Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas… Happy New Year - a (partial) list of Obamacare taxes, fees

The Daily Caller:  Starting in 2014, President Barack Obama’s health care law will expand coverage to some 30 million uninsured people. At the same time, insurers no longer will be allowed to turn away those in poor health, and virtually every American will be required to have health insurance — through an employer or a government program or by buying it on their own.

For the vast majority of people, the health care law won’t mean sending more money to the Internal Revenue Service. But the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans will take the biggest hit, starting next year.

And roughly 20 million people eventually will benefit from tax credits that start in 2014 to help them pay insurance premiums.

A look at some of the major taxes and fees, estimated to total nearly $700 billion over 10 years.

— Upper-income households. Starting Jan. 1, individuals making more than $200,000 per year, and couples making more than $250,000 will face a 0.9 percent Medicare tax increase on wages above those threshold amounts. They’ll also face an additional 3.8 percent tax on investment income. Together these are the biggest tax increase in the health care law.

— Employer penalties. Starting in 2014, companies with 50 or more employees that do not offer coverage will face penalties if at least one of their employees receives government-subsidized coverage. The penalty is $2,000 per employee, but a company’s first 30 workers don’t count toward the total.

— Health care industries. Insurers, drug companies and medical device manufacturers face new fees and taxes. Companies that make medical equipment sold chiefly through doctors and hospitals, such as pacemakers, artificial hips and coronary stents, will pay a 2.3 percent excise tax on their sales, expected to total $1.7 billion in its first year, 2013. They’re trying to get it repealed.

The insurance industry faces an annual fee that starts at $8 billion in its first year, 2014.

Pharmaceutical companies that make or import brand-name drugs are already paying fees; they totaled $2.5 billion in 2011, their first year.

— People who don’t get health insurance. Nearly 6 million people who don’t get health insurance will face tax penalties starting in 2014. The fines are estimated to raise $6.9 billion in 2016. Average penalty in that year: about $1,200.

— Indoor tanning devotees. The 10 percent sales tax on indoor tanning sessions took effect in 2010. It’s expected to raise $1.5 billion over 10 years.

The 28 million people who visit tanning booths and beds each year — most of them are women under 30, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology — are already paying.

Tanning salons were singled out because of strong medical evidence that exposure to ultraviolet lights increases the risk of skin cancer.

Cross-Posted at AskMarion

Monday, December 24, 2012

How to keep your heart healthy (and your waistline trim) at holiday meals

The most common items eaten for American Christmas Dinner are:

Turkey + Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce
Green Beans (Most popular style is green bean casserole)
Mashed Potatoes (Sweet Potatoes or both were a close second!)
Gravy made from the turkey drippings/giblets
CORN! This is what sets US Christmas dinners from all others around the world
A variety of pies and rolls

There are ways to de-fat holiday meals and keep your arteries and your taste buds happy. (©

Holiday meals, with turkey or ham and all the fixings, can turn the dining room table into a high-fat smorgasbord. As tasty as they are, these feasts are enough to make your arteries groan.

The typical holiday meal is laden with fat: gravies made with meat drippings, mounds of creamy mashed potatoes, your favorite pies. American adults usually gain one to two pounds each year, including slightly less than one pound during the holidays alone.

How bad is pigging out at holiday meals? Over time, that gradual weight can raise your risk of serious health problems, such as diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease. Studies also show that fats -- especially those found in vegetable shortening, margarine and some oils -- can clog the arteries and contribute to heart disease.

Transforming high-calorie holiday fare

A traditional holiday dinner of turkey, stuffing, other dishes and desserts can exceed 2,500 calories and 130 grams of fat. That's just for one meal. This is more calories than you should consume in a whole day.

But, there are ways to de-fat holiday meals and keep your arteries and your taste buds happy. Here are some tips:

De-fat your gravy

Two tablespoons of regular gravy contain about 4 grams of fat and most people pour on more than that. Try pouring meat drippings into a container ahead of time and then refrigerating. The fat rises to the surface so you can peel it off.

Un-stuff the stuffing

One benefit of this is that the stuffing does not absorb all the fat from the bird. Also, the inside of the bird gets cooked more thoroughly, killing any salmonella that may be present. Also, try adding nuts and fruits instead of sausage or turkey giblets in your stuffing.

Nix the butter

Try adding a little brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to your sweet potatoes instead of butter. Bake them in a nonstick baking pan.

Remove the skin

A 3 1/2-ounce serving of roast turkey breast with skin has 197 calories and 8.3 grams of fat. Without skin, it has 157 calories and 3.2 grams of fat.

Make a single-crusted pie instead of a double-crusted one

Most of the fat in pies is found in the crust. Roll the crust a little thinner if you use a store-bought crust. Fruit pies are lower in fat than a pecan pie.

Bring out the fruits and vegetables

Focus on pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes or other orange vitamin-packed vegetables. Greens such as broccoli, spinach and collard greens all pack vitamin power too. Serve colorful raw veggies with low-fat dip as an appetizer.

Make smart substitutions

Use fat-free, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth to moisten dressing. Use olive oil in place of butter or margarine. Mash potatoes with nonfat sour cream and low-fat milk. Use fat-free non-dairy creamers or evaporated skim milk instead of cream when you bake.

Don't starve yourself until dinner

Have a healthy breakfast so you don't load up at the big meal. When you sit down to eat, try just a little bit of everything and go easy on second helpings and dessert.

The benefits of exercise

Take a walk after dinner, or exercise sometime during the day to offset meal calories. Several studies have shown that moderate exercise after a fatty meal helps prevent fat from affecting your arteries.

Take a 45-minute walk two hours after a high-fat meal, or three 10-minute walks over a three-hour period. But always check with your doctor before you increase your activity level, especially if you have medical problems or have been inactive.

So, enjoy your meal, but prepare it with less fat and walk it off afterwards. Your arteries and your waistline will thank you.

Original Posted - Cross Posted: ValleyNewLive


  • Nestel PJ, Shige H, Pomeroy S, Cehun M, Chin-Dusting J. Post-prandial remnant lipids impair arterial compliance. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2001;37:1929-1935. Accessed: 11/19/2008
  • Padilla J, Harris RA Fly AD, Rink LD, Wallace JP. The effect of acute exercise on endothelial function following a high-fat meal. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2006;98(3):256-262. Accessed: 11/19/2008

Merry Christmas to you All !!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Feds keeping people sick: The Vitamin D story

Exclusive: Dr. Lee Hieb explains how medical 'consensus' robs patients of their health


WND: No one said it better than Michael Crichton – who, in addition to being a best selling author, was also a physician.

During a lecture at Cal Tech, he said, “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right. … The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

The medical community has always been subject to “group-think,” but in recent decades we have become the leaders. Numerous physician-scientists have been ostracized, defrocked, de-licensed and in some cases driven to self-destruction by a medical community that has embraced consensus in science.

In essence, “We don’t care about your data; we all agree you are wrong.”

I once had a paper rejected from a major spine journal with a one line denouement: “Everyone knows you can’t do that.”

With time, ultimately, truth prevails, and renegade but correct physicians are vindicated – but not in time to save those patients who die from the mistaken consensus. Today, this “group-think” is depriving people from some of the best and cheapest medical treatment available – supplementation with adequate Vitamin D3.

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with childhood rickets – a bone disorder – for over a hundred years. And it has been known since the 1970s that those living on the equator, regardless of particular locale, have lower rates of multiple sclerosis, colon cancer and depression. But more recently, many astute observers have discovered that low Vitamin D leads to many other disorders, including cardiac arrhythmia, breast cancer, adult fractures, dementia, heart attack risk and even diabetes.

