Health Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Health Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important health articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
A Whole Industry Is Waiting For A Pandemic
2009-07-21, Der Spiegel (Germany's leading news magazine)
In an interview with SPIEGEL, epidemiologist Tom Jefferson speaks about dangerous fear-mongering, misguided, money-driven research and why we should all be washing our hands a lot more often. SPIEGEL: Do you consider the swine flu to be particularly worrisome? Jefferson: There are some people who make predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them so far have come about, and these people are still there making these predictions. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is a whole industry almost waiting for a pandemic to occur. SPIEGEL: Who do you mean? Jefferson: The WHO and public health officials, virologists and the pharmaceutical companies. They've built this machine around the impending pandemic. And there's a lot of money involved, and influence, and careers, and entire institutions! And all it took was one of these influenza viruses to mutate to start the machine grinding. SPIEGEL: Do you think the WHO declared a pandemic prematurely? Jefferson: Don't you think there's something noteworthy about the fact that the WHO has changed its definition of pandemic? The old definition was a new virus, which went around quickly, for which you didn't have immunity, and which created a high morbidity and mortality rate. Now the last two have been dropped, and that's how swine flu has been categorized as a pandemic.
Note: For lots more on the Swine Flu "false pandemic," click here.
Agencies to set up mass swine flu vaccinations
2009-07-21, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Public health experts are gearing up for swine flu vaccinations this fall in what could be the largest mass-immunization campaign since the polio vaccine was introduced more than 50 years ago. Local public health agencies will bear much of the responsibility for vaccinating the public. For now, there are more questions than answers with regard to flu vaccinations, including how much of the vaccine will be made, when it will available, and who will get it first. In fact, the federal government has not officially announced plans to make a vaccine widely available, although it is expected to do so by the end of summer. "There's still a lot of information we have to figure out, and we're learning as we go," said Dr. Mantu Davis, deputy health officer with the Alameda County Public Health Department. "It's definitely a larger vaccination than anything we've seen, or anything in my lifetime." California authorities designed a mass vaccination plan years ago, under the assumption of a deadly pandemic flu and a limited vaccine supply, said Dr. John Talarico with the state public health department's Center for Infectious Disease. That plan is being revised, given that swine flu seems to be fairly mild so far and that a relatively large amount of vaccine may be available, even if it's not enough to give to everyone at once. A swine flu vaccine is still being designed, and the World Health Organization reported last week that a licensed version may not be available until the end of the year - weeks after the start of the flu season. An unlicensed vaccine - one that is still being tested but is deemed safe enough for the general public - may be available sooner.
Note: After hundreds died and thousands were crippled by a vaccine for the swine flu in 1976, how can they be talking about using an unlicensed vaccine? For lots more on the swine flu scare and the billions in profits for well-connnected pharmaceutical corporations and their major investors, click here.
Legal immunity set for swine flu vaccine makers
2009-07-20, MSNBC/Associated Press
The last time the government embarked on a major vaccine campaign against a new swine flu, thousands filed claims contending they suffered side effects from the shots. This time, the government has already taken steps to head that off. Vaccine makers and federal officials will be immune from lawsuits that result from any new swine flu vaccine, under a document signed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, government health officials said Friday. Since the 1980s, the government has protected vaccine makers against lawsuits over the use of childhood vaccines. The document signed by Sebelius last month grants immunity to those making a swine flu vaccine, under the provisions of a 2006 law for public health emergencies. It allows for a compensation fund, if needed. The government takes such steps to encourage drug companies to make vaccines, and it's worked. Federal officials have contracted with five manufacturers to make a swine flu vaccine. The last time the government faced a new swine flu virus was in 1976. Federal officials vaccinated 40 million Americans during a national campaign. A pandemic never materialized, but thousands who got the shots filed injury claims, saying they suffered a paralyzing condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome or other side effects.
Note: Note for a powerfully revealing CBS report on blatant fear mongering and profiteering from the 1976 swine flue scare, click here. For many revealing reports on corruption in the medical/governmental complex, click here.
