American healthcare

one more thing: i know many queer/poor/depressed/etc folks self-medicate with weed or whatever because a lot of the time doctors are bull shit fuck dorks who don’t take them seriously. i want u to know that that is okay and good and that there is a vast gulf between effective self-medication and chemical dependency. 

brains are super fucking weird. i can take vyvanse or ritalin safely and without issues but i can’t drink without turning into a completely untrustworthy and unsafe vodka goblin. i guess what i’m saying is that the line between medicine and poison is individual and subjective and american healthcare is ballsack shitty. 

1. Universal Healthcare Is Great for Free Enterprise and Great for Small Businesses

The modern-day Republican Party would have us believe that those who promote universal healthcare are anti-free enterprise or hostile to small businesses. But truth be told, universal healthcare is great for entrepreneurs, small businesses and the self-employed in France, Germany and other developed countries where healthcare is considered a right. The U.S.’ troubled healthcare system has a long history of punishing entrepreneurs with sky-high premiums when they start their own businesses. Prior to the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare, many small business owners couldn’t even obtain individual health insurance plans if they had a preexisting condition such as heart disease or diabetes—and even with the ACA’s reforms, the high cost of health insurance is still daunting to small business owners. But many Americans fail to realize that healthcare reform is not only a humanitarian issue, it is also vitally important to small businesses and the self-employed.

2. Comprehensive Sex Education Decreases Sexual Problems

For decades, social conservatives in the U.S. have insisted that comprehensive sex education promotes unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. But in fact, comprehensive sex education (as opposed to the abstinence-only programs that are common in the American Bible Belt) decreases sexual problems, and the data bears that out in no uncertain terms. Public schools in the Netherlands have aggressive sex education programs that America’s Christian Right would despise. Yet in 2009, the Netherlands had (according to the United Nations) a teen birth rate of only 5.3 per 1,000 compared to 39.1 per 1,000 in the U.S. That same year, the U.S. had three times as many adults living with HIV or AIDS as the Netherlands.

3. American Exceptionalism Is Absolute Nonsense in 2015

No matter how severe the U.S.’ decline becomes, neocons and the Tea Party continue to espouse their belief in “American exceptionalism.” But in many respects, the U.S. of 2015 is far from exceptional. The U.S. is not exceptional when it comes to civil liberties (no country in the world incarcerates, per capita, more of its people than the U.S.) or healthcare (WHO ranks the U.S. #37 in terms of healthcare).

4. Adequate Mass Transit Is a Huge Convenience

When it comes to mass transit, Europe and Japan are way ahead of the U.S.; in only a handful of American cities is it easy to function without a car. New York City, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC are among the U.S.’ more mass transit-oriented cities, but overall, the U.S. remains a car culture—and public transportation is painfully limited in a long list of U.S. cities. Many Americans fail to realize that mass transit has numerous advantages, including less air pollution, less congestion, fewer DUIs and all the aerobic exercise that goes with living in a pedestrian-friendly environment.

5. The Bible Was Not Written by Billionaire Hedge Fund Managers

Christianity in its various forms can be found all over the developed world. But the U.S., more than anywhere, is where one finds a far-right version of white Protestant fundamentalism that idolizes the ultra-rich, demonizes the poor and equates extreme wealth with morality and poverty with moral failings.

6. Learning a Second or Third Language Is a Plus, Not a Character Flaw

In the Netherlands or the Scandinavian countries, becoming proficient in two or three foreign languages is viewed as a sign of intellect and sophistication. But xenophobia runs so deep among many neocons, Republicans and Tea Party wingnuts that any use of a language other than English terrifies them. Barack Obama, during his 2008 campaign, was bombarded with hateful responses from Republicans when he recommended that Americans study foreign languages from an early age. And in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, Newt Gingrich’s campaign ran an ad in South Carolina attacking Mitt Romney for being proficient in French.

7. Union Membership Benefits the Economy

In 2014, a Gallup poll found that 53% of Americans approved of labor unions while 71% favored anti-union “right to work” laws. Union membership is way down in the U.S.: only 6.6% of private-sector workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, belonged to unions in 2014 compared to roughly 35% in the mid-1950s. The U.S.’ overall unionization rate (factoring in both public-sector and private-sector workers) is 11.1%, which is quite a contrast to parts of Europe, where overall union rates range from 74% in Finland and 70% in Sweden to 35% in Italy, 19% in Spain and 18% in Germany. That is not to say unionization has not been decreasing in Europe, but overall, one finds a more pro-labor, pro-working class outlook in Europe. The fact that 47% of Americans, in that Gallup poll, consider themselves anti-union is troubling.

