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October 9, 2015
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The Divine Comedy

By Dante Alighieri



By Chris Abani

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Tag: Medicare

Another Big Pharma Company Forces Patients to Pay Sky-High Drug Prices

Another drug company has joined the likes of the recently exposed Turing Pharmaceuticals by jacking up prices of life-sustaining meds on extremely short notice. Remember this name: Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.

Posted on Oct 4, 2015 READ MORE

Bernie Sanders: Stop Soaring Drug Prices

Earlier this month, the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate said he would introduce legislation to halt skyrocketing pharmaceutical prices, which the industry raised 12.6 percent last year.

Posted on Sep 14, 2015 READ MORE

Medicare and Medicaid

Posted on Aug 3, 2015 READ MORE

Jlhopgood (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Let’s Celebrate Medicare’s Birthday by Recognizing the Truth About the Program

Medicare turns 50 next week and it’s more popular than ever. Yet it continues to be blamed for America’s current and future budget problems.

Posted on Jul 25, 2015 READ MORE

Obamacare: Not Perfect, But ‘Here to Stay’

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act established it as a vital part of the nation’s social safety net and too much a part of American life to be ripped out.

Posted on Jun 25, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Why Medicare Isn’t the Problem; It’s the Solution

Again and again in the upcoming election you’ll hear conservatives claim that Medicare — the health insurance program for America’s seniors — is running out of money and must be pared back.

Posted on Jun 24, 2015 READ MORE

Jon Stewart Bashes Congress for Over-Congratulating Itself for Fixing a Problem It Created

Inspired by our legislators’ recent celebration of their bipartisan “Doc-Fix” Medicare measure, Jon Stewart and other “Daily Show” correspondents imagine what life would be like if “normal people” reacted the way Congress does to “the dutiful executing of basic occupational tasks.”

Posted on Apr 21, 2015 READ MORE

The GOP Is Promoting War With Iran as a Campaign Strategy

With other arguments against the Democrats vanishing, only by turning the debate toward Iran can the Republicans survive. Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was just a political stunt to try to achieve that end.

Posted on Mar 20, 2015 READ MORE

Our Attitude Toward the Elderly Is Getting Old

Instead of dehumanizing our senior citizens, we should be prioritizing eldercare so that not just the rich can go out in comfort and dignity.

Posted on Feb 12, 2015 READ MORE

Suspicious Prescriptions for HIV Drugs Abound in Medicare

The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds Medicare spent tens of millions of dollars in 2012 for HIV drugs there’s little evidence patients needed. A 77-year-old woman with no record of HIV got $33,500 of medication.

Posted on Aug 6, 2014 READ MORE

The Obscure Drug With a Growing Medicare Tab

Experts question the effectiveness of H.P. Acthar Gel, a drug made from pigs’ pituitary glands. Yet it cost Medicare more than $141 million in 2012, up from $7 million in 2008.

Posted on Aug 5, 2014 READ MORE

Why Are Obstetricians Among the Top Billers for Group Psychotherapy in Illinois?

Illinois leads the country in group psychotherapy sessions in Medicare, and some top billers aren’t mental health specialists. The state’s Medicaid program has cracked down, but federal officials have not.

Posted on Jul 15, 2014 READ MORE

Fanny Pack Mixup Unravels Massive Medicare Fraud Scheme

Two secretaries in a doctor’s office have pleaded guilty and a pharmacy owner faces charges in a scam that Medicare allowed to thrive for more than two years.

Posted on Jul 12, 2014 READ MORE

Medicare Overpays Billions for Office Visits, Patient Evaluations

The findings by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services complement a recent ProPublica review that found many doctors bill for services very differently from their peers.

Posted on May 29, 2014 READ MORE


Following Abuses, Medicare Tightens Reins on Its Drug Program

Medicare gives itself the power to ban physicians if they prescribe medications in abusive ways. The action follows a series of articles by ProPublica documenting inappropriate prescribing, waste and fraud in its popular drug program.

Posted on May 21, 2014 READ MORE

401(K) 2012 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Even After Doctors Are Sanctioned or Arrested, Medicare Keeps Paying

A ProPublica analysis of recently released data shows that dozens of physicians who received payments from Medicare in 2012 had been kicked out of Medicaid, charged with fraud, or settled claims of overbilling Medicare itself.

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 READ MORE

Tree for the Forest

Posted on Apr 13, 2014 READ MORE

Is Putin a Villain for Refusing to ‘Play Ball’ With the West?

