Healthcare


Walter Reuther (second from right) at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963

Happy belated “Labor Day” everyone.  Just as I wish my neighbor to have affordable healthcare………….. 

………I’d also wish him to have a decent paying  Job!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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I came across this article that I found interesting. If you are “Anti-union” as some of my family and friends are….you need not open the link. 

I found it interesting with such a high unemployment rate these days. 

From the article: 

     “Only 12.3 percent of American wage and salary workers belong to unions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, down from a peak of about one-third of the work force in 1955.” 

    “Between 1966 and 1970, as Gerald Seib pointed out last week in The Wall Street Journal, the United States enjoyed an astonishing 48 straight months in which the unemployment rate was at or below 4 percent. No, the unions didn’t do all this by themselves. But they were important co-authors of a social contract that made our country fairer, richer and more productive.” 

The Link:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2012804832_dionne06.html

  

    “……….organized labor is increasingly foreign to American culture. The union movement has always been attached to a set of values — solidarity being the most important, the sense that each should look out for the interests of all. This promoted other commitments: to mutual assistance, to a rough-and-ready sense of equality,…… 

….. to a disdain for elitist,……..”

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Unions have a history……and unfortunately, only the bad apples are remembered and so much of the good goes unmentioned.  Let’s hope our new-found “corporate greed rats” (Who plague health insurance and major pharmaceutical) suffer the same fate……..minus the “hit-man antics”.  Jail or public humiliation will do. 

Health and Prosperity All, 

Todd 

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Chicken Tax?

I know that was the first thing on your mind after reading that……LOL

Reuther (pictured above) and the 1964 Chicken Tax

 

U.S. sales of VW vans in pickup and commercial configurations were curtailed by the Chicken Tax. 

Reuther played a role in a historic episode during the early 1960’s, known as the Chicken War. France and West Germany had placed tariffs on imports of U.S. chicken. 

Diplomacy failed and in January 1964, two months after taking office, President Johnson imposed a 25 percent tax (almost 10 times the average U.S. tariff) on potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and light trucks. Officially, the tax targeted items imported from Europe as approximating the value of lost American chicken sales to Europe. 

In retrospect, audio tapes from the Johnson White House, revealed a quid pro quo unrelated to chicken. In January 1964, President Johnson attempted to persuade Reuther not to initiate a strike just prior to the 1964 election and to support the president’s civil rights platform. Reuther in turn wanted Johnson to respond to Volkswagen‘s increased shipments to the United States. 

The Chicken Tax directly curtailed importation of German-built Volkswagen Type 2 vans in configurations that qualified them as light trucks — that is, commercial vans and pickups. “In 1964 U.S. imports of “automobile trucks” from West Germany declined to a value of $5.7 million—about one-third the value imported in the previous year. Soon after, Volkswagen cargo vans and pickup trucks, the intended targets, “practically disappeared from the U.S. market.” As of 2009, the Chicken tax remains in effect. 

“Wikipedia”

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I’ve always wondered when VW would bring a pickup to US market……..NOT!!!!!! 

healthcare1

Let's not get side tracked here.....What's the issue?......Is it healthcare reform?.......or is it Nancy Pelosi?

I’m  very lucky in the fact that I have been given this opportunity (stem cell). I have an obligation,…not only to myself and family ,…but now to others…..to make this work.

No pressure……..

Pressure is working and raising your kids right,…..keeping them out of trouble and on task. 

Pressure  is being in an abusive marriage w/ no way out.

Pressure is raising kids as a single parent.

Pressure is being accountable for others beside yourself.

Presure is being handicap and having no caretaker,… limited funds and no resources. 

Just a few examples…

…On…… and on……..and on……we could go……

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Julie and I look at like this ….”My situation could be so much worse.”

I am lucky in the fact that I have a very loving and supportive family.

Is all of this costing me a fourtune?……….YOU BET!!!!!

But I’ve moved on with the cost for right now.  I will work my butt to make it work.  I told Professor Slavin the other day that I want to be the “poster boy” for his MSC protocol.

And I will.

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I think often of the people who have MS and will never have the opportunity to do the things for their MS based solely on the issue of money. 

Sad Really.

I know,….I know…..lets see if all this stem cell works first.  right? 

But there are a lot of treatments that have already worked for me in my MS fight.  Some MS’ers will never have the opportunities that I have had based solely on income and insurance.

