Healthcare

Articles
Big Pharma
Bk Vaccines & Brain
Covid-19 Vaccines
Cuba's Health System
Fight Back
Links
Living Without Antibiotics
Quotes
Vaccines [SIRVA]














Articles

Wizard of Id by Parker and Hart 3/27/22

Red and Rover by Brian Basset for March 22, 2022

Pearls Before Swine, Stephan Pastis 091421

A digital tool promised to help patients manage their diabetes. Then the hospital behind it pulled the plug.

At least 25% of diabetes patients rationing insulin as drug costs continue to skyrocket, 2-26-19

One of the many hopes of a Medicare-for-all program is that in giving our government a larger share of the medical “market” (for lack of a better term), Americans—collectively—will be able to negotiate down the skyrocketing costs of medicine. Every day brings tragic stories of Americans young and old, of all racial backgrounds, dying after rationing their insulin—the result of explosive increases in the costs of the drug. While some people’s diabetes treatments have risen from $24 to $80 per vial over the past decade, others face much more prohibitive prices.

An American got sick in Taiwan. He came back with a tale of the 'horrors of socialized medicine.', 2-28-19

The Facebook post was illustrated with an image of an IV. "Went to the ER in Taiwan," it began.

Kevin Bozeat, a 25-year-old student, wrote about coming down with severe gastrointestinal symptoms while studying in Taiwan: stomach cramps, bouts of vomiting that would not abate and, perhaps worst of all, the inability to keep any fluids down.

Around 3 a.m., he decided it was time to go to the hospital for treatment, not knowing what to expect having never been to a hospital in Taiwan - a country that has a national health-care system, or as Bozeat wrote, "socialized medicine."

He was checked in and given IV fluids within 20 minutes of his arrival. Phlebotomists drew blood and the lab ran tests on it. Hospital techs performed an ultrasound to make sure he didn’t have gallstones or appendicitis. And eventually they diagnosed stomach flu, gave him two prescriptions and discharged him.

"Each day since I've gotten progressively better and am now pretty much back to normal," Bozeat wrote. "The bill for the ER visit? ... US $80.00.”

He sarcastically titled his tale "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine," noting he didn't even have health insurance - in Taiwan or the United States. If he had Taiwan's national health insurance, his costs would have been a fraction of $80, he wrote.

The post struck a nerve, as debates about health care and whether to move toward "Medicare-for-all" loom over the 2020 presidential race. More than 200,000 people shared it.

Taiwan has a single-payer system - meaning the government controls health-care payments, though most of the service providers and hospitals are privatized. Liberal groups and officials are increasingly looking to single-payer systems to address both the United States' high health-care expenses, and the millions of people who are uninsured.

About 17 percent of the United States gross domestic product in 2017 went to health care - nearly twice the average 8.8 percent for other developed countries, according to data cited by Health Affairs. And that number is projected to increase as health-care spending rises to nearly 20 percent of the GDP by 2020, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Bozeat estimated his treatment in the United States, without insurance, would have likely cost thousands of dollars.

"But here in Taiwan I was able to receive speedy, quality care comparable to what I would have gotten in a US hospital for relatively small amount of money," he said.

[The real reason the U.S. spends twice as much on health care as other wealthy countries]

According to a Health Affairs report by Tsung-Mei Cheng, a health policy research analyst at Princeton, Taiwan instituted a single-payer health-care system in 1995. (Cheng's late husband, Uwe Reinhardt, a Princeton economist and health-care expert, had been the one to recommend a single-payer system to the country in the 1980s.)

The country is home to about 24 million people and is the world’s 19th-largest economy; 99.9 percent of its residents are enrolled in the national health-care program, regardless of preexisting conditions.

"Comprehensive benefits include inpatient and outpatient care, mental health care, prescription drugs, dental care, Chinese medicine, dialysis, and day care for the elderly," Cheng notes.

She continues:

"Patients in Taiwan can choose their doctors and hospitals freely, in sharp contrast to the US where patients often have limited choice of both insurers and providers. There is no such thing as in- or out-of-network providers, a distinction which in the US not only restricts patients' access but also subjects them to vastly different charges. Patients in Taiwan do not receive the "surprise medical bills" that many Americans do after their inpatient or outpatient treatment. The NHI's copayments and coinsurance are low, and generous ceilings and exemptions safeguard access to needed care."

About 6.1 percent of the GDP in Taiwan is spent on health care; in the United States, one of the highest levels of a developed country, it's about 17 percent.

In an interview, Cheng gave examples of price disparities between the United States and Taiwan, based on statistics from insurance companies and government agencies.

Harvoni, a drug to treat hepatitis C, costs $2,132 for a course of treatment in Taiwan; in the United States, the same amount costs an average of $32,114, she said.

An MRI costs $288 in Taiwan; in the United States, it's $1,119.

A C-section costs $1,404 in Taiwan; in the United States, it's $15,106.

Interest in Taiwan's health-care system has been surging in recent years. Chen said she briefed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on the system and will speak to state lawmakers in California on Friday amid a broader push for universal health care in the state.

"People envy [Taiwan's] system because they're spending a third of [what] we're spending," she said. "It's very high-performing in terms of cost coverage and benefits. Many, many countries that are looking to cover everyone - they are looking to Taiwan's model as a guide.”

Doug Holtz-Eakin, president of the conservative think tank American Action Forum and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, said inflated U.S. health-care costs were in part the result of a "pattern of overutilization of some things like excessive testing and underutilization of preventive care."

"You add it all up, it costs a lot," he said.

Holtz-Eakin said a recent study of prices looked at 23 drugs and found they cost 80 percent more in the United States than other places. Still, 11 of those drugs were available in every other country in the study, Holtz-Eakin said.

"So one of the prices you pay in another country is you don't get access to some diagnoses and therapies," he said. "It's hard to put a price tag on that."

[An 11-year-old pleaded for an abortion after she was raped. She was forced to give birth.]

While a few countries with socialized medicine systems, like Canada and Britain, are known for long wait times for some procedures, Taiwan does not experience this problem, Cheng wrote. She highlighted another significant disparity between the Taiwanese and American health-care systems: administrative costs were much lower in Taiwan than in the United States. ("A staff of fewer than 3,000 administer the NHI for Taiwan's population of 23.8 million," she noted.)

Bozeat said in a brief direct message exchange that he thought his post had gone viral because it was likely "shocking to most Americans who saw it, particularly the price."

"I received a ton of direct messages and comments from people sharing their higher bills, WITH insurance," he wrote. "Some people also attacked me and called me a liar. Even though they know nothing about Taiwan or its health care system. Interestingly I received a lot of support from Taiwanese people who thanked me for praising their health care system."

He had followed up the viral post with another with a plea for universal health care.

"Taiwan is less wealthy than the US, yet it spends less and gets more out of its healthcare system. We see the same story repeat itself," he wrote. "This debate is all so tiresome, because there is no debate. Universal healthcare works, it can be done here, it can be done in any country with sufficient resources. All we need is political will and an implementation plan."

How an Army of Pharma Lobbyists in Washington Have Locked in One of the Biggest Corporate Ripoff Schemes in America Pharma is creaming tens of billions out of the federal government in a variety of schemes. By Martha Rosenberg / AlterNet February 22, 2016

Top Doctors Reveal Vaccines Turn Our Immune System Against Us

GMI Posted on: Tuesday, November 13th 2018 Written By: Celeste McGovern

The research is hard to ignore, vaccines can trigger autoimmunity with a laundry list of diseases to follow. With harmful and toxic metals as some vaccine ingredients, who is susceptible and which individuals are more at risk?

But something strange is happening in the world of immunology lately and a small evidence of it is that the Godfather of Autoimmunology is pointing to vaccines – specifically, some of their ingredients including the toxic metal aluminum – as a significant contributor to the growing global epidemic of autoimmune diseases. The bigger evidence is a huge body of research that's poured in in the past 15 years, and particularly in the past five years. Take for example, a recent article published in the journal Pharmacological Research in which Shoenfeld and colleagues issue unprecedented guidelines naming four categories of people who are most at risk for vaccine-induced autoimmunity.

"On one hand," vaccines prevent infections which can trigger autoimmunity, "On the other hand, many reports that describe post-vaccination autoimmunity strongly suggest that vaccines can indeed trigger autoimmunity. Defined autoimmune diseases that may occur following vaccinations include arthritis, lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE) diabetes mellitus, thrombocytopenia, vasculitis, dermatomyosiositis, Guillain-Barre syndrome and demyelinating disorders. Almost all types of vaccines have been reported to be associated with the onset of ASIA."

"Throughout our lifetime the normal immune system walks a fine line between preserving normal immune reactions and developing autoimmune diseases," says the paper. "The healthy immune system is tolerant to self-antigens. When self-tolerance is disturbed, dysregulation of the immune system follows, resulting in emergence of an autoimmune disease. Vaccination is one of the conditions that may disturb this homeostasis in susceptible individuals, resulting in autoimmune phenomena and ASIA."

Who is "susceptible" is the subject of the paper entitled, "Predicting post-vaccination autoimmunity: Who might be at risk?" It lists four categories of people: 1) those who have had a previous autoimmune reaction to a vaccine, 2) anyone with a medical history of autoimmunity, 3) patients with a history of allergic reactions, 4) anyone at high risk of developing autoimmune disease including anyone with a family history of autoimmunity, presence of autoantibodies which are detectable by blood tests and other factors including low vitamin D and smoking.

Ebook: Vaccines and Brain Health

PDF doc is in Documents

What Do Vaccines Have to Do With Brain Health?

A GOOGLE SEARCH FOR ‘VACCINE SAFETY’ will return an overwhelming amount of conflicting, and often emotionally-charged, rhetoric about vaccines. Objective, scientifically-validated information about the risks and benefits of vaccines can be difficult to identify. As a passionate believer in the power of informed consent, I feel that we have a right to know the full breadth of available data so that we’re empowered to make our own decisions about our bodies and our children.

To make your own judgment, it’s important to understand how vaccines work, who is recommending them, and why - and to ask questions. Because no one should be threatened by the process of further inquiry.

A new model of depression as an inflammation-mediated evolutionary mismatch, as opposed to a serotonin deficiency, is introduced and supported by a number of scientific studies.

Since vaccines were designed before the discovery of DNA, the understanding of epigenetics, and the relevance of chronic inflammation as a disease driver, the inflammation that is deliberately caused by vaccines should be independently examined as a risk factor for inflammation-linked diseases, especially as vaccineinduced immune responses are fundamentally different from those generated by natural infection.2

I suggested that the current one-size-fits-all approach to vaccination needs further scientific study, especially in terms of disease protection claims and brain-related adverse effects. Emerging science has called into question the effectiveness of vaccines, including the documentation of outbreaks in highly to completely-vaccinated populations4 and the finding that disease-causing microbes are quickly evolving to escape vaccine-induced immunity.5 Importantly, women, who are underrepresented in scientific study groups and more prone to autoimmunity, may incur an increased risk of adverse effects from vaccines.

Since the publication of my review article, another study emerged that linked vaccines to psychiatric disorders.7 Analyzing data from thousands of children, researchers found that children who had been diagnosed with OCD, anorexia, anxiety, tics, or ADHD were more likely to have received a prior vaccination than their matched controls.

