AT&T Preps for New Layoffs Despite Billions in Tax Breaks and Regulatory Favors – Motherboard

From the article:

Internal documents obtained by Motherboard show that the company is preparing for layoffs—megamergers, deregulation, and tax breaks aren’t providing the public benefits AT&T promised.

Source: AT&T Preps for New Layoffs Despite Billions in Tax Breaks and Regulatory Favors – Motherboard

This wasn’t predictable or anything. Sorry for the sarcasm, but damn. Our politicians keep catering to these asshole corporations and this keeps happening.

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Teacher who fed puppy to snapping turtle in front of children found not guilty of animal cruelty / Boing Boing

From the article:

Teacher who fed puppy to snapping turtle in front of children found not guilty of animal cruelty.

Source: Teacher who fed puppy to snapping turtle in front of children found not guilty of animal cruelty / Boing Boing

Crosland continues to teach for the Preston School District and he feels “a lot of relief” with the not guilty verdict.

Apparently Robert Crosland, a Preston Junior High School teacher, is still teaching. This is despite having no fucking judgment, and being so callously cruel that he thought feeding a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students was a decent idea. I would never trust someone with this kind of impaired judgement around children.

These women allegedly sexually assaulted a transgender person in a crowded bar / LGBTQ Nation

From the article:

Amber Harrell, 38, and Jessica Fowler, 31, have been charged with second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery for allegedly groping a transgender person in a North Carolina bar.

The victim said she was in the restroom at Milk Bar in Raleigh, when the women started verbally abusing her, exposing themselves, and sexually touching her without permission. She said the abuse continued when she went back to the bar area.

A bartender noticed the women harassing the patron and repeatedly told them to stop.

Source: These women allegedly sexually assaulted a transgender person in a crowded bar / LGBTQ Nation

Thank god for the bartender and the police in this case. Also, this happened in North Carolina. I’m impressed because we hear so many horror stories in the transgender community about the South.

The icing on the cake? If convicted, Amber Harrell and Jessica Fowler will be registered sex offenders.

On The Navajo Nation, 5,000 Workers Dependent On A Federal Paycheck : NPR

From the article:

With the partial federal government shutdown dragging on, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye says Congress should exempt tribes from feeling the effects. Historically, treaties with the U.S. government have guaranteed the Navajo and many other tribes federal financial assistance for health, education and economic development. So the shutdown is having an outsized impact.

On the Navajo Nation, half of the tribe is unemployed. But at least 5,000 tribal members rely on paychecks from the federal government. Missing one, which happened for the first time on Friday, can have painful ripple effects. Community leader Angela Cody said one paycheck often has to feed the immediate family as well as the extended family.

Source: On The Navajo Nation, 5,000 Workers Dependent On A Federal Paycheck : NPR

Nothing like hitting the most vulnerable with this fucked up shutdown.

Florida Hospital Charges $28,740 for Abortion

From the article:

Late last summer Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, announced that beginning in 2019 most American hospitals would be required to post their full lists of “standard charges” for services rendered. You can now find many of these spreadsheets online, and they list medical codes and costs for everything from a Band-Aid to a new vagina.

It’s a practice that some hospitals and certain states have been using for years, though for Verma, the idea that a patient could print out a spreadsheet and comparison shop must be quite seductive, considering her conviction that the trouble with our unwieldy and exorbitantly priced healthcare system comes down to patients’ lack of incentive to take responsibility for themselves. According to Verma, the problem isn’t that the United States has the highest healthcare costs in the world, it’s that Americans don’t have the tools to find themselves a good bargain.

Source: Florida Hospital Charges $28,740 for Abortion

This is half the problem in the US. Most folks don’t realize if you go in hospital for care, the prices can be radically different hospital to hospital. There is no transparency, and no way to check costs because you can’t just call them up for a quote.

The $28,740 abortion was the bargain, because an abortion with a D&C was $33,703. I remember in the 1980s when you could get an abortion easier, as it was more available, and for like $800. What the ever loving fuck?!

The only medical field I have gotten clear cut quotes and cost lists has been for transgender related surgeries. That is because until a couple years ago it was all cash pay, and done by surgeons over on the cosmetic side of medicine. That meant they had to be able to provide direct quotes and transparent pricing.

Hell, my wife is getting facial feminization surgery, and we just went and saw several surgeons and got direct quotes. This included everything top to bottom. We made our decision on those factors.

If you need a hip or knee replacement surgery, you can’t get that from your surgeon. For one, they probably won’t know. They also go through the insurance system which is down right impossible to get info on until it’s all said and done.

How can we fix a medical pricing problem if we don’t even know the prices we are being charged?

Tennessee doctors earn big money denying disability claims

From the article:

The doctors are paid a flat rate for each application file they review. How much they earn depends on how fast they work.

Thrush, like many of the doctors who contract with the state, works very fast.

In fiscal year 2018, he reviewed — on average — one case every 12 minutes.

Thrush’s productivity has paid off. He earned $420,000 for reviewing the applications of 9,088 Tennesseans applying for disability during the year ending June 30. He has made more than $2.2 million since 2013.

On average, 80 percent of the cases he reviewed were denied.

Source: Tennessee doctors earn big money denying disability claims

The article also points out that these doctors are not practicing medicine because they have had their licenses yanks for various reasons. We are talking state felons.

A whistleblower was fired for pointing out the horror show that Tennessee is engaged in here.

These guys are making millions denying claims. It’s one of the most unethical things I have seen in a long time.

Drug Costs Driven Largely By Price Increases, Not Innovation : Shots – Health News : NPR

From the article:

A recent study shows the cost of brand-name drugs is rising — not because of expensive new therapies entering the market but because manufacturers are raising prices on existing drugs.

Source: Drug Costs Driven Largely By Price Increases, Not Innovation : Shots – Health News : NPR

Look, corporate greed at the expense of people’s access to medical care is the reason medicine prices are skyrocketing. It’s really just that simple. Why the hell does insulin go up 49% in just one year? That is an established drug. No R&D. Yet, in 2014 it went up by half again.

Read the article. Hate the drug companies. That’s what I did.