Most recently, studies have demonstrated that higher levels of Vitamin D improve longevity and are beneficial at preventing influenza – even better than vaccination. Studies showing beneficial effects of high vitamin D levels are quite convincing. They not only show a correlation between low Vitamin D blood levels and the problem, but show improvement in the disease or prevention of the condition when levels are raised up through supplementation.

As an example, it has been shown in the laboratory that heart muscle does not contract well unless adequate Vitamin D is present. An Italian population study showed that low Vitamin D was proportional to atherosclerotic plaques (clogging of the arteries). Furthermore, a Japanese study of dialysis patients demonstrated that correcting Vitamin D deficiency significantly lowered death from heart attacks and heart disease in general.

These are only a few of the rapidly expanding body of literature supporting the role of Vitamin D in multiple disease prevention. But to achieve the positive effects seen in many diseases, blood levels need to be in the range of 50 to 100 ng/dl, not the 20 ng/dl that laboratories report as the lowest range of “normal” (how labs determine “normal” is the subject of another column). Specifically in the case of breast cancer, if one achieves blood levels above 55 ng/dl, the risk of breast cancer is diminished 85 percent.

It is the observation of many, many practicing clinicians that 1) most patients test in the low 20s, and 2) 400 iu of Vitamin D a day – the government recommended daily allowance doesn’t raise the levels at all. Studies of equatorial inhabitants demonstrate that some of the longest-lived people on the planet obtain 30,000-40,000 iu of Vitamin D (specifically D3) a day from the sunlight – nature’s source of the vitamin. Given that, it is not suprising that supplementing 10,000 iu a day of Vitamin D3 has been shown to have no adverse effects.

As an Orthopaedic Surgeon, I deal with bone disorders daily, and have long been interested in this topic. I quit testing for Vitamin D levels in untreated people after every one of my patients tested in the low 20s. I only tested my husband because he was convinced that golfing in Arizona 18 holes, six days a week would raise his level. It did not – his level was 22 ng/dl.

As a final fact, D3 supplementation is cheap. For less than $12 a month you can easily take 10,000 iu of Vitamin D3 a day.

Now, given all this, what would you do?

I, for one take 10,000 units of Vitamin D3 a day. I have done so for over 7 years, and my levels of 55 ng/dl are barely in the optimal range of 50-100ng/dl. I recommend the same to all my patients. But I must warn them that the government, via the Institute of Medicine and the FDA, disagree and believe people should take only 600-800 iu a day.

Now it doesn’t take a medical degree to figure out that a cheap treatment that has such potential upside with so little (if any) downside is worth doing as real preventive medicine. But the government consensus – developed by intellectuals who feel they are infinitely smarter than we are, and should be able to make our choices for us – is that there is no evidence for the beneficial claims.

Really? If they emerge from their collective basement, they will find pages and pages of references. Don’t believe it? Do a simple Google search. Or just read the newspaper. Besides frequent articles in medical and general science journals supporting Vitamin D3 supplementation, there are monthly news stories about this rapidly advancing science.

Sadly, the government doesn’t just want to discourage you from taking extra Vitamin D, they want to prohibit it. Senator Dick Durban, D-Ill., in 2011 introduced a bill (innocuously labeled the “Supplement Labeling Act”) which would so over-regulate the supplement industry that they could no longer supply products such as Vitamin D3 at a cost affordable to the average consumer.

And state medical boards, which are now populated by many non-physicians, sanction physicians who step out of this approved “consensus” – what they call “standard of care.” According to them, if you are not doing what 90 percent of your colleagues are doing, you are by definition wrong. And they can punish you, even to the extent of taking away your license. So, regardless of progress in science, if 90 percent of doctors are recommending an inadequate dose of Vitamin D, your doctor must give you this wrong advice.

To be a scientific leader in this new world order is to be wrong. If the phone company had this philosophy, we would still be tied to land line rotary dials.

Science and medicine are not a vote. As Dr. Crichton pointed out, voting is for politicians. Science requires freedom to consider the alternatives, and in medicine, the freedom to make our own choices – not have government bureaucrats or the Institute of Medicine make them for us.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Lee Hieb is a new columnist with WND who debuted last week. Check out her archive, so you don’t miss her first, eye-opening column!



By: LM & AJ  -  cross-posted at Ask Marion - h/t to the NoisyRoom for photo

In light of the recent massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, we learn today that, “The Newtown school gunman’s mother was so angry at education chiefs for failing her son she thought ‘screw them’ and refused to stop dealing with them any more, a relative has claimed.  Nancy Lanza pleaded for better services for her disturbed son Adam but was apparently rebuffed so many times, she took it upon herself to home school him.”

One can imagine there isn’t a Special Education Director who isn’t wondering if they could do more to identify students with mental health disorders.  In fact, there are some who know they can do more – *and the law requires them to do it.  However, the administrative apparatus of the public school system is managed in a way that restricts access to the supports and services needed by children with mental illness or disabilities.

Too often, pressure from school Superintendents require Special Education Directors to reduce their budgets, thus leaving Directors no choice but to purposely deny eligibility, interventions, appropriate services and/or supports to children who need them.  In essence, school districts claim these children are fine or they’re “cured” because they really don’t need interventions or services despite clear warning signs that something’s very wrong.

Adam Lanza was no exception.  Educational professionals report they saw Adam Lanza’s problems as early as 9th grade.  At Newtown High School , he was often having episodes and the protocol used by the school was to call his mother, Nancy Lanza, and have her come in to diffuse each crisis.

The head of security for the school district at the time, Richard Novia, told AP reporter Adam Geller, “He would have an episode, and she’d have to return or come to the high school and deal with it”.

While Nancy Lanza suffered in silence and rarely spoke of the seriousness of Adam’s problems, the indicators of her son’s severe mental illness were there.  Nancy Lanza’s friends knew Adam had switched schools more than once and that Nancy tried home schooling him.

John Tambascio said, “I always said that I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes.  But I thought, “Wow.  She holds it well.””  Russell Hanoman said Adam was “clearly a troubled child.”  Ryan Kraft, who babysat Adam when he was younger, said, “His mom Nancy had always instructed me to keep an eye on him at all times, never turn my back or even go to the bathroom or anything like that.  Which I found odd but I really didn’t ask; it wasn’t any of my business.”

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes a legal mandate requiring school districts, under the “Child Find” provision, to seek out and find children who exhibit significant problems at school, to include developmental and functional problems; not just academic problems.  Most parents aren’t aware of this and the media and politicians won’t tell you about it, but all school districts know.

Under IDEA, anyone concerned about an individual can refer the student, confidentially, to the school district for assessment.

Usually, it is a teacher who refers a student for assessment. Unfortunately, due to the nationwide “budget constraint” mantra from the educational system, we are told that teachers are discouraged by their districts in the referral of students with suspected disorders and that "it’s a big waste of time as districts take no forward motion" according to one teacher who has asked to remain anonymous.

Did Lanza’s school district follow the Child Find law?  Did they refer him for a psycho-educational assessment and provide the interventions and services needed?  As we now know, they did not.

You may wonder, “Why at school?”  Children with mental illness or disabilities experience the majority of their difficulties within and because of school.  The random, unpredictable and social dynamics and demands of all school campuses generally intensify the manifestations of a child’s disorder.

Their inability to properly navigate the school environment is the first warning sign that, without proper interventions and supports, they will be unable to navigate in the real world when they reach adulthood.

Unfortunately for parents, their distraught and possibly violent child is often denied an assessment by the school district or, if given an assessment, they’re denied Special Education eligibility and/or appropriate supports and services, especially if the child is demonstrating “adequate academic progress”.  Parents are often pleading and begging for help from the school.

