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  • Ignorance is Strength – The Earmark Dichotomy

    Today we’ve posted another Tea Party insider video on Youtube for your enjoyment. It covers the dichotomy that the GOP and Tea Party now find themselves in regarding earmarks and how they’ll probably get around it.

  • Ignorance Is Truth - The Tea Party and Earmarks

    Fiscal Responsibility – #5 – Earmarks Earmarks have been widely criticized by the Tea Party and GOP, despite their being a tiny proportion of the budget. During the latest furor and their efforts to ban all earmarks, we take a look at whether such a move would actually reduce the federal deficit. […] Watch Video ›

  • New Taste Receptor for Glutamate Discovered

    Back in July we wrote a series of articles about the effect of aging on our senses, including taste. In a study1 published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers describe the first receptor on the tongue found to be exclusively for detecting glutamate. If asked, most people can immediately list four common tastes – sweet, sour, salty and bitter. However, Asians have long recognized another taste called umami (savory). It is used to describe the taste and sensation of glutamate, an amino acid found in protein foods and the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG). Glutamate is a non-essential amino acid used commercially as monosodium glutamate (MSG), because it is less toxic than salt, stable and easy to […]

  • Keith Olbermann Embarrasses Key Feet-Dragging Democrats

    Frustrated by the slow progress towards passing a worthwhile health insurance reform bill, Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s “Countdown” political commentary program, made a spectacular statement yesterday. Olbermann lambasted the feet dragging and obstructive politicians and singled out the health insurance cartel [his label] for extensive denigration. He then suggested a novel way of embarrassing the key Democrats who are not standing behind the President’s wish for affordable health care for […]

  • Is the Swiss Health Care System Really Better Than Ours?

    We’ve looked at socialized health care systems in other developed countries around the World, but today we decided to take a more detailed look at a system that some people believe would be a good model for the United States to aim for. Switzerland has a system where everyone buys their own health insurance from private companies, but the basic coverage is the same across all plans and the costs are the same for everyone, regardless of age or prior medical […]

  • Rep Alan Grayson Blasts the Opposition On Health Insurance Reform

    We’ve tried not to side with either political party over the health insurance reform bill (though we’re clearly in favor of change), but this week Democratic Senator Alan Grayson shocked the Republicans by standing up and calling them out in public over their stance on the health insurance reform bill. He simplified the situation by summing up their plan as “Don’t get sick! If you do get sick, die quickly!” That may be an oversimplification, but I’m not seeing a lot more substance in any plan put forward by the Republicans so far. Their strategy seems to be: Delay everything as long as possible (killing another 120+ uninsured Americans every day). Kill the bill at all costs (to keep the funds rolling into their coffers from the health industry). If the bill can’t be halted, pad it with as many benefits for the health insurers, health car eproviders and pharmaceutical companies as as possible. Please take a look at these two videos. In the first one, Senator Grayson makes his point, causing outrage among the Republicans, who demand that he apologize. He apologizes in the second one, but not to them. Instead, he apologizes to the dead and their families. I don’t agree with his reference to the Holocaust, that was unnecessary. However, I think he’s right, as we have done in previous articles, to bring this stark fact to the attention of America – Almost 45,000 Americans die every day because they don’t have health insurance. That’s 123 a day. After you’ve viewed the videos, please take a minute to participate in our poll. We’ll publish the results on Monday.

  • Health Insurers Buy Key Senate Finance Committee Members For $8,351,858

    $8,351,858 – that’s all it really took to buy a Senate Finance Committee that failed to pass a health insurance reform bill that would offer a choice to the current stranglehold that the powerful health insurance industry has on consumers today. Sen. Max “$3,882,881″ Baucus put forward a bill that would not offer a public option, instead providing huge subsidies to a bunch of crooks without any control over the prices they charge consumers. 65% of the overall electorate want some kind of public option. Democrats in some States are already moving to find an alternative to the frauds who went against their wishes. Every member of this committee who voted for the status quo should be sent home with no medical insurance and no pension.

  • How Good Is Your Favorite Hospital?

    Hospitals employ and deal with humans. Humans make errors. Therefore, the quality of care that you receive at one hospital may be significantly different than the care you receive at a neighboring one. With really bad hospitals the word tends to get out into the local community by word of mouth and via local newspaper, radio and television reporting. The Joint Commission operates voluntary accreditation programs for hospitals and other health care organizations. It accredits nearly 16,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Unannounced surveys typically follow a three year cycle. Results are available online. Hospitals are complex, busy and sometimes scary places. Horror stories abound, but they’re the exception, and the Joint Commission surveys prove that they’re not the rule.

  • Help! My Body Is Attacking Me!

