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Health
Taiwan’s single-payer success story — and its lessons for America
Dylan Scott: “Canada and virtually all European and Asian developed nations have reached, decades ago, a political consensus to treat health care as a social good,” health care economist Uwe Reinhardt wrote in his book Priced Out shortly before his death in 2017. “By contrast, we in the United States have never reached a politically dominant consensus on the issue.” ... Taiwan made its choice in the 1990s and embraced single-payer. It has required sacrifice: by doctors who believe they’re forced to see too many patients every day; by patients with complex and costly conditions who can’t always access the latest treatments; by citizens who have been asked from time to time, and will be asked again, to pay more for their health care than they did before. ... The vast majority of Taiwan’s citizens today approve of their health care system... Visit Website ]
Jan 13, 2020, 3:13pm

Health
How Big Pharma Twists the Law to Its Will and Leaves Americans Worse Off
Thom Hartmann: Big Pharma spends a small fortune every year buying politicians to make sure we can’t import prescription drugs from Canada, but they’re more than happy to sell us contaminated medications from countries with weak manufacturing controls and exploitable labor that ensure high-profit margins. ... A toxic compound that doesn’t belong anywhere near medicine known as NDMA was first discovered in some blood pressure medications in 2018, and the FDA issued an alert and wrote a complaint letter to the raw materials supplier to Big Pharma companies. ... It turns out the meds follow the very common pattern of being made in India with raw ingredients coming from China. And they are sold by big companies for obscenely high prices to U.S. consumers... Visit Website ]
Jan 11, 2020, 2:40pm

Health
Fast Food Nations and Global Nutrition
Colin Todhunter: If we grow millets and pulses, we will have more nutrition per capita. But If we grow food by using chemicals, we are growing monocultures, which leads to less nutrition per acre, per capita. Monocultures do not produce more food and nutrition but use more chemicals and are therefore profitable for agrochemical companies. ... Moving from Africa to Mexico, we can see that agri-food concerns have infiltrated the food system there too. They are taking over food distribution channels and replacing local foods with cheap processed commodities. ... In Mexico, the loss of food sovereignty has induced catastrophic changes in the nation’s diet and trade policies have effectively displaced large numbers of smallholder farmers... Visit Website ]
Dec 28, 2019, 11:45am

Health
The Police are Bad for Your Health
Michael Pappas: Police threaten the health of communities—particularly black and brown communities—in a multitude of ways. ... In recent years, Americans have been killed by police merely for standing in a “shooting stance,” holding a cell phone, behaving oddly and holding a baseball bat, opening the front door, running in an aggressive manner holding a tree branch, crawling around naked, hunching over in a defensive posture, wearing dark pants and a basketball jersey, driving while deaf, being homeless, brandishing a shoehorn, holding a garden hose, and peeing outdoors. ... Studies have shown there are various health effects of mass incarceration spilling over into communities. ... the trauma and chronic stress that comes with having a loved one abused or killed at the hands of police violence ... It is clear that ongoing terror and violence perpetrated by law enforcement agencies is a societal disease hurting us all... Visit Website ]
Dec 20, 2019, 1:38pm

Health
The Killing Fields of American Health Care
David Penner: American health care is being crushed under the iron heel of a cabal of ruthless and merciless robber barons. ... Indeed, this primitive and backward system continues to be a source of horrendous suffering, as the health insurance companies, hospital executives, and pharmaceutical companies repeatedly place their insatiable lust for profit over the lives of their fellow Americans. ... According to a Johns Hopkins study, more than 250,000 Americans die each year due to medical errors. ... Few realize that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not engaged in impartial third party testing of drugs, and that the pharmaceutical companies are simply supplying the FDA with their invariably fudged statistics. ... It is no small irony that the most diabolical drug dealers would turn out to be psychiatrists that prescribe psychotropic drugs and physicians that overprescribe opioids... Visit Website ]
Nov 18, 2019, 2:11pm