Perhaps even more compelling is an April 2017 scientific article, the first of its kind, that compared age-matched vaccinated and unvaccinated children to determine if there were significant differences in the diagnoses of acute and chronic illnesses. Researchers polled the parents of over 650 homeschooled children, aged either 6 or 12. In this mostly-Caucasian group, 39% of children were unvaccinated, 31% partially vaccinated, and 30% fully vaccinated. Using sophisticated statistical analyses to control for other variables, researchers determined the likelihood of acute and chronic illnesses with respect to vaccination status.

In terms of acute illnesses, vaccinated children were significantly less likely to have had chicken pox, whooping cough (pertussis), and rubella (though the rubella incidence was not significant). Vaccinated children were more likely to have suffered from otitis media (ear infection) and pneumonia, and there was no difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups in terms of Hepatitis A and B, high fever, measles, mumps, meningitis, influenza, and rotavirus.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Vaccinated children were significantly more likely to have been diagnosed with a variety of chronic diseases. Perhaps most alarmingly, children who had received vaccines had higher incidences of neurodevelopmental disorders, including learning disabilities, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, at a rate of 10.5% compared to 3.1% of unvaccinated children. Here is a full table of increased chronic illness due to vaccines:

The Study

Chronic Illness

% Vaccinated

% Unvaccinated
Allergic Rhinitis
10.4%

0.4%

Other Allergies
22.2%

6.9%

Eczema, Dermatitis
9.5%

3.6%

Learning Disability
5.7%

1.2%

ADHD
4.7%

1.0%

All neurodevelopment
10.5

3.1%

All chronic diseases
44.0%

25.9%

Why am I writing this article, which will cover the fundamental mechanisms of vaccines as well as current studies? I wish to provide an objective, scientific foundation for open dialogue on a topic that affects all of us.

Vaccines Are Designed to Promote Inflammation

VACCINES AS WE KNOW THEM were born about 200 years ago, when Edward Jenner, widely considered the father of vaccination, took pus from a cowpox lesion on a young dairymaid’s hand and injected it into an 8-year-old farmhand to ‘protect’ him from smallpox. Subsequently, the boy developed a fever and lost his appetite for 9 days. Two months later (in July 1796), Jenner injected the boy with smallpox and noted that he did not develop disease.8 Jenner then concluded that this type of inoculation trains the immune system to be ready to fight off impending threats.

Amazingly, the way vaccines are made today is
not much different from two hundred years ago.

Fundamentally, vaccines are designed to cause inflammation. Following Jenner logic, most vaccines contain a part of the “threat”, called an antigen, combined with chemicals that stimulate the immune system, called adjuvants.

However, independent science is revealing that the immune system is far more complex than we realize. Specifically, there are three emergent scientific discoveries that should completely change the game: the microbiome, exosomes, and the role of psychology or beliefs in medical outcomes

Finally, the influence of our emotions and beliefs on immunity cannot be overstated. Both rigorous science15 and powerful experiences have confirmed the mind-body connection and the power of placebo. When people believe that they will heal, they do: the placebo effect has been shown to resolve depression, mend broken bones,16 and extend the life of cancer patients.17 The mandatory nature of vaccination implies that we cannot trust our bodies to fight off disease, and this fear-based implication erodes the very beliefs that enable true health.

The Current Vaccine Development Process and Schedule are Predicated On Outdated Science

Furthermore, the vaccine schedule is a one-size-fits-all approach that has never (not once) been studied in its ever-growing entirety. Additionally, vaccine formulations have never been studied against a true placebo for FDA approval.

To suggest that a pharmaceutical product should be delivered to all persons regardless of age, weight, health status, and history is to ignore all of the advances of modern science that suggest that biochemical individuality is the key to health and wellness

The current vaccine schedule requires multiple inflammatory chemicals to be injected with little to no time in between, with people (especially babies!) often getting multiple shots in a single office visit. This barrage of antigens and inflammatory chemicals can over-activate the psychoneuroimmune system for years. Amazingly, the MMR vaccine package inserts clearly state that coadministration with other vaccines has not been studied.

Many Vaccine Ingredients are Known Toxins

LET’S REVISIT THE FLU VACCINE, which millions of people of all ages are advised to get each year. What exactly is being injected into people’s muscles?

Vaccines contain ingredients, called antigens, which cause the body to develop immunity. Vaccines also contain very small amounts of other ingredients – all of which play necessary roles either in making the vaccine, or in ensuring that the vaccine is safe and effective.

All the flu vaccine components are potentially toxic; thimerosal is a mercurybased31 preservative, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, gelatin and egg proteins are allergens, antibiotics are literally designed to kill cells, and I can’t even imagine how muscle cells respond to an influx of straight sugar.

The most common vaccine ingredient, aluminum, is in at least 18 vaccines, including the HepB vaccine that’s ‘required’ for infants. Even though aluminum salts have been injected into people since the 1920s, a 2015 scientific review paper confirmed that we still don’t know how they work.32 Aluminum stays in the body for several years, and it has been linked to chronic fatigue and cognitive decline,33 among other disorders. A pubmed search for ‘aluminum’ and ‘human toxicity’ returns over 4200 studies.

A 2011 study states that aluminum is a risk factor for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation, and associated neurological complications.34 In fact, aluminum has been so frequently documented as triggers for autoimmunity that a new term has been coined: Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA).35 Autoimmunity is intimately connected to depression, as these conditions are both symptoms of a misfiring immune system. In fact, a study of 3.5 million people showed that having an autoimmune disorder increased the risk of a mood disorder by a staggering 45%!36

Further, we do know that these aluminum particles can reach the brain.37

Mercury, another of the most common vaccine ingredients, is a known neurotoxin. The ‘safe dose’ of mercury recommended by the EPA is 2 parts per billion (ppb) per liter of drinking water. Amazingly, the flu vaccine contains 50,000 ppb of mercury! 38 Even in very low concentrations, mercury can be toxic to brain cells. In one study, a dose of 0.5 ppb was enough to kill human brain cells.39 A person who complies with the current vaccine requirements will develop a staggering toxic burden, since mercury is in several vaccines, including whooping cough, tetanus, meningococcal, and Hepatitis B.

Vaccines contain a multitude of other toxins that can cross the blood-brain barrier, like formaldehyde, monosodium glutamate (MSG), detergents,40 and foreign proteins that can set off a variety of unpredictable immune responses. Further, several vaccines contain ‘weakened’ versions of viruses, which can activate latent viruses that are otherwise normally harmless.41 Activation of these latent viruses has been linked to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.42

Antibiotics in vaccines may be the most worrisome component. Antibiotics can kill beneficial bacteria in the microbiome, which orchestrates 70-80% of immune responses.43 Preliminary studies suggest that antibiotic-containing vaccines change the microbiome for the worse. In one study, researchers found that injecting mice with a human flu vaccine led to colonization by harmful bacteria, like Staph aureus. 44 And if you’re pregnant, exposure to antibiotics can increase the chances of your baby developing diseases like IBS, asthma, obesity, and diabetes later in life. Everything is connected, and many of these metabolic diseases coincide with psychiatric diagnoses like depression.

Louis Pasteur, famous for his work in pasteurization and vaccination, later regretted his war on microbes.

As much as I’d love to tell you that the benefits of vaccines are worth the risk, the scientific evidence suggests otherwise. Despite the aggressive vaccine schedule for infants, America has an abysmal infant mortality rate, with 1 in 143 babies dying before age 1.

We are number 4 in infant morality, after Chile and the Slovak Republic.

Scientific evidence is mounting that shows the link between vaccines and suddeninfant death syndrome (SIDS). Most infants die of SIDS at age 2-4 months, when babies are subjected to 11 shots containing 16 different vaccines.

In terms of modern infections, the flu vaccine is notoriously ineffective, with the current estimate of 48% effectiveness against a few strains of many

One study showed that receiving the influenza vaccine actually hampers your immunity, 45 and another showed that this vaccine made people more susceptible to a worse version of the flu, H1N1 (swine flu).46

Further, several studies have shown that disease outbreaks occur in highly or completely vaccinated populations47, 48 and that vaccines can accelerate the evolution of existing microbes49 in a similar way that rampant antibiotic use creates antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Perhaps most strikingly, recent studies suggest that the immune response created by vaccines is incomplete, leading to increased infection risk.50, 51, 52

Overall, scientific data has confirmed the risks, but not benefits, of vaccines. Furthermore, over $3B has been payed out to vaccine-injured adults and children since 1989, and vaccine injuries are likely grossly underreported. It was in 1986 that pharmaceutical companies demanded protection from the government if they were to continue to manufacture vaccines that were incurring so many lawsuits at that point, arguing that they would be financially disabled by the continued consumer wrath.

Because of subsequent legislation, you can no longer hold a pharmaceutical company, nor your doctor, responsible for injuries or even death that may occur as a result of vaccination.

Despite the hundreds of studies that show the toxic effects of vaccine components and counter-indicate vaccination, more and more vaccines are being governmentally mandated. Our current vaccine schedule has TRIPLED in 25 years.

National Vaccine Information Center

GreenMedInfo: How the CDC Uses Fear to Increase Demand for Flu Vaccines

Fearless Parents. Thinking... for a change

International Medical Council on Vaccination

Hormones Matter:

The Earth is Floxed []

("Floxed" is short-hand for suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity - an adverse reaction to cipro/ciprofloxacin, levaquin/levofloxacin, avelox/moxifloxacin or any of the other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Fluoroquinolone toxicity manifests as a multi-symptom, often chronic, disease.)





Living without Antibiotics: Natural Remedies for Common Illnesses

Three years ago I nearly died from a sepsis infection. An antibiotic called Levaquin saved my life. That same antibiotic, which is in the fluoroquinolone class, poisoned me from head to toe. I am still trying to recover from the damage it did to my connective tissue, nervous and digestive systems. I thought as long as I stayed away from fluoroquinolone antibiotics I would be ok. Not so. Two years ago I had strep throat and was prescribed amoxicillin. After a few days, the antibiotic produced a meningitis-like reaction which subsequently worsened my Levaquin-induced symptoms.

All antibiotics disrupt our microbiome, a delicate environment of bacteria affecting our immune, nervous, digestive, and endocrine systems. Antibiotics are over-prescribed and big gun fluoroquinolone antibiotics meant to kill anthrax are used for non-life threatening infections. As such, we are creating all sorts of antibiotic-resistant germs and microbial imbalances. In response to these dilemmas, doctors may soon be forced to limit prescribing fluoroquinolones for certain infections.

Here are some general recommendations I found helpful for overcoming any bacterial or viral infection:

1. Remove sugar and processed foods from your diet. They feed bad bacteria and viruses. Your virus or infection will just love you for feeding them, making them stronger and more virulent.

2. Take probiotics. When I feel the first sign of a cold coming on I take a probiotic capsule. The good probiotic bacteria will work with your body’s good bacteria to fight the virus, essentially crowding it out. Keep in mind, antibiotics kill bad bacteria and good bacteria. Antibiotics do not kill viruses. If you take an antibiotic for a virus, in my opinion, you are making the virus stronger because you are wiping out the good bacteria needed to help your immune system fight the virus.

3. Exercise a little, not a lot. When you are sick your body needs to conserve energy to fight the illness. Exercising at your usual pace during an illness puts added strain on your adrenals and immune system. You don’t have to stop exercising completely, just go lightly.

