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The billionaires-funded propaganda that has engulfed the entire media landscape in the United States has gone into hyper-drive.  

The deception is being carried out with ruthless efficiency across the entire country by corporatist propaganda outfits like the State Policy Network.  According to SourceWatch, there is "a bevy of right-wing billionaires and foundations beyond the Koch brothers, [] including the Bradley Foundation, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund (large donor-directed funds), the Olin Foundation, the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation (the Amway fortune), the Coors-related Castle Rock Foundation and the Adolph Coors Foundation, the McCamish Foundation, the JM Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Roe Foundation.  

These people are so highly organized, so goal-oriented, and so focused on moving their agenda forward, that they have been able to infect our entire society with false narratives, misinformation, and outright propaganda.  And this effort clearly pays off.  We are living with the consequences every day (and it's getting worst).

Case in point... Today, May 1st, I heard a "report" ("Second Thoughts On Medicaid From Oregon's Unique Experiment") about an Oregon's study about Medicaid on NPR by Julie Rovner.  It was so transparently fallacious that I could not help it but take a few minutes to write about it, and expose it for what it is: A hatchet job at trying to discredit Medicaid, and Obamacare.

This stuff is so pervasive that at this point I don't know if these journalists are in on the con, are that stupid, are choosing to look the other way, or are being manipulated, used as corporate hacks.  I don't know for sure.  But the effect is the same.

Two years ago, a landmark study found that having Medicaid health insurance makes a positive difference in people's lives.

Backers of the program have pointed to that study time and again in their push to encourage states to expand the program as part of the federal health law.

Now the researchers have dug a little deeper into their data, and the new results, published in the latest New England Journal of Medicine, are not quite as uniformly positive.  

Not quite as uniformly positive?  Yes, the so-called "new study" found that people on medicaid are also afflicted by hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes...

This is a prime example of Koch-funded propaganda modus operandi.  Muddle the waters, confuse the issues, challenge the data, and the science (and the findings), pay off "researchers" to do their bidding.  After all, it has worked perfectly for them on the issue of global warming.

When the study subjects who were covered by medicaid were surveyed, they reported a high degree of satisfaction with medicaid:

Overall, the findings were uniformly positive. People with insurance used more care, spent less money. "We found big improvements in self-reported health," Baicker said. "We asked people how they felt, how their health interfered with their normal daily activities. And they reported substantial gains when they got Medicaid coverage, relative to the randomly assigned control group that didn't have Medicaid coverage."
But that wasn't enough!  No, your opinion doesn't count.  There must be something wrong... Obamacare can't work.
For this current study, however, the researchers wanted to go a little deeper. Rather than just asking people if they felt better, they wanted to see if they actually were healthier after getting Medicaid coverage.

So they did personal visits that included medical tests, like blood pressure and cholesterol screening.

But the results there weren't so positive. There was no statistically significant difference between the Medicaid group and the control group in those measures.

The emphasis is mine

Yes, they wanted to go a little deeper.  Into your pockets!

And wait for this... The "researcher" found that there were financial benefits for those who had medicaid coverage, but that it came at a cost to society and taxpayers!

WTF?  Of course it has a cost!  That what societies do.  At least that's what decent societies do; that's what every other industrialized (modern, first world) country does, except the U.S., of course (when it comes to universal health care).

And for the kicker, they actually bring in the corporate shill incarnated, "Scott Gottlieb, a physician and resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institure.  He said that people are not paying attention to a lot of the problems with Medicaid, as it's being expanded under Obamacare.

One of his "concerns" is that people who need specialty services may not be able to get access in a timely fashion under Medicaid.  Okay, let me wrap my head around that one for a sec... If my choice is between being uninsured or having Medicaid coverage, I would be better off remaining uninsured, with all the life-crushing consequences that may bring, because if I ever need "specialty care" I may not be able to get it in a timely fashion.

The absurdity of it all is extreme.  Read some of the comments on the NPR site.

I can't believe it's even a question whether medical coverage is good for people. They should do a study about the effects of people getting enough to eat next, but I'm sure the American Enterprise Institute would say that we shouldn't rush to make sure everybody is fed.

- Elias Bukley

What a hatchet job!  And at NPR?  Wow, what a shame.  Shame of you NPR!  We are not that stupid.

