Archive for Health Care

The Media’s Failed Look At What Is Happening On The Streets And A Personal Reflection

Occupation for Dummies

There has been no shortage of media confusion in DC this week regarding the OccupyDC and October2011 Stop The Machine actions. I got into a conversation yesterday with a reporter from a local television station who was interviewing people at OccupyDC, she seemed to genuinely want to understand the difference. I pointed out that it seemed like very few members of the Mainstream Media had bothered to check the websites for the two groups which would clarify quite a lot.

Isn’t this sort of like the opposite of the Tea Party, she wondered. I pointed out that these movements represented people who were out of work, had lost their homes, had no health insurance, and wanted an end to  militarism without end and the number of people impacted by those issues is a lot larger than the number of people who identify with the Tea Party.

But the most idiotic media confusion in DC this week has been who was where. It wasn’t so complicated–OccupyDC at McPherson Square, Stop The Machine at Freedom Plaza. Yet in Sunday morning’s Washington Post, with OccupyDC at McPherson for over a week and Stop The Machine in place since Thursday, the caption writer for this photo still got it wrong.

The WaPo caption erroneously reads, "A crowd gathers Thursday at Freedom Plaza for the first day of the OccupyDC rally..."

And the headline–hello? It isn’t the same as the one used online, but, “The common man”? Really? Which century is this? They also apparently didn’t look at the photo which rather clearly shows the common woman.

With this kind of media, no wonder many people are confused about what is happening in the streets.

The best way to understand the movement that is taking root everywhere is to go find out for yourself.  Yes, there is an Occupy near you.

Several people have said to me, oh it is just a bunch of kids.  No, it is not.  And it’s not just a bunch of hippie peaceniks either.  It ranges from toddlers who are there with their parents (there was a little area with toys and crayons at OccupyDC yesterday) to elders with plenty of folks in between.  I talked for a bit with a young man in an army uniform. It was very courageous for him to be there. He had been to Iraq once and was due to ship out again soon, but he said he wasn’t planning to re-deploy, what he had experienced on his first tour had made him realize that militarism was deeply flawed.  He looked sad and wise beyond his years.

And do not underestimate the numbers, it isn’t just a hundred here and a thousand there, it is far, far larger than that.

A crowd shot at Occupy Wall Street--that is A LOT of people

This isn’t about one issue, it is about the American people connecting all the issues and finally saying enough.  There are those who have criticized what is going on for not having a clear statement of purpose or intent.  What they miss is that people everywhere have decided to take back the commons, and that is intention enough.

There is more to say, much more, the time I have spent on the street this last week has been transformative.  I have re-connected with old friends, made new ones and for the first time in a long time felt genuine hope.  Don’t be afraid, come out and join us.

Addenda:  The amount of inaccurate reporting involving Occupy DC and Stop the Machine is becoming epic.  Today the Washington Post reports that OccupyDC may stay in Freedom Plaza past the time time they have a permit.  Sorry, wrong group.  Yahoo News is now calling the pepper-spraying of protesters at the Air and Space Museum on Saturday a riot and ABCNews7 tweeted this morning that at least one person planned to stay past the permit time in Freedom Plaza although the article they linked to actually says a number of people plan to stay.  And that is just today.  The amount of media stupid when it comes to reporting what has transpired over the last week plus in DC is to the point where it is hard to see it as anything but deliberate.

 

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Speaking About Health Insurance Sunday Sept. 18

This Sunday evening, September 18, I’ll be interviewed on A World Of Progress Radio in a segment devoted to health care issues. I’ll be talking about my experience trying to transfer an individual health insurance policy from one state to another and how the problems faced by individual policy holders with pre-existing conditions are not currently being addressed adequately by health care reform. This issue hits women particularly hard since they are less likely to be covered by an employer’s policy.

Other guests on the show include health insurance industry whistleblower Wendell Potter, Vanessa Beck of Healthcare Now and Mad As Hell Doctors.

The show will air at 7pm EDT. I’ll be interviewed beginning at 7:45.

To read more about my experience regarding this issue, please see my blog Pre-Existing Pundit.

