Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Hack

That is one of the symptoms of Covid, the hacking cough. It is also a sign that you have been using Zoom the platform with more hacks than a butcher block or our Government websites be they federal or state.   The dated technology and antiquated equipment that has led to massive crashes and shutdowns as millions of Americans try to access information, sign up for unemployment or just get questions answered.

This of course is very evident in the new academies of online learning where most American students don't even own a computer let alone access to the internet or that rural students have no broadband of any kind. Of course the miracle 3x5 phone has limitations and it too can only do so much and is compatible with well nothing that our Government.

God good times remembering the Email scandal.  Ah yes this in a time where our Government is not even running due to the distancing orders currently in place.  Those virtual meetings are working out great right?  And of course the nightly Trumpaganda show is now adding the super duper screens that are Cuomos' shtick so we can read highlights of what they are saying just like Colbert used to do on his former show!    God it's full circle.

First up we have this essay by Catherine Rampall of the Post discussing the tech issues and how bad they really are.  And yes they are really bad.  Note Jersey has done nothing to upgrade their system in nearly 50 years.  Man I love this place it is fucked and yet it works for me! They don't actually try to pretend it is otherwise. Part of the attraction.

As for the educational divide it got wider.  Again another article about how that home schooling is working out. Not well.

The next is the massive economic hit from this shutdown that will make any improvements to the school system, to the operations of Government (well less bureaucracy as they are laying off many employees so that will be great...oh wait) and to hosptials that are laying off and closing sites daily. And forbid anyone to say anything critical  and that is massive issue at many hospitals across the country as this Doctor in Washington State was let go for this issue (good time to be firing staff I say) and of course leads them to join the growing unemployment line.  Ah Amazon is hiring, just say nothing.

But the global economy is reeling and hacking its lungs as it too tries to survive the pandemic.So far it has managed to do this:

  What Europe and the US have succeeded in doing is to flatten the curve of financial panic. They have maintained the all-important flow of credit. Without that, large parts of their economies would not be on life support – they would be stone dead. And our governments would be struggling with a financial crunch to boot. Maintaining the flow of credit has been the precondition for sustaining the lockdown. It is the precondition for a concerted public health response to the pandemic.

And it is that which dominates the new discussion among the coordinated State efforts announced yesterday and again the two coasts are the ones leading that progression. While CDG just gets hysterical, does he have a slide for that?   And Igor has to stand there apologize and couch his language as well that is all he does is go: Well maybe, unclear and we have to wait and see. Why I am so dismayed with Fauci/Igor is that is all he says and it is to keep Gramps afraid so that the other people in charge, whoever they are, can somewhat fix this.  I get the whole moral panic thing I heard it from my Dentist who never once had a good word to say after awhile you realize this is over her head and so by making you afraid you won't challenge her authority. Got it.

And the divide of the working class and the stay at home working class is a farce as well. Again the rich travel and bring their shit with them including Covid. The overall affects on the real estate market are yet to be seen but this too will remind everyone that the suburbs are not that bad after all. 

And this is the renter's dilemma as the cost of housing and the lack of jobs has placed people into roommate situations, subletting and the rest all to make it in New York City and to find out that no if you can't make it work here just leave  And while they are stopping evictions and allowing mortgages to be delayed, few protections are in place for renters such as enabling them to break leases without penalty might be a good start. So expect again a mass exodus of Millennials living beyond their means and their interesting "gig" jobs evaporate as the economy tries to restore itself to a working level.   2008 is nothing compared to this.  Say Hi to Mom and Dad and hope the basement is a Pinterest project.

So the medical care workers you applaud are truly overworked and under respected and in turn put those patients being admitted further at risk. Do you think Joe Blow with Covid will get the Boris Johnson treatment? No. Hence that adds to the death count.

