked to falling vaccination rates, Christie—the man who prides himself on chin-jutting certainty—went all squishy. “Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated and we think that it’s an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health,” he said. “I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice…

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The Politics of the Ebola Serum

Posted by the NON-Conformist

End of Alzheimer’s? Doctors optimistic after breakthrough

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Image: Twitter

British scientists have developed a blood test that identifies the 10 proteins that show Alzheimer’s disease is imminent, thus allowing physicians to take action against the condition before symptoms start to appear.

After studying the disease for 10 years, researchers from Oxford University and Kings College, in cooperation with UK company Proteome Sciences, say their test can predict – with an 87-percent accuracy rate – the onset of Alzheimer’s within one year in individuals suffering memory loss.

The research took blood samples from 1,148, of whom 476 had Alzheimer’s disease, 220 had memory problems, and a control group of 452 showed no signs of dementia.

The team discovered that 16 proteins were associated with memory loss and 10 of those could predict whether someone would go on to develop Alzheimer’s.

Laboratory exams can now begin to determine which drugs halt the onset of Alzheimer’s.

More from Russia Today

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Onesimus: Inoculation Pioneer

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Born in Africa, Onesimus was a slave of Cotton Mather, a Puritan minister in Boston. When a smallpox epidemic broke out in Boston in 1721, Onesimus informed his master about an inoculation procedure practiced in Africa. The centuries-old practice was practiced throughout Africa and involved the extraction of material from the pustule of an infected person and, using a thorn, scratching it into the skin of the unaffected person. The deliberate introduction of smallpox gives the inoculated person immunity from the disease. In some cases, there is no reaction while a mild non-fatal form of the disease may occur in others.

Although inoculation was considered to be extremely dangerous, Cotton Mather was steadfast in accepting the reliability of the information provided by Onesimus, and convinced Dr. Zabdiel Boylston to experiment with the procedure. Beginning with his son and two slaves, he inoculated over 240 people.The process of inoculation was politically, medically and religiously opposed in the United States and Europe. In religious circles, it was deemed unnatural and perceived as subverting God’s will. Public reaction to the experiment was so adverse that both Mather and Boylston’s lives were threatened. Records indicate that the inoculation process itself killed 2 percent of the patients who requested it, while 15 percent of the people who contracted the disease and were not inoculated died from the virus.

Onesimus’ recollection of a traditional African medical practice saved numerous lives and sparked the introduction of smallpox inoculation in the United States.Traditional African medicine is a holistic science that incorporates considerable use of indigenous herbalism with elements of African spirituality. Illness is not seen as a purely physical problem; it can also be attributed to spiritual causes engendered by displeasing the spirits—ancestors or gods.Traditional healers apply scientific and non-scientific methods.

The scientific methods involve the prescription of herbal medicines, which have proven to be just as efficient and also provided the basis for Western medicines. For example, kaolin, the active ingredient in Kaopectate, has always been used to treat diarrhea in Mali; the bark of trees which yield salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, has been prescribed by Bantu-speaking healers to cure musculoskeletal diseases.The non-scientific methods involve the appeasement or expulsion of the spirit(s) responsible for the patient’s bad health. The social and psychological effects of these methods were highly successful. As in the case of psychotherapy, medication and the power of suggestion were used by traditional healers to treat the whole person.

From The Black History Pages

Posted by Libergirl