(Reference: ALEC: Health, Pharmaceuticals, and Safety Net Programs; SPN: Aiding ALEC & Spinning Disinformation in the States.)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (143+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, Gooserock, Jackson L Haveck, arendt, ericlewis0, commonmass, sceptical observer, Mother Mags, blueoasis, David PA, Anima, k9disc, fixxit, Nailbanger, sjburnman, ctsteve, CroneWit, Publius2008, GeorgeXVIII, tiggers thotful spot, WheninRome, Involuntary Exile, yella dawg, basquebob, rbird, camlbacker, OLinda, quill, SME in Seattle, peptabysmal, jdld, dRefractor, Angie in WA State, AgavePup, Rosaura, Simplify, Chaddiwicker, KenBee, chuckvw, Oaktown Girl, Sandino, rat racer, caul, CTLiberal, HeartlandLiberal, Sunspots, gulfgal98, mollyd, rogeopa, OldSoldier99, rapala, carpunder, MarkC, rmonroe, ItsSimpleSimon, LamontCranston, bepanda, hyperstation, Chi, zenox, Pinto Pony, PhilJD, Showman, big mouth, Kristina40, OleHippieChick, Dianna, MKSinSA, cama2008, nuclear winter solstice, flowerfarmer, One Pissed Off Liberal, lunachickie, Kevskos, biggiefries, absdoggy, ChemBob, Habitat Vic, RUNDOWN, mslat27, Preston S, wayoutinthestix, Eddie L, clarknyc, greenbastard, Desolations Angel, Byron from Denver, Alice Olson, orlbucfan, dmhlt 66, james321, wader, J M F, a2nite, deviant24x, MKinTN, Mike08, flavor411, brasilaaron, VTCC73, science nerd, ornerydad, DeminNewJ, bfitzinAR, Gowrie Gal, Assaf, Catte Nappe, unfangus, Mac in Maine, jm214, madgranny, Brooke In Seattle, dopper0189, northerntier, dksbook, Sylv, Joieau, No one gets out alive, Mentatmark, New Rule, Capt Crunch, 3rdOption, brentbent, leema, lulusbackintown, Eikyu Saha, filby, tiponeill, dotsright, ColoTim, hubcap, OregonWetDog, Lying eyes, livjack, Eyesbright, mookins, Ed in Montana, ArtemisBSG, ceebee7, GustavMahler, MrJayTee, PhilW, Sanctimonious
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  •  I just went and read the story online (8+ / 0-)

    I think you are way over reacting .
    I suggest that anyone who cares should read the story for themselves .

    http://www.npr.org/...

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11 + Trusted Users have a responsibility to police the general tenor... Hunter 5/26/06

    by indycam on Wed May 01, 2013 at 08:46:32 PM PDT

    •  Well, yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      montanamarine, nickrud

      Overreaction is not uncommon with NPR in these parts.  I guess some find that reporting that doesn't toe their line must be a corporate shill or something.   I'm sorry to be harsh but I find Ray the master of both brilliance and overreaction, so you never quite know which shows up on a given day.  I've never understood he NPR bashing which frequently simply doesn't hold water.

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

      by Mindful Nature on Wed May 01, 2013 at 08:50:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NPR is Faux Radio- Turn it OFF n/t (4+ / 0-)

      Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

      by RF on Thu May 02, 2013 at 04:45:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's where you jump the track, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        New Rule, anonymous volanakis, RF

        especially in the hinterlands,small public radio stations are indispensable sources of information and provide a multitude of services that bind communities together in positive ways.NPR exposed ME many years ago to Democracy Now which was largely responsible for my political activism rebirth,and our local station (KVNF) has hosted 2 events in a town of less than 2,000 population that gave me the opportunity to speak with Amy Goodman personally.The commercial airwaves here are dominated by AM talk (hate) radio and top 40 clear channel country and the majority of commercial outlets that have a TV on are watching FOX noise.I cannot imagine this area without the alternative information provided by our NPR station and the services it provides (avalanche warnings,alternative routes when a coal train derailment closes the main roads,notices for anti-fracking organization meetings,etc.) that make our community so much better.People have to be discerning consumers of information whatever the source,and I agree,much of the national feed is biased to the corporate and Foundations that provide the bulk of public broadcasting funding these days,but turn it off?Not where I live.
        'The tyranny of the ignoramuses is absolute and inescapable'A.Einstein

        •  Democracy Now! is a great news show. The real (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfangus, RF

          thing.

        •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

          NPR-DC is Faux Radio- Turn it OFF

          Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

          by RF on Thu May 02, 2013 at 01:24:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah, (0+ / 0-)

            I can't think of very much good media at all coming from DC-Thom Hartman and.....they're so interdependent and too socially connected to veer far from the turd herd.

            'the tyranny of the ignoramuses is absolute and inescapable'  A.Einstein

            •  I made another comment post in this thread (0+ / 0-)

              where I failed to explicitly state NPR-DC type programming...

