Pot industry trashes environment

From the Seattle Times. As if we didn’t suspect as much.

Getting high in Washington state has turned into a low for the environment, as trash from the booming pot industry clogs gutters, sewers and landfills. Fertilizers from grow operations end up in Puget Sound, and millions of pounds of waste could be composted, but aren’t. Meanwhile, synthetic marijuana known as K2 is making headlines in Connecticut, where more than 70 people overdosed in one day.

Shopping for healthcare simply doesn’t work, so what might? NY Times

Good overview on the problem with healthcare “shopping.” Our local CEO, Mike Glenn, has been saying for years that the community and the hospital needs to have a ‘conversation’ on the issue of healthcare costs. Perhaps he’s ready to hold that conversation?



Trump administration freezes risk-adjustment payments – Modern Healthcare

The administration continues it’s battle to destroy protecting middle and low income folks from medical financial ruin continues.

The Trump administration is halting billions of dollars of payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act’s risk-adjustment program, a move that further disrupts the insurance market and could lead to more premium increases next year.



FDA Authorizes Marketing of the New Dexcom G6® CGM Eliminating Need for Fingerstick Blood Testing for People with Diabetes | Business Wire

This seems like good news. Whether it will be available for lower income people through medicare/medicaid would mean a lot to help them monitor their glucose levels.

FDA Authorizes Marketing of the New Dexcom G6® CGM Eliminating Need for Fingerstick Blood Testing for People with Diabetes
— Read on www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180327006343/en/FDA-Authorizes-Marketing-New-Dexcom-G6®-CGM

Medicine affordability recommendations made for the U.S

From the Consumer Health Digest

An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has issued a 235-page report on Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative. The report includes 14 findings about the complexity of the biopharmaceutical marketplace, 18 findings about factors influencing affordability of prescription drugs, and these eight recommendations (each accompanied by suggested actions):

  • Accelerate the market entry and use of safe and effective generics as well as biosimilars, and foster competition to ensure the continued affordability and availability of these products.
  • Consolidate and apply government purchasing power, strengthen formulary design, and improve drug valuation methods. This includes modifying existing legislation to allow the Dept. of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices for Medicare and other programs (p. 127).
  • Assure greater transparency of financial flows and profit margins in the biopharmaceutical supply chain.
  • Promote the adoption of industry codes of conduct, and discourage direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs as well as direct financial incentives for patients.
  • Modify insurance benefits designed to mitigate prescription drug cost burdens for patients.
  • Eliminate misapplication of funds and inefficiencies in federal discount programs that are intended to aid vulnerable populations.
  • Ensure that financial incentives for the prevention and treatment of rare diseases are not extended to widely sold drugs.
  • Increase available information and implement reimbursement incentives to more closely align clinicians’ prescribing practices with treatment value.

Pages 52 and 53 cover Medicare drug price negotiation in detail. Pages 96 to 98 discuss drug reimportation. The full report can be read online or downloaded free of charge by registered users of the Academy’s site.

Full Universal Healthcare Study Released for I1600 – San Juan Islander

While this new full study shows many benefits to getting I1600 voted into law, I looked at their reporting to the State, detailing their funding. They have yet to break $100k for a campaign that will likely need at least $700k to succeed. To be clear, I have been helping get signatures to get this on the ballot, but have grave doubts that this reach the ballot, let alone get enacted into law. It does seem like a well thought out plan. One of the things that is troubling though is that the State appears to have significantly reduced reimbursements to pediatricians over the a couple of years (now supposedly restored back to where it was). This has caused at least one major pediatrician to have closed his doors in Aberdeen (article referred to here on the News). The State *must* do better than this! Driving doctors out of business seems to be the way that our legislators want to see the future unfold, especially Republicans since they were responsible for the drop in reimbursements and the Democrats restored the cuts. I was also shown an ad yesterday for a Physician Assistant up north of Seattle, and they were being told in the ad that they were going to have to expect to see 32 patients a day! Let’s be clear, that is not a way to get better healthcare!

Whole Washington, a grassroots group dedicated to getting universal healthcare passed in Washington state, has just published the complete funding study performed by Dr. Gerald Friedman (Economist, University of Massachusetts, Amherst). This historic funding study demonstrates Washington State will save billions of dollars annually by passing a universal healthcare system.