Swine flu tally halted as school year fears loom
2009-07-17, MSNBC News
Worldwide cases of the new H1N1 swine flu virus are spreading so fast that overwhelmed global health officials have stopped counting and officials with the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they'll soon follow suit. "We don't know the extent of the challenges that we'll face in the weeks and months ahead," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for the Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Schuchat did not elaborate on how the CDC would inform the public about the extent of the outbreak, which has been confirmed in more than 40,600 people and implicated in 263 deaths in the United States. WHO had reported nearly 95,000 cases including 429 deaths worldwide. Earlier Friday, WHO officials said tracking individual swine flu cases is too overwhelming for countries where the virus is spreading widely. WHO will no longer issue global totals of swine flu cases, although it will continue to track the global epidemic.
Note: Why would they stop counting cases? The numbers have always at best been estimates. Millions died in the 1918 flu epidemic and they have counted and reported those numbers extenstively. Could it be someone or some group does't want us to know how few are actually dying? For several other revealing articles which suggest an dangerous agenda with the swine flu vaccine, click here.
Chemicals and Our Health
2009-07-16, New York Times
However careful you are about your health, your body is almost certainly home to troubling chemicals called phthalates. These are ubiquitous in modern life, found in plastic bottles, cosmetics, some toys, hair conditioners, and fragrances — and many scientists have linked them to everything from sexual deformities in babies to obesity and diabetes.
The problem is that phthalates suppress male hormones and sometimes mimic female hormones. Chemicals called endocrine disruptors are believed to explain the proliferation of “intersex fish” — male fish that produce eggs — as well as sexual deformities in animals and humans. Phthalates ... are among the most common endocrine disruptors, and among the most difficult to avoid. They’re even in tap water, and levels soar in certain plastic water bottles. In girls, some research suggests that phthalates may cause early onset puberty. Most vulnerable of all, it seems, are male fetuses in the first trimester of pregnancy, just as they are differentiating their sex. At that stage, scholars believe, phthalates may “feminize” these boys. “Commonly used phthalates may undervirilize humans,” concluded a study by the University of Rochester. There has also been a flurry of scientific articles questioning whether endocrine disruptors are tied to obesity, autism and allergies, although the evidence there is less firm than with genital abnormalities and depressed sperm count. Dr. Theo Colborn, the founder of the Endocrine Disruption Exchange, ... tells researchers working with her to toss out plastic water bottles and use stainless steel instead. “I don’t have plastic food containers in my house,” she added. “I use glass.”
Note: For many more important health reports from reliable sources, click here.
Pandemic flu shows need for pharma incentives: WHO
2009-07-14, Reuters News
Pharmaceutical firms need incentives, including lucrative patents, to keep creating drugs and vaccines against emergent threats such as the H1N1 influenza pandemic, the World Health Organization's head said on Tuesday. "Progress in public health depends on innovation. Some of the greatest strides forward for health have followed the development and introduction of new medicines and vaccines," said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said. Chan, who last month declared a full pandemic underway from the H1N1 virus, said that patents can help ensure that companies develop medicines to "stay ahead of the development of drug resistance" in diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. The discovery of isolated H1N1 infections that resist the anti-viral Tamiflu, made by Roche and Gilead, and the global scramble to secure flu vaccines have shown the importance of robust research and development, Chan said. "Innovation is needed to keep pace with the emergence of new diseases, including pandemic influenza caused by the new H1N1 virus," she told a meeting on intellectual property and health, a contentious issue that has divided rich and poor nations.
Note: How much more blatant can it get? The WHO is telling us to pump money into the corrupt pharmaceutical corporations, who make huge profits from fear mongering and health disasters. When profit drives the health industry, which do you think comes first, money or public health? For lots more revealing, reliable information on the fear-mongering around swine flu, click here and here.