4. Rest and rest often. So many people I know catch a cold, continue to burn the midnight candle either at work or socially, end up with an infection, and are prescribed an antibiotic because they’ve dug themselves into an infectious grave they could have easily avoided by resting. Sleep. Rest some more.

5. Avoid stress, be patient and practice acceptance. Accept you have this illness, that it will take time to heal, and be kind to your body. Stress will make it worse. Practice whatever stress relieving activities work for you, ex. meditation, gentle yoga, applying essential oils, baths, relaxing in a quiet place, etc.

6. Avoid smoking and alcohol. I think this is self-explanatory.

7. Up vitamin and mineral intake, particularly vitamin C. Since your body is working over time, it is likely to be in need of extra vitamins and minerals. There are many different vitamin and mineral supplements but finding one with a high vitamin c content is crucial. You could also get IV vitamin and antioxidant cocktails. Since I no longer get a flu shot, a few IV vitamin C sessions stopped the flu in its tracks last year. See a functional medicine practitioner for these.

8. Try my cold/flu buster cocktail. I swear by this cocktail. Using organic fresh produce: juice 1 teaspoon each of ginger and turmeric root, add squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV), a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper, and blend with 8 ounces of your choice of watered down juices, ex. orange, carrot, beet, and/or apple. I drink one or two a day till I feel optimal.


Cuba's health system Cuba, a country of 11 million people, has achieved health outcomes that are the envy of the Third World. It has one of the lowest infant and young child (under age 5) mortality rates and longest life expectancies in the Americas, outperforming the U.S. on all three of these indicators[6] (although the maternal mortality rate is still considerably higher than that in rich countries[7]). This year, Cuba also became the first nation in the world that, according to the World Health Organization, had eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.[8] How has a Third World country, subjected to decades of economic sanctions, accomplished this?

Part of the answer lies in the post-revolutionary government’s establishment of a comprehensive, universal health care system — structured around primary and preventive care — with a network of physicians, nurses and home health workers generally living in the same community as their patients.

To ensure adequate staffing for this initiative, the government invested heavily in medical education, which resulted in Cuba having nearly three times as many physicians per capita as the U.S.[10] This also enabled the country to send a self-reported total of 130,000 of its own health professionals to provide low- or no-cost medical care to patients in other Third World countries, with nearly 37,000 working in 70 countries as of 2008.[11] Cuba was among the first to respond to the past year’s Ebola epidemic, sending more doctors to Sierra Leone than any country besides Great Britain.

The country’s universal vaccination programs eradicated many previously commonplace childhood and tropical diseases, including polio, measles and diphtheria.[13] Many of the vaccines, as well as other medications, are manufactured by a domestic pharmaceutical industry that was developed, in part, in response to the U.S. embargo. This biotechnology sector employs about 10,000 people and manufactures most of the medicines used in the country, including 33 vaccines, 33 cancer drugs, 18 drugs to treat cardiovascular disease and seven drugs for other diseases.[14],[15] At one point, Cuba was the leading provider of pharmaceuticals to Latin America and also supplied medicines to several Asian countries.[16] Its medical infrastructure is also relatively advanced, with 22 medical campuses and academic journals in all of the major medical specialties.

Much of the progress made in improving the well-being of the Cuban population also traces back to policies independent of the health care sector, including universal education, guaranteed nutrition, clean drinking water and modern sanitation.[18] Perhaps more important were the Cuban government’s egalitarian economic policies that dramatically reduced the wealth inequalities that had existed prior to the revolution.[19] An extensive body of research shows that income inequality is closely associated with, and likely a critical determinant of, population health, and Cuba is no exception.

What makes Cuba’s health advancements all the more remarkable is that they were achieved under more than five decades of a stifling economic embargo. In 1962, three years after the Cuban revolution, the U.S. instituted the embargo to cripple Cuba’s economy,[21] in the hope that the pain inflicted on the Cuban people would spur them to overthrow the government. (The embargo was just one of several methods employed by the U.S. to do away with the Cuban government; see text box below for more details.)

In a comprehensive 1997 report documenting the impact of the U.S. embargo of Cuba, the American Association for World Health (AAWH) observed that it was “one of the few embargoes of recent years … that explicitly include[d] foods and medicines in its virtual ban on bilateral commercial ties.”[22] The report found that the tightening of the embargo during the 1990s had resulted in shortages of drugs, water treatment supplies and food, leading to malnutrition and waterborne diseases, among other problems.[23] The AAWH concluded that “[a] humanitarian catastrophe [resulting from the embargo] has been averted only because the Cuban government has maintained a high level of budgetary support for a health care system designed to deliver primary and preventive health care to all of its citizens.”

Amnesty International followed the AAWH report with its own 2009 analysis of how the embargo had affected the “economic and social rights” of the Cuban people.[25] The report documented numerous instances in which Cuba was unable to import a range of medical supplies, including HIV and psychiatric medicines, vaccines and syringes, medical devices, diagnostic equipment, condoms, and pediatric nutritional products.

The U.S. has long been isolated from the rest of the world on its policy towards Cuba. Every year since 1992, the United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly (188-2 was last year’s tally) in favor of a resolution calling on the U.S. to end the embargo.[27] Nevertheless, The New York Times claimed in an editorial last year that it was not the U.S. but Cuba that suffered from a “beleaguered international standing.”

Are Endoscopes and Colonoscopes Killing People? The FDA knew all about the endoscope risk six years ago, but has ignored it. Action Alert!

Over the last few years, you may have seen one of the several tragic stories of antibiotic-resistant “superbug” outbreaks in major hospitals that have killed dozens of patients and sickened hundreds more.

Some of these outbreaks are linked to contaminated endoscopes—medical devices used to diagnose and treat diseases of the liver, bile ducts, pancreas, throat, stomach, and the intestines. Similar devices are used in colonoscopies, which means that the colonoscope risk is likely to be just as bad.

Why Medicare-For-All Makes More Sense Now Than Ever Private health insurance drives up costs for everyone.

"The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitations services and basic education to every person on the planet. And we wonder why terrorists attack us." - John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Rwanda and Bangladesh Have Universal Healthcare -- Why Can't America? Some poor countries have shown that good basic healthcare for all can be provided at a very low cost.

The Two Things That Rarely Happen After a Medical Mistake Patients seldom are told or get an apology when they are harmed during medical care, according to a new study based on results from ProPublica’s Patient Harm Questionnaire.

Study Shows Dramatic Correlation Between GMOs And 22 Diseases While most companies brag about their product, the GMO industry spends hundreds of millions to hide their product. The US does not requiring labeling of GMOs despite the fact that 64 countries around the world label GMO foods.

The Dangerous Truth About GMOs That Monsanto Is Desperate to Hide A review of 19 studies on mammals fed commercialized GM soy and maize found “consistent signs of toxicity in the liver and kidneys.”... Additional questions are raised by human exposure to the herbicides applied to GM foods. Roundup Ready soy is engineered to tolerate Roundup. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, remains in the plant eaten by people and animals. Additional ingredients are added to Roundup, and the Report notes the combination is more toxic than glyphosate alone... Toxic effects include “disruption of hormonal systems and beneficial gut bacteria, damage to DNA, developmental and reproductive toxicity, birth defects, cancer, and neurotoxicity.”

Republicans Go After Social Security on Very First Day

The Choice Ahead: A Private Health-Insurance Monopoly or a Single Payer by Robert Reich. The Supreme Court’s recent blessing of Obamacare has precipitated a rush among the nation’s biggest health insurers to consolidate into two or three behemoths.

The result will be good for their shareholders and executives, but bad for the rest of us – who will pay through the nose for the health insurance we need.

The big health insurers have money to make these acquisitions because their Medicare businesses have been growing and Obamacare is bringing in hundreds of thousands of new customers. They’ve also been cutting payrolls and squeezing more work out of their employees.

There’s abundant evidence that when health insurers merge, premiums rise. For example, Leemore Dafny, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and her two co-authors, found that after Aetna merged with Prudential HealthCare in 1999, premiums rose 7 percent higher than had the merger not occurred.

The problem isn’t Obamacare. The real problem is the current patchwork of state insurance regulations, insurance commissioners, and federal regulators can’t stop the tidal wave of mergers, or limit the economic and political power of the emerging giants.

The alternative is a government-run single payer system – such as is in place in almost every other advanced economy – dedicated to lower premiums and better care.

Open Payments Data Open Payments is a federal program that annually collects and makes information public about financial relationships between the health care industry, physicians, and teaching hospitals. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) collects information from manufacturers of drugs and devices about payments and other transfers of value they make to physicians and teaching hospitals.

A 91-Year-Old Man [in England] Gives Incredibly Moving Speech on the Importance of Universal Health Care "recalls his youth in the tenements of Britain, the “desperation of poverty” and the horrors of life before the National Health Service was implemented... recounts the preventable death of his 10-year-old sister due to lack of funds and the cries of a neighboring woman dying of cancer without being able to afford morphine... Smith also highlighted the importance of keeping the NHS free for all, and warned that if it wasn’t, “Your future will be my past.” " [includes video]

"Bush simply lied, feigning interest in the common good as a cloak to get elected, bide his time, let the media move on to other issues... and let his HMO and insurance backers escape scot-free from any public accountability for their abuses" (Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer, eds. The hightower Lowdown, July 2004: 2).

Fight Back

Patients Over Profits

Taking the fight to the corporate health care racket

Email from Jasmine Ruddy

National Nurses United - Medicare for All!

If you missed the national call on Wednesday night, we have a pretty exciting update for you: We are proud to officially launch the Patients Over Profits campaign.

For decades, insurance and pharma behemoths have bled working families dry in the endless pursuit of money. And they maintain that system by lining Congress’ pockets with hundreds of millions of dollars every election cycle.

But in the last two years — something even more sinister has happened. As the movement for Medicare for All has grown, these special interests came together to form a corporate front-group called the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future. This group has the sole intent of spending millions on disinformation campaigns, ads, and lobbying to stop any major health care reform, particularly Medicare for All.

It’s time for us to directly confront their political influence. We know that campaign contributions are one of the key ways that they keep members of Congress in their pockets. That’s why we’ve launched the Patients Over Profits Pledge — to call on our elected officials to reject donations from all health care corporations affiliated with the Partnership.

Please visit our brand new website, PatientsOverProfits.org, to find out how YOU can join this effort.

Every day nurses see the devastation and harm caused to patients by profit-driven insurance and pharma corporations. And, until we win Medicare for All, that devastation is going to continue.

So we’re urging our elected officials and those seeking office to cut ties with these corporations that bankroll the efforts to prevent any health care reform. And in order to really make this effective, we’ll need as much grassroots power as we can get.

Our politicians and candidates should reject contributions from health care executives, not embrace their big-money influence and political bribery. If you agree, visit our website to get more involved in this critical work.

We can’t wait to work alongside all of you in this next phase. It’s been less than 48 hours, and we already have politicians reaching out to sign the pledge. Your support will make this work even more successful.

