The idea that the US must make a healthy young adult buy health insurance to subsidize health care for seniors and the poor is false. Seniors and poor have gotten health care from War on Poverty Medicare and Medcaid and paid for decades the payroll taxes ALREADY PRE-PAID for this care. The question of funding for Medicaid comes from the FDR New Deal program that has a Federal fund set aside to cover all trips to a public hospital not able to be paid by citizens with no means.
THESE FEDERAL STRUCTURES ARE STILL THERE---THE FUNDS ARE SIMPLY BEING SENT TO SUBSIDIZE HEALTH INDUSTRY PROFITS AND EXPANSION OVERSEAS WITH TELEMEDICINE-----AND NOT FUNDING MEDICAID.
When a Republican and Clinton/Obama Wall Street neo-liberals PRETEND seniors and the poor are forcing young and mid-aged adults to buy health insurance to support these groups----people are then mad at the poor and seniors and these Medicare and Medicaid programs.
THAT IS HOW YOU END VERY POPULAR FEDERAL HEALTH PROGRAMS LIKE MEDICARE AND MEDICAID.....PRETEND THEY ARE THE CAUSE OF HIGHER PRICES.
The article below has a good clip of the actual Heritage Foundation policy that would not copy to my page but look at this article to see the words the Republican think tank uses ------WORDS LIKE ----UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE AND SINGLE-PAYER to make it seem as though this very Wall Street profit-driven policy is about providing health care for all.
THIS IS WHAT MARYLAND HEALTH CARE FOR ALL DOES AND IT IS A JOHNS HOPKINS CORPORATE NON-PROFIT POSING PROGRESSIVE SIMPLY TO ALLOW GLOBAL CORPORATIONS TO GET RICH BY DENYING WHAT AMERICANS ARE GUARANTEED THROUGH PAYROLL TAXES AND A FEDERAL MEDICARE AND MEDICAID PROGRAM.
This is all very right-wing and all Maryland pols pushed this especially Baltimore's City Hall and Maryland Assembly pols and they did this because they work for a very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins and Baltimore Development Corporation.
Original 1989 document where Heritage Foundation created Obamacare’s individual mandate
10/24/13 8:00am by John Aravosis
The irony, of course, is that it was Republicans, via their premiere think tank, the Heritage Foundation, who came up with the idea in the first place.
As you know, the “individual mandate” requires that every American buy health insurance, if they don’t have it through their work, or pay a penalty.
The individual mandate really is one of the key underpinnings of Obamacare, because without it there’s concern that everyone’s policies might be too expensive.
Here’s more on the mandate from Kaiser Health News:
The health law was designed to extend insurance to nearly all people, including those who have medical conditions that require expensive care and are often denied coverage today. But to pay for their care, insurance companies need to have a large enrollment of consumers, especially young and healthy people who use fewer services. The mandate was adopted to guarantee a broad base.
Topher Spiro, the vice president of health policy at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning nonprofit that supports the law, says it will be more effective with the mandate than without it.
CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS IS A CLINTON NEO-LIBERAL POLICY CENTER SO IS NOT LEFT-LEANING.
“This individual mandate is to keep premiums low for everyone,” he said, noting that “if you don’t have incentives for everyone to sign up for coverage then only the sick people will enroll which will drive up premiums.”
But others suggest the mandate won’t be effective because the penalties are set so much lower than the cost of coverage.
As you also know, the Republicans shut down the entire federal government, and were on the verge of forcing the United States to default on its debt, likely sending the world into a Depression, in order to force the outright repeal of Obamacare, its defunding, or at the very least a delay in the individual mandate.
The funny thing is that it was the Republicans who came up with the idea in the first, as first described by Stuart Butler in a publication for the very conservative Heritage Foundation in 1989. And what group took the lead in pushing for the federal government shutdown in order to stop Obamacare? The Heritage Foundation’s political arm, Heritage Action.
Here’s the cover of Heritage’s 1989 publication:
And in a section called “The Heritage Plan,” Butler sets the premise for a form of guaranteed universal health care that would be anathema to the far-right Tea Party that controls the Republican party today:
A few pages down into the “Heritage Plan,” Butler proposes the individual mandate:
So, the next time you hear a Republican talk about how the individual mandate simply must be stopped, or at least delayed. Ask them why they’re so opposed to a plan that they came up with in the first place?
