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Tag Archives: medicare for all
Robust healthful manhood
The photograph of “a healthy man” to go with my Ragtag Daily Prompt conflate post.
I LOVE the caption. “Robust healthful manhood is the source of mental and physical power.” How differently the author portrays health womanhood, as shown in the conflate post. The book is Macfadden’s Encyclopedia of Physical Culture, in three volumes, 1911. Volume I is 500 pages. It is easy to read but it’s a different style from now. Here:
As a rule, if you will simply retain the idea that food should be swallowed at all times without effort, that is, that never, by any means, wash it down with water, milk, tea or any other liquid, that you should masticate it until it seems to disappear without swallowing, you can rest assured that you are masticating sufficiently. p. 97, volume I.
I plan to read the entire set. I think I will find lots of wonderful words for the Ragtag Daily Prompt (hey, I don’t think we’ve used masticate yet!) and material to write about.
Are there still interesting medical ideas out there? Oh, yes. LOTS. Only now they use the internet. I have subscribed to some of the series of videos, telling people how bad and wrong minded allopathic doctors are. Sigh. We do our best. The scam is that they let folks watch one a day for a week, or let them watch one, and then want you to buy the series. “Only $349.99!” Nice scam that is proliferating rapidly. I have now gotten emails saying “Health coaches should make as much or more than physicians and we can teach you how to market and target people and make that money.” Ugh and ick. Really?
I have patients in clinic who present by saying, “I don’t usually go to MD doctors, I go to a naturopath, but I am here because I need an antibiotic.”
I learn to respond gently. “Oh. If you need an antibiotic, maybe you have signs of infection? What are your symptoms?” I have to get past their dislike of allopathic medicine and find out what the symptoms are. Usually if I can diffuse them by getting the story, we can work together. Once in a while it doesn’t work: I have people come in and give me orders. “Do these labs.”
“Uh. Where did this list come from?”
The answer could be a video (by a naturopath, a biochemist, a biologist, whatever. I have watched some of these series. They start by saying that doctors are wrong/stupid/stubborn/misguided/etc.) or a “cash only” doctor or a magazine.
“Why are you coming to me?”
“I want medicare/my insurance to pay for it. I have done my research.”
“Well, medicare does not work that way. I have to list a symptom or diagnosis code for every lab ordered.”
I try to be patient. “Every lab has to have an attached appropriate diagnosis code or medicare will not cover it. There is a place in town where you can order your own, but it does not take medicare. You pay for it.”
“Just order it!”
“No. I am a medicare/insurance provider, which means I have a contract with them. It would be fraud and illegal to make up codes. Does your cash only provider use diagnosis codes? Can your bring their clinic note to me?”
One person replies, “My provider doesn’t take notes.” Oh, how nice. That provider does a very expensive panel of labs three times a year that the person is paying for out of pocket. “My provider checks EVERYTHING.” Um, and makes a boatload of money off you too, I think. That patient is very angry that I won’t take her orders and switches clinics. Oddly enough, this does not break my heart.
Some days I hate Dr. Google. There are lots of websites and people on line swearing that they can improve your health. There are scientific looking papers that swear something has been tested, but read the fine print: if the sample is 8 people, how does that stack up against the Women’s Health Initiative, where one arm of the study had 27,000 people? The evidence is weighted. We get multiple articles in medical school and subsequently about how to read a paper, how to weigh the evidence, how to recognize fraud or a poorly designed study.
I do not object to people looking on the internet and I have had people who came in and said, “Is it possible that I have THIS?” and who are correct. However, I see more fraud, always.
failure of the medical non-system
One thing that makes me gloomy, as a Family Practice Physician: the only person who has read my medical notes from the multiple specialists is ME.
Since March 2021, I have seen Family Practice, Cardiology, Pulmonology, Infectious Disease, Immunology and Psychiatry. I am in a rural area, so this involves three different hospital systems. They all use the EPIC electronic medical record, but they won’t release information to each other. I have gotten two of them hooked together under ONE of my names and passwords but guess what: my primary care physicain can’t see the notes from the other sites. Only I can. “Proprietary infromation.” Hey, you stupid medical non-systems, this is MY healthcare, MY notes, and YOU SUCK.