This is where school districts misinterpret the law.  Clearly, IDEA legislation requires that students who demonstrate issues of functional, social, and/or emotional development are to be assessed and the needed interventions, supports and services must be provided.

If Adam Lanza’s school district had followed the law, they would have requested Nancy Lanza’s consent to conduct a psycho-educational assessment in all areas of suspected disability, which includes mental health, in order to get to the bottom of his mental illness, thus enabling them to determine the interventions and services he needed (to include institutionalization if necessary).  In addition, he would have been closely monitored via an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Adam Lanza’s problems were no secret; his brother told reporters that Adam suffered from a “personality disorder” (the clinical term is usually “sociopath” or “psychopath”).  Adam Lanza’s mental illness was evident and Nancy Lanza’s problems with the school district have been reported.

Ask yourself… could things have been different if the school district had followed the law just a few short years ago?  Would it have revealed the severity of his mental illness? Would interventions have been provided that may have prevented the murder of 27 innocents?  We’ll never know the real answer to that question now.

But we do know his mother, Nancy Lanza, suffered in silence, was murdered by her son, and friends and educators knew something was seriously wrong with Adam Lanza.

Often, when a parent is struggling at home with a child who has a mental illness or disability, they are completely overwhelmed and very few can understand this unless they walk in the parent’s shoes.  More often than not, parents are not aware of the laws and provisions of IDEA and rarely do they have the energy or resources to fight the educational apparatus’ complex, bureaucratic and lengthy legal process.  Not all school districts create barriers such as what is described in this article, but the problem is that the vast majority do.

Like Nancy Lanza, many parents end up pulling their children out of school and implementing a home school program.   Consequently, removed from the social world, the child’s problems may appear to diminish somewhat… but those problems re-emerge when they are adults and attempt to re-enter mainstream society.

Did you know that twelve children commit suicide every day in the US ?  Everyday.  One must ask what educators knew and what they did or didn’t do while those children were in their care.

Adam Lanza became an evil killer and educators saw signs of trouble as early as the 9th grade.  One must ask what educators knew and what they did or didn’t do while he was in their care.

For parents of children with autism, it’s important to correct the media’s unsubstantiated reference to Asperger’s Syndrome with regard to Adam Lanza.  Although Adam Lanza’s brother said “somewhat autistic”, if reporters had done their due diligence, they would have learned that an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not a mental illness and it was not in any way related to what Adam Lanza did.

Autism Society: No Link Between Autism and Planned Violence

  • No evidence exists to link autism and premeditated violence. Suggesting otherwise is wrong and harmful to the more than 1.5 million individuals living with autism in the United States.1
  • Individuals with autism and those with other disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence than the perpetrators.2
  • Many of the individuals with Asperger’s syndrome who have committed crimes had co-existing psychiatric disorders.3
    1. Gunasekaran, S., & Chaplin, E. (2012). Autism spectrum disorders and offending. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 6, 308-313.
    2. Hughes, K., Bellis, M. A., Jones, L., Wood, S., Bates, G., Eckley, L., ... & Officer, A. (2012). Prevalence and risk of violence against adults with disabilities: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. The Lancet. 379, 1621-1629.
    3. Newman SS, Ghaziuddin M: Violent crime in Asperger syndrome: the role of psychiatric comorbidity. J Autism Dev Disord 39:1949-52, 2008.

The media has yet to discuss the real issue regarding Adam Lanza, the failure of the educational system, and what might have prevented the massacre of 27 innocent people in Newtown , CT.

Did his school district follow the law and provide the appropriate interventions, supports and services that he needed while he was young, which could have prevented him from becoming an evil killer that took so many innocent lives on December 14th?

President Obama said that he will put funding toward a solution.  Well, here it is Mr. President.  Clear evidence of what can be, and should have been, done.  These laws are already mandated; they’re on the books.  The job of the Executive Branch is to enforce the laws of the land that are enacted by Congress, so that’s what the American people have hired you to do.  Enforce the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).


*Excerpts of IDEA Legislation:

Child Find System - Sec. 303.321 - IDEA requires all states to have a "comprehensive Child Find system" to assure that all children who are in need of early intervention or special education services are located, identified, and referred.

Sec. 300.320 Definition of individualized education program.

(a) General. As used in this part, the term individualized education program or IEP means a written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a meeting in accordance with Sec. Sec. 300.320 through 300.324, and that must include--

(1) A statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including--

(i) How the child's disability affects the child's involvement and progress in the general education curriculum (i.e., the same curriculum as for nondisabled children); or

(ii) For preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child's participation in appropriate activities;

Case law has further clarified the specific parameters of functional, social, and emotional progress.  An example of this is Acalanes vs. Student in California .

About the authors:  We are parents of children with disabilities and have collectively advocated for the needs of children with disabilities for twenty years.  LM is currently a paralegal involved in litigation against the CA Department of Education.  This litigation, which was filed one year ago, alleges the State’s failure to appropriately monitor how individual school districts provide supports and services to children with special needs.  AJ is currently working as a special needs consultant and has served on various autism-related, non-profit boards.  AJ has been very involved in legislative change regarding how children with disabilities are provided services and spearheaded the creation of pilot classrooms for school districts to help them meet the educational needs of children with autism.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Obama’s Electronic Medical Records Scam

By Michelle Malkin • December 14, 2012 09:18 AM

by Michelle Malkin  -  Creators Syndicate

Here’s more evidence that government “cures” are inevitably worse than the “diseases” they seek to wipe out. Buried in the trillion-dollar stimulus law of 2009 was an electronic medical records “incentive” program. Like most of President Obama’s health care rules, this top-down electronic record-sharing scheme is a big fat bust.

Oversight is lax. Cronyism is rife. The job-killing and privacy-undermining consequences have only just begun.

The program was originally sold as a cost-saving measure. In theory, modernizing record-collection is a good idea, and many private health care providers have already made the change. But as with many government “incentive” programs, the EMR bribe is a tax-subsidized, one-size-fits-all mandate. This one pressures health care professionals and hospitals across the country into radically federalizing their patient data and opening up medical information to untold abuse. Penalties kick in for any provider that hasn’t switched over by 2014.

So, what’s it to you? Well, $4 billion has already gone out to 82,535 professionals and 1,474 hospitals, and a total of $6 billion will be doled out by 2016. But the feds’ reckless profligacy, neglect and favoritism have done more harm than good.

Don’t take my word for it. A recent report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General acknowledged that the incentive system is “vulnerable to paying incentives to professionals and hospitals that do not fully meet” the program’s quality assurance requirements. The federal health bureaucracy “has not implemented strong prepayment safeguards, and its ability to safeguard incentive payments postpayment is also limited,” the IG concluded.

Translation: No one is actually verifying whether the transition from paper to electronic is improving patient outcomes and health services. No one is actually guarding against GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). No one is checking whether recipients of the EMR incentives are receiving money redundantly (e.g., raking in payments when they’ve already converted to electronic records). No one is actually protecting private data from fraud, abuse or exploitation.

Little is being done to recoup ill-gotten payments. In any case, such “pay and chase” policing after the fact is a crummy way to run government in lean times — or in fat times, for that matter.

As for the claim that the EMR conversion will reduce paperwork, many doctors say the reality is just the opposite. In Greensboro, N.C., Dr. Richard Aronson told local TV station FOX 8 that the mandate doubled the amount of paperwork in his private practice. Everyone from optometrists to general practitioners to chiropractors to podiatrists must divert precious time and resources to conforming with Washington health bureaucrats’ imposed vision. Some medical professionals are now warning that the dangerous phenomenon of “distracted doctoring” is on the rise as a result of data-driven imperatives that direct health care providers’ attention away from their patients and onto their screens and hand-held devices.

