Category Archives: Health

‘We Need Medicare for All’: Tens of millions more expected to lose employer-based insurance by 2021

The strain on employers ‘just shows how ridiculous it is to have a system where a person's health insurance is tied to their job.’

While for-profit health insurers have reported record-high earnings this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, small companies across the U.S. are reporting difficulty paying premiums for their employees—and tens of millions of workers are expected to lose their employer-based health insurance by the end of the year, even if they keep their jobs. Continue reading

How concentrated animal feeding operations fuel pandemics

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic may be the worst in recent memory but another pandemic occurred just a decade ago. During 2009 and 2010, the world was stricken with H1NI, a novel virus hosted by pigs. Continue reading

Trump takes another shot at seniors: Medicare and Medigap costs increasing in 2021

Not content with referring to the 200,000 Americans who have perished from Covid-19 as “virtual nobodies,” Donald Trump has a particularly damaging surprise in store for senior citizens. Trump’s category of “nobodies,” who he classed as “elderly people with heart problems and other problems,” are going to see costly rises in Medicare and Medigap costs in 2021. Once considered an essential component of Trump’s base, senior citizens are fleeing away in droves from Trump, particularly in key states with large numbers of retirees, including Florida, Arizona, and Texas. Continue reading

Trump’s USDA is serving up diseased chicken

Federal regulators recently okayed selling chickens suffering from Avian Leukosis, which produces cancerous tumors.

Top regulatory officials in Trump’s government keep chanting the same one-word mantra: “Deregulate. Deregulate. Deregulate.” Continue reading

Connecting the dots: big meat, big pharma, big vaccines and big pandemics

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is surely the worst in recent memory, but prehistory is full of records of plagues and pandemics. Continue reading

COVID ‘has laid bare’ the crisis of healthcare in America

Wendell Potter’s new group, the Center for Health and Democracy, investigates money in politics and how it stubbornly resists health insurance reform.

Time flies. Hard to believe that it was twelve years ago that healthcare reform activist Wendell Potter left his job as head of corporate communications at Cigna and shortly after, loudly blew the whistle on the gross malpractices of the health insurance industry that had employed him. Continue reading

Trump’s pathological racism and COVID-19

Donald Trump’s pathological racism, which he displays every day, has hampered international efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19. Trump’s insistence on using terms like the “Chinese flu” or “China flu” to describe COVID-19 is merely designed to stoke tensions with China and, by default, between Trump’s racist white nationalist base and Asian-Americans. Worse is Trump’s use of the blatantly racist “kung flu” to denote COVID-19. Continue reading

Pharma tries to cash in on COVID shutdowns with its best-selling drug

Stuck at home? Watching a lot of TV? Pharma’s way ahead of you. Continue reading

Wake up, America! We must force Trump to resign or at least step aside

Your messages tell presidents which way the political winds are blowing. Make this ‘rumble of the people’ speak loud and clear NOW!

Public Citizen’s open letter, co-signed by over twenty nonprofit civic organizations working for the public health, demanded that Trump and Pence immediately give up their disastrous daily mismanagement of the Covid-19 response. Trump’s bungling and ignorance have allowed the Covid-19 virus to spread faster at an alarming rate around the country. Continue reading

Trump’s rush to reopen America is causing a COVID resurgence

Donald Trump said that June’s jobs report, which showed an uptick, proves the economy is “roaring back.” Continue reading

Coronavirus surge worsens as Trump ignores the danger

WASHINGTON—The U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, already criminally absent, appears to be getting worse and the data confirm it. Continue reading

Donald Trump’s genocidal acts against humanity

In 1979, United Nations Committee on Human Rights rapporteur Abdelwahab Bouhdiba cited the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia as an example of “autogenocide,” the carrying out or enabling of mass deaths among one’s own nation. Previously cited examples of genocide at the time Bouhdiba coined the word autogenocide, were Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. The former’s genocide of Eastern European Jews, Romani, Slavs, and other non-Germans also included German Jewish and other citizens, making it a practitioner of both genocide and autogenocide. The genocide of Chinese by Japanese military occupiers fit the broader definition of genocide. Continue reading

The GOP’s ‘moral insanity’ on health care

Republicans are trying to throw 23 million Americans off their health care—in a pandemic.

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the disease is raging anew because corporate-serving public officials rushed to “open the economy,” causing more infections and deaths. Continue reading

Three extinction-level viruses may be traced to glacier and permafrost melting

As the world contends with the deadly pandemic of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, the Chinese embassy in the Kazakhstan capital of Almaty has issued its citizens a warning about an unknown pneumonia that has seen a spike in infection cases since last month. The novel pneumonia spikes are in Atyrau and Aktobe provinces and the city of Shymken. Continue reading

Federal court strikes down Trump’s ACA rule amounting to ‘intentional, targeted attack on abortion access’

‘It would have created a logistical nightmare for health insurers and individual enrollees and pushed abortion even further out of reach in the midst of a global pandemic that has upended our economy.’

