EVENT: National Medicare For All Discussion

Saturday, MARCH 30
National Medicare For All
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Sanctuary
2333 San Juan ~ Port Townsend
Hosted by: National Nurses United and Olympic Peninsula Progressives

Guest Speakers:
 Rick Doherty, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.C.M.G. Retired Medical School Professor, Medical and Molecular Geneticist, Toxicologist, Physician

Craig Ritchie J.D., BPharm, former Sequim City Attorney, former Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney, Instructor in Pharmacy Law, Licensed Pharmacist

The Measles Moms – Medium

A very good short read on the people making the decisions on not vaccinating their children and how the medical community (and non medical community) might reach out to them. Written by Jessica Valenti.

The leaders of the anti-vaccination movement — both at home and on the national stage — are women. (Specifically, women in <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171003111108.htm&quot; data-href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171003111108.htm&quot; class="markup–anchor markup–p-anchor" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: inherit; text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.541176); background-image: url("data:image/svg+xml; utf8, “); background-size: 1px 1px; caret-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.843137); font-family: medium-content-serif-font, Georgia, Cambria, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif; font-size: 21px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: -0.06300000101327896px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat”>affluent areas.) They’re <a href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/women-and-job-based-health.pdf&quot; data-href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/women-and-job-based-health.pdf&quot; class="markup–anchor markup–p-anchor" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: inherit; text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.541176); background-image: url("data:image/svg+xml; utf8, “); background-size: 1px 1px; caret-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.843137); font-family: medium-content-serif-font, Georgia, Cambria, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif; font-size: 21px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: -0.06300000101327896px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat”>disproportionately the family members who make medical decisions about kids, they’re the most active in chat rooms, and they’re the most recognizable public faces of the anti-vaccination movement.

https://medium.com/s/jessica-valenti/why-women-lead-the-anti-vaxx-movement-13bb6ff6ae5c

ACA plans denied nearly 1 in 5 in-network claims in 2017 – Healthcare Dive

To see that almost 20% of ACA in-network claims have been denied in 2017 is not a good situation. And the lack of appeals on them (.05%) shows that for most providers, they just push back on the patient to pay.

A very good read to help consumers understand that the marketplace is not working properly and that you should be very careful talking to your medical provider about what they are prescribing you to do. Be very open in telling them that your financial situation cannot afford surprise bills, and ask if there is a way to check first before moving forward with your provider.


https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/aca-plans-denied-nearly-1-in-5-in-network-claims-in-2017/549312/

Former Aetna medical director admits to never reviewing medical records before denying care. -Forbes

This is something that has been suspected by care providers for some time. Now the proof has come out in court.

One of the dirty medical secrets that you likely aren’t aware of, is that your Physician, Physician Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner may spend far longer than they spend with you, fighting for your right to get your care that they prescribe from your insurance company. Sometimes it means they lose money on the time they spent with you as it could mean hours on the phone and time spent sending records over to them for supposed review. Sometimes it may mean that one is turned down for coverage for a life threatening illness. Sometimes people die because of it. Sometimes they have to shift to care that may not be optimal, from the perspective of your provider.

Now, in court, a former Aetna medical director admits that he never even looked at the medical records of people who he denied coverage to, relying on nurses employed by the company to determine the validity of the requested coverage. Why this is possible is outrageus, and it flips the old claim we heard from Republicans in the 90s against then First Lady Hilary Clinton, that her proposals for healthcare reform were going to lead to “death panels”. So Clinton’s ideas failed, and we carried on with for profit insurance companies who apparently don’t even need a panel, but entrust life or death decisions to unskilled bureaucratic workers.

The Democrats, today, rolled out their plan for Medicare for All. There is much to debate in this plan, but the goal is to end at some point in the future, the out of control pricing and unregulated nature of the decision making at these corporate companies, many of whom have made their CEOs enormously rich by denying care to those that need it most. Let me remind anyone that is not aware of it, but the U.S. citizen pays far more and gets much worse outcomes than any other industrialized country in the world. While moving to a new system it may *raise our taxes* it may also *reduce your healthcare costs that you pay monthly*. If you could do away with your $500 a month or more you and your family pay for insurance coverage, and get coverage for $25 more in taxes, why would you say no? (The number $25 is just a straw dog). There is also a proposal that the taxes needed for this plan will come from taxing the wealthiest 1%.

I for one am willing to explore this and see exactly how much more I will have to pay for government run healthcare, if anything at all. Under the plan, you will still get to see your favorite doctor, and we will need to train hundreds of thousands of more new providers, but this current system is out of control, prices are vastly too high, and now, we see that they are not even concerned about whether we live or die, just that we pay them their monthly fees.

Want to do something about it? First off, make sure you are not investing in these companies. Cut off their investments by requesting an end to financial support for them in the stock market. Secondly, call your State and Federal congresspeople, demanding that our Insurance Commissioner investigate these companies. At the federal level they need to launch an investigation into this practice as well.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2018/02/11/former-aetna-medical-director-admits-to-never-reviewing-medical-records-before-denying-care/#e74f11635e53

We don’t need government-run healthcare to get affordable, universal coverage – Washington Post

A very interesting opinion piece (that dovetails with the last post of mine discussing that a large amount of lobbyists are out to kill the idea of Medicare for All). I don’t think that Third Way is a lobbying arm of the healthcare industry, but I would love to get some feedback by my readers as to what they think of this proposal. It does merit a good debate, I believe. It might even be possible to get a great many Americans on board with this, since they get to keep their doctor, it doesn’t put every medical professional into having to accept the uneconomic reimbursal rates of Medicare/medicaid, it eliminates medical bankruptcies, and it covers everyone in a way that is easy to implement. Thoughts? Am I missing something here?

From the article:

America can insure everyone without changing anyone’s existing health coverage. It won’t require replacing Obamacare with a single-payer, government-run system. Instead, we can build upon Obamacare with two simple, game-changing features: a universal cap on premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, and an automatic coverage system that places the uninsured in a plan they can depend on and afford.

UPDATE: After thinking about it, here’s my, and a medical friend’s thoughts:

A missing element in this is that it doesn’t change the issue that not everyone with insurance gets the coverage they need. Some providers don’t take more than one or two of the ACA options. Some don’t take any. Many things docs want to do arent covered by Obamacare, Medicare or independent insurers. If your doc says you need an MRI, and the ACA people say no, what then? Why is an insurance bureaucrat more knowledgeable about your care than your doctor? The devil is in the details in the current ACA & in this one too. In Canada, everyone who walks in the clinics or hospitals gets the same care. This proposal at least in the article, does not achieve that. Reimbursements in the ACA often barely cover the cost of treatment. That’s why some docs won’t take them. What about the caps? Meaning some programs only allow you to see a doc 4 or 5 times a year, then you are out of luck and out of pocket. Will it cover all needed coverage? So much missing in this article. Would love to have the authors point us to more indepth overviews of this. Interesting to read some of the comments, which seem to say that Third Way is a tool of the Right, some say it’s a tool of the Left. Wonder what the reality is? 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/02/19/we-dont-need-government-run-health-care-get-affordable-universal-coverage/