Daily Archives: August 29, 2012
My friend Ted Czukor sent me this essay and I am pleased to pass it on to you:
WHO GETS HELP AND WHO DOESN’T?
By Ted Czukor
I’d like to take a poll of all readers over the age of 30. How many of you think that life is going to unfold the way you had envisioned? It certainly hasn’t been like that for me! I’m 65 now, and on the one hand I’ve had some wonderful experiences that I never could have predicted, while on the other hand some experiences have been the sheerest crap; but very seldom in my life has my planning brought about the exact result to which I had looked forward.
One of the more disturbing surprises I’ve had recently is that finally getting Medicare health insurance is not necessarily a guarantee of receiving proper medical attention—because healthcare providers are sometimes slow to order medical tests. I say “sometimes” because it’s a very mixed bag. Sometimes our doctor may send us immediately to the lab for something that he feels is necessary, but other times we may have to come back to his office for multiple appointments over several months with the same persistent complaint before he will decide that the quickly-written prescription isn’t doing anything, and we really do need to have a tube stuck down our throat or a picture taken of our brain or joints to see what the hell is actually going on.
It’s hard to predict when our doctors will jump on a test immediately or delay one for several months—but it seems clear from the national discussion on TV that some tests are being delayed due to concerns about cost. Our healthcare system is losing money, and some patients are guilty of what the insurance industry calls “over-utilization of services”—which makes it damned hard on those of us who legitimately need the testing.
On the Today Show on Wednesday morning, August 28th 2012, Dr. Nancy Snyderman actually suggested that any medical test will come up with something treatable, so therefore people in their 90’s should hold off on such tests so that younger people with longer-expected life spans can benefit from the treatments instead! We like and respect Dr. Nancy, and we never expected her to take such a cold-blooded stance on the subject. It sounds logical and fiscally responsible on the surface, but how low on the age scale should we set the cutoff point? Age 80? 70? What about people over the age of 60? Shouldn’t other factors besides age be considered in such a decision?
Such a stance is easy to support, so long as the older people in question are generic groups whom you have never met. But when that older person is suddenly a personal friend or a member of your own family—or when, God forbid, it’s actually you—then you will probably take a second look and decide that in this case, at least, an exception should be made!
Another unexpected and recent surprise has been that we have to do our own diagnosing. More accurately, we have to research our symptoms on the Internet and take our questions about possible causes to our doctor, to get him to look into them and determine whether we are barking up the wrong tree—or not. Only our doctors and their labs can diagnose for certain, but we have to tell them what to look for! This is doubtless due to the overwhelming number of patients they see every day, with the result that even the most conscientious physician can only pay full attention to the patient who is right in front of him. As soon as that patient has left and a new one has come in, the first one better receive proper follow-up from the doctor’s staff, because the doctor himself will have forgotten about him until their next scheduled appointment.
In the last three years my wife and I have been successfully treated for degenerated hips and shoulders, melanoma and allergic reactions to various medications—but in every case we were the ones who had to self-diagnose the condition and then go to the proper specialist to have it verified! Until we did that, we were simply given prescriptions for pain or infection in an attempt to mask symptoms. It was never suggested that surgery might be needed, or that a medication should be discontinued because it might be messing us up. Suggestions of that nature had to be put forward by us.
I have two reasons for writing this essay and sharing it with others. For those in the medical profession, I want you to know that educated patients understand your dilemmas concerning healthcare costs and the limited time you are allowed to spend with each of us—but we insist that attention be paid to us as individuals, rather than as generic members of a certain age group. For my contemporaries who are experiencing the same frustrations that I am, I want to encourage you to Keep Doing Your Searches on WebMD, and Keep Asking Questions. Don’t take a doctor’s “I don’t know” for an answer. Get your facts lined up, and insist on getting tested for anything that alarms you and that your doctor isn’t completely sure doesn’t need a test.
For those of you who aren’t wealthy and are under 65 without health insurance, I empathize. I went without insurance for two years before finally making it to Medicare age. The best advice I can give is to do whatever you feel is necessary to maintain your functionality, until you can finally get coverage to see doctors again. The trick is to just stay alive. But remember that getting the insurance won’t be enough. You will have to be an active advocate for your own health and for the health of your spouse and parents.
