Category Archives: government

Pediatricians Say Florida Hurt Sick Kids To Help Big GOP Donors

CNN has done a great investigative job on this.  Here it is in short:

Now we find out Florida is a state that puts politics and money ahead of proper care for suffering, disabled children, according to this excellent investigative report. It’s because of extremely disproportionate donations to the Florida state GOP coffers by the medical insurance companies, as compared to their donations into other states’ GOP coffers.

A professionally-designed, approved questionnaire was used as a screening tool inappropriately to “filter out” children from the special Medicaid program which catered to those children.

Despite protestations from pediatricians,

“In the spring and summer of 2015, the state switched more than 13,000 children out of a highly respected program called Children’s Medical Services, or CMS, a part of Florida Medicaid. Children on this plan have serious health problems including birth defects, heart disease, diabetes and blindness.”

“Nearly half of all children in Florida, are on Medicaid, which has several types of insurance plans. The state switched more than 13,000 children into new plans, many of which did not have the same participating providers that treated these special kids.”

And so, too many of these kids did not get the special medical and surgical treatment they required, due to doctors in the new plans not having the needed additional education and/or experience or were not listed as providers.

“But some Florida pediatricians worry about children with special health care needs who, two years later, are still off the program.  The doctors aren’t just worried; they’re angry.”
  • The data analysis the state used to justify switching the children is “inaccurate” and “bizarre,” according to the researcher who wrote the software used in that analysis.
  • The screening tool the state used to select which children would be kicked off the program has been called “completely invalid” and “a perversion of science” by top experts in children with special health care needs.
  • In fall 2015, a state administrative law judge ruled that the Department of Health should stop using the screening tool because it was unlawful. However, even after the judge issued his decision, the department didn’t automatically re-enroll the children or even reach out to the families directly to let them know that re-enrollment was a possibility.

“These are the sickest and most vulnerable kids, and (changing their insurance) can mean life or death for them,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. “This is really very troubling.”

Six pediatricians from across Florida gathered to tell CNN their concerns about children losing CMS coverage. They accuse the state of hurting sick kids to help big GOP donors.

Dr. Rishi Agrawal, an associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, agreed, adding that Florida should have more carefully considered how the insurance switch would affect the children’s health care.  “The process in Florida was particularly abrupt and poorly executed,” he said.
“It was a scam job,” added Dr. Nancy Wright, a pediatric endocrinologist in Tallahassee who said that dozens of her patients with diabetes were removed from the program.”
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[ Photos from http://www.cnn.com ]
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Florida Medical Marijuana Update

SOUTH FLORIDA WILL HAVE LOTS OF CERTIFIED DOCTORS WHO WILL BE ABLE TO PRESCRIBE MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Taken from Sun-Sentinel:

Hundreds of doctors in Florida are now certified since June 16th, who are able to  recommend medical marijuana for patients, and one of the biggest concentrations is in South Florida.

The state is moving forward to implement a constitutional amendment approved by voters; however, patients in some parts of the state have no access and insurance does not cover marijuana, so poorer patients could be priced out of the market.

  • State lawmakers eliminated the original 90 day waiting period to get medical marijuana;
  • There are now 957 doctors in Florida qualified to recommend medical marijuana, with 357 of them in South Florida;
  • Monroe county has the most certified doctors, with one for every 8,208 residents in the county;
  • Of Florida’s 30 largest cities, Boca Raton has the state’s highest per capita number of certified doctors;
  • Doctors “recommend” marijuana rather than “prescribe” it, because it is a federally-controlled substance.

HOW CAN I GET IT?

Patients must have a qualifying ailment.  Those include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class,” per the amendment’s language.

To find a local doctor, go to http://SunSentinel.com/marijuanadoctors

You can also go to Floridahealth.gov, or call the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use at 850-245-4657.

Patients can receive a 70-day supply at a time.  When that is exhausted, they must get another recommendation, which can be phoned in.  After 30 weeks, patients must once again see their doctor in person.

A typical in-person visit costs about $250.  Patients must also pay a $75 fee for their medical marijuana card; then, there’s the cost of the marijuana which ranges from about $100 to $200 for a 70-day supply.

At his Boca Raton clinic, one doctor treats about 50 patients.  He has used the law’s “other debilitating medical conditions” provission to prescribe (recommend) marijuana for auto-immune diseases similar to Crohn’s, severe arthritis and chronic pain from nervous system damage.

A photo ID is required on the card in order to be placed on the state registry, and there has been a steady increase in the volume of applications since Amendment 2 went into effect.

There are now 12 growers and there will be 5 more added in October.  They agree they have enough capacity to supply patient demand.

 

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We Need To Get On A Better Footing

At the end of the year, there are many more religions celebrating holidays than just  Christians.  trump is following his alt-right supporters in trying to eliminate all religions, other than Christians, in our country, by pushing the idea to retailers, etc., that, instead of displaying signs that say, “Happy Holidays,” they should announce, “Merry Christmas.” This will never happen. The only thing that IS happening, is that the white supremacists are coming out of the woodwork and doing their best to push their policies into government laws.

trump needs to step down – of course he isn’t going to do that. The only other alternative is to impeach. 

