If you are privatizing and ending Medicare then you are ending that Part D PHARMA subsidy and that is to where this ACA is going. Remember, Trans Pacific Trade Pact tied to developing nations is forcing those developing nations to end generous public health and that includes a subsidized PHARMA industry----especially generics. I showed how TPP makes the process of going to generic PHARMA harder and harder. For those joining this blog recently you have not seen that the goal of ending Medicare has its hardest hit with the Obama and Congressional policy of ending funding for Medigap/Medicare Advantage plans. These are the two insurance plans that allowed most seniors to bridge the gap in what Medicare DOESN'T pay and if those insurance plans are not allowed in these managed care global systems ----seniors will be broke trying to buy their PHARMA----this is how you end subsidized public health and PHARMA in a first world nation like the US.
The strategy of global pols in ending our public health systems and subsidy is as always----make the middle-upper middle feel they are being protected and it is just all those low-income people who will be pushed out of the Medicare/PHARMA loop. This is why the ACA raised payroll taxes for the affluent under the guise of 'making the rich pay for their share of Medicare'---Reagan did the same decades ago ---tripling payroll taxes saying-----'this will create revenue for Medicare to handle all of the baby boomers aging into our public Trusts---Social Security and Medicare. Of course----Reagan sent all that payroll tax to the US Treasury and out of our Trust knowing it would all be spent. Today's affluent had better be aware------while they remove the low-income from Medicare they are setting the affluent up for soaking in costs as global profit-driven health systems push costs every higher----and you will not be accessing your idea of Medicare either.
WAKE UP MIDDLE/UPPER MIDDLE CLASS-----WE ARE THE ONES WITH DISPOSABLE INCOME AND IT WILL ALL BE TAKEN WITH ONCE PUBLIC HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION.
Below you see the mechanism that will take low-income out of Medicare/PHARMA-----they say these other higher-priced Medigap plans will remain-----just as they created the TIERED BRONZE, SILVER, GOLD, PLATINUM PLANS making people think the affluent will still access ordinary US quality health care but ALREADY-----the affluent are seeing how much of their disposable income these higher rated plans are taking. Now, add higher rates for Medigap----and it will not be long before ALL AVAILABILITY TO AFFORD QUALITY CARE LEAVES A US MIDDLE-CLASS. Below you see where all that talk of addressing the DOC FIX====they did it by ending access to health care by the low-income seniors.
Is Medigap Plan F Ending?
Medigap Plan F has historically been the most common Medigap plans, touting approximately 40% of the market share among all Medigap plans in recent studies. Many people choose this plan because of the “first dollar” coverage – it pays everything that Medicare does not pay at the doctor and hospital so that you have no co-pays, deductibles or coinsurance. However, it is that same “first dollar” coverage that now has put Plan F on the chopping block. So, is Medigap Plan F ending?
The short answer is “Yes”, barring some new legislation between now and 2020. The “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act” was passed into law in April 2015. The media “takeaway” from this legislation was that it fixed the doctor reimbursement rates for years to come. What was, and is, often overlooked is that the legislation also scheduled the end to the “first dollar” coverage plans – Medigap Plan F and Medigap Plan C – effective January 2020.
Congress Schedules End to Insurance Coverage of Medicare Part B Deductible
Medicare beneficiaries often buy “Medigap” insurance that pays for many of regular Medicare’s deductibles and copayments. But as a result of legislation just passed by Congress, starting in 2020 Medigap plans will no longer be allowed to offer coverage of the Medicare Part B deductible, which is currently $166 (in 2016). However, current Medigap policyholders and those buying policies before 2020 will still be eligible for the deductible coverage after that date.
The change is an effort to help pay for so-called “doc fix” legislation that overhauls the way Medicare pays doctors and that is expected to cost $200 billion over 10 years. Medicare Part B covers doctor visits and other outpatient care, and currently Medigap plans C and F offer coverage of the Part B deductible. The reasoning behind making Medicare beneficiaries pay the deductible themselves is that it will cause them to think twice before going to a doctor and perhaps costing the Medicare system unnecessary money.
Some argue, however, that if the change prompts beneficiaries to forego needed medical care, they may simply require more expensive care later, costing Medicare more in the end. Critics also say that the change will encourage more beneficiaries to abandon regular Medicare and join Medicare Advantage plans, which will still be able to cover the deductible.
