Republican Congresswoman Seeks Health Care Relief for Pacific County Residents Who Will Lose Options – The Chronicle of Lewis County

The posturing over the continued destruction of the ACA continues. Republican WA Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler, after voting to end the mandate on the ACA, now expects Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler  to fix the problem she and her colleagues are creating. Her expectation of  the State needing to fix this issue, while her constituents lose their health care coverage in Pacific County after her party’s work to destroy the healthcare act, is pathetic. Does she not understand how insurance works? Where was she educated? 

There is no free lunch. You voters in Pacific County elected this fraud to Congress. She promised you the end of Obamacare, and has fought to destroy the Affordable Care Act, with dire warnings issued by the insurance companies that without a mandate for care, they cannot guarantee affordable insurance rates, nor even the ability for the middle class constituents that counted on her to help them find affordable care. So now you are going to pay for the outcome of your vote. It is not up to Mr. Kreidler to fix a problem that Congress has been hell bent on creating. If Representative Beutler wants to see a fix for the problem, perhaps she can support a universal health care option that can give all of her constituents a chance to see a doctor, or other healthcare provider, as every other developed country in the world has already done. America is currently 27th in the world in it’s indices of health, not number one.  Representative Beutler is helping us not only stay that way, but fall even further behind the rest of the world.

She wants to blame it on the State, but she is complicit in the problem’s creation. You can’t have it both ways.

http://www.chronline.com/congresswoman-seeks-health-care-relief-for-pacific-county-residents-who/article_2ab006f6-dc9e-11e7-af5c-03e954cea74d.html

Heated And Deep-Pocketed Battle Erupts Over 340B Drug Discount Program – Kaiser Health News

This is an ugly story from both sides of the issue. The big Pharma companies are looking to claw back some of their profits, and some hospital districts, such as Jefferson County Healthcare, may be using the system in a way it was not intended, meaning that it is unclear that the patients who were intended to benefit from this, actually are seeing benefits. JHC has a relationship to somehow share these discounts with Safeway, where they send patients for filling the discounted drug.  Is the patient actually seeing a discounted price or is the hospital somehow using this to generate more profits? I am under the impression that Kitsap County is using the program more as it was originally intended, meaning that the monies are passed directly to the consumer who benefits from the discount. Is that not true here? It appears not to be.

The program, known as 340B, requires pharmaceutical companies to give steep discounts to hospitals and clinics that serve high volumes of low-income patients.

Under 340B, named after the section of the Public Health Service Act that authorizes it, eligible hospitals buy drugs at a discount from the pharmaceutical companies and then are reimbursed for those purchases from Medicare. The drugs are purchased under the Part B program, which covers expensive chemotherapy and other treatments in a hospital, doctor’s office and clinics.

Heated And Deep-Pocketed Battle Erupts Over 340B Drug Discount Program

WA St. Medical Association Responds To Potential Repeal Of The Individual Mandate

Given the depressing state of the local Jefferson County Medical Society, this is good news. Our local docs can’t seem to get worked up over anything other than a qualified woman running for political office, whom they denounce internally with misinformation.

SEATTLE, Nov. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) President Donna Smith, MD, issued the following statement today:

“The Washington State Medical Association is troubled once again that the Senate is threatening health insurance coverage for millions and greater market instability by repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. We stand with the coalition of the country’s top health care organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, the Federation of American Hospitals and America’s Health Insurance Plans in urging Congress to maintain the mandate and to pass measures to stabilize the insurance market to help ensure our patients have access to comprehensive, affordable health care coverage.

“Too many Washingtonians and too many Americans who are simply trying to access needed care are facing rising premiums and uncertainty regarding the future of their coverage. It’s time to set aside our fractious debate and come together to pursue bi-partisan fixes to the Affordable Care Act so that we have a health care system that works for everyone.”