Swine flu vaccine rushed through safety checks
2009-07-13, Times of London (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A swine flu vaccine will be fast-tracked for use in Britain within five days once it is developed, and 130 million doses are on order. The Department of Health expects to have enough vaccine this year to give it to half the population. Further supplies will be available if needed. Each person will need two doses of the vaccine, unless one single jab is found to provide high rates of immunity. The first doses specific to the H1N1 swine flu virus are set to arrive in September and could be given regulatory approval in less than a week. The move came after the first British patient without underlying health problems died from swine flu, taking the number of swine flu-linked deaths in Britain to 15. Peter Holden, the British Medical Association’s lead negotiator on swine flu, said that ... although swine flu was not generally causing serious illness in patients, health officials were eager to start a mass vaccination campaign, starting first on groups that were susceptible to infection or prone to complications. It is likely that the elderly would be given a seasonal flu jab to guard against other circulating flu strains — as happens every year — as well as the swine flu vaccination. “The high-risk groups will be done at GPs’ surgeries. People are still making decisions over this, but we want to get cracking before we get a second wave, which is traditionally far more virulent,” Dr Holden said. It takes several weeks or months to make flu vaccines, which are cultured using chicken eggs. The European Medicines Agency said the fast-tracked approval procedure has involved trials of a “mock-up” vaccine and that the speed would not compromise patient safety. “The vaccines are authorised with a detailed risk management plan,” the agency said.
Important Note: Don't be fooled by this media propaganda. The same rushed attitude is what led to hundreds of deaths from the swine flu vaccine in 1976. Click here for a powerful CBS 60 Minutes video showing how a huge vaccine propaganda campaign by the government led to these deaths. And a recent article in The Scotsman quotes a spokesperson for the Scottish government saying "We have said that a vaccine is being worked on and the plan is to vaccinate everybody." Remember that the media is beholden to pharmaceutical companies for billions of dollars in advertising income. For lots more powerful information on this vital topic, click here.
Swine flu doses on way to Wales
2009-07-13, BBC News
Enough doses of swine flu vaccines for everyone in Wales should begin arriving in the next few weeks. Latest figures show 64 confirmed Welsh cases, but new counting methods mean up to 1m people in Wales could be diagnosed with the illness long term. Up to six million doses would become available, with two per person, and those most at risk would be first in line to receive a jab. Experts will carry out tests and work out how to administer the vaccine. Wales' chief medical officer Dr Tony Jewell said it would be a huge logistical exercise. Dr Jewell said the vaccine would reduce the impact of a second phase of swine flu. "It will put us in a good position to modify it. It is an unprecedented situation," he said. So far 64 cases of swine flu in Wales have been confirmed by laboratory testing. Latest figures across Wales reveal that 426 people have gone to their local doctor in the past week with flu-like symptoms. Three were admitted to hospital over the last few days. Health officials said for every 100,000 people there have been 14.2 cases of flu-like illnesses. But Wales is behind other parts of the UK for infection rates. In Scotland the rate is 23.6 cases, while in England it is 51.9 cases. Seven people in Wales with swine flu had to be hospitalised but five have since been discharged. 17 people in the UK have died - all but one of them had underlying health problems. Experts say that for most people the illness is mild and gets better within five to seven days.
Note: 426 people had flu-like symptoms? Couldn't that be the normal flu? And all but one of the 17 who died had underlying health problems. Hmmmm. So why are they preparing six million vaccine doses? Could there be lots of money to be made here? A Wall Street Journal article states that $1 billion of our tax dollars have already been set aside with $7.5 billion more on the way. For more reliable information on manipulations involving swine flu, click here and here.
Swine flu resembles feared 1918 flu, study finds
The new H1N1 influenza virus bears a disturbing resemblance to the virus strain that caused the 1918 flu pandemic, with a greater ability to infect the lungs than common seasonal flu viruses, researchers reported on Monday. Separately, a top official at the World Health Organization said Monday a fully licensed swine flu vaccine might not be available until the end of the year. The report could affect many countries' vaccination plans. But countries could use emergency provisions to get the vaccines out quicker if they decide their populations need them. The swine flu viruses currently being used to develop a vaccine aren't producing enough of the ingredient needed for the vaccine, and WHO has asked its laboratory network to produce a new set of viruses as soon as possible. Other tests showed the virus could be controlled by the antiviral drugs Relenza, made by GlaxoSmithKline, and Tamiflu, made by Roche AG, the researchers said. The World Health Organization said on Monday that vaccine makers should start making immunizations against H1N1 and that healthcare workers should be first in line to get them. The WHO has previously estimated that the world could have as many as 4.9 billion doses of H1N1 swine flu vaccine ready for the next flu season — but this assumes people only need one shot and production yields are similar to seasonal vaccine.