My primary care physician COULD request the notes from my pulmonologist but she hasn’t. I find this incomprehensible. I have been on oxygen for over a year. I guess my doctor frankly doesn’t care. Has she farmed my lungs out to pulmonology and doesn’t have to pay attention any more? My goal in practice was to have all of the specialists’ notes. If that was five different specialists, I requested them. Ok, it is next to impossible to get psychiatry notes. I keep wondering if psychiatrists really write notes. The patients never seem to know what diagnosis the psychiatrist is using. One hundred percent of the people that I have seen put on an (addictive) benzodiazepine say that it is for sleep. Meanwhile, at the conferences, the psychiatrists say that primary care should not give the patients benzodiazepines for sleep. I raise my hand: “Even when you psychiatrists have started them? The patients all say it’s for sleep. We don’t know WHAT you have them on it for.” When I try to stop the benzo, the patient has a fit and says that psychiatry said they have to have it. And the psychiatrist has retired or left or changed the phone number and there are no notes ever.
Anyhow, I am counting up specialists. I had really bad strep A pneumonia in 2012 and 2014. Since 2012 I have seen 20 specialists. That is counting the three Family Practitioners, because Family Practice is a specialty too. I thought it was about taking care of the whole person, which to me means reading all the specialists notes, but not one of the ones I have been to has done that.
So the medical system is an abject failure. I blame the US citizens. We choose the system with our votes. We need medicare for all, single payer healthcare, and one electronic medical record for all of the United States. Right now, there is a push to privatize medicare and turn it over to For Profit. We need to fight this and we need to demand better healthcare. Hospital organizations should not be refusing to send my clinic note to my primary care doctor. It is stupid and bad care.
https://pnhp.org/ Physicians for a National Healthcare Program for more information.
hope for good coming out of isolation
This video is from 2011. I was invited to be a speaker and had ten minutes to present the Mad as Hell Doctor program, talking about single payer healthcare, medicare for all.
If there is a good thing to get from Covid-19, for me it is single payer healthcare. Because doctors and nurses and staff are worn out, sick, quitting, dying. We need people to take out sick appendixes. We need people to work in nursing homes. We need to support our medical people and I am NOT talking about insurance corporations. They are making more profit than ever. Twenty percent of every dollar paid to them or more.
People say, but it’s socialized medicine, to have medicare for all. Well, no. The only socialized medicine in the US currently is the Veterans Administration. No one that I talk to wants to take away Veterans benefits. Or any of the other government programs: medicare, medicaid, active duty military. The oldest, the poorest and disabled and the people defending our country.
But physicians can do a better job if they are not worrying about prior authorization from 500 + companies, each with multiple different insurance contracts, and who can change what they cover at any time. I get emails all the time: we have changed what we cover. Great. Like I have time to read and learn 500+ insurance contracts. I memorize medicare rules and they change too. Medicare for all, one set of rules and then if you ask if something is covered, we will know.
I am not the only physician who wants single payer: Physicians for a National Healthcare Program.
I find this on line: https://www.quora.com/Could-Medicare-or-Medicaid-be-expanded-to-the-general-population-to-create-single-payer-healthcare-Would-it-be-more-efficient-than-an-entirely-new-program?share=1
The answer is yes, yes, yes. And there would be a continuous ongoing battle about what is covered and what isn’t but that already happens. For two reasons: medicine changes continuously as the science changes and there is a vocal strong fringe, which is occasionally correct. I don’t trust the fringe, but then I don’t trust insurance companies, herbal medicine makers or politicians either.
I can’t credit the videographer because I did not know that the video was being taken or that it was posted. I found out when a new patient said she was seeing me because of my video. I had to look it up.
Mother’s Day Songs: motherless children
A friend and I are talking about Mother’s Day yesterday.
Somehow having a song about Mother’s Day came up. “Bet I can think of one.” I say.
“Humph.” says the friend. Or some skeptical comment.
I start singing.
“That’s NOT a mother’s day song.” says my friend.
“Well, it is if your mother is dead.”
“It’s not cheerful.”
