Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

I am very proud of my son and he is a very good musician and I would say that even if he were not my son. He, like the majority of these people who keep us entertained does not have health insurance. Besides being a talented musician he is also blessed to have other talents as well. He also has taken the simple html we used to start his first website and blossomed into a first rate webmaster for himself and others. He now owns DragonTreeStudio and creates websites for others too. I am getting off subject but what he does for musicians has started the Musicians Project and they are trying to aid others to get health care information and services.

Where I was going when I started this post is that on their facebook page they have posted about a prescription assistance program. You can find them on their web site Partnership for Prescription
I am going to copy their mission statement off their home page:

Prescription Assistance Programs

Prescription Help is Here

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance brings together America’s pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups to help qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get free or low-cost medicines through the public or private program that’s right for them.”

If this post helps even one person gain some independence from exorbitant drug prices then I have succeeded in helping them get their message out. I am proud and lucky to be a veteran so I can get almost any help with my health care from them but that leaves my wife and daughter along with my son uninsured like so many of our citizens. Most qualifying patients will get free or vastly discounted drugs.

I have been away for quite some time and procrastinating about getting started again. I have been busy building up my Ebay store and maintaining my Power Seller with top rated classification. I full intend to start posting at least several times a week if not daily.
There has been a lot going on with my passions with one of my top concerns being health care for all. They fight, grumble and complain that if the United States were to go to full coverage of all citizens then we would then be a socialist country. I do not believe that France, Great Britain and Canada are socialist countries and they have health care for all. I am lucky that I am a veteran and as so eligible for medical care for life by them. My solution for health care for the US would be to simply expand the roles of Medicare and Medicaid. Then you have the politicians clambering loudly that your health care would not be as good as you could get if you had your own health care. They forget that they have free health care as Congress men and Senators. My opinion is that if you do not like the limitations that they may set on your health care then you can still buy your own health care from anyone of the many health care insurance companies that themselves are complaining loudly about the possibility of health care for all.
More to follow later.

Yesterday was a milestone for me. A whole year without smoking anything whatsoever. On that day last year I never thought I would be this far along a year later. I was only trying to see how long I could go without smoking that first cigarette of the day. I never even thought I would make it through the day much less a whole year. And nothing else as a surrogate either. I had gone long periods without a cigarette before. Including a twenty year period of no cigarettes, but that was just no cigarettes. It did not count the fact that I would smoke cigars and marijuana like it was going out of style. Even a pipe on occasion. I still have a very nice pipe my son made for me out of a deer antler. I have it as well as most of my lighters if I can find them. Plus for some reason I still carry a bic lighter in my pocket. I have used it a few times to light others cigarettes for them as well as a few fires so it has lasted over a year now.
If you are trying to get the nicotine monkey off your back I offer words of encouragement as it can be done without pulling all your hair out. It is best to take it minute by minute day by day. do not look too far into the future with it as nicotine is seriously addictive and hard to kick. It may not work for you but I quit with an open pack in my pocket and a carton in the freezer. The way I feel about it is, if you can only go without a cigarette because you are out, means that as soon as you have the opportunity to get more you will go right back to smoking. You have to be ready to quit and convince yourself that you can do without that cig. I would reach for one then change my mind. I carried them in my pocket for at least a week before I quit carrying them and I still have a pack in my fanny pack where the cell phone would go. If I were to try smoking them I bet they would be rough and dry from being so old. They haven’t been opened and I have no intention of opening them but I found them in a fishing shirt and I hung onto them instead of throwing them out. Another test for me. So far I am holding firm. Even though at times I still get the urge to reach for a smoke. Makes me wonder sometimes why I ever quit, but I feel better and breath better and no longer have that cigarette stink about me. I can smell cigarettes on others and if they get close their breath smells worse than a chimney. Actually some chimneys might smell better as wood smoke has a sweet smell to it for the most part.
So don’t give up and sell yourself short. Cigarettes can be beaten with a little effort. So hold firm and put off reaching for the next smoke. I know you can do it. It is just hard to do is all. But it can be done so do not give up.

