Category Archives: Health

Insurance companies are spending millions on attack ads against Medicare for All

The privatized, for-profit healthcare industry is close to panicking over the prospect of a nationalized system along the lines of other advanced countries.

Healthcare corporations are spending millions of dollars on astroturfed attack ads against Medicare for All. The Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future, for example, a coalition of hospitals and insurance companies, has spent $1 million on a television campaign against changes to the current healthcare system they profit from. Continue reading

Why not Medicare for All?

“I don’t want my taxes to increase”; “I don’t want to lose my current insurance”; “I don’t want the government involved in or interfering in my health care”. Continue reading

Why are drug prices rising so much? Pharma exec admits ‘no other rationale’ than profit-making

‘The industry executive said the quiet part out loud,’ said one outside expert in response. ‘Price-gouging is central to the industry business model.’

Corporations’ quest for profits is what “is driving up drug prices and nothing more.” Continue reading

Beware of the Medicare ‘Disadvantage’ corporate trap

Medical Disadvantage would be a more accurate name for the quasi-private programs referred to as Medicare Advantage, as insurance companies push to corporatize all of Medicare, yet keep the name for the purposes of marketing, deception, and confusion.

While the Democratic presidential candidates are debating full Medicare for All, giant insurance companies like UnitedHealthcare are advertising to the elderly in an attempt to lure them from Traditional Medicare (TM) to the so-called Medicare Advantage (MA)—a corporate plan that UnitedHealthcare promotes to turn a profit at the expense of enrollees. Continue reading

The real deal with Medicare for All

Republicans and even some Democrats are out to scare you about Medicare for All. They say it’s going to dismantle health care as we know it and it will cost way too much. Continue reading

‘We Need Medicare for All’: Progressives condemn Bezos decision to shift more health insurance costs onto Washington Post staffers

‘Just one more example of why employer-based healthcare is not stable and not just. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in America, gets to decide on a whim whether Washington Post employees get to see a doctor or not.’

The Washington Post, owned by world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, is reportedly moving most of its staff onto what one Post journalist described as “high-deductible health insurance plans that shift significant costs and risks onto employees,” a decision Medicare for All proponents highlighted as a prime example of the instability and injustice of the employer-sponsored healthcare system that is frequently praised by centrist Democratic presidential candidates. Continue reading

For supporting Medicare for All, Biden accuses Sanders and Warren of ‘playing Trump’s game and trying to con the American people’

Biden's attack comes as he is falling in the polls and being heavily outraised by his more progressive 2020 rivals

Speaking to reporters during a campaign event in Ohio last Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden accused Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—his two top rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination—of “playing Trump’s game and trying to con the American people” by supporting Medicare for All. Continue reading

The Democrats’ Medicare debate overlooks the elder care crisis

Public options and tax credits won't solve the problem of skyrocketing long-term care costs. Only a robust Medicare for All plan will do the job.

Once again, the Democratic primary debate on October 15 devoted considerable time to candidates’ competing proposals for expanding access to Medicare. But once again, the debate failed to address one of Medicare’s biggest flaws—the lack of long-term care coverage for our country’s rapidly growing elderly population. Continue reading

Trump’s pay or die healthcare agenda extends to unwanted aliens

Trump is an imperial/corporate tool—hostile to ordinary people everywhere, notably malicious toward aliens of the wrong color from the wrong countries. Continue reading

Pharma wants you to be sick and celebrities help

Do you have gas, bloating and frequent diarrhea? Pharma hopes so. If you have the rare digestive/intestinal condition exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)—mostly limited to those with chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis and diabetes—AbbVie can sell you its expensive drug Creon. Pharma wants you to be sick. Continue reading

‘Unfortunate but not surprising’: Sanders responds to report Biden-linked firm poll testing attacks on Medicare for All

A senior advisor to the Sanders campaign said it was ‘disgusting’ that the former vice president's campaign would be "echoing bogus GOP talking points."

