Volume IV, Issue 27

July 3 , 2017
Rat Lungworm: Brain Burrowing Parasite Is Spreading Through FL
Josh Solomon, in a June 30, 2017 Tampa Bay Times  post, reports:

Angiostrongylus cantonensis, also known as rat lungworm, has been detected in rats and snails in five Florida counties, including Hillsborough, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Florida's Department of Infectious Disease and Pathology.

According to the author:

When ingested, the parasite can, in rare cases, cause a form of meningitis in humans. Some people who are infected don't experience symptoms. Others suffer headaches, neck stiffness, skin tingling, low fever, nausea and vomiting before those ailments clear up on their own...In severe cases, you can die.
Industry Payments to Clinicians, Hospitals Rose in 2016
Robert Lowes reports for Medscape on June 30, 2017 (complimentary registration/log in required):

Whether it was pizza, lodging, research grants, or consulting fees, payments from drug and medical device makers to clinicians and teaching hospitals CMS logo increased by a robust 8.8% in 2016 after plateauing the year before, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today... Total industry payments, which also include ownership and investment interests in drug and device makers, rose from $7.52 billion in 2015 to $8.18 billion in 2016.

According to Mr. Lowes:

One study in JAMA Internal Medicine last year found that a single free meal from a drug company could sway a physician to prescribe the company's brand-name drug rather than a less expensive generic.
Single payer is not a cure for a broken system

Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD in a June 28, 2017 KevinMD post:

California's state senate's unipartisan passing of a sweeping single-payer health care bill, the Healthy California Act, has drawn attention to single payer as a solution to the decaying Affordable Care Act. The ACA decreased competition and plan availability in health insurance and leaves patients holding the bag of unaffordable premiums, deductibles, and copays... <The> bill provides that every California resident, regardless of age, employment, or immigration status, would be eligible for coverage with no premiums, copayments, or deductibles. Additionally, patients could see any "willing" provider without a referral and receive any service deemed medically appropriate, including chiropractic, vision, dental, ancillary health or social services, and National Institutes of Health -approved alternative therapies. Insurers are only allowed to offer coverage for services that are not offered by the state.
Dr. Singleton states:

According to the California senate's own study, the estimated cost of the single-payer program is $400 billion, while California's total budget for 2018 is $179.5 billion. The bill naively or slyly makes no mention of funding...In truth, single payer is not a cure for a broken system, but another manifestation of the attempt to depersonalize patients and doctors and convert them to obedient participants trapped in a system with no exit.



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