Showing posts with label Health Care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Care. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

America Faces a Shortage of Hospital Beds


As news filters in about the use of the Army Corps of Engineers to build out the capacity for more hospital beds in regions that are likely to face shortages, it's worth noting that we have tremendous shortages all over the country:
In most scenarios, “vast communities in America are not prepared to take care of the COVID-19 patients showing up,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, who led a team of researchers that developed the analysis.
Under the researchers’ best-case scenario, Americans will act quickly to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing, and the infection rate among adults will remain relatively low at 20%, or 49.4 million people over the age of 18, less than twice the number of people who get the flu each year.
We're talking about the entire country:
For hospitals with fewer resources, there are measures that can be taken to counter bed shortages. Hospitals can limit elective surgeries and discharge healthier patients earlier. Hospitals can also screen patients before they enter the hospital to decrease the risk of spreading the disease. Critically, staffers also need to stay healthy, so they can continue to treat patients instead of taking up the needed beds themselves.
The experts and health workers that ProPublica spoke with fear that the U.S. is only two weeks behind Italy’s infection rate and will be faced with the same tough decisions. A paper published in the Lancet last week highlighted Italy’s Lombardy region, where a flood of patients is overwhelming the intensive care system.
“I can't imagine being in that position, and none of us want to be in that position,” said UCSF’s Raven. “The reality is that you can't create unlimited hospital beds and ventilators. We have what we have, so we really have to hope that it's enough, and that we're prepared enough.”
When all of this is over, we should plan accordingly and fund efforts to expand our capacity to deal with the next pandemic or natural disaster.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Obamacare is a Profound Success




Some disaster.

Paul Krugman has a victory lap column up today, and it's well deserved. Far be it from me to dance around and laugh at people who are stupid, but that's exactly what we should be doing right now--pointing and laughing at how absolutely ridiculous the enemies of the PPACA were just a few short months ago:

What was especially odd about the incessant predictions of health-reform disaster was that we already knew, or should have known, that a program along the lines of the Affordable Care Act was likely to work. Obamacare was closely modeled on Romneycare, which has been working in Massachusetts since 2006, and it bears a strong family resemblance to successful systems abroad, for example in Switzerland. Why should the system have been unworkable for America?


But a firm conviction that the government can’t do anything useful — a dogmatic belief in public-sector incompetence — is now a central part of American conservatism, and the incompetence dogma has evidently made rational analysis of policy issues impossible.


It wasn’t always thus. If you go back two decades, to the last great fight over health reform, conservatives seem to have been relatively clearheaded about the policy prospects, albeit deeply cynical. For example, William Kristol’s famous 1993 memo urging Republicans to kill the Clinton health plan warned explicitly that Clintoncare, if implemented, might well be perceived as successful, which would, in turn, “strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government.” So it was crucial to make sure that reform never happened. In effect, Mr. Kristol was telling insiders that tales of government incompetence are something you peddle to voters to get them to support tax cuts and deregulation, not something you necessarily believe yourself.


This would be same William Kristol who championed the Iraq War and has been going around telling everyone that we should re-invade Iraq. Seriously, though--if Kristol is your intellectual guide, you've spent over twenty years being wrong about everything in America. With a track record like Kristol's--and with all of the hysterical predictions about how the PPACA was supposed to fail--how could anyone seriously believe there is a conservative intellect anymore?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney's Medicare Lie


This is one of those cases where Mitt Romney is going to lie, and then not get away with it, and his handlers and supporters are going to have an aneurysm when they realize that they simply cannot make stuff up and get away with it.

I really, really hope that Romney's lies from the first debate are called out for what they are--distortions of reality that bear no resemblance to actually governing this country. NBC news has that piece, cited on top, on their front page and I hope it gets more coverage.

"Obamacare" actually helped Medicare, and the more people who know that, the better.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rush Limbaugh Chases Himself Into the Gutter Again


If you were expecting Rush Limbaugh to find the high ground and criticize the policy, you were mistaken. The only way he can defend the right of the organization mandated to provide contraception coverage to get out of their obligation is to use the worst form of discourse possible and attack someone who merely testified before Congress in favor of the plan. The easy thing is to go after the woman; the difficult thing is to acknowledge that she is correct. Contraception should be paid for since it is part of the overall health care costs incurred by women. It is not about morality; it is about public health.

When companies find loopholes to stop paying for coverage, they seek more loopholes and they try to find other things that they can get out of paying for. This has nothing to do with morality or what a person does (and you'd think libertarians would get this point) because it's about getting out of having to pay for a health care cost.

Anyone stupid enough to fall for this deserves to find out what it's like to see their savings and their assets wiped out by health care costs.
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