As hospitals across the country brace for an onslaught of coronavirus patients, doctors, nurses and other health care workers — even in emerging hot spots — are being furloughed, reassigned or told they must take pay cuts. 
The job cuts, which stretch from Massachusetts to Nevada, are a new and possibly urgent problem for a business-oriented health care system whose hospitals must earn revenue even in a national crisis. Hospitals large and small have canceled many elective services — often under state government orders — as they prepare for the virus, sending revenues plummeting. 
That has left trained health care workers sidelined, even in areas around Detroit and Washington, where infection rates are climbing, and even as hard-hit hospitals are pleading for help. 
“I’m 46. I’ve never been on unemployment in my life,” said Casey Cox, who three weeks ago worked two jobs, one conducting sleep research at the University of Michigan and another as a technician at the St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Hospital near Ann Arbor, Mich.  
But even as some hospitals are straining to handle the influx of coronavirus patients, empty hospital beds elsewhere carry their own burden. 
“We’re in trouble,” said Gene Morreale, the chief executive of Oneida Health Hospital in upstate New York, which has not yet seen a surge in coronavirus patients. 
Appalachian Regional Healthcare, a 13-hospital system in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, has seen a 30 percent decrease in its overall business because of a decline in patient volume and services related to the pandemic. Last week, the hospital system announced it would furlough about 8 percent of its work force — around 500 employees. 
In Boston, a spokesman for Partners HealthCare, with 12 hospitals, including Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s, said staff members whose work has decreased are being deployed to other areas or will be paid for up to eight weeks if no work is available. 
But redeployment is not always an option. Janet Conway, a spokeswoman for Cape Fear Valley Health System in Fayetteville, N.C., said many of the company’s operating room nurses trained in specialized procedures have been furloughed because their training did not translate to other roles. 
Many health systems are making direct cuts to their payrolls, eliminating or shrinking performance bonuses and prorating paychecks to mirror reduced workload until operations stabilize. 
Scott Weavil, a lawyer in California who counsels physicians and other health care workers on employment contracts, said he was hearing from doctors across the country who were being asked to take pay cuts of 20 to 70 percent. 
 It’s just not sitting well,” Mr. Weavil said, noting that he tells doctors they unfortunately have few options if they want to work for their institution long term. 
“If you fight this pay cut, administration could write your name down and remember that forever,” he said he tells them. 
In other cases, physicians are continuing to find opportunities to practice in a more limited capacity, like telemedicine appointments. But that has not eliminated steep pay cuts. 
“Physicians are only paid in our clinic based on their productivity in the work they do,” said Dr. Pam Cutler, the president of Western Montana Clinic in Missoula. “So they’re automatically taking a very significant — usually greater than 50 or 75 percent — pay cut just because they don’t have any work.”According to a statistical model produced by HealthLandscape and the American Academy of Family Physicians, by the end of April, nearly 20,000 family physicians could be fully out of work, underemployed or reassigned elsewhere, particularly as cities like New York consider large-scale, emergency reassignments of physicians.

Now that is a highlight reel of the problem. This is from Tennessee where the amount of closed facilities could accommodate many patients not just COVID related but how about all those other needed treatments and surgeries out of way of infected sick people who need care but not round the clock. Gosh no lets set up surgical tents, convention centers, defunct malls  and have Naval ships instead.  And yes that is the same in the tri-state area but they don't mention that.. shhh.   Same in New Jersey And across the United States.

Or how about these hospitals in Connecticut that were filthy before Covid, bet they are doing great treating patients now.

Now let's talk about the AMA the lobbying group for Physicians.  They were (are)  adamant about not having nationalized health care as that would affect their income.  Surprise! Something else is and it aint Bernie Sanders! Somethings need to change and this is one of them.


AMA maintains its opposition to single-payer systems
Steven Ross Johnson
Modern Healthcare
June 2019

CHICAGO—The American Medical Association will remain opposed to proposals for the U.S. to create a single-payer healthcare system. The group voted narrowly to maintain its stance on Tuesday at its annual House of Delegates meeting.

Delegates of the largest physicians' organization voted 53% to 47% against adopting an amendment to remove the AMA's formal opposition to a single-payer healthcare system, ending days of contentious debate that pitted the organization's leadership against a contingent represented largely by medical students.

"As long as we maintain our blanket opposition our AMA cannot ensure we are a part of every conversation," said Dan Pfeifle, a fourth-year medical student at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and an alternate delegate of the AMA's Medical Student Section.

Delegates ended up voting overwhelming in favor of adopting a report from the AMA's Council on Medical Service that reaffirmed efforts to improve upon the Affordable Care Act instead of "nationalized" healthcare coverage.

Some of the report's recommendations included expanding eligibility for tax credits on insurance premiums beyond 400% of the federal poverty level, as well as to expand eligibility for and increase the size of cost-sharing reductions.

"The AMA proposal for reform, based on AMA policy, is still the right direction … to cover the uninsured, and is cognizant that, in this environment, the ACA is the vehicle through … which the AMA proposal for reform can be realized," the report stated.

The debate over whether the country should adopt a Medicare for All type of system has gotten increased attention in recent months as it has become a key policy issue among several of the Democratic presidential candidates.

The AMA has long opposed single-payer efforts out of concerns that it would lower provider reimbursement rates and limit patient choice on healthcare coverage and services they can access.

"I think we ought to put a stake in the heart of single payer," said Dr. Donald Palmisano, of Metaire, La., who served as AMA president in 2003-04. "We've done it before; we ought to do it again."

But support for a single-payer system has grown among physicians. At the AMA annual delegates meeting last year, supporters got the body to at least study the impact of changing its policy.

This year, the issue sparked a protest outside of the AMA's meeting on its first day when medical students joined nurses and advocates to call on the organization to drop its fight against Medicare for All.

More broadly, public opinion for single payer has grown over the years so that a majority of Americans now support such a system. According to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in April, 56% of Americans favor a national health plan in which all individuals got their insurance from a single government plan.

Now they have rallied for single payer but with this election let's just see how they feel. Either Grandpa will have to realize that they are going to need care sooner than the rest of us so go figure.

I am going to step out of my apartment today as I tried 24 lockdown for the first and what will be the last time as it was me sleeping most of it with about 45 minutes of working out (if that was what it was) cleaning out the frig from the food hoarding and excessive cooking and wondering if I could get to the store for old people time as now suddenly Whole Foods has closed one store in NYC and in turn has a wait list for deliveries. Well they will soon have many shoppers as the unemployment list continues to rise. And that was 10 days ago and with all the state systems crashing and burning that number will again change and more is coming. See what I mean.





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