A federal court late Friday struck down the Trump administration’s attempt to erect new barriers to abortion care, this time using the for-profit insurance industry. Continue reading

Trump rushed to reopen America, now COVID is closing in on him

Donald Trump said last Thursday’s jobs report, which showed an uptick in June, proves the economy is “roaring back”. Continue reading

The far right’s absurd war on masks

Low-cost, low-tech masks save lives, but the nutball right has turned them into symbols of tyranny.

The chief cultural signifier of our times is this: Wearing a mask. Or not. Continue reading

COVID-19 and the Masque of the Red States

Now that the pandemic is raging in the South and West, Trump’s governors finally are face-to-face with reality. Wear your damn mask.

I’ve bored family and friends with this story for years. Now it’s your turn. Continue reading

Why COVID-19 racial disparities make the case for Medicare for All

Though it won't solve all our problems, expanding Medicare to all people is an essential demand if we want to advance health equity in the United States.

The racial disparities of COVID-19 have received much attention. Blacks are dying at a higher rate that is typically more than double the rate of whites. But we need to move beyond naming the problem to fighting for solutions. Medicare for All would go a long way to beginning to address racial disparities in health care in general and for COVID-19 in particular. Continue reading

When profits and politics drive science: Rushing a vaccine to market for a vanishing virus

More than 100 companies are competing to be first in the race to get a COVID-19 vaccine to market. It’s a race against time, not because the death rate is climbing but because it is falling—to the point where there will soon be too few subjects to prove the effectiveness of the drug. Continue reading

A tale of two pandemics

No description of the coronavirus is more misleading than calling it ‘the great equalizer.’

The horrific truth is that Native Americans, Latinos, and African-Americans are dying at much higher rates than white people – and we don’t know the half of it because the CDC hasn’t released any racial data about the virus; we don’t know if they’re even collecting it. Continue reading

Denial and selfishness fuel the spread of COVID-19

Deniers are hampering efforts to manage the scourge that could erupt into a second wave

A virulent virus has wrapped its tentacles around the planet with fatal consequences for hundreds of thousands and unless and until there is a vaccine or the majority of the world’s population has developed immunity, it will not be defeated. Until such time people everywhere have been ordered or advised to follow certain rules for their own protection designed to slow the spread. There is no mystery in the above realities which anyone with a modicum of common sense would judge indisputable. Unfortunately, in some countries plain old-fashioned common sense is at a premium. Continue reading

Trump regime refuses to provide PPE for healthcare workers

Indifference toward human health and welfare by Trump and hardliners infesting his regime has been shown repeatedly throughout their time in office. Continue reading

Trump’s vaccine deception

Trump is a congenital liar. Accept nothing he says at face value. Continue reading

Britons’ trust in Boris is wavering

Johnson’s decisions on lockdowns have been untimely and counterproductive

Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, is gifted with a likeability quotient that’s off the charts. He is witty, eccentric with a mind as sharp as a diamond-cutter, yet charmingly self-effacing. Continue reading

The privileged and powerful in the pandemic

As America reopens for business, you might expect Jeff Bezos, the richest man in America, and his Amazon corporation, one of the most profitable corporations in America, to set the corporate standard for how to protect the health of American workers. Continue reading

Indifference toward public health and welfare in America

The US is the only developed nation without some form of universal healthcare coverage. Continue reading

Trump’s 4-step plan for reopening the economy will be lethal

Donald Trump is getting nervous. Internal polls show him losing in November unless the economy comes roaring back. Continue reading

A death sentence for meatpackers

Meatpackers are contracting COVID-19 and dying. Trump is requiring them to work—and shielding their employers from liability.

Meat processing plants are high risk for spreading COVID-19, and many are shutting down. Animals due for processing have nowhere to go, and they are being culled. Continue reading

If we lose our focus on coronavirus it might bite us again

The discussion of coronavirus has taken some sharp turns. One such turn is the claim that the mortality rate is not high enough to justify shutdowns. But the mortality rate is not the reason for the shutdowns. The purpose of the closedowns is to reduce the exponential rate of infection. COVID-19 is much more contagious than flu, people can spread the virus for days and weeks prior to developing symptoms, the seriousness of each case is not predictable in advance, and it is a new virus about which little is known including treatment. Therefore, the highly infectious virus can easily overwhelm health care systems—just ask New York City and Italy. This is the reason for trying to reduce the rate of infection. There is no good information on mortality rates as there is no reliable or widespread testing, and the payment incentives result in hospitals reporting the virus as the cause of any deaths that can be associated with it. Continue reading

COVID-19: When to restart the economy?

Global leaderships are being tested by an unseen enemy. Decisions affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions are being made based on flimsy expert projections as to the behaviour of a virus that so far remains unknowable. Continue reading

Washington’s Dr. Strangelove

There are lots of choices for this dubious distinction from elements of both right wings of Washington’s one-party state. Continue reading