September 19, 2009 archive

Lack of Health Insurance cause 44789 deaths in United States every year

Paul Rosenberg at OpenLeft brings to our attention a recent study conducted by Harvard related researchers. The study concludes that 44789 deaths occur in United States because of lack of health insurance!…

The actual article linked below states the following in its conclusion. It is powerful indictment of the state of healthcare in United States. What a shame!!!

The United States stands alone among industrialized nations in not providing health coverage to all of its citizens. Currently, 46 million Americans lack health coverage. Despite repeated attempts to expand health insurance, uninsurance remains commonplace among US adults

Lack of health insurance is associated with as many as 44789 deaths per year in the United States, more than those caused by kidney disease (n=42868). The increased risk of death attributable to uninsurance suggests that alternative measures of access to medical care for the uninsured, such as community health centers, do not provide the protection of private health insurance. Despite widespread acknowledgment that enacting universal coverage would be life saving, doing so remains politically thorny. Now that health reform is again on the political agenda, health professionals have the opportunity to advocate universal coverage.

Read the full article at…

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 U.S. Afghanistan commander’s troops request ready

By Peter Graff, Reuters

10 mins ago

KABUL (Reuters) – The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has drawn up a long-awaited and detailed request for additional troops but has not yet sent it to Washington, a spokesman said on Saturday.

He said General Stanley McChrystal completed the document this week, setting out exactly how many U.S. and NATO troops, Afghan security force members and civilians he thinks he needs.

“We’re working with Washington as well as the other NATO participants about how it’s best to submit this,” said the spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Tadd Sholtis, declining to give details of the contents.

HAHA! Ratigan YELLS at Taitz,”This is NOT a monologue!”

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    Friggin hilarious! Orly Taitz, Queen of the Birthers, fresh off of being ordered by a judge to show just cause or face a $10,000 fine for filing frivolous lawsuits, was on MSNBC with Dylan Ratigan, and Dylan showed no mercy to stoopid.

    The FAIL is strong in this video, commentary and more below the fold.  

Avast, Ye Scallawags!


It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, when scurvy dogs everywhere don their eye patches, peg legs and tricorns for a day (or two or three) of hoisting pompous politicos by their fancy-boy petards while wenching and grogging by the barrel before casting off in search of booty and treasure.

So all scurvy dogs to th’ poopdeck, this here’s the Open Thread t’port yer black spot and keelhaul nominations agin’ the admiralty and house of lords so’s Cap’n Arrtimus Grim can plot a course to the Tortugas where we, the privateer crew of the good ship Docudharma, can make ’em walk the plank!

Check in with Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket fer the ‘how to’ translate, and welcome aboard!

Keep to the code, Mateys, keep to the code…

Another Health Care Horror Story: Big Pharma Edition

At the outset of putting fingers to keys this morning, I wasn’t intending to write about this topic. I changed my mind, however, because if one more documented instance of Big Pharma’s greedy, hypocritical, exasperating behavior means that we might all benefit from substantial and lasting health care reform, then I am certainly not above sharing my personal story. In particular, this highly frustrating anecdote refers to the unnecessary hassle it has been to obtain one of the three medications I must take on a daily basis to effectively treat my illness. This forthcoming narrative also underscores the perfidy of the industry itself and, in particular, its automatic assumption that anyone who uses its free or reduced cost services must be trying to cheat the system. It shouldn’t surprise any of us by now that this underlying attitude somehow isn’t portrayed in the self-serving television advertising advancing the program’s merits.

You may have seen the commercial. It was pretty ubiquitous for a good long while. A soothing voiceover, couched in hushed tones meant to intimate gentle sympathy, states that American’s pharmaceutical industry might be able to help those who are uninsured attain their prescription drugs at a deep discount. We are led to believe that an imaginary bus tour is underway, looking for all the world like the kind favored by political candidates on their way back and forth from event to event. A series of different looking people from all walks of life announce proudly their allegiance to their own particular state of residence. A man who once led a daytime TV show which frequently showcased the results of paternity tests and established the true identity of baby daddies smoothly performs his role as spokesperson. That this ad aired constantly in the immediate period before Health Care Reform became a political and ideological football was no accident. The implication was that Big Pharma could regulate itself just fine, thank you, and not only that, the industry was so altruistic as to offer medications for needy Americans without need of government arm twisting. I admit at the time I viewed these ads with much suspicion, but after I unexpectedly lost my Medicaid coverage at the end of July, it was an option I had no choice but to pursue, since paying $700 a month out of pocket for a thirty day supply isn’t exactly an viable alternative.

Docudharma Times Saturday September 19

Saturday’s Headlines:

G.O.P. Checks for a Pulse, and Finds One

In media blitz, Obama says vitriol isn’t racism-based

Settlements row throws Middle East peace talks into doubt

Ahmadinejad faces test of strength as fresh protests sweep Iran

Stop passing the buck on terror, Pakistan tells UK

Japan’s death penalty effectively scrapped with arrival of Keiko Chiba

Spanish music maestro in £2.7m swindle

Angry French farmers dump millions of litres of milk by Mont Saint-Michel

Trafigura targets Greenpeace over toxic allegations

Nigeria ‘offended’ by sci-fi film

Mexican woman wrongly imprisoned is freed — 3 years later

Inquiry Into CIA Practices Narrows

Ex-Agency Directors Urge Administration To Drop Investigation

By Carrie Johnson, Jerry Markon and Julie Tate

Washington Post Staff Writers

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Justice Department’s review of detainee abuse by the CIA will focus on a very small number of cases, including at least one in which an Afghan prisoner died at a secret facility, according to two sources briefed on the matter.

