Posts Tagged ‘Health Care’

Just took a look at the comments on the Blogs For Victory “Never Again” post, in which Leo Pusateri insanely equates Planned Parenthood with the Nazi Germany genocide of European jews. Apparently poor Leo is completely unaware that real genocide actually has occurred in the intervening years since World War II ended. But I don’t want to talk about Leo as the comments thread is much more interesting than his original post. And I guess the moderator is on vacation because rusty’s comments haven’t been deleted, leaving a nonsensical half-a-thread in its wake. Nice to see some actual give and take. It’s all been pretty civil, except of course for tiredoflibbs. Good ol’ tired is nothing, if not consistent. Always the first–and in this case, the only poster–to resort to name calling. Attaboy, tired! Have a treat!

Regarding rusty’s point that the loss of Planned Parenthood clinics would, in many places, result in decreased family planning and contraceptive services, thereby leading to increased instances of pregnancies and abortions, one can look at the experience in Texas.

In 2011, Texas legislators excluded Planned Parenthood from taxpayer funding. The state has yet to make up for the loss.

The number of women served by clinics within the Texas Women’s Health Program dropped significantly between Fiscal Years 2011 and 2013, when the funding changes took effect. According to a Texas Health and Human Services Commission study, there was an average 25 percent drop statewide, with two of 11 HHSC regions reporting more than 50 percent drops.

As a result of this change, some Texas patients had trouble finding alternate sources of family planning and women’s health, in part because other providers in their area had not previously been providing specialized family planning services and had to first get expensive, time-consuming training in those areas.

“That high quality family planning is very difficult to integrate into primary care without specific programs to do that,” Dr. Janet Realini, the chair of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, a coalition of organizations working to assure access to preventive women’s care.

Realini did praise the state government, however, for “stepping up” and trying to compensate for the lost Medicaid funds.

Rep. Jim Keffer, a Republican state senator in Texas who worked on the defunding measures, also acknowledged that the state is still working to address lost provider capacity, including recently introducing a new website to help women access family planning programs.

“As Planned Parenthood has been going through their spiral here, we have been bolstering what Texas can offer through this other network,” Keffer said. “You can’t just close it off and wipe your hands of the situation because comprehensive women’s health care has to still be provided.”

A related issue is that some women might not go to a general practitioner — even one that introduced family planning into their practice — because they prefer going to a specialist.

“Some women prefer to go to dedicated family planning providers to get dedicated contraceptive services,” said Amanda Stevenson, a researcher at the University of Austin’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project working on the impact of excluding Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Program in Texas.

Stevenson noted a 2013 review from the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health policy group, which found that women say they prefer going to specialists for this care because of “the respectful, confidential, affordable and high-quality care they receive from them.”

I know it’s hard for the Bob Eisenhowers of the world to believe, but according to those who have actually studied the situation, some women prefer going to dedicated family planning providers instead of their primary care physicians–assuming they have a primary care physician. But then Bob Eisenhower has probably never had to worry about his health care ever. In fact, it would not surprise me to find out that Bob was a life-long civil service employee like so many conservatives who can’t conceive of life without guaranteed health care. (At least, this is my direct experience with conservatives; their entire lifestyle–including their healthcare–has been funded on the taxpayer dime. I know some might view this as anecdotal, but apparently that is all it takes to make a definitive judgement about the entire lot of ’em.)

The other fact that Bob Eisenhower ignores is that 20 states–all of them governed by conservatives like Bob–rejected the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, leaving an estimated 6.5 million Americans still without health insurance, and mostly without access to healthcare except in dire emergencies. It’s simple to sit back in your easy chair and pontificate about how easy it is for anyone–anyone!–to access health care whenever they need it, but that’s just not the case. And either Bob Eisenhower knows this and is being a tad deceitful, or he is woefully ignorant.

After years and years of claiming they were working on a plan to replace Obamacare–but never actually coming up with one–conservatives have finally come forth with their “plan.”

Actually, it took Donald Trump to finally articulated it. Leave it to Trump, the man who gets things done, to present a plan so concise that it embodies everything we love about the modern Republican party.

