Monday, October 6, 2014

Sunshine Act

Did you know that part of the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) is a provision called the Sunshine Act?  This requires manufacturers of drugs and medical devices to disclose how much they're paying doctors  and teaching hospitals every year.

During the last five months of 2013 payments to physicians and teaching hospitals was $3.5 Billion.  Now how many people think those costs aren't being passed down to patients and raising the cost of health care?

Allan Coukell, director of the Pew Prescriptions Project, said recently that "The financial relationships between doctors and drug companies and medical-device companies are a source of conflicts of interest."  Duh.  What isn't surprising is how the lobbyists for those companies have managed to keep everything hidden from the public for so long thanks to their friends in government.

Finally we can look forward to exposing all of the games in medicine.  And maybe even getting costs down to a reasonable level in the United States like the rest of the world.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Got To Keep Trying

You know the Food & Drug Administration is really under the control of Big Pharma when it approves an addictive new drug against the advice of its own medical board.  Last October when Zohydro was approved the response from public health advocates, police and politicians began loudly questioning the function of the FDA.  Today a dozen groups have asked the Obama administration to replace FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who has led the group since 2009.

What could be better for Big Pharma than a powerful, addictive new pain killer?  Who cares if the FDA's own medical advisory panel recommended against it?

Unfortunately her job is probably secure.  She's served longer than any other commissioner since the 1990's and is popular with the most important support groups: the pharmaceutical industry, medical groups and committee leaders on Capital Hill.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Surprise, Surprise

Have you ever gone to a hospital or had a procedure done and when you get home and open the bills that you thought were all covered by your insurance ... only to get a big surprise?  The term is "balance billing" and it's when folks outside of your insurance network are involved in your health care.  Even though your hospital may be in-network, the doctors, labs and others may not be and you'll be billed at their normal rates.

I've experienced this problem myself when the anesthesiologist turned out not to be in my network, even though I'd called to check ahead of time for an elective procedure.  Even my insurance company admitted there's no way to be sure even when you try to be careful. 

At 23 Texas hospitals that contract with the state's three largest PPO plans there are NO emergency room doctors who are in those plans' networks.  Talk about being at the mercy of the medical system!

Texas is one of the states trying to eliminate this Catch-22 of medical billing but the medical industry is fighting it as always.  Doctors and others seem to feel they have a God-given right to earn more money every year regardless of the economy or what's going on with other industries.  They think they really can walk on water.

The BIG question is how much medical spending is going to destroy the American economy?  It's already nearly 18% of our GDP and many doctors expected health care to be nationalized when it reached 5% (which was a long, long time ago).  What are we going to do and when?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Real Medical News

Today I saw some real news that will never see the light of the media day.  The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney researched the differences between acetaminophen (Tylenol and such) versus placebo for low-back pain.  Turns out there isn't any difference in the results for recovery time, pain, disability, function, sleep changes or anything else.  In other words the drug doesn't really do anything we can't do for ourselves.

Thank you Nicholas Bakalar at the New York Times for this reality check!

Friday, June 20, 2014


Last Friday, June 13th (yes, full moon and everything) I was a guest on the radio and Internet show "The Earth Needs Rebels" with Kevin Bull.  This week they're going to play the show again!  If you'd like to listen just click on LISTEN.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Last Chance to Win

Today is your last chance to enter the Free Book Friday contest to win a free (and autographed) copy of my award-winning book, How To UnBreak Your Health.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Win A Free Copy of UnBreak Your Health

Thanks to my hard-working publisher we're going to give away FREE copies of my award-winning book How To UnBreak Your Health to 5 folks on Friday May 16th.  All of this is due to the website Free Book Fridays (guess what they do).  If you want to check them out, and hopefully register to win my book, then go to FREE BOOK.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Radio Interview This Week

Everyone interested in hearing me on the radio again can tune in to The Earth Needs Rebels show on Thursday, April 24th, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. (6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. GMT) on Orion Talk Radio, fromTonawanda, New York at 1650am and global on the internet with additional feeds like Tunein Radio and Blog Talk Radio

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New York Times Article

There is a great article in the New York Times today about the costs of medical care in America.  I highly recommend it for anyone concerned about what we pay to doctors.
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