In solidarity,
Jasmine Ruddy
Organizer
Nurses’ Campaign to Win Medicare for All










Links

Americans for Healthcare
Healthcare-NOW
National Coalition on Health Care
Health Care For All










Quotes

"Always start with values, preferably values all American share like security, prosperity, opportunity, freedom, and so on. Pick the values most relevant to the frame you want to shift to. Try to win the argument at the values level. Pick a frame where your position exemplifies a value everyone holds--like fairness. Example: Suppose someone argues against a form of universal health care. If people don't have health care, he argues, it's their own fault. They're not working hard enough or not managing their money properly. We shouldn't have to pay for their lack of initiative or their financial mismanagement. Frame Shift: Most of the forty million people who can't afford health care work full-time at essential jobs that cannot pay enough to get them health care. Yet these working people support the lifestyles of the top three-quarters of our population. Some forty million people have to do those hard jobs--or you don't have your lifestyle. America promises a decent standard of living in return for hard work. These workers have earned their health care by doing essential jobs to suppor the economy. There is money in the economy to pay them. Tax credits are the easiest mechanism. Their health care would be covered by having the top 2 percent pay the same taxes they used to pay. It's only fair that the wealty pay for their own lifestyles, and that people who provide those lifestyles get paid fairly for it" (George Lakoff. Don't Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate: 116-117).


"Business leaders complain endlessly that the current system of private healthcare insurance based on employment provides fewer and fewer people with less and less quality care at higher and higher cost. Yet Corporate America turns its back on a publicly financed system, which, by all indicators, the taxpayers would willingly support.

"Publicly financed but privately run healthcare for all--including free choice of physicians--would cost employers far less in taxes than their costs for insurance. Universal coverage could also work magic in less obvious ways. For example, employers would no longer have to pay for medical care under workers' compensation, which in 2002 cost them more than $38 billion. Auto-insurance rates would fall for them--and everyone--if the carriers were no longer liable for medical and hospital bills. You'd think that in its own selfish interest, Corporate America would be fighting to replace the existing system... yet it doesn't lift a finger.

"Meanwhile, under the Bush administration healthcare coverage steadily shrinks... By 2001 it accounted for 13.9 percent of US gross domestic product. (It constituted a much smaller share of GDP in countries with universal healthcare, such as Sweden, 8.7 percent; France, 9.5 percent; and Canada, 9.7 percent.)...

"A simple fact largely explains why spending bloats while the ranks of the insured thin: Health insurance is increasingly unaffordable...

""Double-digit increases in healthcare costs are a drag on economic growth," says Henry Simmons... They "slow the rate of job growth," "suppress wage increases for current workers," "undercut the viability of pension funds," "put American firms at a steep disadvantage in world markets"...

"Taxation... hugely subsidizes health insurance, while benefiting mostly "the affluent"...

"In 1991 the GAO made a stark finding regarding single-payer's benefits: "If the universal coverage and single-payer features of the Canadian system [had been] applied in the United States," in that year, "the savings in administrative costs" --$66.9 billion--"would have been more than enough to finance insurance coverage for the millions of Americans who are currently uninsured," the GAO said in a report. The $3 billion left over "would be enough... to permit a reduction, or possibly even the elimination, of copayments and deductibles"...

"...a comprehensive study published in the International Journal of Health Studies reached this stunning conclusion: "The United States wastes more on health-care bureaucracy than it would cost to provide health care to all its uninsured"... Streamlining administrative overhead to Canadian levels would save... more than would be needed to provide full insurance coverage...

"Canadian companies pay far less in taxes for health coverage for everyone than the premiums they would pay under the US system to provide their employees with comparable benefits.

"Highly placed Canadian business executives affirm that single-payer nurtures free enterprise... US CEOs of large corporations see it as something "that smacks of socialism", Werntz said, the therefore as "heresy"...

"...a GM vice president called single-payer "a strategic advantage for Canada."... also signed by Ford's and DaimlerChrysler's presidents and CEOs... while providing "essential and affordable healthcare services for all", single-payer "significantly reduces total labour costs... compared to the cost of equivalent private insurance services purchased by US-based automakers"... It saved Canadian employers $4 per hour per worker. Monthly, health-coverage costs for Canadian employers average about $50... health-insurance costs for US employers average $552(Morton Mintz. "Single-Payer: Good for Business." The Nation, Nov. 15, 2004: 18-24).


"The new Medicare drug plan is gap-filled and bewildering to seniors, but it is solid and crystal-clear on matters that really count: it doles out $139 billion in subsidies to drug firms and explicitly prohibits the government from negotiating drug prices and reimporting drugs from Canada" (Roger Bybee. "The War at Home." Progressive Populist, Dec. 1, 2004: 21).


"The discount program does not address the twin problems plaguing the drug market: Americans pay the highest drug prices in the world, and annual spending for pharmaceuticals, now some $250 billion, has been doubleing every five years... the most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs for seniors have risen at least three times faster than inflation in the past four years...

"Seniors still flock to Canada, where drugs are cheaper than even those bought with good discount cards" (Trudy Lieberman. "Dealing the Drug Cards." The Nation, June 21, 2004: 24).


"The World Health Organization lists the United States as thirty-seventh in healthcare provision...

"At the national level, the Campaign for a National Health Program NOW, along with the 12,000-strong Physicians for a National Health Program, are organizing for John Conyers's H.R. 676, which would provide for universal, publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare for everybody in this country. This bill would eliminate the big insurance companies' hundreds of billions from our $1.7 trillion healthcare budget, thereby providing enough money for a system that covers all. Everybody would get medical, dental and optical, specialists, mental health, prescription drugs, drug treatment, hospitals and long-term care, among other healthcare essentials. Check out the bill on our website http://www.cnhpnow.org/...

Experience in other nations also indicates that universal coverage need not be costly. While the United States will spend $6,200 per capita on healthcare this year, Canada and European nations with national health insurance spend half that much. Indeed, our $3,600 per capita in public spending is more than Canada, Germany, France or Sweden spend for their entire health systems -- public plus private. In essence, Americans already pay for national health insurance, we just don't get it.

"We're not the only ones who think a single-payer system could cover everyone without increasing costs. The Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accountability Office and even private consulting firms of conservative bent have reached the same conclusion" (Letters. The Nation, Sep. 13, 2004: 2).


"...the largest dollar increase for coverage in Medicare's history. In 2006 the monthly charge is to rise 17 percent, to $78.20...

""a body blow to millions of older Americans living on fixed incomes... already staggering under the relentless increases in the cost of prescription drugs"...

"...all part of the president's concept of the "ownership society," an ideologically driven plan that really means that as market forces are imposed onto health care, more needy people will not have access to it" ("With Two Months To Go, The GOP Convention Aired a Lot of Distortions." Washington Spectator. Sep. 15, 2004).


"Social welfare institutions are, however, much more than "safety nets;" if carefully designed and implemented they can enhance efficiency and productivity growth. Cost-effective public provision of health and education can bring about improvements in labour force quality that can, in turn, raise efficiency and accelerate productivity growth. Social welfare institutions reduce social tensions and enhance the legitimacy of the political system, thus providing a more stable environment for long-term investments. Inter-temporal smoothing of consumption through devices like unemployment benefit can even contribute to dampening the business cycle...

"...the fact that all NDCs have developed a common set of social welfare institutions over time (except for the persistent and disturbing absense of comprehensive health care in the USA) suggests that there are some common needs that have to be addressed across countries... necessary to guarantee social stability" (Ha-Joon Chang. Kicking Away the Ladder: Developement Strategy in Historical Perspective. London: Anthem Press, 2002. Page 102).


"My colleagues and I are medical billing advocates, and as such we uncover not just sloppy billing practices at all levels of our medical system but widespread fraud and abuse. Whenever a claim is denied, the patient is billed full price for that service, and often they pay it, or try to.

"Examples: claim denied because the physician entered the wrong diagnosis code on the electronic record; emergency bill denied because the policy-holder neglected to tell the insurance company within forty-eight hours (he was comatose); a widow placed in collections four times by a hospital for a service her deceased husband never received; three defibrillator charges for the same procedure; routine supplies such as gowns and drapes charged individually; not to mention the $1,000 toothbrush for the patient admitted for facial surgery (his jaw was wired shut) or a "disposable mucous recover system" (i.e., tissues) for $12 per box.

"These claims are brought to our attention by studying the bills of the uninsured, but similar errors occur on virtually every hospital bill. People with co-insurance or who go out of network are equally at risk. Recently an insured client who came to me with a bill approaching $90,000 finally paid $2,900--the overcharge almost all due to the insurer not complying with its own rules" (Letters. The Nation, Mar. 14, 2005: 2).


"...life expectancy throughout Western and Northern Europe is higher than in America...

"The WHO also ranked the countries of the world in terms of overall health performance, and the US fell into thirty-seventh place. When it came to evaluating the fairness of countries' health care, the US ranked still lower, to fifty-fourth, or last place among the OECD nations.

"Sadly, the US and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide health care for all of their citizens...

"The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation of the world... Most of the increased cost is attributable to the high administrative costs and margins associated with running a for-profit healthcare system... Waiting until the illness has advanced to a crisis increases the medical costs significantly" (Jeremy Rifkin. The European Dream. pp. 79-80)...


"When a study revealed that mercury in childhood vaccines may have caused autism in thousands of kids, the government rushed to conceal the data--and to prevent parents from suing drug companies for their role in the epidemic...

"According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency's massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccine--thimerosal--appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children.

""I was actually stunned by what I saw," Verstraeten told those assembled at Simpsonwood, citing the staggering number of earlier studies that indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity, and autism" (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. "Deadly Immunity." Progressive Populist, July 15, 2005: 1).


Avian Flu

"Over the past generation, writes Lancet editor Richard Horton, "the US public-health system has been slowly and quietly falling apart"...

"Under Democrats as well as Republicans, Washington has looked the other way as local health departments have lost funding and crucial hospital "surge capacity" has been eroded in the wake of the HMO revolution. The government has also refused to address the growing lack of new vaccines and antibiotics caused by the pharmaceutical industry's withdrawal from sectors it considers to be insufficiently profitable; moreover, revolutionary breakthroughs in vaccine design and manufacturing technology have languished because of lack of speonsorship by either the government or the drug industry...

"In spite of this fiasco and millions of doses of unused vaccine, the Administration pressed ahead with the developement of second-generation smallpox and anthrax vaccines, as well as vaccines for such exotic plagues as ebola fever... The government, in other words, was willing to spend lots of money on biological threats that were unlikely or farfetched but no on antivirals or new antibiotics for the diseases that were actually most menacing, like avian flu...

"But as shocked Americans discovered in the winter of 2003-04 and again in early fall 2004, the entire vaccine manufacturing system had decayed almost to the point of collapse. While Bush and Thompson were trying to bribe the pharmaceutical industry to join Project Bioshield, the same industry was abdicating its elementary responsibility to maintain a lifeline of new vaccines and antibiotics. Products that actually cure or prevent disease, like vaccines and antibiotics, are less profitable, so infectious disease has largely become an orphan market" (Mike Davis. "Avian Flu: A State of Unreadiness." The Nation, July 18, 2005: 27-30).


Best Places to Go

"An estimated two million Americans cross the borders annually to purchase their prescription meds in Mexico or Canada. X-rays of American patients are increasingly interpreted by radiologists in India. Patients are being globalized, too, as hundreds of thousands of them from all parts of the world flock to Manila, Singapore, Bangalore, and other centers of low-cost, high-quality care" (Barbara Ehrenreich. "Health Care Biopsy." The Progressive, July 2005: 11-12).


"Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is buying Miami-based Ivax Corp for $7.4bn to create the world's largest generic drug company" ("News in Brief." Guardian Weekly, Aug.4, 2005: 25).