Note: Who's making the big bucks here? Why is the WHO so strongly promoting billions of doses of vaccines for a disease in which the vast majority of the relatively few people who have died had underlying causes. For more on the blatant corruption of our health industry from reliable sources, click here and here.
Ignore the health scare professionals: you won't die of swine flu
2009-07-12, The Telegraph blogs (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Swine flu is a nasty disease, but no nastier than other strains of influenza. True, it has killed hundreds of people in Mexico; but even there, other variants of ‘flu virus have been far more lethal. Why, then, the urgent need to inoculate the entire British population? Perhaps I’m being overly cynical, but I can’t help wondering whether we’re being pushed into a wrong-headed course of action by the health scare industry. We’re told that Tamiflu needs to be taken at once, without a moment’s delay – meaning that anyone with a sniffle is likely to start glugging the stuff.
We’re also told that the virus may mutate, meaning – conveniently – that we’ll soon need a new variety of medicine. In any case, these flu vaccines have short shelf lives. Good news for the drug manufacturers and their lobbyists; bad news for the taxpayer. Ministers must suspect that the danger is being exaggerated. Yet they would rather spend gazillions than run the slightest risk of being accused of not having done enough. And, needless to say, there isn’t a medical advisory body in the world that will say: “Actually, minister, considering everything in the round, the danger posed by this virus is minor, and we recommend the disbandment of this panel”. You may think I am being unconscionably flippant. But back in April, when newspapers were filling their pages with science fiction scenarios of a deadly epidemic, I suggested that, taking everything together, we weren’t going to die of swine flu. Who has the better track record so far: the Big Pharma doom mongers, or this blog?
Affordable Health Care on the Critical List
2009-07-10, PBS Bill Moyers Journal
Quality, affordable health care is on the critical list in America. And so is the newspaper business. So maybe it's not surprising that one of the most powerful papers in the country attempted an unholy alliance, trying to turn a profit from its newsroom's coverage of the fight for health care reform. You may have missed the story because it broke on the eve of the July 4th weekend. The publisher of The Washington Post, Katharine Weymouth — one of the most powerful people in the nation's capital — invited top officials from the White House, the Cabinet and Congress to her home for an intimate, off-the-record dinner to discuss health care reform with some of her reporters and editors covering the story. But she then invited CEOs and lobbyists from the health care industry to come, too — providing they fork over $25,000 a head, or a quarter of a million if they want to sponsor a whole series of these cozy little get-togethers. And what is the inducement she offers them? Nothing less than — and I'm quoting the invitation verbatim — "An exclusive opportunity to participate in the health care reform debate among the select few who will actually get it done." The invitation promises this private, intimate, and off-the-record dinner is an extension "of The Washington Post brand of journalistic inquiry into the issues, a unique opportunity for stakeholders to hear and be heard." Let that sink in. The "stakeholders" in health care reform in this case do not include the rabble — the folks across the country who actually need quality health care but can't afford it. If any of them showed up at the kitchen door on the night of this little soiree, a bouncer would drop kick them beyond the beltway.
Note: To read the complete text, click on the link above and scroll below the video box at the top of the page. For an excellent article on the Washington Post's ties to the CIA and manipulative politics, click here.