Health
US Allows Poisons In Food Not Allowed In The UK
Freya Drohan, Dailymail.co.uk: Vani Hari, who goes by the moniker The Food Babe online, showed the differences between common bodega goods like chips and soda and how they are formulated on each side of the Atlantic. ... The author and campaigner, 38, shared her findings with her audience, who were horrified to see ingredients like the preservative BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and artificial colorings in products sold to American consumers while the British versions – and Australian and Canadian – come without. ... Although artificial dyes are common in America, that doesn’t make them safe to eat ... She explained that in Europe, food companies are required to include warning labels if they use artificial dyes – hence many opt not to use them.... Visit Website ]
Oct 5, 2019, 3:23pm

Health
Why the Private Health Insurance Industry Faces an Existential Crisis
Wendell Potter: Our health insurance companies ... are not essential. They don’t treat anyone. They don’t prevent anyone from becoming sick. They don’t take you to the hospital or make sure you take your pills. They don’t fund or discover medical innovations. They’re simply middlemen we don’t need. And in the industry, we always dreaded the day American businesses and patients would wake up to that reality. ... That day has come. ... This is a watershed moment for Medicare for All and America’s health insurance companies. ... They are waking up to realize the middleman is not necessary... Visit Website ]
Sep 25, 2019, 2:58pm

Health
25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections
Ralph Nader: Costly complexity is baked into Obamacare, and although it has improved access to healthcare for some, tens of millions of Americans still cannot afford basic medical care for their family. ... Number 25: In Canada, everyone is covered automatically at birth – everybody in, nobody out. A human right. ... In the United States, under Obamacare, 28 million Americans (9 percent) are still uninsured and 85 million Americans (26 percent) are underinsured. Obamacare is made even worse by Trumpcare restrictions ... Number 24: In Canada, the health system is designed to put people, not profits, first.... Visit Website ]
Sep 19, 2019, 2:42pm

Health
How Greedy Hospitals Fleece the Poor
Libby Watson: The most vulnerable Americans are being dunned into destitution through surprise fees and fraudulent practices. ... The precise number of people who go bankrupt because of a medical bill matters far less than the fact that medical bankruptcy is a real danger in the United States in a way that it simply isn’t in other developed countries. ... Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported on the case of a Wisconsin hospital that had actually attempted to determine the real cost of a knee surgery at its facility, for which the list price was more than $50,000. It turned out the answer was $10,500. ... Though Medicare and Medicaid will only reimburse a set amount for each procedure, a hospital can charge private insurance—and patients—whatever it can get away with. ... Patients are mere pawns in the games that hospitals play with insurance.... Visit Website ]
Sep 14, 2019, 2:39pm

Health
How Medicare for All Looks From Britain
Dawn Foster: The terrifying experience of getting sick on a visit to America reminded me why Brits cherish our National Health Service. The NHS doesn’t just make the United Kingdom healthier — it creates a spirit of equality that changes people's entire mentality about health care. ... It’s often, correctly, observed that to people in the United Kingdom the National Health Service is akin to a religion. ... Since its creation after World War II, the mere suggestion, by any party, of a shift away from free health care provokes horror in the electorate. ... The NHS has changed the psychology of an entire nation, across multiple generations: we know that no matter what happens we will receive care and pay little, if anything, for it. ... Most problems with the NHS are caused by underfunding at the hands of governments that will happily finance wars while cutting funding for nurses. ... Visit Website ]
Sep 13, 2019, 2:49pm