The ban on denying insurance coverage for pre-existing disease vectors was always progressive posing. We are watching right now as these private state health systems design these systems in ways that make it too hard for low-income citizens to get to where their insurance covers these chronic illnesses. You may not see this right now----but they intend to place this pre-existing care requirement in ways that people cannot access that care.
This is why I shout to REAL social Democrats wanting to keep good old Medicare strong and healthy not to be fooled by Republican posing terms like Universal or single-payer policies. Look at these bills expecting to see where policy is buried to make sure the progressive posing does not happen.
EXPANDED AND IMPROVED MEDICARE FOR ALL BY SOCIAL DEMOCRATS SAVES AND EXPANDS OUR GOOD OLD MEDICARE THAT WORKED FINE UNTIL CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA STARTED TO DISMANTLE IT ----REMOVING OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY TO ALLOW FOR MASSIVE HEALTH INDUSTRY FRAUDS OF TRILLIONS AGAINST OUR MEDICARE TRUSTS.
Somehow we are all to be comforted that ObamaCare was written by a Republican think tank. See how totally out of all political discussion the Democratic base has become with this Wall Street global coprorate neo-liberal control of our Democratic Party?
Obamacare "was the Republican plan in the early '90s."
— Ellen Qualls on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 in comments on Fox News Channel
Is the ACA the GOP health care plan from 1993?
By Jon Greenberg on Friday, November 15th, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.
If there’s one thing conservatives might hate more than Obamacare, it’s hearing that Obamacare springs from Republican ideas. The Heritage Foundation, the granddaddy of the right-wing think tanks, fumed when President Barack Obama said it was the source of the concept of the health insurance marketplaces where people could shop for the best deal. (We rated Obama's claim Mostly True.)
Squaring off with Sean Hannity on his Fox News Channel show, Democratic public relations consultant Ellen Qualls could barely get these words out:
Qualls: History lesson. This was the Republican plan ...
Hannity: This was not the Republican plan.
Qualls: … in the early '90s.
Hannity: No Republican supported it. Not one Republican voted for this.
Qualls: Yes, in the '90s ...
Hannity: That’s a lie.
Qualls: … during the Clinton administration, this was the ‘Let’s fix the private insurance system ...
Hannity: No. No.
Qualls: … and make it work’, instead of making it a government system.
Is the Affordable Care Act really the same as "the Republican plan in the early '90s?"
Short answer -- sort of. There was a Republican bill in the Senate that looked a whole lot like Obamacare, but it wasn’t the only GOP bill on Capitol Hill, it never came to a vote and from what we can tell, plenty of conservative Republicans didn’t like it.
Qualls told PunditFact that she was thinking of the Senate bill.
1993: Health care takes center stage
President Bill Clinton took on an ill-fated effort to reform health care in 1993. As the president’s task force (led by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton) worked behind closed doors to craft solutions to ever-rising health care costs and a growing number of uninsured families, Republicans scrambled to forge an alternative.
Republican Sen. John Chafee of Rhode Island was the point man. The bill he introduced, Health Equity and Access Reform Today, (yes, that spells HEART) had a list of 20 co-sponsors that was a who’s who of Republican leadership. There was Minority Leader Bob Dole, R- Kan., Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and many others. There also were two Democratic co-sponsors.
Among other features, the Chafee bill included:
- An individual mandate;
- Creation of purchasing pools;
- Standardized benefits;
- Vouchers for the poor to buy insurance;
- A ban on denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition.
That said, the Senate plan from 1993 was not identical to the health care law that passed in 2010. The Republican bill did not expand Medicaid as Obamacare does, and it did have medical malpractice tort reform, which the current law does not. In contrast to the current employer mandate, the Chafee bill required employers to offer insurance, but they were under no obligation to help pay for it.
Policy differences aside, health care scholar and former Clinton adviser Paul Starr at Princeton University said the Affordable Care Act is distinct in one other important way.