Wendell Potter on Profits Before Patients
2009-07-10, PBS Bill Moyers Journal
Last month, testimony in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation by a former health insurance insider named Wendell Potter made news even before it occurred: CBS NEWS headlined: "Cigna Whistleblower to Testify." After Potter's testimony the industry scrambled to do damage control: "Insurers defend rescissions, take heat for lack of transparency." In his first extended television interview since leaving the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter tells Bill Moyers why he left his successful career as the head of Public Relations for CIGNA, one of the nation's largest insurers, and decided to speak out against the industry. Potter began his trip from health care spokesperson to reform advocate while back home in Tennessee. Potter attended a "health care expedition," a makeshift health clinic set up at a fairgrounds, and he tells Bill Moyers, "It was absolutely stunning. When I walked through the fairground gates, I saw hundreds of people lined up, in the rain. It was raining that day. Lined up, waiting to get care, in animal stalls. Animal stalls." Looking back over his long career, Potter sees an industry corrupted by Wall Street expectations and greed. According to Potter, insurers have every incentive to deny coverage — every dollar they don't pay out to a claim is a dollar they can add to their profits, and Wall Street investors demand they pay out less every year. Under these conditions, Potter says, "You don't think about individual people. You think about the numbers, and whether or not you're going to meet Wall Street's expectations."
Note: To educate yourself on this important issue, watch this revealing PBS Bill Moyers segment available here.
U.S. to vaccinate millions against swine flu
2009-07-10, Washington Post
School-age children will be a key target population for a pandemic flu vaccine in the fall, and they may be vaccinated at school in a mass campaign not seen since the polio epidemics of the 1950s. The federal government should get about 100 million doses of vaccine by mid-October, if the current production by five companies goes as planned. But enough vaccine for wide use by the 120 million people especially vulnerable to the newly emerged strain of H1N1 influenza virus will not be available until later in the fall. Those were among the messages administration officials delivered to about 500 state, territorial, city and tribal health officials yesterday at a "flu summit" at the National Institutes of Health's Bethesda campus. President Obama, speaking by audio link from the Group of Eight summit in L'Aquila, Italy, urged "complete ownership" of preparations for what he termed a "significant outbreak" of H1N1 flu in the next few months. "We want to make sure that we are not promoting panic, but we are promoting vigilance and preparation," he said. He added that "the most important thing for us to do is to make sure that state and local officials prepare now to implement a vaccination program in the fall." Children, pregnant women, adults with chronic illnesses, and health-care workers would probably be first in line for the vaccine, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the gathering. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said "we would absolutely welcome" the idea that the nation's schools be a principal venue for delivering the vaccine. He called them "natural sites" and said that "to open our doors and be part of the solution really makes sense."
Note: The fear-mongering and vaccination plan continues. Note the Post's claim that "more than 1 million Americans have become ill from it." Where did they get this number? The CDC website at this link as of July 10th claims around 40,000 cases in the US. Could this mistake have been intentional? For lots more on this, see this link. And to watch a powerful segment from CBS 60 Minutes showing how government propoganda killed and maimed thousands during the swine flu scare of 1976, click here.
Coffee 'may reverse Alzheimer's'
2009-07-05, BBC News
Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer's disease, US scientists say. The Florida research, carried out on mice, also suggested caffeine hampered the production of the protein plaques which are the hallmark of the disease. The 55 mice used in the University of South Florida study had been bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. First the researchers used behavioural tests to confirm the mice were exhibiting signs of memory impairment when they were aged 18 to 19 months, the equivalent to humans being about 70. Then they gave half the mice caffeine in their drinking water. The rest were given plain water. The mice were given the equivalent of five 8 oz (227 grams) cups of coffee a day - about 500 milligrams of caffeine. When the mice were tested again after two months, those who were given the caffeine performed much better on tests measuring their memory and thinking skills and performed as well as mice of the same age without dementia. Those drinking plain water continued to do poorly on the tests. In addition, the brains of the mice given caffeine showed nearly a 50% reduction in levels of the beta amyloid protein, which forms destructive clumps in the brains of dementia patients. Dr Gary Arendash, who led the latest study, told the BBC: "The results are particularly exciting in that a reversal of pre-existing memory impairment is more difficult to achieve. They provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable 'treatment' for established Alzheimer's disease and not simply a protective strategy. That's important because caffeine is a safe drug for most people, it easily enters the brain, and it appears to directly affect the disease process."
Note: For many highly informative health reports from reliable sources, click here.
