Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ObamaCare: The Unaffordable 'Affordable Care Act'

Recently, the New York Times reported that ObamaCare enrollees are avoiding necessary healthcare because they just can't afford the high cost of their deductibles.  To make that point, they introduced us to a woman by the name of Patricia Wanderlich who had a brain hemorrhage and aneurism three years ago and who should have a brain scan every year.  But, she is literally being forced to risk forgoing that scan this year because she can't afford its high cost and the high cost of  her $6000 annual ObamaCare deductible.

Literally, ObamaCare is putting people into insurance plans they can't afford and putting them at the risk of not getting the care they need. Yet, the President has said this many times in the past when hyping his healthcare law: "In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one should go broke just because they get sick."

Well, you can add that lie to the one about keeping your doctor, or the one about keeping your existing  insurance that you are happy with!

It appears that ObamaCare will indeed lower the cost of healthcare in America by merely making it too expensive to see a doctor or, worse yet, get a much needed diagnosis. 

References:

The New York Times: Unable to Meet the Deductible or the Doctor: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/us/unable-to-meet-the-deductible-or-the-doctor.html?src=twr

White House Blog: Weekly Wrap Up: “No one should go broke just because they get sick”: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/09/27/weekly-wrap-no-one-should-go-broke-just-because-they-get-sick


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Senegal Imposed Travel Bans And Is Now Ebola Free

Up until a few days ago, Senegal was one of  five hot spots with widespread Ebola infections.  But, now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that country to be Ebola free because 42 days have passed without another new case.

The way they did it was simple.

They imposed travel bans from all the other countries that have active cases of infection.  They even refused outside humanitarian aid. Yet, in this country, we have a CDC Director and a President who claim that travel bans will only cause the spread of the disease.  Obviously, Senegal would disagree.

As long as we continue a policy of not restricting travel from contaminated West African countries, we will never be able to say that we, too, are Ebola free.

References:

August 22: Senegal blocks Ebola aid flight, imposes travel curbs: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/08/22/senegal-blocks-ebola-aid-flight/

October 17: Senegal is free from Ebola, WHO says: http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/17/world/africa/senegal-ebola/

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jobless Claims at 14-Year Low: Because of ObamaCare?

Does anyone really think the current economy and job market is as good as it was in 2007 when the unemployment rate was at the historically low level of 4.6%?  So, then, why was the Labor Department able to report that the weekly jobless claims number, at 264,000, reached a 14-year low?  Truly, an unbelievable drop of 23,000 in a single week.  This despite the fact that the current unemployment rate is 1.3 percentage points higher than it was in 2007 at 5.9%.

Two things might explain this.

First, we could be seeing "number manipulations" in the run up to the November 4th elections.  Let's not forget that Obama's Census Bureau was caught doing just that very thing before the 2012 elections.  Therefore, there is no reason not to think that his Labor Department couldn't be doing the same with the unemployment claims number.  Having a multi-year low in claims, with the mid-term elections only 2-1/2 weeks away is quite a coincidence.  And, like the last time, the number juggling probably won't be exposed until months after the election.

The other reason might be the direct result of an increasing trend by American businesses towards hiring fewer full-time workers; and going with temporary help instead, or using temp services, contract labor, freelancers, consultants etc.  All of which are not eligible for unemployment benefits when their services are no longer needed.

You can blame this trend of not hiring full time workers on ObamaCare.

Under the ObamaCare law, a business  must provide health insurance to its full time employees or pay a tax (really, a fine) if it has more than 50 employees, all of which are working at least 30 hours a week.  Hiring temporary help or contracting outside labor can easily keep small businesses and franchisees from reaching that 50 full-time worker threshold. It also means they don't have to subsidize FICA, unemployment insurance, or provide benefits such as paid vacations and pensions.

While some economists and politicians might think that lower jobless claims is a good thing, it may be the result of a growing trend towards avoiding employer-provided health insurance.  Something that one of the chief architects of ObamaCare, Ezekiel Emanuel, recently predicted.

So, now we have a healthcare law that was supposed to increase the number of insured but, instead, is doing just the opposite.  At the same time, it is putting American workers at risk because fewer of them will be eligible for unemployment benefits when laid off. 


References:

November 16: New Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Since 2000: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/business/economy/new-unemployment-claims-fall-to-their-lowest-since-2000.html


US companies increasingly turning to temporary workers to fill positions: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/08/us-companies-increasingly-turning-to-temporary-workers-to-fill-positions/

For Many Americans, 'Temp' Work Becomes Permanent Way of Life: http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/in-plain-sight/many-americans-temp-work-becomes-permanent-way-life-n81071

Temporary jobs becoming a permanent fixture: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/07/07/temporary-jobs-becoming-permanent-fixture/2496585/

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

Census 'faked' 2012 election jobs report: http://nypost.com/2013/11/18/census-faked-2012-election-jobs-report/

Obamacare architect: Law will cause ‘the end of employer-sponsored insurance’: http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/20/obamacare-architect-law-will-cause-the-end-of-employer-sponsored-insurance/




Sunday, October 19, 2014

World Health Org. Says Ebola Can Incubate Longer Than 21 Days

According to the CDC, if you have been exposed to Ebola and don't show symptoms for 21 days, it means your free of the disease.  Well, maybe they should talk to the World Health Organization.  Their review of studies shows that, while 95% of Ebola infected patients show symptoms within 21 days, another 3% won't present any symptoms for as long as 42 days.  Their "Ebola situation assessment - 14 October 2014" on incubation periods reads as follows:
Recent studies conducted in West Africa have demonstrated that 95% of confirmed cases have an incubation period in the range of 1 to 21 days; 98% have an incubation period that falls within the 1 to 42 day interval.
Clearly, some 3% of all those healthcare workers, airline passengers, and family/friends of Thomas Duncan might not fall ill for well past 21 days and shouldn't be given a clean bill of health until a full 42 days has lapsed.  Again, the CDC should err on the side of caution when dealing with this disease.