On Friday, seven former CIA directors urged President Obama to end the inquiry, arguing that it would inhibit intelligence operations in the future and demoralize agency employees who believed they had been cleared by previous investigators.

Finding Humor In Postwar Woes

Ramadan TV Comedies Offer Relie

By Nada Bakri

Washington Post Foreign Service

Saturday, September 19, 2009

BAGHDAD — T he domino stones were scattered on the table in front of Saif Mohammad, a 17-year-old school dropout at a sidewalk cafe on a busy Baghdad street.

It was almost 8 p.m., and his game had ended. Mohammad waved at the waiter to change the embers on his water pipe. He inhaled gingerly, testing it. Then he adjusted his posture to gaze straight ahead at a small television 12 feet away. It was time for “Dar Dour,” one of more than a dozen Iraqi TV shows that run only during Ramadan, the month when Muslims fast from dawn until sunset.

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Random Japan


# It was reported that of the four cities bidding to host the 2016 Olympics, Tokyo had the lowest public support, at 72 percent. Ninety-three percent of Spaniards back Madrid’s bid and Chicago enjoys 92 percent support from US residents.

# The head of the Japan Football Association slammed Urawa Reds manager Volker Finke after the coach publicly criticized one of his players for not taking a dive in the penalty area.

# As part of their efforts to be known as the sanma capital of Japan, officials from Ofunato in Tohoku plan to hand out 3,333 dishes of the grilled fish at Tokyo Tower on September 27.

# A politician in Kyushu helped a yakuza gang purchase and erect a 3m-tall stone monument in honor of their comrades who were killed in a fight with a rival gang.

# After being chosen from nearly 550 hopefuls, Yasuo Kai and his bride Emi celebrated their wedding in front of the 18m-tall Gundam statue in Odaiba.

# It was reported that the National Police Agency is mulling whether to install security cameras on trains in the hopes of catching gropers in the act.

# Kaoru Hasuike, a Japanese abductee who spent over 20 years in North Korea, won an award for a book he wrote about a visit he made to South Korea.

Funkalicious Friday: BruceMcF!

Friday Night at 8: Arise

I don’t need anyone to tell me that injustice is immoral.


I don’t need to hear that intangibles like justice and morality are nice when you have the time for them but during this political season it isn’t pragmatic to use those intangibles to deal with present problems.

I don’t have to organize a community or canvass a neighborhood or contribute money to candidates or even be politically savvy to know this and to act upon it.

I am a citizen.  As one individual, I am as powerful as I allow myself to be.

Justice and morality – without being mindful of those intangibles we will simply continue to go on as we have been going, pessimistic, angry, watching others suffer and seeing no change in that suffering while those persons of privilege continue to enjoy their good fortune.

I am happy for those folks who enjoy their good fortune.  I do not believe their good fortune takes anything at all from me.  I’m funny that way.

But I don’t consider it good fortune to see other human beings, my brothers and sisters on this planet, suffer – and to turn away is equally as painful because in order to do that I have to block off my own heart.  That is not good fortune either.

It’s intangible, you see.

Dump the Health Insurance Mandate

You know, for a party that has spent the last three decades cowering in Centrist fear at even the echo of a whisper of the word ‘tax’, and is so afraid of offending right wing civil libertarians that they don’t say peep when teabaggers bring loaded guns (including assault rifles) to Congressional Town Halls and Presidential rallies, I find it incredible that Congressional Democrats are seriously considering a massive government program that would soon force every American citizen and legal resident (but not illegals, ironically) to pay a substantial amount of discretionary income most of them don’t have directly to a large private insurance corporation. What’s worse, if people don’t it fork over, the government fines them even more money.

In this economy?  Pay those guys??  Or you’ll fine us?  For getting sick?

Are they nuts?

(Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system.)

Look, before we pass something that has the potential to be perhaps the most unpopular US law since the Alien & Sedition Acts, don’t you think we really should have an open and honest debate about whether a universal health insurance mandate is actually such a good policy idea in the first place?

Friday Philosophy: I sat down on the floor…and I can’t get up

I had an alternate title:  Frienemies with Aging.  This could be part two of a very slow-moving series:  On Aging was published March 7, 2008.


When we got home from teaching last night, and with Debbie not having to teach at City Tech this morning because classes were canceled for Rosh Hashanah, I decided to use the fact that we had no classes this morning to do something to make the place slightly more livable.

Like assemble the cat tree we had purchased online and that arrived via UPS on Wednesday.  Photos of the finished project will be interspersed among this story of pain and fatigue and just growing old.  Now I didn’t have the camera with me last night when I was stuck on the floor, so I went the extra mile for verisimilitude and got back down on the floor in order to show the view from there and during the struggle to rise up against my oppressor:  gravity.