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My New Health Insurance Blog

I’ve made several posts on Reclaiming Medusa regarding my experience of trying to move my health insurance from Kentucky to Maryland.  In order to make it easier to follow those posts, I started a new blog devoted to that issue only so that those posts don’t get lost between other subject matter on this blog.  The original posts on this blog have been cross-posted there and new posts have been added as well. The new blog is called Pre-Existing Pundit.  Please spread the word!

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Health Insurance–A Tale Of Two States (And A District)

Several days ago, I wrote about the ordeal I have been going through trying to move my health insurance from Kentucky to Maryland.  Because I had a health insurance policy with Anthem Blue Cross in Kentucky, the local Blue Cross was obligated to offer me what is called a guarantee issue conversion policy that does not require underwriting (a good thing since I have several pre-existing conditions that would otherwise make it difficult for me to obtain health insurance).

As I reported earlier, the Maryland conversion policy was almost no insurance at all so one of the options I wanted to explore was what kind of policy CareFirst (the Blue Cross company that serves the Washington, DC metro area, including the Virginia and Maryland suburbs) would offer me if I lived in the District instead of in Maryland. I asked CareFirst to send me the information and when it arrived it was a stunner.  We are talking about maybe a 15 mile difference in location and the same company.  But the policies were radically different, which CareFirst attributes to insurance laws which vary by location.

If you live in Maryland, there is a $250 deductible and  for most things, you pay 25%, the plan pays 75% up to a very unrealistic lifetime maximum of $250,000 (most plans have a $1,000,000 maximum or no limit).  There is no cap on out-of-pocket expenses.  Premium for a 55 year old woman? $443.22, less than my Kentucky policy but for a lot less coverage and substantial risk.

But hop on the Metro and move into the District and wowswers–the guaranteed conversion plan there has a $750 deductible, pays 80% instead of 75% and there is a $3500 cap on out of pocket expenses for an individual.  There was nothing that I saw about a lifetime maximum.  Sounds good so far, but there is a catch and it is a big one–the premium.  Are you sitting down? $1448.  Per month.  Aside from CEO’s of health insurance companies, not too many people can afford that.

For comparison’s sake, it is worth comparing these plans to the Federal Pre-existing Condition Pool, which incomprehensibly also varies from state to state.  In Maryland, the premium is as high as $354/month with a $1500 deductible and an out of pocket limit of $1500.

In the District of Columbia, the Federal Pre-existing Condition Pool is a bit more complicated with premiums as high as $436 and,

In addition to your monthly premium, you will pay other costs. In 2011, you will pay a $1,000 to $3,000 deductible, which varies by your plan option, for covered medical benefits (except for preventive services) before the plan starts to pay. A plan option may have a separate drug deductible. After you pay the deductible, you will pay a $25 copayment for doctor visits, $4 to $40 for most prescription drugs, and 20% of the costs of any other covered benefits you get. Your out-of-pocket costs cannot be more than $5,950 per year. These costs may be higher, if you go outside the plan’s network.

The kicker with the federal plans however is that in order to qualify,

  • You must be a citizen or national of the United States or lawfully present in the United States.
  • You must have been uninsured for at least the last six months before you apply.
  • You must have a pre-existing condition or have been denied coverage because of your health condition.

The first and third points seem reasonable, but requiring that you be without insurance for six months is absurd and causes unnecessary financial hardship and risk to public health.  When you have met the other two conditions, you should be immediately eligible.  There is no other country on earth that would require you to go without health insurance before you could qualify for it and that we, the richest country in the world should do so is beyond belief.

Fortunately for me, there is also a Maryland State pool where six months of state residency is required, but there is no requirement that you be uninsured before qualifying.

I am still trying to determine the best option for myself and will write more about that later. But as I was sorting through the possible scenarios, I wanted to point to the total absurdity that insurance plans should vary so drastically in one metropolitan area.  It is well past time for a federal single payer plan that makes health care expenses equitable, regardless of where you live or work or how healthy you are.

And finally, while Blue Cross guarantees you coverage if you move, that does not mean it will be adequate or affordable or even remotely like the coverage you had before you moved.  The result is that for people like me with pre-existing conditions, Blue Cross is effectively making it so you may have to go without coverage for 6 months because you can’t afford $1448 premiums (or if you live in a state like Maryland, have very minimal and inadequate insurance until you have lived here for six months)and then force you into one of the high risk pools.  Just because you moved.  But somehow I don’t think insurance CEO’s or the elected officials they’ve financed are losing sleep about this.

