I’m doing my part to hold down health care costs

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 · 73 Comments »

I am one with the zeitgeist. Reading Bob Herbert’s column today, I realized that I am already living the cost control provisions in the Senate healthcare bill. Herbert explains that the excise tax in the Senate bill is designed to control costs by limiting people’s access to healthcare. The so-called “Cadillac” plans that the tax will hit are really just what most of us consider traditional health insurance — the kind that, you know, covers your medical bills. Massive excise taxes will price these plans out of reach, and so most people will eventually be forced into shittier plans with much higher out-of-pocket expenses. And voilà, cost control:

Proponents say this is a terrific way to hold down health care costs. If policyholders have to pay more out of their own pockets, they will be more careful — that is to say, more reluctant — to access health services.

And you know what? That’s totally true. I can attest to it. My policy, for example, has a $5000 deductible, and believe you me, that certainly makes me reluctant to access health services. Like the surgery I need, which I’m not getting because I can’t afford it. I just don’t have the money. Which is a good thing! See, I’m containing costs! I’m being careful and reluctant, just like the Senate wants me to be!

All y’all doubters out there who think healthcare reform won’t work — relax. This will work. This will massively reduce our national healthcare costs. Trust me.

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73 Responses to “I’m doing my part to hold down health care costs”

  1. soopermouse says:

    sometimes I think most ofthe Senate has shares in the funeral industry.

  2. bluelyon says:

    Yup, I caught that logic a couple of days ago. So I went in to my employer and asked my HR director “What’s gonna happen to our insurance when that excise tax kicks in?” He looked at me sadly and said, “I don’t know.”

    Frankly, I can’t imagine them keeping the more expensive plan (of two choices we have) once this takes effect. The bill also reduces the amount of money that can be put in a HSA so that even if we could afford the large deductible, it’s going to be paid with after-tax dollars. Given my salary, I’ll be doing my part to hold down health care costs too.

    But hey. It’s for our own good. We’re just a bunch of malingerers, doncha know?

  3. Seth Warren says:

    Costs will be further reduced when people start dropping dead. Unemployment will go down as well.

  4. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    That’s pretty bad Vi. Not getting a surgery you need. You do need it, right? I had a surgery I didn’t need, once. Oh they SAID I needed it. But.

    I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. Well, if you really need it, I’ll meet you at the border. We can get married, and then after you recover I’ll divorce you. You gold digger. Adoption would work too, but probably take longer. While here you can meet my writer friends. Oh. You do know them. Just not, in real.

  5. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    P.S. This offer good only with one Raoul, or reasonable facsimile.

  6. lambert strether says:

    Calvin Coolidge: “When people are out of work, unemployment results.” Yes, he actually said that.

    Barack Obama; “When people don’t get health care, pain, suffering, and death result.” No, he never says that, and to Versailles that’s a feature, not a bug.

  7. myiq2xu says:

    “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

  8. votermom says:

    Thinking about it makes my blood pressure spike.
    Maybe I should catch some leeches to thin my blood. Yeah, that will do it.

  9. Jeff says:

    Violet, if there was a way to carve off a piece of my plan and send it to you it would be in your hands right now. I truly would. It’s the only thing of value we have, and we like to support and share by temperament. I just got out of wrist surgery three hours ago (first time cut on, ever!), and I love my doctors and my plan. I’d better; my wife and I focused everything on paying into the screwy system we already have.

    My wife has had MS for over twenty-five years. Making realistic preparations for our future, the inevitable costs, defined our lives. Her art degree was shelved for an Engineering Masters (for a job with strong benefits), my Engineering was scrapped for General Contracting (for the cash flow to make her part happen). I’ve had thirty people on payroll to qualify for a plan with her as the only enrollee. With MS, the length and quality of her life is strictly a dollars game; everything else becomes nonsense.

    Two lifetimes went into producing one fairly good family plan. And now these idiots want to snatch it up, chop off half for their cronies, and ineptly smear the rest around to no effect. I’m working real hard not to come unspooled. My adulthood being ‘Nationalized’, to my wife’s harm… well, there’ll be an accounting.

    With my doctors’ skill, and a little luck, I’ll be back on site soon, making money that I can help out my friends with. Watch your mailbox.

  10. apishapa says:

    Yeah. I ahd a $4000 deductible a few years back. My daughter ran a 104 temp for five days in July. It was over 100 degrees outside. Imagine how she suffered. She had West Nile. My brother had gone to Mexico and came back with antibiotics and I gave her those. I HATED MYSELF. That is what those so called “affordable” plans do to you.

    I am not an exception. People who have to choose between food and healthcare choose food. If you have to choose between lights and doctor, lights win. Lots of people choose between food and lights. So, I do better than some.

  11. Violet Socks says:

    I appreciate that, Jeff. I’m afraid you’d probably have to marry me or adopt me for me to get on your plan, and then I bet they’d refuse to cover my pre-existing condition. I’m probably better off taking up Ladybug’s offer, as I think she’s Canadic (as Bucky would say). Can two women get married in Canada?

    I try not to inject too much personal angst into the healthcare discussion here, because if I let myself go I’m afraid I’ll just start screaming and never stop. My blog would just turn into the letter A held down and the caps lock key on: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Like that.

    But the thing is, the idiot pundits and junior idiot pundits who are punditing on the healthcare thing have no fucking clue. They don’t really care because it’s not about them. It’s just a political game.

    What frosts my cookies is that genuine government healthcare reform — single-payer, like in Canada — would actually be a godsend for people like me. And people like Jeff’s wife. But instead we get this corporatist clusterfuck from hell.

  12. roofingbird says:

    Hubby doesn’t realize yet or want to hear what is probably going to happen to his insurance with his company. They had the high deductible with a secondary reimbursement system to pay the deductions and other items, like glasses and dental. I’ve been holding off on medical to avoid triggering the existing condition thing. I’m worried that once my gluten intolerance is diagnosed it will descend into other stuff. Also, because with the reimbursement system you still have to come up with the money first. Since we could apply for Medicare, it seemed wiser. It’s going to be a mess at his office for the younger folks.

    I’m thinking of setting up a plan with Kaiser under my old business, just to support my daughter, who probably also has celiac syndrome and son in law. I can understand your determination Jeff. My son in law just got diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, is on COBRA, and taking Chemo.

    Violet, I’ll concentrate for you, as the Friends say and in a secular way.