For some reason the Russian president wasn’t considered evil during the war in Chechnya; the casual American style came about thanks to college students; meanwhile, Jimmy Carter thinks expanding Medicare would have been better than the Affordable Care Act. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Mar 31, 2014 READ MORE

‘Daily Show’ Correspondent Discovers Medicare Has Spent $172 Million on Penis Pumps

Clearly restoring “the glory” of male erections is a more pressing health matter than providing contraceptives for women.

Posted on Mar 19, 2014 READ MORE

Tax Credits (CC BY 2.0)

Payments to CEO Raise New Conflicts at Top Health Quality Group

The top executive at the country’s pre-eminent health care quality organization is being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by two large medical companies that have a stake in the group’s work.

Posted on Feb 13, 2014 READ MORE

will1ill (CC BY 2.0)

As the Media Get Bored With Obamacare, Is the Public Starting to Get on Board?

We have now passed several key milestones in the open enrollment cycle for the Affordable Care Act.

Posted on Feb 5, 2014 READ MORE

Pranjal Mahna (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Medicare Wants to Ban Doctors Guilty of ‘Abusive’ Prescribing, but What Exactly Does That Mean?

When the agency that runs Medicare announced last week that it would take action against doctors who prescribe abusively in its massive drug program—perhaps banning them—it raised an interesting question.

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 READ MORE

The Plight of Unpaid Interns

The lack of laws protecting interns from exploitation has left millions of young Americans without options; it doesn’t matter what the definition of a “journalist” is, just that all acts of journalism are protected; meanwhile, as tea partyers attack Obamacare, why is no one in Congress talking about Medicare’s benefits? These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Nov 5, 2013 READ MORE

The Single-Payer Signal in the Obamacare Noise

The new law cemented the industry’s profit-extracting role in the larger health system—and it still leaves millions without insurance.

Posted on Nov 1, 2013 READ MORE

Health Care: Deja Vu All Over Again

Just as the Republicans in Congress are desperate to destroy the Affordable Care Act, their predecessors tried to kill Medicare in the 1960s and Social Security in the 1930s.

Posted on Oct 14, 2013 READ MORE

Single-Payer Prescription for What Ails Obamacare

The for-profit health-insurance industry in the United States is profoundly inefficient and costly, and a sane and sustainable alternative exists—single-payer, otherwise known as expanded and improved Medicare for all.

Posted on Oct 9, 2013 READ MORE

Doctors Are Not ‘Steering Clear’ of Medicare

Despite what Republicans say, a study shows that physicians are not turning away elderly patients on the insurance plan; after revelations about the NSA, the American public has becoming increasingly discontent with government protection of privacy; meanwhile, television host Jimmy Kimmel duped the world with a disastrous twerking YouTube video that proves how easy it is to divert attention from serious matters. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Sep 11, 2013 READ MORE

‘Left, Right & Center’: Eric Holder Meets the Press

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists eye Attorney General Eric Holder’s off-the-record meeting regarding possible changes at the DOJ, a Pew study showing 40 percent of households have mothers as breadwinners, the state of Medicare and more.

Posted on May 31, 2013 READ MORE


Posted on May 10, 2013 READ MORE

Sequestered Air

Posted on Apr 28, 2013 READ MORE

How the News Is Killing You

Reading mass media news articles is unhealthy and causes unhappiness, so stop it; Americans want to know more about socialism, as evidenced by Merriam-Webster’s two most searched entries in 2012; meanwhile the Swedes were dissatisfied with gendered pronouns and have officially incorporated a third, gender-neutral one into their language. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Apr 15, 2013 READ MORE

Glyn Lowe Photoworks (CC BY-ND 2.0)

A Tax Day Plan for Righting the Republic

If we had a government capable of honoring the collective desire for more jobs, smaller deficits, more education funding, reduced reliance on fossil fuels and Medicare and Social Security benefits preserved, our future could be guaranteed at tax time in no time.

Posted on Apr 11, 2013 READ MORE

AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Obama to Formally Propose Social Security Cuts

In the name of compromise, bipartisanship and the satisfaction of a ruling class that is indifferent to the suffering of ordinary Americans, President Obama is ready to sell parts of Social Security and Medicare in his attempt to strike an annual budget that satisfies Republicans and reduces the long-term deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years, administration officials say.

Posted on Apr 5, 2013 READ MORE

Campaign rally image via Shutterstock

Why Politicians Listen to Public Opinion on Gay Marriage and Guns but Not the Economy

Recent polls show Americans would rather reduce the deficit by raising taxes than by cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education and transportation. Yet Congress seems incapable of making that kind of deal. Some 65 percent of Americans want to raise taxes on large corporations, but both parties are heading in precisely the opposite direction.