Yes, The Donald was on CNN today, where he declared, “It’s gotta go. Repeal and replace with something terrific.”

That’s the plan! Replace it with “something terrific”! It perfectly describes the Republican plan for, well, pretty much everything. No details, just an empty promise that it’ll be “something terrific.”

I can’t wait for the debate next week.

The nerve of these people, I tell ya. I mean, can you imagine the audacity of millions of previously uninsured Americans now become eligible for health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act — and actually following through?! Don’t they have any consideration for how their actions might affect the rest of us who already had health care? Sheesh.

In the latest example of their outrage, courtesy Hot Air, conservatives are citing a USA Today article about how doctors are having a hard time balancing profits and patients. To conservatives, this is just another negative consequence of ObamaCare. Our dear conservative friend Cluster called it just another example of the “unintended consequences of big government.”

What’s the problem again? Oh yeah, millions of Americans are getting access to health care that didn’t have it before. You might ask, this is really a problem? Well, apparently it is if you’re a conservative who already had health care, and therefore couldn’t care less whether other people have it.

Yes, this is really the issue with these people. Conservatives are afraid that their own doctors will spend less time with them because they will have to spend time with those undeserving ObamaCare patients. An outrage, indeed.

But let’s cut the sarcasm for a moment. Honestly, what kind of morality sees your friends, relatives and neighbors gaining access to health care as an inherently bad thing? These are Americans who were previously shut out of the health care system because they are sick (and therefore unprofitable), were once sick (and therefore potentially unprofitable), or simply don’t have the money to afford health care (and therefore obviously unprofitable).

There’s a telling paragraph in that USA Today article:

Physicians don’t like to be rushed either, but for primary care physicians, time is, quite literally, money. Unlike specialists, they don’t do procedures like biopsies or colonoscopies, which generate revenue. Instead, most are still paid per visit, with only minor adjustments for those that go longer.

Ah, there’s the real issue. The more patients these doctors see, the more money they make. And we’re surprised that medical offices are telling their doctors to shorten up the visits so that can see more patients and make more money? It’s just capitalism at work. Conservatives should rejoice.

And speaking of capitalism, it has always been true, and is still true, that the more money you have, the better health care you can get. I mean, if you have enough money, you can hire your own personal physician. So what’s the problem, conservatives? If you don’t like sharing your doctors, the way to fix that is to spend more of your money. Everyone wins. The doctor wins, you win, and the economy wins. Pretty simple, really.

Of course, the converse to having lots of money is being poor. And incredibly, the poorest 40% of American women — almost half of all American women — are seeing their life expectancies actually decline compared to the generation before them. What a country — the one with the greatest health care system in the world. Right? Right?!

As though anyone seriously thought the Republicans would do the right thing.

It was a rich day in Twitter-land, and I couldn’t restrict myself to just one. Enjoy!

You’ve really got to hand it to conservatives for their blatant chutzpah. They used to complain that “ObamaCare” was doomed because people would just wait until they got sick and then sign up. That was a lie, of course, as they are now acknowledging in backhanded fashion.

See, now “conservatives now want you to be outraged about the fact that the Affordable Care Act creates limited open-enrollment periods each year to prohibit precisely that kind of free riding.” Brian Beutler has the details.

Meanwhile, Ezra Klein has an article on Vox today entitled, “The right can’t admit that Obamacare is working.”

Today, the right struggles with Obamacare Derangement Syndrome: the acute inability to see Obamacare as anything but a catastrophic failure that the American people will soon reject. For those suffering from ODS, all bad Obamacare news is good news, and all good Obamacare news is spin. In this world, delays of minor provisions in the law prove that the entire structure is collapsing, while surges of millions of people enrolling in insurance don’t prove anything at all.

He goes on to say:

The irony of this is that Obamacare’s successes are, in many cases, conservatism’s successes. The individual mandate is a conservative idea — and it’s working. Liberals were skeptical that private insurers would compete on price even absent a public option — but they are. High-deductible health plans are a longtime conservative solution for health costs — and Obamacare is spreading them far and wide. But conservatives can’t take credit for any of this, much less build on it.

Everyday conservatives box themselves a little further into their corner.