The Watering Hole, Monday, September 23rd, 2013: Ignorance is…Ignorant

I wasn’t planning to go to the pharmacy counter at our local A&P grocery store the other day, but I needed some Mucinex and, because somehow weird people might make meth out of it, I had to take a card from the shelf hook and bring it to the pharmacist. Despite standing more than the required 4 feet away – for privacy purposes (4 feet = ‘cone of silence’?) – I caught quite a bit of the conversation between a customer and the pharmacist. The beginning of their discussion was about a delay in getting the man’s medication, so the pharmacist offered to give him several pills to tide him over. The man was grumpy about the whole thing, but eventually accepted the pills, and I thought “finally, my turn.” No such luck.

Their conversation then turned to ‘Obamacare’ and, although they lowered their voices a tad, the bits that I overheard were the usual drivel: “it’s just another step toward socialized medicine”, “it’s insane”, “nobody knows what’s in the law”, “socialized medicine is the WORST!” (those last two were from the pharmacist herself), and so on. While I endured about five minutes of waiting for their fear-fest to end, I debated about interrupting to try to inform them; however, since I, along with Wayne and his mother, are regulars at this store, I didn’t really want to start a fight. By this time I had already been joined by another customer waiting outside the cone of silence–luckily it was one of the nice women from my vet’s office, so I turned to her and muttered “I’m going to slap them both soon.”

Just a few days before this, I took advantage of one of the ACA’s rules that had already taken effect: I had my annual physical. No co-pay for the visit; no co-pay for the bloodwork; no co-pay for the colonoscopy that my doctor told me to get; no co-pay for the mammogram that I need to schedule. In addition, several months ago Wayne and I both received checks from United Healthcare because they did not comply with the 20/80 rule about how the insurance companies spend our/our employers’ premiums.

It just pisses me off that neither the angry customer or the pharmacist, in the course of their conversation, ever thought to admit that one of them should actually look into what the law is about. I would have thought that the pharmacy, since it will likely be affected by some of the new rules that go into effect on October 1st, would have studied up on Obamacare, or what New York State is doing to implement the newest regulations. Unfortunately, these two are amongst the millions of people who would rather bitch and moan about what they don’t know instead of trying to find answers. Anyone with a computer can do a search for information, starting with the White House’s website itself.

Ignorance is not bliss…it is a decision to remain uninformed.

This is our Open Thread. What would you like to talk about?

The Watering Hole: March 25, I can’t believe this!

Breaking: The Healthcare Legislation has to be voted on another time, the Republicans found some technality which requires yet another vote.

The reconciliation bill will have to go back to the House for another vote after Senate parliamentarian Alan Frumin ruled early this morning that two minor provisions violated the chamber’s rules and could not be included in the final bill, according to Majority Leader Harry Reid’s spokesman Jim Manley.

Both provisions made technical changes to the bill’s Pell Grant regulations. All told, 16 lines of text will be removed from the 153-page bill, Manley told reporters as business on the Senate floor wrapped early Thursday morning. (read more)

A majority of Americans are in fact in favour of the health care bill. The reaction of the Republicans  is a question of tripping up your President’s plans at all costs. By being patient with trying a bipartisan approach, some say overly patient, Barack Obama has proven that the Republican’s strategy is obstructionism and obstructionism only. They perfectly know that if he succeeds (and he will) the right’s stranglehold on the country will ease. People will simply find out they are better off than before and will want to keep it that way.

The Democrats who voted in favour of the bill and, I expect, will vote so again, need to see some positive feedback and not death threats only. I hope democratic voters in November will remember that.

This here is still an Open Thread. So feel free to comment on this and any other topic that’s on your mind.

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Health bills in Congress won’t fix doctor shortage

From McClatchy:

Even as Congress moves to expand health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, it’s doing little to ensure there will be enough primary care doctors to meet the expected surge in demand for treatment, experts say.

The American Academy of Family Physicians predicts that the shortage of family doctors will reach 40,000 in the next 10 years, as medical schools send about half the needed number of graduates into primary care medicine. The overall shortage of doctors is expected to increase to nearly 160,000 by 2025, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“I don’t see anything in the legislation that will greatly increase the primary care pipeline,” said Dr. Russell Robertson, the chairman of the Council on Graduate Medical Education, which advises Congress.