              I even gave backhanded kudos to our local VPR all the while damning them, when possibly it was not their fault-

              Point is you brought some light that local public radio is a lifeline for folks in areas dominated by worse-than NPR-DC prop that can literally kill folks will, and for that I am grateful to you...

              Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

              by RF on Thu May 02, 2013 at 02:39:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Thread" should be "diary"... n/t (0+ / 0-)

                Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

                by RF on Thu May 02, 2013 at 02:40:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Even better, read the New England Journal (5+ / 0-)

      of Medicine article. The diarist's overreaction is not consistent with what the study actually said.

    •  From the medical study (9+ / 0-)

      I followed the offered link and read the abstract summarizing the follow-up medical study on Medicaid outcomes published in NEJM.

      Here is how the authors of the study summarized their results and conclusions:

      Results
      We found no significant effect of Medicaid coverage on the prevalence or diagnosis of hypertension or high cholesterol levels or on the use of medication for these conditions. Medicaid coverage significantly increased the probability of a diagnosis of diabetes and the use of diabetes medication, but we observed no significant effect on average glycated hemoglobin levels or on the percentage of participants with levels of 6.5% or higher. Medicaid coverage decreased the probability of a positive screening for depression, increased the use of many preventive services, and nearly eliminated catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenditures.

      Conclusions
      This randomized, controlled study showed that Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes in the first 2 years, but it did increase use of health care services, raise rates of diabetes detection and management, lower rates of depression, and reduce financial strain.

      So the study authors do NOT say
      But the results there weren't so positive. There was no statistically significant difference between the Medicaid group and the control group in those measures.
      That conclusions comes from some one else - not the researchers themselves.

      Indeed, the study authors believe their results show that Medicaid coverage does indeed have a variety of positive benefits.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu May 02, 2013 at 06:34:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the comparison (0+ / 0-)

        is to her own earlier reporting on a different study. She's not quoting someone, she's simply stating that the 2 year old study had limited data and made some conclusions, which she reported. 2 years later another study is done, has much more data, and made it's own conclusions. The second study isn't so positive. Straight reporting.

        Ray, who I make a point of reading because there's a fair amount of meat mixed in with his chaff is a bit chaffy today.

        47 is the new 51!

        by nickrud on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:20:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  need to separate critique of the radio piece (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mindful Nature

        from that of the study in the NEJM, which on first skim looks pretty solid.

        Increased use of services is actually a pretty important endpoint for this short term study. I'd guess you'd see a payoff in improved health measures with more like a ten year follow up.

        Note also that as is customary, the paper discloses the funding sources and authors' conflict of interest:

        Supported by grants from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services; the California HealthCare Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the National Institute on Aging (P30AG012810, RC2AGO36631, and R01AG0345151); the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the Smith Richardson Foundation; and the Social Security Administration (5 RRC 08098400-03-00, to the National Bureau of Economic Research as part of the Retirement Research Consortium of the Social Security Administration); and by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
        The diarist is not justified in insinuating that the researchers are bought and paid for.

        What laws can the senators make now? Once the barbarians are here, they'll do the legislating. C.P. Cavafy

        by anonymous volanakis on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:43:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  um (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anonymous volanakis

        yes it does say that.  COmpare

        We found no significant effect of Medicaid coverage on the prevalence or diagnosis of hypertension or high cholesterol levels or on the use of medication for these conditions
        we observed no significant effect on average glycated hemoglobin levels or on the percentage of participants with levels of 6.5% or higher.
        with this summary
        There was no statistically significant difference between the Medicaid group and the control group in those measures.
        Frankly, those two are virtually indistinguishable.  THis is what people are worked up about?  Astonishing

        Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

        by Mindful Nature on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:53:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Also check out Slate Online (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, Ray Pensador

      Here's what the study seems to boil down to:

      As the study’s other principal investigator, Katherine Baicker of the Harvard School of Public Health, puts it, the findings are like a health insurance ink blot—people see in it whatever they need to validate their existing position on Obamacare and universal coverage for the poor more generally. Those opposed to government care point to the lack of any measurable effect on health outcomes. Insurance advocates naturally highlight the importance of Medicare in reducing stress and its value as a financial cushion. Medicare is in large part health insurance that is meant to shield those covered from the ruinous effects of a health disaster. OHP seems to have been extremely effective in eliminating such catastrophic financial outcomes. And maybe two years isn’t enough time for researchers to see improvements in health, which may accrue over the longer term (though the researchers have focused on health outcomes where improvements should be seen within a two-year time frame).

      Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

      by Citizen Earth on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:44:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If that quote is real, I find it suspect as well. (0+ / 0-)
        Those opposed to government care point to the lack of any measurable effect on health outcomes. Insurance advocates naturally highlight the importance of Medicare in reducing stress and its value as a financial cushion. Medicare is in large part health insurance that is meant to shield those covered from the ruinous effects of a health disaster.
  •  National Petroleum Radio (16+ / 0-)

    strikes again.

    Or is it National Plutonium Radio?

    •  Nearly Pure Republican radio. (16+ / 0-)

      It has slowly and surely been remade, especially the last decade.
      BushCo and all those other entities Ray mentions  know how to transform entire sectors of society (EG: Wisconsin).

      They know how to wield power, plain and simple. They implanted moles at every level of government, most of them are still there, digging merrily away undercutting the present administration.
      Meanwhile, back at the WH, our hero still hasn't got most of his appointees appointed after four+ effen years in office. BushCo ramrodded most their crap through in two or three years. Then, even while enjoying (EG: cronies profitting) what they had done, continued to press on. Not stopping until they bailed out as the whole thing came crashing down (momentarily), even while getting most of the country to believe that it was Obama's fault.
      Our side, the D'eunuchcrats are almost toothless (to put it politely), with a party leader who looks increasingly feckless as his administration drifts. Bush, or his puppetmasters, knew what they wanted, and how to get it, no matter what the costs.
      There was a long ago article on Salon.com (wish I could find the link) about how while BushCo might appear incompetent, they were actually brilliantly successful in getting almost everything they wanted.
      To use a sports metaphor (which I barely know of), the Rescumlicans play Major League Ball, the D'eunuchcrats are AA league at best ('Coached' by Harry and Barack).

      Yeah, I'm thoroughly disgusted, have been a mostly staunch Dem most of my life (voted in the distant past for a few good local R's). Now our party seems to have begun compromising on its core values.

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans!!. . Willkommen im Vierten Reich! Sie haben keine Bedeutung mehr.

      by Bluefin on Wed May 01, 2013 at 11:28:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Nearly Pure Republican"...Oh, I LIKE that! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OleHippieChick, MKSinSA, Nailbanger

        Is it courageous to propose tax cuts but not identify a single tax expenditure to rein in? Is it courageous to target your deepest cuts on the poorest Americans, who vote in lower numbers and provide little in campaign contributions?

        by caul on Thu May 02, 2013 at 01:50:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bob Edwards departure from NPR (11+ / 0-)

        Was the beginning of 1% rule at NPR-

        Here in NH-VT, listener support PLUMMETED andso more pledge drives ensued which didn't work, andso Lumber Liquidators, ADM, WALMART, and many more pick up the slack...

        Sick part is before they own that they are pwnd, they always say "brought to you by listners like you" ...  "...and buy" then comes the real support that has filled in because folks here in this region are smart enuf to turn off PROP when they hear it...  

        The COST of the DC PROP shows like ATC; ME; WE is insanely high, and there is no way to have any dollar you contribute to NPR to stay local...  Ask for that and you get mean-ass emails from station director...

        When Irene hit Vermont it was a for-profit, locally owned station in Warren, VT that was broadcasting with a REAL person at the MIC-  Folks that nite in hardest hit areas were listening to that guy aka as a true lifeline...

        Local NPR had no one home...  Days later, a local at noon program did excellent work, but alas, on the eve when folks needed them the most VPR was ABSENT-

        Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

        by RF on Thu May 02, 2013 at 05:24:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  corporate shills take over everywhere (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RF, jm214

          now that the Public commons has been decimated in our corporate coup d'etat, the corporations have the money and they are buying the culture

          Greenwald's article on SF gay parade is a classic showing how what was a challenge to the status quo, a rights movement, when it becomes not a threat to the power structure becomes bought out

          Bradley Manning is off limits at SF Gay Pride parade, but corporate sleaze is embraced
          A seemingly trivial controversy reveals quite a bit about pervasive political values

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

      •  The Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals, hmm (0+ / 0-)

        "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

        by New Rule on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:37:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  National Palestinian Radio! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dcotler

      That's what we've been calling it for years. :)

  •  Aw, their little research project got ruined by (21+ / 0-)

    those undeserving poors in the control group who ended up getting coverage.  

    But I suppose they have a point. Medicaid paid for my chemo, radiation and stem cell transplant that successfully treated my cancer, but more importantly my cholesterol is about the same...

