Category Archives: Health

Lack of affordable healthcare puts millions of Americans at risk

The US is the world’s only developed country without some form of universal healthcare. Continue reading

Coronavirus proves it: We need Medicare for All

Health care rationing isn’t what awaits us in a single-payer system. It’s happening now in our failed for-profit system.

For decades, critics of single-payer health care have raised the menace of rationed care, long waits, and “death panels.” Continue reading

Coronavirus: Humans must learn from this global shock

This assault on our way of life is a wake-up call for everyone in the world

In a world where fear of the unknown hangs over the collective consciousness of entire populations the best and the worst of human nature is on display. In Britain small stores engaged in price gouging are being named and shamed on social media — one shop was selling single toilet rolls £10 — while the ‘I’m all right Jack’ brigade are stripping supermarket shelves bare without thought for the needs of the elderly or parents with newborns. Continue reading

America doesn’t have a public health system

Dr. Anthony S Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and just about the only official in the Trump administration trusted to tell the truth about the coronavirus, said last Thursday: “The system does not, is not really geared to what we need right now … It is a failing, let’s admit it.” Continue reading

To help stem coronavirus, lift the sanctions on Iran

U.S. sanctions have gutted Iran’s economy and health system. In a pandemic, that’s a global public health threat.

The COVID-19, or coronavirus, pandemic is far from the first proof of how intertwined we are as a global community. The climate crisis and the refugee crisis have long been glaring examples that the wars or CO2 emissions on one continent risk the lives and well-being of people on another continent. Continue reading

Pharma discovers ‘geriatric ADHD’

Pharma has already discovered the huge profits in labeling school children, toddlers and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Now, according to some reports, it has discovered “geriatric ADHD.” Continue reading

20 top economists endorse Medicare for All as best plan to cut costs, save tens of thousands of lives each year

‘By eliminating insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, and lowering overall healthcare costs, Medicare for All will result in enormous savings for almost all households, all except the richest households who will pay more in taxes.’

Rejecting “loose talk” from corporate Democrats, the media, and insurance industry that a single-payer system would be unaffordable, twenty leading U.S. economists on Tuesday released an open letter endorsing Medicare for All as the best way to reduce soaring national healthcare costs, significantly cut expenses for most U.S. households, and save countless lives. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Coronavirus and the failed American state

China built two coronavirus hospitals in just over one week.

The United States has none of the systems or infrastructure that would allow it to accomplish what China has done to fight mass infection. Continue reading

The end of the Age of Enlightenment

The Age of Enlightenment had a pretty good run from the 17th to 19th centuries. It led to the Industrial Age and, in concurrence, the Space and Information Ages. These historical epochs advanced humanity to crowning breakthroughs in science, medicine, information exchange, and quality of life. Today, all of humankind’s advancements are being threatened by those who would have society return to an age marked by superstition, belief in magic and miracles, ignorance, racial and religious intolerance, and abject sexism. Continue reading

Why does Generation Z require so many workplace accommodations?

Recently the Wall Street Journal reported on how many young people are now seeking “accommodations” at work for their anxiety, PTSD, depression, and other mental conditions. Continue reading

A terrifying scenario: Coronavirus in ‘quarantined’ Gaza

What if the coronavirus reaches the besieged Gaza Strip? Continue reading

Mike Pence is the worst person to lead a coronavirus response

The former Indiana governor presided over the state’s worst ever HIV outbreak. His ignorance made it worse.

A year after Trump took office, Saturday Night Live did a sketch called “What Even Matters Anymore?” Continue reading

Trump crisis management by lies, bogus numbers, and superstition

Impeached President Donald Trump has completely bolloxed up America’s carefully thought-out contingency plans that deal with pandemics. In addition to lying about the number of Americans infected with and being treated for the COVID-19, or coronavirus, Trump’s attrition of professional staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) in Atlanta; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland; and the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), a division in the Department of Health and Human Services, has ensured that the administration, unlike its predecessors, was ill-prepared to deal with a national and global health emergency. Trump’s federal hiring freeze has ensured that key vacancies resulting from retirements at the CDCP, NIH, PHS and other key entities have gone unfilled. Trump also disestablished pandemic response teams within the National Security Council, which was headed by Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, and the Department of Homeland Security. Continue reading

The lie of health care ‘choice’

In our corporate-run health system, consumer ‘choices’ are shaped entirely by profit-seeking monopolists.

Lyndon Johnson had a saying about special interests trying to get his support to pass some blatantly self-serving legislation: “They can’t make chicken salad out of chicken (bleep)!” Continue reading

Unbranded disease awareness TV ads are a goldmine for Pharma

Two years ago, the FDA approved two drugs for Tardive Dyskinesia (TD), Ingrezza and Austedo, which explains the unbranded TV ads and web sites. Like other unbranded marketing, TD ads and websites omit mention of any drug names but urge people to see their doctors and describe all their symptoms, as unpaid Pharma salesmen. Web sites even offer a “discussion guide” to make sure the patient says the right things and sells the drug for Pharma. Continue reading

Cognitive dissonance propaganda and public health

U.S. right-wing radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, to whom Donald Trump recently awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, an honor usually bestowed upon those who have markedly improved society in some way, recently suggested that the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, was nothing more than the “common cold” that was “weaponized” by opponents of Trump to use it against him in this year’s election. Such pandering to those on the lunatic fringe who oppose modern science and medicine, including vaccinations, is not limited to the radio airwaves. Continue reading

Looming Coronavirus threat in US bolsters case for Medicare for All and universal paid sick leave

‘Doubters may claim that our nation can't afford Medicare for All, but it's increasingly likely that we are about to discover just how costly our current system really is.’