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Addenda:  Health insurance for all of us is under siege, whether you have an individual policy, obtain coverage through your company or have Medicare or are uninsured, etc.  Here is an important piece about what is happening to workers at Kaiser Permanente, which ironically is a health insurance provider.  The author compares what is happening there with what is happening at Verizon. She makes the point that we need to stand together, a point that should be true regardless of how you get coverage.  A lot less attention has been paid to those of us in the individual market than those who get coverage via employment or Medicare.  We need solidarity regardless of how we obtain health care coverage.

And addenda last–this story has gotten so absurd that I made it a whole new blog of its very own.  You can follow the continuing saga at Pre-Existing Pundit.

 

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Have An Individual Health Insurance Policy And Pre-Existing Conditions And You Want To Move? Good Luck With That.

I recently moved from Louisville, KY to the Washington, DC area.  When you move, a certain amount of hassle is to be expected with such things as phone and cable service, getting new license plates, etc.  In the end those tasks all got done.  Moving my health insurance however, not so much.

The following is the letter I am sending to the appropriate elected officials in Kentucky and Maryland as well as both states’ insurance regulatory agencies and Blue Cross Blue Shield as well as health insurance reform advocates.  It documents the infuriating, scary, time-consuming and unconscionable experience I have had trying to move from one state to another without losing adequate health insurance.  When I receive responses, I will post them as well.

Dear _________,

I recently moved from Louisville, Kentucky to the Washington, DC area to better facilitate my work as a political activist and writer.  For a long time, I was afraid to make this move because of the risk of losing my health insurance, an individual policy through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. Due to several health problems, I was afraid I would not be able to obtain insurance elsewhere.  Yes, there are now high risk pools but the Federal pools require that you be uninsured for six months before you qualify and obviously that would be a substantial risk if you have a major illness or accident during that period.

Then I found out that Blue Cross has an arrangement called an intra-association transfer group conversion which means that the Blue Cross company wherever you live has to offer you an insurance plan that does not require going through underwriting although it may have less benefits and cost more.  Armed with that information, I wanted to find out what coverage might be available to me depending on if I lived in the District or in a suburb in Maryland or Virginia.  Even though I’m a writer with more than passable research skills, I could not get anyone at CareFirst, the Blue Cross company for the DC metro area to give me that information.  The Sales Department wouldn’t talk to me because they only handle policies that go through underwriting and Customer Service said they couldn’t give it to me until I actually transferred my policy.

After multiple conversations and a lot of hold time, I finally called my agent in Louisville, who had always been quite good about answering my questions.  She sent me information about an HMO plan that CareFirst offered in DC that had open enrollment, no underwriting and better benefits and lower cost than the policy I had in Kentucky. I was ecstatic and relieved that I could move without jeopardizing my healthcare or financial well-being. At no point did she tell me that this was only available in DC and not in the surrounding suburbs in Maryland and Virginia or that the plan was not always open to new members.

After finding a house to rent in Rockville, MD, I was finally able to move.  When I transferred my insurance however, I got a major shock.  The policy my Anthem agent had told me about was only available in the District.  In Maryland, the policy offered me cost much more for a lot less coverage.  The terrifying part of the policy is that it has a $250,000 maximum benefit.  If you have a major disease or accident, that would be grossly inadequate. 

While this policy is completely different than my old policy and written by a different company, apparently it does not have to comply with the new healthcare rules on lifetime limits.  Getting a more comprehensive policy from CareFirst  will require underwriting and when I discussed this with a customer service representative at CareFirst, I was told that because of my health, I would be denied.  What I find incredible is that I’ve been repeatedly told that because each Blue Cross is a different company, they don’t have to offer the same coverage as my old Blue Cross company did but they still can get away with offering me a ridiculously low minimum because the policy is considered to be grandfathered, not a new policy.  It is outrageous that they can get away with this.

As I understand it, once I have lived in Maryland for six months, I will qualify for the Maryland state high risk pool as long as I apply for an underwritten policy and am denied or if the policy I’m offered is more expensive than what Maryland offers in the pool which would certainly be the case with the policy that CareFirst has given me. If however I were to have a catastrophic health event before that, once the CareFirst policy was used up, my medical care could bankrupt me.