  13. Marjorie says:

    Darling Violet, will you marry me? I am a 70ish plump lady, and here in Canada we can get married and live happily with health care forever after. I love travel, grandkids, peace and quiet and the pleasure of living by the sea in beautiful BC. Will you be mine?

  14. Lori says:

    My husband had an asthma attack this summer while standing on hot asphalt resulting in second and third degree burns on his feet. He got in the house but he couldn’t breathe and somehow managed to call 911. He spent an afternoon in the emergency room. They treated his asthma and cleaned and bandaged the burns on his feet. He was sent home with gauze and told to soak his feet daily in Epsom Salts. The bill for those four hours in the ER came to $7000. No surgery. No heroic interventions. $7000.

    Just absolutely insane.

  15. Jeff says:

    I was a quiet peacemaker type from Wisconsin. How did I get into this play, and why do I keep on getting Thomas Paine’s lines? Sorry about that. I AM the optimist in the room. But these endless experiments of bureaucracy over autonomy are decades past their shelflife, and in the resulting mutating muck “There Be Monsters.” Somebody call the EPA!

    Aw, HELL! *shakes head*

  16. Branjor says:

    I’ll marry you, Marjorie. I also love peace and quiet, travel, and living by the sea. I presently live by the other sea, the Atlantic. As I love kids, I am sure I will love your grandkids.

    I am 57 and uninsured. You know, that age group that has a 40% higher death rate sans insurance. Single payer, like in Canada, would also be a godsend to me. Even the Medicare buy-in for ages 55 and up would have worked for me, but no, they had to do away with that too.

    Like you, Violet, I just have to keep my personal angst at bay, or I’d be screaming. Luckily for me, I am still healthy at this point.

  17. bob coley jr says:

    40 odd years ago I truly believed that soon we would have the “STAR TREK” model of health care.You know where anyone can go to sick bay and get the best treatment science could offer. We know it is the most economical way for society as it reduces all manner of costs. But I guess PROFIT trumps all things. What happened? Have we no shame”?

  18. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    One of the biggest charges to health insurance is so-called “prevention”. Cholesterol lowering drugs given to healthy people do not prevent cardiovascular disease, and in fact cause permanent muscle damage and kidney disease among other little known and pharma-denied side effects; flu vaccines don’t prevent flu and have again, pharma denied side effects like Guillan-Barre Syndrome, and screening tests such as mammograms, CAT scans and MRIs don’t prevent cancer, but in fact cause it. Meanwhile, pharma and device makers are taking it to the bank. People have to start refusing these things. They cost billions.

  19. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    Delete MRI from the cancer-causing screening tests. But MRIs like other screening tests do cause unnecessary surgeries and drug prescribing.

  20. RKMK says:

    Can two women get married in Canada?

    Yep! C’mon up.

  21. bluelyon says:

    Ladybug Whisperer: Flu vaccines do indeed prevent flu, especially the H1N1 which is a highly targeted vaccine (unlike the seasonal flu shot which can be a bit of a crap shoot). Read here for more information regarding myths surrounding flu vaccines (including the Guillan-Barre “link”). Mammograms, CT Scans, etc may not be able to prevent cancers, but they do indeed help to diagnose them. I wear a medical device in my chest. It keeps me alive. So, no, I’m not going to refuse it.

  22. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    No Bluelyon, H1N1 did not prevent a pandemic. In fact, the majority of the population, those over 50ish, have an immunity from the strain that went through in the ’60s, and in mass vaccinating for H1N1, people lost 50 years natural immunity when you mildly get a flu.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/flu-inc-how-vaccines-became-big-business/article1414474/

    The “pandemic” was a perfect example of pharma driven mass hysteria. Many thousands of deaths were predicted in Australia, for example, which went through its flu season *entirely without the vaccine” and had approximately 600 deaths.

    I don’t know why you wear a medical device, but many people who have pacemakers have heart arrythmias caused by drugs they were taking to “prevent” heart disease; spending millions for screening for cancers to find three in a thousand but cause six in a thousand is not good medicine.

  23. willyjsimmons says:

    Speaking of vaccines…imagine the awkwardness of Bill Maher having a “disagreement” with Bill Frist over them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB5DLf1Qt78

    With Bill Maher using research from the 50′s to try and make his case.

    Stunning.

  24. RKMK says:

    The “pandemic” was a perfect example of pharma driven mass hysteria.

    And the anti-vaccine movement is a perfect example of mass-hysteria driven by ill-informed paranoids unfamiliar with things like “history” and “science.”

    During the height of the fall H1N1 blowup, both sides needed to calm the eff down.

  25. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    The group you didn’t mention is one of consumer advocacy for fully informed consent.

    ##

    Published as: Gérvas J, Wright J. Future of flu vaccines: please, may we have a RTC now? British Medical Journal 2009;339:b4651.

    By Juan Gérvas M.D. and James Wright M.D.(Wright is also a clinical pharmacologist, and head of Therapeutics Initiative of the University of British Columbia medical school. TI takes no industry money to assess rational use of drugs.)

    FDA approved vaccines against influenza A (H1N1) (1) which gives support for government plans to provide mass vaccination programs for H1N1 later this year. Such plans are irrational and based on fear mongering and not on a “common sense and self control” policy (as proposed by Spanish physicians and other health professionals) (2).

    We strongly disagree with mass vaccination, which is based on several false assumptions.

    The first assumption is that the H1N1 pandemic will mimic the Spanish flu of 1919. This is highly unlikely as the Spanish flu was a pandemic flu in a very poor world, with no public health systems, no tap-water and no antibiotics for complications. In support of this the Spanish flu killed mainly poor people; for example, in India it killed soldiers (in warehouses, bad food, bad hygiene conditions) but not officers (good food, British style houses, etc.).

    The second assumption is that H1N1 flu is severe and deadly. There is substantial evidence that that is not the case and in fact the mortality rate from H1N1 flu is much less than seasonal flu (3,4).

    The third assumption is that the vaccine will work. The immunologic response is not a guarantee that the vaccine will reduce severe infections and mortality. Demonstration of that benefit requires large RCTs (randomized controlled trials), which are lacking for both H1N1 vaccines as well as for seasonal flu vaccines.