  •  check youtube or something for Drew Griffin on CNN (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, RF, Eddie L, orlbucfan, jm214, New Rule

    that guy's been doing blatant propaganda for the past year. worse than this story on npr. CNN has very, very heavily and abruptly lurched to the right since mid 2012.

    before these reports, reliable sources had people come on and basically tell them how big of assholes the obamas personally and their handlers were to the media. they talked about how they had to screen all their questions and junk beforehand. except all major politicians have always done that, the media usually initiates that convo, and they're only mentioning obama doing it when romney clearly did it the entire last election.

    but back to Mr. Griffin.

    first it was a story about pond scum in the dc mall which he made a metaphor for the obama administration and basically said why do we ever spend money to clean up pollution because it will just come back. and he just fed on the perception that any government bureaucracy is a quagmire just because.

    then he did this really bizarre story about trains in vermont in which he decried all government stimulus spending as worthless and acted oblivious to the fact that basically all mass transportation upgrades are financially justifiable by solow and transactional velocity on the macroeconomic scale, which you learn in beginning macroeconomics. he brought up a decent point about high speed trains being only a little faster than normal and that it is little used, but they had to go to a guy from the frickin cato institute to even give the balanced assessment that it was for shovel ready jobs.

    then he did a report on obamacare and did the cost shifting on a medical bill analysis with hundreds of dollars for a towel and stuff, obviously a good thing to show since we all go through that and it's horrible, and then he was like, obamacare does nothing about prices and this is just going to get worse, with no justification or sourcing. this point is demonstrably false, obviously.

    one of these was for blitzer, one was for cooper, and one was for burnett. cooper and burnett were being subbed and it looked like tapper was the sub. my guess is cooper and burnett didn't want to be a part of these obvious propaganda pieces.

    seriously, this stuff was worse than fox. fox is regular news usually just told with an extreme personality slant to cater to a cultural niche. when maddow does left-leaning commentary, she says don't take my word for it and delivers a straight news story with a left lean. a good example was when she reported on harry reid claiming romney never paid taxes. repubs would call that propaganda but it's not. she mentioned it was just hearsay like ten times. that story was totally unbiased. and romney still hasn't come clean, he gave a percentage, but that's not how you cheat on taxes, you cheat by claiming a small income, and he wouldn't release his income.

    this garbage on CNN was blatantly misleading propaganda and scared me quite frankly.

  •  "Healthcare" is a market-driven nomenclature. (9+ / 0-)

    The market, being focused on increasing profits, aims to deliver care at a regular, predictable rate so profits can increase as a result of the need for the care being less. It is supported by the hypothesis that, if healthy people get regular care, they won't get sick--an hypothesis that's not born out by experience. Just considering vehicular "accidents" and the fact that every contact with a medical facility comes with a risk of infection, misdiagnosis or negative drug reactions tells us the hypothesis is baseless.

    The reason medical care should be a public service, in addition to the fact that the public benefits when members are healthy, is because medicine and surgical intervention respond to disutilities. And whenever we're dealing with disutilities (war, crime, drought, etc.) success registers as no need. And no need tends to prompt a cessation of service, even though the potential persists. In other words, people idly waiting are actually a sign of success, but we have a hard time seeing it that way.

    I'm a healthy person. I haven't been seen by any kind of provider in thirty years. People like me do not keep the system up and running, unless we contribute by being taxed. The segregation of revenues into separate funds merely satisfies the impulse to segregate and to justify arguing that there's not enough money to do what needs to be done. (If we can't segregate people, let's segregate dollars. Nobody can object to that. Equality sucks). I'm not signing up for Medicare until it's open to all. I should live long enough.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu May 02, 2013 at 02:59:13 AM PDT

    •  I have a different but similar take on this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan, hannah, New Rule

      If you look at the entire US health care system, from providers to facilities to drug makers to products to services to treatment to prevention, it's geared much more towards treatment than prevention, and both of which tend to be medical much more than natural. Not that medical prevention and treatment isn't necessary and useful in many cases, of course. But it's very expensive (meaning profitable), and isn't always the only or best approach, especially when it comes to prevention, but also in treatment. It tends to discount the usefulness of, as in ignore, and even ridicule, diet, exercise, lifestyle choices, supplements, and alternative medicine. Partly this is because of prejudice towards modern medicine and against more traditional ways of staying and getting healthy, but mostly, I believe, it's because modern medicine is so damn profitable, while traditional "medicine" is not. The system would rather treat a condition, using expensive methods, than prevent it, especially with cheaper natural methods, because there's much more money to be made.

      Medicare and Medicaid should not just encourage but actively promote the full integration of more natural approaches into our health care system, on both the prevention and treatment sides, as well as prevention over treatment, in terms of what it will and won't reimburse the system for. At the same time, Obamacare should do the same for the private health insurance system. Not just to save money, but lives, while improving peoples' quality of living. Ideally, of course, it would turn it all into a government-run single payer system as well, but that's still a ways away. In the meantime, it should actively push health care towards prevention and natural methods, and away from an overuse of modern medicine, which is not only very expensive, but often not as effective as more natural methods, and sometimes much worse.