"The Chafee plan did not spell out how increased coverage would be financed," Starr said. "It was more of a symbolic bill than an actual piece of legislation."
In fact, after the bill was introduced, the Senate never took it up again.
Even before Chafee brought his bill forward, some conservatives were trying to scuttle it.
More hard-line senators such as Phil Gramm, R-Texas, House Republicans and the Heritage Foundation saw the Chafee bill as an unacceptable compromise. What they wanted was outright defeat of the president’s approach.
No single alternative emerged, but there were a variety of Republican proposals. One in the House drew more co-sponsors than any other, 72 of them. It was called the Action Now Health Reform Act, but its scope was limited. Much of it focused on insurance for small businesses and the self-employed. It offered some protections for people with pre-existing conditions and included changes in medical malpractice law.
There was a smorgasbord of other House Republican bills. Like Chafee’s bill, none of them went anywhere.
Qualls said the Affordable Care Act "was the Republican plan in the '90s." The bill she had in mind did have a strong roster of Republicans behind it, and it did share many major features with the Affordable Care Act. There were some significant differences but in a side-by-side comparison, the similarities dominate.
Here you see way back in the Bush Administration and way before Republican think tanks wanting to deregulate health care in the US so badly-------because you cannot maximize profits when you have public interest to abide by. For those not knowing what deregulated health care looks like----it ends Hippocratic Oath----ends Patient Bill of Rights----ends oversight and accountability so there is no transparency of how hospitals and patient care results are monitored. It leaves that profit incentive to drive corruption in organ transplant-----in how far to go to save a patient according to amount of insurance-----corrupts the clinical trial system that made sure our PHARMA and medical devices are safe BEFORE THEY COME TO MARKET.
It basically allows any action for profit to occur. When you add that deregulation to global market expansion and telemedicine---you bring the kind of health care that global health corporations like Johns Hopkins has been doing overseas these few decades BACK TO THE US. Add to that bringing lots of foreign medical staff---doctors included used to working in developing nations with no US Rule of Law, US Constitution, and WE THE PEOPLE as citizens with rights----and you see where in just a decade or so----US health systems will operate as they do overseas.
THAT IS WHAT US INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONE AND TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT HAS AS A GOAL IN HEALTH CARE.
Again, having foreign medical staff that are highly trained and qualified is not the problem----it is the dismantling of our degree programs tied to health by Clinton/Obama and Bush Wall Street global pols with the same occurring at the Maryland Assembly as fast as they can get this installed-----that brings the US down to that third world standard and I do feel many foreign medical staff would rather protect and strengthen our current first world quality of care and protections of patients.
You mean all of Baltimore City Hall and Baltimore Maryland Assembly pols are working for CATO----and none of the ACA has anything to do with Democrats? YOU BETCHA. Notice the CATO Republican stance of calling this Universal Care or single-payer to make it seem it is about helping the poor.....
To Expand Health Coverage, Deregulate Health Care
By Christopher J. Conover
This article was published in Investor’s Business Daily, October 7, 2004.
The soaring cost of health care has become one of this nation’s most pressing public issues. Politicians and pundits regularly talk of new programs and changes in law that could address this problem, and some have even discussed the implementation of a socialized health care system. Unfortunately, there is little discussion of one policy response that would significantly lower health care costs: doing away with outmoded and questionable health care regulations that raise prices but produce little if any benefit.
THESE SOARING COSTS TO HEALTH CARE IN THE US COULDN'T BE CAUSED BY HEALTH INDUSTRY FRAUD AND PROFITEERING-----OH, WAIT-----THEY ARE CAUSED BY THAT. HOW DID REGULATIONS BECOME THE PROBLEM?
As one health economics textbook puts it, “the U.S. health care system, while among the most `market oriented’ in the industrialized world, remains the most intensively regulated sector of the U.S. economy.” Regulation is taxation by another name. Instead of taxing private resources to fund government spending, regulation directs how private individuals use those resources. The costs of regulation are the benefits we would derive from alternative uses of those resources.
To determine the costs of health care regulation and ascertain whether those costs are offset by benefits, my colleagues at Duke University and I have spent several years evaluating the economic literature to estimate the net burden that health care regulations place on the U.S. economy. Our preliminary results are published today (10/4) by the Cato Institute.