    The fourth assumption is that the H1N1 vaccine will provide similar immunity to the natural infection. Immunity to viral flu has a very interesting peculiarity that is known as the “original antigenic sin” (5). This concept means that the first flu virus we are exposed to generates the strongest immune response and that immunity lasts for over 50 years. It explains the fact that people over 50 years of age appear to have some immunity to the H1N1 virus because a similar influenza A virus, circulated globally from 1918 to 1957. Thus it appears that natural infection creates immunity for 50 years at no cost as compared to influenza vaccines, which require one (or two) shots annually to achieve a lesser degree of immunity.

    Desde 1918 el virus circulante de la gripe es predominantemente de tipo A, del subtipo H1N1 hasta 1957, en que se difundió el subtipo H2N2. En 1978 comenzó la difusión del subtipo H3N2, y en 1983 comenzó de nuevo la difusión del H1N1. Lo característico del nuevo subtipo de 2009, H1N1 (New York/20/2009, Mexico/4115/2009 y California/04/2009) es su relación con los virus porcinos de EEUU.

    Respecto a la vacuna contra la gripe A de origen porcino, como la actual, el problema grave fue la epidemia de Guillain-Barré que desencadenó la vacunación contra un brote previo en EEUU, en 1976, mezcla de errores científicos, sanitarios y políticos (6-8).

    We recommend that most if not all H1N1 vaccine be used as part of placebo controlled RCTs to establish whether the benefits outweigh the harms. Without such an approach, in September 2010 we will again be in a position of not knowing who to vaccinate. Similar RCTs are also badly needed for seasonal flu vaccine as the long-term effects of annual flu vaccination are unknown, and there is a good chance that the harms of annual flu vaccination as compared to no vaccination outweigh the benefits.

    Juan Gérvas jgervasc@meditex.es http://www.equipocesca.org

    Rural general practitioner, Canencia de la Sierra, Garganta de los Montes y El Cuadrón (Madrid), Spain

    Visiting professor Primary Care, Dept. International Health, National School of Public Health, Madrid, Spain

    Honorary professor Public Health, Dept. Public Health, Autonomous University, Madrid, Spain

    Equipo CESCA, Travesía de la Playa 3, 28730 Buitrago del Lozoya, Madrid, Spain

    James (Jim) M Wright

    Professor

    Dept. of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics

    2176 Health Sciences Mall

    Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3, Canada

    References

    1. Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent. http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm181950.htm

    2. Villanueva T, Gérvas A. Spain and swine flu. CMAJ. 2009. http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/eletters/181/6-7/E102

    3. Assessment of the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic on selected countries in the southern hemisphere: Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and Uruguay. Department of Health and Human Services and other USG Departments for the White House National Security Council. 26th August 2009. http://flu.gov/professional/global/final.pdf

    4. Collignon PJ. Mass vaccination against swine flu: could it cause more harm than good? http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/339/sep03_2/b3471#219801

    5. Couch RB, Kasel JA. Immunity to influenza in man. Ann Rev Microbiol. 1983;37:529-49.

    6. Weght LH. The swine flu immunization program: scientific venture and political folly? Am J Law Med. 1978-1979;3:425-55.

    7. Silverstein AM. Pure politics and impure science: the swine flu affair. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1981.

    8.Evans D, Cauchemez S, Hayden FG. “Prepandemic” immunization for novel influenza viruses, “swine flu” vaccine, Guillain-Barré syndrome and the detection of rare severe adverse affects. J Infect Dis. 2009;200:321-8.

  26. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    Showing how millions of dollars are wasted on marketing initiatives rather than science-based use of drugs is important to a discussion of healthcare costs.

    Gervais and Wright are two of many highly credible and highly respected medical professionals (Wright is part of the Cochrane Collaboration, published in Lancet, British Medical Journal, JAMA and NEJM) who are doing just that. There are many, many other cites I could give, but I won’t.

    This discussion is important, for the U.S. and Canada. I would hope we can do this here without calling names.

  27. lambert strether says:

    Swift’s A Modest Proposal is on point as well…

    * * *

    Do we have any concrete cases of Americans marrying Canadians to get health care? If so, I’d love to hear about them, It almost sounds like this could be the equivalent of escaping to Canada during Vietnam…

  28. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    Vi I have a post in moderation which would help my last post make sense. Maybe it didn’t make it because of the long list of citations following this from the British Medical Journal:

    SWINE FLU VACCINE (IF IT WORKS) MAY AVOID NATURAL IMMUNITY THAT LASTS FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS

    Published as: Gérvas J, Wright J. Future of flu vaccines: please, may we have a RTC now? British Medical Journal 2009;339:b4651.

    By Juan Gérvas and Jim Wright

    FDA approved vaccines against influenza A (H1N1) (1) which gives support for government plans to provide mass vaccination programs for H1N1 later this year. Such plans are irrational and based on fear mongering and not on a “common sense and self control” policy (as proposed by Spanish physicians and other health professionals) (2).

    We strongly disagree with mass vaccination, which is based on several false assumptions.

    The first assumption is that the H1N1 pandemic will mimic the Spanish flu of 1919. This is highly unlikely as the Spanish flu was a pandemic flu in a very poor world, with no public health systems, no tap-water and no antibiotics for complications. In support of this the Spanish flu killed mainly poor people; for example, in India it killed soldiers (in warehouses, bad food, bad hygiene conditions) but not officers (good food, British style houses, etc.).

    The second assumption is that H1N1 flu is severe and deadly. There is substantial evidence that that is not the case and in fact the mortality rate from H1N1 flu is much less than seasonal flu (3,4).

    The third assumption is that the vaccine will work. The immunologic response is not a guarantee that the vaccine will reduce severe infections and mortality. Demonstration of that benefit requires large RCTs (randomized controlled trials), which are lacking for both H1N1 vaccines as well as for seasonal flu vaccines.

    The fourth assumption is that the H1N1 vaccine will provide similar immunity to the natural infection. Immunity to viral flu has a very interesting peculiarity that is known as the “original antigenic sin” (5). This concept means that the first flu virus we are exposed to generates the strongest immune response and that immunity lasts for over 50 years. It explains the fact that people over 50 years of age appear to have some immunity to the H1N1 virus because a similar influenza A virus, circulated globally from 1918 to 1957. Thus it appears that natural infection creates immunity for 50 years at no cost as compared to influenza vaccines, which require one (or two) shots annually to achieve a lesser degree of immunity.