You know who is benefiting from the initiative? Put on your shocked faces: Obama donors and cronies.

Billionaire Judith Faulkner, Obama’s medical information czar and a major Democratic contributor, just happens to be the founder and CEO of Epic Systems — a medical software company that stores nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population’s health data. Another billion-dollar patient-record database grant program has doled out money to the University of Chicago Medical Center (where first lady Michelle Obama and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett both served in high-paid positions). As I’ve previously reported, these administration grants circumvent any and all congressional deliberation as part of Team Obama’s election-year “We Can’t Wait” initiatives.

Even as the White House touted the move toward gee-whiz 21st-century electronic databases, health care professionals in the know have debunked that claim, too. Companies like Faulkner’s, which lobbied loudest for the mandates and “incentives,” represent traditional hard drive-dependent software firms that are already dated. As Athenahealth Chairman and CEO Jonathan Bush, who advocates cloud-computing alternatives, put it: The Obama electronic records mandate is “healthcare information technology’s version of cash-for-clunkers.”

Then there’s the still-growing and untold number of doctors nationwide who are closing up shop or limiting their practices and converting to “concierge care” to escape this and myriad other Obamacare intrusions. My own primary care physician in Colorado Springs quit her regular practice and converted to “concierge care” because of the EMR imposition. Creve Coeur, Mo., doctor Shari Cohen made the same move.

“The demands of caring for my patients while navigating through the current health care delivery systems dictated that I take more and more time away from patient care and spend an increasing part of my day on the system itself,” she told the Creve Couer Patch. “Electronic Medical Records was the final shove for me. It added another whole layer in interference in the doctor-patient relationship and one I was not sure I wanted to take on.”

More paperwork. More waste. Less accountability. Less care. Government malpractice at work.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ObamaCare fee of $63 per person to begin in 2014 (Just for pre-existing conditions) - Hang onto Your Hats Folks the ObamaCare Fees Are Just Beginning!

Monday, December 10, 2012 11:04:23 PM · by 2ndDivisionVet The Washington Times / The Associated Press ^ Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP

Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It’s a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Obama’s health care overhaul.

The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers.

Employee benefits lawyer Chantel Sheaks calls it a “sleeper issue” with significant financial consequences, particularly for large employers.

“Especially at a time when we are facing economic uncertainty, [companies will] be hit with a multimillion-dollar assessment without getting anything back for it,” said Mr. Sheaks, a principal at Buck Consultants, a Xerox subsidiary.

Based on figures provided in the regulation, employer and individual health plans covering an estimated 190 million Americans could owe the per-person fee.

The Obama administration says it is a temporary assessment levied for three years starting in 2014, designed to raise $25 billion. It starts at $63 and then declines.

Most of the money will go into a fund administered by the Health and Human Services Department. It will be used to cushion health insurance companies from the initial hard-to-predict costs of covering uninsured people with medical problems. Under the law, insurers will be forbidden from turning away the sick as of Jan. 1, 2014.

The program “is intended to help millions of Americans purchase affordable health insurance, reduce unreimbursed usage of hospital and other medical facilities by the uninsured and thereby lower medical expenses and premiums for all,” the Obama administration says in the regulation. An accompanying media fact sheet issued Nov. 30 referred to “contributions” without detailing the total cost and scope of the program.

Of the total pot, $5 billion will go directly to the U.S. Treasury, apparently to offset the cost of shoring up employer-sponsored coverage for early retirees.

The $25 billion fee is part of a bigger package of taxes and fees to finance Mr. Obama’s expansion of coverage to the uninsured. It all comes to about $700 billion over 10 years, and includes higher Medicare taxes effective this Jan. 1 on individuals making more than $200,000 per year or couples making more than $250,000. People above those threshold amounts also face an additional 3.8 percent tax on their investment income.

But the insurance fee had been overlooked as employers focused on other costs in the law, including fines for medium and large firms that don’t provide coverage.

“This kind of came out of the blue and was a surprisingly large amount,” said Gretchen Young, senior vice president for health policy at the ERISA Industry Committee, a group that represents large employers on benefits issues.

Word started getting out in the spring, said Ms. Young, but hard cost estimates surfaced only recently with the new regulation. It set the per-capita rate at $5.25 per month, which works out to $63 a year.

America’s Health Insurance Plans, the major industry trade group for health insurers, says the fund is an important program that will help stabilize the market and mitigate cost increases for consumers as the changes in the Obama law take effect.

But employers already offering coverage to their workers don’t see why they have to pay into the stabilization fund, which mainly helps the individual insurance market. The redistribution puts the biggest companies on the hook for tens of millions of dollars.

Elections have consequences and this is only one of many that are coming.  But, if you voted to re-elect Obama because you wanted ObamaCare or because you didn’t inform yourself before voting, you can only blame yourself.  The information was all out there and plenty of people were trying to warn what was coming.  This is only a small fee, wait until the real fees and surprises hit.

Monday, December 10, 2012


By Cliff Kincaid -  December 7, 2012  - Renew America – cross-posted at AskMarion and h/t to and Liana Smith

As more states embrace legalization of marijuana—a pet cause of George Soros for decades—the British publication The Independent has published a groundbreaking series of articles by journalist Patrick Cockburn on how his son went insane smoking the drug.

Cockburn and his son Henry, who was treated for psychosis and partially recovered, have written an article in which Patrick Cockburn is quoted as saying his son played Russian roulette with cannabis “and lost.”

Henry, who smoked marijuana daily for seven years and was in mental hospitals for about eight years as a result, says, “When I reached a mental hospital, called St Martin’s, I spent three hours walking around the lunch tables trying to listen to my shoes. I thought my shoes were talking to me.”

Patrick Cockburn spent months speaking to the experts in the field and reports on the substantial evidence linking sustained marijuana use with mental illness. One expert, Sir William Paton, professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, reveals “that even limited social use of cannabis could precipitate schizophrenia in people who previously had no psychological problems,” and noted that “smoking a single joint could induce schizophrenia-like symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoia and fragmented thought processes.”

“Three-quarters of consumers may take cannabis with no ill effect but the remaining quarter, the genetically vulnerable, play Russian roulette,” Cockburn says.

The added significance of the series of articles by Patrick Cockburn is that he is a left-wing media figure—the son of Marxist author Claud Cockburn—and might be predisposed to believe that marijuana is, as the liberal media constantly tell us, a relatively harmless drug or a substance with “medical” qualities. But he knows the harm it causes firsthand through what it did to his son.

AIM noted back in 2004, in a special report on George Soros, the main financier behind the drug legalization movement, that although marijuana is depicted by the media as a “soft” drug, it has “extremely negative consequences.” The book, Marijuana and Madness, cites studies and evidence from around the world, some of it going back 40 years, linking the use of marijuana to mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and psychosis.

In a previous article for the left-wing publication Counterpunch, Patrick Cockburn took issue with a report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy which played down the dangers associated with marijuana. “They fail to make clear that for people genetically susceptible to psychosis the risks involved in taking cannabis may be lethally high,” he noted. “Cigarettes and alcohol, whatever harm they cause, do not, at a young age, send you mad.”

The Global Commission on Drug Policy is funded by the Open Society Institute of George Soros.

In this country, the case of Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell stands out as a case study of the harmful effects of the drug. Bedell, who shot and wounded two guards at the Pentagon in March of 2010, was a psychotic pothead who hated a government that he believed was standing in the way of his desire to use, grow and glorify marijuana. He virtually worshipped the drug. “I’m a cannabis enthusiast,” he proclaimed.

