Category Archives: Universal Healthcre

Healthcare mandate was Orrin Hatch’s idea!

Yes, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, co-sponsored a Republican-backed bill in 1993 that introduced the individual mandate.  The same requirement for everyone to buy insurance that has them screaming today was their own idea in 1993.  They were ‘fer it before they were agin it.’  Two other current senators also co-sponsored the plan: Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.  Read it here.

So, who bought these Senators in the time since?  How much did they cost?  Is this another perfect example of playing politics?


Filed under Healthcare, Playing Politics, Universal Healthcre

The Carvile Plan…

jamescarville[2]The following is James Carvile’s suggestions on dealing with the GOP when it comes to healthcare reform:

“And strategist James Carvile became the first leading Democrat to suggest publicly that there might be political advantage in letting the Republicans kill healthcare.

“‘Put a bill out there, make them filibuster it, make them be what they are, the party of no,’ Carvile said. ‘Let them kill it. Let them kill it with the interest group money, then run against them. That’s what we ought to do.'”  Read more at this Politico article.

I think that the GOP needs to pay in a big way for this disaster.  What do you bloggers think ?

iggy donnelly


Filed under Healthcare, Republicans, Universal Healthcre

Dialectics and Our Path out of our Current Craziness

MML[2]Marsha Linehan, PhD from the University of Washington, has provided the nearly impossible.  She has led the way in treating patients with a very disabling disorder known as Borderline Personality Disorder.  Dr. Linehan, though she might deny it, is a committed Zen Budhist.  Dealing with the difficult balances that impinge upon us all daily,  is the very  foundation of her expertise.  Those imbalances are especially difficult for her patients, but I, and others contend, the same is true for most of the rest of us.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy, aka DBT, was developed in the late 1970’s by Dr. Linehan and colleagues when they discovered that cognitive behavioral therapy alone did not work as well as expected in patients with borderline personality disorder.  Dr. Linehan and her team added additional techniques and developed a treatment which would meet the unique needs of these patients.

DBT was developed to help people who have trouble in the realms of “thinking, relationships, emotions, and coping” – sounds like most of us, no?

A core component of DBT is “mindfulness” – gaining control of your mind, rather than letting it control you.”

Another component is “interpersonal effectiveness” – which involves, a) getting your objectives met in a situation, b)get/keep good relationships, c) keep/improve self respect and liking of one’s self.

A third component is “emotion regulation” which involves 1) understanding emotions one experiences, 2) reducing emotional vulnerability, and 3) decreasing emotional suffering.

In case I was not clear, I have always thought that these skills could be used by most of us, me included.

What do you bloggers think?

iggy donnelly


Filed under Celebration, Diversity, Life Lessons, New Technology, Psychological Disorders, Psychology Ramblings..., Uncategorized, Universal Healthcre, Woman Power

Obama on Healthcare: “A Moral Imperative”

I think few  people would disagree that having healthcare options for all Americans is good social policy.  The AMA might disagree, but they represent very few people, actually,  and we must remember that.

President Obama is insistent that health care reform include a “public insurance option”; not that he wants the government to take over healthcare, but instead he wants the involvement of a public player to help lower costs.  See this politico article for more information.

There will be an incredible amount of resistence to Obama’s plan.  I think he expects that.

The current system is broken.  Let us try other things.

iggy donnelly


Filed under Diversity, Healthcare, Life Lessons, Obama, Political Reform, The Economy, Universal Healthcre

Campaign is Over: Time to Work

I donated somewhere north (but not too far) of $500.00 to elect Barack Obama.  I was thrilled that the plan worked.  What has been less thrilling to me is that I still get those emails from Team Obama.  They go like:


“We really need your support on this or that, so please contact your congressman or senator today…”

And the message is followed by one of those “Donate”  buttons- enshrouded in red.  [Good thing I am not JJ or MG, I’d read something into that red color].

First off,  Barack,  Todd Tiahrt would sooner gnaw off his rodent-like gonads than vote for anything you’d favor.

And more importantly, let’s knock off the money begging gig until next campaign go-round.  Get to work!