As we get older it seems that health related issues are more common. One way of helping your body cope is to eat a diet of the right foods. Momma always told us to eat our veggies and not eat too much junk. Now it appears that her advise is rooted in science too as a researcher in Sweden has published a paper that shows there is a link from eating junk foods to abnormal brain activity. The papers were published by a by Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, and show how a diet that is rich in sugar, fat and cholesterol can increase the risk of dementia. “We now suspect that a high intake of fat and cholesterol in combination with genetic factors … can adversely affect several brain substances, which can be a contributory factor in the development of Alzheimer’s” the report says. There is also some evidence that better treatments may be in store for the future but for right now all they can do, is keep doing research so they can get the proper advise to give the public on this terrible disease.

I can tell I no longer have the constitution I once did with me catching viruses and not getting over them as I once did. I am miserable now with a sinus infection that has its grips on me. I have been thinking of getting a flu shot too but they won’t give it to me until I am over this and with me have less bounce back ability I don’t know how long that will be.I have never taken this antibiotic or actually until recently I never even took them. This one (Ceftin) is nasty. It is chalky and tastes terrible as soon as you place it in your mouth it starts to dissolve and even worse it belches back on me later. At one time I felt almost immune to colds and respiratory problems. I do know that even though I worked outdoors in all weather including rains and occasional snows that I went for well over a decade without ever catching cold. Now my immune system has taken a hard left I believe. If I were able to work like that once more I think the outdoors helps build your tolerances up to things like colds and sinus/bronchial infections. I hope to be on the mend and out into the great outdoors again soon. Hunting or fishing soon would be nice. I feel so stifled inside all the time with central heat and air. I prefer a little cold and the heat to certain degree. I think it makes you stronger if you can stand it. Hopefully I will be over this soon and back to my old disgruntled self.

Its cooling off here in the south and time for me to quit going barefoot so much. Actually me being a diabetic I have read I should never go bare footed but that goes against the grain for me. During the summer time I would go without shoes pretty much everywhere if stores didn’t have rules against it. So when I do wear shoes I tend to go for a good pair of?work boots. Myself I prefer a lower top pair so I can get into and out of them easily. But that is going to depend on what I am doing. If I am just out for a daily walk or a day hike low tops or brogans as they used to call them are just fine but if I am going hunting or anywhere that gets me into the brush or if I do a little welding a pair of high tops are needed. Nothing much is worse than a hot piece of steel falling into your boots. A hot foot is a bad day for me and a long time to heal also. It seems that it takes me forever to heal up after any kind of cut, bruise, or burn. Maybe Santa Claus will hook me up with a new pair this year.

Yesterday was the 9th of October and the 9 month anniversary of me quitting smoking. I do not know if any of you are still wrestling with tobacco or not but I know that even now 8 months later I still get the cravings to smoke one from time to time. If you are fighting your cravings and either trying to quit or wanting to, I want to say it can be done but at the same time I recognize how difficult it can be to quit. If you are trying to quit I offer words of encouragement as I feel you can win the fight with tobacco. It is not an easy battle to win, but it can be won. If you have quit you know the cravings that sometimes pop up. Mine pop up most when I am with smokers in a group setting or outdoors. That and first thing in the morning when I feel the need to go outside and listen to the crickets chirping and frogs singing where I see a pack of smokes and a lighter there on the porch waiting to be lit up and smoked.

On the anniversary of my last cigarette I see that the Supreme Court is going to decide the outcome of a lawsuit claiming unfair marketing claiming that Phillip Morris knew that users of light and low tar cigarettes compesatedfor lower levels by smoking more or taking longer puffs. I know these people want to be compesated for injuries from smoking but they knew the risks as it is printed on the side of every pack of cigarettes sold in the United States. We can await the decision but I feel like they knew going in what could happen and smoked anyhow. I grew up in a house full of smoke andfeel like I was almost predestined to smoke. What am I going to do sue my parents for smoking? A little too late for that. At least when I smoked I did not allow a cigarette to be smoked in my house ever. At least I did not start my children on the same path I treaded.

