Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

Food Labeling

Let’s assume that the premise of this piece of shit editorial is true: The U.S. has become a nanny state. So much so, that when I go out and pick vegetables from my garden, I am going to have to slap a god damn food label on it so that I know what I am eating (which, by the way, IS NOT FUCKING TRUE).

Well, today, one of my 7 worthless Tea Party Conservative Facebook followers posted a rant about how ObamaCare is going to force a label on every, single thing you can stick in your mouth, including, ostensibly, my pecker. And because I am sick and fucking tired of stupid, ill-informed, ignorant opinion from people who know not of what they speak (is that the Department of Redundancy Department?) and because I am crabby at the world for a variety of COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY REASONABLE REASONS, obviously, I just couldn’t keep myself from responding in a bitchy and “destined to be unfriended” way:


Fat Hogs Unite!

I mean, shut the fuck up. Food labeling has been required for years, not that it matters to gluttonous Americans who wouldn’t know health if it kicked them in the box.

Here’s the deal, fuckwits: The U.S. and America are going to pay one way or another. Either we try to help you make good choices by labeling food appropriately, or we pay the costs of your fat ass having a fucking heart attack and dying and leaving your family without enough money to feed and shelter themselves. Right? One way or another, we pay. Increased insurance premiums, welfare, death benefits … someone has to pay. So instead of letting people haphazardly foist their bad health on the rest of us, why don’t we help them make good choices? Oh, wait. That’s too progressive of an attitude. We should simply let people fend for themselves, in a world where corporations are willing to feed you literally anything that you’ll be stupid and ill-informed enough to stuff in your cake hole.

Congratulations on your bad health.




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Washington State’s Board of Pharmacy has chickened out in the most ridiculous, crazy, and dangerous way possible.  Today, the Board announced its intention to adopt new regulations that will allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense any drug based on moral grounds, as long as they refer the patient elsewhere to obtain it.

So much for the “profession” of pharmacy.  And, so much for the notion that licensing of professions provides important protections to a vulnerable public.

The real focus of the issue is the Plan B drug, a form of contraception (and not, dammit, an abortion pill).  But, pause for one minute and think about this:  A pharmacist could refuse to dispense any scientifically proven, legal, FDA-approved drug based on moral convictions.  The implications are astonishing and frightening.

Examples:  I am African American with sickle-cell anemia.  Could a KKK pharmacist refuse to dispense medically necessary medication to me based on “moral convictions?”  I am a gay man with erectile dysfunction.  Could a pharmacist refuse to dispense Viagra because I am going to use it for hot, sweaty, man-on-man sex?  I am a teenage girl who was raped and contracted a sexually transmitted disease.  Could a pharmacist refuse to dispense medically necessary medication because his or her moral convictions have forced him to conclude that I am a slut who deserved to be raped?  I am a person living with HIV.  Could a pharmacist refuse to dispense life preserving medication to me because he or she believes that I contracted the virus due to immoral behavior?

How the fuck far does this rule really go?

Consider it from the standpoint of other professions.  Could an ER doctor refuse to treat a critically ill patient based on moral convictions?  Could a criminal defense attorney refuse to represent a defendant due to moral convictions?  Could a real estate broker refuse to sell a home to a Muslim buyer because of moral convictions?  The answers:  no, no, and no.

Besides access to health care, what is more important to good health than the ability to access medically necessary drugs?  The State of Washington, as the licensing authority, has the legal ability and right to require pharmacists to dispense legal, FDA-approved medicine, regardless of moral convictions.  Patient access to legal drugs to treat conditions that may affect the health of the patient is a COMPELLING GOVERNMENTAL INTEREST and there is no reason the State should not be able to require professional, licensed pharmacists to dispense medication regardless of moral convictions.  But what the fuck do I know?  Apparently nothing.

Oh, and did you know that pharmacists take an oath similar to the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors.  Slap my ass and call me Sally!  It’s true.  In pertinent part, it provides:

At this time, I vow to devote my professional life to the services of all humankind through the profession of pharmacy.

I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of human suffering my primary concerns.

I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal drug therapy outcomes for the patients I serve.

How does denying a patient access to legal, FDA-approved treatment result in “optimal drug therapy outcomes”?  IT FUCKING DOESN’T!  If your moral convictions will not allow you to dispense legal drugs to patients, then by extension, your moral convictions do not permit you to be a pharmacist.  Return your license and retrain for a different job.  And stay the fuck out of my business.

P.S.  Lest I be accused of losing focus, let me be clear:  If a woman has no right to choose what happens to her body because it is “God’s will”  and contraception or abortion is “immoral,” then mother fucker, you should have no right to treat a cancerous tumor, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, or any other disease.  Just live with it.  It is God’s will.  Leave it in His hands.

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Tomorrow marks an important day in Ballard/Magnolia/Queen Anne history.  It is the opening of the brand new, much-anticipated, much-litigated, often delayed and postponed Whole Foods grocery store just south of the Ballard Bridge in Interbay.  Not only have the development of the lot and the downsizing of the store itself been the subject of some controversy, but the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, has created a fair amount of hullabaloo himself.  And not about food.

About health care.

