The Obsession With Caster Semenya’s Body Was Racist From The Very Beginning

From the article:

A week before the 2012 Olympics, a group of researchers and academics gathered for the International Convention on Science, Education, and Medicine in Sport in Glasgow, just over 400 miles north of London, where the Games were being held. One of those athletes was South African runner Caster Semenya, who burst onto the scene in 2009 to win the women’s 800 meters in scorching time. Almost immediately, competitors, coaches, federations and the media began questioning whether the then 18-year-old athlete was a woman, and whether she should be allowed to run against women.

Source: The Obsession With Caster Semenya’s Body Was Racist From The Very Beginning

This sheds some light on the truly horrific standards and “medical” inspections women have had to undergo to prove they are women, when they are in fact cisgendered women. This obsession with testosterone levels in women doesn’t even have a scientific consensus on what normal testosterone looks like in cis women. These medical inspections included looking for an enlarged clitoris. How fucked up is that? That clitoral size is the most important trait for determining whether a female athlete with naturally higher testosterone levels has a performance advantage.

What the ever loving fuck? the guy fronting this is a quack, but one with power to fuck with women’s lives.

This doesn’t even take into account that there have been so many exceptions to these rules that literally the only women effected is a black woman.


I’m a Journalist. Apparently, I’m Also One of… — ProPublica

From the article:

Companies cash in by calling physicians “Super Doctor,” “Best Doctor” or “Top Doctor” and then selling them opportunities to boast about the honor. Experts call the accolades a “scam.” Giving me one highlights the absurdity.

Source: I’m a Journalist. Apparently, I’m Also One of… — ProPublica

This is why awards for being a doctor are kind of bunk. It’s a hilarious article about scam companies that offer awards for cash.

Disability Rights Advocate and Attorney Carrie Ann Lucas Dies

From the article:

On Sunday, long-time disability rights activist and attorney Carrie Ann Lucas died from complications from an infection after she went into cardiac arrest, which resulted, according to her friends and family, from her insurance company’s denial of a necessary medication. She was 47.

Source: Disability Rights Advocate and Attorney Carrie Ann Lucas Dies

I was a nurse for long enough, that I can’t say what happened with this gal. I don’t know exactly what the situation was. I know of enough cases that patients were severely hurt or injured because of insurance denials, though.

I had a patient’s insurance company refuse dialysis, because the idiot that refused it decided elective procedures were not allowed. Not all nurses would have sat not the phone for over an hour on a busy shift to argue. Nurses just don’t have time. I got the idiot on the phone, and he just kept repeating until I told him he was too stupid to do that job, and get me a manager NOW! The manager was very contrite and fixed it immediately.

I had a patient with obvious spreading skin cancer on her fucking face. We knew it, the doctors knew it, the specialist dermatologists knew it. Yet the insurance company kept denying and denying care for it because they didn’t feel it was cost effective. You know, because a long term care patient with dementia that is in a wheelchair is what? Not worthy of care for cancer or something? That took six months of fighting by the case manager until we got treatment. It was far more invasive by that time because it wasn’t treated fast enough.

I could go on and on. Corporate bottom lines, combined with rank incompetence and lack of training hurt people. Plain and simple. Sometimes it kills them.



Sackler Embraced Plan to Conceal OxyContin’s Strength… — ProPublica

From the article:

As OxyContin addiction spurred a national nightmare, a member of the family that has reaped billions of dollars from the painkiller boasted that sales exceeded his “fondest dreams,” according to a secret court document obtained by ProPublica.

Source: Sackler Embraced Plan to Conceal OxyContin’s Strength… — ProPublica

All too often our policies and politicians focus on the people that are addicted. Instead we literally have some old school, mustache twirling, evil business family making money off the backs of the addictions they created.

If you are not familiar with this story, take a read of the article. I was a nurse when OxyContin was in it’s hey day. It was passed out as a fix for any pain. The addition issues were real.

Sackler is a shitty human being who knew his product was addictive, and didn’t care as long as money came in.

Behind the Scenes, Health Insurers Use Cash and Gifts to… — ProPublica

From the article:

The insurance industry gives lucrative commissions and bonuses — from six-figure payouts to a chance to bat against Mariano Rivera — to the independent brokers who advise employers. Critics call the payments a “classic conflict of interest” that drive up costs.

Source: Behind the Scenes, Health Insurers Use Cash and Gifts to… — ProPublica

This is not shocking. Back when I was a nurse, I saw drug reps pass out Prozac branded laptops and full ride vacations to doctors. It stands to reason that worked, so why wouldn’t the insurance companies follow suit?

These overpriced incentives are paid for by the employees of these companies.

From the article:

Here’s how it typically works: Insurers pay brokers a commission for the employers they sign up. That fee is usually a healthy 3 to 6 percent of the total premium. That could be about $50,000 a year on the premiums of a company with 100 people, payable for as long as the plan is in place. That’s $50,000 a year for a single client. And as the client pays more in premiums, the broker’s commission increases.

Commissions can be even higher, up to 40 or 50 percent of the premium, on supplemental plans that employers can buy to cover employees’ dental costs, cancer care or long-term hospitalization.

Those commissions come from the insurers. But the cost is built into the premiums the employer and employees pay for the benefit plan.

Apparently I’m in the wrong business, and have to many ethics.