John Podesta, head of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP), had suggested on ABC News that the taxing and legalization of marijuana on a national basis could be a way to pay for Obama’s health care plan.

“The pro-cannabis lobby says that the so-called ‘war on drugs’ has failed and legalization or regulation should be tried, though critics argue that no government would ever license a drug that sends at least two percent of its consumers insane,” Cockburn reports.

In the first of Cockburn’s articles, “Is this the ‘tobacco moment’ for cannabis?,” the veteran foreign correspondent suggests a connection between marijuana use and psychotic episodes that is comparable to the scientific recognition that tobacco smoking causes lung cancer and other illnesses.

In addition to the dangers of mental illness, Cockburn notes that a major study finds a drop in intelligence associated with heavy marijuana use.

Cockburn’s articles on the link between marijuana and mental illness become increasingly relevant as the public in the U.S. comes to grips with the fact that voters in the states of Washington and Colorado on November 6 passed ballot measures legalizing marijuana, in violation of federal law. Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette has introduced federal legalization that would amend the Controlled Substances Act to assert that federal law does not preempt state laws.

In response, a group called Save Our Society From Drugs, has said, “Many concerned citizens, community groups, law enforcement agencies and elected officials are concerned how these laws will impact their communities, states and the nation, and are urging the Obama Administration to take action by clearly communicating and enforcing federal drug policies.”

The group added, “Keeping marijuana illegal is a treaty obligation under the 1961 International Convention on Narcotic Drugs and is supported by the two other Conventions: the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Drugs and the 1988 Anti-Trafficking Convention. Allowing state marijuana laws to supersede federal drug laws violates our treaty obligations.”

It said, “Marijuana legalization will significantly impact our environment, school scores and drop-out rates, accident and vehicle fatality rates, employee productivity, and healthcare and treatment costs.”

But the Soros-funded Drug Policy Alliance is rallying behind the DeGette bill, saying it would “end federal marijuana prohibition and allow states to set their own marijuana policy without federal interference.”

Cliff Kincaid

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Made These Seniors' Brains an Average of 11 Years Younger in Only 40 Hours

Story at-a-glance
  • Research into brain plasticity has proven that your brain continues to make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity, which means that cognitive function can be improved, regardless of your age, and cognitive decline can be reversed
  • A key factor or ingredient necessary for improving brain function or reversing functional decline is the seriousness of purpose with which you engage in a task. In other words, the task must be important to you, or somehow meaningful or interesting
  • There are computer-based brain fitness programs designed to help improve cognitive function in six different areas in about 40 hours, and can be used by any age group
  • To optimize your brain fitness, the following lifestyle factors can help: daily physical exercise, focusing on your body movements and your environment, engaging in new learning throughout your life, staying socially active, and practicing “mindfulness”

How Innate ‘Plasticity’ of Your Brain Allows You to Improve Cognitive Performance and Prevent Age-Related Decline

Video: Dr. Mercola and Dr. Merzenich on Innate Brain Plasticity

Dr. Mercola:

It was once thought that any brain function lost was irretrievable. Today, research into what's referred to as "brain plasticity" has proven that this is not the case. On the contrary, your brain continues to make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity.

Aside from toxicity, our modern lifestyle plays a part in cognitive decline, as described by Dr. Michael Merzenich, professor emeritus at the University of California, who has pioneered research in brain plasticity for more than 30 years.

He founded Scientific Learning Corporation in Oakland, California, and Posit Science in San Francisco; both specialize in science research into brain training software.

Dr. Merzenich's career arose from an interest in philosophy, and a fascination with the nature and origin of the human persona and individuality, and how brain processes might account for the evolution of our individual abilities. He believed that in those who have learning disabilities or develop psychiatric illnesses, the natural progressions of these brain processes must have encountered errors.

Use It or Lose It — the Principles of Brain Plasticity

The inherent plasticity of the brain was discovered some 30 years ago, and not long thereafter, animal models demonstrated that brain deterioration and aging were in fact reversible, provided the appropriate brain engagement. Dr. Merzenich describes brain plasticity as follows:

"The basic concept is simple. The brain changes physically, functionally, and chemically, as you acquire any ability or skill. You know this instinctively. Something must be changing as your abilities improve, or as new abilities emerge. You are actually remodeling your brain machinery by 'practicing' the skill; those physical changes account for your learning.

Actually what the brain is doing is changing its local wiring, changing the details of how the machinery controlling your behavior is connected. It's also changing itself in other physical, chemical, and functional ways. Collectively, those changes account for the improvement or acquisition of any human ability.

You probably haven't realizd it, but as you acquire an ability – for example, the ability to read – you have actually created a system in the brain that does not exist, that's not in place, in the non-reader. It [the ability; the brain system that controls the ability] actually evolves in you as it has been acquired through experience or learning."

As Dr. Merzenich explains, your brain is designed and constructed to be stimulated and challenged, and to carefully examine, resolve and interpret your environment. During the early days of mankind's development, keeping track of the details of immediate human environments was imperative for survival.

Today, however, we tend to try to remove ourselves from the details of life. For example, instead of keeping track of appointments and to-do lists in our head, we use electronic gadgets with reminder features. Our streets are paved and lit, requiring virtually no attention to navigate from one location to another. And if you don't sufficiently challenge your brain with new, surprising information, it eventually begins to deteriorate.

"Generally, by the third or fourth decade in life, you're in decline," Dr. Merzenich says. "One of the things that happens across this period is that you go from a period of the acquisition of abilities to largely using abilities that have been acquired earlier in life. By that I mean to say, most of the fundamental skills that you apply in your profession or in your everyday life are things you have mastered at a young age, and you're now doing them in 'automatic pilot' mode.

To a large extent, you're operating most of your day without really being consciously engaged in the things you're doing. You're substantially disengaged: 'sleepwalking through life.'

This inattention to detail is substantially a product of modern culture. Modern culture is all about minimizing environmental challenges and surprises... about enabling brainless stereotypy in our basic actions so that our brains can be engaged at more abstract levels of operations. We're no longer interested in the details of things in our world. Because our brains are highly dependent in their functional operations in recording information in detail, they slowly deteriorate. Without that recorded detail, memory and brain speed are compromised."

Contributing Factors to Cognitive Decline, and How to Counteract it

With age, brain researchers have found that there's an increase in "chatter" in your brain. Dr. Merzenich explains:

"Your brain becomes less precise in how it's resolving information as you're operating and listening in language, as you're operating in vision, or as you're operating in controlling your actions. We actually record these 'noisier' processes within the brain as you age. In fact, we can correlate the growing 'chatter' quite directly with the slowing down of your processing.

You know, every older person is slower in their actions, slower in their decisions, and less fluent in their operations than when they're younger. They're slower because the brain basically is dealing with information that is represented in its machinery in a fuzzier, more degraded form."

What research into brain plasticity shows us is that by providing your brain with appropriate stimulation, you can counteract this degeneration. A key factor or ingredient necessary for improving brain function or reversing functional decline is the seriousness of purpose with which you engage in a task. In other words, the task must be important to you, or somehow meaningful or interesting — it must hold your attention. Rote memorization of nonsensical or unimportant items or even heavy work at non-challenging tasks will not stimulate your brain to create new connections or neurons.

Dr. Merzenich has been instrumental in the development of a kind of "brain gym" environment — a computer-based brain training program that can help you sharpen a range of skills, from reading and comprehension to improved memorization and more. The program is called Brain HQ.1

"There are some very useful exercises at that are free, and using them can give a person a better understanding of how exercising your brain can drive it in a rejuvenating direction. Using exercises at BrainHQ, most people, of any age, can drive sharp improvements in brain speed and accuracy, and thereby rewire the brain so that it again represents information in detail," he says.