We examined five areas of government regulation that apply solely to the health care sector: regulation of health facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, etc.), health professionals (doctors, nurses and many other providers), health insurance (pricing restrictions, benefit mandates, portability requirements, etc.), pharmaceuticals and medical devices, as well as the medical liability system.
Our review of the literature on 47 different types of health care regulation suggests their total cost was roughly $339.1 billion in 2002. After subtracting the $170.1 billion in benefits that we calculate those regulations provide, we find that health care regulation places a net burden on society of $169.1 billion annually.
Broken down by component, the medical liability system appears to impose the greatest net cost, at $80.6 billion per year. We arrive at that estimate after accounting for the medical liability system’s benefits: averted mortality and disability, plus the compensation paid to injured patients.
We estimate that Food and Drug Administration regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices imposes a net annual cost of $41.8 billion. The lion’s share of that cost represents the value society places on the net number of lives that are lost while waiting for better pharmaceuticals to be approved, after subtracting the number of lives saved by FDA regulation.
In 2002, regulation of hospitals and other health facilities cost an estimated $25.1 billion. The two greatest costs in this category are hospital accreditation and licensure requirements (net cost $8.6 billion), and laws that tax hospitals and redistribute the revenues to those providing above-average amounts of uncompensated care (net cost $5.2 billion). Health insurance regulations cost Americans $14.4 billion annually, while regulation of doctors and other health professionals cost $7.1 billion annually.
This leads to some troubling realizations. Over the next 10 years, the net cost of health care regulations will be some three times more than the $534 billion cost of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. By increasing the cost of medical care, regulation increases the cost of health insurance. We estimate health care regulation makes coverage unaffordable for approximately 7.5 million Americans.
Though one might suppose this added burden ensures better medical care, it is likely that it costs lives instead.
Several studies have established a tradeoff between income and mortality: As income rises, mortality falls because people are able to purchase more health and safety. We estimate that by making Americans $169.1 billion poorer each year, health care regulations induce approximately 22,205 deaths annually. That is over 4,000 more deaths than the Institutes of Medicine attribute to uninsurance.
If we are to get the most out of our health care sector, policymakers must address the high cost of health care regulation. In terms of priorities, it would appear that medical liability reform offers the most promising target for regulatory cost savings, followed by deregulation of the FDA, health insurance (e.g., mandated health benefits) and health facilities (e.g., accreditation and licensure).
What should be clear from even this rough picture of the health care regulatory landscape is that the potential savings from deregulation are far too large to be ignored.
I want to give just one example of how Affordable Care Act is simply a REFORM OF US HEALTH CARE meant to meet the standards of Trans Pacific Trade Pact in creating a ONE WORLD policy looking more third world than first world.
Americans do not hear this in there media but one of the big concerns has to do with PHARMA tied to communicable diseases like HIV, polio, TB, etc. Here you see Doctors Without Borders----a strong and reputable international health justice organization shouting against TPP for creating policies that will kill these public health initiatives. Developing nations like India have strong public health programs aimed at all these communicable diseases but many Asian nations have nothing. India was the loudest in condemning TPP for these reasons among others. Meanwhile in the US, the Affordable CAre Act pretends to strengthen preventative care and send Federal funding to strengthen our US city communicable disease programs including HIV, TB, polio, asthma.......now, think---if we know Congress is controlled by Clinton/Obama global neo-liberals and Bush/Hopkins neo-cons are they really sending all that preventative care funding to build all this communicable disease infrastructure?
OF COURSE NOT.
Baltimore is full of these preventative policies and all candidates for Mayor of Baltimore are hawking these programs aimed at the poor all considered basically all the health care access the poor in the US will get----Medicaid for All. The only plans in Affordable Care Act for communicable disease or chronic illness is this-------returning to the SANITORIUM model where if you contract a communicable disease you are simply sent to these institutions where it is doubtful PHARMA will be given for treatment----look at the article below that states how high PHARMA prices will go and how that will effect public health and getting access to that PHARMA. We already know the low-income will be taken from our US PHARMA. Then think about the very FAR-RIGHT REPUBLICAN right-to-die------euthanasia. I call it far-right because under ACA people will ask to die because they cannot or will not incur all of that medical debt to receive what has been ordinary health care in modern history.