This is why I’m a such a healthcare advocate. 

Something has to be done. 

The time was years ago already!!!!!!!

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Nancy Pelosi and the house will be featured all this week.  But party affiliation should not be the reason,…and yet it will be the sole reason for criticism of the whole plan.

Sad really.

But those without health concerns will dominate the Media this week.  Be prepared.

The media will say: ……”What is the other political party thinking?”

Who Cares!!!!!!!!!!

Just get it done already!!!!!!

The bigger issue us always missed. 

 Can we get this done?

Healthcare?

I hope so.

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Thank you Uncle Ed for sending me this next link.  Will the insurance industry, money politics, lobbyist, and greed get in the way of what need to be done in this country? 

I hope not. 

Just remember:  It will all be Nancy Pelosi’s fault if this doesn’t happen.  She already sounds like the perfect scapegoat.

That Damn Nancy Pelosi. 

Just who in the hell does she think she is!!!!!!!!

                           VS.

Hate Monger definition:

 –  a propagandist who seeks to provoke hatred and prejudice (political party non-exempt)

Do yourself a favor and watch this 5 min. clip at least twice before you render me any anti-healthcare hate mail.   

Link:

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/10092009/watch2.html

It will keep your focus on what needs to be happening here.
Be Well,
Todd

 

IMHO we in a America have a “NOT FOR PROGRESS” based healthcare system.

Pardon my rant here about Dr “Butt-head” and the “For-Profit” based healthcare system we have. 

And this is just one of the many examples of why I feel this way……..

  

Just another story to add to my disappointment with the healthcare system.  Only one problem……….the story is not supposed to include me.

 

It all starts in October of 2007………….

 I agreed to participate in the Fampridine-SR study at a Hospital here in Washington.  After a few visits w/ Dr “Butt-head” the study agrees to accept me even though I use a “Bioness-L-300”.

Fampridine-SR is a new drug manufactured by Accorda Pharmaceuticals and the drug supposed benefit is that it helps an MS person w/ walking speed.  An improved gait.

Fampridine-SR is basically 4-AP in a slow release version.  The federal government will have a decision on its future here by October 22nd.  Word around the MS community is that it will be approved.  A lot of MS people have been waiting for this drug to be approved.  Hopefully it will not be delayed any longer.

For me…….Fampridine-SR (4-AP) still provides an energy boost. But IMHO…..my body has become acustomed to it and I am slowly upping my dosage now that I am out of study.  My gait no longer is impacted by 20mg/day. I kind of look at it now,…..like a little MS “energy-boost” band-aid. Each 10mg tablet gives me about 7 hours of coverage.

The first part of the Fampridine-SR study was “double-blind” for the first 12 weeks.  Meaning: You did not know if you were receiving drug or placebo during that time.  I blogged during that time that I was receiving placebo.  A report received in the mail months later would confirm my thoughts.  I stuck w/ the study because I was guaranteed Fampridine after the 12 week period. 

My first dose confirmed my “placebo” suspicion. I noticed an immediate difference.  My gait slowly improved the next few months.  Unfortunately for me my body really liked the drug.  It wanted more than the 20mg/day that the study allotted.  I told the study people of this and they told me that their was nothing they could do and stay w/ the dosing schedule of 10mg/12 hours.  I did.

 

Forward 1.75 years,…to my decision to do stem cell.  I told the study people of my decision to do stem cell well before I went for the bone marrow aspiration in July of 2009.  (I have the emails to prove it).  Dr “Butt-head” informed his staff that the stem cell procedure was risky and that I should be very careful when traveling over sea’s to do any transplant.  I forwarded Dr “Butt-head” the protocol outline of the procedure.  I don’t believe he even looked over what I sent. Dr “Butt-head” then had his staff forward me an article of why I should not proceed with my decision.  I’m not sure if he though that I would read the article he sent.  The article he forwarded me actually validated the protocol that I was to participate in Israel.

 

My response to his staff (via email) questioned if Dr “Butt-head” actually was endorsing my decision to do stem cell.  I did not here a response after that.

Those email exchanges were in June 2009……..

….Two months prior……

  ……In April of 2009… Dr “Butt-head” visited the gym in which I am now doing “Lokomat” therapy.  According to the staff at the gym…… Dr “Butt-head” liked what he saw in the “Lokomat” machine and immediately started to refer his patients to use the devise.  In the meantime…….I continued to struggle along in his Fampridine-SR study.