"The fact is there's a big difference between the economics of health care and that of, say, costume jewelry. We the consumers control the demand for costume jewelry; we can splurge on it or leave it alone. But we have precious little control over our demand for health care. Sure, we can exercise and refrain from smoking and sky-diving and swimming with sharks. We can eat right, too (whatever that may mean, with the sietary advice fluctuating from month to month). But it's the medical profession that determines how often we need our blood drawn, our breasts squished, our cervices scraped, or any of the other nasty interventions they have to offer.

"If the medical care we consume was under our own control, I'd say, sure, save up for it and use it wisely. But it's no more in our control than the wind and floods we insure our homes against" (Barbara Ehrenreich. "President Bush, Meet Lorraine." The Progressive, April 2006: 12).


"Over 16% of our economy ($19 trillion last year) goes into our corporatized system--50% more than Switzerland's universal system, which ranks second in spending per person. Not only does the US drastically outspend everyone else, but it does so while leaving tens of millions of Americans outside the system. In contrast, Canada puts only 10% of its economy into healthcare, Australia 9%, and England 7%, and these countries manage to provide care for every one of their people...

"...some 18,000 Americans die unnecessarily each year due to lack of health insurance, roughly the same number who die of stroke, HIV, or homicide...

"A single-payer system is the answer. An unusually strong editorial in March by the St. Louis Post Dispatch expressed the benefits succinctly: "Employers would no longer be saddled with health care. Workers would no longer worry about health care for themselves or their children. And we could toss the disgraceful private health insurance industry, with its wasteful bureaucracy and instructable coverage rules, into the dumpster"" (Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer. "The Four Big Lies about Universal Health Care." The Hightower Lowdown, June 2006: 1-4).


"General Motors is headed for the wall. One of America's largest corporations recorded its biggest losses ever as its US market share dropped to the lowest levels since before it overtook Ford in the 1920s. GM's executive team, led by chair and chief executive officer Richard "Rick" Wagoner, has sought to paint the company's difficulties as the result of unforeseeable changes in the consumer preference and the rising cost of healthcare, but neither is the case. GM's faulty product mix--too many SUVs and not enough superior car products--rests squarely on its management's shoulders. As for skyrocketing healthcare costs, GM's officers have failed to advocate a remedy that is not just in their worker's interest but in ther shareholders' too--national healthcare...

"The corporation's reticence seems even more pecurliar in view of its experience building cars in Canada, a country that adopted a single-payer healthcare system more than thirty yeaers ago...

"GM's US management is not alone in dropping the ball on national healthcare. Few executives have come out for it, though many corporations and their shareholders would benefit. And instead of confining their energies to negotiating the terms of the givebacks they are being asked to sell to their members, the leaders of the United Auto Workers' union would be well advised to lobby more vigorously for the cause of universal healthcare, which they've only lately endorsed" (Jamie Lincoln Kitman. "What's Good for GM?" The Nation, April 17, 2006: 4-5).


"Corporate chieftains and the political elites have the Rolls Royce of health care, while most Americans have a sputtering Yugo and while millions are walking barefoot. This crass inequality on such a basic human need is a moral abomination. How is it that the richest country in the history of the world has 45 million people with no health care coverage and millions more with pathetic coverage? And how is it that We The People pay $1.2 trillion a year to a corporate health care complex (more than any other country) but rank only 37th in the world in the qulity of the health care we receive?

"The Powers That Be just shrug their shoulders and say America can't afford a system of good quality coverage for all. Can't afford it? W. says America can afford the $1.2 trillion in tax giveaways he's bestowed on the wealthiest people in our land. He says America can afford the $300 billion in direct costs already shelled out for his war of lies in Iraq. He says America can afford the hundreds of billions of tax dollars being pocketed by drug companies and insurance giants through his boondoggle prescription drug program. Of course, our so-called political leaders don't feel the pain of America's corporatized and exclusive health system. The very politicos who say America can't afford universal health coverage receive full platinum coverage for their families--courtesy of you and me.

"No public official should have a dime's worth of coverage until everyone in America has full coverage. The president and Congress ought to be last in line, not first!" (Jim Hightower. "The TIPPing Point." Texas Observer, June 2, 2006: 15).


"Wal-Mart...earlier this year... call[ed] for universal health care...

"Joining Wal-Mart is an intriguing conglomeration of businesses ranging from AT&T... to Kelly Services... to digital-revolution companies such as Intel... AFL-CIO...

"...it's everybody saying, 'Health care costs are killing us.'"

"By 2008, the average Fortune 500 company will spend as much on health care as it will make in profit... Overall, health care premiums for workers are increasing four times faster than wages...

"... in the increasingly global market, US businesses compete at a disadvantage because the United States has employer-based health care" (Barbara Miner. "Labor Offers Business Health Care Cures." The Progressive, May 2007: 24-26).


Moody's Ratings: Protection Racket

"Moody's Investor Services, wholly owned subsidiary of Moody's Corporation, which reported $2.03 billion in revenues in 2006.

"On January 10 Moody's... gave the United States its top AAA credit rating. The terrorist blackmail thrreat came in the form of a demand by Moody's that the US government "reform" Social Security and Medicare"...

"Moody's runs a protection game. It issues credit ratings (in 2007 covering no less than 29 percent of the global credit-rating market by revenue...) based on public data and private information made available by those clients that have "voluntarily" retained its services. The price of not volunteering can be high... the giant German insurance corporation Hannover declined repeated Moody's offers to rate its credit... Moody's immediately issued an unsolicited and adverse rating, and then--just like a small-time mobster after hrling a brick through the window of a liquor store--went back to Hannover and reissued its invitation to offer protection-by-rating. Hannover's top man said he wouldn't surrender to blackmail, and so between 2001 and 2003 brick after brick went through the window as Moody's steadily reduced Hannover's rating all the way down to junk.

By contrast, Enron handled relations with Moody's with ermine gloves. Until days before Enron plunged into bankruptcy Moody's.. refused to lower the boom by demoting onds issued by Enron to "below investment grade." Banks with huge sums at stake allegedly pressured Moody's to keep quiet, even though Moody's had priveleged access to Enron's internal financial operations...

"... market analysts, like Moody's, don't have a clue as to what they are talking about...

"The United States pays around 15 percent of its GDP for healthcare, about 70 percent more than the outlay of other advanced industrial countries. Shift to single-payer and quit shoving money down the imperial sinkhole, and there's no fiscal crisis of any sort, short- or long-term...

"... taxes for those making more than $200,000 a year would generate $60 billion a year. Do this and end the war in Iraq and you wipe out the deficit at a stroke" (Alexander Cockburn. "Moody's The Terrorist at Ground Zero." The Nation, February 4, 2008: 9).










Articles

Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration and other injection site events. Ashley Bancsi, Sherilyn K.D. Houle and Kelly A. Grindrod Canadian Family Physician January 2019, 65 (1) 40-42;

Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) is a preventable occurrence caused by the injection of a vaccine into the shoulder capsule rather than the deltoid muscle. As a result, inflammation of the shoulder structures causes patients to experience pain, a decreased range of motion, and a decreased quality of life. Physicians can mitigate SIRVA and other injection site events by refreshing their knowledge of and adopting proper landmarking and injection technique. Awareness is crucial to identifying patients who are displaying signs of this injury so they can access treatment in a timely manner.

Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration is an under-reported, preventable series of events caused by incorrect technique or landmarking for intramuscular deltoid injections.1,2 Specifically, SIRVA occurs when an intramuscular deltoid injection is administered into the shoulder joint.1,2 This results in an inflammatory process that causes damage to the musculoskeletal structures including the bursae, tendons, and ligaments.2 The main symptoms include persistent shoulder pain and a limited range of motion.2 The keys to distinguishing SIRVA are that the symptoms typically begin within 48 hours of vaccine administration and that they do not improve with over-the-counter analgesic medications.2 Patients will often visit their physicians months later because they are not able to carry out daily tasks that were possible before the vaccination.2 These patients are often diagnosed with inflammatory injuries such as bursitis, rotator cuff tears, and adhesive capsulitis.1,2 During physical examination and on ultrasound scan, SIRVA will not appear to be any different from routine shoulder injuries. The only difference is that the shoulder symptoms will have started within days of a vaccination. Thus, shoulder injury related to vaccine administration is a term that describes improper landmarking of vaccinations that results in shoulder injuries such as adhesive capsulitis or bursitis. Treatment for SIRVA is the same as treatment for routine inflammatory injuries.1,2

While the prevalence of SIRVA in Canada is unknown, as it is under-reported,1 the global increase in case reports demonstrates that SIRVA is a developing topic. There is little information on the types of vaccines most likely to cause SIRVA, although case reports have been published on many different types of intramuscular vaccines. Primary care providers are well positioned to prevent injury through proper injection technique and by recognizing, diagnosing, and offering treatment to patients with SIRVA. We developed an infographic (Figure 1), also available at CFPlus,* to guide all health professionals in proper injection administration and the prevention of SIRVA. To develop the infographic and accompanying article, we performed a literature search using terms related to SIRVA (shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, incorrect vaccine administration, bursitis, and frozen shoulder), its causes (improper landmarking and incorrect deltoid injection), and other injection site events (radial nerve injury, axillary nerve injury, nodules, and cellulitis) in the PubMed, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases.


Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration. Wikipedia

Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) is "shoulder pain and limited range of motion occurring after the administration of a vaccine intended for intramuscular administration in the upper arm . . . thought to occur as a result of unintended injection of vaccine antigen or trauma from the needle into and around the underlying bursa of the shoulder".[1][2]

SIRVA has been described as under-reported and preventable, and "caused by incorrect technique or landmarking for intramuscular deltoid injections".[3] Because the injury is a result of the injection technique rather than the substance injected, SIRVA can occur irrespective of the vaccine being administered. Although the injury is typically associated with vaccination, it can also occur as the result of any other kind of injection into the shoulder area. However, examination of injury reports suggests that this type of injury is of increased severity when administration of a vaccine is involved, which "may be due either to the antigenic or nonantigenic components of the vaccine".[4] In order to avoid this type of injury, injection administrators are advised to avoid injecting the patient too high, too low, or too far to the side, and to avoid using needles that fail to penetrate deeply into the muscle, or that penetrate too deeply and contact the bone.[3]

SIRVA is not caused by any specific medicine that is in an injection. Instead, it is caused by improper insertion of the needle used in injections. It is "a preventable occurrence caused by the injection of a vaccine into the shoulder capsule rather than the deltoid muscle. As a result, inflammation of the shoulder structures causes patients to experience pain, a decreased range of motion, and a decreased quality of life."[5]

"Treatment for SIRVA is the same as treatment for routine inflammatory injuries."[5] People who suffer from SIRVA typically require physical therapy, pain management medications, and in some severe cases, surgery.

In the United States, SIRVA was added to the list of compensable injuries on the Vaccine Injury Table used by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in 2017.[6][7] This inclusion allowed persons claiming an injury to seek compensation from a government fund set up under the program, while immunizing vaccine manufacturers and administrators from legal liability. By 2020, SIRVA injuries amounted to 54% of filings for vaccine injury compensation. [8]

Dr. Roach: When COVID-19 vaccination causes long-lasting pain

Dear Dr. Roach: About two weeks ago, I received the vaccine for COVID-19. By the next day I had a great deal of pain in the shoulder area where the vaccine was administered. For about five days, I could barely lift my arm. It is still sore but the pain is subsiding, and I can now fully raise my arm. If the vaccine got into the bursa (as described in a recent column), would it still have been absorbed into my bloodstream so that I could get immunity?