In addition to the Medigap change, affluent seniors will have to pay higher Part B premiums as a result of the legislation. Starting in 2018, individuals with incomes between $133,500 and $214,000 (or twice these figures for couples) will pay more; details here. And the regular Part B premium will rise faster than under current law as a result of the "doc fix" legislation.
For details on the changes from Reuters, click here.
For the Center for Medicare Advocacy's analysis of the "doc fix" bill's impact on Medicare beneficiaries, click here.
Because ACA ends access to most in-patient hospital procedures for the low-income they had to pose progressive by making it seem low-income where going to receive all kinds of extras-----ALL PREVENTATIVE. Moving over 80% of Americans to PREVENTATIVE CARE ONLY will soon be in place. The other 10% will be tied heavily to telemedicine with doctors operating overseas.
So, low-income now get glasses, vision, dental, AND LOTS OF LAB TESTS. These are the cheapest of health care and that is why they are moved to PREVENTATIVE CARE. Note, dental does not include dental surgery.
I have been made aware already in Baltimore where Medicare doctors for low-income are getting harder and harder to attain----that primary care doctors are requiring patients to come again and again just to monitor lab levels. They are super-sizing the monitoring of our fat, sugar, etc levels and if one is high-----the doctor tells you to come back every few months pressing you to get that blood level down. Now, Medicare pays for this first visit to a primary care doctor----but each one after is cash out of pocket with visits reaching $150 -200-----that is a really big cut from disposable income that many low-income cannot afford. See how they push low-income seniors out of the Medicare they paid to receive. This has been used in Baltimore for decades as seniors and Medicaid patients never received the amount of care they were entitled to. Well middle-class----it is coming to you!
AN INJUSTICE FOR ONE ALWAYS BECOMES INJUSTICE FOR ALL.
9 Freebies You’ll Soon Be Getting Under Obamacare
Want to get no-cost help for depression, weight loss, smoking, and STDs? Done. Preventive care for lots of health problems will be free under the Affordable Care Act.
Starting in January 2014—and for some people sooner, depending on your health plan—you'll be getting preventive services like flu shots, depression screening, and smoking-cessation programs at no cost to you, including no co-pay, thanks to Obamacare/the Affordable Care Act (ACA). (Getty Images/WendellandCarolyn)
May 13, 2013
Fran Kritz is a freelance writer specializing in health and health policy and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) kick in.
Specifically, the ACA details certain preventive services that are included at no extra cost to all Americans (that means no co-pay, either). That’s a certainty for any plan bought through the insurance marketplaces that will open in every state by October 1, 2013. Even if you buy the lowest-cost plan—the one that only kicks in if you have some sort of medical catastrophe—you’ll still get these freebies. Have insurance through your job? Many employer-based plans now offer these services at no cost for members as well.
Under Obamacare/ACA, women also get a free checkup each year, in addition to some free screenings and tests. Men do have to pay for a visit, but guys will get some of the screenings and vaccines for free. In some cases—such as with a flu shot—you may have to lay out the cash and then be reimbursed by your insurer. That’s likely to happen if you get your shot at a chain pharmacy instead of the doctor’s office. But some of those chains also offer their own discounts—around 10 to 20 percent off whatever you buy—for people who roll up their sleeves for the shot in the stores at the same time.
Here are nine tests, screenings, and treatments all adults will soon be able to get for exactly no moolah:
• Blood pressure screening
• Depression screening
• Obesity counseling and screening
• STD (sexually transmitted disease) prevention counseling for adults at increased risk
• Smoking-cessation interventions, including counseling and medication
• Some vaccines (some are included if you missed your teenage booster) including: an annual flu shot;
human papillomavirus (HPV, which can protect against certain cancers); measles/mumps/Rubella (MMR); a vaccine against a type of meningitis; chicken pox; and tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis, or whooping cough, which has made a comeback in some states
• Birth control for women (under most plans; doesn’t include all brands, though)
• Breastfeeding counseling and supplies
• Domestic violence screening and counseling
Keep in mind that if a screening or test turns up a problem that requires more investigation, the typical costs—including deductibles and co-pays—will kick in.
Mara Youdelman, managing attorney for the Washington, D.C. office of the National Health Law Program, an advocacy and assistance group, says the addition of free preventive care is “very important since young adults may otherwise go without [it] because of costs. Given that many young adults may be in their first jobs and living paycheck-to-paycheck, having free care—and particularly preventive care—will be essential to ensure real access,” Youdelman says.
Which of these freebies are likely to save you real money? Is there anything in the list you’ll take advantage of now that it’s free?