With Federal Children’s Health Coverage Uncertain, Washington And Oregon Consider Options – NW Public Radio

States preparing for the worst from the outcome of our Republican Representatives and Senators in Congress. Those of you in districts with Republicans representing you should contact your congressperson if you don’t want to see your neighbor’s children thrown off healthcare. This is the outcome of your voting for these people.

Washington and Oregon are making contingency plans in case Congress doesn’t reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is for low-income families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid

http://nwpr.org/post/federal-children-s-health-coverage-uncertain-washington-and-oregon-consider-options

Cheri Van Hoover narrows gap to Bruce McComas

While still trailing Bruce, Cheri has narrowed the gap to 113 votes. It is  certainly not impossible for her to win, as there are still contested ballots and mail in ballots that will be counted as one batch (for protection of voters’ privacy) on Nov. 28th.  A huge number of ballots cast in the election did not vote for either candidate, likely voting for Prop 1 or a Port candidate. This shows, again, why getting out the vote is so important and that every vote counts in local elections. It could come down to a single vote or two.

We must house homeless to cure health inequities – Seattle Times

This article is a good overview of the issue of homelessness and it’s affects on healthcare. It’s worth a read given the disgraceful behavior of our current Jefferson County Hospital Commissioners Jill Buhler and Tony Deleo in determining that it was not in the interest of our community health,  to even take a stand on Prop  1 after hospital staff worked so hard on identifying it as part of the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).

While Prop 1 failed, it would have been nice to have had the support of the people supposedly supporting healthcare in our county.  It will be interesting to see if Mr. McComas, who is currently leading in the returns, has anything more than the nice words behind his campaign promises of understanding the needs of the less fortunate. We obviously can’t count on our medical society members to give a damn. They demonstrated their ability to buy into misinformation and help spread the fear campaign against Ms. Van Hoover.  Nor expect any criticism of the status quo from the Leader, which derives significant ad revenue from the endless ads that the hospital places every week. It’s all about power and money. As usual. It’s worth noting that marketing costs are outpacing charity care this year at our hospital.

We need a health-care system that recognizes homelessness first and foremost as a medical issue…We need a health-care system that recognizes homelessness first and foremost as a medical issue. People experiencing homelessness are hospitalized at rates four times that of the general population. Yet, the medical community has often sat on the sideline, with homelessness siloed as an issue for the housing authority to address. It is time for the housing crisis to be treated as a public-health crisis and for our health-care dollars to be invested in housing.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/we-must-house-homeless-to-cure-health-inequities/

 

Public Options – Produced by HumanKind

This radio show was on KUOW last night. It’s the best overview of the Canadian healthcare system I’ve heard. This debunks the myths, mainly American,about how they created it, what’s right and what’s wrong with the system. But it’s clear, we have a long way to go to give the same care as Canadians get. Their system was highly controversial when it went in, but is a given now. Unfortunately, the show is not free, but you can download it for $4.50 at this web site. If you are involved in wanting to see universal health care become a reality in America, you should listen to this and share it.

One takeaway is that the system was created as a provencial system, which was then adopted nationally. This holds out hope that perhaps we can create a regional, say west coast system, that could allow us to show what can be done in a best case scenario.

Most nations with advanced economies provide health care for all through a government-financed system. Even the United States offers a basic single-payer plan for seniors: Medicare. But for the rest of the population, health care is a mind-numbingly complex patchwork quilt – as well as a giant money maker for the health care industry. Hence the continuing, high-stakes battles over how to care for people’s medical needs. In this program we hear from two very knowledgeable experts:

Danielle Martin, a family physician and strong advocate of single-payer in Canada and author of Better Now. We listen to a short history of the early battles in Canada to launch this system – including a doctors’ strike – fascinating for Americans to hear.

Jacob Hacker, author of American Amnesia and Yale professor of political science who devised the Public Option, by which people with employer-provided insurance can keep their coverage, but others may opt-in to a new system that would be based on Medicare, which remains highly popular, yet has managed to restrain the medical costs.

http://www.humanmedia.org/catalog/program.php?products_id=407&PHPSESSID=68dc7764aa33ecd5aedb830ae1883d0c