    *Desde 1918 el virus circulante de la gripe es predominantemente de tipo A, del subtipo H1N1 hasta 1957, en que se difundió el subtipo H2N2. En 1978 comenzó la difusión del subtipo H3N2, y en 1983 comenzó de nuevo la difusión del H1N1. Lo característico del nuevo subtipo de 2009, H1N1 (New York/20/2009, Mexico/4115/2009 y California/04/2009) es su relación con los virus porcinos de EEUU.

    Respecto a la vacuna contra la gripe A de origen porcino, como la actual, el problema grave fue la epidemia de Guillain-Barré que desencadenó la vacunación contra un brote previo en EEUU, en 1976, mezcla de errores científicos, sanitarios y políticos (6-8).

    We recommend that most if not all H1N1 vaccine be used as part of placebo controlled RCTs to establish whether the benefits outweigh the harms. Without such an approach, in September 2010 we will again be in a position of not knowing who to vaccinate. Similar RCTs are also badly needed for seasonal flu vaccine as the long-term effects of annual flu vaccination are unknown, and there is a good chance that the harms of annual flu vaccination as compared to no vaccination outweigh the benefits.

    Juan Gérvas jgervasc@meditex.es http://www.equipocesca.org

    Rural general practitioner, Canencia de la Sierra, Garganta de los Montes y El Cuadrón (Madrid), Spain

    Visiting professor Primary Care, Dept. International Health, National School of Public Health, Madrid, Spain

    Honorary professor Public Health, Dept. Public Health, Autonomous University, Madrid, Spain

    Equipo CESCA, Travesía de la Playa 3, 28730 Buitrago del Lozoya, Madrid, Spain

    James (Jim) M Wright
    Professor
    Dept. of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics
    2176 Health Sciences Mall
    Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3, Canada

    (Wright is too modest. He is an M.D. PhD, head of Therapeutics Initiative, a drugs assessment body at the UBC medical school. TI takes no industry funding for its work. He is also a member of the Cochrane Collaboration, and has published in many med journals including Lancet, JAMA, NEJM, BJM, CMAJ etc.)

  29. bluelyon says:

    the majority of the population, those over 50ish, have an immunity from the strain that went through in the ’60s,

    Exactly, and that’s why they aren’t the ones dying from H1N1 and why the CDC isn’t recommending the vaccine for adults over 64.

    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm

    Violet, I’m so sorry…didn’t mean to derail the thread.

  30. bluelyon says:

    And you can find out why I wear a pacemaker at my blog…look under Cardiac Chronicles. Twasn’t meds that did it.

  31. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    I don’t think you (or we) have derailed the thread. We’re talking about med costs, and how they can and should be rationally spent.

    I am not saying “no-on” should be vaccinated for H1N1, or not vaccinated for something else. But saying someone died, or hundreds died, or youth died, is not the same as saying, the vaccine works and they wouldn’t have died if they’d had it. And by the way, we don’t know how many died who had been vaccinated, because they aren’t telling us.

    Please read the BMJ article I posted above.

  32. votermom says:

    Why is it about costs anyway. Didn’t the govt just throw trillions of our money at wall street, banks, car companies … but they pinch pennies on people’s lives?

  33. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    It’s a question of moving money to places where it works, not just into insurance companies, pharma and device manufacturers sand their “thought leaders” can get rich by skimming off the health care budget.

    If you want single-payer, or universal, you have to start paying attention to where the money goes, and make sure drugs and devices are properly trialled before they are put on the market. That’s not the case now.

  34. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    Votermom if you have time, I think this is something you’d be interested in. This podcast is about 20 minutes long. Scroll down to the podcast link for “Push to Prescribe”. LBW

    The interview–about drug policy and women:
    http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2009/200912/20091223.html

    The book:
    https://www.cspi.org/motion.asp?siteid=100366&lgid=1&menuid=5376&prodid=121201&cat=9869

  35. RKMK says:

    If you want single-payer, or universal, you have to start paying attention to where the money goes, and make sure drugs and devices are properly trialled before they are put on the market. That’s not the case now.

    Sure. Right. That’s why Aleve (for example) couldn’t be sold in Canada for years (decades?) after in was made available in the States. Because governments who are footing the bill for public health aren’t at ALL conscious of the potential costs (financial and electoral) of introducing untested medicines and products to the population at large.

  36. bluelyon says:

    Yes, they are reporting adverse effects of the H1N1 flu vaccine.

    The information comes from two monitoring networks. One is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which receives reports about problems from doctors and other health workers, manufacturers and the public. Anyone can file a report, so there is no way of knowing if the problems are actually related to the vaccine until reports are investigated.

    The second system is the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which has information on 438,376 people who were vaccinated for H1N1 in managed-care organizations.

    [...]

    By Nov. 24, 3,783 adverse events had been reported after H1N1 vaccinations, of which 204 were considered serious, a category that includes death, life-threatening illness and significant disability. Most of the serious cases are still being reviewed. Nerve and muscle conditions, pneumonia, allergic reactions and gastrointestinal disorders are among the problems reported.

    Dr. Claudia Vellozzi, deputy director of the immunization safety office at the disease centers, said scientists looked for commonalities and telltale patterns of illness among adverse events as a tip-off that they might be related to the vaccine. So far, Dr. Vellozzi said, no patterns have emerged.

    Thirteen people have died within 19 days after H1N1 vaccination, including five children or teenagers. Nine of those who died had serious underlying illnesses, and one woman, 56, died in a car crash after leaving the clinic. Information is still being gathered about 7 of the 13 deaths, Dr. Vellozzi said, including that of an apparently healthy year-old boy who died suddenly a day after being vaccinated. The deaths had various causes, including pneumonia and heart disease, and again, no pattern has emerged, Dr. Vellozzi said.

  37. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    What I was saying was: They aren’t telling us how many died of H1H1 even though vaccinated against it.

    The spin has been people died because they weren’t vaccinated, or died after having been vaccinated but of something unrelated to the vaccine.

    There is no reporting system in Canada for *vaccine ADRs* to my knowledge. If there is, it’s come about in the past several weeks. But since I get HC updates, I don’t know, did I miss this one?

    HC has told people asking about vaccine ADR reporting that it has to have lasted longer than 2 weeks, must be confirmed by a doctor as coming from the vaccine, and must be reported by the doctor. That effectively nulls any reporting.