Many citizens are finding this to be true------you get all the tests you need but when you find a disease vector or need care beyond prevention----you cannot access hospital care to fix the problem because co-pays and deductibles kick in. See how health care is made more 'AFFORDABLE' under the Affordable Care Act? Remember the term VALUE-ADDED when it is corporate profit and not public interest.
THIS IS A REPUBLICAN HEALTH POLICY THAT WILL BE SUPER-SIZED TO ONLY THE WEALTHY AROUND THE WORLD AFFORDING US HEALTH CARE. THIS IS WHAT HEALTH TOURISM AND GLOBAL TELEMEDICINE HAS AS A GOAL.
What is more disturbing folks when a far-right wing global corporate crowd takes control of our nation-----they will be tying the lowering of blood and urine levels of all kinds of body chemicals to being in a health plan---or paying more for a health plan if you do not get these levels down. This is the Bloomberg approach to legislating soda drink sizes -----and this never ends well.
'Keep in mind that if a screening or test turns up a problem that requires more investigation, the typical costs—including deductibles and co-pays—will kick in'.
When Is Preventive Care Free And When Do You Pay?
November 28, 2011
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Arelis Gomes points out the free preventive care information in her Health Care for All brochure.
By Martha BebingerBOSTON The still-relatively new federal health care law makes dozens of preventive tests free for patients. Doctors or hospitals are not supposed to charge patients for annual check-ups, most screening tests and a dozen other services such as tobacco cessation. This provision began taking effect more than a year ago, but there is still confusion about how it works.
Arelis Gomes, an outreach coordinator at Health Care for All, spends her days deciphering and explaining the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. For more than a year now she’s been telling consumers that they will no longer have to pay anything for preventive care.
Arelis Gomes points out the free preventive care information in her Health Care for All brochure. (Martha Bebinger/WBUR)
So, when Gomes arrived at her doctor’s office a few weeks ago for her annual check-up, she was surprised when the receptionist asked her for a co-pay.
“And I said, ‘Actually I know for a fact that under the ACA we do not have to pay a co-pay for this visit because it’s a preventative visit,’ ” Gomes remembers telling the receptionist. “And she said ‘No, I’m not aware of that and we’re not allowed to take you in today for this visit if you don’t pay the co-pay.’ ”
After a frustrating back and forth, with her husband looking on, Gomes paid the co-pay.
Gomes appealed the payment with her insurer and expects to receive a rebate. As Gomes shares her story to friends and audiences, she says many people don’t know they are not supposed to be charged for preventive care.
Among people who do know, there is still confusion about what is free and what is not. If you go in for an annual check-up the visit won’t cost you anything but you will still have a charge for the lab work your doctor orders. And some tests may start off as a preventive screening, but then switch to a diagnostic test if a doctors finds a problem.
Take, for example, a colonoscopy. It will not cost you anything unless the doctor finds a polyp, which happens fairly often. If the doctor does find a polyp while you are lying there on the table, the test is no longer a preventive screening, it’s a procedure and there will be a charge.
Jill Madigan, a self-employed 57-year-old, found this out during a call to her insurer.
“I said, ‘If they bill it as routine and they find polyps, are you going to say it’s not routine?’ ” Madigan asked the insurance representative. “And she said yes.”
Some patients would just get a bill for the co-payment. But if Madigan’s preventive colonoscopy becomes a surgical procedure to remove polyps, she’d be expected to pay the full charge — about $1,500, because she has a deductible.
So is she thinking about skipping the test?
“Well, yeah, I’ve been thinking about it,” Madigan said. “The likelihood is that I probably will have the test. I’m not sure I’m willing to take that risk with my life and yet, the whole system is messed up.”
Messed up, Madigan says, because if she declined the test but eventually needed colon surgery, it would cost much more than a colonoscopy.
Now, to be clear, before the health care law was passed, Madigan would have had to pay for the test whether it was preventive or not. But she and other patients are upset by what now feels like a bait and switch.
The option of free, preventive care is coming at a time when more and more patients have deductibles or rising co-payments.
Dr. Tom Hines, president of the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians, mentions the example of a woman coming in for a pap smear. If that test shows something abnormal it triggers the need for a more specialized test.
“It’s not an uncommon situation for a patient to delay that follow-up appointment,” Hines said. “If you unearth something, it’s important to follow up on the problem that’s been unearthed.”