— R.M.

Dear R.M.: Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration is a seldom-reported — but probably more prevalent than thought — adverse vaccine event. It happens when the vaccine is injected not into the muscle, as it should be, but into the bursa space below the muscle. This results when the injection site is too low or the needle is placed too deeply.

Vaccines are intended to cause a response by the body, but doing so in the bursa will cause weeks of poor shoulder function. It is treated with physical therapy and sometimes steroid injection.

Vaccines do not go into the bloodstream. Both the Moderna and the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are an mRNA vaccine. The mRNA is taken up by the muscle cells, and the muscle cells use the information in the mRNA to start making a COVID-19 protein. It’s not the whole virus, so it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The mRNA is then destroyed, but not before the muscle cells have made enough COVID-19 protein that the body has learned how to fight it off.

While it is possible that the cells around the bursa could express some COVID-19 protein, I recommend that a person who developed SIRVA after COVID-19 vaccination restart the two-dose vaccine series.

The fact that you are getting better after five days makes me think you do not have SIRVA. Five days is longer than most people have arm pain as a side effect, but it’s nothing like the six weeks of shoulder motion restriction seen with SIRVA.

Needle in the wrong spot can turn injection into a big pain

Symptoms from improperly administered vaccinations - known as SIRVA, for "shoulder injury related to vaccine administration'' - include chronic pain, limited range of motion, nerve damage, frozen shoulder (the inability to move the shoulder) and rotator cuff tear.

Last December during a routine physical exam, I received a vaccination to protect against several strains of pneumonia. It hurt, more so than the usual injection. In the days that followed, the pain in my left shoulder worsened. Initially, I dismissed it as typical post-shot soreness. But it didn’t go away.

All these months later, it still hurts. My orthopedist says I have subacromial bursitis, which is chronic inflammation and excess fluid buildup in the bursa (a thin, lubricated sac that prevents friction between a bone and surrounding soft tissue) separating the acromion bone at the top of the shoulder from the rotator cuff.

I’m convinced this occurred because the nurse injected the vaccine too high on my arm. I had no symptoms before the shot, and pain has persisted since. The needle probably entered the top third of the deltoid muscle – which forms the rounded contours of the shoulder – and probably went into the bursa or the rotator cuff, instead of lower down, into the middle part of the muscle, missing the bursa and rotator cuff entirely. I say “probably” because I wasn’t watching. Like many, I avert my eyes at the sight of an approaching needle.

"The first time I had someone complain about shoulder pain following a vaccination was about five or six years ago, and I thought it was so unusual that I blew it off,” says G. Russell Huffman, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “Since then, I’ve seen more than a dozen patients who have suffered shoulder injuries after vaccinations. Almost universally, when I ask where the shot went, they point really high up on the arm."

These injection-caused injuries often make simple tasks – such as lifting your arm to change a light bulb or reaching behind you to put your arm through the sleeve of a jacket – painful, even impossible. Some victims cannot use their shoulder at all and must find ways to compensate using the other one.

Shoulder injuries become more likely as we age. The shoulder is one of the most complex and unstable joints in the body, making it especially vulnerable to wear and tear, and to injury. “Shoulder problems are incredibly common,” says Christopher Annunziata, head orthopedic physician for the Washington Redskins, whom I went to see after the pain did not go away. “They are right up there with the aging knee and aching lower back.”

In 2012, more than 9.6 million Americans sought help from their physicians for shoulder problems, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Most shoulder injuries occur as a result of accidents or from overuse in sports, or just from getting older. They can also happen during everyday activities.

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine issued a report on the adverse effects of vaccines, concluding, among other things, that vaccine administration can lead to shoulder problems and stating that it found “convincing evidence of a causal relationship between injection of vaccine . . . and deltoid bursitis, or frozen shoulder, characterized by shoulder pain and loss of motion.”

My inoculation took place in a physician’s office, administered by a nurse. I now believe she inadvertently went too high up because I was sitting in a chair – talking to someone else in the office – and she was standing.

After eight days of pain, I called the practice. One of the doctors suggested I take ibuprofen for a few days. I don’t like taking drugs unless unavoidable – and in this case I felt it would only be masking the pain – so I ignored the advice.

"A vaccine is an immunologically sensitive substance, and if you were to receive an injection too high – in the wrong place – you could get pain, swelling and reduced range of motion in that area"

Inactivated vaccines, which are made from killed virus, contain adjuvants, or additional chemicals, that help promote a robust immune response. Injections are given to adults in the middle of the deltoid, the meatiest part of the muscle, which provides lots of space to both maximize the immune response and minimize adverse reactions.

"A vaccine is an immunologically sensitive substance, and if you were to receive an injection too high – in the wrong place – you could get pain, swelling and reduced range of motion in that area,” says Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization safety office. When that happens, he adds, “an acute process can become chronic."

A 2010 study that examined 13 cases of post-vaccination shoulder injuries found nearly half of the patients reported that the vaccine was injected “too high” into the arm, suggesting “that in some of our cases, the injury may have been the result of improper injection technique,” the study said. Moreover, their shoulders began to hurt either immediately or within 24 hours, causing pain and limited range of motion. MRI scans showed, among other things, bursitis and rotator cuff tears in several of the patients.

A third of the patients needed surgery, some of them twice.

None had experienced symptoms before the shots, according to Sarah Atanasoff, the study’s author and a medical officer in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which is run by the federal government’s Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA. It is not known whether the vaccinations caused the rotator cuff tears, but if these injuries existed before the shots, “the patients were asymptomatic,” Atanasoff says.

"As soon I got the shot, it hurt so bad, I jumped,” says Debby Russo, 60, of Eagleville, Pa., who got a flu shot in 2011 at a pharmacy. An MRI showed excessive fluid buildup in the bursa. “By the time I got home, I couldn’t lift my arm out to the side."

lizabeth Cassayre, 81, a retired schoolteacher from Napa, Calif., developed frozen shoulder that plagued her for months after getting her flu shot at a grocery store about 10 years ago. “My shoulder started hurting the afternoon I got the shot,” she says, and after several days “it had gotten terribly painful and I couldn’t lift my arm. I remember thinking: Will I ever be able to roll out another pie crust for my grandchildren?"

Between 2011 and 2014, the compensation program received 136 claims alleging upper-extremity injuries, including SIRVA (along with others such as general arm pain and disfiguring lumps). As of May, the federal court that adjudicates such claims had awarded compensation for 102 of them, with payments totaling about $16 million.

In July, HRSA proposed adding SIRVA to the program’s list of covered injuries. While SIRVA has not been on the list until now, the court has awarded compensation for such injuries based on growing evidence of causation.

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), run jointly by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, has received about 1,200 complaints of post-vaccination shoulder-related injuries since 1990, according to the CDC. Shimabukuro stresses, however, that a report does not necessarily mean the vaccine caused the injury, only that it occurred sometime after a vaccination.

"Vaccines have a utility, and people should get them, but it’s important that people also realize there can be injuries,” says Paul Brazil, a Philadelphia attorney who represents about 150 clients with vaccine-related shoulder injuries. “Most are flu-shot cases because these shots are so common. Nobody believes people who say they’ve been hurt by flu shots, but it can happen."

There is no single way to treat shoulder injuries, regardless of how they occur. Treatments that work for some may not work for others.

Physical therapy after an injury can help keep the shoulder flexible and strengthens the muscles that control the shoulder blade. Cortisone injections suppress the immune response, thus relieving pain and inflammation. Bodor uses ultrasound imaging to target precise sites for cortisone injections, which cured Cassayre after several months of ineffective physical therapy.

In a change, patients can now read the clinical notes written by their physicians. 4/9/21

The failure of Haven shows why we need Medicare-for-all. Opinion by Helaine Olen Columnist Jan. 6, 2021

Three years ago this month, the chief executives of Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway announced they were joining forces to “disrupt health care." They would, they said, make access less expensive for themselves and their employees — and, they hoped, everyone else in the United States. Investors in health-care companies, seemingly convinced the combined celebrity CEO power of Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett could solve what no one else had managed, quaked in their boots. Stocks in companies such as UnitedHealth and CVS Health fell dramatically. (Disclosure: Bezos owns The Post.)

On Monday, their initiative, eventually named Haven, announced it was shutting down. It didn’t accomplish much in its three years of effort. One can point to any number of factors for its overall lack of success, including the fact that the three parent corporations themselves have little in common. They also have different business interests. After announcing its joint venture, Amazon would go on to debut Amazon Pharmacy last year. Berkshire Hathaway, on the other hand, invests in health-care companies, including DaVita, a sometimes controversial for-profit dialysis chain.

Regardless, there is something peculiarly American about the belief that three CEOs, none of whom was even in health care, could finally succeed in something not even the experts have yet managed to do: corralling the almost $4 trillion American health-care system.

We are currently facing a crisis of democracy, but we often forget to recognize that one reason so many are frustrated with our government is that it doesn’t seem to work for them. Health care is easily Example A. We tell ourselves we have the best health-care system in the world, but, in fact, what we have is the most expensive system in the world. It’s one, moreover, that leaves huge numbers of people either without coverage entirely or on the hook for huge sums of money if they get ill.

The reason our health-care system fails to work for so many is the same reason people were convinced three CEOs could solve the problem: our nation’s worship of the free market and business success. Instead of taking such common-sense steps as permitting the government to regulate the cost of pharmaceuticals or hospital charges for services, we leave it to a pastiche of insurance companies, hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers, corporations, private equity — you name it. The result is that no one is responsible, costs run rampant and the patient all too often gets stuck holding the bag.

It should be beyond obvious at this point that health care is not a typical consumer good that can be controlled by the market.

The occasional hypochondriac aside, no one chooses to consume medical services. They are forced to do so by illness. The idea that people will compare prices for emergency heart surgery is ludicrous. Cancer patients are more likely to end up in bankruptcy than their healthier peers — not because of a out-of-control shopping habit or failure to compare costs of rival medications, but because their treatment is expensive, deductibles and co-pays are high, and insurers can arbitrarily deny payment. There are so many ways to financially bleed patients, not to mention other stakeholders, that it’s all but impossible to keep up. Little wonder that GoFundMe says one-third of the donations made through its site are to help people pay medical expenses.

Early reports had it that the three founders of Haven didn’t know what needed to be done but felt they needed to do something. They, along with a lot of other credulous people, presumably believed the canard that any challenge can be overcome by a successful man or women of business, and that skills in one area — successful start-up founder, legendary investor or financial services CEO — can be transferred over to another. When Haven debuted, John Sculley, chairman of the health-care start-up RxAdvance, told the New York Times, “I think it’s a great counterweight to what government leadership hasn’t done.” That didn’t turn out to be true.

Bezos, Buffett and Dimon could not successfully take on the U.S. medical system, because when it comes to health care, there is no substitute for systemic government action and overall reform. Until that happens — whether via Medicare-for-all or some other universal coverage and payment scheme — we will all continue to pay the price.

American Requiem By Chris Hedges

However inequitable its bias, capitalist democracy at least offered the possibility of incremental and piecemeal reform. Now it is a corpse.