Never once was I informed by Dr “Butt-head” that I would be a prime candidate for the “Lokomat” machine.  I guess I was too valuable of a “Human LAB RAT” for him and his study.  He had known of my strong desire to improve my walking ability and he failed to mention his new discovery to me the whole time. 

 

After bone marrow aspiration on July 2009 I informed Dr “Butt-head”’s staff of my return from Israel.  Dr “Butt-head” and his staff allowed me to continue in the study right up to the point of me returning for the stem cell transplant in September 2009.

 

Dr “Butt-head” met w/ me upon my exit of the study and wished me luck in the future and to contact him if I needed anything.  He still failed to mention the Lokomat therapy as he was kicking me to the curb along with the Fampridine-SR study.  Dr “Butt-head” was still concerned of the Israeli stem cell validity and saw that my walking that paticular day in his office was extremely poor.  We met for about twenty minutes.  After our meeting, he had one of his assitances wheel me to the parking lot w/ a wheelchair.  My walking was very poor that day.  STILL NO MENTION OF THE LOKOMAT MACHINE!!!!!

 

I now had a new Neuro and a new institution that backed what I was doing 100%. My new Neuro validated the stem cell protocol and informed me of “Lokomat” therapy during my first visit. They also imediately gave me a persciption for 4-AP,….to continue the dosing that I had been doing w/Fampridine the last 1.75 years (remember: 4-AP is Fampridine)

 

Questions:

–         Why didn’t Dr “Butt-head” inform me of “Lokomat” therapy when he learned of it in April 2009? 

 

–         Did Dr “Butt-head” know that my participation w/ Lokomat would disqualify me from participating in the Fampridine-SR study?

 

–         Why did Dr “Butt-head” try to discourage me from a stem cell transplant?

 

–         Did Dr “Butt-head” know that my participation w/ Stem Cell would disqualify me from participating in the Fampridine-SR study?

 

–         Why didn’t Dr “Butt-head” inform me of “Lokomat” therapy once he dismissed me from the “Fampridine-SR study in September 2009? After seeing him for 1 year 10 months……..he must have known that I was a prime candidate……but he still said nothing.

 

–         Why did Dr “Butt-head” tell me to contact him if I ever need anything in September 2009?  Didn’t he realize that he had failed to provide me w/ what I really needed for the last 4 months?

 

–         Did he really think I was stupid enough not to figure it all out?

 

 

In business they say that “Time is money”

In the case of: “This MS patient”…….. “Time lost is Mobility”

Thanks for dipping into my very valuable mobility reserves Dr “Butt-head”.  Your silence may just be the biggest crime of all.

Thanks guys for letting me get this off my chest.  I know Dr “Butt-head” understands.

Even the most selfish MS neurologists know that stress is something that their patients must learn to let go.

 

Done.

 

Be Well

Todd

 
Well…….
 
………….and now we know what one South Carolina Representative – (R) thought of the whole thing.
 
Obama………“You Lie”
 
What a disrespectful little punk of a man.  But I’m sure he voiced exactly what the fear mongering “right” wanted to hear the other night.
 
Way to get yourself some “face time” bud. 
 
Hopefully his stupidity will speed things along in terms of giving someone the oportunity to purchase affordable healthcare. Maybe then,…the industry will slowly begin to regulate itself. Maybe oneday,… you can go to sleep thinking that you won’t go bankrupt trying to save a loved one. (insured or un-insured)
 
In the meantime,…..please due me a favor and keep my mailboxes clear of all the anti-health care reform crap.  a bill has still yet to be presented…….and when people finally “wake-up” and listen to actually what they are tring to acommplish on capital hill (government included)………….then you’ll finally realize how stupid those emails were that you’ve been sending me.
 
Be well
Todd

Yes……..you are correct…….you see: July 10, 2009 and think: “This is old news!!!”………..

……………but what is so fascinatingabout this piece is that with 4 minutes to go………he accurately predicts what we are seeing in the media RIGHT NOW!

Spin, Spin,Spin………people will believe any “mis-information” put out there by any Government official on TV who just happens to be a  “Doctor/Insurance/Big phama” expert.