      Yeah, I know, I'm incredibly naive to wish for and expect this. But I'm not going to fall back on easy cynicism here, because that's cowardly and exactly what the system wants me to do. Positive change does come, slower and in smaller amounts than we'd like, but it does come eventually--if you push for it.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:42:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why do we persist in calling it a "health care" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kovie, Ray Pensador

        system? You have put your finger square on the painful node:

        The system would rather treat a condition, using expensive methods, than prevent it, especially with cheaper natural methods, because there's much more money to be made.
        It is a "medical diagnosis and treatment system," at best, just another example of vampire squid capitalism at work. As a nurse I see every day the inherent cruelty, inefficiency and greed that's the real nature of the beast -- "health care" happens by chance and by the efforts of people who still have that weird notion of "care" as their driving force.

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:47:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Officially, it IS our "health care system" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jm214, New Rule

          Realistically, it's more like what you called it. But instead of getting hung up on semantics we need to focus on what works and what doesn't, both health and money-wise. No serious person in or out of the health care field believes that modern medicine serves no purpose. There are times when open heart bypass surgery, titanium rods and statins are necessary and helpful. But no serious person can claim that they're the only or best way to make and keep people healthy in all ore even most cases. We need a mix of "natural" and "modern" health care to keep healthy people healthy and make unhealthy people more healthy. Both can and should complement and supplement each other.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:00:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  NPR=Nice Polite Republicans. Never more apt. nt (6+ / 0-)

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Thu May 02, 2013 at 04:58:18 AM PDT

  •  Read this before you melt down (4+ / 0-)

    http://theincidentaleconomist.com/...

    As they say, chill people. Step away from the tin foil.

    •  The issue seems to be with reporting (3+ / 0-)

      on the study results, not the study itself.  

      "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

      by Betty Pinson on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:06:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that would have been a better diary (0+ / 0-)

        than the one offered here, which clearly critiques the study as corporate propaganda:

        Yes, the so-called "new study" found that people on medicaid are also afflicted by hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes... This is a prime example of Koch-funded propaganda modus operandi.  Muddle the waters, confuse the issues, challenge the data, and the science (and the findings), pay off "researchers" to do their bidding.
        misrepresenting the findings and slandering the scientists.

        Ideological critiques of scientific research has become routine on the right. It's depressing to see it on the center/left as well.

        What laws can the senators make now? Once the barbarians are here, they'll do the legislating. C.P. Cavafy

        by anonymous volanakis on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:59:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Medicaid is a PAYER not a ... (11+ / 0-)

    PROVIDER of health care services. A primary care provider may accept Medicaid the same as s/he accepts Anthem, Aetna, Medicare, etc. Low income persons have higher smoking rates than other income groups. Any person with a modicum of sense would come to the conclusion that low income persons have trouble accessing health care and are "sicker". Medicaid offers access.

    "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis D. Brandeis

    by VA6thDem on Thu May 02, 2013 at 05:12:20 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan, VA6thDem, jm214

      Plus, from my understanding it's limited at present under its current mandate in what kinds of health care-related services and products it can pay for, namely, traditional ones, that may be reasonably effective in treating medical conditions, but not necessarily in preventing them--and such treatment is medical, not lifestyle and nutrition-based treatment. You can't condemn a program that by law can't reasonably be expected to solve certain kinds of chronic problems because it's so geared towards traditional health care.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:19:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah yes, NPR notorious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    charliehall2, howarddream

    right wing outlet ...

    •  Um (9+ / 0-)

      NPR used to provide reliable straight news on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. My public radio station also carried other news programming from various producers that were moderate and sane. I almost stopped listening, because all of their coverage of economic and financial issues completely changed direction. NPR now espouses hard-line, right-wing conservative views about money and economics in an interrupted fashion. Deficits! Obamacare! Entitlements!

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Thu May 02, 2013 at 05:35:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mister T, Iberian

        I am a regular listener, and I hear no such thing.  I hear some pretty darned liberal bias reporting, with a nod to the other side in the name of journalistic ethics.  If you want to listen to "news" where everyone agrees with you, put on MSNBC and feel good about yourself.  Isn't that our main critcism of Fox?  The left is not always right, you know.  Pardon the word usage...

        •  I'm a regular listener too, and I guess one of us (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador, MrJayTee

          needs to have their ears cleaned. How can there be any real debate that the various forces of corporatism have not warped the NPR reporting in favor of the Kleptocracy? I guess that toss-off about how we can always put on MSNBC "and feel good about ourselves" says it all.