There is more going on than is necessary for Congress to impeach. Congress is filled with too many COWARDS. They are more focused on their political careers than on the needs of a nation.

Looking forward to next year’s mid-term election, when we have the chance to VOTE and throw out those Repubs.  Many voters (too many) normally stay home during mid-terms, but it is IMPERATIVE for these voters to get to the polls and help our country get on a better footing; a better place than where we find ourselves under the current administration and current members of Congress.  The majority of our representatives are not representing the best of our nation. 

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Headed in the Wrong Direction

Today’s tweet rants by our “illustrious un-leader” are absurd and indefensible. I am not happy about the direction in which our un-leader is taking our country. The saddest part is that, so far, the House has shown only some guts to push back. The Senate has shown more IMHO.  Hopefully, the House will open their eyes wider, and look into the future and wake up.  Stemming the tide against the media that our un-leader loves to spout, will show Americans that perhaps we still have some semblance of a democracy. 

Welcome To The Swamp

What happened to draining the swamp?  He’s draining ours and filling up his own.  It’s what he meant all along.  Liar, liar – pants on fire.  Remember that one from our childhood?
It seems to me, that the Trump administration is wont on locking up our democracy in a box, burying it way underground and throwing away the key. What is going on in the Oval Office is extremely scary. In his Executive Orders, Trump does not want any Federal workers to communicate with the Press. They can’t be interviewed, cannot write on their blogs, etc. If found out, they would be fired.
An authoritarian is what we have leading our country.  We don’t want to follow.  The path is the wrong one.  He’s scary.  And I believe he has all his followers in DC scared as well.  He’s unpredictable.  They (and we) don’t know what he will do next.  He’s preparing a wall – yes, a wall around himself – with the religious fanatical conservatives who will do whatever it takes to bring our democracy, including our “inalienable rights” down to a level we don’t want.
Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer, berated the press corps for [their] accurately reporting the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration, then warned them that the president will hold them “accountable” for this kind of reporting in the future.  On Sunday morning, Trump’s team blacklisted CNN.  (www.moveon.org)
Our constitutional freedoms are being stifled. The Press Secy cuts off the reporters from completing their questions and snipping at them, saying, “You asked your question,” and pointing to someone else.  Blacklisting media outlets?  Banning Press members from Press briefings?  Pressing down the Press?  That’s what gives the Guy his jollies.
Is it because we have been “spoiled” by the past occupants of the White House? Or is it because the current occupant is erasing too many of the good things in American life for the majority of citizens?
Taking away a small discount for mortgage insurance for first-time home buyers is a really smart move in helping(?) out these people.  It was extremely important, because it was the first thing Trump signed in his Executive Order spree.  He’s giddy.  He’s undoing Pres. Obama’s Orders.  Hurray!  The party has started.  And it goes on.
There is to be a halt on grants as well. Grants are very important – they make important scientific research possible that wouldn’t be accomplished without government help.  There are a great many illnesses and diseases that are wanting for treatments and cures.  These will be stifled.
Human rights are women’s rights.  Remember that?  He want to take them away.  Human rights are LGBT’s rights.
Remember the part of our Constitution about separation of Church and State?  Arch-right, alt-right, evangelicals and fundamentalists want everyone to adhere to their beliefs.  Some states have passed laws pushing religious beliefs over basic human rights.
The government benefits that have helped so many, who suffer with chronic illness, disability, job cut backs, etc., will be cut back.  Who knows what will become of Social Security, education, healthcare, etc.  Privatization of schools is something I would not like to see; instead, the salaries of good teachers should be increased, get rid of bad teachers, get our public schools up to a level in which all children will get a real good education, and not just the drabs due to poor funding.  It’s a shame that teachers have to take money out of their own low salaries to furnish the necessities of a classroom because the state and federal governments do not provide enough money for this.
The big hullaballoo that is taking the media by storm is Trump’s claim of losing the popular vote because he claims “between 2.5 and 2.9 million were illegally cast.”  This claim is totally false.  There is no proof, and Trump’s own counsel agreed the claim has no basis; however Trump is pushing for a “major investigation” to find out how this fraud was perpetrated.  Trump is using this as a diversion, I believe, to take away from the fact of his signing Executive Orders to bring us back to the 19th century.  I never saw a pen fly so quickly on paper.  And, true to his showman and egotistical nature, he holds up his large signature for the world to see – so proud is he.
IMPEACHMENT should be begun. I think it’s not going to do our country any good to wait until we are ruined (“let’s give him time, let it play out” say the ones who are not looking into the future and seeing what this Hitler-like president is doing and bent on accomplishing).  I’m sure the billionaires would not agree with me. They are laughing up their high-end expensive shirt sleeves, partly because the DOW Jones has finally reached and passed 20 thousand, and now this man has made them extremely joyous.
Extreme isolationism is on the horizon as real as the setting sun.  Don’t you see it?  He’s pushing away so many of our global friends with all his negatives and high tariffs – questioning our trade policies.  China will be taking up the niche we are leaving open by abandoning the agreements in the treaties.
As quickly as he can, he is whittling away our rights, our democracy, our enthusiasm and creating a large population that is extremely divisive, puzzled, angry, and worried that we will never be the same country, after he and his cronies are finished with it.
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