Coronavirus – The Search for Solutions, Go Gilead and other big pharmacy companies!

It takes years for drugs to be approved.   Yet, through incredible international cooperation, Gilead will be testing their anti-virus drug Remdesivir at ground zero, in the central city of  Wuhan.  Other companies including Johnson and Johnson and GlaxoSmithkline are looking for solutions to the epidemic.   J+J is reportedly looking for a preventative vaccine – I hope they can find one.  These viruses which scientists believe come from animals,  seem to have a horrible habit of returning.     AbbieVie Inc HIV drug Katetra also holds promise.

Some victims have mild symptoms and are able to recuperate.   Taking a cocktail of various anti-viral medicines also has shown some promise in Thailand.

I don’t care who wins this race to find a solution.  The doctors who come from all over the world to China to conduct their tests are my heros.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Bloomberg: Can Coronavirus be cured?

Business Insider: Thai doctors have been using a cocktail of flu and HIV drugs to treat coronavirus cases

 

The Art of the Deal: Fixing Obamacare

Since the ACA was passed in 2010, the Republicans have predicted the eventual demise, either through court challenges or legislative repeal. President Trump nominated Tom Price as the Health and Human Services Department. He demonstrated a real knack of avoiding the question, and instead talking in general terms of what are the good intentions of the Department.  Spin all the positives possible.

The question Price would like to respond to, is: “Doesn’t the Department have the public’s best interest in mind when it comes to health care?” Or at least “Isn’t everything proposed by Republicans excellent, as compared to what we have.”

The link below is his interview on Meet the Press:

Youtube video: Meet the Press

He is correct that HHS administers five health plans.  He’d love to talk about the other 4 non-controversial plans.

Trump has tweeted repeatedly, is that he will never own Obamacare, just let it implode.   So Price as the plan’s administrator will be accused of neglecting the program for partisan purposes.

Now,  any fix of Obamacare will not happen with Tom Price as secretary.   What a fix would entail is increased subsidies for lower income families to encourage enrollment  massive advertising with reminders that people without insurance will face tax penalties.    It will take legislative action to fix Obamacare.

Trump could emerge on top, being the ultimate deal maker between feuding Democrats and Republicans.  To avoid alienating Republicans, he should never talk of a fix, but rather a merger of taking the best of both plans, and putting together one that will work for all Americans.    Call it a consolidated or reconciled bill or non-partisan bill.   Yes, that’s BS, but it’s the only BS that will work.   Price would be replaced by a real expert in healthcare systems.  Defunding of Planned Parenthood and abortion payments would not be part of the consolidated plan.

The Democrats have come up with a new slogan,  “A Better Deal” in which they will include a promise of a better health plan.   Trump would steal their thunder by endorsing what is basically their plan.

The Trump health plan would be despised by many Republicans, but now it would be the Republicans who would have to vote down something the Democrats support.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

 

Basic Health Care- Going, Going, Gone

During the campaign, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was viciously attacked by Donald Trump.  He can’t repeal it without going through Congress.   There is no replacement program.

So what has he done with his January 20, 2017 Executive Order?  Some  will tell you he has reduced the economic burdens of the program on Americans.  This nice sounding language is in the executive order.

The ACA requires a lot of administration, because insurance plans must conform to certain coverage standards.  What the Executive Order does, is to allow all agencies of government the ability to make Obamacare worse, by ignoring administrative responsibilities.

Today’s headines in the NY Daily News, called the Executive Order will gut or dismantle Obamacare.  It is designed to add a new layer of confusion to the administration of the program- just make it look worse than it is.

Daily News Story 

Trumpcare doesn’t exist. What insurance companies need in order to grow, is to insure fewer people with health problems.   This is why they want the ability  to deny coverage or limit benefits to many people.  The ACA was our country’s  first real attempt to make these denials impossible.  But, there had to be penalties for Americans who refused to either obtain private insurance or through the ACA exchanges because the system would not work if only people with health problems got insurance.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Zika virus

I am not a medical professional.  There are a lot of excellent websites, written by experts in this area.  I am only repeating what the CDC (Center for Disease Control in the US) has stated.

If you are pregnant and in a area with the Zika virus, you must do four things everyday: (1) Wear long sleeve shirt and pants,  (2) Apply mosquito repellent- “Off” with DEET is a good one, (3)  Eliminate any standing water, in your house or around it and (4)   Stay as much as possible in dry,  air conditioned areas, which can translate into, “Let’s go shopping!”  – on doctor’s order.  If one has done everything possible, then relax.

Stay tuned,

Dave