Pain patients have no support from media

http://abcnews.go.com/US/fentanyl-deaths-spiked-us-sign-slowing/story?id=44554601

My comment:

I find it odd that the media doesn’t connect the dramatic increase in fentanyl deaths to the federal government’s opioid war. It’s not surprising that deaths in Florida are up 70%, as the DEA began its increased crackdown on pill mills in that state. As the DEA took its opioid war from state to state, those who suffer from drug addiction have had even fewer safe choices. It’s almost like, because prohibition was so long ago, the government has forgotten the lessons learned from that huge mistake.

When the CDC passed new opioid guidelines this year, the agency knew that one of the effects would be an increase in drug overdoses and suicides. Andrew Kolodny from PFROP (the addiction industry group that worked with the CDC on the guidelines) admitted as much. They believe that it’s more important to save people from a potential future addiction than it is to save the people who are now dying. Since the guidelines only went into effect this year, overdose deaths will keep increasing.

Those who suffer from addiction are not the only people who have been and will be adversely affected by the government’s opioid war. If you suffer from any kind of pain, you will also be affected — if not now, then sometime in the future.

A recent poll showed that over 60% of doctors don’t believe that painkillers work for chronic pain. Many doctors have stopped prescribing painkillers altogether. You may think this is a great idea — until your doctor refuses to treat your pain. And you may be surprised to learn that, just because you have a serious medical condition like cancer, that doesn’t mean you’ll have access to painkillers. Also be ready for a lecture from your doctor about the horrors of addiction whenever a painkiller is prescribed, regardless of whether you’re part of the 10% of people who may suffer from addiction.

Everyone agrees that the drug war has been a huge and expensive failure (except the DEA). Isn’t it time we had a war against pain instead of the drugs that can treat it?

For every story about someone who suffers from addiction, if the media wanted to, it could find 20 stories of people suffering from chronic pain. I wonder if someone could tell me why the media refuses to report on the millions of chronic pain patients who are the latest victims in the drug war.

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The Collapse of the Health Care Insurance Industry

WASHINGTON, DC (Rueters) — In December, 2016, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that more than 11 million people had purchased private health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Now, three plus years after President Trump took office, Kaiser is reporting that 30 million people have lost their insurance. What happened?

One of the first moves of the Republican Congress was to get rid of the ACA requirement that insurers provide certain benefits such as mental-health services and maternity care, saying those requirements drove up premiums.

Since the crash of the health care insurance industry, premiums are no longer a problem.

Studies have shown that since the ACA was gutted by a male president and mostly-male congress, women have suffered the most from its loss. There’s been a sharp increase in abortions, and the U.S. — already one of the international leaders in infant mortality — is now number one on that list.

There’s been an increase in deaths from certain types of cancer that mostly affect women, like breast and uterine cancer. By the time women seek treatment, it’s already too late. Planned Parenthood has been made to close an alarmingly large amount of clinics, both before and after Trump took office. The corresponding explosion of sexually-transmitted diseases, including AIDS, is unsurprising and was expected by most experts.

Mental health clinics, already poorly funded, have also been closing left and right since Trump’s inauguration. The suicide rate has mostly increased every year, but since 2017, it has skyrocketed, finally forcing the CDC to consider suicide as a threat to public health. Rates for depression, addiction, and crime have also increased. After 8 years of an unemployment rate that only went down, it started creeping back up again in the early part of 2018, and is still increasing.

Another idea supported by the Republican Congress was health savings accounts, but it didn’t take long for HSAs to fall out of favor after China Bank & Trust was found guilty of bankrupting around a million of these accounts held by Americans. The Russian Gold Bank was found to have only bankrupted about 1,000 American health savings accounts. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discovered these criminal actions before Republicans closed it down, the information only coming to light this year through anonymous internet sources.

Almost everyone (with the exception of state insurance commissioners) thought that selling health care insurance across state lines would be beneficial to consumers, but a recent study by Harvard University showed that the majority of consumers were actually harmed by the proliferation of fly-by-night insurance companies created by this new market. Customers often bought insurance from companies that only existed on the internet, and many people were dumped as soon as they filed a claim.

The health care insurance industry was able to withstand these changes, only falling apart in 2018 after Republicans cut the taxes which funded the ACA. Doctors began to only accept insurance from well-known companies, leaving millions of people unable to find a doctor, even with insurance. Then the largest corporations stopped selling health care insurance altogether.

After the collapse of the health care insurance industry in early 2019, medical costs have started to decline. When it’s too expensive to go to the doctor, you just don’t go. Doctors are now advertising on Craig’s List and Tinder, many offering free introductory visits. After a slew of busy years for hospitals and mergers, three years after Trump became President, there are now 40% fewer hospitals in the U.S.

After President Trump ended the drug war last month, experts have predicted a similar collapse of the medical industry. Only time will tell.

Junk Food’s Comeback

Introducing the condensed milk coconut pound cake.

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Quite moist, if I do say so myself.

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But a little crumbly.

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I don’t know why my desserts don’t turn out like the ones in the photos for the recipes.

http://www.fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.com/2011/05/condensed-milk-coconut-pound-cake/

But I’m beginning to think it has something to do with altitude.

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The internet says you should add extra flour (and other stuff) if you’re baking in a high-altitude area. I dunno about that, since my desserts seem to be more on the dry side. Maybe it has more to do with my small oven.

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Of course, looks don’t have anything to do with how it tastes, and this pound cake tasted pretty good. The coconut kept it from being too bland. Then I tried to make whipped cream icing.

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Just like when my egg whites wouldn’t form a peak, the heavy cream wouldn’t form peaks. The recipe says it takes a couple of minutes with the mixer, but I must have mixed it for like 5 minutes before I put all of it in the freezer.

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Then I started adding stuff, like cinnamon and cocoa. More powdered sugar. Even oatmeal (don’t ask me why). Then more powdered sugar. It looked more like a mousse than icing. So, I added some peanut butter.

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I ended up eating most of the mousse/icing by itself. It was delicious. Must make again (without the oatmeal).

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I could take pictures of food all day long.

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Is it just me, or are these photos beginning to look like Trump?

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Well, we had a President and First Lady who embraced physical fitness and eating right. What to expect from an overweight white man and his Barbie-doll wife? (Hey, that rhymes.) I predict that junk food is about to make a comeback. 🙂