Euthanasia was tied to a progressive social policy decades ago when a person wanting to die could end their life but had a choice to receive care to save that life. I call ACA and euthanasia Republican because now the motive to end life comes with the burden of medical debt-----being forced into ending life is not socially progressive.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Threat To Global Health?
May 8, 2015
Lost in the political discussions over the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a trade agreement currently being negotiated in secret between the U.S. and 11 other Pacific-Rim nations—is the very real negative impact it would have on global health.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works in over 60 countries, and our medical teams rely on access to affordable medicines and vaccines. We are deeply concerned that the TPP, in its current form, will lock-in high, unsustainable drug prices, block or delay the availability of affordable generic medicines, and price millions of people out of much-needed medical care.
The public health repercussions of this deal could be massive. The negotiating countries represent at least 700 million people, and U.S. negotiators refer to the TPP as a “blueprint” for future trade deals. The TPP attempts to rewrite existing global trade rules and would dismantle legal flexibilities and protections afforded for public health.
We have concerns with several U.S. government demands in the TPP. For example, the TPP would lower the standard for patentability of medicines. It would force TPP governments to grant pharmaceutical companies additional patents for changes to existing medicines, even when the changes provide no therapeutic benefit to patients. These provisions would facilitate “evergreening” and other forms of abuse of the patent system by lengthening monopolies and delaying access to generic competition.
Another concerning provision in the TPP involves so-called “data exclusivity” for biologics, a new class of medicines that includes vaccines and drugs used for cancer and multiple sclerosis treatment. Data exclusivity blocks competing firms from using previously generated clinical trial data to gain approval for generic versions of these drugs and vaccines. If pharmaceutical companies have their way, the TPP will block generic producers of biologics from entering the market for at least 12 years, during which patients would be forced to endure astronomical prices.
The rationale given for such an exclusivity period is that it will promote innovation by allowing originator companies enough time to charge high prices and recoup their research and development investment. This simply isn’t supported by the evidence. On the contrary, the Federal Trade Commission finds that no years of data exclusivity were necessary to promote innovation in biologic drugs.
Twelve years of data exclusivity is not only unprecedented in any trade agreement, it is not the law in any of the TPP negotiating countries outside of the U.S., and it would keep lifesaving medicines out of reach of millions of people. The Obama Administration has actually called for data exclusivity to be reduced to seven years at home, so it is puzzling that the U.S. Trade Representative would be aggressively pushing for these terms in the TPP.
These provisions and others currently included in the TPP are at direct odds with the U.S. government’s own long-standing commitments to global health. U.S. taxpayer-supported initiatives like PEPFAR, the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, rely on affordable, generic medicines in order to operate effectively.
Research And Development
As an organization caring for patients worldwide, Doctors Without Borders understands that there should be incentives to recover research and development investments and to promote innovation. Unfortunately, the public is in the dark on what this research and development truly costs. We are told that it costs billions to research and develop a new medicine, although a significant amount of early research and development actually happens at publicly funded centers and universities.
We are told that the only way to ensure that people receive the medicines they need is by increasing intellectual property provisions, such as those encapsulated in the TPP. In reality, the existing monopoly-based innovation system that the TPP is attempting to standardize has left us with more patents and fewer medical breakthroughs.
The most recent and dramatic example of this failure in innovation played out just last year, when Ebola raged through West Africa. Doctors Without Borders and other global health actors were ill-equipped to fight a disease that was identified 40 years ago but for which there are still no adequate diagnostics, treatments, or vaccines.
As TPP countries aim to conclude negotiations in the next few months, it is essential that the United States and other negotiating countries work to protect existing access to medicines’ safeguards and to promote a public-health driven biomedical innovation system.
HIV and drug addiction has been #1 health problems in Baltimore for decades. What we know is Maryland and its policies of pooled health care funds for Medicare and Medicaid HAS NOT HAD MARYLAND SENDING THOSE FUNDS TO THE CITY OR USED IN THESE PROGRAMS. As with all Federal health funds in Baltimore most of these funds went to building the next national health corporations.