What I find the most disturbing is that the misleading information that I was given by my Anthem agent has, at least in the short run, substantially raised my health care costs.  Had I known that while CareFirst administers Blue Cross plans in the entire DC area, the plans vary substantially, I would have made sure to take that into account before choosing exactly where to live.

It is appalling that, for people who buy their own insurance on the individual market at great expense (and this impacts women the most since they are less likely to work for companies that offer health insurance), insurance companies can decide whether you can move without jeopardizing your healthcare and financial well-being.  Given my health history, it would not surprise me at all if Anthem deliberately misled me about what would be available to me to get me off their policy.

After finding out that the group conversion policy offered by CareFirst in Maryland was seriously deficient, I spent a great deal of time on the phone trying to find out what my best course of action was.  Even though they would be involve huge cost, the options as I understand it include:

 

  1. Break the lease on the house I am renting and move into the District.  The fly in that ointment is that sometimes the Open Enrollment HMO that CareFirst offers there closes to new enrollment.  CareFirst is sending me information about the group conversion plan they offer in DC so I can compare that to the Maryland policy (information I was not able to get before I moved).  If it is better, I may consider doing this, although the expense would be huge.
  2. Apply for an underwritten policy and if rejected, which I’ve been told will likely happen, apply to the pool after I’ve lived here six months. It is however abhorrent that the simple act of moving effectively forces people into the high risk pool.  There is a lot of talk about the individual mandate that would require people to buy insurance.  Given the way insurance companies are treating people now should make it quite obvious that this is not going to be a good idea.
  3.  Maintain a residence in Kentucky with a second home in Maryland.  Had I know that I would not be given adequate insurance here, this would have been the best option even though it wasn’t really what I wanted to do and would be expensive.  Revisiting that route however would be a substantial hassle and expense at this point and given the double digit increases and continual decrease in coverage that I’ve gotten from Anthem over the years, there is no guarantee that this would be a good idea.
  4. Marry someone with great family health insurance benefits.
  5. Find a job with health care benefits even though I’ve been self-employed for almost 30 years.
  6. Move to another country.

I have not yet determined the best course of action; fully understanding the options takes a lot of time.  In a bizarre side note, when I called the Maryland high risk pool helpline, the woman I spoke to said that she saw that I had just spoken to someone else in her office a little while ago.  When I said that no, I had spoken to someone at CareFirst, she told me the office they worked for answered questions for both.  After asking her a few questions about the Maryland program I asked her something about the CareFirst policy.  She told me she couldn’t answer that while on the Maryland phone but if I called her at her CareFirst extension, then she could answer the question.  Given that CareFirst has de facto made it quite clear that they have no plans to sell me an adequate insurance policy, it would seem to me that there is a major conflict of interest here.

On a personal basis, I am angry and scared.  Because I work for myself and foot my own insurance bill, and because I have health problems should not be an excuse for being totally screwed because I want to move.  This would not happen if we had a single payer health plan.  It is immoral and unconscionable. When Congress was having their epic debate about health care reform, I wrote several times about the lack of attention to the problems faced by those on the individual market.  Despite all of my efforts, I am now mired in the impact of the neglect to address this issue.

I would appreciate any help you can give me in obtaining adequate, affordable insurance.

Sincerely,

Lucinda Marshall

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Former health care executive and Gov. Rick Scott (FL)

 

“The advocacy group Physicians for a National Health Program estimates that “private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume one-third (31 percent) of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $400 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.”” http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_97afa329-42f8-5f12-adb0-97fa305c3e4b.html

(Former health care executive) “Gov. Rick Scott, a critic of the federal health care overhaul, is paying less than $400 a year for health insurance for himself and his wife.”
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/11/1005803/-Rick-Scott-Getting-Govt-Provided-Health-Insurance-For-Less-Than-$400-Per-Year

 

 

 

 

 

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What We Should Really Be Scared Of

Donna Smith makes the excellent point that it isn’t WikiLeaks that is killing America, it is lack of healthcare:

Today, in cites and states across the United States, 123 people died because they lacked enough money to buy healthcare services.  That brings the annual death toll for 2010 to 41,082.

WikiLeaks had nothing to do with the deaths of the 123 people who died today or any of the 41,082 who died so far this year.