Doctors don’t treat trans patients poorly because they’re uneducated. They’re prejudiced. / LGBTQ Nation

From the article:

A new study out of Michigan shows that transphobia – an aversion to accepting transgender people – may play a bigger role than the amount of education a medical professional has when it comes to transgender people receiving competent health care.

Using an online survey, researchers asked the primary care providers in an integrated health care system in the Midwestern United States about their exposure to materials about caring for transgender and gender non-conforming patients, as well as their knowledge of health care for same. In total, researchers heard from 389 attending physicians, advanced practitioners, and residents.

48.8% of those who responded claimed to have had no formal education on health care for transgender or gender non-conforming patients. However, 49.7% said that they had cared for at least one transgender or gender non-conforming patient.

What’s more, researchers found no link between more hours of education on transgender care and improvements in the knowledge of a health care provider.

“We were surprised to find that more hours of education about transgender health didn’t correlate with a higher level of knowledge about this topic among providers,” says the study’s lead author Daphna Stroumsa, M.D., MPH, via an article on the Michigan Medicine’s blog.

Source: Doctors don’t treat trans patients poorly because they’re uneducated. They’re prejudiced. / LGBTQ Nation

I have had uneducated doctors, and they are often happy to be educated, and research if necessary. However, I have also had doctors that were straight up horrific. No amount of education can help them. They have preconceived bigoted notions about trans folks, and that’s it.

This is a known issue in the transgender community, and why finding medical help is so fraught. You never know when you are going to find that shitty bigoted doctor.

Tricare Insurance Fraud Costs U.S. Military $65 Million

From the article:

A tube of Mederma scar cream costs around $30 on Amazon, but for the military, a tube of scar cream runs $14k and doesn’t actually treat scars.

According to USA Today, a clinic in Tennessee, along with a shady pharmacy, managed to dupe the U.S. military out of $65 million by prescribing scar cream with a price tag of $14, 500 a tube to Marines who didn’t even need it and giving the soldiers who filled the prescriptions a cut of the profits

Here’s how the scam worked: a clinic in Cleveland, Tennessee called Choice MD would remotely prescribe the exorbitantly-priced cream to Marines in California. Then, a pharmacy in Utah would fill those prescriptions and bill Tricare, a military insurance program, for millions. A former Marine has also been charged with recruiting active-duty Marines to receive the prescriptions.

As someone who is covered in scars, my first question was “Does the cream work?” No.

Source: Tricare Insurance Fraud Costs U.S. Military $65 Million

Wow. I had heard of healthcare and military scams but this one beats all. It’s all because compounding is it’s own category of meds. You can buy Modern, but if you compound it, you can charge whatever you want.

Compounding comes in really handy, and not all pharmacies do it. I used to get meds for my patients back when I was a nurse, compounded into creams or liquids with flavors. Great if you pass meds to a mental health population that will take a spoonful of sugar, but not a pill. I also had my cats meds compounded with DMSO so I could put it in his ears because he made my old patients look like a dream to get meds into by comparison.

That said, charging $14,000 for an over the counter medication that normally goes for $30? That should have tripped somebodies alarm somewhere.

I am a financial auditor. I routinely scan people’s books for things like this. I’m not sure how it got past anyone to become a $65 Million problem.

Over 500,000 US families go bankrupt from medical bills every year / Boing Boing

From the article:

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that 67 percent of people filing for bankruptcy were wiped out by medical bills. That amounts to 530,000 families per year, a “figure that is virtually unchanged since before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”

Source: Over 500,000 US families go bankrupt from medical bills every year / Boing Boing

The ACA, while a step in the right direction, never went far enough. It was a half assed measure that was meant to appease the people who seem to think getting access to basic first world medical care is some sort of privilege you don’t deserve if you are poor.

It still did not address the worst of the excesses of the health insurance industry, and did not cover the folks that needed it.

Single payer healthcare, or medicare for all, whatever you want to call it. This is what this country needs and deserves. I’m tired of seeing access to medical refused based on some ephemeral worth calculation that is tied to net income.

U.S. Prosecutors Block Opioid ‘Safe Injection Site’ In Philadelphia : Shots – Health News : NPR

From the article:

The U.S. government is intervening to stop the creation of a medical facility in Philadelphia where people could inject heroin without risk of overdose. Canada and Europe already have such sites.

Source: U.S. Prosecutors Block Opioid ‘Safe Injection Site’ In Philadelphia : Shots – Health News : NPR

Yeah, let’s just ignore that other countries have pioneered this for us, and it is a proven method of saving lives. It also reduces transmittable diseases, and get’s help to addicts.

In Philadelphia, where this is going down, they estimate 3 people die every day due to opioid  overdoses. That’s 1095 people dead each year.

This whole moral panic about “enticing” people to start injecting narcotic drugs? Not a risk. Nobody ever said, “Hey, you know what, now that they have safe injection sites, where workers can make sure to get me medical help when I inject myself with illegal and highly addictive drugs has really turned me around on my opinions on the subject. I’m going for it!”

We need to stop treating addiction as a criminal actions and start treating it as the health issue that it is.


Pelosi Aide Tells Insurance Executives Not to Worry About “Medicare for All”

From the article:

Wendell Primus told Blue Cross Blue Shield executives that Democratic leadership is more concerned with lowering drug prices and defending Obamacare.

Source: Pelosi Aide Tells Insurance Executives Not to Worry About “Medicare for All”

Fuck the Democrats if they think that healthcare coverage for everyone isn’t worth fighting for.