Friday Funny

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Hello Universe!

I’m back!

In the coming weeks (after I have settled in to my new digs) I will have PLENTY to say about….

…the requested name change of high fructose corn sweetener to corn sugar…BAH!!

…the ever more stupid teabaggers.

…the sad state of human affairs on this planet Earth.

Come join me as I hold the extreme right over a fire of righteous indignation…and watch them BURN!

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Jack Ohman Cartoon

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Victory on Health Care Reform and the Comedy Genius of Bill Maher

New Rule: You can't use the statement "there will be no cooperation for the rest of the year" as a threat if there was no cooperation in the first half of the year. Here's a word the president should take out of his teleprompter: bipartisanship. People only care about that in theory, not in practice. The best thing that's happened this year is when President Obama finally realized this and said, "Kiss my black ass, we're going it alone, George W. Bush style."

Two months ago, conservative Fred Barnes wrote, "The health care bill is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection." Well, if it's dead, you just got your ass kicked by a zombie named Nancy Pelosi. Seriously, the last time a Democrat showed balls like that John Edwards' girlfriend was filming it. Make all the botox jokes and she-shops-too-much jokes you want, but this is the biggest political victory a woman has ever achieved in America. Yes, Nancy Pelosi likes nice clothes. So does Sarah Palin. The difference is Nancy Pelosi pays for hers.

Democrats in America were put on earth to do one thing: drag the ignorant hillbilly half of this country into the next century, which in their case is the 19th — and by passing health care, the Democrats saved their brand. A few months ago, Sarah Palin mockingly asked them, "How's that hopey-changey thing working out for ya?" Great, actually. Thanks for asking. And how's that whole Hooked on Phonics thing working out for you?

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More Misinformation On Death Panels Debunked

The most talked about draft for health care reform is HR 3200.  It has been said that this bill contains so called ‘Death Panels’.  It is not true.  Anyone who says this is in the bill is a liar.  

In the last few days some of the people who have been pedaling this lie have pulled out a news story from July 2008 about a woman in Oregon to show how these supposed death panels will work and ‘LOOK! They already have them in Oregon.’

What they failed to report is that this exact same practice of denying newer, not proven treatments and medications that only prolong life takes place all the time, again and again, with private insurance.  Privately insured people are constantly shocked after paying premiums for years to have their insurance dropped when they most need it or have the insurance company deny claims for treatments prescribed by their doctors.  Sometimes after the treatments have already taken place and the insurance company said that it would be covered!

All that aside I find it rather sad and disingenuous that the same people that say the government shouldn’t pay for anyone’s health care are now complaining that the state of Oregon would not pay several thousands of dollars to prolong a life for 4-6 months because the woman did not have private insurance (which by the way would have also most likely would have also said no to the experimental drug prescribed) or the money to pay for the drugs herself. After all, some have even put forth the notion that health care is a luxury.

Barbara Wagner was a life long smoker who quit smoking in 2005 when she found out she had lung cancer. The state of Oregon paid for her treatment. Oregon Medicare paid for thousands of dollars worth of chemotherapy, radiation, a special bed and a wheelchair.

Her cancer went into remission. In May 2008 the cancer had returned and her doctor prescribed the 64 year old woman a drug that would prolong her life 4-6 months.

The fact is that the drug the State of Oregon Medicare would not pay for is 10% effective and not in reversing an outcome of lung cancer, only prolonging life. It costs $4,000 a month.

In fact, in clinical trials of the drug, the positive outcomes between the chemotherapy drug and a placebo in studies were only a few percentage points different.

The drug manufacturer stepped in and provided the drug. Barbara Wagner received her chemo and died from her lung cancer.

Barbara Wagner was understandably upset when she received a letter from Oregon’s state run medicare program letting her know that it would not pay for the chemotherapy drug prescribed by her doctor.

In the letter the state of Oregon sent her it did indicate that although the State of Oregon would not pay for this chemotherapy drug she was still able to receive other care such as hospice care. Did the letter mention assisted suicide? Who can really say without seeing the letter? It does not appear to have ever been shown in the news stories so who can say what the actual wording was. It might very well have since Oregonians did vote for and approve assisted suicide. If it did mention this it was listed as an option.  No one in the state of Oregon said that she had to commit suicide.
 
As a person who smokes I may be in the same boat someday, dying of lung cancer.  I can honestly say that I would be upset too, but I also would not expect the state I live in nor the federal government to pay for drug that might prolong my life for a few more months, even though I am personally against assisted suicide (only for myself, I believe these decisions are ones that are individual.)  The state didn’t put those cigarettes in my mouth.
 
On the other hand  HR3200 does have a provision that would make is so private insurance company can no longer deny drug coverage for smoking cessation drugs that just might save a life.  Currently many insurance companies will not cover smoking cessation drugs.  That is truly good news for people who smoke and a lot more beneficial for both smoking and non-smoking taxpayers alike than to not assist with quitting and then paying for overly expensive, highly unreliable chemotherapy drugs or treatments when the person is already dying.

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Sunday Funny: Note to Republicans

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On What Planet Do You Spend Most of Your Time?

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