8. Paid Maternity Leave Is the Norm in Most Developed Countries

The U.S. continues to lag behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to maternity leave. Paid maternity leave is strictly voluntary in the U.S., where, according to the organization Moms Rising, 51% of new mothers have no paid maternity leave at all. But government-mandated maternity leave is the norm in other developed countries, including the Netherlands (112 days at 100% pay), Italy (140 days at 80% pay), Switzerland (98 days at 80% pay) and Germany (98 days at 100% pay).

9. Distrust of Oligarchy Is a Positive

In February, the Emnid Polling Institute in Germany released the results of a poll that addressed economic and political conditions in that country: over 60% of the Germans surveyed believed that large corporations had too much influence on elections. ThE survey demonstrated that most Germans have a healthy distrust of crony capitalists and oligarchs who take much more than they give. Meanwhile, in the U.S., various polls show a growing distrust of oligarchy on the part of many Americans but with less vehemence than in the German Emnid poll.

Read the full article

Disability insurance is wasted on people with anxiety and back pain. If you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting a disability check.

Rand Paul (R-KY) pushing the GOP lie that disabled people, including those with invisible disabilities, do not deserve Social Security Disability benefits 

Two weeks into taking control of congress, and Republicans are already planning draconian cuts to the social safety net, including 19 percent of disability payouts, or taking about $200 per month away from the average SSDI beneficiary

The Republican war on poverty is a war on the poor and the disabled

Full Huffington Post article here

Why American Women Aren’t Living As Long As They Should

One of the great victories of the 20th century is that humanity became much smarter about health. We figured out refrigeration, immunization, and that smoking isn’t actually good for you, and we began living longer.

In 2006, the average life expectancy at birth was 75 years for American men and 80 years for women, compared with just 48 years for men and 51 years for women in 1900.

But new research shows that while life span has been on a positive overall trajectory for mankind, it’s been on a not-so-positive trajectory for the U.S. in particular: Americans’ life expectancies might be increasing, but those of other nations are increasing much faster, particularly among women. From 1980 to 2007, for example, the life spans of 50-year-old women in the U.S. had increased by about 2.5 years. But in Japan and Italy, it had increased by 6.4 years and 5.2 years, respectively.

And now, researchers are scrambling to understand why it is that American women are dying sooner than than those in other first-world countries.

Read more. [Image: Barbara Kinney]


10 Things Germans Do Better Than Americans

“Here are 10 things Germans do better than Americans. Germany and the US are both pretty cool countries, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same across the board. 

Number 10. Engineering. Much of it comes down to training. Germany’s vocational system continues to thrive and offers learning opportunities that combine practical application and theory. Among the most sought after programs is a 3-year apprenticeship with the multi-industry innovator Siemens.

Number 9. Beer Gardens. Makeshift sidewalk cafes are plentiful in the US, but actual expansive, dedicated areas where people can sit in large groups and in some cases even bring their own food are quite rare. In Germany, on the other hand, they’re a regular thing.

Number 8. Soccer. As you may know, the 2014 World Cup title went to the German team. It’s expected that their winning streak will continue as the current team has been playing together at various levels for about 10 years, and is now well prepared for world domination.

Number 7. College Fees. The typical college graduate in Germany leaves school with no educational debt. As of October 2014, every public higher learning institution in the country is tuition-free, even for students from abroad.

Number 6. Trains. Sure, Amtrack will get you from one US locale to another, but it’s going to take a while. Thanks to high-speed rail, Germans can travel from city to city in a fraction of the time. The typical train moves at around 180 miles per hour, but express services with fewer stops are available should the regular pace not be quite quick enough.

Number 5. Sundays. It’s a serious day of rest for just about everybody, including people who work in retail. By law, stores in most areas remain closed all day long. There are a few exceptions, but those shopping places are primarily in airports and train stations.

Number 4. Paid Vacation. Employers in Germany are required to not only give workers a minimum of 24 days off a year, they have to pay them for the time away. There are no such mandates in the US, and 25% of the American workforce doesn’t even get one.

Number 3. Healthcare. In addition to healthcare coverage in Europe being generally more comprehensive, the prices of procedures are often significantly lower. For example, in 2007 numbers, a hip replacement performed in Germany cost roughly half of what it did in the US.

Number 2. Castles. One of the greatest things about countries that were architecturally active during medieval times are the amazing castles we see today. Often perched high on mountaintops, their presence lends a fairy-tale feel to the countryside.

Number 1. Driving. Considering many stretches of the Autobahn have no speed limit and analysis shows that fast driving results in more accidents, one would expect Germans to be involved way more fatal crashes than Americans. Yet, they’re not. In 2012 Germany had less than half the number the US did.

What’s your favorite thing about Germany?

(Go to their channel, it’s Americans doing this comparison with several countries.)