Supporters of the law say it’s important not to overlook the benefits of encouraging patients to get preventive care. Employers and insurers still pay for the visits and tests, they just don’t pass along any costs to the patient.
“It is a clear advantage for the employee or retiree as the case may be,” said Dolores Mitchell said, who runs the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission, which covers more than 350,000 retirees, employees and their families. She says the lesson, while there is still confusion about this part of the law, is to ask a lot of questions about what your doctor is prescribing and why.
“It’s a good thing to be a pushy patient who asks questions,” Mitchell said. “There are an awful lot of procedures out there that are subject to some difference of opinion about what’s preventive. It will take some shakedown time before it all gets resolved.”
In the meantime, your insurance company should have a list of procedures considered preventive, for which you won’t be charged. Here are the lists for some of the states largest insurers:
There will be lots of citizens blaming obesity, diabetes, and heart disease on American eating habits and indeed, we need preventative health counseling and all those national eat healthy campaigns on TV and in schools to do just that. The US lowered smoking incredibly by these voluntary tactics.
What the Affordable Care Act under a managed care tied to global profit-driven health systems will do is CREATE A MANDATORY LOWERING OF LEVELS OR DIETARY CHANGES.
If you don't lower your sodium (salt)----your sugar---your fatty acids and lipids----alcohol and smoking----then your health policies rise in cost or you are removed from the health system----this is called CONTROLLING COSTS.
Right off the bat, as a medical scientist who knows body chemistry and disease vectors I know this------first, there is genetic pre-disposition to many of these problems-----environmental factors create these body level changes---and they know this----they KNOW SOME PEOPLE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CONTROL THESE BODY LEVELS.
As well, we know that obesity and diabetes has been tied directly to our national food sources. Ordinary foods---not only junk food contains lots of sugar, salt, fats----and we now know that a food additive found in most foods is tied directly to obesity especially in children. Again, this is our mainstream food supply and not only junk food. The only way to avoid much of this is buying organic and even our organic food system has now become corrupt---we are no longer sure organic is organic. Fresh foods are more expensive and we know this so as they move forward with tying health insurance rates and our coming back over and over to a preventive care doctor pressing us to lower those values-----
WE ARE BEING SET TO BE FLEECED-----AND PUSHED OUT OF THE HEALTH INDUSTRY QUALITY CARE MARKET.
Global pols using evidence-based data to maximize profits know this-----whether disease vectors are caused by bad habits or genetics/environment/ or bad food-----the result will be higher medical costs and they don't want you. Who does that leave? People who can manage their lifestyles very well----more and more affluent----and not pre-disposed to disease.
BUT WAIT----AFFORDABLE CARE SAYS NO ONE WILL BE EXCLUDED FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS!!!!!!! THEY SAY---WE AREN'T EXCLUDING---YOU CAN PAY TO PLAY.
Here is the other catch-------when scientific research is done by corporate labs the data proves their own theories----this is why these few decades we are being told eat this---and then find that was not the problem. As well, this same research tells us drinking 5 cups of coffee is good for us----the research data funded by Starbucks for example.
Lower Vitamin D Level in Blood Linked to Higher Premature Death Rate
June 12, 2014 |
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that persons with lower blood levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to die prematurely as people with higher blood levels of vitamin D.
The finding, published in the June 12 issue of American Journal of Public Health, was based on a systematic review of 32 previous studies that included analyses of vitamin D, blood levels and human mortality rates. The specific variant of vitamin D assessed was 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the primary form found in blood.
“Three years ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that having a too-low blood level of vitamin D was hazardous,” said Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UC San Diego and lead author of the study. “This study supports that conclusion, but goes one step further. The 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) blood level cutoff assumed from the IOM report was based solely on the association of low vitamin D with risk of bone disease. This new finding is based on the association of low vitamin D with risk of premature death from all causes, not just bone diseases. ”
Garland said the blood level amount of vitamin D associated with about half of the death rate was 30 ng/ml. He noted that two-thirds of the U.S. population has an estimated blood vitamin D level below 30 ng/ml.
“This study should give the medical community and public substantial reassurance that vitamin D is safe when used in appropriate doses up to 4,000 International Units (IU) per day,” said Heather Hofflich, DO, professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine.
“However, it’s always wise to consult your physician when changing your intake of vitamin D and to have your blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D checked annually. Daily intakes above 4,000 IU per day may be appropriate for some patients under medical supervision.”
The average age when the blood was drawn in this study was 55 years; the average length of follow-up was nine years. The study included residents of 14 countries, including the United States, and data from 566,583 participants.