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National Health Care Reform Information

July 10, 2009– With almost 20 years inside the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter saw for-profit insurers hijack our health care system and put profits before patients. Now, he speaks with Bill Moyers about how those companies are standing in the way of health care reform.
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/watch2.html
Click the link above to watch the Interview. (30 mins but real and informative)

Questions and Answers to common questions and misinformation –
The White House Reality Check Web Site
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq

Be Well,

Todd

 

In My Humble Opinion: (IMHO)

 

My friend “JJ” asked me a very interesting question the other night that I get asked a lot.

 

“JJ” asks:

Todd,

Curious…  Why didn’t you get in the Stem Cell stuff going on in the USA?  My folks shared an article in a recent Saturday Evening Post about Stem Cell research.

-JJ

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My response: (alway lengthy……I don’t think I have any other way of replying to someone….LOL)

 

Hey JJ,

Well…….I have to agree w/ the “Frau” again on this one. (She’s a smart lady)

IMHO “JJ”….. Stem Cell research here in the USA is way behind.  The FDA will “him and haw” around for the next five years and whoever has he biggest wallet (drug company)……they will then be the benefactor of the first “Stem Cell Band Aid”.

I honestly believe it won’t be much of a “Band Aid” …because there is still too much money left to be made off this stem cell stuff.

As long as we have a debate over “Healthcare Reform” here in the United States…….then there may never be an adequate stem cell option here.  I mean….”Healthcare Reform” is about money….plain and simple. And until you can figure the money issue out…….the real reason for all this, get pushed further and further away.

You’ve heard this before………”There is no money in the cure”.

I personally chose the Isreali protocol…..based on documentation.  Interesting though,……they have a government run healthcare system.  They are taxed up the “gazu”. The few people I talked w/ there were all in consensus that they like their healthcare system. 

IMHO…….Isreal is a performance based healthcare system. Not a profit based one

 

Stem Cell Study in the US is for the select few that are lucky enough to be accepted.

The studies are small and you have to be a model RRMS candidate that will give that particular protocol “the most bang for their buck” with regards to results.

A lot of stem cell in the US involves “Chemo”.  This makes no sense to me.  Anybody who wishes to be blown up by chemo for a study, will undoubtedly claim success once their immune system is brought back up online. My experience w/ chemo (Novantrone) was ugly. Damaged my heart. I wish to never to go back there again. Any way, shape or form

Skewed results if you ask me.

Also………..MS patients have a weakened immune system to begin with.  Why would you:

  • A) Wipe it out w/ “chemo” in the first place?
  • B) Will it come back up online even more aggressive than before you took it offline?
  • C) Some studies involve using a foreign stem cell…….now you are asking two things from your body: 1) rebuild an already weaken immune system. 2) Accept something foreign w/ regards to the type of cell transplanted.

I also have yet to find the “Rant and Rave” section of the internet where all the members of let’s say a: “Northwestern Study Protocol” or any other US study for that matter…..get together and “shout from the rooftops” about the successes.  Maybe somebody can point me in that direction. I’d love to read the testimonials. Curious? Why is there no mention of these succsesses in these forums.  Possibly because the benifactors know it will be such a long time before any of us see something possitive here in the USA. I understand why they would not want to “Glote” (sp?)

Some studies here…….are risky……and barely out of “lab rat” trials.  A lot of unknowns. Know what you are getting into, before you make the big leap.

 

Be Well

Todd

 

The good news is that health care reform is starting to happen.

 

The great news is that health care reform is starting to happen!!!!!!!!!(Congress must have been reading my blog…..LOL)

 

Just a quick update:

 -Currently there are three different versions of the bill being worked on in the House

 -Currently there are two different versions of the bill being worked on in the Senate

 I’m not sure if any further progress was made as of yesterdays close.

 

This is going happen.

 

It looks as though the federal government wants to give Americans an extra insurance option.

Lets reserve mass hysteria until the final Bill is introduced.      (But Todd,…………It’s so fun to sling mudd now………I want to SLING MUDD NOW, NOW,. NOW!!!!!          PLEASE, Please, please…….pretty please……………please????????)

 

I believe that this government intervention should bring some much needed regulation to health care costs.

Starting with health care insurance.  The biggest and the center ring of the “Three Ring Circus”.  I say again…….the government is the only kid on the block big enough to tackle the evil……”Three Ring Circus”. 

Much work to do before a final bill………but it’s the progress we like to see.

 

Bout’ time

 

Be Well

Todd

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