Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

OPINION:
Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Kyrsten Sinema is taking lots of money from big pharma

OPINION:

Senator Sinema, Has Heads Shaking

Are There Moles Within The Democratic Party?

By William Jones

A Minority of Two

Senator Kyrsten Sinema has emerged as one of the two biggest roadblocks to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.  She left D. C.  recently for a fundraising trip to Europe. Sinema’s trip came amid ongoing negotiations over the bill and was a slap in the face to Democrats. Senators Sinema and Joe Manchin, are the lone Democratic senate holdouts blocking the President’s proposal. These two holding out against the majority of their party, is a big deal.

Just Tell Us What You Want

Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, recently criticized Sinema. Sanders just wants to know what she would support. Other senators have similarly accused Sinema of stonewalling her own party, refusing to define a position. President Biden is said to be “exasperated” after hours of talks with her. He and others have complained that Sinema doesn’t “move” from her position in negotiations and show so little respect, she often fails to  “return calls from the White House.”

Looking Across The Pond

Lawmakers are barred from raising money from foreign sources. However,  members of Congress occasionally travel overseas to solicit donations from Americans living abroad. Those overseas donors tend to be affluent and well-connected. Ms. Sinema’s office declined to tell reporters how long she would be abroad. They also declined to disclose what countries she was visiting, or how the trip was being paid for. No further information was provided regarding additional fund-raising for her campaign.

Big Pharma

Aside from looking for off shore money the Arizona senator has been soaking up donations from the pharmaceutical industry and other corporate groups who want to kill key parts of the bill. I am here to report she has continued to make time to meet with those donors.

$5,800 Per Seat

Last month, Sinema held a fundraiser with five business groups that oppose President Biden’s bill, charging attendees up to $5,800 to attend a 45-minute event. Earlier this month, Sinema left Washington to go to Arizona, where she attended a ritzy donor “retreat” at a high-end resort and spa, with no small donors in sight.

Refuses to Meet Constituents

Sinema’s refusal to engage elected members of her own party has extended to her constituents. Numerous constituents have complained that Sinema will not meet with them, either in her office or at a town hall. She has steadfastly refused to hold a single town hall since her election. Multiple groups within the sate of Arizona have already launched efforts to raise money in support of a Democratic primary challenger in 2024.

Hecklers Chase Sinema

Tensions have continued to rise between Sinema and her own constituents.  Arizona protesters repeatedly confronted the senator at several locations this month. Some even heckled her during a class presentation at Arizona State University and  then followed  her into a campus restroom. The Intercept reported that Sinema teaches an ASU class on fundraising, including topics like “how to cultivate large individual donors,” “opportunistic fundraising” and “corporate giving.” The topics alone leave little doubt as to her priorities.

Mounting Pressure Campaign

Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the ‘moderate’ Arizona Democrat who has objected to the size and scope of President Biden’s sweeping legislative agenda, has been trailed all over the country by progressive activists in an effort to intensify public pressure on her.  Besides the bathroom incident, activists have followed her onto an airplane and even to the Boston Marathon.

Deeply Disappointing

The United States Senate is split 50 Democratic senators and 50 Republican senators. V.P. Harris is then available to provide the tie breaking vote. Democrats need every Democrat to stand united to pass any bill. These facts have greatly empowered both Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema as the party’s vocal holdouts. Ms. Sinema has pushed for the House to adopt a separate, bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill while the larger budget package is being negotiated. She called the delay in voting on the infrastructure package “inexcusable” and “deeply disappointing” in early October.

Conclusion

Kyrsten Sinema is on rocky ground with her electorate. Angry constituents are confronting her, she is pissing off the crowd in the White House, and she has angered nearly all of her fellow senate Democrats. Sometimes there isn’t enough money to save your reputation.  Sinema was sent to the Senate to work for her constituents not the drug companies. Wake up Senator Sinema. The country is begging for what is in this bill, do your part to make it happen.