Sen. Bernie Sanders hit back Monday after news broke that the centrist group Third Way is focus-testing attacks on Medicare for All to see what will stick, using a firm with close ties to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 Democratic presidential campaign. Continue reading

25 ways the Canadian health care system is better than Obamacare for the 2020 elections

Everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital. It will produce far less anxiety, dread, and fear. Can you hear that, Congress and the White House?

Dear America: Costly complexity is baked into Obamacare, and although it has improved access to healthcare for some, tens of millions of Americans still cannot afford basic medical care for their family. No healthcare system is without problems but Canadian-style single-payer—full Medicare for all—is simple, affordable, comprehensive and universal for all basic and emergency medical and hospital services. Continue reading

The other Mexican migration

Thousands of people cross the U.S.-Mexico border for health care every day—and they’re headed south, not north.

You probably haven’t heard about it, but there’s another mass migration coming across the U.S.-Mexico border. Continue reading

How slick consulting firms get us on drugs

Ninety-one people a day die from opioids and 1,000 visit ERs in the US, according to the CDC. How did opioid makers get such a deathly grip on the US population? Recently, the New York Times reported that the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company had a big hand in these morbid figures. Continue reading

America’s other desperate caravan

While Trump demonizes Central Americans, he ignores those desperate U.S. citizens also driven north—to Canada—by drug prices.

While Donald Trump fans the embers of xenophobia in our country by demonizing caravans of desperate Central Americans headed north, there are other northern-bound caravans he doesn’t mention. Continue reading

Are your frequent UTIs from food you’re eating?

It is no secret that many bacteria causing human infections are developing resistance to the antibiotics that used to kill them. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls antibiotic resistance “one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.” In the U.S., at least 2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection every year, and at least 23,000 of those people die. Continue reading

‘We cannot overstate the harm this decision will have’: Oklahoma judge upholds ban on common abortion procedure

‘We will keep fighting this unconstitutional ban to make sure Oklahomans have access to the best medical treatment.’

The Center for Reproductive Rights on Friday announced its intention to keep fighting after an Oklahoma court upheld a ban on a common abortion procedure. Continue reading

Pathologizing kids, Pharma-style

Millions of kids today are on meds for conduct disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mixed manias, social phobia and, of course, ADHD. Continue reading

Medicare for All Means real choice: one health card, good anywhere you go

A new survey out this week is an important step forward to demolishing one of the principle talking points against Medicare for All. Continue reading

Congress loves socialized health care—for itself

Members can walk straight into a Capitol Hill clinic, get treated without insurance, and count on taxpayers to cover the tab.

For $3.5 trillion a year, shouldn’t we Americans have a world-class health care system? Yet while we spend the most of any advanced nation in the world to get care—more than $10,000 a year per person—we get the worst results. Continue reading

Consumers losing the war against antibiotics in meat

Farmers continue to use antibiotics on animals, which is not good for people who eat that meat. A war is in progress, and consumers are losing the war against meat antibiotics. Continue reading

Intense corporate lobbying against Medicare for All

Universal healthcare for all Americans is a major cutting-edge issue of our time about a fundamental human right, along with food, shelter, and clothing. Continue reading

Fake food, fake meat: Big Food’s desperate attempt to further the industrialisation of food

Food is not a commodity, it is not “stuff” put together mechanically and artificially in labs and factories. Food is life. Food holds the contributions of all beings that make the food web, and it holds the potential of maintaining and regenerating the web of life. Food also holds the potential for health and disease, depending on how it was grown and processed. Food is therefore the living currency of the web of life. Continue reading

Unlabeled ingredients in meat raise questions

Most people know that antibiotics are part of the diet of conventionally raised livestock in the US and elsewhere to make them grow faster (feed is metabolized more efficiently) and prevent disease outbreaks in cramped conditions. But they’d be surprised at how many animals destined for the dinner table have drug residues that exceed legal limits. In the US, each week the Agriculture Department Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) finds dangerous antibiotic levels in animals raised for human food which include penicillin, neomycin, “sulfa” drugs and fluoroquinolones like Cipro. Many of the meat producers are repeat violators. Continue reading

‘We need to ban fracking’: New analysis of 1,500 scientific studies details threat to health and climate

‘The data show that fracking impairs the health of people who live nearby, especially pregnant women, and swings a wrecking ball at the climate.’