Posted on Mar 31, 2013 READ MORE

Why Democrats Shouldn’t Put Social Security and Medicare on the Table

If there was ever a time for the Democratic Party to champion working Americans and reverse these troubling trends, it is now — forging an alliance between the frustrated middle and the working poor.

Posted on Mar 21, 2013 READ MORE

Ryan’s Pot o’ Vouchers

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 READ MORE

Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ryan’s Budget Is Good for the Rich, Bad for Everyone Else

Rep. Paul Ryan has figured out a way to balance the budget: Give corporations and wealthy people tax breaks they don’t need while aggressively cutting health and social programs that middle and lower-income Americans do.

Posted on Mar 12, 2013 READ MORE


The Sequester and the Tea Party Plot

Sequestration is only the start. What the tea party set out to do was not simply change Washington but eviscerate the U.S. government—“drown it in the bathtub,” in the words of their guru Grover Norquist.

Posted on Mar 3, 2013 READ MORE

Nurse Your Medicare—Obama’s Coming for It

The only reason President Obama is interested in health care reform is to please big business; Aaron Swartz memorials have become the setting of discussions about transforming the U.S. justice system; meanwhile, Obama’s pick for secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, is no stranger to the Cayman Islands. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Feb 13, 2013 READ MORE

Illustration by Mr. Fish

Adventures in Flossing

I grew up never knowing that candy was bad and floss was good. Even as an adult, I’m embarrassed to admit, I used a dollar bill to clean between my teeth. Instead, though, I was actually adding bacteria to my mouth, thereby giving a new, literal meaning to the concept of “dirty money.”

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 READ MORE

Flickr/401(K) 2013

The Myth of Living Beyond Our Means

Brace yourself. In coming weeks you’ll hear there’s no serious alternative to cutting Social Security and Medicare, raising taxes on middle class, and decimating what’s left of the federal government’s discretionary spending on everything from education and job training to highways and basic research.

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 READ MORE

Echoes of FDR: Obama’s Inspiring Address Links Freedom With Security and Dignity

So much for the “Grand Bargain”—or at least for the not-so-grand gutting of Social Security and Medicare that the “very serious” thought-leaders of Washington political and media circles have always found so appealing.

Posted on Jan 23, 2013 READ MORE


Posted on Jan 10, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Rich Pedroncelli

A Temperature Check From Sen. Sanders

“Despite such terminology as ‘fiscal cliff’ and ‘debt ceiling,’ ” writes Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., “the great debate taking place in Washington now has relatively little to do with financial issues. It is all about ideology.”

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 READ MORE

Flickr/401(K) 2013

The Hoax of Entitlement Reform

It has become accepted economic wisdom, uttered with deadpan certainty by policy pundits and budget scolds on both sides of the aisle, that the only way to get control over America’s looming deficits is to “reform entitlements.”

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 READ MORE

‘Left, Right & Center’: One Fiscal Cliff Down, Boehner, and Al Gore’s Big Payday

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists consider the fiscal cliff deal and the issues it left untouched: the debt ceiling and the threat of “reform” to social services. They also dissect the re-election of John Boehner as speaker of the House as well as the FTC’s decision on Google and antitrust and anti-competition laws.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 READ MORE

The Next War: The Battle Over the Debt Ceiling

The last time the debt ceiling had to be raised, in 2011, Republicans demanded major cuts in programs for the poor as well as Medicare and Social Security. They got some concessions from the White House but didn’t get what they wanted—which led us to the fiscal cliff. So we’ve come full circle.

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 READ MORE

Wade Rockett (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Liberals Back to Giving Obama a Pass

“Now that Obama appears poised to push substantial parts of Social Security and Medicare over the ‘fiscal cliff’—in exchange for a paltry, largely symbolic, increase in the top marginal income-tax rate—we might ask whether liberals will once again rise to Obama’s defense, no matter how indefensible his actions,” writes John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper’s Magazine.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 READ MORE

Pete Souza/The White House

Cliffhanger: Obama’s Unnecessary and Unwise Concessions

Why is the president back to making premature and unnecessary concessions to Republicans?

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 READ MORE

AP/Dave Collins

Obamacare Begins

Throughout the country, health professionals, politicians and health care activists are meeting about how to implement the Affordable Care Act now that it has been upheld by the Supreme Court and President Barack Obama’s re-election.

Posted on Dec 13, 2012 READ MORE

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