Category Archives: Health

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): Will you cave to Big Pharma?

Most people realize how Big Pharma’s greedy drug pricing raises our health care costs. Fewer are aware of how the greedy drug pricing also raise our taxes. Continue reading

‘How will you pay for it?’ Bernie Sanders tackles key question on Medicare for All

‘Under every single one of these options the average American family will save thousands of dollars a year because it will no longer be writing large checks to private health insurance companies.’

Sen. Bernie Sanders is not ducking the key question constantly posed to Medicare for All supporters by journalists, fellow members of Congress, and critics: “How will you pay for it?” In a white paper (pdf) released last Wednesday, alongside the 2020 contender’s updated and improved Medicare for All legislation, Sanders’ office outlined a number of possible funding mechanisms for the comprehensive bill and detailed the enormous savings the U.S. would reap by transitioning to single-payer. Continue reading

Consumer drug ads: 20 years of pushing expensive meds and diseases people probably don’t have

In 2015, the U.S.’ American Medical Association (AMA) called for a ban on direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising. The ads make patients demand expensive treatments from their doctors, said the AMA, when less costly drugs are often more effective. The AMA’s efforts were unsuccessful. Continue reading

Hazardous US products

Monied interests run America and most other countries. Government officials serve their interests. In the US, it includes appointing corporate executives to run federal agencies. Continue reading

New study confirms eggs are a stroke in a shell

For years animal agriculture apologists have tried to convince the public that “inflammation, not cholesterol, is the cause of chronic disease.” Eat all the eggs, meat and milk you want, they cajole: you won’t die from a stroke or heart attack at age 50. We promise. Continue reading

Rural America needs Medicare for All, and fast

I'm a registered nurse from rural Iowa. In communities like mine, privatized care is an extractive industry—and it’s drying up.

We’ve got a rural health care emergency on the horizon. Continue reading

The downside of the world’s love affair with shrimp

Shrimp was once considered a treat for special occasions, but now it is a frequent mealtime staple. And that is not necessarily so good. Continue reading

Beyond Obamacare to improved Medicare for All

With about 100 co-sponsors, Dem Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced the Medicare For All Act of 2019, saying the following: “Today’s healthcare system fails to provide quality, affordable healthcare as a right to all people living in the United States.” Continue reading

An “exciting but dangerous moment” for Medicare for All

All human beings have a right to healthcare, but powerful forces remain dead set against it. An interview with PNHP president Dr. Adam Gaffney.

Dr. Adam Gaffney is the brand new president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), the national, Medicare for All advocacy group of medical professionals and others committed to single-payer universal healthcare “provided equitably as a public service rather than bought and sold as a commodity.” Continue reading

High healthcare expenses: The leading cause of US consumer bankruptcies

The US is the only developed nation without some form of universal coverage. The world’s richest nation doesn’t give a hoot about its ordinary people, serving its privileged class exclusively. Continue reading

Deer disease poses risks to general public, not just hunters

If you live in an urban area, should you be concerned about the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in U.S. deer herds? Continue reading

New analysis shows why Democrats are wrong to fear bold embrace of Medicare for All

‘November's election results show that universal, higher-quality, lower-cost health care through Medicare for All is all moral upside—without political downside.’

On the same day a new poll showed an overwhelming majority of Americans think the nation’s healthcare system is “in state of crisis,” a new analysis shows that Democrats should listen to those Americans—and end their reluctance to run on the promise of a bold solution like Medicare for All while propping up the for-profit system. Continue reading

This EPA rule change could kill thousands

Mercury regulations save 11,000 lives each year. Now, the EPA wants to weaken them.

While Americans were quietly preparing to ring in the New Year, the EPA gave families a deadly present to start the year off wrong. Continue reading

Big Pharma fights proposal to keep it from looting Medicare

The Trump administration has proposed that insurance plans providing drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries will no longer be forced to cover six hitherto “protected” drug classes. The classes—which include drugs for psychiatric conditions, cancer and immune diseases—are among the priciest of all drugs and account for as much as 33 percent of total outpatient drug spending under Part D of Medicare. Continue reading

Executives make millions misleading cancer patients. Here’s one way to stop them

Cancer-treatment executives are reaping fortunes off misleading marketing. We should make that less profitable.

Cancer kills. Every American knows that. Continue reading

Will this new Medicare proposal be defeated as it was in 2014?