    Doctors don’t want to report ADRs, for any drug. It looks bad for them, especially so with the vaccine because they were being paid approximately $400 a vaccination above their normal fee. Some of them were working around the clock, at about five minutes per vaccination.

  38. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    Conflicts of interest: How healthcare becomes stockholders share.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/he…icy/18cdc.html
    “…A new report finds that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a poor job of screening medical experts for financial conflicts when it hired them to advise the agency on vaccine safety, officials said Thursday… the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, found that the centers failed nearly every time to ensure that the experts adequately filled out forms confirming they were not being paid by companies with an interest in their decisions.”

    And then:

    Julie Gerberding, MD, former head of the CDC:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BK2K520091221

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – “Dr. Julie Gerberding, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was named president of Merck & Co Inc’s vaccine division, the company said on Monday…”

  39. Suzie says:

    Ladybug, your comments really hit a nerve because I’m due to have a CT, MRI and cystoscopy next month, starting Monday. I’ll use my own case to illustrate my disagreements with you.

    I was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a cancer of the smooth muscles, in 2002. It started in my vagina. It was very high grade — very aggressive. It quickly metastasized to my right lung.

    For high-grade LMS, the best sarcoma doctors recommend scans every 3 months for the first 2 years. That protocol helped them catch my first metastasis quickly and get me into treatment.

    Because of the location, the metastasis was not visible on a chest X-ray, but was clear on a CT scan. I have a lot of allergies and I later could not take the contrast dye used in CTs. I now get an MRI of my abdomen and pelvis. This test is far superior to others.

    I guess the question comes down to whether it’s cost-effective to keep someone like me alive.

    I spent much of 2003 on the chemo drugs Gemzar + Taxotere. I got complete remission, although the LMS did come back in 2005. I had lung surgery and have been in remission since.

    Because sarcomas represent only 1 percent of adult cancers, it’s very hard for us to compile enough clinical evidence to satisfy gov’t requirements, including the FDA and Medicare. Blue Cross paid for the G+T in Texas. On behalf of other sarcoma patients, I fought for Medicare in TX to pay for G+T, and I don’t know whether they have finally done so. As evidence of efficacy, they wanted three Phase 2 or two Phase 3 clinical trials. But it’s hard to find that many patients and that much money to do those trials.

    Paying for only the old-line chemos was less cost-effective because they are considered more toxic and require hospitalization.

    For those familiar with sarcoma, my lung surgery in 2005 was a no-brainer. But my case still merited a study in an international cancer journal because many sarcoma patients get sent home to die when they have metastatic disease because so many doctors aren’t up on the latest treatments.

    Bottom line: People who want to keep costs down often decide how much evidence is enough for “science-” or “evidence-based” medicine. These requirements can hurt people with rare diseases as well as people who don’t respond to approved treatments.

    The burden should be on doctors not to order unnecessary tests, instead of making patients decide what they can afford. I was in-between insurance policies when my first doctor suspected cancer. When I finally got a biopsy, the cancer had spread crazily.

    I was lucky to get coverage from Blue Cross through a state risk pool for 2 years, before Medicare kicked in. I had to meet an annual 2,500 deductible and $7,500 in out-of-pocket costs. On top of that, there were some doctors (anesthesiologists and ER docs, for example) who didn’t take my insurance. And there was a myriad of other costs.

    Sorry for going on at such length.

  40. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    I’m glad you have had effective treatment. And sorry you live in a system with such expensive insurance, options and deductibles.

    However, the exception does not prove the rule.

    Another way medical costs are kept artificially high, diverting money needed for more effective treatment of cases such as yours.

    “As Congress considers new measures that would provide 12-14 years of price protection beyond patents for drug companies, a new study documents that the European Union provided similar protections without any evidence that they would benefit patients or increase innovation. Their main effect was to raise prices and profits.”

    Called “data exclusivity,” the legislation prohibits any generic competitor from using the data gathered during tests of a drug’s safety and efficacy for regulatory approval and public use. Such test data on cars and planes is public information but is protected by Congress for the drug industry.

  41. votermom says:

    Ladybug, Suzie not some kind of exception to a rule. She is a person who has gone thorugh medical insurance hell and luckily survived.
    Why is it about cost?
    As an insured person, the only cost I care about is the amount that they will make me pay if I ever need to call 911, or find out I have a serious disease and need hospital treatment and they make me sign an effin paper saying I am responisble for all costs without them EVER telling me how much those costs are going to be. So I am ahead of time signing away my house, my kids future … for what? It’s better to stay hoem and die slowly, with dignity and able to pass on some savings to my family.

  42. RKMK says:

    Also, the routine and preventative care offered by universal health care prevents the far more costly treatments for conditions that were left untreated, for example, due to people putting off co-payments and deductibles that they couldn’t afford or other insurance provider rigamarole.

    (Yes, this includes vaccinations. It is far cheaper to, say, vaccinate 100 people than pay for a one-week urgent care stay in a hospital for even one person with a vicious flu; and there are other, more immeasurable benefits, i.e. the more herd immunity in the population, the less likelihood that even the unimmunized will get sick.)

  43. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    Screening for breast cancer, for example, does not prevent costly treatment. If a disease is found, it ushers one into those treatments. If there is a false positive, it does the same. Early finding is not prevention.

    Diagnostics used to monitor the course of a disease may or may not be useful. It’s always prudent to ask “How will this test benefit me. What will it tell us we don’t already know. How will my having this test change my treatment, and will that change affect my morbidity and mortality?”

    Vaccinating 100 people is only effective if the vaccine is effective. And vaccinating those 100 isn’t necessarily going to save that one person in hospital even if it was effective, which many vaccines are not. As for the herd immunity, we don’t know if H1N1 is 1.) effective for the strain, and 2.) if effective, will provide the herd immunity natural exposure will do. Read the post above where I copy the BMJ letter. “Could we please have a randomized trial”

    I really sympathize with your personal stories of fear, worry, frustrations with lack in the system.

    Money should not be used on fake studies, useless me-too drugs, and treatments that cost many thousands per month because pharma is charging an astronomical fee for that drug, and some governments are in collusion with that pharma to keep prices exclusionary, and protected. As I said, that is stockholders share, not healthcare.

  44. Violet Socks says:

    Screening for breast cancer, for example, does not prevent costly treatment. If a disease is found, it ushers one into those treatments. If there is a false positive, it does the same. Early finding is not prevention.

