April 24, 2016

Zeke Emanuel Obamacare Fantasies: Risk Corridors Aren’t Subsidies, and Medicare Is ‘Insurance’

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:06 pm

Things must be getting grim on the Obamacare front if the Obama administration feels it must send “Zeke the Bleak” Emanuel out to defend it.

Though he was on relatively good behavior compared to previous interviews he has given, Emanuel, rather than visibly losing his cool, kept on using Stuart Varney’s first name in his responses during a Fox Business interview this week to the point where it nearly came off as an attempt at parent-child condescension.

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April 21, 2016

Positivity: The pain – and surprising beauty – of hospice care for babies

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Apr 21, 2016 / 03:01 am

They’re the last words any expecting parent wants to hear. But though it’s rarely discussed, thousands of couples every year get the news: that their unborn child has a severe, life-threatening condition.

And what’s more, few receive the resources, support and information they need to carry their child to term.

“In your mind you have this outcome that you’re going to have a baby,” said Dianna Vagianos Armentrout, “and then you find out you will have a baby, but it’s going to die.”

Dianna’s daughter, Mary Rose, died shortly after her birth in 2014.

Although the process of her daughter’s pregnancy, birth and death was difficult and painful, there was still beauty and even joy, she told CNA. In talking to other parents who offered counsel and to Isaiah’s Promise, a peer support ministry for parents facing difficult prenatal diagnoses, Dianna found peace.

“The way that they acknowledged the unborn child and the way they gave us permission to still be joyful, even though the child would probably die,” she said.

“If I could give one thing to a pregnant woman it would be that it’s going to be okay,” Dianna said, offering her own advice to parents facing a life-limiting prenatal diagnosis for their child. “The baby’s going to do what it’s supposed to do.”

“For everyone I know (in the same situation), the baby has died so peacefully.”

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 3, 2016

Positivity: US Bishops back legal protection for doctors who won’t provide abortions

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Apr 2, 2016 / 06:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A proposed conscience protection act for health care professionals who oppose abortion would benefit both medical providers and their patients, U.S. Catholic bishops said Thursday as they urged support among the House of Representatives.

“The Conscience Protection Act will address the deficiencies that block effective enforcement of existing laws, most notably by establishing a private right of action allowing victims of discrimination to defend their own rights in court,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore said in a joint statement.

Cardinal Dolan is chair of the U.S. bishops’ committee on pro-life activities, and Archbishop Lori chairs the committee on religious liberty.

Their March 31 statement urged support in the House of Representatives for the proposed Conscience Protection Act, HR 4828.

This bill would protect healthcare providers who oppose abortion, giving them legal rights to defend themselves if discriminated against for their beliefs. Though “modest” in its scope, the bishops said this bill would “respond to past mistaken objections.”

Federal law already protects conscientious objection against abortion in theory, but not in practice, they maintained, since these laws can only be enforced after a complaint has been filed to the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services. However, the HHS office has “allowed valid complaints to languish, sometimes for years, without resolution.”

Furthermore, they charged, the HHS has already shown favor for grant-seeking health care providers who are open to providing human trafficking victims with abortions. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

March 30, 2016

Non-Surprise of the Evening at CNN Money: ‘Obamacare Patients Are Sicker and Pricier Than Expected’

Nobody could have seen this coming.

That’s sarcasm, folks. Everyone but those who somehow thought that hope would somehow triumph over experience in the kinds of patients who would utilize Obamacare saw this coming. CNN Money Senior writer Tami Luhby is reporting, with some apparent surprise, that “Obamacare patients are sicker and pricier than expected” (bolds are mine; HT Twitchy):

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March 26, 2016

Press Ignores Obama’s False-Equivalent Belief That Some Communist Ideas ‘Work’

As noted in my previous post, the press is determined that the world not learn of profound statements made by world leaders it despises. The specific reference was to Israeli Prime Mininster Benjamin Netanyahu’s five-word admonishment to those who believe that some accommodation can be reached with Islamic terrorists: “Terrorists Have No Resolvable Grievances.”

Meanwhile, the press protects those it likes when they make breathtakingly ignorant remarks. Such remarks occur with alarming regularity any time U.S. President Barack Obama speaks without the aid of a teleprompter. In Argentina on Wednesday, during a question-answer exchange with a youth group, Obama said that debates over the superiority of capitalism compared to communism “are interesting intellectual arguments,” but that “for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works.” Press coverage of Obama’s remarks has been sparse.

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March 8, 2016

Obamacare’s Medicaid Clawback: It’s a Shock, Because the Press Has Virtually Ignored It

Beginning early in 2014, shortly after its initial diastrous rollout, there has been a virtual blackout on anything resembling negative coverage of the “Affordable Care Act,” aka Obamacare.

It hasn’t been due to a lack of horror stories: plan cancellations, shocking rate increases, shrunken provider networks, co-ops going out of business, etc. It’s because the nation’s establishment press has worked mightily to minimize their exposure and to avoid dealing with their larger significance, calling them “glitches,” “tricky situations” and the like, while mostly ignoring individual local nightmares. Now several Minnesota residents, clearly kept in the dark until now about something yours truly and several others on the center-right warned of in late 2013, have learned that Obamacare has saddled their children with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

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March 6, 2016

Positivity: Why Does Bestselling Author John Grisham’s Agent Think He’s Nuts To Do This?