If you listen to Baltimore's mayoral forums all candidates are going to create and fix this same communicable disease crisis as every election----and they do not tell you Trans Pacific Trade Pact and International Economic Zone policies are extreme profit-only and these kinds of care will not make it to low-income. That is why they never build out Baltimore Public Health---it is simply a bunch of scattered corporate non-profits usually tied to Johns Hopkins.
HIV and AIDS is one of the most expensive diseases to treat and maintain. Doctors Without Borders was shouting against TPP and its attack on public health because it would make PHARMA tied to these treatments too expensive and prohibitive for public health overseas----AND THAT WILL BE THE SAME IN THE US. They are not going to set up a system of treatment-----they are going to create HOSPICE and these are very basic for the poor.
Again, I am shouting to what are today's middle-upper middle class-----global corporations do not see a US middle-class ----everyone will be pushed to a third world poverty so this is what a child or grandchild will face. HIV and AIDS is hitting black families hard now---but it is a white disease as well---everyone is susceptible to all communicable disease.
I had one person make a comment that is so simple an explanation for this growing HIV infections NEVER MENTIONED in this article or by Hopkins researchers-------
THE BALTIMORE CITY JAIL STOPPED FUNDING FOR CONDOMS AND CITIZENS FLOW THROUGH THESE JAIL SYSTEMS -----YOU DON'T HAVE PUBLIC HEALTH IF THIS IS AS SIMPLE A NEED IN CONTROLLING HIV.
Black women in city infected with HIV at higher rate than national average
Study conducted by researchers at Hopkins and around the country
Patrice Henry, a patient advocate/community program coordinator… (Algerina Perna, Baltimore…)
March 08, 2012|By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun
African-American women in Baltimore and five other U.S. cities are becoming infected with HIV at a rate five times the national average for black women, and closer to the rates of some African countries, according to a new study.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University and around the country who made the findings suspected the rates were higher in these "hot spots" that have battled the epidemic for decades, but the numbers still came as a surprise in a field that tends to focus more on black and gay men.
"This is why it's important to remind people that this is going on right here in our hometown," said Dr. Charles Flexner, the principal investigator for the Baltimore part of the study and a clinical pharmacologist and infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins.
"Given what is going on in Baltimore, it's hard to be too aggressive with this," he said. "It's a huge public health problem and the earlier we get it under control, the better off we're going to be."
The study was conducted with funding from the National Institutes of Health by researchers who are part of a national consortium called the HIV Prevention Trials Network, which looks for solutions for the epidemic. The data were presented Thursday at the 19th annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.
Specifically, the researchers found in Baltimore; Atlanta; Newark, N.J.; New York City; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Washington that the annual rate of infection was 24 per 10,000 black women. Nationally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that black women become infected at a rate of 5 per 10,000.
The rate in the Congo is 28 per 10,000.
Baltimore declared HIV a public health emergency in 2002, but the numbers of infected people continue to rise, particularly among at-risk groups, including IV drug users and gay and bisexual men.
Dr. Patrick Chaulk became assistant commissioner for HIV and STD services in the Health Department about two months ago, after a city task force laid out a plan to cut new cases of HIV infection by 25 percent by 2015. Chaulk said the plan includes programs that target all at-risk groups.
Chaulk was charged with helping coordinate public dollars that amount to about $6 million to $7 million for outreach and education and $20 million for treatment annually.
He said much of the resources go to men because they make up two-thirds of new cases of HIV in the city. Nationally it's about three-quarters, according to the CDC. Just Thursday, the federal and city health organizations launched a new program called Testing Makes Us Strong that uses advertising to encourage gay and bisexual men to learn their HIV status.
But the city and partners at the state and in academic and nonprofit circles still haven't forgotten the women, Chaulk said. He pointed to programs aimed at drug users and sex workers, among others.
Other groups also are targeting women: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People plans to hold a forum Saturday in Baltimore to mark the seventh annual National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a nationwide initiative coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health and aimed at raising awareness of the impact on women.