    A lump that has not metastisized is cheaper to treat than a cancer that has spread throughout the body. And it also means a life could be saved.

    Of course, it’s cheaper all around just to do no tests, so we find no illnesses and treat nothing. People can just die at home, like they used to in the good old days.

  45. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    A lump that has not metastisized is cheaper to treat than a cancer that has spread throughout the body. And it also means a life could be saved.

    ## Not necessarily on both counts.

    Most cancers are only treated, not cured. From the time a cancer begins to develop to the time the person will die, whether treated or not, is about the same. It’s called lead time bias.

    Some would say, you could spend seven years in surgery, chemo and radiation (speaking of which, a CAT is proven to be a shitload of cancer causing radiation), or you could take one hell of a vacation, set your world right, and use the money for palliative care.

    The cancer industry doesn’t want you to know there is no cure. Just expensive treatments to make you miserable for the length of time you’d have lived anyway.

    From the head of the oncology surgery department at a state university medical school.

    “We really have nothing better to offer cancer patients than we did 50 years ago. For all the money spent on research, we still do best with cutting. We do make neater incisions now though.”

    I don’t know where you’re coming from with this Vi. Either you want to spend healthcare money where it’s most useful to the greatest number of people, or you want what you’ve already got.

    I advocate for healthcare funds to be spent on health, not high priced criminals in silk suits.

  46. Violet Socks says:

    Many cancers are treatable, and there are members of my family who are alive and healthy because their tumours were caught in time.

    Cancer screenings are not the reason American healthcare costs are out of control.

  47. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    They are one of the reasons. And there is a slew of studies out in the past year showing they are not effective.

    I’m not arguing any person’s particular experience.

    I’m speaking from studying and research, mine and others, published research. And of course my lived experience. The post I made in the other thread is just another plank in the boardwalk. Sorry to have used you as literary device.

    I think you could add to your worst decade list,

    #11. The decade when academic physicians and medical researchers openly began working for the industry, as opposed to when they did it covertly (Bush and the board of Eli Lilly) and people on both sides of the political arena either said “feh” or asked where they could buy the shares.

  48. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    (…) there are members of my family who are alive and healthy because their tumours were caught in time.”

    In time for or of what? Look up lead time bias.

    I did not say cancers are not treatable. Just the opposite.

  49. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    Says Barbara Ehrenreich:

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/2009/12/02/womens_health/index.html

    “Look, the issue here isn’t healthcare costs. If the current levels of screening mammography demonstrably saved lives, I would say go for it,(…).”

    What we really need is a new women’s health movement, one that’s sharp and skeptical enough to ask all the hard questions: What are the environmental (or possibly life-style) causes of the breast cancer epidemic? Why are existing treatments like chemotherapy so toxic and heavy-handed? And, if the old narrative of cancer’s progression from “early” to “late” stages no longer holds, what is the course of this disease (or diseases)? What we don’t need, no matter how pretty and pink, is a ladies’ auxiliary to the cancer-industrial complex.”

  50. Suzie says:

    Ladybug, I’m on the board of the Sarcoma Alliance and advocate for patients. I told my story to illustrate specific critiques of your response. I’m sorry that you didn’t pick up on the broader points.

    Are you saying that people with cancer who are not treated live as long as people who are treated? That would be false. When people are compared, staging (the stage of development of the cancer) is used so that someone with a teeny lump is not compared with someone who has metastatic disease.

    You talk about measuring cancer from when it started developing. I can understand how that could be done with lab rats. But, how exactly do you do that with humans?

    You suggest that I’m an exceptional case. Trouble is, we often don’t know who will be an exception and who won’t, before treatment.

    You talk about someone forgoing treatment so that they can use their time and money to get their affairs in order and take a great vacation. But that isn’t an either/or situation. Like many others, I’ve had chemo, radiation and surgeries while getting stuff in order, taking great vacations, and doing all sorts of interesting things.

    You mention palliative care as opposed to curative treatment. For many people, however, cancer has become a chronic illness. Chemo, radiation and surgery often are used as palliative treatment.

    You suggest that these treatments make people miserable. Not necessarily. This is like thinking that everyone who is poor or disabled, for example, must be in misery.

    If someone doesn’t have treatment, there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to do everything she wants to do.

    My second lung met was discovered at 1 cm. Surely, you understand that removing that little tumor was better than waiting and removing a huge one.

    You say the cancer industry doesn’t want people to know there’s no cure. WTF? Think of all the races and other fundraisers to find “the cure.” It’s common for people to mention curing cancer someday.

    There’s a lot of research on the radiation from CTs, but many researchers think the benefits outweigh the risks.

    You quote a surgeon saying that surgery is the best option for cancer patients and that there have been no advances in 50 years. I hope he’s never my surgeon. Other docs would disagree with him.

    If we want to spend money for the greater good, we could greatly reduce health care to Americans so that money could be better allocated around the world. Or, perhaps, you would prefer that we don’t spend a lot of money on people with incurable illnesses and permanent disabilities so that we can have more money to spend on more people.

    I have no love for Big Pharma, but denying people care will not solve our problems.

  51. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    I think your responses are a mischaracterization of what I’ve said. You may think you’re a patient advocate. I think you’re a member of a pharma directed astro-turf. And that ends this sham of a conversation.

    And I’m sorry, but in your system, your individual experience of using thousands and thousands of dollars of health care resources have prevented someone in your underclass from getting even barely adequate care. And you know that.

  52. Suzie says:

    Bizarre.

    While I let myself die so that others can get health care, I hope everyone else who thinks like you will give up their TVs, cars, and everything that isn’t an absolute necessity so that others can get health care.

  53. tinfoil hattie says:

    Good god, ladybug – why is it “either, or”?

    And what’s the difference between your scenario where people from “the underclass” get health care while others with serious illnesses die? You’re still sacrificing people. I guess in your world, people with serious illnesses should just give up? So that when people from “the underclass” get health care that uncovers a serious illness, they too can sacrifice themselves for the greater good?

    And BTW, if it would keep you around longer, {{{Suzie}}}, I’d give up my TV, VCR, DVD, cell phone, AND car!

  54. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    Tinfoil Hattie it’s your either or, not mine. I thought you wanted to change that.