Health
Officials Ignore Pesticides and Blame Alcohol and Biscuits for Rising Rates of Disease
Colin Todhunter: Campaigner and environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has written an open letter to the Chief Medical Officer of England, Sally Davies. In it, Mason states that none of the more than 400 pesticides that have been authorised in the UK have been tested for long-term actions on the brain: in the foetus, in children or in adults. ... Glyphosate, the most widespread herbicide in the world, is an EDC (endocrine disrupter) and a nervous system disrupting chemical. ... commercial interests are currently in control of key decisions about the public’s health ... lifestyle choices are not to blame for rising rates of diseases, cancer and obesity; these increases are the outcome of the toxic cocktails of pesticides and other chemicals we are consuming ... Roundup (and other biocides) is a major cause of gross obesity, neuropsychiatric disorders and other chronic diseases including cancers, which are all on the rise, and adversely impacts brain development in children and adolescents... Visit Website ]
Sep 10, 2019, 1:35pm

Health
Chaos and Old Night: Fracking’s Hell Fires Still Burn Bright in Colorado
Phil Doe: A funny thing happened on the way to the Colorado Capitol this past winter. ... The new Democratic majority passed a bill that would end the oil industry’s reign of terror over the people in the fracking fields of Colorado. ... The new law, known as SB 181, made the protection of public health, safety, and the environment a condition that had to be met before any new oil and gas wells could be drilled or other infrastructure approved. ... The many citizens who believe Governor Polis is slow-walking implementation of SB 181 were served no surprise the other night. ... These citizens now know with certainty the Governor will not implement the new law any time soon. ... Yet - Wastewater samples collected from 329 fracked oil wells found that virtually all—98 percent—contained benzene (carcinogen) at levels that exceeded standards for permissible concentrations in drinking water. ... Over 90 percent of all original research studies published from 2016-2018 on the health impacts of fracking find a positive association with immediate or potential harm... Visit Website ]
Sep 3, 2019, 11:45am

Health
Doctors are prescribing houseplants for anxiety, depression, and loneliness
Melissa Breyer: A medical practice in Manchester, England is giving patients indoor plants to help boost wellness. ... Take two spider plants and call me in the morning? ... It is no secret that houseplants have all kinds of benefits to offer their human hosts. Beyond their cheerful demeanor, they provide many helpful assists, like increasing oxygen levels, helping stave off illness, cleaning the air, boosting healing, nudging creativity, and relieving stress – among other things. ... So it comes as little surprise that the medical community is catching on – as evidenced by a GP practice in Manchester, England that is prescribing plants to help people with anxiety, depression, and loneliness. ... patients get herbs, vegetables, and potted plants to care for. After a while, they bring them back to the medical office and transfer them to a communal garden. ... So much of what keeps people happy and well isn’t medical... Visit Website ]
Aug 31, 2019, 4:07pm

Health
We Have a Dental Care Crisis. Medicare for All Could Solve It.
Natalie Shure: Guaranteed dental coverage would finally put an end to the deep inequities in U.S. oral health. ... the incorporation of oral health into a broader vision for universal healthcare is emerging as a distinct social justice issue. ... dental inequality is even more extreme in America than inequality in other areas of healthcare. Twice as many children lack dental coverage as conventional health coverage. Some 800,000 ER visits a year stem from dental issues, many of which could be avoided with routine management. More Americans report financial barriers for dentistry than any other type of healthcare. ... Indeed, poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other serious ailments... Visit Website ]
Jul 11, 2019, 2:54pm

Health
Congress Loves Socialized Health Care — For Itself
Jim Hightower: For $3.5 trillion a year, shouldn’t we Americans have a world-class health care system? ... No surprise, then, that Medicare for All is now backed by 85 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of independents, and (get this) 52 percent of Republicans! ... So — why isn’t Congress responding to this overwhelming public demand for universal coverage? ... I suspect that one big reason for Washington’s big yawn over the people’s plea for sweeping reform is that our lawmakers don’t personally feel the financial pain and emotional distress that are inflicted on millions of regular Americans by a system built on private greed. ... Called the Office of the Attending Physician (or OAP), it provides a complete range of free medical service for lawmakers. No appointment needed and no waiting — they walk in and doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, and other professionals tend to them right away... Visit Website ]
Jul 11, 2019, 2:10pm


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