Friday, September 18, 2009

Study: 45,000 Deaths from Health Insurance Lack in U.S.

This stat could be the best argument for health care reform. The President could site it since he needs to make a better argument for passing a reform package in Congress:

Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.

Overall, researchers said American adults age 64 and younger who lack health insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.

The findings come amid a fierce debate over Democrats' efforts to reform the nation's $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry by expanding coverage and reducing healthcare costs.

President Barack Obama's has made the overhaul a top domestic policy priority, but his plan has been besieged by critics and slowed by intense political battles in Congress, with the insurance and healthcare industries fighting some parts of the plan.

The Harvard study, funded by a federal research grant, was published in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health. It was released by Physicians for a National Health Program, which favors government-backed or "single-payer" health insurance.

An similar study in 1993 found those without insurance had a 25 percent greater risk of death, according to the Harvard group. The Institute of Medicine later used that data in its 2002 estimate showing about 18,000 people a year died because they lacked coverage.

Part of the increased risk now is due to the growing ranks of the uninsured, Himmelstein said. Roughly 46.3 million people in the United States lacked coverage in 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported last week, up from 45.7 million in 2007.

Life for Pastor Who Sexually Abused Adopted Daughters

How does this madness happen in America? We've been sickened lately by the news of the Dugard case. Now we have to be reminded of this monstrosity. This animal is beneath contempt. Our anger should be directed at a system that allows these monsters to breed and thrive.

I have in the past proposed that every child be examined regularly by a medical doctor and a psychologist. Every child should be screened for sexual abuse and malnourishment. Every adult who has a living in their household must account for that child. This would prevent abductors from hiding kids in their houses. Every agency in the government would play a role. Every citizen would also play a role. If you see something say something. A special hotline should be set up to protect the most vulnerable - our children. Remember: abused children become abusers later in life or suffer psychologically. Maybe a reward can be given for exposing parents that brutalize their or someone else's children.

A 65-year-old California pastor has been sentenced to life in prison for beating and drugging her five adopted daughters and locking them in a Riverside County garage.

Jessica Banks received consecutive life terms Friday after being convicted in July of sexually abusing two of her daughters and forcing all the sisters to go without food for days, The Press-Enterprise reported.

Banks was arrested in 2005 after one emaciated girl was found lying outside a Moreno Valley business.

Prosecutors say the sisters, who were ages 4 to 11 at the time, lived in a hidden room in Banks' garage with no air conditioning or heating.

Pandemic Flu Vaccine Shortage: WHO

Something to worry about?

The World Health Organization says global production of vaccines for pandemic flu will be "substantially less" than the previous maximum forecast of 94 million doses a week.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl says the number of doses produced in a year will fall short of the 4.9 billion doses the global health body previously hoped could be available.

Hartl says production will be lower because some manufacturers are still turning out vaccines for seasonal flu.

Tearful Pelosi: Violence Could Result from Health Care Reform Debate

I'm glad there is more talk about the heated language coming out of the health care reform debate. Although, it really isn't about health care. The anti-Obama language is about demonizing a black President.

An emotional Nancy Pelosi fought back tears and warned Thursday that the nation's angry political climate could inspire deadly violence.

Pelosi said it reminded her of her San Francisco hometown in 1978, when a disgruntled member of the city Board of Supervisors assassinated Mayor George Moscone and openly gay Supervisor Harvey Milk.

"I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw this ... I saw this myself, in the late '70s in San Francisco," Pelosi said, her voice catching as she fought to keep composure.

"This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it created a climate in which violence took place."

Suicide Bomber Kills 25 In Pakistan Market

They are starting to look like Iraq:

An official says 25 people were killed when a suicide car bomber struck a market in Pakistan.

The attack, thought to be sectarian, targeted a hotel in Usterzai, a village on the outskirts of the rough border town of Kohat.

Kohaty is near the Afghan border with a history of violence between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim sects.

The Hikmat Ali Hotel was owned by a Shi'ite, police official Asmat Ullah said and was severely damaged.

The blast destroyed several cars, and several shops at the Kacha Paka market, near where the hotel is located, caved in.

"A restaurant and many shops have collapsed. It's chaos here. There's huge devastation," said Ibn-e-Ali, a former judge and resident of the area.

"My house is one kilometre away but the blast was so huge it felt as if it was next door."

Area mayor Syed Mehtabul Hassan said 25 bodies were pulled out of the rubble of the hotel and nearby shops and that several other people were wounded.

Muslim Couple Face Caning for Car Sex in Malaysia

I wonder how many of those passing judgment are themselves committing adultery:

A Malaysian Islamic court has sentenced a young unmarried Muslim couple to six strokes each of the cane after they were caught trying to have sex in a car, a report said Friday.

The Sharia High Court in central Selangor state also fined Mohamad Shahrin Abdul Majid, 29, and his girlfriend Nadiah Najat Hussin, 24, 5,000 ringgit (1,400 dollars) each, the New Straits Times reported.

The amorous couple, who pleaded guilty, were clad only in undergarments when they were caught in a carpark, the report said.

Premarital sex is banned under Islamic law.