He wrote an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal back in August of this year.  It’s a doozy from the first word to the last.  In fact, his opening salvo is a quote from Margaret Thatcher:

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

And the horse shit just gets runnier the further you read.  He proposes 8 “fixes,” none of which fix a thing and some of which aren’t worth the paper on which they were written.  Instead of one comprehensive plan to provide basic health care to all Americans, Mr. “Libertarian Values” advocates the MacGyver approach to health care for all:  take a few half-assed ideas, cobble them together for the Wall Street Journal, and magically, everyone has access to a lousy health care system.  Let’s consider a few of his half-assed ideas just for shits and giggles.

After implying that proponents of a government health care “entitlement” are socialists, he argues that instead of moving toward a “government takeover of our  health care system,” we should move toward less government and more “individual empowerment.”  How?  By creating high-deductible (say, $2,500) group insurance plans and health care savings accounts. 

Do you mean just like the ones that Whole Foods (a huge corporate employer) offers most, but certainly not all, of its employees (i.e., only those employed 30+ hours per week)?  Why yes, of course!

Wonderful!  What a fantastic plan.  For people who are working full-time, have enough money to pay the first $2,500 in health care costs each year, and have enough money left over at the end of the month to put into a savings account at all, let alone for health care.  But guess what Mr. High Net Worth CEO:  Most of the people who are underinsured or not insured now are not employed full-time, cannot for a variety reasons find full-time employment or work full-time, and above all, DON’T HAVE THE FINANCIAL ABILITY TO AFFORD HIGH DEDUCTIBLES OR EVEN SAVE MONEY.  They will still be left out.

Next, he advocates for tort reform under the premise that medical malpractice lawsuits are driving up the costs of health care.  Not medical malpractice itself, mind you, but the lawsuits that are filed by people who, for example, had the wrong leg amputated, were giving the wrong drug, took home the special gift that is a scalpel or guaze dressing left in your stomach after surgery, or suffered the loss of a loved one because a medical professional screwed up. 

Do you know what tort reform requires?  Placing governmental restrictions on the amount of compensation that can be paid to the victim of medical malpractice.  If you believe that tort reform is the answer, let me ask you a few questions:  How much is your leg worth?  Is it worth something different if you are a dentist?  A marathon runner?  A prima ballerina?  What price would you put on your partner’s life?  Your parent’s?  Your child’s?  Do you really want the government to fix those values and prices for you? 

The final turd worth examing involves your tax return.  Mr. “I-made-millions-before-I-put-caps-on-executive-compensation-and-reduced-my-salary-to-one-dollar” wants tax returns to allow for voluntary, tax-deductible donations to help the uninsured.  So, we’ll count on the goodness of people’s hearts to provide basic health care for everyone.

REVOLUTIONARY!  And the contributions will flood in until everyone has health care, just like voluntary giving feeds, clothes, and shelters all of those in need in this country.  As that windbag Dr. Phil says, “And how’s that working out for you?”  IT ISN’T YOU DICK!

Speaking of food and shelter, my favorite part of Mr. Empathy’s shit-sandwich is the part where he says that no one has an “instrinsic, ethical right” to food or shelter, let alone health care.  Precious.  Nor, he argues, do any of us have a Constitutional right, because god dammit, the Constitution doesn’t even contain the words food, shelter, or health care.  Hey, genius:  The Constitution doesn’t specifically identify many of the rights that you take for granted everyday.  The right to privacy that you no doubt cherish?  NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION!  Penumbral.  Look it up.

What good are any of the rights protected by the Constitution specifically or by extension if you cannot enjoy them because you are too sick, too hungry, too homeless.  If your basic needs are not being met, what in the hell good are your basic rights?  Isn’t that what government is for?

More importantly, what kind of ethics do you have, Mr. Greek Philosopher, if you think people don’t have an “intrinsic, ethical right” to food, shelter, or health care?   This from a man who quotes from Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs in an interview with The Guardian.  Guess what the first needs in Maslow’s hierarchy are?  Wait for it, wait for it . . . basic needs for human survival:  food, shelter, clothing.  Guess what the second tier of needs includes?  Health and well-being.  As in health care?  No shit.

But what, really, does Mr. Hypocrit know about ethics anyway?  He is vehemently opposed to unionization.  And don’t forget the “Wild Oats” debacle.  Remember when a certain someone was posting strong criticisms of Wild Oats (a rival supermarket chain) under the name “Rahodeb“?  Remember that at the time, the very same certain someone was the CEO of a huge corporation that was trying to take-over Wild Oats (a corp. whose initials are WHOLE FUCKING FOODS)?  Not exactly ethical.

But do you know what is even MORE ASTONISHINGLY UNETHICAL???  Writing an op-ed piece that blames the nation’s health care crisis on fat people and people who do not live healthy lifestyles, then advocates maintaining the health care status quo (which means millions upon million of uninsured citizens), followed by the promise that we can all live into our 90s or 100s if we purchase and consume the type of food SOLD AT WHOLE FOODS!

I’m not kidding.  Read Mackey’s dishonest, unethical advertisement for Whole Foods for yourself.  Then, ask yourself if you still want to shop at Whole Foods, or if you’d rather run over to your local PCC.

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