Britain's National Health Service: Simple, sensible and civilized
2009-07-05, Los Angeles Times
For the first couple of years I lived in Britain, I was an illegal immigrant from the United States, visaless with an expired passport and looking over my shoulder all the time. Even so, from the very first day I arrived at Victoria Station in London, suffering from bronchitis, I was accepted in the NHS -- the national health scheme, we called it -- no questions asked and no ID required. After I'd become a legal resident, I asked my doctor why he had taken me, almost literally off the boat, with so little fuss. Weren't foreigners a drain on his time and the National Health Service? He shrugged. "If you come here with a contagious disease, we don't want you infecting the rest of us. So of course we give you medical care. Purely selfish on our part."
For three decades I used and, being of a hypochondriacal nature, exploited the British medical system without paying a farthing except for the taxes taken out of my wages as a working journalist. And that single-payer, socialistic, government-run, bureaucratized, heavily used, nationalized health system served me -- and 50 million others -- very well. In need, I saw many doctors, with no money ever changing hands. There was nothing to sign, hardly any papers to shuffle. My primary-care physician ran his "surgery," his office, with the help of only one receptionist whose job it was to arrange appointments. It was all free, including specialists, and I came to believe that healthcare is a right, not an entitlement I had paid for. This "free" part sometimes puzzled my visiting American friends. When they got ill in London, I'd send them to my doctor, who would smile bemusedly when offered money.
Purity of Federal 'Organic' Label Is Questioned
2009-07-03, Washington Post
Three years ago, U.S. Department of Agriculture employees determined that synthetic additives in organic baby formula violated federal standards and should be banned from a product carrying the federal organic label. Today the same additives, purported to boost brainpower and vision, can be found in 90 percent of organic baby formula. The government's turnaround, from prohibition to permission, came after a USDA program manager was lobbied by the formula makers and overruled her staff. That decision and others by a handful of USDA employees, along with an advisory board's approval of a growing list of non-organic ingredients, have helped numerous companies win a coveted green-and-white "USDA Organic" seal on an array of products. Grated organic cheese, for example, contains wood starch to prevent clumping. Organic beer can be made from non-organic hops. Relaxation of the federal standards, and an explosion of consumer demand, have helped push the organics market into a $23 billion-a-year business, the fastest growing segment of the food industry. Half of the country's adults say they buy organic food often or sometimes, according to a survey last year by the Harvard School of Public Health. But the USDA program's shortcomings mean that consumers, who at times must pay twice as much for organic products, are not always getting what they expect: foods without pesticides and other chemicals, produced in a way that is gentle to the environment. "It will unravel everything we've done if the standards can no longer be trusted," said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who sponsored the federal organics legislation. "If we don't protect the brand, the organic label, the program is finished. It could disappear overnight."
Note: For many revealing reports from major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Senate Bill Would Fine People More Than $1,000 for Refusing Health Care Coverage
2009-07-02, Fox News/Associated Press
Americans who refuse to buy affordable medical coverage could be hit with fines of more than $1,000 under a health care overhaul bill unveiled Thursday by key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama's top domestic priority. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the fines will raise around $36 billion over 10 years. Senate aides said the penalties would be modeled on the approach taken by Massachusetts, which now imposes a fine of about $1,000 a year on individuals who refuse to get coverage. Under the federal legislation, families would pay higher penalties than individuals.
In a revamped health care system envisioned by lawmakers, people would be required to carry health insurance just like motorists must get auto coverage now. The government would provide subsidies for the poor and many middle-class families, but those who still refuse to sign up would face penalties. Called "shared responsibility payments," the fines would be set at least half the cost of basic medical coverage, according to the legislation. The goal is to nudge people to sign up for coverage when they are healthy, not wait until they get sick. The legislation would exempt certain hardship cases from fines. The fines would be collected through the income tax system. Obama wants a bill this year that would provide coverage to the nearly 50 million Americans who lack it and reduce medical costs. In a statement, Obama welcomed the legislation, saying it "reflects many of the principles I've laid out." The government's costs would be covered by a combination of higher taxes and cuts in projected Medicare and Medicaid spending.