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Metro DC, via Daryn Kagan:

February 29, 2016

Mega best-selling author John Grisham has been told he’s nuts.

By the very people he relies on to make great business decisions.

His agent, his publisher, and his editor told him he shouldn’t do this.

Grisham didn’t care.

He’s written a new book.

In fact, he calls it the most important book he’s ever written.

A book that doesn’t fit the brand of his wildly popular legal thrillers.

And better than that–he’s giving this book away for free.

Forever.

It’s called, “The Tumor.”

Amazon describes the book as following, “the present day experience of the fictional patient Paul, an otherwise healthy 35-year-old father who is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Grisham takes readers through a detailed account of Paul’s treatment and his family’s experience that doesn’t end as we would hope. Grisham then explores an alternate future, where Paul is diagnosed with the same brain tumor at the same age, but in the year 2025, when a treatment called focused ultrasound is able to extend his life expectancy.

Focused ultrasound has the potential to treat not just brain tumors, but many other disorders, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hypertension, and prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer.”

Why is Grisham stepping so far away from his brand of wildly popular legal thrillers?

And giving away the book for free?

It’s his way of giving back.

Grisham tells the Washington Post he’s good friends with Dr. Neal Kassell, a prominent University of Virginia neurosurgeon who founded the Focused Ultrasound Foundation in 2006.

Dr. Kassell wanted Grisham to sit on his board, which usually means raising a bunch of money, something that Grisham says he hates doing.

Writing this book, raising the profile of this kind of treatment was Grisham’s way of donating to the foundation.

I can’t imagine a more valuable contribution.

Apparently, all of Grisham’s business people were worried. They didn’t think writing “The Tumor” and giving it away for free was a good idea.

Grisham did it anyway. …

Go here for the rest of the story, and a link to the book.

January 27, 2016

WashPost’s Milbank: Dems ‘Would Be Insane to Nominate Sanders’

If you only read establishment press reports, you might (finally) know about the “unexpectedly” competitive race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, but you would have no sense of the deep concern within the left’s ranks about their unsavory choices.

Card-carrying lefty Dana Milbank, from his perch at the Washington Post, laid that near-panic bare in his Tuesday evening column. It’s an indication of just how bad things are that in going after Bernie Sanders as someone “Democrats would be insane to nominate,” Milbank had to completely ignore Hillary Clinton’s growing legal exposure over having her own private email server while she was the nation’s Secretary of State. For Milbank, it comes down to this: Bernie Sanders is unwilling to lie to America’s voters about his and the left’s true agenda, but Hillary Clinton is — at least through November 8. This makes Mrs. Clinton his preferred choice.

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January 21, 2016

Positivity: This man has been in a coma for 33 years – and his wife has stayed by his side

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Lyon, France:

Jan 20, 2016 / 03:06 am

After sustaining a damaged leg tendon in 1982, 34-year old international footballer Jean-Pierre Adams thought that a routine knee surgery at a hospital in Lyon, France would relieve some of his discomfort.

By the end of the day, the surgery had left Adams in a comatose state, unable to perform normal bodily functions like walking or talking.

That was over thirty years ago.

Today, his devoted wife Bernadette personally cares for Jean-Pierre in their home near Nimes, France, where the beloved footballer remains bedridden and comatose.

“I think he feels things. He must recognize the sound of my voice as well,” Bernadette told CNN in a recent interview, saying he can still breathe on his own but needs round-the-clock attention.

Bernadette and Jean-Pierre met at a dance in the 1960s. As an interracial couple, the two grew in resilience through the challenges they faced and married in 1969. Not long after, Jean-Pierre was playing first division side football as the “garde noire” alongside some of the best in the world.

“He was the ‘joie di vivre’ embodied in human form – a laugher and joker who liked to go out,” his wife told CNN.

That all changed on March 17, 1982 when the understaffed hospital botched Adams’ intubation, causing a heart attack, brain damage, and an eventual coma. The surgery was ruled as an “involuntary injury” and the medical workers were found guilty seven years after the incident.

Jean-Pierre, now 68, is cared for daily by his faithful wife Bernadette. She feeds him, talks to him, clothes him, and still buys presents for him to open on his birthday.

“I’ll buy things so that he can have a nice room, such as pretty sheets, or some scent. He used to wear Paco Rabanne but his favorite one stopped so now I buy Sauvage by Dior,” Bernadette told CNN. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

January 20, 2016

Juan Williams: Republicans Alone Are Responsible for ‘Civility’s Breakdown’

Poor President Barack Obama.

Juan Williams, in a Monday column at The Hill, insists that “the president is not to blame for the rancor and polarization that have characterized his presidency,” and “is not responsible for the unprecedented obstructionism employed by (Mitch) McConnell’s Senate Republicans.” Why, In Williams’s world, Obama has apparently been the very model of civility, while Republicans “have let anger and extreme voices define their party.”