Co-authors include June Kim, Sharif B. Mohr, Edward D. Gorham and Kenneth Zeng, UCSD Department of Family and Preventive Medicine; Joe Ramsdell, UCSD Department of Medicine; William B. Grant, Sunlight and Nutrition Research Center; Edward L. Giovannucci, Harvard School of Public Health; Leo Baggerly, GrassrootsHealth; and Robert P. Heaney, Creighton University School of Medicine.
This study was funded by the UC San Diego Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.
THIS IS HOW WE HAVE SO MANY SUPER-CAFFEINATED FOOD ITEMS AND YOU KNOW WHAT? THIS MUCH CAFFEINE IS BAD FOR PEOPLE.
Now, as the number one caffeine-committed person around----I understand that coffee and tea can have medicinal benefits. I also know that these benefits end after a cup or two----moderation you know!
What we are seeing is more and more scientific data----all now allowed by our FDA and Federal health agencies to be almost the only scientific data we get because ALL OF OUR UNIVERSITIES HAVE BEEN MADE INTO CORPORATE R AND D----PRODUCT PATENT-MILLS.
The once great system of university research and clinical trials with all kinds of ethical and scientific standards is being deregulated and dismantled. Most health data today comes from these corporate universities. So, as they tie our preventative health care to body-chemical management----EVERYONE SEES THE PROBLEMS.
Yet, an FDA with a corporate Federal agency leader will use scientific data like this to allow products to be marketed and this data works its way into-----evidenced-based data for health outcomes.
The Science Behind Coffee and Why it's Actually Good for Your Health
Coffee isn't just warm and energizing, it may also be extremely good for you. In recent years, scientists have studied the effects of coffee on various aspects of health and their results have been nothing short of amazing.
Here's why coffee may actually be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
Coffee Can Make You Smarter
Coffee doesn't just keep you awake, it may literally make you smarter as well. The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. Caffeine's primary mechanism in the brain is blocking the effects of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. By blocking the inhibitory effects of Adenosine, caffeine actually increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine (1, 2). Many controlled trials have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, demonstrating that caffeine can improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general cognitive function (3).
Bottom Line: Caffeine potently blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, leading to a net stimulant effect. Controlled trials show that caffeine improves both mood and brain function.
Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat and Improves Physical Performance
There's a good reason why you will find caffeine in most commercial fat burning supplements. Caffeine, partly due to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system, both raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids (4, 5, 6). Caffeine can also improve athletic performance by several mechanisms, including by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues (7, 8). In two separate meta-analyses, caffeine was found to increase exercise performance by 11-12% on average (9, 10).
Bottom Line: Caffeine raises the metabolic rate and helps to mobilize fatty acids from the fat tissues. It can also enhance physical performance.
Coffee May Drastically Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes is a lifestyle-related disease that has reached epidemic proportions, having increased 10-fold in a few decades and now afflicting about 300 million people. This disease is characterized by high blood glucose levels due to insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin. In observational studies, coffee has been repeatedly associated with a lower risk of diabetes. The reduction in risk ranges from 23% all the way up to 67% (11, 12, 13, 14). A massive review article looked at 18 studies with a total of 457,922 participants. Each additional cup of coffee per day lowered the risk of diabetes by 7%. The more coffee people drank, the lower their risk (15).
Bottom Line: Drinking coffee is associated with a drastically reduced risk of type II diabetes. People who drink several cups per day are the least likely to become diabetic.
Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Not only can coffee make you smarter in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age. Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder in the world and a leading cause of dementia. In prospective studies, coffee drinkers have up to a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer's and dementia (16, 17, 18). Parkinson's is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain. Coffee may lower the risk of Parkinson's by 32-60% (19, 20, 21, 22).
Bottom Line: Coffee is associated with a much lower risk of dementia and the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Coffee May be Extremely Good For Your Liver
The liver is a remarkable organ that carries out hundreds of vital functions in the body. It is very vulnerable to modern insults such as excess consumption of alcohol and fructose. Cirrhosis is the end stage of liver damage caused by diseases like alcoholism and hepatitis, where liver tissue has been largely replaced by scar tissue. Multiple studies have shown that coffee can lower the risk of cirrhosis by as much as 80%, the strongest effect for those who drank 4 or more cups per day (23, 24, 25). Coffee may also lower the risk of liver cancer by around 40% (26, 27).