- Doctor Shortage May Swell to 130000 With U.S. Cap – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- GOP team is wrong prescription for patients (jsonline.com)
- Republican Platform Goes There-Would Make Medicare A Defined-Contribution Voucher Program (washingtonmonthly.com)
- What is an accountable care organization and why should you care? (insurance.com)
- Medigap Plans A Through N – Compare Medigap Plans (medicaresupplementalinsurance.com)
- Truth about the Ryan-Wyden Medicare Proposal (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
Take a look:
There are about 2 months left for about 114,000 residents who have been shut out of the vote, be they seniors or blacks or hispanics. We should all be working to clean up this mess.
Let’s see what happens now.
- On This Day in 2012: Racist/Bigoted Voter Suppression Laws in Florida SMACKED DOWN (blackwriteandread.wordpress.com)
- Rick Scott’s Voter Registration Suppression Law Is Dead (thinkprogress.org)
- Dems file fed lawsuit to stop shortened early-voting days in Florida (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- Federal judge to permanently lift Florida voter registration restrictions (rawstory.com)
- Judge permanently blocks voter registration rules (tampabay.com)
- Federal court rejects Florida early voting changes (tbo.com)
- Why CNN’s latest Florida poll should panic GOP (dailykos.com)
Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention by security and police. Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and the convention released a statement saying:
“Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”
A CNN representative said:
“CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”
No information has been released as to who the two offenders were nor what has happened to them
- Two people removed from RNC after taunting black camera operator (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- What Right Wing Racism? “This Is How We Feed the Animals” (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- 2 RNC Racists Taunt Black CNN Camera Operator, Throw Nuts (distriction.com)
- Black Camerawoman Heckled at RNC (theroot.com)
- Two Republicans Do Something Racist Enough to Get Them Bounced from the Republican Convention (slog.thestranger.com)
- Black CNN camera operator allegedly pelted with peanuts, told ‘this is how we feed animals’ at RNC (thegrio.com)
- RNC Attendee Hurled Nuts at Black CNN Camerawoman, Called Her an ‘Animal’ (towleroad.com)
- RNC attendee tossed for harassing black CNN camerawoman (rawstory.com)
- Report: Black CNN Camerawoman Had Nuts Thrown at Her at GOP Convention, Assailant Shouted “This Is How We Feed Animals” [Rnc Tampa] (gawker.com)
“All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.—
Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”
– Grover Norquist
So, who runs the Republican Party anyway? This guy holds no office and doesn’t speak at the convention. So why is he so important. Why do all these dumbos sign his goddam anti-tax pledge?
That I have no answer for. I wonder if Romney does.
- Grover Norquist: Fear of Tax Increase Will Turn Vote to Romney (usnews.com)
- Grover Norquist: Killing the American Government with a smile on his face (freakoutnation.com)
- Grover Norquist Calls George H.W. Bush A Liar (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Norquist says Ryan would leave ‘large footprint’ in Romney administration (thehill.com)
- GOP Congress Members Have Private Audience with Pope Grover, Seek His Blessing (crooksandliars.com)
- George H.W. Bush: “Who the Hell Is Grover Norquist?” (crooksandliars.com)
- Norquist Meets With GOP To Discuss ‘Extremely Helpful’ Pledge (huffingtonpost.com)
- Ryan Would Play ‘Similar’ Role to Cheney, Norquist Says – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
Have you noticed on more and more TV commercials for prescription medications that something upsetting appears? According to law, prescription meds have to state their side effects in advertising, and since I take a lot of prescription meds I monitor these commercials with scrutiny.
A great number of these side effect revelations include such things as depression, sleeplessness, stomach problems or DEATH! So in taking these sleeping pills or pain killers or diabetes medications, the side effect could be that you die.
Does this cause any problems for the medications industry? It looks like doctors have very little trouble prescribing these potential killers… and the TV ads convince many patients to request these from their physicians.
I see no one on the news or in other source material debating this issue, so I wonder if it is important to Americans (it is becoming important to me because I take at least one of these pills.)
- Prescription Medication Side Effects (bluemoonpersonaltraining.com)
- Prescription Medication That May Cause Bone Loss (bluemoonpersonaltraining.com)
- Ask Your Doctor for Prescription Samples (224/365) (thesimpledollar.com)
- Guidelines Released For Prescribing Narcotics In Emergency Rooms (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
- Fort Lee sets 4th drug take-back event (dvidshub.net)
- Stay Away from Doctors and Watch What You Eat (lewrockwell.com)
- Know the Drugs You Take Before it Harms You (sajerosablog.wordpress.com)
Talking Points Memo did a neat summary of yesterdays Republican convention called “The Convention in 100 Seconds.” I haven’t seen anything else which shows the emptiness of the event. Here it is: