Posts Tagged ‘health care’

By R.C. Seely

THE OPPONENTS OF marijuana legalization have been lauding a recent European study reported in The Lancet as proof positive that they were right. They have gone as far as saying the medical community is in agreement, marijuana is a health threat that causes schizophrenia and needs to be kept out of the public. According to them since the plant has been modified to a far higher potency, there are epidemics of psychotics in areas where it’s legal. There are some problems here.

To begin with let’s clarify what is actually happening. A cursory online search will suggest the prohibitionists are successfully misleading the public. The word “cause” is the focus of my attention here. Much of the research concludes that excessive indulgence–everyday usage–of the high potency strain can create symptoms that mirror schizophrenia, not actually cause the disorder. It can make schizophrenia worse if someone already has it.

Why is this Significant?

The prohibitionists claim that schizophrenia can’t always be cured but what does it mean if it’s not schizophrenia? What if since it’s not really schizophrenia but only appears that way, it needs another form of treatment? Most importantly, if they are misleading with the wording, what else are they not being honest about?

Making it seem like this is new ground-breaking information, is another misleading factoid. From the moment marijuana prohibition was originally proposed in the 1930’s, mental health conditions were the validation. Schizophrenia, laziness and the munchies are all well known as “side effects” of marijuana. Problem is like many other disorders, genetics are a factor in how the body responds.

Not all cigarette smokers will get lung cancer or alcohol drinkers get sciroccos or liver cancer. They are genetically preconditioned to it, it’s the same with marijuana and psychosis.

The study itself has a large problem, or technically a small one, a small sample size to be more accurate. The research team may have traveled the world for subjects, it doesn’t change the fact that they only examined a few thousand people. The global population is in the billions, so saying a comparable blip of a few thousand isn’t accurate, you need a sample of a few million. That’s actually a problem and one of my questions of the study. Drawing a conclusion from such a small sample is ridiculous.

Sample size and genetic predisposition aside, the study itself would need to be studied too. The biggest issue that could come up with the study is researcher bias. Does the one conducting the study already have an opinion and setting it up to get the result they want? In my research on the Dr. Marta Di Forti, of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, & Neuroscience at King’s College London, I couldn’t find any information to draw a conclusion.

Their other argument

The other argument by prohibitionists, isn’t medical but interference. What has them so bent out of shape is that marijuana now has lobbyists. What! A marketable consumable product has a special interest group pushing for it! That never happens! Except when it comes to pretty much everything. Which also includes the alcohol industry and the prescription drug companies. Both two industries trying to keep marijuana from the marketplace.

Conclusion: Why none of this matters

The prohibitionists will probably be very baffled by this, but in the end none of this matters. Not if you are truly in favor of limited government at any rate.

Whether you are against medical marijuana or recreational marijuana, if you think laws telling people what they can put in the bodies are right, you are not truly for limited government. That’s the problem with the conservative movement it may rant and rave against government overreach but when given the chance to prove it, they fall short.

States have already voted yes on having marijuana legal, and already complications because of the federal moratorium, they don’t need other states interfering. Or media, medical officials, politicians or the general public getting in between the consumers and producers.

Both recreational and medical markets are being excessively criticized because of excessive consumption is the prohibitionists lame attempt to sway public opinion. Oddly enough smoking in general is apparently quite high in schizophrenia sufferers, so their high marijuana consumption could be an over looked red flag for the disorder. Anything used in excess can create health complications and the wrong pharmaceutical medical for psychosis can exacerbate the existing condition. That’s why qualified medical professionals are consulted, but that is decided by the consumer.

That was one of the biggest criticisms of the Affordable Care Act, that politicians are getting between the patient and the doctor. Why is that acceptable when it comes to medical marijuana? This is a conservative logical inconsistency that they are blind to and medical patients are suffering because of it.

I’m an advocate for full legislation but anyone who opposes medical marijuana legalization is just plain heartless as far as I’m concerned. With the long list of side effects from medications for epilepsy sufferers and other conditions that do show promise in medical marijuana for relieving if not completely curing, research could be vital. It seems rather absurd to barricade such research due to studies that have come far from a conclusive–or even all that compelling–outcome.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture, with a new book–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–to be released.

By R.C. Seely

DONALD TRUMP SENT OUT A DIGITAL warning to any holdout Republican Senator that if they voted against the Graham-Cassidy healthcare reform bill, they could be branded as “the senator who saved ObamaCare.” He also singled out my first choice for President in the 2016 campaign Rand Paul in the tweet.

At times, I have to give credit to those who act in a manner that I approve, and this is one of those few exceptions that Senator McCain may have done the right thing.

I’m no fan of McCain and ObamaCare should be repealed–but not replaced–and McCain voted no. He voted against bipartisanship, for once, and not with Senator Lindsey Graham but with Senator Rand Paul. Graham even cosponsored the bill and McCain still couldn’t vote for it. His rationale was kind difficult to follow, claiming it’s not enough of a compromise, but kudos for doing the right thing for once. And going against both his friend Senator and his party, a point that Trump hammered him on Twitter. He “voted his conscience” as he replied to the president’s Twitter guilty trips.

Two other Republican Senators join Paul and McCain on Trump’s naughty list, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have also said they would vote no.

Tom Price, Health and Human Services Secretary, told Fox News that this isn’t over yet, and a deal could still be reached before the September 30th deadline. If this plan doesn’t get passed, repeal is not dead anyways, another option by Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Patty Murray of Washington and is also bipartisan.

Senator Paul has always stood behind a “repeal only” stance, Senators Collins and Murkowski are probably holding out because it would defund Planned Parenthood (when did the GOP allow radical feminists in?) and Senator McCain wants everyone to get along. In a statement McCain said he “believe[s] we could better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not really tried.”

Senator Paul seems to be the only one who recognizes the consumer is the one that should make these decisions. The Graham-Cassidy plan would at least put the funding fully in the hands of the state’s but is that enough? Not really, if the government wasn’t subsidizing Healthcare to begin with, the prices of medical care wouldn’t have spiked to begin with.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books about pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

AS MANY OF YOU HAVE PROBABLY FIGURED OUT, government health care is not going away any time soon and neither is the duopoly effort to take the credit–or blame, depending on who you ask–for the law. The republican party was running on the promise to repeal the law, but along the way it seems to have lost even the will to attempt that. There are a few GOP senators who hold strong in their opposition. Senators like Rand Paul and Thomas Massie seem perfectly fine with the notion of repeal and don’t replace. With the unfortunate rise in popularity of the law according to the polls, that scenario is becoming more unlikely. And the support for it has more to do with scare-mongering than the efficiency of the law, since the real world effectiveness is impossible to judge so early on. 

    The propaganda for the single-payer system is what’s truly effective and efficient. An email from Senator Elizabeth Warren describes “the fight to protect the Affordable Care Act is personal” and she’s going to give it everything… [she’s] got.” She is right on one point, more than likely “we all know someone–a cancer survivor, a mom who went into early labor, or a parent or grandparent who got Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s and needed help.” Problem is that a single-payer system won’t lower costs simply spreads them around and worse it stiffles medical innovations by handcuffing health care service providers with strict restrictions and burdensome paperwork.

    In the DNC Chair Tom Perez donation drive email, he recounts that “millions of Americans from every corner of this country made calls, sent emails and letters, rallied and protested” against the health care repeal. Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile claimed the Trump administration has “stripped away health care for tens of millions” and “left women without critical reproductive care.” Senator Al Franken has sent numerous emails condemning it, in one paraphrasing Mitch McConnell:

But here’s what Mitch McConnell is telling them: Relax. It’ll all blow over. The President will tweet something insane, and everyone will get distracted, and we can bring this bill back. Heck, by the next election, everyone will have forgotten how we took away tens of millions of people’s health care without so much as a public hearing. 

Well, not in exactly those words. But that’s what he’s thinking.”

    So Franken is a mind reader now? In another email Franken exercises his (lack of) an ability to come up with a nuanced response by rattling off a bunch of single word responses for Trumpcare, “contemptible” and “despicable” and “exercrable” are a sample. And we can’t leave CREDO out of the “health care crisis” discussion and their push for the implementation of “universal health care for all.” They make the revolutionaryesque war cry for democrats to “unite behind a bold and clear alternative [to Trumpcare] like Medicare for All, also known as ‘single-payer’ health care.” 

    As you can see there’s a lot of support for Obamacare and not for it’s repeal. But this is based on fear and misinformation, clouding the judgement of the nation’s citizens. Like a drug addict, Americans have gotten hooked on “free health care” and until the high crashes and it’s time for rehabilitation, we’re stuck with laws such as the ACA or the AHCA. The current proposed measure from the Trump administration is the Better Care Act but whether it’s really any better is still debatable. Another plan offered by the GOP comes from Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. Considering the determination of gridlock by democrats, in regards to health care, even a compromise is not promising. But let’s push through the partisian distortion and reexamine this with the light of objectivity. Yes, there will be people who will be denied coverage or lose their existing coverage under what the republican plan ends up being, and it could be the CBO’s “24 million.” But people lost their coverage under Obamacare while he was still in office–millions of them–and many insurance companies are opting out of the exchanges. That trend will only continue the longer the ACA is place. The promise of “everyone being covered” has already been broken by Barack Obama.

    All the problems everyone is concerned about only get worse the more government gets involved in health care, since they treat you not as an individual but a number. A doctor in the free market system of medicine has to keep your business and so he looks out for your best interest. The government and it’s system has no such benevolent incentives, their interest is to get and expand control and what better way than through health care. That’s why control freak Saul Alinsky put it on the list, of Rules for Radicals. Whatever the republican plan is it’s surely going to have more to do with maintaining control of health care and branding it with an “R.” That’s not in the public’s best interest and we shouldn’t be coerced into a bad plan  out of scare tactics. After all “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself,” right?

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books about pop culture. His most recent book, Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.