In addition to making sure patients have access to care, increasing the number and proportion of primary care doctors is crucial to lowering health costs, Robertson said. Primary care doctors make up about a third of all physicians, though in most industrialized nations they make up half.

“You can’t reduce health costs without increasing the supply of primary care doctors,” Robertson said.

Read more…

More on this directly from the American Academy of Family Practice.

“You can’t reduce health costs without increasing the supply of primary care doctors..”

This is absolutely true! We as a nation have got to find a way to incentivize medical students to go into family practice instead of going for the specialties where the big money is. The trend is definitely moving in the wrong direction..

If you want to do something to make your voice heard on real healthcare reform..

From CommonDreams:

Citizens and Health Care Providers Will Risk Arrest at Health Insurance Offices in Nine Cities Across the Country on Thursday

Civil disobedience is part of a national mobilization to end insurance abuse and win real health care reform

WASHINGTON – October 13 – Citizens and health care providers are participating in sit-ins at health insurance offices in nine cities across the country on Thursday to call for real reform that addresses the real cause of the health care crisis, the insurance companies. Within the past 16 days, over 700 people have signed up to risk arrest by sitting down in an insurance company office and refusing to leave, demanding the immediate approval of lifesavaing doctor-recommended treatment and an end to denial of care.

For locations across the country, dates and times, and contact information,
go here.

The actions are the start of a national movement, coordinated by the group Mobilization for Health Care for All, of people who are fed up with the state of health care in this country, fed up with the state of the health care debate in this country, and are putting themselves on the line for real health care reform. Chanting messages such as “patients not profits,” participants in the actions are expected to say that insurance companies that deny people the care that they need for profit are the real death panels. They will show that the legislation currently in the limelight fails to address the real problem, the insurance companies. Read on…

Weiner: Misleading insurance report proves public option necessary

I was glad to see this interview last night. It is a good followup to Briseadh na Faire’s post yesterday “The October Surprise – Health Insurance Style.”

From Raw Replay:

MSNBC’s David Shuster is joined by Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-NY, to discuss a new report commissioned by the health insurance industry which is being used to threaten a hike in health care premiums.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Robert Reich explains the “Public Option”

Robert Reich speaks directly on what the ‘public option’ is and why it is so important to health care reform. I would go further. It’s essential.

Reich’s explanation is short, simple, makes sense, and compelling.

Call or write President Obama, your Senators, and your Representatives.

Do something. Before it’s too late.

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President Obama Dispels Myth Of “Death Panels” At NH Town Hall

President Obama said, “it turns out that this I guess rose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end of life care” as well as living wills, hospice care, and the like. The “intention,” the president said, was to help patients prepare for “end of life on their own terms.”

President Obama said the “irony” is that one of the chief sponsors of this idea was Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who “sensibly thought this would expand peoples’ options.”

CNN: Family Raffles Off House To Save Their Child’s Life

The Thornton family are raffling off a house, in Clayton Co., Georgia, to pay medical bills for Payton’s future transplant.

Another reason why we so desperately need healthcare reform.

To say “my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, ‘Your end of the boat is sinking’.”

Health care debate heats up

The Real News Network:

Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines looks at the US health care system, expose its cracks, and uncover the forces that are spending millions of dollars every day to influence the debate over the US health care reform.

In two parts:

Bill Moyers Journal on Healthcare Reform

This episode of the Bill Moyers Journal was broadcast May 22, 2009.

Bill Moyers speaks with Donna Smith, who works as a community organizer and legislative advocate for the California Nurses Association, whose 85 thousand members across the country were early champions for a single-payer program.

Bill Moyers then speaks with Public Citizen’s Dr. Sidney Wolfe and Physicians for a National Health Program’s Dr. David Himmelstein on the political and logistical feasibility of health care reform.

The question is “Why isn’t a single-payer plan even an option on the the table?” 

(The answer of course is MONEY and PROFITS – as in “DON’T TOUCH our profits thank you very much!”…)

Part 1:

Part 2: 

Part 3: