Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Which is more important – money, or life?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 25, 2020

One again, Republicans are demonstrating their lackadaisical reckless attitude toward human life, and thereby proving that they care little, if anything, about Americans of any stripe.

Whether young, old, infant, geriatric, sick, healthy, able, disabled, veteran, civilian, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, well-educated, poorly-educated, gay, straight, bi, gender non-conforming, or anything of all points in between – it makes no difference. Money is their god. The Almighty Dollar rules.

They and their feckless titular leader are forcing ALL Americans to bow before the altar of Mammon, sacrificing our wise elders, children, even the unborn, to the all-consuming selfish fires of commerce.

The radicalized members of the Party of Trump are your “Death Panels.” They are the very thing Republicans warned America which would happen if the PPACA were to become enacted — which is not even anything even remotely close to Single Payer/Medicare For All.

And yet, even though they’ve continually tried their damndest to kill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka “ObamaCare,” and every vestige of it since the day it was enacted on March 23, 2010, they’ve still not managed to come up with any alternative whatsoever.

Nada.

Bupkis.

Not only have the GOP’s dire predictions not come true, nor have they even remotely happened, but they’re still showing America what they think is TRULY important – money, money, money… MONEY!

––//––

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/13/poll-coronavirus-reopen-trump-republicans-252726

Republican voters have undergone a significant shift on the coronavirus in a few short weeks.

A month ago, half of GOP voters said they were more worried about Read the rest of this entry »

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Beef, Pork, Chicken Prices to INCREASE Significantly

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 3, 2020

Concentrated American Business Operations Spell Economic Disaster

We apparently either forgot, or didn’t learn our lessons in the events which led up to the Great Depression.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-04-30/the-coronavirus-won-t-bring-the-end-of-big-meat-processing-plants

Colloquially, through our nation’s Federal laws governing business practice and ownership, etc., we’ve “put all our eggs in one basket.” As a result, when one factory or industry hiccups or sneezes, the entire system gets sick. The same principle is true for many other businesses and aspects of our economy.

You’ve probably read my expressions on a topic very much like this before.

“The concentration of America’s meat packing industry is ultimately a symptom of its weakness, rather than its strength.”

Despite being the world’s second-largest meat consumer after China, the U.S. slaughters almost all of its annual production of meat in just 835 facilities.

Five decades ago (in most American’s lifetimes) there were OVER 10 times as many such facilities. Anecdotally, an Epidemiologist friend share that, “Growing up in the 50’s there were dairy farms all over the South. There are very few now.”

That’s:
🐖130 million pigs
🐄33.6 million cows
🐑2.3 million sheep

If anything, those figures significantly understate how extremely concentrated the slaughter industry is.

In fact, about 66% of America’s pork is processed through 24 giant facilities owned by just 4 companies:
1.) Smithfield Foods Inc.; 2.) JBS SA; 3.) Tyson Foods Inc., and; 4.) Clemens Family Corp.

Over 80% of beef comes from just 12 abattoirs owned by 4 companies:
1.) Tyson; 2.) JBS SA; 3.) Cargill Inc., and; 4.) Marfrig Global Foods SA.

And of the two groups of meat processors which represent 50% of the meat categories consumed in America, pork and beef, 2 companies – Tyson, and JBS SA – own or control a significant portion of that market, 25%, based upon the number of competitors in the 2 categories, pork and beef.

Tyson, which is headquartered in Arkansas, is American-owned, unlike Smithfield which is headquartered in Virginia, and owned by Chinese interests. However, a full 66% of Tyson’s operations are overseas, and the company boasts that they control 20% of the entire American market share of meat by writing that “1 in 5 pounds of chicken, beef, & pork in the U.S. is produced by Tyson Foods.”

Chicken farmers are modern-day sharecroppers, and Tyson acknowledges as much by writing that, “We supply the birds and feed, and provide technical advice, while the poultry farmer provides the labor, housing and utilities.”

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a Washington, D.C. based lobbying organization for the major players in the corporate-owned industrialized meat industry – NOT mom & pop-owned Family Farms, which are increasingly rare – writes this on their website about the meat industry in America: Read the rest of this entry »

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Billionaire Explains Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 18, 2020

linkedin.com

Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed (Parts 1 & 2)


By Ray Dalio

Co-Chief Investment Officer & Co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates, L.P.

Summary

I was fortunate enough to be raised in a middle-class family by parents who took good care of me, to go to good public schools, and to come into a job market that offered me equal opportunity. I was raised with the belief that having equal opportunity to have basic care, good education, and employment is what is fair and best for our collective well-being. To have these things and use them to build a great life is what was meant by living the American Dream.

At age 12 one might say that I became a capitalist because that’s when I took the money I earned doing various jobs, like delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, and caddying and put it in the stock market when the stock market was hot. That got me hooked on the economic investing game which I’ve played for most of the last 50 years. To succeed at this game I needed to gain a practical understanding of how economies and markets work. My exposure to most economic systems in most countries over many years taught me that the ability to make money, save it, and put it into capital (i.e., capitalism) is the most effective motivator of people and allocator of resources to raise people’s living standards. Over these many years I have also seen capitalism evolve in a way that it is not working well for the majority of Americans because it’s producing self-reinforcing spirals up for the haves and down for the have-nots. This is creating widening income/wealth/opportunity gaps that pose existential threats to the United States because these gaps are bringing about damaging domestic and international conflicts and weakening America’s condition.

I think that most capitalists don’t know how to divide the economic pie well and most socialists don’t know how to grow it well, yet we are now at a juncture in which either a) people of different ideological inclinations will work together to skillfully re-engineer the system so that the pie is both divided and grown well or b) we will have great conflict and some form of revolution that will hurt most everyone and will shrink the pie.

I believe that all good things taken to an extreme can be self-destructive and that everything must evolve or die. This is now true for capitalism. In this report I show why I believe that capitalism is now not working for the majority of Americans, I diagnose why it is producing these inadequate results, and I offer some suggestions for what can be done to reform it. Because this report is rather long, I will present it in two parts: part one outlining the problem and part two offering my diagnosis of it and some suggestions for reform.

Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed

Before I explain why I believe that capitalism needs to be reformed, I will explain where I’m coming from, which has shaped my perspective. I will then show the indicators that make it clear to me that the outcomes capitalism is producing are inconsistent with what I believe our goals are. Then I will give my diagnosis of why capitalism is producing these inadequate outcomes and conclude by offering some thoughts about how it can be reformed to produce better outcomes.

Part 1

Where I’m Coming From

I was lucky enough to Read the rest of this entry »

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America! You’re GROWING!!! GET COUNTED! Because SIZE MATTERS!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Here are a few factoids for your entertainment.

• There are SO FEW people in Wyoming, that they have enough room on their automobile license plates to depict a cowboy on a bucking bronco… and STILL have plenty of room leftover for numbers & letters for EVERY car in the state.

• There are MORE people in Nashville, TN (669,053) than there are in Wyoming (578,759).

• There are MORE people in Tennessee (6,829,174) than there are in Colorado (5,758,736).

• The TOTAL number of students (13,131), faculty, and staff (9,253) at Vanderbilt University, and employees at the now-independent University Medical Center (24,039) totals 46,423, which, in effect, makes it a city unto itself, and is why the University (and MC) have the state’s ONLY state-certified police force, with full authority to perform EVERY law enforcement function of the state. They’re also voluntarily, and fully accredited by three law enforcement accrediting bodies, one international, one national, one state:

CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies)
IACLEA (International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators)
TLEA (Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation)

Here’s a factoid sheet on VUMC (Vanderbilt University Medical Center).

Speaking of size (because, yeah… size matters!), we’re growing! And by “we” I mean to refer to the United States.

For example, did you know that: → Population Rank

• Denver’s population is 716,492. → 19

• Atlanta, GA’s population is 498,044. → 37
(And was once called the “New York” of the South.)

• Jacksonville, FL = 903,889 → 12
• Fort Worth, TX = 895,008 → 13
• Columbus, OH = 892,533 → 14
• San Francisco, CA = 883,305 → 15
• Charlotte, NC = 872,498 → 16
• Indianapolis, IN = 867,125 → 17
• Seattle, WA = 744,955 → 18
• District of Columbia = 702,455 → 20
• Boston, MA = 694,583 → 21
• Detroit, MI = 672,662 → 23
• Portland, OR = 653,115 → 25
• Memphis, TN = 650,618 → 26
• Fresno, CA = 530,093 → 34

Comparatively, these cities’ names, while familiar, might conjure up population pictures that are not necessarily what one might imagine.

For example, who would’ve thought that San Francisco (883,305) and Charlotte (872,498) are almost identically populated? Size Rank → 15, 16

Or Denver (716,492) and Nashville (669,053)? →  19, 24
Or Boston (694,583) and El Paso (682,669)? → 21, 22
Or Las Vegas (644,644) and Louisville, KY (620,118)? → 28, 29
Or Atlanta (498,044), and Read the rest of this entry »

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Mayo Clinic to have COVID-19 Antibody Test by Monday

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 3, 2020

“How can I know if I’m FULLY recovered from COVID-19 novel coronavirus?” is a question that gets asked by many, particularly by those who have been infected by COVID-19.

Unfortunately – to this point, at least – the answer to that question has been “We don’t know.”

Fortunately, however, researchers have rapidly doubled-down on their research, intensified their efforts, and are becoming fruitful.

Here’s a brief story about one such effort.

MPRNews.org

Mayo Clinic expects COVID-19 antibody test to be ready Monday


The Mayo Clinic's Gonda Building
Pedestrians cross the street as they leave Mayo Clinic’s Gonda Building in Rochester, Minn., in 2016. Mayo researchers say they’re close to releasing tests that would tell whether a person has had and recovered from COVID-19.Alex Kolyer for MPR News file (Minnesota Public Radio)

Researchers at Mayo Clinic expect to release a test that would tell whether a person has had and recovered from COVID-19 on Monday. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports the University of Minnesota is also narrowing in on an antibody test.

The tests would help public health officials understand the scope of the outbreak and identify people who could safely be in public to help with relief efforts. They would also help in an effort to treat critical COVID-19 patients with plasma from individuals who have recovered.

Elitza Theel is director of the Mayo Clinic lab testing COVID-19 antibody tests. She spoke with MPR News host Tom Crann Wednesday.

You can listen to the interview by clicking on the audio player above, or read the transcript below, which has been edited lightly for clarity and length.

Q: Tell us first, what is an antibody?

A: Antibodies essentially recognize the virus and can help inactivate and kill it.

It’s important to know that these types of tests are different than all of the molecular tests that are being done off of nasal swabs or throat swabs. Those tests detect viral genetic material [to show whether the coronavirus has infected that person].

These [blood serum] antibody tests are detecting a person’s immune response to that virus. It takes, in some cases, 10 to 11 days for a person to mount an immune response and produce these antibodies, so these tests aren’t going to be used as a diagnostic in patients that are presenting with two or three days of symptoms.

Q: Tell us how soon they’ll be ready

A: At Mayo, we hope to have it available as early as next week. We will be doing kind of a slow roll out because, similar to the situation with molecular tests, there’s a limited supply of these tests. We’re hoping that commercial manufacturers will ramp up here in the next few weeks so that we can make it available much more widely.

Q: Then it can go straight to to doctors, public health departments, or is FDA approval needed? How does that work?

A: FDA approval is not needed at this time. However, laboratories that are offering these tests have to go through a very rigorous verification process to make sure that the tests they’re offering provide the right results.

Clinicians will be able to order this in individuals who they think having are a result for would be helpful to either guide return to work [decisions] or further quarantining.

Also, you may have heard about the convalescent plasma treatment trials. As we wait for antivirals and vaccines to be developed and deployed, we need some sort of bridging therapy. So, the idea here is to identify individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, collect their plasma, make sure that it has the antibodies, and then use that plasma to treat acutely ill patients. We’re basically providing somebody else’s antibodies to ill patients who maybe don’t have an immune response mounted yet, and these antibodies would essentially help to fight off the virus.

Q: How close are we on plasma treatment?

A: Clinical trials are starting very soon, both here at Mayo Clinic as well as many other locations across the U.S.

Q: Why is it important to have this information about how many people have been infected, even if they are recovered?

A: There’s a couple of reasons. One, we know there’s a significant number of individuals who have been infected without symptoms. So, knowing the true number, the true denominator of individuals who have been infected with COVID-19, would allow us to determine the true case fatality rate. And then the other reason this is important is identifying when, as a community, as a region, as a nation, we’ve reached herd immunity status.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump Budget Slashing Gutted Coronavirus Emergency Response

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 12, 2020

Trump’s hated of “everything Obama” has already harmed America.

Now, it’s harming Public Health.

That man is a genuine threat to the security of the United States. He simply has NO understanding of the complexity of the matters placed before him on the platter of the Presidency. He is utterly out of his league.

Consider this sampling of inane things he’s said about coronavirus (COVID-19):

First, it was, “We have it all under control.”

Followed closely by, “It’s very small problem in this country.”

And on its heels was, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”

Which was later accompanied by, “We have it totally under control. It’s going to be fine.”

As things progressed, and it because clear that it was only a matter of time before Americans were affected, he said in Davos, Switzerland that, “We do have a plan, and we think it’s going to be handled very well.”

Now that the fecal matter has started to hit the fan, he decided to make a rare, live, emergency telecast to address the nation, and said that, “I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and well-being of all Americans.”

He also said in that emergency live telecast address to the nation that, “We declared a public health emergency and issued the highest level of travel warning.”

In the same breath, he said, “To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.”

Just last year, he:
• Cut the budgets of the Centers for Disease Control, and other Public Health-related budgets,
• Firing the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including those of the
––National Security Agency,
––National Security Council,
––Health and Human Services,
––Department of Homeland Security,
• Gutting the entire management infrastructure of the White House, and
• Killing the Complex Crises Fund

…DESPITE all that budget bloodshed like Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, he had the unmitigated gall and audacity to say that, “We are at a critical time in the fight against the virus.”

And sadly, it’s highly doubtful that anyone truly believes him when he said, “I will always put the well-being of America first.”

It’s not as if anyone believes him now, anyway. Members of the Cabinet are in fear of him, that they’ll lose their jobs being fired by Tweet, so they simply turn into jelly, and keep their ideas to themselves… since he knows how to run everything, anyway. So what difference does it truly make?

The next thing is to GET HIM OUT OF OFFICE!

But, moreover, this article goes in-depth to show and explain the things he’s done which have had a horrific effect upon Public Health -and- National Security.

That is NOT how to “Make America Great Again.”

Come November, you know what to do.

VOTE HIM OUT!!!

Trump Has Sabotaged America’s Coronavirus Response

By Laurie Garrett
January 31, 2010
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/31/coronavirus-china-trump-united-states-public-health-emergency-response/

When Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared the Wuhan coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern on Thursday, he praised China for taking “unprecedented” steps to control the deadly virus. “I have never seen for myself this kind of mobilization,” he noted. “China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response.”

The epidemic control efforts unfolding today in China—including placing some 100 million citizens on lockdown, shutting down a national holiday, building enormous quarantine hospitals in days’ time, and ramping up 24-hour manufacturing of medical equipment—are indeed gargantuan. It’s impossible to watch them without wondering, “What would we do? How would my government respond if this virus spread across my country?”

For the United States, the answers are especially worrying because the government has intentionally rendered itself incapable. In 2018, the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure. In numerous phone calls and emails with key agencies across the U.S. government, the only consistent response I encountered was distressed confusion. If the United States still has a clear chain of command for pandemic response, the White House urgently needs to clarify what it is

If the United States still has a clear chain of command for pandemic response,
the White House urgently needs to clarify what it is – not just for the public but for the government itself,
which largely finds itself in the dark.

When Ebola broke out in West Africa in 2014, President Barack Obama recognized that responding to the outbreak overseas, while also protecting Americans at home, involved multiple U.S. government departments and agencies, Read the rest of this entry »

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Would You Visit A Cuban Beach?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Suppose that one day, you were on the beach in Varadero Beach, which is slightly EAST of Havana, Cuba, or in some other scenically tropical locale in that Caribbean island nation.

And on that day, suppose that it was a lovely sunny day, with pretty puffy white clouds floating around, the temperature was a balmy 82ºF, and a gentle breeze was blowing across the Gulf of Mexico onto the beach where you were located.

You’d probably say that it’d be an idyllic setting, for sure. Maybe even a picture perfect day on a lovely sandy-white beach!

Agree?

Now, suppose that you returned home and you said to your friends, “Wow! What a beautiful day it was on the beach in Cuba! It was a wonderfully lovely sunny day, clear skies, with a mild breeze, and 82ºF. It was absolutely PERFECT!”

And then… just as the words left your mouth, your friends started to call you a “communist sympathizer” simply because you told them how beautiful and perfect a day it was while you were on the beach in Cuba.

It’d be absurd, wouldn’t it?

And you’d think they were at least two bricks shy of a load – right?

In essence, that’s what some are doing to Bernie Sanders.

Simply because Read the rest of this entry »

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What is Democratic Socialism?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 15, 2020

Bernie Sanders has continually explained and made the case why he calls himself a democratic socialist, and corrects those who decry his self-described identity as a democratic socialist. Opponents from within, and without the party have viciously maligned him for that.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – I , official portrait

In essence, it’s caring for your fellow citizen just like they’re your family. And that includes being humanitarian, and caring for others, treating them with the dignity, honor, and respect inherently and rightly due every human being.

Listening to him speak of the principles he addresses, for those with a Christian, or religious knowledge, or background, it reminds me of the principles mentioned following Judeo-Christian Scripture verses. Oh, for those who consider Jews as God’s special, or chosen people… Bernie is a Jew. Could his voice be that of a prophet, of one crying in the wilderness?

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”¹

“The laborer is worthy of their hire.”²

“Do not muzzle the ox that treads the grain.”³

“‘Administer true justice. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.'”⁴

“You must not oppress, or defraud your neighbor nor rob him. The wages due a hired hand must not remain with you until morning.”⁵

“Do not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.”⁶

“Now if your countryman becomes destitute and cannot support himself among you, then you are to help him as you would a foreigner or stranger, so that he can continue to live among you.”⁷

“You must not exploit or oppress a foreign resident, for you yourselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt. You must not mistreat any widow or orphan.”⁸

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”⁹

“But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols.”¹⁰

¹Proverbs 29:18
²1 Timothy 5:18
³Deuteronomy 25:4
⁴ Zechariah 7:9,10
⁵ Leviticus 19:3
⁶ Deuteronomy 24:14
⁷ Leviticus 25:35
⁸ Exodus 22:21,22
⁹ Deuteronomy 10:18
¹⁰Jeremiah 7:5

––//––

Bernie Sanders fires back at Trump over socialism
CNN Sanders Town Hall
Feb 25, 2019
During a CNN town hall, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explains the programs he’d like to implement if he were elected president, which have been criticized by President Trump as akin to socialism.
https://youtu.be/tJ9j_JT9Lhg

In response to a question asked by an audience member, Bernie Sanders said in part…

“We have political rights… freedom of religion – and all of that is enormously important. But you know what we don’t have? We don’t have guarantees regarding economic rights. And way back in 1944, and in a little-known, little-publicized State of The Union speech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said something, and – I’m paraphrasing him – but he said, ‘you know, when we talk about human freedom, and rights, we’ve got to understand that everybody needs a decent-paying job, that people need healthcare, that people need education.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Will You Release Your Medical Records?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 9, 2020

Just in the case you may not know it, there’s a law in our United States called HIPAA, which is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Signed into law in 1996 by then-POTUS Bill Clinton, the long title is “An Act To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1996 to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets, to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery, to promote the use of medical savings accounts, to improve access to long-term care services and coverage, to simplify the administration of health insurance, and for other purposes.”

The biggest takeaway from the bill for most people is the privacy it mandates for patient’s medical records, care, and treatment. With fines/penalties for violation starting at $250,000 per violation, an entire industry has grown up around HIPAA.

The Department of Health and Human Services summarizes, in part, the law’s privacy provisions:

“The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) required the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop regulations protecting the privacy and security of certain health information.1 To fulfill this requirement, HHS published what are commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. The Privacy Rule, or Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, establishes national standards for the protection of certain health information. The Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information (the Security Rule) establish a national set of security standards for protecting certain health information that is held or transferred in electronic form. The Security Rule operationalizes the protections contained in the Privacy Rule by addressing the technical and non-technical safeguards that organizations called “covered entities” must put in place to secure individuals’ “electronic protected health information” (e-PHI). Within HHS, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has responsibility for enforcing the Privacy and Security Rules with voluntary compliance activities and civil money penalties.”

POTUS Bill Clinton Signing HIPAA

Before the HIPAA existed, there were no security standards nor requirements to protect patients’ health information or patients privacy in the entire health care industry. In reality, physicians, or anyone with access to the record – including the janitor and housekeeping crew – could simply access and divulge a patient’s entire medical record to the press, or to anyone, without any legal recourse for the victim. Now, it’s a violation of the law to even discuss any Personal Health Information, or Personally Identifying Information about the patient outside of a clinical setting, and that includes on elevators in hospitals. The law is so strict, that anyone who is not involved in the patient’s care cannot access the patient’s record without violating the law.

There have been cases where renown individuals, or those with celebrity status, including politicians, have had their records accessed by those within the healthcare system in violation of the law, ostensibly to satisfy their 24karat curiosity, or for other nefarious purposes, such as to gossip about the patient, or to divulge the information they found to the press. Healthcare organizations, especially large ones, are particularly sensitive to such violations of the HIPAA, and many, if not most, have policy in place to censure, or most often, dismiss for cause (fire) any employee who examines a record of a patient whom they’re not treating, or caring for.

In short, the law safeguards and protects patients’ right to privacy of their healthcare information in ways the average patient cannot imagine, including transmission of such information electronically, such as via facsimile or Internet.

The law also provides authorization for a patient to request a healthcare organization voluntarily release select portions of, or their entire medical records, to individuals whom they specify, such as to attorneys who may be representing their interests in a matter of law, including to the patients themselves, personally.

What many may not know about the law, is that it was a bipartisan bill sponsored by Read the rest of this entry »

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Poll: Americans Unhappy With Abortion Laws

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

New polling released by Gallup shows that “Fifty-eight percent of Americans say they are dissatisfied with the nation’s policies on abortion, marking a seven-percentage-point increase from one year ago and a new high in Gallup’s trend.”

Gallup released the findings of their research from a Read the rest of this entry »

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The GOP Hopes That You Keep Sleeping

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

America has become like the proverbial frog in a pot of water, which has slowly, but steadily, increased in temperature to the point that it is boiled alive without realizing it.

As the story goes, if the frog were dumped into boiling water, it would immediately jump out.

But, since the water’s temperature was initially comfortable, even pleasant, and only slowly increased, the frog gradually became acclimated to it, and therefore was, in effect, desensitized to the inevitable, impending danger, and died slowly.

For the past nearly 50 years or so, and more specifically, within the last 38, America has swooned under the siren song led by the GOP, which in part started off with the not-so-oblique condemnation that, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” (As Brian Gurney, a private citizen from California, noted: “You can’t govern if you don’t believe in government.” But set up a straw man, and beat it to a pulp – demonize the Constitutional effigy.) And to sweeten the deal, and help matters along, a little bit of “They’re individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet, but deep. Their values sustain our national life,” was thrown in for good measure (“a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” you know).

In order to facilitate that destruction, first was an appetizer of dessert – across-the-board personal income tax rates were cut 23%, which made the majority of working-class Americans and families very happy.

But then, calling them “job creators,” (veritable sacred cows which should be left alone to wander about in traffic and poop anywhere they desire) another round of personal income tax cuts came around, this time for the elites, and personal income tax rates upon the very wealthiest Americans was dramatically slashed to less than half the former rate – from 70% to 28%.

And then, there came cries and demands for liberty, and freedom from the tyranny of genuine governmental slavery in the form of, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” And truly, who could disagree? But that was quickly transformed into efforts to squelch personal liberty as healthcare decision-making in the most intimate of, and deeply personal matters involving reproduction, by providing opportunity for nosy neighbors (government) to tell others how they ought to run their lives according to the dictates of others’ religious convictions, all under the auspices of government.

Dissatisfied with that aspect of control, they sought to again meddle into the private lives of others – despite the fact that their private liberties were not encroached upon – and the sanction of committed legal relationships in the civil sector were forbidden to select individuals… just like it once was with ethnic minorities. And when in indignation they invited the SCOTUS to step in and rule (hopefully to their advantage, though contrary to their own religious writings), which ruled against their religiously-motivated (no religious test), publicly-sanctioned governmental discrimination (equal protection under law), they loudly cried ‘FOUL!’

And then, when more of their hand-picked, fair-haired children ruled against them, that rights were not absolute (D.C. v Heller), that not just anyone had a right to own, possess, or brandish any firearm, anywhere, at any time, they couldn’t stand it any more, and falsely accused the SCOTUS of partiality and of siding with their opponents whom they continuously maligned, despite the fact that they were ruled against by one of their own most staunch hard-liners.

Feeling emboldened, their most powerful, yet little-known instigator went public and said in part that, Read the rest of this entry »

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Economic Fundamental

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 5, 2019

California United States Senator Kamala Harris

There is something FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG in a nation when its largest supermarket chain by revenue – which is also the second-largest general retailer and the eighteenth largest company in the nation – finds it necessary, and plans to Read the rest of this entry »

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Healthcare, Marijuana, Medicare For All, Voting Rights, And More

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 1, 2019

This prospective legislation (linked below) is “…an indication of the overall appetite for progressive policies in the 2020 Democratic primary race.”

And, it’s about damn time!

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders -I

I’m sick & tired of hearing folks say that there’s not a nickel’s worth of difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. And face it… if it weren’t for Bernie leading the way last General Election cycle, we very likely wouldn’t be hearing this kind of talk. Seriously.

 

And, while Sen. Kamala Harris exceeded Bernie’s 2016 fundraising “haul” by raising $1.5M in the first 24 hours following announcement of candidacy, Bernie outdid himself this time by raising $6M in 24 hours. THAT is SIGNIFICANT! And, it says that the number of those who believed in him last time, have increased. Plus, he already has the campaign people and mechanisms in place, whereas others – including Harris – do not.

California Senator Kamala Harris -D

I think it’ll be interesting to see how all this shakes out.

Of course, Joe Biden’s likely to be tossed into the mix, but while polls show he has “favorable” ratings with many, including Republicans, Read the rest of this entry »

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Can I ask you a question?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Here’s but one story from my storied career.

—//—

Once, upon a time, I worked in a CVICU (CardioVascular Intensive Care Unit) in Greenville, MS – a predominately Black populated area, with high poverty, and all the problems that come along for that ride.

A patient came to us from a SNF (Skilled Nursing Facility, i.e., Nursing Home), and was refusing to communicate/talk with staff. I became his Nurse. He was a Black gent, and I cared for him just like I would for anyone else – with dignity, and empowering them to make decisions regarding their care.

I was working Read the rest of this entry »

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A Guide To Increasing Company Value

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 19, 2018

Almost everyone who has worked in sales has heard the mantras “the customer is always right,” and “the customer is your most important person.”

And as anyone who has worked in healthcare can attest, neither of those statements are true.

For example, consider the patient who, arriving at the ED (Emergency Department) said to the physician, “My doc says my sugar is high so he gave me this medicine for diabetes.”

Naturally, the physician asked, “Do you take it?”

The patient replied saying, “No, ’cause I don’t have diabetes, just high sugar.”

And then, another Physician who explained to the patient’s mother her child’s diagnosis and therapeutic interventions saying, “She has a concussion, she needs to rest in bed in a quiet dark room until she is better.”

The mother then asked, “Can she go to the fair?”

Conventional wisdom often monikered as “common sense,” sometimes follows the pithy axiom that “common sense isn’t so common anymore.”

For years, I’ve maintained that the customer is NOT “always right,” nor are they the “most important person” in any business.

Instead, the most important person in any business are the employees.

Some CEOs have gotten a bad rap, often justifiably, because while seeking to return corporate profit and shareholder return, they’ve cut resources and employees. Like the abusive Pharaoh of the Exodus account in the Old Testament, they demand to “make more bricks with less hay.” Of course, we know how that story ended – not well.

So naturally, it delighted me to read some time ago that Sir Richard Branson, a renown entrepreneur and philanthropist, has similarly long held that thought and said, “Put your staff first, customers second, and shareholders third.”

In a 2014 interview with Inc. magazine, Sir Richard said, Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump: Who Voted For, And Supports Him?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 21, 2018

Formerly titled, “With Trump WYSIWYG: Who Voted For, And Supports Him?”

African leopard, Panthera pardus pardus, near Lake Panic, Kruger National Park, South Africa, 31 December 2013
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0), Derek Keats, https://www.flickr.com/photos/93242958@N00/19448654130M

One either loves, or loathes, Donald Trump.

One does not simply “tolerate” him.

He is a divisive political figure.

He is starkly contrasted to former POTUS George W. Bush, who in a May 6, 1999 interview with David Horowitz of Salon magazine, famously said, “I’m a uniter, not a divider.”

Trump is a divider, not a uniter.

For Trump, e pluribus unum means nothing, even though we are the United States of America.

And for those who voted for him thinking he’d change, that he was merely spouting hollow campaign rhetoric, they might as well have asked a leopard to change it’s spots.

With Trump, WYSIWYG.

Specifically, I mean to refer to him in his executive Presidential capacity.

And yet, strangely enough, he has coalesced support from diverse, divergent sub-groups within, and without the GOP. The importance of that feat cannot, and should not be underestimated, glossed over, or minimized, because understanding it is key to political success, especially for Read the rest of this entry »

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Members of Congress: Virtual American Royalty… At Taxpayer Expense

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 21, 2017

Members of Congress as virtual royalty,
have raised their pay 9 times over 9 years,
but raised Minimum Wage only 3 times in 18 years.
While Congress now pays themselves almost
3x the Median Household Income,
since 2000,
Inflation has totaled 37.4%.
And with 72% subsidies, Employer Contributions,
and other
luxurious perks unavailable to the Average Citizen,
including full Retirement Vestment after 5 years,
and 72% subsidy for Healthcare Insurance in Retirement,
their Healthcare is practically free.
And you’re paying for it.
But yours is not.
And you’re paying for it, too!

Members first received $6 a day in 1789, today they get $174,000 annually, in addition to phenomenal perks, health insurance, and retirement… all at taxpayer expense.

Presently, Congress also gets: Read the rest of this entry »

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Why All Christians Should Support Abortion Rights

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 15, 2017

I support abortion rights for women. Here’s why.

Freedom, Liberty, and Independence.

And, I’m Catholic.

I have a cousin who Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Resolve Gun Sickness & Disease

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Firearm fascination has gotten to the point of ridiculousness, to the extent that it’s much like a paraphilia. It’s no longer merely “disturbing,” its downright dangerous, and blatantly irresponsible. As Healthcare professionals, we research & examine the scope, extent, and exact nature of the problem, then make a diagnosis, and formulate a plan of treatment to either ameliorate the symptoms, or cure the disease. It presumes, of course, that the patient will cooperate with the plan, and follow the course of treatment.

In this present “gun nut” scenario in which we find ourselves suffering, the NRA has bent over backwards to Read the rest of this entry »

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Helping Comes First

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 23, 2017

 When Saint Pius of Pietrelcina (1887-1968) — Padre Pio as he’s widely known — decided he wanted to build a free hospital for the poor up the road from his friary, he started with a piece of land and a few friends and supporters. Four years later, in 1956, he had one of the most modern hospitals in Europe. Since the padre’s death in 1968, the facility, which Read the rest of this entry »

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Can American Health Insurance Be Repaired?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Naysayers to the “public option,” or “single payer” health insurance plan claim that it’s “socialized medicine.” You know… much like what Military Service Members  – and their families – in the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines have access to. And to be certain, the health insurance “money grab” came through Richard Nixon‘s signature on a bill written by  Massachusetts’ U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy… the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973.

Before that law was passed, it was ILLEGAL to profit from delivery of healthcare services. Now, we have avariciously rapacious Wall-Street masters slave driving the people for more and more and more and more profit. The greedy, never-ending quest for profits has quickly deteriorated the American healthcare delivery system, which was once a marvel of the world. Now, according to the World Health Organization 2000 report of its 191 member nations health systems, the United States ranked 37th in efficiency worldwide, while France, Italy, San Marino, Andorra, and Malta round out the top five most efficient nations for delivery of healthcare services. Japan ranks 10th, while the United Kingdom is 18th, and Canada is 30th. The United States is sandwiched in between Costa Rica, and Slovenia, respectively.

Truth be told – and it’s sad to say – there are probably as many corrupt Democrats as there are corrupt Republicans, neither of whom have the people’s best interests at heart, or in mind. Such ones’ solitary concern is with their own wallet, and how they can profit privately at taxpayer expense. That includes graft through directing contracts and business toward friends’ business interests.

Look at Read the rest of this entry »

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A Common Calling To Care

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 25, 2017

St. Louis King of France with a Page, El Greco

 Two men quite unlike each other, both saints, and both revered for similar reasons: Their concrete love for the poor. In the mid-13th century, Saint Louis (1214–1270) embraced the way of Saint Francis of Assisi and cared for the poor even as King Louis IX of France. It is said that Louis had over 100 guests from among the poor to eat with him daily. He also established hospitals and houses of healing for lepers and the sick. Saint Joseph Calasanz (1557–1648) in the mid-16th century saw that the need to educate poor children was so important that he gave up a career in Read the rest of this entry »

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