    Someone here talks about fear of losing her home because she can’t afford health care, another can’t get the meds she needs and is forced to take a $5000 deductible, which isn’t helping her at all.

    Some people have relative wealth and access to all the health care that they can buy (whether it actually fosters health treats their illness or not).

    There are three main ways to make your health care system more egalitarian and medically efficient, serving you, not the industry. Take what you have and spread it around to everyone, make sure spending will be medically useful–ie) have a positive effect or morbidity and mortality; and change your system to be more about health care and less about business. Right now, money is pouring into places where there is no benefit to the patient, only benefit to pharmaceutical companies stockholders. Then, there’s no money for real need. I don’t see it as a lack of money, I see it as a refusal to put the money where it will create health.

    At some point when you have a devastating illness, it’s not prudent to keep having procedures and tests and treatments. They aren’t going to help.

    Sometimes, it’s not prudent to do those things even when you are not dying of your illness. I gave a few questions above that people should ask their health care professionals before they agree to a protocol of treatment. Quite often, none of what is suggested is going to do any good, and it’s certainly going to do harm.

    I’ve said this several times now in this thread.

    Either you want a unversal system that is more egalitarian and uses health care funds better than what you’ve got (which requires change) or you want what you’ve already got.

  55. Aspen says:

    I think your responses are a mischaracterization of what I’ve said. You may think you’re a patient advocate. I think you’re a member of a pharma directed astro-turf. And that ends this sham of a conversation.

    And I’m sorry, but in your system, your individual experience of using thousands and thousands of dollars of health care resources have prevented someone in your underclass from getting even barely adequate care. And you know that.

    Short comment is I was ignoring this thread because it was looking like a threadjack/domination by ladybug, but once I started reading, she does have some good points (notwithstanding some questionable points esp. with vacines imo).

    Regarding over-treatment/over-testing, esp. wrt expensive procedures: for those of you haven’t seen it, there is a really great discussion of these issues at http://www.ourailinghealthcare.com/ please watch especially _what does it day about us?_ 11. Our Expectations.
    This is a pro-Single Payer film, and the whole thing is really good, but this part in particular really fits what is being discussed here.

  56. Aspen says:

    I think you’re a member of a pharma directed astro-turf.

    Oh I want to say by quoting, I didn’t mean to cosign this accusation wrt Suzie. I did just want to support the anti -over-testing/over-treating philosophy of our medical system.

  57. tinfoil hattie says:

    Yeah, well, ladybug, not to put too fine a point on it, I think you’re being just plain mean in this thread.

    Besides, I thought you had decided to end this sham of a conversation.

    And why do YOU get to decide that Suzie should stop being treated for her illness?

    I own a small business, and the premium for my family already costs $15k per year. I also get the privilege of counting that as “income” to me personally, because while I can deduct the expense of my employees’ premiums, if I deduct my own it becomes personal income to me.

    Yeah, the system sucks, health care in America sucks, and this bill helping the insurance companies become more wealthy is an abomination.

    But people throwing themselves on the pyre in order to keep down costs isn’t the answer. We’ll never see the answer, which is universal health care for all. You know, that “socialist” crap.

    Because shoring up capitalism so the rich get richer is MUCH more moral than trying to take care of ALL the people in the country.

  58. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    I responded to *you*. It seemed rude not to answer you since we are both regulars here.

    Since I’m Canadian and not only vote for but work daily to keep my universal health care in place, I guess I have to plead guilty to your epithet.

  59. The Ladybug Whisperer says:

    Thanks for the terrific video Aspen. I wish I could say none of it is relevant to Canada.

    I’m sending it out to over 140 health policy advocates with whom I work.

    You might like some of the articles and podcasts here. I think almost everything here meshes with your concerns. White Coat Black Art also came about through an emergency physician.

    Each podcast (upper middle on the masthead) has an article and comments to match.

    http://www.cbc.ca/whitecoat/

  60. Violet Socks says:

    Did Ladybug just call Suzie of Echidne of the Snakes a “member of a pharma directed astro-turf”? Good lord.

  61. Violet Socks says:

    By the way, Suzie, I too am extremely glad you’re alive.

  62. lambert strether says:

    #60 Ouch…

  63. Suzie says:

    Hattie and Violet, I appreciate your kind comments. Ladybug, I realize you’re not talking to me anymore, but in case you’re curious, I do comment here, although I don’t usually comment a lot.

    In some ways, you and I are not that far apart. I also support single-payer universal health care. I think there’s a great deal wrong with our medical system, including academic medicine.

    But I’m bringing up issues that have to do with disability rights and those of us who are in the minority.

    “At some point when you have a devastating illness, it’s not prudent to keep having procedures and tests and treatments. They aren’t going to help.”

    The problem is, how do you know they won’t help? Who makes that decision? When a doctor ordered a CT scan of my grandmother at age 96, yes, it did seem unnecessary. On the other hand, I know people with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) who were in hospice when the drug Gleevec was being tested, and they are now doing fine.

    Yes, of course, there are unnecessary tests and treatment. But I still want to raise the question: Who decides what’s necessary? Who decides what evidence should be used for “evidence-based” medicine?

    For experimental drugs and/or rare diseases, Big Pharma is NOT pushing drugs. For example, European countries have approved yondelis/trabectedin for sarcoma. But Johnson & Johnson has yanked it in the U.S. for sarcoma because it failed its tests with ovarian. There aren’t enough sarcoma patients for J&J to make money.

    Doctors may schedule unnecessary tests, but it’s not always to make money. It may be because they want to cover their ass or because they are searching for something to save people’s lives. I’ve been treated by doctors connected to universities who get no benefit from scheduling a lot of tests. Similarly, they get no monetary reward for giving more treatment.

    This debate also has to do with feminism and progressive politics. People talk about helping the underclass, the least among us, those who are the most oppressed. But when it comes to health care, there are a number of people on the left who talk about sacrificing people with rare and aggressive diseases for the greater good. This is very close to the conservative argument that we shouldn’t waste money on disabled people.

  64. katiebird says:

    Jeff, My sister has had MS for about the same amount of time as your wife and she found some interesting information a few months ago.

    Have you or your wife read about CCSVI:

    From CTV’s W5 (links to the whole show are on the right sidebar:

    The Liberation Treatment: A whole new approach to MS

    Dr. Zamboni wondered if the iron came from blood improperly collecting in the brain. Using Doppler ultrasound, he began examining the necks of MS patients and made an extraordinary finding. Almost 100 per cent of the patients had a narrowing, twisting or outright blockage of the veins that are supposed to flush blood from the brain. He then checked these veins in healthy people, and found none of these malformations. Nor did he find these blockages in those with other neurological conditions.

