Wednesday, April 30, 2008

McCain's Health Care Plan

Normally, I give a fairly detailed opinion on points raised as part of a candidate's health care plan. Now that we finally have one from a Republican, I thought I would do the same. Having just read it, the problem confronting me is that there is no plan. It's nothing but a bunch of marketing mumbo-jumbo that amounts to little more than a new tax credit.

The main problem I experience with health care is availability of insurance. What does McCain want to do? He wants to "...Work With Governors To Find The Solutions Necessary To Ensure Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Are Able To Easily Access Care." Let me translate for you. He wants to throw you into what states call their High Risk Pool, a cumbersome bureaucratically run process with ridiculous qualification procedures, high premiums, and massive deductibles.

My family went down that road. We paid some $400/month for my wife's CORBA coverage for 18 months to qualify for the High Risk Pool. If we had continued, she would have paid $350/month for a $500k lifetime limit (most policies are at least $1 million) with a $7500 deductible. The really amusing thing about that is a $7500 deductible would disqualify us for an HSA. We'd have to reach for an even higher premium to get a qualifying deductible.

maverick (n): Someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action.

Raise your hands if you think McCain's nickname should be changed. What a joke. It took his staff the entire primary season to come up with the same junk Bush said 4 years ago??? Pathetic.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

F*ck the FDA

I realize my blog is typically free from profanity, but I think once you read this, you'll agree it's warranted.

Any long-term reader knows that I've put a little effort into researching the drug Lovenox, but it's not often I talk about Heparin, its cheap, unreliable cousin. Where Lovenox provides reliable anti-coagulation at 2 doses a day, Heparin provides unreliable anti-coagulation anywhere from 2 doses a day up to continuous delivery via IV. Heparin's reliability (or lack thereof) can be complicated by various blood conditions, one of which affects my wife. Consequently, the drug is of little importance to me.

Nevertheless, Heparin serves a significant role in almost any hospital medical procedure by helping Doctors and Nurses keep IVs clear of clots. This hits particularly close to home as it was only a couple months ago my daughter had surgery, and I watched them administer Heparin to keep her IV clear. You might also remember what happened to actor Dennis Quaid's twins when the hospital confused two different concentrations of Heparin.

So what am I so upset about, you ask?

Heparin Contamination May Have Been Deliberate

There's been a story circulating about contaminated Heparin coming out of China under the Baxter International brand. Now it seems the FDA has investigated, inspected the factory, and decided that someone was intentionally doing this to increase profits.

So why do I say, "F*ck the FDA?" Glad you asked...BECAUSE THE STUPID, CORRUPT, HYPOCRITICAL, WORTHLESS, MONEY GRUBBING, PIECES OF SHIT said that I couldn't import the same Lovenox from Canada that I buy here at 3x the cost. WHY? Because it could be CONTAMINATED. Well, guess what? The Heparin they stamped with their seal of approval was CONTAMINATED. What's worse is our tax dollars pay for what appears to be a worthless bureaucracy which serves little apparent purpose beyond running up the cost of medications in the U.S.

Is the purpose of the FDA to protect U.S. citizens, or is its purpose to protect pharmaceutical company profits? Read the linked article, and I think the answer will reveal itself.

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