The Trump administration has proposed that insurance plans providing drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries will no longer be forced to cover six hitherto “protected” drug classes. The classes—which include drugs for psychiatric conditions, cancer and immune diseases—are among the priciest of all drugs and account for as much as 33 percent of total outpatient drug spending under Part D of Medicare. Continue reading

‘Easy to pay for something that costs less’: New study shows Medicare for all would save us $5.1 trillion over ten years

BURLINGTON, VT—Confronting the question most commonly asked of the growing number of Americans who support replacing America’s uniquely inefficient and immoral for-profit healthcare system with Medicare for All—”How do we pay for it?”—a new paper released Friday by researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) shows that financing a single-payer system would actually be quite simple, given that it would cost significantly less than the status quo. Continue reading

Opioids for depression? Not so fast says an FDA advisory committee

The mental illness “franchise” has been very good to Pharma. While it could not “grow” the number of people with actual schizophrenia, it has successfully grown those diagnosed with amorphous “schizoaffective” and bipolar disorders and, of course, depression. Continue reading

Wildfire smoke is becoming a nationwide health threat

The impacts of recent forest fires in California reach well beyond the burned areas. Smoke from the Camp Fire created hazardous air quality conditions in San Francisco, more than 170 miles to the southwest—but it didn’t stop there. Cross-country winds carried it across the United States, creating hazy conditions in locations as far east as Philadelphia. Continue reading

Time for Medicare for All

In the midterm elections, most Democrats who were elected or reelected to the House supported Medicare for All. Continue reading

Dangerous, expensive drugs aggressively pushed due to doctors’ conflicts of interest?

The year was 2011. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg proposed loosening conflict of interest rules for doctors sitting on advisory committees because non-compromised doctors were disappearing. The FDA could not find “knowledgeable experts who are free of financial conflicts of interest,” said news reports. Continue reading

What turkey producers don’t want you to know

As Turkey Day approaches, animal lovers cringe, food safety advocates become vigilant and industrial turkey producers hope you aren’t reading the news. Continue reading

Medicare for all: An idea whose time has come

Marketplace medicine prioritizes profits over human health. In America, it leaves growing millions uninsured. Continue reading

Don’t fall for TV ads that ‘sell’ diseases

Most of us have our guard up when it comes to TV drug ads. We know the butterflies, sunsets and puppies are designed to distract us from terms like “blood clot,” “heart attack,” “stroke,” “seizure,” “life-threatening allergic reaction” and “death.” We realize the audio—if not the video—is actually telling us why we don’t want to “ask our doctor” about the advertised drug. Continue reading

Hazardous to health GMO foods and pesticides

The danger is indisputable. Independent scientific studies exposed the hazards long ago—suppressed by Washington and US media, supporting corporate profits over human health. Continue reading

Chided for working against it as president, Obama’s backing of Medicare for All called ‘thrilling’ shift

While progressives pointed out that it would have been worthy of more applause if the offer of support had come back when he had the actual power to do something about it, Medicare for All proponents applauded the huge paradigm shift denoted by the newest high-profile endorsement of the popular proposal: former President Barack Obama. Continue reading

New mad cow case: Nothing to see here, says USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new home grown mad cow case recently in a cow raised for beef in Florida. The 6-year-old cow tested positive for atypical H-type BSE but, “never entered slaughter channels, and at no time presented a risk to the food supply, or to human health,” says USDA. Continue reading

Killing for coal (literally)

Shocking as this sounds, the U.S. government is—by its own admission—willing to murder up to 1,600 Americans a year to enrich a few coal billionaires.

In August 1921, sheriff’s deputies in West Virginia—later joined by federal troops—massacred striking mineworkers using machine guns and aerial bombardment, in what’s now known as the Battle of Blair Mountain. Continue reading

Israel denies Hamas relatives permission to leave Gaza for medical treatment

Washington, NATO and Israel need enemies to justify their indefensible actions. None exist so they’re invented. Continue reading

Climate crisis to cause hundreds of millions of dangerous nutrient deficiencies—in countries least responsible for emissions

Higher concentrations of carbon could make crops far less substantive, leading to iron and protein deficiencies

A new study highlights a lesser-known but serious consequence of the climate crisis for hundreds of millions of people around the world—major nutritional deficiencies that are likely to hit impoverished populations the hardest, as carbon dioxide emissions seriously affect the quality of food crops. Continue reading

Most Americans and doctors support universal healthcare

Anything less than universal healthcare for all its citizens and residents is unacceptable in the world’s richest country. Continue reading

Think obesity is caused by lack of exercise not junk food? The message is brought to you from big food donations

There are now more than 700 million obese people worldwide, 108 million of them children, reported the New York Times in 2017. In Brazil, food giant Nestle sends vendors door to door hawking its high-calorie junk food and giving customers a full month to pay for their purchases. Such a deal. Nestle calls the junk food hawkers, who are themselves obese, “micro-entrepreneurs.” Right. Continue reading