A comprehensive analysis of nearly 1,500 scientific studies, government reports, and media stories on the consequences of fracking released Wednesday found that the evidence overwhelmingly shows the drilling method poses a profound threat to public health and the climate. Continue reading

Medicare for All is coming because even the “insured” are not safe in this for-profit system

So-called ‘experts’ tell us that Americans love this system and it would be too costly or too complicated to change it. But even those with private insurance or employee-provided coverage know this simply is not true.

As the House Ways and Means Committee prepares to hold an influential hearing today on HR 1384, the Medicare for All bill authored by Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell, with 112 House co-sponsors, news reports every day remind us of why the bill is so necessary. Continue reading

Why thousands are getting hit with unexpected medical bills

Hardly a week goes by without another story in the media covering a family somewhere in America dealing with an outrageous medical bill. Yet, in more and more cases, these families don’t have junk insurance, or lack coverage altogether. Indeed, they have what Americans would consider decent coverage, either through their employer or an Affordable Care Act marketplace. They also followed, or so they thought, the rules of their insurance policy requiring them to seek care inside their provider network. Yet, they are slapped with surprise bills, and often threatened by bankruptcy. Continue reading

Controversial drug ractopamine is back in the news—and still in your food

A controversial drug allowed in meat production in the U.S.—but banned in 160 other countries—is in the news again. This time, it’s because the Trump administration, as part of a trade deal, is trying to force China to allow imports of U.S. pork raised with ractopamine. Continue reading

Trump: importing dangerous medicines and food and keeping consumers in the dark

Messrs. Trump, Azar, and Perdue better wake up before innocent Americans lose their lives due to corporate indentured government officials failing to properly do their jobs

Conservatives favor consumer choice. Consumer information is vital to make that choice meaningful. Corporatists, masquerading as conservatives, do not care about informed consumer choice. Donald Trump is a corporatist, as are the vast majority of Republicans in his Cabinet and in Congress. Corporatists do not even want you to know where products are made. Today, producers and retail sellers do not have to tell you the “country of origin” for meat and pork products. Before 2015, when Congress bowed to the dictates of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Congress had enacted a law that required country of origin labels on meat products. Continue reading

Beware the drug industry’s lucrative GMO drugs

The drug industry is employing several tricks to stay a Wall Street darling. Drugs priced at five and six digits like the Hepatitis C drugs, genetically engineered, injected drugs from Chinese hamster ovary cells (like Humira) and convincing healthy people they are “at risk” of serious diseases. All tactics are seen with the newer bone drugs. Continue reading

Rubber and metal with your chicken? Tyson obliges

Rubber and metal are some of the recent surprise “ingredients” found in Tyson chicken. In January, 36,420 pounds of Tyson chicken nuggets were recalled due to rubber contamination. In March, a recall for possible metal contamination of ready-to-eat Tyson chicken strip products began which continues–now encompassing 12 million pounds. Tyson Foods is the world’s second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, operating the Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee, Ball Park and other well known brands. Continue reading

Ladies, got an extra $21,000 a year? Here’s Big Pharma’s latest bone nostrum

Poor Pharma. Until 15 years ago, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was a right of passage for older U.S. women and Pharma raked in billions. While HRT did prevent osteoporosis, it was also found to increase the risk of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, hearing loss, gall bladder disease, urinary incontinence, asthma, the need for joint replacement, melanoma, ovarian, endometrial and lung cancers, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and even dementia according to medical findings. In the first year that millions of women quit HRT in 2003, U.S. breast cancer fell seven percent and 15 percent in women with estrogen fed tumors. Continue reading