Note: How can Congress even consider forcing people to buy insurance with threat of a major fine? What happened to the country of freedom and liberty? And is the people or the HMOs who benefit here?
Health Insurance Insider: 'They Dump the Sick'
2009-06-24, ABC News
Frustrated Americans have long complained that their insurance companies valued the all-mighty buck over their health care. Today, a retired insurance executive confirmed their suspicions, arguing that the industry that once employed him regularly rips off its policyholders. "[T]hey confuse their customers and dump the sick, all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors," former Cigna senior executive Wendell Potter said during a hearing on health insurance today before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Potter, who has more than 20 years of experience working in public relations for insurance companies Cigna and Humana, said companies routinely drop seriously ill policyholders so they can meet "Wall Street's relentless profit expectations." "They look carefully to see if a sick policyholder may have omitted a minor illness, a pre-existing condition, when applying for coverage, and then they use that as justification to cancel the policy, even if the enrollee has never missed a premium payment," Potter said. Small businesses, in particular, he said, have had trouble maintaining their employee health insurance coverage, he said. "All it takes is one illness or accident among employees at a small business to prompt an insurance company to hike the next year's premiums so high that the employer has to cut benefits, shop for another carrier, or stop offering coverage altogether," he said. More and more people, he said, are falling victim to "deceptive marketing practices" that encourage them to buy "what essentially is fake insurance," policies with high costs but surprisingly limited benefits.
Note: For lots more on corruption in the health industry, click here.
Weed-Whacking Herbicide Proves Deadly to Human Cells
2009-06-23, Scientific American
Used in yards, farms and parks throughout the world, Roundup has long been a top-selling weed killer. But now researchers have found that one of Roundup’s inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. The new findings intensify a debate about so-called “inerts” – the solvents, preservatives, surfactants and other substances that manufacturers add to pesticides. Nearly 4,000 inert ingredients are approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is the most widely used herbicide in the United States. About 100 million pounds are applied to U.S. farms and lawns every year, according to the EPA. Until now, most health studies have focused on the safety of glyphosate, rather than the mixture of ingredients found in Roundup. But in the new study, scientists found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells – even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns. One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself –- a finding the researchers call “astonishing.” “This clearly confirms that the [inert ingredients] in Roundup formulations are not inert,” wrote the study authors from France’s University of Caen. “Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death [at the] residual levels” found on Roundup-treated crops, such as soybeans, alfalfa and corn, or lawns and gardens.
Note: Monsanto, Roundup’s manufacturer, is the same company that has been using a corrupt judicial system to bankrupt farmers who won't use their seeds. For more on this important topic, click here.
Health care outrage goes uncovered
You probably have never heard of Robin Beaton, and that's what's wrong with the debate over health care reform. Beaton, a retired nurse from Waxahachie, Texas, had health insurance -- or so she thought. She paid her premiums faithfully every month, but when she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, her health insurance company, Blue Cross, dumped her. The insurance company said the fact that she had seen a dermatologist for acne, who mistakenly entered a notation on her chart that suggested her simple acne was a precancerous condition, allowed Blue Cross to leave her in the lurch. Beaton testified before a House subcommittee this week. So did other Americans who thought they had insurance but got the shaft. The subcommittee's chairman, Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan, called the hearing to highlight the obnoxious and unethical practice called rescission. His researchers produced performance reviews of insurance company bureaucrats who were praised and rewarded for kicking people off their coverage. Then Stupak asked three health insurance executives the big question: Will your company pledge to end the practice of rescission except in cases of intentional fraud? All three health insurance executives said no. It was as dramatic as congressional testimony gets. Yet it got no airtime on the networks, nor, as far as I can tell, on cable news, although CNN.com did run a story. The story did not make The New York Times. Nor The Washington Post, which found space on the front page the morning after the hearing for a story on the cancellation of Fourth of July fireworks in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, but not a story on the cancellation of health insurance for deathly ill Americans who've paid their premiums.
Note: For lots more on corruption in the health industry, click here.
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