"Basically, what you're doing is reducing the chatter -- the 'noisiness' -- of the processes in your brain. That impacts your capacity, for example, to record and remember that information. When the information the brain is shipping around in its machinery is in a degraded form, when it's fuzzy, when it's imprecise, all of the uses that it makes of it are also degraded. When you rejuvenate those elementary abilities, you significantly recover your 'higher' brain powers."

Who Can Benefit from a "Brain Gym"?

Everybody's brain is plastic, including yours, so no matter what your age or current level of brain function, your brain can improve to some degree or another. Dr. Merzenich and his colleagues have specialized in training children, primarily those with learning disabilities or impairments, using similar approaches. More than 4 million struggling kids have been trained so far. But seniors and adults of all ages are also using these programs at in increasing numbers. Individuals in all age groups have been found to reap significant rewards.

Children operating in the 10th to 20th percentile of academic performance are commonly able to improve their scores to the middle or average level with 20-30 hours of intensive computer-based training.

"That's a big difference for the child," he says. "It carries most children who are near the bottom of the class, on the average, to be somewhere in the middle or above average in the class. And that gives struggling children a chance to really succeed and in many cases excel in school."

Careful controlled studies in seniors have also been reported in scientific journals. After 40 hours of computer-based training, the average improvement in cognitive performance across the board was 14 years. On average, if you were 70 years old when you underwent the training after 40 hours of brain training, your cognitive abilities operated like that of a 56-year old. Equally strong or even greater effects were seen in 40 to 50 year olds using the program. Individuals who worked on the BrainHQ exercises at home did just as well as those who completed training in a clinic or research center.

How to Implement a Brain Training Program

So, how does such a training program work, and what's the optimal way to implement it in order to maximize the benefits?

"One of the great advantages that we have is that there's a very large body of scientific information that informs us about the optimum brain training approach," Dr. Merzenich says. "It comes from understanding, on a scientific level, the basis of what controls brain change. We know how the machine operates to control its own remodeling. We know that you have to be engaged attentively, and in a sense that the more attentively focused you are on the training tasks, the greater the positive benefits of training.

We know that rewards have to occur, or information or feedback about how you're doing have to occur, in a specific and timely way to drive the optimum changes in the brain. The way difficulties change in the task are also crucial for driving changes with highest proficiency.

One simple thing we do is to [continually] adjust the difficulty level of the task, so that every trainee is at a level in which they get most things correct but they're still capable of error. Because only when you're in this demanding situation, only when it matters to the brain, does the machinery turn on to change the brain. We actually regulate this, and as the person progresses session by session, day by day, they notch up their performance to higher and higher and higher and higher and higher levels."

Ideally, it would be wise to invest at least 20 minutes a day. But no more than five to seven minutes is to be spent on a specific task. When you spend longer amounts of time on a task, the benefits weaken. According to Dr. Merzenich, the primary benefits occur in the first five or six minutes of the task.

You can typically improve yourself to the highest practical or possible level in anywhere between five to a dozen brief sessions of seven or eight minutes each. Again, having a sense of purpose is crucial.

"When it matters to you, you are going to drive changes in your brain," he explains. "That's something always to keep in mind. If what you're doing seems senseless, meaningless, if it does not matter to you, then you're gaining less from it."

Dr. Merzenich developed a website, Brain, to help take advantage of the brain's ability to repair.The Brain HQ website has many different exercises designed to improve brain function and it also allows you to track and monitor your progress over time. While there are many similar sites on the web, Brain HQ is one of the oldest and most widely used, and its programs are supported by dozens of published science studies and the most complete confirmation of behavioral benefits and brain rejuvenation.

How Your Daily Lifestyle Can Improve Your Brain Function

Aside from engaging in a computer-based brain exercise program, Dr. Merzenich lists several things you can do on a daily basis, as part of your day-to-day lifestyle, to help maintain optimal brain fitness:

  • Get 15-30 minutes of physical exercise each day, and when exercising, think about using your brain to control your actions. That means, skip the iPod and instead take in the details of your environment.

    "Reconstruct the environment you're walking through in your mind. Basically, we are constructed to take in the details of our physical environments, and to interpret and reconstruct them. That's a critical form of exercise for us basically to refine our navigational skills and abilities in this sense – to basically look at the landmarks, to look at the details, to record them in detail," he says.

    Secondly, look for and take note of surprises in your environment. "If you walk across the landscape and are paying attention, you cannot take a walk for 15, 20, or 30 minutes without being surprised or delighted many times," he says. "And the brain loves surprises, because surprises mean that they must be engaged to interpret what they mean."

    Lastly, pay attention to your physical body. "You should feel yourself again. When's the last time you actually thought about the feelings of your body in motion?"

  • Spend about five minutes every day working on the refinement of a specific, small domain of your physical body. Dr. Merzenich explains:

    "That is to say, move in a very variable and controlled way – variable in speed, variable to reach a target, for example, with your big toe or your little finger or the small of your back or the motion of your jaw. Pick a specific refinement target to work on, every day. I do that in a systematic way, because I'm trying to maintain the fidelity of the neurological control movement. I know that I'm very much thinking about the feeling in my movements as I do that."

  • Find ways to engage yourself in new learning as a continuous aspect of your life, such as taking on new hobbies or learning new skills.
  • Stay socially engaged.
  • Practice "mindfulness," in which you're attentively focusing on the world around you again, as if you're seeing it for the first time.

    "Look at the wonder in the flower. Look with curiosity again at the movements of the lizard. Engage in the details of the world and in life. Associate what you hear with what you feel on your skin," he suggests. "It's incredibly important that you engage the brain and all of its details of how it's drinking in information, because this again relates to the fidelity with which it will represent it for all of its operations."

Nutrition and Brain Health

Another factor that cannot be overlooked is your diet. Foods have an immense impact on your brain, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan will best support your mental and physical health. Just like exercise, avoiding sugar (particularly fructose) and grains will help normalize your insulin levels.

This is an important aspect, as sugar causes chronic inflammation that disrupts your body's normal immune function and can wreak havoc on your brain. But sugar also suppresses BDNF, which is important for proper memory function, and appears to play a significant role in depression as well. At least we know that BDNF levels tend to be critically low in people with depression, and some animal models have suggested low BDNF levels may actually be causative.

The medical literature is also showing that coconut oil can be of particular benefit for brain health, and anecdotal evidence suggests it could be very beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Ketone bodies have been found to feed your brain and prevent brain atrophy. It may even restore and renew neuron and nerve function in your brain after damage has set in. Ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat (as opposed to glucose) into energy, and a primary source of ketone bodies are the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconut oil. Other dietary recommendations to preserve and improve your brain health include the following:

  1. Optimize your vitamin D levels through safe sun exposure, a safe tanning bed and/or vitamin D3 supplements.
  2. Take a high-quality animal-based omega-3 fat. I recommend consuming high quality krill oil to meet the optimal amount of omega-3 fats needed to achieve good health and fight cognitive decline.
  3. Avoid processed foods and sugars, especially fructose – Excessive sugar and grain consumption are the driving factors behind insulin resistance, and the strategies that protect your brain are very similar to those for avoiding diabetes. There is simply no question that insulin resistance is one of the most pervasive influences on brain damage, as it contributes massively to inflammation, which will prematurely degenerate your brain.