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January 12, 2016

Positivity: Miami Doctors Use Cardboard Virtual Reality Tech To Save Baby’s Life

Filed under: Health Care,Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Miami (video at link; HT Daryn Kagan):

December 22, 2015 5:30 PM

A baby girl is her parents’ gift this holiday, for more reason than one.

Four-month-old Teegan Lexcen was facing a grim prognosis. She was born with only one lung and half a heart.

Doctors in Minnesota, where the family lives, said there was nothing they could do.

“The family was given the worst prognosis and told she was inoperable,” said Dr. Redomond Burke, a cardiovascular surgeon at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. “That’s a word we hate here.”

The family found doctors in Miami willing to try something new.

The pediatric surgeons at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital took computer scans of Teegan’s heart and lung and uploaded the images to a smartphone. They were then able to look at 3D images of her tiny heart and lung using Google Cardboard.

“The old VR images we used to get were just too grainy not specific enough for the fine detail you need to do open heart surgery on a baby,” said Burke.

With the clear images in hand, they then performed a seven-hour lifesaving operation.

“Finding out after the fact that that helped save her life, that’s phenomenal,” said Teegan’s mother, Cassidy Lexcen.

Little Teegan is now recovering with her parents, her twin sister Riley and the cardboard tech by her side. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 15, 2015

Positivity: Pope Francis was right about condoms and HIV

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Vatican City:

Dec 13, 2015 / 04:02 am

On his return flight from Africa, as Pope Francis fielded the customary questions from the press, he challenged a journalist on a question about condom use in the fight to prevent HIV.

“We know that prevention is key. We know that condoms are not the only method of solving the epidemic, but it’s an important part of the answer,” the journalist said. “Is it not time for the Church to change its position on the matter? To allow the use of condoms to prevent more infections?”

The question, Pope Francis said, seemed too narrow to address such a widespread and complex issue. Condom use in and of itself could never solve the HIV crisis or other problems facing many African nations.

“The problem is bigger,” the Pope said.

“This question makes me think of one they once asked Jesus: ‘Tell me, teacher, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? Is it obligatory to heal?’ This question, ‘Is doing this lawful,’…but malnutrition, the development of the person, slave labor, the lack of drinking water, these are the problems.”

The Catholic Church has always held that artificial contraception use is immoral. In a 2010 book interview that made waves, Pope Benedict XVI said that while using a condom can represent a step in the right direction as far as showing concern for the other person, it is still an immoral solution to the HIV crisis.

But was Pope Francis right to be so dismissive of condom usage? Do condoms actually play a practical and important role in the fight against HIV?

An increasing amount of evidence says no. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 21, 2015

AP Only Tells Readers That ‘Several’ Obamacare Co-ops Are ‘Hurting’

The press’s reluctance to relay Obamacare-related bad news has been obvious for years. Nowhere is this more consistently the case than at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press.

Over half of the state non-profit co-ops set up under Obamacare with $2 billion-plus in taxayer funding are failing. The AP has generally treated those failures as local stories, even though they relate to the Affordable Care Act, the passage of which they still call President Barack Obama’s “signature domestic achievement.” Most of the other co-ops are either incurring huge losses, becoming undercapitalized, or both. So watch, in context, how AP business writer Tom Murphy, in a dispatch primarily about UnitedHealth Group’s announcement that “it is pulling back from its push into the Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchanges”:

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November 14, 2015

Chad Henderson Walls Off Twitter Account After NewsBusters Criticizes His Tweet on GOP Candidates’ Readiness

We’ll have to live without Chad Henderson’s tweets for the time being. Once again, Henderson, as he did in 2013, has taken his Twitter account private, limiting it to “confirmed followers.” This time he likely did so in reaction to a NewsBusters post earlier this afternoon by P.J. Gladnick.

Henderson first gained notoriety during the initial Obamacare sign-up process in late 2013 when he claimed to have “enrolled” himself and his father when virtually no one else could even access the HealthCare.gov web site. The press unskeptically lapped up the Organizing for Action volunteer’s story until Reason.com’s Peter Suderman shredded it. It turned out that Henderson had only set up a profile for himself and had not purchased any health care plan. Henderson resurfaced on Twitter after the Paris terrorist attacks yesterday, asking: “Do Trump, Rubio, and Carson have the experience and knowledge to prevent and react to a similar Paris attack? Not at all, folks.”

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November 5, 2015

AP Credited Obamacare When Ariz. Co-op’s News Was Good, Buried It When It Failed

Add Arizona’s Meritus Health Partners to the growing list of Affordable Care Act co-op failures. The Daily Signal reports that this makes 11 of 23 such state Obamacare co-ops which will have closed their doors by the end of 2015 after three or fewer years in operation.

The Associated Press, which, along with most of the rest of the establishment press, has been playing aggressive defense on behalf of Obamacare since its passage and especially since Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012, has no coverage of Meritus’s crackup at its main national or “Big Story” site. Beyond that, readers will see after the jump that the AP’s local stories about Meritus highlighted its association with ACA/Obamacare when things appeared to be going well, and buried it when they went south.

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