“Yes, that’s true.”
So here is a recording. I haven’t learned the guitar part yet so I thought… well heck, why not sing along with Dave Van Ronk?* This is the third take. Might replace it with a later take later today.
Trigger warning: I miss my mom. This is about missing our moms. Hugs, all.
Happy Mother’s Day and hugs if you miss your mother.
*Is this a copyright violation? It probably is. Someone yell at me if it is. My brain is muttering something about sampling. Let’s see, from circa 1959 to 1961… does that make a difference?
…after I spent about three hours going through paper and throwing it out… ok, like a total numbskull I mislaid my ballot. Have you mislaid your ballot? FIND IT! VOTE!
” …that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.“
When I went across the country as a Mad as Hell Doctor in 2009, we talked to people everywhere. I joined the group in Seattle. I had never met any of them and had only heard about them two weeks before. But we were on the road, talking about health care, talking about single payer healthcare, talking about Medicare for All.
Some people said, “I don’t want the government in healthcare.”
We would ask, “Are you against medicare?” “No!” “Medicaid?” “No!” “Active duty military health care?” “No! We must take care of our active duty!” “Veterans?” “No! They have earned it!”
…but those are all administered by the government. More than half of health care in the US. So let’s go forward: let’s all join together and have Medicare for ALL! And if you don’t agree… so you don’t think you should vote? Hmmm, I am wrestling my conscience here….
We need one system, without 20 cents of every insurance paid dollar going to health insurance profit and advertising and refusing care and building 500++ websites that really, I do not have time to learn and that change all the time anyhow. How about ONE website? How about ONE set of rules? We are losing doctors. It’s not just me worrying: it’s in the latest issue of the American Academy of Family Practice.
Vote. For your health and for your neighbor’s health.
Physicians for a National Healthcare Progam: http://pnhp.org/
Healthcare Now: https://www.healthcare-now.org/
I can’t credit the photograph, because I don’t remember who took it…. or if it was with my camera or phone or someone else’s! But thank you, whoever you are!
after the geese have flown
For the Ragtag Daily Prompt #69: community.
The photograph is from 2010, when the mad as hell doctors toured California to talk about single payer health care, medicare for all.
Small communities rolled out the welcome:
In this community, every table was sponsored by local health groups: clinic, the health department, mental health, addiction treatment. In small communities everyone knows someone who has lost their health, their health insurance and/or their job and home.
Here we are setting up for another program:
People asked questions:
And they listened and responded:
The health care industry has money. The insurance companies are for profit and make enormous profits. But in the end you and I have VOTES. When we stand up as a nation and say that we want medicare for all, Congress will listen. Stand up.
The mandate for health care already is a law: no one can be turned away from an emergency room. But as things stand, we do not take care that the person in the emergency room has care after the emergency room. The hospital may take the person’s house. We already have the government doing no profit care for over 50% of the care in the US: Medicare, Medicaid, active duty military and the Veterans Association. It is time to shut down the for profit insurance companies that refuse medicines, refuse care, refuse to answer their phones, tell me on the phone “we don’t have a fax”, the parent company tells me a medicine is covered and then the part D drug coverage still refuses: it is BEYOND TIME TO SHUT THEM DOWN.
Is the goal of health care profit? Or is it care for our citizens, support for families, works like the police and the fire station: we all support each other. Stand up, shout and VOTE.
I took this in 2011, as a Mad as Hell Doctor, traveling around California talking about single payer.
We are losing more and more physicians. Our three counties, 450,000 people, are down from 8 neurologists ten years ago, to 2. The last one standing in the county of 350,000 says that he is really tired.
Single payer, medicare for all….. because I dream of other countries, civilized countries, countries where there is one set of rules, I can take care of any person who comes to me, I know what is covered and what is not, and I actually get paid….
I am trying to catch that distant line of light on the horizon as the light recedes….
….I am so grateful that the basic healthcare requirements will not be dismantled, joy!
….and now on the horizon I hope for vision and light and single payer, medicare for all. My Veteran patients this week are afraid, that Veterans Choice will be taken down. I am afraid too….and still, I hope for vision and light.
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