I recently got quite ill when I was out of town and had to go to an ER for treatment. Instead of a doctor, I was treated by a physician assistant, who, as it turned out, misdiagnosed me and sent me back to my hotel sicker than before. The next day, I went to a teaching hospital where I was properly treated by doctors. Meanwhile, I just received a bill for the PA's 'exam,' for $519, and a mind-blowing defense from his office explaining that if is diagnosis was incorrect, there 'could have been a problem with the communication.'
I had an infection in my lymph nodes in my neck which caused unbearable pain on the right side of my face and swelling, leaving me unable to open my mouth or swallow. The PA ordered CATscans that cost thousands of dollars and then sent me home and told me to take some sudafed.
I asked the PA (who is part of the Berkeley Emergency Medical Group) for some antibiotics. But he refused. The sudafed increased the pain and the swelling. At the teaching hospital the next day -UCSF--they properly diagnosed me and gave me antibiotics which knocked the infection out in a manner of days.
My own doctor told me that PA's are the wave of the future. Emergency rooms, where the most expensive care is provided--and often the most necessary, since there are often people there who have no other recourse to health care, many of whom actually do have communications problems due to language barriers, education barriers, etc., will increasingly be at the mercy of people who are not doctors but who have been rehearsed by doctors to answer questions and guess at diagnosis.
Health care reform can't come quickly enough!!
Next Friday, March 20, is option-expiration day. All March put and call option contracts expire on that day.
If you believe, as I do, the rally that began on Tuesday will continue for at least a few more days, then there’s a ton of money to be made. But you…
This is another short reaction to Joseph Romm's piece in Alternet: "Why the Global Economy Is a Ponzi Scheme and We Are All Bernie Madoffs". Much as I'd like to agree with Romm (as he is one of the most authoritative voices out there on the topic[...]
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Congratulations to Ross Douthat, who will be replacing Bill Kristol at The New York Times. It's a great choice for many reasons, but what I've come to appreciate most in Ross's writing and look forward to most in his column is his deeply held and[...]
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Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, is determined to undermine the workings of O-Stimulation in his wretched state. I say wretched because the Palmetto State's unemployment rate of 10.4% is second highest in the nation, higher than neighboring North Carolina (9.7%), Georgia (8.6%), or Tennessee (also 8.6%). The only state in worse shape is miserable Michigan at 11.6%.
The Guv says he doesn't want to "spend money we don't have." Uh, Sir, if the Feds give you money, isn't that MONEY YOU HAVE? Sanford's grasp of finance seems less than vise-like.
Employment data are released on a monthly basis, so we have the grim task or, if you don't live in SC, guilty pleasure of following the state's economic decline, under the intrepid leadership of Mr. Sanford, egged on by the likes of 'Morning Joe' and others of comfortable station, urging the character-building exertion of discipline and sacrifice among their less-fortunate fellows.
Helpful suggestion: change state motto from "While I breathe, I hope" to "Will chop wood for food."
Gold and silver rallied over 1% and 2% yesterday as stock markets barely made gains in the US. Asian stock markets were mixed but the Nikkei fell 2.5% and most European markets are showing weakness again this morning and gold remains firm.
Demand for gold remains extremely robust with broad based demand…
Yesterday, GQ published an interview with Michael Steele in which the RNC chairman said that he is pro-choice:
GQ: Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
STEELE: Yeah. I mean, again, I think that?s an individual choice.
As ThinkProgress noted, these comments contradicted the pro-life image he has tried to cultivate for himself in order to win the support of far-right conservatives, who were incensed at his new pro-choice stance. Charmaine Yoest, the president and CEO of Americans United for Life Action, said it was “language straight out of Planned Parenthood’s messaging playbook.” Anti-choice activist Jill Stanek said, “You thought he was ‘embattled’ last week over his Limbaugh comment? Ha. He has now stepped both feet into it.”
Today, at 7:49 a.m. — less than 24 hours after the GQ story became public — Steele issued a new statement, completely backing down from his comments. Not only does he say now that abortion isn’t an individual or state choice, he says that he supports a constitutional ban on abortion:
I am pro-life, always have been, always will be. I tried to present why I am pro life while recognizing that my mother had a ‘choice’ before deciding to put me up for adoption. I thank her every day for supporting life. The strength of the pro life movement lies in choosing life and sharing the wisdom of that choice with those who face difficult circumstances. They did that for my mother and I am here today because they did. In my view Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and should be repealed.
I realize that there are good people in our party who disagree with me on this issue. But the Republican Party is and will continue to be the party of life. I support our platform and its call for a Human Life Amendment. It is important that we stand up for the defenseless and that we continue to work to change the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen so that we can welcome all children and protect them under the law.
In the past, Steele has been more circumspect about overturning Roe v. Wade. In 2006, when asked whether it was his “desire” that the Supreme Court decision be kept “in place” at this point, Steele replied, “My desire is that we follow what stare decisis is at this point, yes.”
Steele himself said it best in February: “You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our word or our actions at this point.”
On the March 11 edition of hisFox News program, SeanHannity misquoted President Obama in falsely claiming thatObama "promised theAmerican people" to "eliminate allearmarks." Hannity claimed that "in the debate with[Sen.] John McCain, [Obama] said, 'I'mgoing to go lineby line. I'm going to eliminate all theearmarks.' " Hannity wenton to say thatObama "had a golden opportunity to stand up to his party andsay, 'I'm a manof my word, I promised the American people, andI'm going to keepit.' " He[...]
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Few doubt the importance of consumer spending to the U.S. economy and its multiplier effect on the global economy, but what is underappreciated is the role of credit-card availability in that spending. Currently, there is roughly $5 trillion in credit-card lines outstanding in the U.S., and a little more…
Nice title for Juan Cole’s new book. It’s something we’ve done a horrible job doing since 9/11. But the timeliness takes on new importance when looking through the prism of the Freeman withdrawal for NIC. Cole’s assessment on[...]
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