Bottom Line: Drinking coffee is associated with a drastically reduced risk of type II diabetes. People who drink several cups per day are the least likely to become diabetic.
Coffee May Decrease Your Risk of Dying
Many people still seem to think that coffee is unhealthy. This isn't surprising though, since it is very common for conventional wisdom to be at exact odds with what the actual studies say. In two very large prospective epidemiological studies, drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death by all causes (28). This effect is particularly profound in type II diabetics, one study showing that coffee drinkers had a 30% lower risk of death during a 20 year period (29).
Bottom Line: Coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of death in prospective epidemiological studies, especially in type II diabetics.
Coffee is Loaded With Nutrients and Antioxidants
Coffee isn't just black water. Many of the nutrients in the coffee beans do make it into the final drink, which actually contains a decent amount of vitamins and minerals.
A cup of coffee contains (30):
6% of the RDA for Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5).
11% of the RDA for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
2% of the RDA for Niacin (B3) and Thiamine (B1).
3% of the RDA for Potassium and Manganese.
May not seem like much, but if you drink several cups of coffee per day then this quickly adds up.
But this isn't all. Coffee also contains a massive amount of antioxidants. In fact, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables combined (31, 32, 33).
Bottom Line: Coffee contains a decent amount of several vitamins and minerals. It is also the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet.
Take Home MessageEven though coffee in moderate amounts is good for you, drinking way too much of it can still be harmful. I'd also like to point out that many of the studies above were epidemiological in nature. Such studies can only show association, they can not prove that coffee caused the effects. To make sure to preserve the health benefits, don't put sugar or anything nasty in your coffee! If it tends to affect your sleep, then don't drink it after 2pm. At the end of the day, it does seem quite clear that coffee is NOT the villain it was made out to be. If anything, coffee may literally be the healthiest beverage on the planet.
Why is Coffee Good For You? Here are 7 Reasons | Authority Nutrition
We have always known there are genetic links to most disease vectors. Here will be the next problem under an Affordable Care Act and a Trans Pacific Trade Pact-controlled global health care-----TPP specifically guards the profits of new medical procedures---LIKE BIOTECHNOLOGY TREATMENTS---BIOLOGICS
Below you see they have a treatment for a disease vector ---only these treatments are costly and will rise as they move from development and trial---to mainstream use. Many people will not be able to access these biologic treatments---and yet they will be fleeced by higher and higher rates as they cannot control body chemical levels.
Molecular Link between Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Reveals Potential Therapy
Inflammatory molecule LTB4 promotes insulin resistance in obese mice and blocking the LTB4 receptor prevents and reverses type 2 diabetes in this model
February 23, 2015 | Heather Buschman, PhD
Obesity causes inflammation, which can in turn lead to type 2 diabetes. What isn’t well established is how inflammation causes diabetes — or what we can do to stop it. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that the inflammatory molecule LTB4 promotes insulin resistance, a first step in developing type 2 diabetes. What’s more, the team found that genetically removing the cell receptor that responds to LTB4, or blocking it with a drug, improves insulin sensitivity in obese mice. The study is published Feb. 23 by Nature Medicine.
In obesity, extra fat triggers inflammation by releasing LTB4, which binds to receptors on nearby macrophages and activates them.
“This study is important because it reveals a root cause of type 2 diabetes,” said Jerrold M. Olefsky, MD, professor of medicine, associate dean for scientific affairs and senior author of the study. “And now that we understand that LTB4 is the inflammatory factor causing insulin resistance, we can inhibit it to break the link between obesity and diabetes.”
Here’s what’s happening in obesity, according to Olefsky’s study. Extra fat, particularly in the liver, activates resident macrophages, the immune cells living there. These macrophages then do what they’re supposed to do when activated — release LTB4 and other immune signaling molecules to call up an influx of new macrophages. Then, in a positive feedback loop, the newly arriving macrophages also get activated and release even more LTB4 in the liver.
This inflammatory response would be a good thing if the body was fighting off an infection. But when inflammation is chronic, as is the case in obesity, all of this extra LTB4 starts activating other cells, too. Like macrophages, nearby liver, fat and muscle cells also have LTB4 receptors on their cell surfaces and are activated when LTB4 binds them. Now, in obesity, those cells become inflamed as well, rendering them resistant to insulin.