 References

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/13/us/politics/kyrsten-sinema-fundraising-europe.html

https://www.salon.com/2021/10/14/kyrsten-sinema-ditches-senate-negotiations-for-fundraising-trip-to-europe/

Health Care Goblins We Ignore

Health Care Goblins We Ignore

By D. S. Mitchell

Grassroots Platform

Over the last couple of days Calamity has focused on Medicare-For-All. But there is more to the story of  health care in America. Www.CalamityPolitics.com gives me a grassroots platform to discuss health care. But, it does not give me the right to manipulate facts or lie about the issues. With that said, I am sharing opinions developed through my years of ground level experience in health care, otherwise known as trench warfare.

Street Level Experience

I am a baccalaureate prepared RN, and have worked nearly four decades in major hospitals in Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada. On the battlefield I have formed many opinions about the scope of care we give our patients and how to deliver better client results.   I’m not only experienced, but I am passionate about health care and how to improve it.  Mine is a pragmatic common sense small world approach to these issues. I am not a policy maker.  I do not have a doctorate in nursing or public policy. It is important to leave policy creation to the experts. My comments and opinions come from a community view.

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Three Goblins In The Health Care Closet

3 Goblins Facing Health Care

D. S. Mitchell

On The Front Line

Writing for www.CalamityPolitics.com allows me a grass root platform to discuss health care, and every other area of our political spectrum, for that matter. It does not give me the right to say anything I want about the issues. With that said, I have ground level experience in health care. Because of that experience and exposure to trench warfare in hospital health care I have strong opinions. Client care and results need to be discussed and evaluated for effectiveness. I have a passionate interest in health care, and in this area, I believe my street level experience gives me the right to discuss the issues. Bringing common sense thinking to health care should always be welcomed. I am an RN, and have worked for 38 years in hospitals in Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada.

The Sickest

My two primary areas of specialty are Crisis Psychiatry and Cardiac Intensive Care. Whether the issues are mental, behavioral, or cardiac emergency, many of the issues facing the caregiver, and the client are the same. Despite the obvious differences in the front line needs of the clients, both of these populations are often the sickest in the hospital. One thing I know, is that the health of the American citizen should not be decided by a politician in Washington, D.C. Sadly, that’s where this battle always shows its ugly underbelly.

Goblin 1: Big Pharma

Suitcases Of Medications

For the first twenty-five years of my career, when I admitted a patient that came to the unit with a suitcase of medications, I believed it was because they were incredibly ill. Like physicians I had been trained to believe in  pharmaceuticals.  As an old nurse, my thinking transformed into, the patient is sick because they are taking so many prescribed medications. I can hear the protests from the audience now. Don’t believe me, just read the labels. These are chemicals and they are toxic and poisonous.

Side Effects

Truthfully, every pill has the potential to cause side effects, some known and some unknown.   When a person complains to his doctor that he is uncomfortable due to the side effects of the medication he is taking, his doctor writes him another prescription to help deal with the side effects.  The patient has pain so his doctor writes him a prescription for an analgesic. When he complains of constipation, he is given a prescription.  You can see where this is headed, right?

Advertising Medications

In America, television is the best friend of the pharmaceutical industry.  Constant television marketing convinces viewers that there is a pill that will fix anything and everything. Unfortunately, many Americans now believe that there is a pill that will make everything in their life better.  Health care policy makers need to take this issue very seriously. I realize drug manufacturers want to make a profit, but I also believe constant repetition creates a need that previously did not exist.

Goblin 2: Poor Life Style Choices

It is important to recognize that there are both Non-Modifiable issues and Modifiable issues.

Non-Modifiable Conditions:  unchangeable circumstances, such as age, gender, race, genetics.

Modifiable:  changeable circumstances, such as life style choices that people can change.  Most particularly, cigarette smoking, poor diet, inactivity, alcohol abuse or overuse, and chronic stress. Most people understand the link between lifestyle choices and chronic illness are undeniable. Understanding that continuation of unhealthy behaviors leads to chronic disease more often than not. People need to make good choices.

