Thursday, October 9, 2014

Texas hospital rejected Ebola decedent for lack of insurance

Thomas Eric Duncan’s condition had taken a turn for the worse in recent days. He had been placed on dialysis and was receiving an experimental drug. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced his death. Duncan, who had no health insurance, was initially sent home from a Dallas hospital, despite telling a nurse he had been to Liberia. New questions are also being raised about his treatment after he was diagnosed. [Democracy Now!]
The State of South Dakota has spent $170,000 in taxpayer money since 2011 defending a single anti-choice law, according to new figures from the state attorney general obtained by RH Reality Check. The amount is based on the number of hours that staff attorneys in South Dakota’s Office of the Attorney General have spent working on HB 1217, a bill linked to controversial lawyer Harold Cassidy. The tab for defending South Dakota’s HB 1217 could balloon. Already this year, spending has occurred at a far higher rate than in the previous three years. And when the attorney general was asked in 2011 to estimate how much it could cost to defend HB 1217, the figures ranged from $1.75 million to $4.15 million, according to a document obtained by RH Reality Check. The higher figure contains a $1.75 million contingency to cover Planned Parenthood’s costs, in the event that Planned Parenthood wins the litigation. [ Sharona Coutts, RH Reality Check]
Comes this from Irin Carmon writing in Salon:
We are in a moment of partial Republican self-examination, in which certain party reformers are facing the fact that there just aren’t enough white voters to keep them in power — a demographic problem! And every conversation about how allegedly unsustainable Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are, for one reason or another, mainstreams the pressure to radically cut its benefits or reshape it to the whims of the market. What better way to reclaim the narrative, to change the subject from the inconvenient autonomy of women, than to claim that all of this contracepting is bringing on the decline of America for all?

Kristi Noem and the United States House GOP voted again, for the 51st time, to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Those votes are totally worthless. Has anyone figured out how much time and tax dollars have been spent on these repeal votes? [Arlen Hanson, Letter: Don't stop health care, Aberdeen American News]

There is a misconception that by expanding Medicare, South Dakota state spending will increase. This is simply not true. Federal contributions to those newly covered under the expansion are much higher than current spending, therefore shifting much of the financial burden from the state level. Hospitals provided approximately $40 billion in uncompensated care in 2011. If we can cut that spending by almost half while providing more citizens with insurance coverage, it is shameful that South Dakota would opt out of this opportunity. The South Dakota government is sending the message that the health of its citizens is not a priority and neither is finding a solution to the national healthcare crisis. [Abby Peters, letter, Pierre Capital Journal]

The Indian health system is underfunded and third-party billing — money from private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and other programs — is the only way funding will improve. Like it or not, Treaty or not, the Congress is not going to pay for Indian health through appropriations. The $6 billion budget for the Indian Health Service shows the agency collecting more than a billion dollars from Medicaid and only $90,307,000 from private insurance. [Mark Trahant, Indian Country Today]

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