Posts Tagged ‘medicine’

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.

By R.C. Seely

“WARNING SIGNS OF UNSAFE OR LOW-VALUE CARE are detectable with existing data but often are overlooked,” charges Dr. Andrew M. Ibrahim. “Rather than duplicate and collect more data, health care leaders should renew their focus on better use of available data.” Sounds logical and makes perfect sense.

Ibrahim goes on to say, in his article for JAMA, that the laproscopic gastric band is one example of the necessity of more due diligence from the medical community in regards to safeguarding the public from faulty medical equipment.

“The advent, increase, and decrease of the laproscopic gastric band to treat morbid obesity … was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 and peaked in usuage in 2008. However, use of the device gradually declined as reports emerged describing complications and variable effectiveness [leading to the need to] … remove the device.” The FDA approved the device and the device failed, also makes sense. Under the FDA 100,000s of people die annually because of their guidelines keeping drug choices low. Dr. Ibrahim has more faith in the agency than I do.

“Before a class III medical device in the United States can be brought to market, it must undergo a series of premarket trials that are submitted by the FDA,” typically performed on a sample of sufferers of the condition being treated by “experienced clinicians.” But due to limited sample size and inefficient follow-up the trials results are somewhat unreliable. That is also true, most studies have extremely small samples making it difficult to properly gauge their merit as a measuring tool.

What’s the proposed solution? More post approval monitoring by the FDA. Increasing the awareness of the health care device manufacturers and hospital care givers of the monitoring system currently in place for medical devices, and encouraging faster reporting of malfunctions to the FDA. A congressional evaluation of the current system ended with concerns. Mostly tied to backlogs of data from so many reports coming in and not being addressed.

Another solution is increasing the number of medical devices with a “unique device identifier,” the before mentioned gastric band doesn’t have one. Obviously such a marker would make cataloguing complaints easier. “Legislation that would require all FDA approved devices to be trackable within data that are already collected could be a useful strategy to help ensure that … the warning signs of … widely adapted devices are not missed,” Ibrahim states. If Ibrahim is right, the news on solution number two is not great.

“The majority of medical devices used in practice today … cannot be identified within existing administrative data because they lack device specific … Current Procedural Terminology codes.” So the same agency that has such a horrible track record should be trusted with providing a situation to a problem they more than likely caused? Sorry doctor, but the FDA is not the right direction to turn for monitoring medical devices, they have difficult enough time with what they have to do now. Ready to explore free market alternatives yet?

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 of Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.