    Over 24 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases. There are many kinds, but they all arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues present in it. The body actually attacks its own cells. Autoimmune diseases are often chronic, debilitating and life-threatening. The most common autoimmune diseases are: hypothyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, Lupus Erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type-1 diabetes and psoriasis. There are also autoimmune diseases that affect the endocrine gland, heart, joints and muscles, nervous system and skin. More than eighty illnesses are either proven or suspected to be caused by autoimmunity. They are in the top ten causes of death among women in all age groups up to 65 years, where many other conditions may set in. One theory is that many autoimmune diseases are triggered by the huge amounts of toxins in our environment. Of the over 80,000 chemicals that have been introduced into our society since 1900, only 550 have been tested for safety. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that about 2.5 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released annually by industrial facilities, including over six million pounds of mercury that enters the air we breathe. A government report1 issued in July 2005 tested for a range of chemicals in our bodies and found an average of 148 per person. They may have found more if they had extended the scope of their tests. Unfortunately, conventional medicine tries to shut down the immune response with powerful medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, anti-cancer drugs and new drugs that block the effects of a powerful inflammatory molecule called TNF alpha. The problem is that these new drugs shut down the immune system so powerfully that they increase the risk of cancer or life-threatening infections. Many of them frequently cause serious side effects and are only partially effective. What we need is a way to attack the root of the problem. One way is to eliminate gluten and other food allergens, purge heavy metals from the body and balance the immune system. Here’s a checklist for people suffering from autoimmune disease. Healthy people may be able to avoid the problem by taking the same steps:

  • Lies and Damn Lies – The Joe Wilson Saga

    Aha! So we won’t be taxing the illegal immigrants if they don’t have adequate coverage. What the opponents fail to say is that Section 246 specifically says that they can’t receive any benefits, i.e. health care coverage, under the provisions of the Bill. In addition to that, throughout the Bill the phrase “except as otherwise provided” appears. This applies to this subsection too. As illegal immigrants can’t receive benefits, this subsection doesn’t apply to them. Furthermore, some argue that, if we were to tax them, we might be implicitly giving them rights similar to those of legal permanent resident aliens. In other words, the bill specifically excludes granting health insurance to illegal immigrants and there are no loopholes that allow them to obtain it. Congressman Joe “$455,796″ Wilson was wrong! We could cut him some slack and point out the fact that under the terms of a separate law, anyone who goes to an emergency room must be treated. We’ve covered the costs of that loophole in current laws elsewhere. However, this bill is not about regulating hospitals or emergency care, it’s about health care insurance. Also, as the President has pointed out, if the child of an illegal immigrant goes to an emergency room and is diagnosed with tuberculosis we have to treat them. Otherwise the child will return to school and infect others. We’re not going to give him the benefit of doubt though, as he’s openly supported Sarah Palin’s ridiculous labeling of end of life counseling as “Death Panels”. He’s also refused to back down on his claim that health care coverage will be provided, when it clearly won’t be. To put it in plain words – Congressman Joe “$455,796″ Wilson is a liar!

  • Covering the Uninsured Could Actually Save Us Money

    The more that we look into the state of our health care system the more obvious it is that it’s badly broken. We’ve talked about where people get their insurance (see graph #1 below) and how other, more enlightened, countries handle health care for their citizens. We decided to take a closer look at who actually pays when an uninsured person receives healthcare. Laws on whether or not a provider must provide service to the uninsured vary across states, so we decided to use California, the most populous state, as an example. In California, uninsured people are five times more likely than the insured to go to emergency rooms (ER) for treatment, no matter how severe the problem is. The hospital will try to get reimbursement from the patient, but even after trying collection procedures, that method hardly ever results in full recovery of costs. The costs are passed on to individual taxpayers and employers in the form of a hidden tax – sometimes via the government, but often in the form of increases in the fees required for all health care services. We uncovered these facts:

  • Zany Pill-Popping Grandparents May Become Prescription Drug Addicts

    Three out of four Americans age 65 or older take prescription drugs every day for chronic conditions. One study of senior drug takers found that 28% of women and nearly 22% of men take five or more medicines regularly. The most widely used drugs are for lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol – problems that are often linked to diabetes, heart disease and obesity. The data reflects both worsening overall public health and more aggressive treatment by doctors, who now have more effective drugs to prescribe. Luckily, drugs prescribed for these problems are less likely to cause addiction than some other major classes of drug, particularly painkillers, tranquilizers and anti-anxiety medications. Used properly, most prescription drugs, such as painkillers and anti-anxiety medications, should be both effective and safe. Unfortunately, in some cases, seniors can get addicted to morphine derivatives like Demerol or Vicodin, which are often prescribed for hip fractures and other painful injuries. We covered the pain mechanisms involved and the various forms of treatment in our recent articles on Chronic Pain Management…

  • Jim Towey’s Death Book Allegations Awarded “Pure Manure” Prize

    Jim Towey is promoting his own pamphlet, which has serious flaws, such as not distinguishing between care and treatment. It also allows the removal of food and water from a patient simply because he or she has suffered brain damage and is not likely to recover from that condition. Documents created using his “Five Wishes” advice are not legally admissible in ten States. Silver Buzz Cafe awarded Towey’s Death Book lies and all of the people spreading them, including Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Fox News, a “Pure Manure” rating.

  • Is Grandma a Closet Alcoholic?

    Bruises, abrasions, and scars in locations that might suggest frequent falls, bumping into objects, physical altercations, or other violent behavior. Cigarette burns on the fingers. Flushed or florid faces. Jerky eye movement or loss of central vision. Damage to nerves causing numbness and tingling. Hypertension, particularly systolic. Gastrointestinal or other bleeding. Cirrhosis or other evidence of liver impairment, such as edema in the lower extremities, and other signs of fluid retention. Psoriasis and signs of immunodeficient disorders.

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