Painful Truths

Predictors of chronic illness: smoking, processed foods, fast foods, starchy carbs, bread & pasta, sugar drinks, excess alcohol, overeating, excessive salt use, sugar, high fat diets, and lack of exercise.  These behaviors will lead to obesity.  Obesity increases risks, particularly of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle diseases kill more people than communicable diseases. The top five killers in America are:

1.) Diabetes
2.) Cardiovascular disease (High Blood Pressure, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol)
3.) Stroke
4.) Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
5.) and some forms of cancer.

The Numbers Are Eye Opening

More than 70% of deaths in the United States are attributable to one of the above listed diseases.  Even more alarming is that 75% of the U.S. Health Care dollar is spent on the same listed diseases.  Furthermore, the numbers do not reflect the personal and economic burden of chronic illness, lost work days, low productivity, disability and poor quality of life. “I’m going to die from something,” is the most common response people make when confronted with their poor life style behaviors.  There seems to be no regard for the overall effects of that attitude on self, family, community or country.

Stop Smoking

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of chronic illness and death in the U.S. and is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths.  Statistics show that 10 times as many Americans have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all American wars.  Smoking hardens arteries and causes the heart to work harder.  Emphysema and COPD are caused by smoking.  Smoking causes 80% of all COPD deaths and 90% of lung cancer deaths.  Additionally, smoking is a major cause of throat, bladder cancer, voice box, liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney and colorectal cancers. So, America become your own best physician:

1.) Stop smoking
2.) Eat a plant-based diet
3.) Exercise at least 7 hours per week
4.) Reduce stress
5.) Practice good dental health
6.) Have fun

Goblin 3: The really big lie. A free market solution

Whistle-blower

Former CIGNA Senior VP turned whistle-blower, Wendall Potter called it “general gullibility and blind adherence to ideology.”  The American public has been bamboozled ” by the self-serving propaganda from health care insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and every other part of the medical industrial complex,” he told Congress in 2011.

Around The World

Government leaders in other developed countries decided long ago, the following: 1.) health care is a right AND as such, is different than the typical free market arenas.  2.) Goblin Three: The really big lie is that health care can be viewed through a free market lens. In 2011, Jason Adkins commented in a Catholic Spirit piece, “slavish adherence to ideology in politics can and does inflict harm to the very people public officials claim to serve.”

Failure Of Competition

One basic element rarely discussed is failure of competition.  The hospital industry is highly concentrated in areas with higher populations while under serving the rural populations of the U.S. and often leaving rural hospitals subject to failure.  As as with hospitals, “health care services don’t really compete with one another as equal goods.” My doctor’s care is different from the care provided by my neighbor’s physician.  My medications are different from my neighbors.  Response to care is different for me than for him.  These variables show that no case is the same.  Thus, no “equal goods,” can apply.

Profits Vs Health

Mark Sokr 2/17/2011 said, “I think the health care market is functioning perfectly.  The problem is that the market is producing profits, NOT health.”  Hmmm.  Patients most likely would call this failure.  However, for all facets of the health care industry, profits are spectacularly high, so it can be claimed that the market is a success and doing what it is intended to do, make money, and to expect better health care results would be unrealistic. A very obvious dilemma exposes itself.  Two separate and divergent end desires.  The free market wants profit.  The citizenry wants good, inexpensive health care.  The ideology of profit and successful health care delivery do not coincide.  Since the primary goal of the free market is profit, “Any diversion from this goal is inefficient and against the interests of the holders of capital,” Mark Sokr concluded.

Conclusion

To slay the goblins in our health care closet it seems to me that we need to drop the ideology and look at the facts.

1.) Prevention must become the goal of this country.  We can cut the cost of health care by billions of dollars.
2.) Give up the idea that a pill will fix everything  and as part of that our doctor’s need to direct their patients to a healthy lifestyle and stop handing out a pill for every complaint.
3.) Personal responsibility and self advocacy must become the center of each individual’s health care and their greatest well-being.
4.) Accept the proven fact that “free market” systems are inappropriate for health care and continuously fail.
5.) A single payer system delivers the best and least expensive care.

“Yes, President Trump, “health care is complicated.”

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