The 123 who died today did so with the full knowledge of all who allowed their deaths.  The 123 who died today might have lived if they had access to appropriate healthcare.  The 123 who died got no mention on any news program or website – liberal, conservative or otherwise.  So much for the value of 123 human lives.

And all that TSA groping and x-raying didn’t save them either.

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After We Blacken Our Fish, We Marinate It In Corexit And It’s Still Okay To Eat. Really (Not).

Guess, what, no worries about that nasty Corexit dispersant stuff toxing out the seafood you eat. Never mind that the stuff has been banned in Europe, if the FDA says it is safe, well by golly, it must be safe, safer than dish soap even:

Dead fish along Louisiana shore

How cool is that--it kills the fish which then float right up to shore, no need to worry about whether you can catch it with your trusty fishing rod any more.

“The ingredients include propelyne glycol, a chemical permitted by FDA as a food additive and used in medicines, cosmetics and toothpaste; 2-butoxyethanol, which is found in cleaners, liquid soaps and cosmetics and quickly degrades in the environment; and a proprietary form of sulfonic acid salt, which is “moderately” toxic to freshwater fish and invertebrates but which the manufacturer says degrades quickly. In addition, Corexit contains volatile organic solvents that are made from crude oil and are not considered by the FDA to pose a public health concern because they do not accumulate significantly in the flesh of fish, according to Ireland.”

Want a side of fries with that? And just in case you don’t believe the FDA, here’s a video of a dude who works for Nalco, the company that makes Corexit demonstrating how it works. You can tell that it is perfectly safe cuz he’s wearing the industrial strength rubber gloves while he does the demonstration.

“The FDA is not monitoring fish and shellfish for the presence of Corexit in seafood because it is not considered a health risk, Ireland said.”

Well that is convenient, then we don’t have to worry for another 20 years that there might be health risks that don’t show up immediately because even if we all suddenly keel over and die, we won’t be able to blame it on the Corexit because no one bothered to study it.  But I’m sure BP and the Feds were looking out for our best interests and just didn’t want to waste any money on silly ol’ monitoring.

And shame on the WaPo for just giving them a pass on this in their coverage.

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The 6 Month Doughnut Hole In The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan

Will someone please explain why you have to be uninsured for six months before qualifying for the Pre-Existing Condition Plan?  Because I have a health history (and how many people my age don’t) and because I don’t work for a company that provides insurance, the chances of my being able to purchase a new individual insurance plan are probably nil, so this clause makes it impossible for me to move out of state because I would lose the coverage I have and then have to wait 6 months to get insurance which is insane.  Sorry Kentucky, you are stuck with me until this gets fixed.

May I apply for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan if I have existing health coverage?

Hard to sugar coat this flaw in healthcare reform

Hard to sugar coat this flaw in healthcare reform

You are not eligible unless you have been without health coverage for at least the last six months.  For example, if you have Medicare or TRICARE, you shouldn’t apply.  If you are uninsured and have been told that you may be eligible for other coverage programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, you should check out those programs first, as they may better meet your needs.  If you have job-based coverage, or individual insurance coverage, you aren’t eligible to apply.

May I apply for PCIP if I have COBRA or other continuation coverage?

No, even if your COBRA or other continuation of coverage is about to run out, you won’t meet the requirement to be uninsured for at least the last six months.  You also need to be meet the criteria for having a pre-existing condition and be a U.S. citizen or individual residing here legally to qualify for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.

And as was pointed out during the long drawn out health care reform debate, women are less likely to have insurance through employment and are thus more likely to be impacted by this seriously FUBAR plan.

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Indigestion

Gee maybe they should have thought of this before we got pummeled with all those Little Purple Pill commercials:

Federal health regulators are warning doctors and patients that heartburn drugs like Nexium and Prilosec may cause bone fractures when used for more than a year.The Food and Drug Administration said several studies showed increased risk of hip, wrist and spine fractures in patients using drugs that block stomach acid.

But never fear, the FDA has your back this time

According to the FDA, walnuts are unapproved drugs because they have been scientifically proven to lower high cholesterol. So the FDA has unleashed a threatening attack against a large walnut company to scare them into removing all scientific research about walnuts from their website and marketing materials.

It’s enough to make you hurl.