    “In my mind, this was unbelievable evidence that further study was necessary to understand the link between venous function and iron deposits on the other,” Zamboni told W5 from his research lab in Ferrara.

    What was equally astounding, was that not only was the blood not flowing out of the brain, it was “refluxing” reversing and flowing back upwards. Zamboni believes that as the blood moves into the brain, pressure builds in the veins, forcing blood into the brain’s grey matter where it sets off a host of reactions, possibly explaining the symptoms of MS.

    Jeff, the more I read about CCSVI the more incredible it is. If either you or your wife are interested I can send you more links. Including the links to the PDFs of Dr. Zamboni’s papers. My email address is katiebird@gmail.com

  65. Jeff says:

    Thank you katiebird! We and our doctor are all over that; with a little head shaking.

    It is a really hopeful observation that kind of stunned the researchers, what with it being obvious and all. I think ever since the dental industry wiped their hands of mercury possibly being contributory there has been a deliberate focus away from the basic concept of conducting electricity. It’s like someone dropped half a mile of chainlink fence on top of a electrical substation – AND NOBODY LOOKS AT METAL? And a metal, btw, that carries a magnetic field of its own. yeeeeesh.

    Hormone therapy, steroids, interferon, infusions, don’t eat chocolate (not kidding),… it has always struck me the same as needing a new battery terminal for your car, and having them spend ten million debating the upholstery.

    (massive oversimplification concluded)

    Has your sister heard about a single pill that’s coming out this spring to replace the Tysabri infusion? Even for a holding action treatment, the cost should come way down. All we’ve got so far is “it’s coming”, and I’ll keep you apprised if you wish.

  66. Kiuku says:

    What you end up seeing is more people taking health into their own hands. I have been treating my physical problems for several years now, because of my access to herbal medicine and herbal purgatives. The FDA wants to limit my access to vitamins and herbals, but they have been largely unsuccessful due to the efforts of groups I belong to. What I would like to see is more underground health clinics based on barter-ing.

  67. Kiuku says:

    Also for 5000 you can fly to Jordan and get your surgery and have enough leftover to buy a Macbook.

    I think Health Insurance is a Patriarchal conspiracy to keep women dependant on men. Look at what happens when they try to make healthcare available to everyone; it becomes available to everyone -but unmarried women-.

  68. katiebird says:

    I’d LOVE to stay in touch about that Jeff & I’ve copied your comment to send it to my sister.

    (we’re both on facebook if you’d like to share info through links or whatever there)

  69. AliceP. says:

    @lambert, yes there are concrete cases of people marrying Canadians to get healthcare. I did. I also ended up having my son there so HE could get health care and it’s a good thing I did because he had multiple serious health problems. I stayed in Canada a lot longer than I really wanted to because of that. My mother was a nurse and my father was a doctor in a very high tech hospital in the U.S.A. that I could not afford to go to.

    Mind you, I was living with the man I married for health care reasons already but, the decision to marry would not have happened so soon had I not been ill and needed care. I was ashamed of my country when I compared the care they get to what is available at home. Yes, there are problems with the Canadian system but, it beats the pants off of waiting because you have to chose between food and medical care or waiting until you die from lack of affordable health care.

    When I lived in Canada three Americans were living on my street with Canadians for the same reason I was there. The Ontario government now requires health care cards with your photo on them due to people “sharing” the cards with family from outside Canada.

    I campaigned very hard for Hillary Clinton because I felt she had the experience to get what I felt was the best plan proposal pushed through.

    Because of this health insurance company boost that is being called “reform” it looks like Canada may get another influx in landed immigrants from the U.S.A. as perhaps the best option for a lot of people.

    It is not easy to leave your home and family and have to live somewhere very far away just so you can get medical care. My grandmother died while I was away without me seeing her for two whole years before her death. The price was high for a lot of reasons.

    What Obama has done to trash any “hope” of getting real affordable health care is a disgrace and will cost lives.

    Any of you even thinking of immigrating to Canada for care need to start the wheels going now because I’m sure some measure will be put in place to stop this from happening once they get a hint that there is an increase of applications.

    Violet your situation is heartbreaking and should NOT be happening in a country that claims to have the most advanced medical care in the world. Ontario is lovely in the summer and B.C. is gorgeous all the time. ;)

  70. steve says:

    What more did anyone expect out of this? They can only get something from nothing in election years!

  71. Kookaburra says:

    Canada? Psh, that’s thinking small.

    Me, I’ve already started learning Norsk.

  72. Ann Valentine says:

    What I want to know, is what fairy tale house do lawmakers live in that they think America can afford $100 out of the month when they are unemployed or single women? I swear this is an actual, real, bonifide Patriarchal marriage conspiracy or as a way to criminalise poverty. The fine for not buying health insurance every month will be 1500, for the year, or roughly what it would cost if you were buying it. Now tell me honestly how many unmarried, single women, can afford that? It used to be that you could live and have the American dream on one salary. Then women won the right to divorce and hold jobs. What happened to that single salary? Sure women you can have jobs, as long as you make less than us.

    And so that’s just more people with jobs that aren’t buying into the system and giving back. More people who can’t buy houses, who have children who go to college on loans, who then cannot buy houses. And the economy tanks..

    So now truly they are going to try to give us a monthly bill, instead of taxing income. What about the unemployed? What kind of legislative burden is this going to put on the criminal justice system to track miscreants who dare not buy their health insurance?

    Is there a donation fund for the healthcare that you need?

  73. Ann Valentine says:

    I just don’t even see why, in an economy based system, that is not inherently wrong, why men would even need jobs. They don’t get pregnant. Yea they need to eat, but they certainly don’t need really all that much. The funny thing is, they think we live in a merit based system, but I don’t know any man that will admit that he has a job and better pay largely due to discrimination and bloodshed and oppression, and not merit. And it’s frustrating that a man think, that he needs to be a father and have a family and support a woman, just because she opened her legs to him and popped out a few.

    That’s where every single paycheck of a woman discriminated against goes to. More money for the man so he can marry a woman, unskilled or otherwise, a prostitute, and call her a wife.