          Sure seems that when it comes to what is good for the most of us, the Right (which is pretty inarguably the corporatist/kleptocratic gang) is almost always WRONG.

          "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

          by jm214 on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:54:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  the wall (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        In the late 90's, NPR did a series of reports on the suffering experienced by Palestinians as the result of the Israeli occupation.   Those reports lead to protests at the NPR offices in Boston and a sharp drop in contributions.  NPR took notice, its been downhill since then.  The slide was increased when the Bush people took over the Public Broadcasting Board and changed personnel.  They destroyed the PBS Newshour Program too.  Its junk now.   Its a big loss.

  •  Sorry, Folks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKinTN, TiaRachel

    But I saw on the news yesterday that, in the Oregon study, Medicaid actually gave people diabetes. Why are we funding medical coverage that gives people diabetes?

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu May 02, 2013 at 05:37:13 AM PDT

  •  This diary is actually HRable (4+ / 0-)

    because it so badly distorts truth. But I gave up donuts for my health. Everyone should read the actual article in New England Journal of Medicine:

    http://www.nejm.org/...

  •  Again, racist, totally, anti-Obama mind set mixed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    with unlimited corporate cash to promote anti-health care measures everywhere in the United States and maximize profits in the health care sector while giving shoddy care.  The use of corporate excessive wealth used for the worst possible impact on us:  trying to convince us that our own health care is not needed, how disgusting the super rich have become.  I hope I live to see the day when they are brought to heel and caged.  For this, they rob us of their rightful fair share of taxes and use this theft of  excess to rape and pillage like the marauder corporatist pirates they are.  

  •  Foundations (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Eikyu Saha

    Look at all those "foundations" (tax free charities) aka tax shelter piggie banks for rich conservative and corporate control.

    Conservatism is an obsession with the past ... with little regard for the future.

    by RUNDOWN on Thu May 02, 2013 at 06:13:51 AM PDT

  •  Yep, the Anti-Medicaid/Obamacare Propagandists . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, emelyn

    Are amping up their rhetoric and misinformation campaign.

    I've been hearing and reading all kinds of stuff lately - people claiming that "physicians they know" are getting ready to close down their practices once Obamacare is fully implemented (uh-huh, because we all know Obamacare is going after the doctors [eyeroll]) and of course, there are the horror stories about having to "wait forever" to see a specialist.

    Hell, there were even a few "concerned individuals" in Eric Lewis's diary yesterday spreading "scaaaaaarrrrry warnings" about Obamacare.

    I miss Speaker Pelosi :^(

    by howarddream on Thu May 02, 2013 at 06:49:43 AM PDT

  •  I don't listen cause they've been lying for a long (3+ / 0-)

    Time.

  •  No, I agree with you -- it's an outrage. Of course (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    the poor will still be sicker with health insurance, but at least they won't suffer.

  •  H1B Visa story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, orlbucfan

    I heard an NPR piece this morning about H1B visas.  It was all about a software developer in India, and how his company wants to bring him to the US, and how the bureaucrat mess of trying to get him a visa.  

    No mention about, hey maybe we should see if we could find someone in the US to do the work.  Being a web developer ain't rocket science.  Maybe they just didn't want to pay full freight for the work.  But, no mention of any of that.

    •  According to "free market" capitalism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davechen, Ray Pensador

      borders should be permeable to money and merchandise, but not to labor or labor conditions.  Those borders are precisely what enable capitalists to play one nation off another and say "Hey guys, if you don't loosen up on those taxes and regulations, we'll just move our business elsewhere."  And by keeping borders sealed to people, the capitalists create low-wage labor colonies because workers can't get out.  

      It's precisely this situation that creates factories in Bangladesh that collapse and burn while still forcing people to work there.

      Please don't buy into the meme that "borders are good, we have to protect ourselves."  

      And don't tell NPR about this most basic principle of capitalism, because then they'd really go xeno on the world.  

  •  So less than 100% success = failure? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Catte Nappe, orlbucfan

    Obviously it's troubling that the people in this study continue to suffer from serious chronic conditions like high cholesterol and blood pressure, which lead to much more serious conditions like strokes and heart attacks, and something needs to be done about that. But as others have pointed out above these are usually lifestyle and nutrition-based conditions that are not easily or advisedly treatable with health care (meaning drugs like statins and beta blockers, which are expensive and have lots of side effects).