    Ideally, you'll want to restrict your total fructose consumption to below 25 grams a day. This includes refraining from eating too many fruits, if you normally eat a lot of them. If you consume more than 25 grams a day of fructose you can damage your cells by creating insulin and leptin resistance and raising your uric acid levels.

  4. Avoid grains – Even whole, organic grains will convert to sugar in your body and spike your insulin levels.
  5. Avoid artificial sweetenersAspartame, for example, is an excitotoxin that can literally destroy your brain cells. There are many studies showing the dangers of aspartame. For example, one study published in 2000 found that aspartame shortens the memory response, impairs memory retention and damages hypothalamic neurons in mice.
  6. Avoid soy – Unfermented soy products are another common food that should be avoided if you want to maintain healthy brain function.

    One well-designed epidemiological study linked tofu consumption with exaggerated brain aging. Men who ate tofu at least twice weekly had more cognitive impairment, compared with those who rarely or never ate the soybean curd, and their cognitive test results were about equivalent to what they would have been if they were five years older than their current age. What's more, higher midlife tofu consumption was also associated with low brain weight. Shrinkage does occur naturally with age, but for the men who had consumed more tofu showed an exaggeration of the usual patterns you typically see in aging.

    Dr. Kaayla Daniel has written an excellent book, The Whole Soy Story, which covers the health dangers of soy in great depth and I highly recommend it to anyone still under the illusion that soy is a health food.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Court Rules Feds Can Vaccinate Kids Without Consent Under Public Health Emergency

By Heather Callaghan  -  Activist Post  -  December 8, 2012 – h/t to Jean stoner

New Yorker Jennifer Parker was alarmed when she found out that a public health nurse vaccinated her 5-year-old daughter, Madison, against her wishes.

This was during a flu outbreak in late 2009. Jennifer fought the action, citing negligence and battery and sued both the school district and health department in St. Lawrence County Supreme Court.

The school district was let off the hook.

Matters seemed resolved as that court ruled in her favor saying that the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP) couldn’t extend to just any situation where government workers could administer drugs without consent. But that ruling was short lived.

The health department appealed and it was the Third Judicial Appellate Court that overturned the previous ruling, deciding on November 21st this year, that PREP trumps, or rather, preempts state laws regarding that matter.

Did you know that we are apparently in an unending state of public health emergency?

The emergency in the situation above? H1N1 flu…

Madison Parker was given a Peramivir inoculation for H1N1 flu virus.

But this ruling was based on an assumed intention of Congress and the assumption of public health emergency:

we conclude that Congress intended to preempt all state law tort claims arising from the administration of covered countermeasures by a qualified person pursuant to a declaration by the Secretary [of Health and Human Services].

So because of this ruling, at least in New York, PREP’s arbitrary mandates override state laws that allow exemption from seasonal flu vaccines. Health workers can vaccinate children without their parents’ permission or knowledge because they deemed it a public health emergency and that it was Congressional intention.

According to Courthouse News, Justice Karen Peters wrote a statement for the five-judge panel:

We must presume that Congress fully understood that errors in administering a vaccination program may have physical as well as emotional consequences, and determined that such potential tort liability must give way to the need to promptly and efficiently respond to a pandemic or other public health emergency…

So, mistakes happen…but it’s best for the public good.

The Justices were “unpersuaded” by Parker’s argument that immunity under these circumstances didn’t mean any deemed qualified person could administer drugs against her will.

And we wouldn’t want to let a good government contract go to waste. Peters also wrote:

The immunity provisions of the PREP Act are triggered where, as here, the vaccines are purchased pursuant to a federal contract or agreement.

Peters said that because there are “exclusive federal remedies” (the Federal Government’s just cause under PREP), that reason further supports preemption.

Therefore, the decision concluded “the complaint must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”

And what have we here? Another compensation program! That should make everything all better, right?

Courthouse News wrote:

PREP also created the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, which handles claims by individuals who suffer adverse reactions to devices, medications or therapies that have been recommended for use in public health emergencies, the decision notes.

Peters further noted that separate federal causes of action exist for wrongful death or serious physical injury resulting from misconduct by licensed health professionals.

So, not only is PREP admitting and setting up funds for very possible injuries upon administering vaccinations, but they themselves are immunized from liability in civil liberties violations – administering drugs against a person’s will. Great swerve guys – same MO every time.

Brian Shilhavy over at Health Impact News made some great points about the case:

1. Was the H1N1 flu virus any more dangerous than previous seasons’ flu strains? (See: H1N1 Swine Flu Even Milder than Seasonal Strains)
2. Did the H1N1 vaccine conclusively offer protection from the H1N1 flu virus? ( See: New Study Exposes the “60% Effective” Flu Shot as 98.5% Useless)
3. Does the flu vaccine present risks, especially for young children? (See: Confirmed! Flu Vaccine INCREASES Risk of Serious Pandemic Flu Illness; & 4,250% Increase in Fetal Deaths Reported to VAERS After Flu Shot Given to Pregnant Women)

Points like these, civil liberties, and state exemptions for religious, philosophical, and medical reasons exist but are not often upheld.

Especially when the Federal Government can arbitrarily declare “state of emergency” and trump state rulings.

It also seems like for anyone in this type of situation it might be better to sue only individuals involved, not governmental departments – what do you think?


For The Record: Rockefeller Soft Kill Depopulation Plans Exposed


Myth Busted: Vaccinations Are Not Immunizations

Study: Unvaccinated children less prone to allergies and disease than vaccinated children

Drug Companies Shift Emphasis to Vaccines

U.S. government panel now pushing “vaccinations for all!” No exceptions…

What they won’t admit about measles outbreaks: Most children who catch measles were already vaccinated

Door to Door Vaccinations: Training the Public for Forced Innoculations

Italian Court Says MMR Vaccine Causes Autism!

First Daughters Not Vaccinated Against H1N1

Bill Gates Confirms Population Reduction Through Vaccination on CNN

Katie Couric Reports on Serious Vaccine Safety Issues – Finally!!

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Tells Truth About Government Coverup of Vaccine Dangers

"The" Dr. Oz Bait for Vaccine: Why Did He Do It?? Oz Kids and Wife Not Getting H1N1

Flu Vaccine Exposed...

Even Dog and Cat Vaccines are Not Harmless Preventive Medicine

Thursday, December 6, 2012

American Nurses Association Should Not Support Assisted Suicide

The National Association of Pro-life Nurses (NAPN) has responded to ANA’s call for public comments on their proposed document “Active Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.”

As an organization dedicated to the preservation of ethical standards in the nursing profession, NAPN finds the document an unnecessary change from the current position. While the document makes several good statements regarding respect for the patient, any accommodation to the legalization of assisted suicide/euthanasia has no place in the medical profession. Nurses are healers, not killers, and legalization of the practice will not make it ethical.

The document cites as one resource for their study the pro-euthanasia organization, Compassion in Choices. The use of organizations as resources which have as their primary focus the legalization of these practices does not lend to the credibility of the document. There are other sources for the same statistics that could have been cited.

NAPN notes that the current statement of the ANA position on assisted suicide and euthanasia does not require any revision. Sadly, even that document, which declined to endorse assisted suicide/euthanasia, was not sufficient for the ANA to come to the protection of the life of Terri Schiavo who was not in the process of dying as food and hydration were withdrawn from her in order to assure her death. In their official statement, the ANA sided with the controversial determination that Ms. Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state and as such, the proper decision was reached in the withdrawing of nutrition and hydration based on some unsubstantiated statements she supposedly made regarding the care she would have wanted under such circumstances. The stated position of the ANA does not translate into life-affirming actions on the part of the ANA. The absence of activity to protect the life of patients speaks volumes and it would be naïve to think that the new document would produce any different action on the part of the ANA.