Every week, one city project sends a van with health workers to the Block, the city's red light district. The workers have built trust among the population there and not only test for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases but offer reproductive health services, needle exchanges and assistance in securing health insurance and housing.
Through the program, the city reported testing 4,660 women last year for HIV, including 3,362 African-American women. About seven were found to be positive for infection and referred for treatment.
By the end of 2009, the city reported just over 13,000 city residents living with HIV/AIDS. That year, there were 505 new cases of HIV and 221 AIDS diagnoses, and 180 AIDS deaths.
"We have a lot of activities going on," Chaulk said. "We hope in the next couple of years to begin to see a decline in new cases."
The new study from Hopkins and other researchers underscores the urgency in addressing the problem, said Dr. William A. Blattner, chair of the City's Commission on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment, which developed the citywide plan to reduce infections.
Blattner, also associate director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said the city now has a four-pillar strategy: reducing new infections; increasing access to care and improving health outcomes; reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequalities; and achieving a more coordinated city response.
About the black women in particular, he said, "HIV continues to impact our most vulnerable and marginalized, in particular economically disadvantaged women whose risk is compounded by gender inequality and potential barriers to substance abuse interventions."
As you see, Vietnam was one of the earliest Asian nations to sign TPP against massive citizen protest. This is where they are going with HIV and communicable disease PHARMA.
All of this PHARMA surrounding mental illness and communicable disease is tied to the Bill Gates Foundation that was simply a tax-free for-profit PHARMA research and patenting global corporation. Gates is now tied to HIV/malaria/TB/and lots of mental health PHARMA and he is the driver of the Affordable Care Act and Trans Pacific Trade Pact policies around health care.
The degree that these health insurance and PHARMA corporations hold control over these VALUE-ADDED AND EVIDENCE-BASED protocols taking control of these ACA managed care health systems is CRAZY and all profit-driven. This will play out with ordinary health care from hospital care to PHARMA being denied and Americans dying at third world lifespans.
'Ruth Lopert, a professor at George Washington University, told Bloomberg News that provisions in the TPP agreement will affect health-care budgets and drug access in all signatory countries, but especially the poorest. “She said as many as 40,000 people in Vietnam, the poorest country in the agreement, could stop getting drugs to fight HIV because of provisions that will boost the price of [pharmaceutical] therapy.”'
TPP: Big Pharma’s Big Deal
By Joyce Nelson | CounterPunch | October 7, 2015
We still don’t know all the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal tentatively agreed to on Oct. 5 by negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries, but already critics are slamming it for many reasons, including its generous concessions to the pharmaceutical industry.
Doctors Without Borders claims the TPP will “go down in history as the worst trade agreement for access to medicines in developing countries.”  That’s because the TPP will extend patent protection for brand-name drugs, thereby preventing similar generic drugs (which are far less costly) from entering the market. This will drive up the prices.
Judit Rius Sanjuan, legal policy adviser for Doctors Without Borders, told vox.com that TPP creates patent-related obligations in countries that never had them before. People in “Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Mexico” will be especially affected, she said. “They’ll face higher prices for longer periods of time.” 
Ruth Lopert, a professor at George Washington University, told Bloomberg News that provisions in the TPP agreement will affect health-care budgets and drug access in all signatory countries, but especially the poorest. “She said as many as 40,000 people in Vietnam, the poorest country in the agreement, could stop getting drugs to fight HIV because of provisions that will boost the price of [pharmaceutical] therapy.” 
Other countries like Canada will also be hit with higher costs. The Council of Canadians says that if the TPP is ratified, “[p]harmaceutical patents will be extended, delaying the release of more affordable generic drugs and adding $2 billion to our annual public health care bill.”  In the U.S., many people already cannot afford to pay for the expensive medicines that could save their lives, and they try to access generics available elsewhere.
Extending patent rights for life-saving drugs is an obvious gift to Big Pharma. Conor J. Lynch at opendemocracy.net has called it “a clear corporate handout that would greatly affect international access and most definitely cause preventable deaths. The clear objective here is to increase industry profits, plain and simple. This is not surprising, that’s what private industry does, but there is a serious moral dilemma here.”  That moral dilemma is made even more apparent by recent findings.