Once Olefsky and his team had established this mechanism in their obese mouse models, they looked for ways to inhibit it. First, they genetically engineered mice that lack the LBT4 receptor. When that approach dramatically improved the metabolic health of obese mice, they also tried blocking the receptor with a small molecule inhibitor. This particular compound was at one time being tested in clinical trials, but was dropped when it didn’t prove all that effective in treating its intended ailment. Olefsky’s team fed the prototype drug to their mice and found that it worked just as well as genetic deletion at preventing — and reversing — insulin resistance.
“When we disrupted the LTB4-induced inflammation cycle either through genetics or a drug, it had a beautiful effect — we saw improved metabolism and insulin sensitivity in our mice,” Olefsky said. “Even though they were still obese, they were in much better shape.”
Co-authors of this study include Pingping Li, Da Young Oh, Gautam Bandyopadhyay, William S. Lagakos, Saswata Talukdar, Olivia Osborn, Andrew Johnson, Heekyung Chung, Rafael Mayoral, Michael Maris, Jachelle M Ofrecio, Sayaka Taguchi, Min Lu, all at UC San Diego.
This research was funded, in part, by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (DK033651, DK074868, DK063491, DK09062), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Merck, Inc.
Obama and Congressional Clinton/Obama Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals and Republicans will pose progressive and act as though people will be able to afford these new biotech patented medical procedures---they may subsidize them for a few years---but Trans Pacific Trade Pact policies make clear-----brand name and strong patent law will keep these procedures rising in cost.
Well, say Republicans----it is a free market to earn as much in profit as you can-----it is global corporate subsidy for Congress and Obama to send hundreds of billions of dollars to build patent BioTech facilities that are creating these treatments. When corporate universities produce subsidized products that are patented and made so expensive to exclude most people-----whose taxes subsidized all that corporate R and D? That's right---mostly the people not able to access it.
This is the difference between having our universities public and not profit-motivated. All of these medical research projects at universities were done for public interest----the finding were made available to all ------as universities received Federal, state, and local funding. Affordable Care Act and privatization of our universities end that---and now all those university patents go to endowments---and almost all BioTech facilities are being attached to Ivy League Universities. Johns Hopkins is Ivy League profiting from all this----and U of M College Park is trying hard to be the public Ivy League like Rutgers in New Jersey----Ivy League in this sense means universities tied to Wall Street acting like corporations.
All of the basic research used to be Federally funded and that removed development costs from the cost of the medical device, procedure----and we received the benefit of that in lower costs. Now, they are taking the subsidy AND charging us high prices.
Why Are Biologic Drugs So Costly?
A look at how biologics are made, how much they cost and why.
Patients find many biologics effective, but some treatments can cost more than $45,000 per year.
By Lacie Glover Feb. 6, 2015, at 12:30 p.m. + More
Finding out you have a chronic condition is one thing, but the real blow for many is discovering how expensive the biologic medication to treat the condition is. For some complex diseases, it’s a double-edged sword: Scientific advancements have given us a way to treat these diseases, but that comes at an extremely high cost.
And yet most patients who need biologics have few options that work as well as these treatments, which can cost more than $45,000 per year. To choose a cheaper drug option is often to choose a drug that just isn’t as effective.
Still, the cost of these medications is extreme and, for many, unaffordable. According to pharmacy benefits giant Express Scripts, even though only 2 percent of the population uses biologic drugs, biologics account for 40 percent of prescription drug spending in the U.S.
What's a Biologic?
Some of the most confounding diseases, including cancer and autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease, are best treated with biologics. These drugs usually come as an injectable or in a solution to be administered intravenously by a nurse or other medical staff. However, vaccines, gene therapies, insulin and plasma treatments are also types of biologic drugs.
Most drugs are made through chemical processes in a lab – those are sometimes called small-molecule drugs. The active ingredients of such drugs are typically easier to produce.
Biologic drugs, rather than being synthesized from other compounds, are generally made using human or animal proteins. At the molecular level, they’re usually larger and much more complex than regular drugs. Such complex molecules are typically too expensive and difficult to create in a lab from non-animal building blocks.
The Monoclonal Antibody
Even though vaccines and insulin are also biologics, the most expensive type of biologic drug is called a monoclonal antibody. These are drugs such as Humira or Enbrel for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, and Tysabri for multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease.
First released in 1986 for the treatment of cancer, monoclonal antibodies are the most rapidly growing type of biologic drug. That’s because they are extremely targeted therapies that block specific interactions in the immune system, which regular drugs can’t do.