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Eat Your Heart Out Purell

A few days ago, I saw an ad on television proclaiming that using Lysol will keep your countertops safe from H1N1 germs. This sounded hugely useful to me in case someone with the flu starts hacking and wiping snot all over your kitchen and bathroom because you certainly can’t inoculate a countertop and you wouldn’t want the poor thing to get sick. It also occurred to me that if there is a shortage of vaccine (although from news reports in recent days, it sounds like exactly the opposite is true and there is glut of the vaccine because apparently enough people aren’t properly scared), maybe we could all just spray ourselves with Lysol.

We don’t use commercial store-bought cleaners in our house because of asthma and chemical sensitivity issues.  That said, the house is clean and we  rarely get the flu not to mention we save a fortune every year by using such dirt cheap substitutes as baking soda, vinegar and wait for it…soap.

So being a tad cynical about these things (which you may have already gathered), I decided to take a little look-see at Lysol’s site which, after providing us with the facts about H1N1 (not that they want us to be scared or anything),  helpfully tells us which of their products will kill it:

  • LYSOL® Disinfectant Spray
  • LYSOL® Disinfecting Wipes
  • LYSOL® All Purpose Cleaners (both pourable and trigger products)

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Household Products Database, there are multiple versions of these products.  For Lysol Brand All Purpose Cleaner With Bleach (trigger bottle), the database provides the following information:

PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENT: Hazard to Humans and Domestic Animals. Warning: Causes eye and skin irritation. Do not get in eyes, on skin or clothing. Remove contaminated clothing and wash clothing before reuse. For sensitive skin or prolonged use, wear gloves. Odors may irritate. Use in well ventilated area. Avoid breathing of vapors. Not recommended for use by persons with heart or chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, emphysema or obstructive lung disease. Harmful if swallowed.

Last I heard, the flu definitely qualifies as a respiratory disease, so why would you use this product to fight it?  I decided to look a tad further and what I found next just floored me–the Center for Disease Control specifically recommends Lysol by brand name! According to the Center For Disease Control’s “Ounce of Prevention Campaign:

Arming health educators and consumers with information as well as practical and useful tips on preventing infectious diseases, the Ounce of Prevention campaign was created by the National Center for Infectious Diseases, Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with Reckitt Benckiser, Inc., the makers of LYSOL® Brand Products.

Talk about a marketing coup!  Why Lysol instead of say Purell, whose dispensers have been popping up faster than dandelions in spring.  According to the EPA, there are a whopping 500 products that will kill Influenza A on hard non-porous surfaces.  Um wait a minute, weren’t we talking about H1N1?  Not to worry,

EPA believes, based on available scientific information, that the currently registered influenza A virus products will be effective against the 2009-H1N1 flu strain and other influenza A virus strains on hard, non-porous surfaces.

Guess we’ll have to take that on faith.  But many of these products, like Lysol are contraindicated for anyone with respiratory issues.  In addition, with mounting concerns about the overuse of antibiotics, both in people and in our food supply and cases of drug-resistant TB being reported there is also the concern that we are buying a huge risk with the over-use of these products.

But the big question remains, how did Lysol get the very cushy real estate on the CDC site which is tantamount to recommending it over other products.  You don’t have to look very far to find out just how incestuous the relationship is between the governmental bodies that oversee our health policies and corporate America.  Just recently, former CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding took a position with Merck & Co. in their vaccine division:

“I am very excited to be joining Merck where I can help to expand access to vaccines around the world,” added Gerberding, who will head up the company’s $5 billion global vaccine business that includes shots to prevent chickenpox, cervical cancer and  pneumonia.

The CDC under Gerberding has strongly recommended Merck’s Gardisil vaccine to protect against HPV and cervical cancer for all young girls, despite significant doubts as to whether this is good medical practice.  The vaccine  costs approximately $375 according to the CDC, which needless to say has enriched Merck’s coffers substantially.

The CDC has also strongly recommended the use of Tamiflu to fight the flu, but it’s effectiveness has also come under scrutiny:

Nick Fremantle and Melanie Calvert from the University of Birmingham reviewed additional studies and concluded the drug may reduce the risk of pneumonia in otherwise healthy people who get the flu, but the benefit is probably very small and needs to be weighed against potential side effects.

Stay tuned to find out which lucky CDC official will be jumping ship to go work for Lysol.  Eat your heart out Purell.

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