In an ironic coincidence, the TPP agreement was reached on the same day that a damning report on corporate tax-avoidance – Offshore Shell Games 2015 – was released by Citizens for Tax Justice and the US Public-Interest Research Group Education Fund. The report reveals the extent to which top U.S. companies use tax havens like Bermuda, Luxembourg, Cayman Islands, and the Netherlands to set up “tax haven subsidiaries” that are usually little more than a post-office box.
Of the top 30 Fortune 500 companies with the most money held in offshore tax-havens, nine are pharmaceutical companies: Pfizer ($74 billion held offshore), Merck ($60 billion), Johnson & Johnson ($53.4 billion), Proctor & Gamble ($45 billion), Amgen ($29.3 billion), Eli Lilly ($25.7 billion), Bristol Myers Squibb ($24 billion), AbbeVie Inc. ($23 billion), and Abbott Laboratories ($23 billion). 
Concerning Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker (declared profits of $22 billion in 2013), the report states: “The company made more than 41 percent of its sales in the U.S. between 2008 and 2014, but managed to report no federal taxable income for seven years in a row. This is because Pfizer uses accounting techniques to shift the location of its taxable profits offshore. For example, the company can transfer patents for its drugs to a subsidiary in a low- or no-tax country. Then when the U.S. branch of Pfizer sells the drug in the U.S., it ‘pays’ its own offshore subsidiary high licensing fees that turn domestic profits into on-the-books losses and shifts profit overseas.”
Overall, the study found that the 500 largest U.S. companies hold more than US$2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore. “For many companies, increasing profits held offshore does not mean building factories abroad, selling more products to foreign customers, or doing any additional real business activity in other countries,” but simply establishing a PO box.
Some companies use the money supposedly “trapped” offshore as “implied collateral” in order to borrow funds at negligible rates for investing in U.S. assets, paying dividends to shareholders, or repurchasing stock.
Of course, as the report makes clear, “Congress, by failing to take action to end this tax avoidance, forces ordinary Americans to make up the difference. Every dollar in taxes that corporations avoid by using tax havens must be balanced by higher taxes on individuals, cuts to public investments and public services, or increased federal debt.”
The report finds that, through a variety of tax-avoidance measures, an estimated US$620 billion in U.S. taxes is collectively owed by the 500 largest companies with headquarters in the U.S.
Now the TransPacific Partnership – which is being called “NAFTA on steroids” – would award Big Pharma and other multinationals even more corporate “rights” in more countries, including the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism by which they can sue signatory governments for regulatory changes that affect their profits.
As the Canadian website rabble.ca notes: “The Canadian government is currently being sued through NAFTA by Eli Lilly, an American pharmaceutical company, for invalidating the firm’s patent extensions on two mental health drugs. A Canadian Federal Court decided in 2010 that the patent extensions had not delivered the promised benefits and the drugs should therefore be opened up to generic competition. Generic drugs significantly reduce the cost for end users, but Eli Lilly cried foul and launched an ISDS claim against the government, demanding US$500 million in compensation for lost profits. The case is still in progress, but regardless of the outcome we can expect the TPP to lead to similar ISDS disputes. Powerful multinational pharmaceutical companies will use any available means to cling to over-priced drug monopolies. Greater intellectual property protections in the TPP will give these companies an even stronger quasi-legal basis to sue governments and crowd out generic [drug] competition.” 
The final text of the TransPacific Partnership agreement won’t be available for at least a month, likely weeks after the Canadian federal election on October 19. The details will undoubtedly reveal more generous concessions to the multinationals. It will be up to the elected legislators in all twelve countries to approve or reject the TPP. In Canada, NDP leader Tom Mulcair has pledged to scrap the deal if elected as Prime Minister, explaining that the Stephen Harper government had no mandate to sign it during an election campaign when it is merely a “caretaker” government.
The U.S. website zerohedge.com calls the Trans-Pacific Partnership “a Trojan horse” and “a coup by multinational corporations who want global subservience to their agenda.” In no uncertain terms, it adds: “Buyer beware. Citizens beware.”