Reference:

World Health Organization: Ebola situation assessment - 14 October 2014: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/ebola/14-october-2014/en/

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Obama's Ebola Czar: A Political Move To Hide The Truth About The Disease

President Obama has just named a career political operative, Ron Klain, as his Ebola Czar.  He has zero medical background but is well equipped to navigate the political waters to make Obama's handling of the issue look much better than it probably is.  Obviously, any bad news or negatives will stop with Ron Klain now managing the crisis. And, for sure, keep it off the news and headlines while only being 20 days away from the November elections.

Further, the fact that Obama had to even appoint a Czar simply shows that his choice of a CDC head, Tom Frieden, was flawed.   Klain may be no better.  It was Klain who had the last word on the now-bankrupt Solyndra and other failed "green" companies that were given stimulus funds.

Reference:

Wikipedia: Ron Klain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Klain

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ebola and the CDC's Reliance on Human Perfection

I find it difficult to  believe that a trained nurse who herself had been exposed to Ebola and who was running a low-grade fever (supposedly 99.5) would have jeopardized the lives of others by boarding a plane.  Yet, she did, and was  diagnosed with the disease just hours after taking that flight.

Then, too, the first U.S. Ebola patient, Thomas Duncan, lied to the Liberian travel security about his having contact with an infected person; thus, gaining travel access to the United States.

It appears that the CDC's handling of Ebola is based on the assumption that humans are perfect and that they would never do stupid things or lie to gain access to this country. Yet, in the U.S., nearly 100,000 people die each year from diseases contracted while hospitalized.  Disease due to improper hygiene practices, unclean toilet facilities, and contaminated surfaces on reused devices such as x-ray machines and other testing equipment.

At the same time, the CDC is giving people mixed signals.

They tells us that a travel ban isn't necessary, and, that they are screening people at airports for high-grade fevers of 101.5 degrees or above.   It was no wonder then, that the nurse thought it was safe for her to fly.  She hadn't been quarantined.  She had simply been told to "self-monitor" her temperature on a regular basis and look out for a high-grade fever.   Only, then should she seek medical attention and be considered a risk to others. However, even though she did not meet the technical criteria for no air travel, she still contacted the CDC and asked for their advice. They told her to go ahead and get on the plane.

Of course, if we considered an alternate scenario, and she did not board the plane she would most likely show up at a hospital with Ebola.  Thus putting everybody in that emergency room at risk.  Not sure that is a good policy either.

I think that the CDC's handling of Ebola falls well short of considering the "human" element in trying to contain the disease.

References:

Ebola Patient Shouldn't Have Boarded Plane, Officials Say: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/15/ebola-patient-shouldnt-ha_n_5990968.html

Liberia says Dallas Ebola patient lied on exit document: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/02/liberia-ebola-patient-thomas-duncan-airport-screening/16591753/

Officials Relying On ‘Self-Monitoring’ System When It Comes To US Health Care Workers Caring For Isolated Ebola Patients: http://houston.cbslocal.com/2014/10/14/officials-relying-on-self-monitoring-system-when-it-comes-to-us-health-care-workers-caring-for-isolated-ebola-patients/

Hospital-Acquired Infections:  Hospital-acquired infection

CDC Q&A on Ebola: Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever (temperature of 101.5°F/ 38.6°C) and any of the other following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/qa.html

pb 




Thursday, October 16, 2014

CDC Incompetence: Allowing Possibly Infected People To Live Normally Among Us

According to the Director of the CDC, they are closely monitoring all those who treated the first U.S. Ebola patient. Estimates are that this is about 70 people. Now, we are told that another nurse, one of that 70, has been diagnosed with Ebola and, only hours before, traveled by air to and from Cleveland, Ohio.  As a result, we now have another 132 passengers who may have been in contact with this 3rd U.S. patient. But, what about all those other people that came in contact with that healthcare worker either before or after taking the flight?

Obviously, the CDC isn't containing the disease when, in fact, it allows possibly contaminated persons to live their normal lives; including air travel.  How many people have to be infected before the CDC treats this disease with serious caution?

I'm not buying the fact that Ebola is not contagious until there are symptoms.  I hardly think that it is like a light switch when, as soon as there is a 101.5 degree or higher fever, a person is somehow instantly contagious. My guess is we will soon find out that this, too, is a lie.  Ask yourself this.  Why is the CDC trying to find those 132 passengers from that flight if, supposedly, that infected healthcare worker was said to only have a low-grade fever when she took that flight?

One last thing.  I'm tired of people downplaying this by saying more people die of the flu each year in this country than have died from Ebola.  We are only in the early stages and it looks to be spreading.  As a disease, it has a 70% kill rate. The flu kills less than one-tenth of one percent of those who contract it.  So, let me ask you this: What would you prefer to get infected with? The flu? Or, Ebola?

References:

Ebola Health Worker Flew Hours Before Reporting Symptoms: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-15/ebola-health-worker-flew-day-before-reporting-symptoms.html

CDC says it missed opportunities to contain Ebola: https://news.yahoo.com/cdc-says-missed-opportunities-contain-ebola-044302209.html

WHO: Ebola Death Rate Now 70%; 10,000 New Cases a Week Possible: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/who-ebola-death-rate-now-70-10000-new-cases-week-possible