November 06, 2020 "Information Clearing House" - Well, it’s over. Not the election. The capitalist democracy. However biased it was towards the interests of the rich and however hostile it was to the poor and minorities, the capitalist democracy at least offered the possibility of incremental and piecemeal reform. Now it is a corpse. The iconography and rhetoric remain the same. But it is an elaborate and empty reality show funded by the ruling oligarchs — $1.51 billion for the Biden campaign and $1.57 billion for the Trump campaign — to make us think there are choices. There are not.

The empty jousting between a bloviating Trump and a verbally impaired Joe Biden is designed to mask the truth. The oligarchs always win. The people always lose. It does not matter who sits in the White House. America is a failed state.

“The American Dream has run out of gas,” wrote the novelist J.G. Ballard. “The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It’s over. It supplies the world with its nightmares now.”

There were many actors that killed America’s open society.

THE CORPORATE OLIGARCHS who bought the electoral process, the courts and the media, and whose lobbyists write the legislation to impoverish us and allow them to accumulate obscene amounts of wealth and unchecked power.

THE MILITARISTS AND WAR INDUSTRY that drained the national treasury to mount futile and endless wars that have squandered some $7 trillion and turned us into an international pariah.

The CEOs, raking in bonuses and compensation packages in the tens of millions of dollars, that shipped jobs overseas and left our cities in ruins and our workers in misery and despair without a sustainable income or hope for the future.

THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY that made war on science and chose profits over the looming extinction of the human species.

THE PRESS that turned news into mindless entertainment and partisan cheerleading.

THE INTELLECTUALS who retreated into the universities to preach the moral absolutism of identity politics and multiculturalism while turning their backs on the economic warfare being waged on the working class and the unrelenting assault on civil liberties.

And, of course, THE FECKLESS AND HYPOCRITICAL LIBERAL CLASS that does nothing but talk, talk, talk.

If there is one group that deserves our deepest contempt it is the liberal elites, those who posture as the moral arbiters of society while abandoning every value they purportedly hold the moment they become inconvenient.

The liberal class, once again, served as pathetic cheerleaders and censors for a candidate and a political party that in Europe would be considered on the far-right. Even while liberals were being ridiculed and dismissed by Biden and by the Democratic Party hierarchy, which bizarrely invested its political energy in appealing to Republican neocons, liberals were busy marginalizing journalists, including Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi, who called out Biden and the Democrats.

The liberals, whether at The Intercept or The New York Times, ignored or discredited information that could hurt the Democratic Party, including the revelations on Hunter Biden’s laptop. It was a stunning display of craven careerism and self-loathing.

The Democrats and their liberal apologists are, the election has illustrated, oblivious to the profound personal and economic despair sweeping through this country. They stand for nothing. They fight for nothing.

Restoring the rule of law, universal health care, banning fracking, a Green New Deal, the protection of civil liberties, the building of unions, the preservation and expansion of social welfare programs, a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, the forgiveness of student debt, stiff environmental controls, a government jobs program and guaranteed income, financial regulation, opposition to endless war and military adventurism were once again forgotten.

Championing these issues would have resulted in a Democratic Party landslide.

But since the Democratic Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate donors, promoting any policy that might foster the common good, diminish corporate profits and restore democracy, including imposing campaign finance laws, was impossible.

Biden’s campaign was utterly bereft of ideas and policy issues, as if he and the Democrats could sweep the elections by promising to save the soul of America. At least the neofascists have the courage of their demented convictions.

The liberal class functions in a traditional democracy as a safety valve. It makes piecemeal and incremental reform possible. It ameliorates the worst excesses of capitalism. It proposes gradual steps towards greater equality. It endows the state and the mechanisms of power with supposed virtues. It also serves as an attack dog that discredits radical social movements. The liberal class is a vital component within the power elite. In short, it offers hope and the possibility, or at least the illusion, of change.

The surrender of the liberal elite to despotism creates a power vacuum that speculators, war profiteers, gangsters and killers, often led by charismatic demagogues, fill.

It opens the door to fascist movements that rise to prominence by ridiculing and taunting the absurdities of the liberal class and the values they purport to defend. The promises of the fascists are fantastic and unrealistic, but their critiques of the liberal class are grounded in truth. Once the liberal class ceases to function, it opens a Pandora’s box of evils that are impossible to contain.

The disease of Trumpism, with or without Trump, is, as the election illustrated, deeply embedded in the body politic. It is an expression among huge segments of the population, taunted by liberal elites as “deplorables,” of a legitimate alienation and rage that the Republicans and the Democrats orchestrated and now refuse to address. This Trumpism is also, as the election showed, not limited to white men, whose support for Trump actually declined.

Fyodor Dostoevsky saw the behavior of Russia’s useless liberal class, which he satirized and excoriated at the end of the 19th century, as presaging a period of blood and terror. The failure of liberals to defend the ideals they espoused inevitably led, he wrote, to an age of moral nihilism. In "Notes From Underground," he portrayed the sterile, defeated dreamers of the liberal class, those who hold up high ideals but do nothing to defend them. The main character in 'Notes From Underground' carries the bankrupt ideas of liberalism to their logical extreme. He eschews passion and moral purpose. He is rational. He accommodates a corrupt and dying power structure in the name of liberal ideals. The hypocrisy of the Underground Man dooms Russia as it now dooms the United States. It is the fatal disconnect between belief and action.

“I never even managed to become anything: neither wicked nor good, neither a scoundrel nor an honest man, neither a hero nor an insect,” the Underground Man wrote. “And now I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and utterly futile consolation that it is even impossible for an intelligent man seriously to become anything, and only fools become something. Yes, sir, an intelligent man of the nineteenth century must be and is morally obliged to be primarily a characterless being; and a man of character, an active figure – primarily a limited being.”

The refusal of the liberal class to acknowledge that power has been wrested from the hands of citizens by corporations, that the Constitution and its guarantees of personal liberty have been revoked by judicial fiat, that elections are nothing more than empty spectacles staged by the ruling elites, that we are on the losing end of the class war, has left it speaking and acting in ways that no longer correspond to reality.

~ ~ ~
The “idea of the intellectual vocation,” as Irving Howe pointed out in his 1954 essay "This Age of Conformity," “the idea of a life dedicated to values that cannot possibly be realized by a commercial civilization — has gradually lost its allure. And, it is this, rather than the abandonment of a particular program, which constitutes our rout.”

The belief that capitalism is the unassailable engine of human progress, Howe wrote, “is trumpeted through every medium of communication: official propaganda, institutional advertising and scholarly writings of people who, until a few years ago, were its major opponents.”

“The truly powerless people are those intellectuals — the new realists — who attach themselves to the seats of power, where they surrender their freedom of expression without gaining any significance as political figures,” Howe wrote. “For it is crucial to the history of the American intellectuals in the past few decades — as well as to the relationship between ‘wealth’ and ‘intellect’ — that whenever they become absorbed into the accredited institutions of society they not only lose their traditional rebelliousness but to one extent or another they cease to function as intellectuals.”

Populations can endure the repression of tyrants, as long as these rulers continue to effectively manage and wield power. But human history has amply demonstrated that once those in positions of power become redundant and impotent, yet retain the trappings and privileges of power, they are brutally discarded.

This was true in Weimar Germany. It was true in the former Yugoslavia, a conflict I covered for The New York Times.

The historian Fritz Stern in "The Politics of Cultural Despair," his book on the rise of fascism in Germany, wrote of the consequences of the collapse of liberalism.

Stern argued that the spiritually and politically alienated, those cast aside by the society, are prime recruits for a politics centered around violence, cultural hatreds and personal resentments.

Much of this rage, justifiably, is directed at a liberal elite that, while speaking the “I-feel-your-pain” language of traditional liberalism, sells us out.

“They attacked liberalism,” Stern writes of the fascists emerging at the time in Germany, “because it seemed to them the principal premise of modern society; everything they dreaded seemed to spring from it; the bourgeois life, Manchesterism, materialism, parliament and the parties, the lack of political leadership. Even more, they sense in liberalism the source of all their inner sufferings. Theirs was a resentment of loneliness; their one desire was for a new faith, a new community of believers, a world with fixed standards and no doubts, a new national religion that would bind all Germans together. All this, liberalism denied. Hence, they hated liberalism, blamed it for making outcasts of them, for uprooting them from their imaginary past, and from their faith.”

We are in for it. The for-profit health care system, designed to make money — not take care of the sick — is unequipped to handle a national health crisis. The health care corporations have spent the last few decades merging and closing hospitals, and cutting access to health care in communities across the nation to increase revenue — this, as nearly half of all front-line workers remain ineligible for sick pay and some 43 million Americans have lost their employee-sponsored health insurance.

The pandemic, without universal health care, which Biden and the Democrats have no intention of establishing, will continue to rage out of control. Three hundred thousand Americans dead by December. Four hundred thousand by January. And by the time the pandemic burns out or a vaccine becomes safely available, hundreds of thousands, maybe a few million, will have died.

The economic fallout from the pandemic, the chronic underemployment and unemployment — close to 20 percent when those who have stopped looking for work, those furloughed with no prospect of being rehired and those who work part-time but are still below the poverty line are included in the official statistics — will mean a depression unlike anything we have seen since the 1930s.

Hunger in US households has already tripled since last year. The proportion of US children who are not getting enough to eat is 14 times higher than last year. Food banks are overrun. The moratorium on foreclosures and evictions has been lifted while over 30 million destitute Americans face the prospect of being thrown into the street.

There is no check left on corporate power.

The inevitable social unrest will see the state, no matter who is in the White House, use its three principle instruments of social control — wholesale surveillance, the prisons and militarized police — buttressed by a legal system that routinely revokes habeas corpus and due process, to ruthlessly crush dissent.

People of color, immigrants and Muslims will be blamed and targeted by our native fascists for the nation’s decline.

The few who continue in defiance of the Democratic Party to call out the crimes of the corporate state and the empire will be silenced.

The sterility of the liberal class, serving the interests of a Democratic Party that disdains and ignores them, fuels the widespread feelings of betrayal that saw nearly half the voters support one of the most vulgar, racist, inept and corrupt presidents in American history. An American tyranny, dressed up with the ideological veneer of a Christianized fascism, will, it appears, define the empire’s epochal descent into irrelevance.


Vaccines including Covid-19

Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration and other injection site events. Ashley Bancsi, Sherilyn K.D. Houle and Kelly A. Grindrod Canadian Family Physician January 2019, 65 (1) 40-42;

Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) is a preventable occurrence caused by the injection of a vaccine into the shoulder capsule rather than the deltoid muscle. As a result, inflammation of the shoulder structures causes patients to experience pain, a decreased range of motion, and a decreased quality of life. Physicians can mitigate SIRVA and other injection site events by refreshing their knowledge of and adopting proper landmarking and injection technique. Awareness is crucial to identifying patients who are displaying signs of this injury so they can access treatment in a timely manner.

Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration is an under-reported, preventable series of events caused by incorrect technique or landmarking for intramuscular deltoid injections.1,2 Specifically, SIRVA occurs when an intramuscular deltoid injection is administered into the shoulder joint.1,2 This results in an inflammatory process that causes damage to the musculoskeletal structures including the bursae, tendons, and ligaments.2 The main symptoms include persistent shoulder pain and a limited range of motion.2 The keys to distinguishing SIRVA are that the symptoms typically begin within 48 hours of vaccine administration and that they do not improve with over-the-counter analgesic medications.2 Patients will often visit their physicians months later because they are not able to carry out daily tasks that were possible before the vaccination.2 These patients are often diagnosed with inflammatory injuries such as bursitis, rotator cuff tears, and adhesive capsulitis.1,2 During physical examination and on ultrasound scan, SIRVA will not appear to be any different from routine shoulder injuries. The only difference is that the shoulder symptoms will have started within days of a vaccination. Thus, shoulder injury related to vaccine administration is a term that describes improper landmarking of vaccinations that results in shoulder injuries such as adhesive capsulitis or bursitis. Treatment for SIRVA is the same as treatment for routine inflammatory injuries.1,2

While the prevalence of SIRVA in Canada is unknown, as it is under-reported,1 the global increase in case reports demonstrates that SIRVA is a developing topic. There is little information on the types of vaccines most likely to cause SIRVA, although case reports have been published on many different types of intramuscular vaccines. Primary care providers are well positioned to prevent injury through proper injection technique and by recognizing, diagnosing, and offering treatment to patients with SIRVA. We developed an infographic (Figure 1), also available at CFPlus,* to guide all health professionals in proper injection administration and the prevention of SIRVA. To develop the infographic and accompanying article, we performed a literature search using terms related to SIRVA (shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, incorrect vaccine administration, bursitis, and frozen shoulder), its causes (improper landmarking and incorrect deltoid injection), and other injection site events (radial nerve injury, axillary nerve injury, nodules, and cellulitis) in the PubMed, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases.


Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration. Wikipedia

Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) is "shoulder pain and limited range of motion occurring after the administration of a vaccine intended for intramuscular administration in the upper arm . . . thought to occur as a result of unintended injection of vaccine antigen or trauma from the needle into and around the underlying bursa of the shoulder".[1][2]

SIRVA has been described as under-reported and preventable, and "caused by incorrect technique or landmarking for intramuscular deltoid injections".[3] Because the injury is a result of the injection technique rather than the substance injected, SIRVA can occur irrespective of the vaccine being administered. Although the injury is typically associated with vaccination, it can also occur as the result of any other kind of injection into the shoulder area. However, examination of injury reports suggests that this type of injury is of increased severity when administration of a vaccine is involved, which "may be due either to the antigenic or nonantigenic components of the vaccine".[4] In order to avoid this type of injury, injection administrators are advised to avoid injecting the patient too high, too low, or too far to the side, and to avoid using needles that fail to penetrate deeply into the muscle, or that penetrate too deeply and contact the bone.[3]

SIRVA is not caused by any specific medicine that is in an injection. Instead, it is caused by improper insertion of the needle used in injections. It is "a preventable occurrence caused by the injection of a vaccine into the shoulder capsule rather than the deltoid muscle. As a result, inflammation of the shoulder structures causes patients to experience pain, a decreased range of motion, and a decreased quality of life."[5]

"Treatment for SIRVA is the same as treatment for routine inflammatory injuries."[5] People who suffer from SIRVA typically require physical therapy, pain management medications, and in some severe cases, surgery.

In the United States, SIRVA was added to the list of compensable injuries on the Vaccine Injury Table used by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in 2017.[6][7] This inclusion allowed persons claiming an injury to seek compensation from a government fund set up under the program, while immunizing vaccine manufacturers and administrators from legal liability. By 2020, SIRVA injuries amounted to 54% of filings for vaccine injury compensation. [8]

Dr. Roach: When COVID-19 vaccination causes long-lasting pain

Dear Dr. Roach: About two weeks ago, I received the vaccine for COVID-19. By the next day I had a great deal of pain in the shoulder area where the vaccine was administered. For about five days, I could barely lift my arm. It is still sore but the pain is subsiding, and I can now fully raise my arm. If the vaccine got into the bursa (as described in a recent column), would it still have been absorbed into my bloodstream so that I could get immunity?

— R.M.

Dear R.M.: Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration is a seldom-reported — but probably more prevalent than thought — adverse vaccine event. It happens when the vaccine is injected not into the muscle, as it should be, but into the bursa space below the muscle. This results when the injection site is too low or the needle is placed too deeply.

Vaccines are intended to cause a response by the body, but doing so in the bursa will cause weeks of poor shoulder function. It is treated with physical therapy and sometimes steroid injection.

Vaccines do not go into the bloodstream. Both the Moderna and the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are an mRNA vaccine. The mRNA is taken up by the muscle cells, and the muscle cells use the information in the mRNA to start making a COVID-19 protein. It’s not the whole virus, so it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The mRNA is then destroyed, but not before the muscle cells have made enough COVID-19 protein that the body has learned how to fight it off.

While it is possible that the cells around the bursa could express some COVID-19 protein, I recommend that a person who developed SIRVA after COVID-19 vaccination restart the two-dose vaccine series.

The fact that you are getting better after five days makes me think you do not have SIRVA. Five days is longer than most people have arm pain as a side effect, but it’s nothing like the six weeks of shoulder motion restriction seen with SIRVA.

Needle in the wrong spot can turn injection into a big pain

Symptoms from improperly administered vaccinations - known as SIRVA, for "shoulder injury related to vaccine administration" - include chronic pain, limited range of motion, nerve damage, frozen shoulder (the inability to move the shoulder) and rotator cuff tear.

Last December during a routine physical exam, I received a vaccination to protect against several strains of pneumonia. It hurt, more so than the usual injection. In the days that followed, the pain in my left shoulder worsened. Initially, I dismissed it as typical post-shot soreness. But it didn’t go away.

All these months later, it still hurts. My orthopedist says I have subacromial bursitis, which is chronic inflammation and excess fluid buildup in the bursa (a thin, lubricated sac that prevents friction between a bone and surrounding soft tissue) separating the acromion bone at the top of the shoulder from the rotator cuff.

I’m convinced this occurred because the nurse injected the vaccine too high on my arm. I had no symptoms before the shot, and pain has persisted since. The needle probably entered the top third of the deltoid muscle – which forms the rounded contours of the shoulder – and probably went into the bursa or the rotator cuff, instead of lower down, into the middle part of the muscle, missing the bursa and rotator cuff entirely. I say “probably” because I wasn’t watching. Like many, I avert my eyes at the sight of an approaching needle.

"The first time I had someone complain about shoulder pain following a vaccination was about five or six years ago, and I thought it was so unusual that I blew it off,” says G. Russell Huffman, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “Since then, I’ve seen more than a dozen patients who have suffered shoulder injuries after vaccinations. Almost universally, when I ask where the shot went, they point really high up on the arm."

These injection-caused injuries often make simple tasks – such as lifting your arm to change a light bulb or reaching behind you to put your arm through the sleeve of a jacket – painful, even impossible. Some victims cannot use their shoulder at all and must find ways to compensate using the other one.

Shoulder injuries become more likely as we age. The shoulder is one of the most complex and unstable joints in the body, making it especially vulnerable to wear and tear, and to injury. “Shoulder problems are incredibly common,” says Christopher Annunziata, head orthopedic physician for the Washington Redskins, whom I went to see after the pain did not go away. “They are right up there with the aging knee and aching lower back.”

In 2012, more than 9.6 million Americans sought help from their physicians for shoulder problems, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Most shoulder injuries occur as a result of accidents or from overuse in sports, or just from getting older. They can also happen during everyday activities.

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine issued a report on the adverse effects of vaccines, concluding, among other things, that vaccine administration can lead to shoulder problems and stating that it found “convincing evidence of a causal relationship between injection of vaccine . . . and deltoid bursitis, or frozen shoulder, characterized by shoulder pain and loss of motion.”

My inoculation took place in a physician’s office, administered by a nurse. I now believe she inadvertently went too high up because I was sitting in a chair – talking to someone else in the office – and she was standing.

After eight days of pain, I called the practice. One of the doctors suggested I take ibuprofen for a few days. I don’t like taking drugs unless unavoidable – and in this case I felt it would only be masking the pain – so I ignored the advice.

"A vaccine is an immunologically sensitive substance, and if you were to receive an injection too high – in the wrong place – you could get pain, swelling and reduced range of motion in that area"

Inactivated vaccines, which are made from killed virus, contain adjuvants, or additional chemicals, that help promote a robust immune response. Injections are given to adults in the middle of the deltoid, the meatiest part of the muscle, which provides lots of space to both maximize the immune response and minimize adverse reactions.

"A vaccine is an immunologically sensitive substance, and if you were to receive an injection too high – in the wrong place – you could get pain, swelling and reduced range of motion in that area,” says Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization safety office. When that happens, he adds, “an acute process can become chronic."

A 2010 study that examined 13 cases of post-vaccination shoulder injuries found nearly half of the patients reported that the vaccine was injected “too high” into the arm, suggesting “that in some of our cases, the injury may have been the result of improper injection technique,” the study said. Moreover, their shoulders began to hurt either immediately or within 24 hours, causing pain and limited range of motion. MRI scans showed, among other things, bursitis and rotator cuff tears in several of the patients.

A third of the patients needed surgery, some of them twice.

None had experienced symptoms before the shots, according to Sarah Atanasoff, the study’s author and a medical officer in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which is run by the federal government’s Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA. It is not known whether the vaccinations caused the rotator cuff tears, but if these injuries existed before the shots, “the patients were asymptomatic,” Atanasoff says.

"As soon I got the shot, it hurt so bad, I jumped,” says Debby Russo, 60, of Eagleville, Pa., who got a flu shot in 2011 at a pharmacy. An MRI showed excessive fluid buildup in the bursa. “By the time I got home, I couldn’t lift my arm out to the side."

lizabeth Cassayre, 81, a retired schoolteacher from Napa, Calif., developed frozen shoulder that plagued her for months after getting her flu shot at a grocery store about 10 years ago. “My shoulder started hurting the afternoon I got the shot,” she says, and after several days “it had gotten terribly painful and I couldn’t lift my arm. I remember thinking: Will I ever be able to roll out another pie crust for my grandchildren?"

Between 2011 and 2014, the compensation program received 136 claims alleging upper-extremity injuries, including SIRVA (along with others such as general arm pain and disfiguring lumps). As of May, the federal court that adjudicates such claims had awarded compensation for 102 of them, with payments totaling about $16 million.

In July, HRSA proposed adding SIRVA to the program’s list of covered injuries. While SIRVA has not been on the list until now, the court has awarded compensation for such injuries based on growing evidence of causation.

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), run jointly by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, has received about 1,200 complaints of post-vaccination shoulder-related injuries since 1990, according to the CDC. Shimabukuro stresses, however, that a report does not necessarily mean the vaccine caused the injury, only that it occurred sometime after a vaccination.

"Vaccines have a utility, and people should get them, but it’s important that people also realize there can be injuries,” says Paul Brazil, a Philadelphia attorney who represents about 150 clients with vaccine-related shoulder injuries. “Most are flu-shot cases because these shots are so common. Nobody believes people who say they’ve been hurt by flu shots, but it can happen."

There is no single way to treat shoulder injuries, regardless of how they occur. Treatments that work for some may not work for others.

Physical therapy after an injury can help keep the shoulder flexible and strengthens the muscles that control the shoulder blade. Cortisone injections suppress the immune response, thus relieving pain and inflammation. Bodor uses ultrasound imaging to target precise sites for cortisone injections, which cured Cassayre after several months of ineffective physical therapy.


Professor C. Glass, PhDc, MLIS, MA, MS, Prof. Emeritus