The main objection of NAPN to the document is the lack of any real protection for the conscience rights of nurses. As an organization which has been involved in the defense of exercise of these rights, it is distressing to us that the professional organization which purports to represent nurses has been absent in the defense of these nurses in spite of any platitudes to the contrary. Yes, limits outlined in the document do exist, but it seems unlikely that the ANA will come to the defense of the nurse who declines to participate when it has not done so in the practice of abortion. More than once at the state level where conscience protections were being considered for legislation, the state affiliate of the ANA has testified, not on behalf of the nurses, but on behalf of those who would force them to violate their conscience. Where are the protections for those in the medical profession who would object to participating in the omission of care for Terri Schiavo? The ANA remained silent when President Obama rescinded the conscience protections which were put in place in the waning months of the Bush administration. Such actions lead one to question just who the ANA actually represents.

Lastly, it should be noted that the ANA position of support for the highly politicized Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act further clouds the stated position of the ANA. Support for an act which promotes wholesale practice of abortion and provides for a Patient Advisory Board which would limit treatment is counter to the stated position of the ANA. The ANA cannot have it both ways. You cannot make high minded statements to the public and then act in a manner contradictory to these statements and retain your credibility.

We pro-life nurses feel abandoned with regard to the protection of our conscience rights in the workplace. In spite of the position statement of ANA supporting a nurse’s right to be exempt from participating in procedures which transgress her moral principles, they have been absent in the defense of nurses such as Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo in New York in her dispute with Mt. Sinai Hospital for forcing her to choose between her conscience and her job. They were in absentia in the defense of the twelve nurses in New Jersey who were told they must participate in abortion or lose their jobs. In spite of platitudes in their statement, it has not translated into action. Nurses deserve better representation.

LifeNews Note: Marianne Linane is the Executive Director of the National Association of Pro-life Nurses. She holds a Masters Degree in Bioethics from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

World Aids Day is on Saturday, December 1, 2012

Today, people around the globe will come together to recognize World AIDS Day.

14 HIV/AIDS beliefs: Which ones are true?

© US News // © US NewsAs if waging war against an incurable virus that plagues 33 million people globally weren't enough, researchers, doctors, and public health officials continue to battle yet another elusive problem as World Aids Day approaches Saturday: misinformation.

"It really does obstruct the fight," says Rowena Johnston, vice president and director of research at amfAR, a nonprofit that funds HIV/AIDS research. Broaching topics like sex and drug use­­ -- the major vehicles for transmission -- is "taboo" for many, she says, "so a challenge certainly is getting people to talk openly and honestly about what HIV is and isn't." And part of a candid conversation should be devoted to debunking the myths many have come to believe, including the following:

1. If I had HIV, I would know

Not the case, says Kimberley Hagen, assistant director for the Center for AIDS Research at Emory University in Atlanta. About 1.1 million people in the United States are HIV-positive, and as many as 1 in 5 don't know it, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of them feel perfectly healthy. And those who have symptoms may confuse them with run-of-the-mill flu. Denial also plays a role, say experts. "There is a universal tendency with HIV," says Hagen, to try to say, " 'This is something that will affect someone else and not me.' And so you say that you can't get it doing the things that you do -- you can only get it doing the things that other people do. That may be the biggest myth."

2. HIV and AIDS are the same

False: HIV is the virus that leads to AIDS. You could have HIV for years without having AIDS.

3. I don't have to worry because I'm not in a high-risk group

While prostitutes, men who have sex with men, and needle sharers are considered at high risk by the CDC, the virus is an equal-opportunity bug. "Many people don't perceive themselves to be at risk and so don't understand why testing is important," says Joel Gallant, associate director of the AIDS Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. One example: Heterosexuals account for a third of new HIV transmissions each year, the CDC reports, and a woman might not know her male partner has slept with men in the past or has shared needles with an infected user. Monogamous relationships don't guarantee absolute safety unless you've both been tested and are HIV-negative. In rare instances, women who have sex with women can pass on the virus. And the number of people 50 and older living with HIV/AIDS is on the rise, partly due to newly diagnosed infections, says Paul Weidle, an epidemiologist with the CDC. There are no hallmark characteristics to watch out for, no physical attribute that will "set off an alarm in your head saying 'this person has HIV,' " says Hagen.

4. We're both HIV-positive

We don't need to practice safe sex. Wrong, says Weidle. Superinfection -- where someone gets infected with a different strain of the virus -- is possible. This new strain could be drug-resistant and even stimulate the transition to full-blown AIDS. Not to mention that shunning condoms leaves the body open to other sexually transmitted diseases that an already weakened immune system can't fight off. Birth control also doesn't protect against HIV.

5. HIV transmission by someone on antiretroviral drugs is impossible

While the drugs can lower the amount of virus -- the "viral load" -- in the blood to an undetectable level, it could still register in semen or vaginal fluid and be passed on, says Gallant. Doctors usually test viral load every three to six months, and while chances are "pretty slim" that an undetectable level would suddenly rise, says Gallant, it is possible.

6. I'm sure my doctor has tested me and would have told me if the results were positive

Healthcare professionals will not test you without first talking about it, says Hagen. The CDC recommends at least one test for everyone between the ages of 13 and 64, and those considered high risk should be tested multiple times. Ask your primary-care physician or find a testing center by Zip code here.

7. I won't get HIV through oral sex

Transmission is less common than through anal or vaginal sex, but it is still possible whether performing or receiving oral sex, says Weidle.

. I can get HIV through casual contact or kissing

This belief has persisted from the dawn of the epidemic in the early 1980s. HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. You cannot get HIV by shaking hands or hugging, nor can you get it from a toilet seat, drinking fountain, or drinking glasses, says Weidle. HIV does not travel through air or food and cannot live long outside the body. Closed-mouth kissing is also safe, but Weidle notes there have been "extremely rare cases of HIV being transmitted via deep French kissing." In these cases, bleeding gums or sores in the mouth were the conduits.

9. I'm HIV-positive but feel fine

I don't need antiretroviral drugs. "That's very old-fashioned thinking," says Gallant. "Nowadays there's really pretty good evidence that everybody with HIV, or just about everybody, would benefit from treatment in some way." And the point of treatment is to prevent an infected person from getting sick.

10. HIV-positive mothers pass the virus on to their babies

While the CDC estimates that mothers who aren't on antiretroviral treatment have a 25 percent chance of passing the infection on to a newborn, faithful drug therapy during the pregnancy can drop that to 2 percent or less. Women with HIV and AIDS can still have children.

11. I can't get HIV through tattoos or body piercing

If a tattoo parlor or piercing place doesn't sterilize its equipment properly, the virus could inadvertently be transmitted. Tools that cut the skin should be used only once and then either thrown away or sterilized, the CDC recommends, and a new needle should be used on each client. Before getting a tattoo or piercing, ask what steps the shop takes to prevent HIV and other infections, such as hepatitis B or C.

12. I'm too young to get HIV

Au contraire, young adults ages 13 to 24 account for more than a quarter of all new HIV infections, according to a CDC report published this month. About 60 percent of those infected either don't know it or aren't being treated, which means they may be transmitting the virus to others.

13. HIV isn't that serious anymore

Many people think that since it doesn't flash across the front pages as much it's no longer a big deal, says Hagen. "It absolutely is. It's still here, it's still serious, and we don't have a cure for it."

14. Eliminating AIDS is a futile mission

Yes, the outlook sometimes appears grim. But a recent report from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) shows a promising development: New HIV infections have dropped 50 percent across 25 countries, and worldwide, AIDS-related deaths fell by more than 25 percent between 2005 and 2011.

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