Contributing to my angst about Obama has been a book by Amity Shale entitled The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression.  It is a criticism of “The New Deal”.  I think Obama has avoided most the errors made by FDR, but the issues are worth watching for.  [May do a book review about this very interesting book soon].

Iggy Donnelly


Filed under Economics, History, Obama, Political Reform, Republicans, The Economy, Universal Healthcre


Why in the wide, wide, world of sports is SINGLE-PAYER not even mentioned in the mainsteam media? Maybe because the MSM is riding a gravy train provided by advertising prescription drugs? And why in the hell do they need to advertise anyway? Shouldn’t they cut the ads and pass the savings on?


With Obama’s failure on the Gitmo vote, is that an omen on the healthcare fight? Congresscritters are being lobbied daily by the insurance agencies, where’s our seat at the table?  ~sekanblogger


Filed under Economics, Healthcare, Humor, Political Reform, Universal Healthcre

Introducing…! “The Orphan Diseases” and “The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine”!!!

Granted this thread title would suggest we’re talking about Punk Rock or Bluegrass acts; in truth, we’re not.  A medical definition of an “orphan disease” is:

“A disease which has not been ‘adopted’ by the pharmaceutical industry because it provides little financial incentive for the private sector to make and market new medications to treat or prevent it.

An orphan disease may be:

  1. A rare disease.  According to U.S. criteria, an orphan disease is one that affects fewer than 200, 000 people.
  2. A common disease that has been ignored (such as tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid and malaria) because it is far more prevalent in developing countries than in the developed world.”   Reference here.

The “Jumping Frenchmen of Maine” is the name of an unusual disorder that causes an extreme startle reaction to unexpected noises or sights – hence, an example of an Orphan disease.  There are more than 6,000  rare or orphan diseases. (FDA Consumer magazine, November/December, 2003 Issue).

Like most people, I had not heard much about rare diseases, nor had reason to be concerned about them.  That changed a couple of years ago when my  son (who’s 16 now) started attending a high school in Wichita with a fellow student named Kyle Hicks.  Kyle is 18 years old and has many interests that are like most of his fellow high school students.  One thing that sets him apart from his peers is that he has a rare disorder that is called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB for short).  Kyle weighs 51 lbs and is just barely four foot tall – about the size of an average 7 year old.

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Filed under Economics, Healthcare, Universal Healthcre

Sick Kids and Parents with No Paid Time-Off

This article in The Nation indicates that 9 of 10 employees in “food handling” positions do not have paid sick leave from their jobs.  The salaries for these jobs are not such that workers can easily afford unpaid days off to care for their sick children.

Obama has recently encouraged parents to keep their kids home if it is necessary because of the flu epidemic, but is not time to at least think about employment benefits that will make such good advice doable for working poor employees?

iggy donnelly


Filed under Healthcare, The Economy, The Environment, Universal Healthcre

Increased Mortality Associated with Frequent Night Time Urination

I got interested in this subject based on a recent discussion on one of the Public Square Threads.  This study shows in people older than 70 that urination two or more times per night is associated with death.  This relationship held even after the following covariates were controlled:  “age, sex, BMI, diabetes, hypertension, history of coronary heart disease, nephropathy, alcohol consumption, and use of tranquilizers, hypnotics or diuretics.”

Read the article here.

As the article concludes, it is advisable to talk to your doctor if you are having this problem.

Iggy Donnelly

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Filed under Healthcare, Research, Universal Healthcre

Health Care Reform

july3004cEveryone has their own stories, their own ideas, and when you get to those we’ve elected to make our laws you find an even bigger quagmire.  That’s because members of Congress think first about being reelected and if they do any more thinking at all, what might improve the lives of most Americans comes far down their list of priorities.

President Obama ran with the proomise of reforming health care.  He plans to address this issue during his first year  and according to The Votemaster Democrats made a strategic decision last week about when and how to get their agenda passed.  They’re probably all shaking in their shoes realizing this could have major implications on the 2010 and 2012 elections.  They decided if agreement on health care reform hadn’t been reached by October 15th, they would attach health care reform to the budget reconciliation.