Universal Healthcare Doesn’t Mean Waiting Longer to See a Doctor

Opponents of healthcare reform have, historically, argued that we should be wary of imitating foreign healthcare systems because people in other countries have to wait longer to see the doctor. Cheaper, more universal care, the argument seems to be, comes with the tradeoff of slower care.

This is not necessarily true, according to new numbers from the Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan organization that studies industrialized healthcare systems around the world.

The organization surveyed between 1,000 and 5,400 people in 11 industrialized nations. The first thing they found is fairly well-known: American healthcare is mind-bogglingly expensive, as compared to that of other Western democracies.

Read more. [Image: h.koppdelaney/flickr]

In L.A. court Wednesday, “Beverly Hills 90201” star Shannen Doherty revealed that she has invasive breast cancer that she says went untreated due to a lack of insurance.

Doherty is suing Tanner Mainstain Glynn & Johnston, a business management firm who was tasked with paying out her Screen Actors Guild medical insurance premiums. According to the suit, the company neglected to pay her insurance premiums during 2014, so she was unable to visit a doctor during this time, as she normally would have done.

The “90210” star’s lawsuit says she may have to undergo a mastectomy and chemotherapy that could have been avoided

How long do you think Jupiter Jones sat in the waiting room at the fertility clinic before they called her for her appointment?

Do you think the Keepers were like
“Hmm, well we’ve killed all the medical staff and taken their place, everything is all set up, just waiting for the girl to arrive, but ok we’d better make her wait 45 minutes with some used up magazines or else she’ll know we’re not actually doctors…”

Turing Pharmaceutical founder and CEO Martin Shkreli defended his 5,455 percent hike in the price of a drug used by pregnant women and immunocompromised patients, saying that “Daraprim is still under-priced relative to its peers.”

Despite the fact that “it costs very little to make Daraprim” and that the company was still profiting off sales of it at $13.50, Shkreli said that his company was “practically giving it away” before raising the price per pill to $750.

“This drug was making $5 million in revenue,” he said, “and I don’t think you can find a drug company on the planet that can make money on $5 million of revenue.”

“To save your life — was only $1,000″

That awkward moment when somebody says 'We have the best healthcare system in the world!'....

And you then wonder:

  • If they’ve ever been outside of the United States and/or gotten medical treatment outside of the United States
  • If they’ve ever been told they have ‘preexisting conditions’
  • If they’ve ever been chronically ill & uninsurable
  • If they’ve spent their life savings paying for medications 
  • If banging your head against a wall will be more productive than trying to explain to them why their statement is incorrect

“African American women have disproportionately lacked health insurance and been affected by higher rates of poverty, as well as a variety of socioeconomic factors that contribute to a number of health disparities. As a result, five women die per day from breast cancer, make up a majority of all new HIV infections among women, and are three times more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy than white women. We celebrate Black History Month by honoring the voices of African American women who were polled on the best solutions to protect their own health and remedy health care disparities in their communities.”

via the Center for American Progress
Why Asian Americans have diabetes but don’t know it
More than half of Asian Americans with diabetes don't know they have the disease. And even though they may be less overweight than the typical American, they are actually at greater risk.

What’s even more surprising: Asian Americans have the highest proportion of undiagnosed diabetes among all ethnic and racial groups, at 51 percent, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And something else to keep in mind:  Asian Americans may be less overweight, generally, than the rest of the U.S. population, but they may actually be at greater risk for developing diabetes.


The latest analysis was published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Other studies have found that many Asian Americans have higher blood pressure and more fat than other groups. “That may indicate a propensity to put on fat in the middle part of the body, even though their BMI looks okay,” Cowie said.

Asian Americans who are at risk may not realize it, and as a result, "they don’t go to the doctor, and the doctor doesn’t do a blood test to look for diabetes,” she said.

What surprised researchers was their finding that about 21 percent of Asian Americans have diabetes, a prevalence comparable to that in blacks and Hispanics.

“Then to also find that about 50 percent of diabetes is undiagnosed in Asian Americans — it was those two statistics that are scary,” Cowie said.

So umm...guise...

I’m all for like, ‘free market’ or whatever in the 'healthcare’ industry in this country. That’s awesome. I’d totally take part in it if it were available for people with pre-existing chronic conditions, but considering I’ve been turned down every time I’ve tried to get health insurance in the past 5 years, I have a feeling like insurance companies ain’t gonna show me any love unless they’re forced to. 

I’m willing to give them money, & at the moment they won’t even take it from me because I’m 'sick’. 

Can Ted Cruz and that dude that I made an ass out of with a pharmacy receipt last week start an 'it ain’t that expensive to be sick’ fund for me? I’d take happy photos every time I went to the doctor or went to the pharmacy to get drugs that help me stay alive. It’d be awesome.