Monoclonal antibodies are large proteins that are produced by clones of the same living cell, normally from a rodent’s spleen. When these proteins enter the bloodstream, they're able to attach to only a few types of cells, which attach to the protein like a puzzle piece. This is called a lock-and-key mechanism. Many cancer cells grow by the same mechanisms as other diseases, so biologics that were originally developed for cancer are now being tested to treat autoimmune disorders.
The Generics Problem
Biologics, a class of drugs that brings hope to those with few other alternatives, are also a class of drugs with no generic options. Strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as a generic biologic because the term “generic” only applies to small-molecule drugs made by traditional chemical processes. In generic medications, the active ingredients are identical molecules to the brand name drug, but this can’t be the case when a living cell produces the drug.
The equivalents to biological drugs are called biosimilars. The protein in a biosimilar might be slightly different than the original biological product, but it has the same lock-and-key shape. As such, a biosimilar interacts the same way the reference medicine does and produces the same results.
Currently there are no biosimilars on the market in the U.S., even though about a dozen biosimilars have been tested and approved all over the world. This is because small-molecule drugs and biologics are approved under separate laws. Before 2010, there was no provision for biosimilars in the Public Health Service Act; the law was amended to allow for biosimilars under the Affordable Care Act.
A Changing Landscape
Nearly five years after the ACA was passed, the Food and Drug Administration has recommended approval for the first biosimilar on the U.S. market, a leukemia drug. The biological drug it can replace is called Neupogen, which costs about $3,000 for 10 injections. The biosimilar, to be called Zarxio, could be sold for more than $1,000 less, according to the Rand Corp., a health care research organization.
But Zarxio is only the beginning. Rand researchers predict $44 billion in savings due to the approval of biosimilars over the next 10 years. Express Scripts is even more optimistic. Their researchers predict that if the 11 most likely biosimilars were to come to market over the 10 years, health care payers such as you or your insurance company could save $250 billion over 10 years.
But even if all biologic drugs had biosimilars available, they’d still be expensive for patients. It’s just not cheap to produce medicine from living cells with today’s technology. Still, these medications often save lives and, in time, costs may go down. Until then, some patients will be getting a less expensive option for their treatment very soon.
All of this shows the progression of US health care that was once public and public interest has been moved more and more to corporate profit-----now global corporate profit----and it is taking all of our basic research process that used to subsidize the costs to consumers----and handing it all to what are corporate universities earning profits.
Keep in mind, while global pols created this corporate university as R and D for products-----it is tied as well to venture capitalists and Wall Street investment firms ready to buy those patents-----the Ivy League endowment grows---the the product patent is sold to the 1% and their global corporations.
Here we see these bad policies playing out already. Affordable Care Act is ending access to much cancer treatment for a growing number of Americans falling into those Bronze and Medicaid level plans----and as they produce more and more advanced treatments for cancer----these same people will not be able to access these procedures---often less invasive and painful. So now we are seeing the tiering of kinds of treatment----you can afford Chemo-therapy----very painful and invasive---but not this bio-molecular treatment because----Federal funding was sent to a profit-driven corporate university and not a public research university with no patenting model.
2 March 2016
Cancer’s penicillin moment: Drugs that unleash the immune system
The new drugs that saved Jimmy Carter are giving years of extra life to people with bleak prognoses. Have checkpoint inhibitors turned the tables on cancer?
Martin Oeggerli 2012, kindly supported by FHNW
WHEN Vicky Brown was diagnosed with advanced malignant melanoma in 2013, she was in shock. Even with the best treatments available at the time, most people with her diagnosis lived for about six months.
Then her fate took a turn for the better. Through the Melanoma UK charity, Brown was referred to take part in a trial of an experimental treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. Over several weeks, she received three intravenous infusions. After the second, the lumps she had felt in her throat and breast had vanished. “I was thrilled,” says Brown, who is still alive almost three years after her initial diagnosis. “The consultant says he’d never seen a result like that so quickly.”
Brown’s results may be extraordinary, but they aren’t unique. Other people who have taken part in similar trials are still alive a decade later, despite starting out with similarly bleak prognoses. Optimistic headlines and column inches have been dedicated to these new drugs, not least since former US president Jimmy Carter announced that they were responsible for clearing potentially lethal melanoma from his brain.
This new generation of anticancer drugs – called checkpoint inhibitors – is having such a profound impact that some scientists are pitching it as a turning point in cancer treatment. “Melanoma and lung cancer used to be death sentences, but they’re not any more,” says Gordon Freeman at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “It’s a revolution, and it’s only the start.”