Budgeting and the budget reconciliation is explained as happening like this:

“In February, the President proposes a budget, which President Obama has already done and which Congress has approved. But this is only step 1. Next the Senate and House committees dealing with taxing and spending hack on the President’s proposal and come up with their own plans, which merely sets general spending limits for each of 19 broad categories of government expenditures. After much arm wrestling, the committee chairman come up with a single proposal in each chamber, which is then brought to the floor for a vote. Since the Senate and House versions invariably differ, a joint Senate-House conference committee then works out a compromise, called the budget resolution, which both chambers then pass. If Congress so desires, language can be inserted into the budget resolution directing one or more committees to produce specific legislation by a specific date. The legislation produced by these committees is generally bundled into a single bill called the reconciliation bill. According to Senate rules, budget resolutions and reconciliation bills are subject to a straight up-or-down votes. Filibusters are not allowed.

If the Democrats manage to get health care reform through Congress this year, they will be crowing about it in 2010 and 2012 as fulfilling a major campaign promise and Republicans will be dissing it as socialized medicine. But given the public’s desire to see the health insurance system fixed, a bill this year is likely to help the Democrats, hence the decision to put health care reform in the reconciliation bill if all else fails.



Filed under Elections, Healthcare, Obama, Political Reform, Republicans, Universal Healthcre

The Party of “No,” can’t keep up


The Republican Party has proven to have no ideas, no alternate plans, can’t even decide who leads them and what they stand for, and now to add to their problems, they have to scramble to keep up with everything they need to be against!

President Obama is pushing forward, and his agenda isn’t limited, but includes addressing all our nation’s concerns and challenges.

“The budget! The environment! Immigration! Why is Obama attempting so many big projects at once? It’s not a legislative strategy, Eric Alterman argues. It’s a way to drive his enemies insane.”

“Obama’s opponents will continue to look angry, unreasonable, unfriendly, and generally distasteful in more ways than one can comfortably count.”

Interesting observations! Read it all here:



Filed under Economics, Healthcare, Obama, Political Reform, Republicans, The Economy, The Environment, Universal Healthcre

Obama and the Science of Change

In a Time magazine article that will be officially released on Monday, How Obama is Using the Science of Change, Michael Grunwald describes how the Obama campaign and now the Obama Administration is taking advantage of the principles of Behavioral Economics.  Obama used these discoveries to help himself get elected, and now elected, he plans to use them to help our citizens change.  Yes, Xam Cinborg, Obama is adept at getting the sheeple to act like better sheep – you’d better watch out – your guns are next.

At the end of the grueling campaign the Consortium of Behavioral Scientists, a secret advisory group to Obama, suggested that Obama repeat the line “A record turnout is expected”.  This strategy was chosen because a very powerful motivator for people is the suggestion that “everyone is doing it.”

As the Time article reports, “President Obama is still relying on behavioral science.  But now his Administration is using it to try to transform the country.  Because when you know what makes people tick, it is a lot easier to help them change.”

Behavioral Economics is the next generation of Economics and replaces the Neoclassical Economic school championed by the likes of Alan Greenspan.  The Neoclassical school maintained that the economy works best when we get government out of the way and let self-interested rational actors (us) do our business.  A nice sounding bunch of platitudes, but there have been many  social psychology experiments which demonstrate how irrational we actors in reality are.  Behavioral Economics recognizes these irrationalities and takes them into account when encouraging positive change.

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Filed under Economics, Media, Obama, Political Reform, Psychology Ramblings..., Republicans, Research, The Economy, The Environment, Universal Healthcre

Big Pharma and their Cuckoo’s Egg in the Nest of Science

Our fellow blogger, James Ridgeway, has been looking into the fuzzy boundaries that exist between pharmaceutical companies and psychiatry. See his reporting here.

The reporting by James prompted me to look into this matter more extensively. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have been to trainings put on by pharmaceutical companies in backwater places like Orlando, Florida [where one could presumably bring along the family to do the Disney Experience while you, the participant, toiled away]. These trainings were held in hotels where they asked $30 for a glass of wine and I couldn’t detect that they felt any shame in doing so. Though wine wasn’t supplied, many a not too cheap meal, and lavish hotel rooms were provided by the international pharmaceutical giant whom I won’t name.

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Filed under Healthcare, Other blogs, Psychology Ramblings..., The Economy, Universal Healthcre