In a ruling last week a federal appeals court has ruled that Beef exporters are banned from testing their cattle for mad cow disease without the approval from the USDA (United States Agriculture Department). Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wanted to test 100% of their beef so they can assure their customers in Japan and South Korea that their beef is safe. Once again we have another instance of the government interfering in a business decision. They should have the right to test as much as they want to but big meat packers are afraid of being forced to test more than 1% of their meat and the USDA sided with them. This not only has an effect on Creekstone Farms but it has the potential to reach all of us who eat beef. The appeals court ruled, 2 to 1, that under a 1913 law, test kits that are used only after an animal is killed still constitute “diagnosis” and “treatment” ? this for a disease that has no treatment and is 100% fatal ? and therefore fall under the USDA’s authority to regulate. Just how crazy is that?

Creekstone?s case is not entirely over. The appeals court remanded to the U.S. District Court to resolve whether the USDA?s refusal to let Creekstone test its cattle is arbitrary and capricious.

A recent study by the Government Accountability Office indicates that roughly one billion of the ten billion annual budget may be paid to fraudulent businesses. The GAO set up two fictitious companies with sketchy information and false documents to see how the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) would handle the sham businesses. The fake companies did not have clients or medical inventory to supply prospective Medicare patients. They won billing privileges even though everything was false and deliberately made to look so. The sting proved that there are gaps in the system and they can and are being manipulated by scam artists. The CMS says they are making changes to prevent this including;

  • requiring that suppliers keep supporting paperwork from doctors.
  • limiting the use of cell phones as the primary business number
  • setting up a new bidding process for medical equipment

But they promised to make changes in 2005 that have only achieved limited success. The government’s approval of the two sham companies is alarming because once a supplier attains Medicare billing privileges, it can easily get a doctor’s ID code fraudulently and begin submitting claims. A report by the Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general in December 2006 found that almost one-third of the 1,581 medical suppliers it visited in south Florida did not have an office at the business address they provided Medicare, even though they collectively had submitted claims for hundreds of millions of dollars.

The GAO cited several recent fraud cases to highlight the problem:

A company using a broom closet for its address filled with buckets of sand and tar. The owner also stole personal ID numbers from doctors. In August 2007, he was sentenced to 37 months in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and made to forfeit his Miami home and Rolls Royce.

A?secretary for a fraudulent medical supplier decided to start her own lucrative false company by renting an office in the same location. She purchased fake invoices and then provided her former employer kickbacks to have access to Medicare beneficiary numbers. From January 2006 to April 2007 she submitted $1.5 million in claims for urinary bags, canisters and air mattresses; Medicare paid the company $372,286. She was sentenced for fraud in January to 30 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release.

Good thing they make them forfeit all the funds they haven’t spent or even I might be tempted to do the hundred grand a year business. A little less than three years for three hundred grand isn’t too bad.

The Bush administration has not had a very good track record of protecting the enviroment but in a rare moment they were sided by environmental groups when a component of President Bush’s clean air policies was challenged in court by utility companies. A federal court ruled against them in what many consider to be the worst enviromental news of the year. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that the regulation [The Clean Air Interstate Rule] would save 17,000 premature deaths a year. The rule would dramatically reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, saving as much as $100 billion in health benefits, besides the reduction in premature deaths. Large power companies even the ones in the lawsuit are somewhat surprised by the ruling. Most utility companies have been gearing up for the rule and have invested billions in order to comply with the regulation. Hopefully the Bush administration will appeal this ruling or we can get our congress to rewrite the law to allow the EPA the legal right to regulate more pollutants emitted by power plants more stringently.