The global coronavirus outbreak which also threatens the United States—and the widely criticized effort by the Trump administration to address it—is offering advocates of both paid sick leave and Medicare for All an opportunity to make the case that such universal social programs are not only morally right but would also serve a key public health function. Continue reading

Living in inequality, dying in despair

Americans are living a little longer. But we still lag well behind the developed world’s life expectancy norm. As the world’s most unequal developed nation, we shouldn’t be surprised.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released some welcome news late last month: Americans are living a tiny bit longer. In 2018, the federal health agency reported, U.S. life expectancy at birth inched up about a month, from 78.6 to 78.7 years. Continue reading

Yes, these drugs are in US meat

Thanks to animal welfare groups, most people are now aware of “factory farms.” Concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs abuse workers, animals, the environment, human consumers and even our tax dollars. (How? Price supports and government bailouts when diseases occur.) Thanks to greedy CAFOs crowding, diseases killed one-tenth of all US pigs and millions of chickens and turkeys a few years ago. Continue reading

Black boxes: health warning or profit warning?

“Boxed warnings” or “black boxes” are the strictest FDA label warnings. They appear on cigarettes, fluoroquinolones (for tendon rupture), Lamictal (for SJS and TEN), Accutane (birth defects), and other products with well-known risks. Continue reading

Trump’s EPA is a huge cancer risk

Industry-friendly regulators are letting chemical companies flood the country with toxins. It should be a scandal.

This January, President Trump claimed credit for new figures from the American Cancer Society showing “the sharpest one-year drop in cancer death rate ever recorded” between 2016 and 2017. Continue reading

SARS-like disease could become a pandemic

Do you remember SARS? Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was so contagious; a SARS-afflicted man on an Air China flight in 2003 infected 20 passengers sitting at a distance away from him and two crew members. The simple act of flushing the toilet spread the deadly lung disease and health care workers had to wear HazMat suits to treat patients. Eight hundred people died including Pekka Aro, a senior official with the United Nations. Continue reading

Two meat-related diseases that could become epidemics

Do you remember SARS? Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was so contagious, a SARS-afflicted man on an Air China flight in 2003 infected 20 passengers sitting at a distance away from him and two crew members. The simple act of flushing the toilet spread the deadly lung disease and health care workers had to wear HazMat suits to treat patients. Eight hundred people died including Pekka Aro, a senior official with the United Nations. Continue reading

Analysis of 30 years of single-payer research shows Medicare for All would absolutely save us money

‘Across the political spectrum, there is near consensus among these economists that a single-payer system would save money.’

A comprehensive new study that reviewed nearly three decades of existing analyses shows implementation of a single-payer healthcare system like Medicare for All could dramatically reduce costs in the United States, with savings likely experienced in the first year and definitely over the longer term. Continue reading

Study shows Medicare for All could save us $600 billion annually on paperwork and other ‘useless bureaucracy’

‘Industry wants you to think universal healthcare is too expensive. In reality, it's our current system that's a wasteful, unsustainable disaster.’

Insurers and healthcare providers in the United States spent a staggering $812 billion on paperwork and other administrative burdens in 2017 alone, bureaucratic costs that could be dramatically reduced by switching to a single-payer system like Medicare for All. Continue reading

The latest livestock pandemic that Big Meat doesn’t want you to know about

There’s a lot the industrial factory farm industry prefers to keep consumers in the dark about, including what happens when millions of confined, stressed out animals with weakened immune systems are exposed to disease. Continue reading

Hormone replacement therapy is still linked to cancer

It is a fluke of the news cycle that if we don’t hear a product warning frequently, we can “forgive” that product and think it has somehow become safe. While no one would “forgive” cigarettes, lead in drinking water or mercury in tuna, the public has definitely softened on the danger of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause. So it is noteworthy that a recently released follow-up of subjects in the federal Women’s Health Initiative found that “breast cancer risk from menopause hormones may last decades.” Specifically, women prescribed HRT had a 29% greater incidence of breast cancer 19 years after using the drugs than those who never used the drugs, said the analysis. Continue reading

New Year’s resolutions Big Pharma should be forced to make

Our Reps Will Wait Their Turn to See the Doctor
They will not be dressed to star in music videos. Prior experience at Hooters or Work Out World will not be sufficient for hiring. They will not call the doctor dude. We understand others waiting to see the doctor are sick.
Continue reading

Big Food is behind the obesity epidemic

With the holidays approaching, few want to think about their weight. It will certainly go up not down before 2020 arrives. People will probably start thinking about their weight on January 2—and joining gyms. Continue reading

How does one of the most hated industries stay profitable?

Pharma is one of the public’s most detested industries. But despite its low approval ratings and a plethora of government lawsuits, Pharma continues to thrive. Here are some of the tricks up its sleeve that enable its continued profiteering. Continue reading

Drug makers discover profit in a new disease

Before direct-to-consumer ads, physicians tried to reassure patients they were probably fine. Today, drug ads and online symptom checkers do just the opposite. The most insidious are “unbranded” ads that scare people about a disease without mentioning the drug they are trying to sell. Notable unbranded disease campaigns sell the obscure exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, shift work sleep disorder, and non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder. Unbranded advertising is designed to appear like a public health message from the CDC and some even run free on TV and radio as “public service announcements.” Continue reading

Who’s afraid of Medicare for All?

Not ordinary Democrats or independents—just insurance companies, lobbyists, and old-line politicians.

We might expect that corporate billionaires and Koch-funded Republican right-wingers would be howl-at-the-moon opponents of a wealth tax, Medicare-for-All, and other big progressive ideas to help improve the circumstances of America’s workaday majority. Continue reading