    To address them, programs like Medicare and Medicaid have to be expanded to include or supplemented with lifestyle and nutrition-based solutions to treatable and preventable medical conditions, meaning exercise, healthy eating, less stressful living, therapy if it might be useful, etc. But in terms of what it's tried and is presently able and allowed to treat, from a purely medical pov, it seems to me that Medicaid has succeeded.

    Seems to me that this study indicates that Medicaid needs to be expanded to include more than just traditional health care, e.g. nutritional and fitness guidance and education, alternative medicine, etc., and certainly not cut because it's supposedly not 100% successful.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:14:53 AM PDT

    •  Anyone with a diabetes or HTN (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, emelyn

      diagnosis is going to get lifestyle and nutrition counseling...it is standard of care.

      Problem is patient compliance.  Solving patient compliance means home health visits and follow up.

      While I am a big fan of nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle solutions for the prevention and control of chronic disease, it is difficult to get someone to quit smoking, eat healthy, and start exercising if they have never done so in the past.  Also, most people have the opinion that they can just see the doctor, get a diagnosis, get a pill, and be healthy.  I guess it is because most people get their medical info from House.

      •  Advise and counseling aren't enough (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        New Rule, Ray Pensador

        As such they're effectively more legal and moral CYA than actually effective treatment. More interventionist techniques need to be employed to deal with these chronic health, lifestyle and even psychological issues. The weekly nurse visits appear to be helping. We need more solutions along such lines, perhaps local health centers that focus on healthy eating and living, offering cooking lessons, shopping advice, fitness coaching and facilities, etc. Something also has to be done with the lack of healthy food shopping and eating options in lower-income areas. It doesn't have to all be done under Medicaid but clearly government has to get involved here. We need to not only save and restore the original New Deal, but a "New New Deal" to deal with all that it left un or underdealt with. It's not just morally right, but economically smart.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:39:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Or we actually need to make sure everyone (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, Ray Pensador, TiaRachel

      has enough good food to eat, a place to live where they have heat/cooling, etc., as obesity and obesity-related conditions are linked to extreme poverty and lack of good food.

  •  Completely agree that Koch-funded pseudo- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anonymous volanakis, TiaRachel

    science is bad (e.g., Heartland Institute), but I missed seeing that this was a example.  If you follow the links, you see the following statement:

    Supported by grants from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services; the California HealthCare Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the National Institute on Aging (P30AG012810, RC2AGO36631, and R01AG0345151); the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the Smith Richardson Foundation; and the Social Security Administration (5 RRC 08098400-03-00, to the National Bureau of Economic Research as part of the Retirement Research Consortium of the Social Security Administration); and by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    I don't see that any of these are Koch related--if so, please point them out.

  •  Seriously (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anonymous volanakis, emelyn, cryonaut

    You're criticizing a study because it actually measures healthcare outcomes?

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:38:02 AM PDT

  •  NPR has been in the tank for at least a decade (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Ray Pensador

    How any any open minded person can listen to that stock dribble is beyond me.

    Now, I can't say whether or not this diary is accurate, because I don't listen to that mealy-mouthed station, but it sounds like the NPR of late and not the NPR of yore, so I am not surprised.

    collards, meat, butter, sourdough, eggs, cheese, raw milk

    by Tirge Caps on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:44:10 AM PDT

  •  From one of the authors of the study.... (5+ / 0-)

    As one of the authors of the study, I can guarantee you the study does not conclude that Medicaid is terrible.  We found many important impacts of Medicaid for people, including clinical outcomes: it reduced depression rates, for example, which are a huge driver of health care utilization.  It also virtually eliminated catastrophic medical expenses, improved overall well-being, and boosted the rate of diagnosis and medication for diabetes, all of which could have hugely significant potential long-term benefits.    

    It's true that there were no immediate impacts on blood sugar control or cardiovascular health.  We explicitly point out that such impacts might still present themselves in the longer term.  And there are many other potential benefits of coverage besides just those specific indicators of health.

    I'm agnostic on your argument here about NPR's treatment of the study.  I've seen many takes on our findings in different media, often informed by the author's apparent opinions on Medicaid.  Each reporter writes their own piece and as researchers, we certainly have no control over what they write after talking with us.

    Soon we shall invent a method of being born from an idea. But enough, I shall write no more from the underground... --Fyodor Dostoevsky

    by Last Call on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:48:14 AM PDT

    •  Wow, the researcher is a Kossack. Pretty neat ! (0+ / 0-)

      "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

      by New Rule on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:47:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Diary this please. (0+ / 0-)

      Oh, and congrats on the nice paper.

      What laws can the senators make now? Once the barbarians are here, they'll do the legislating. C.P. Cavafy

      by anonymous volanakis on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:07:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you so much for your input. I have a couple (0+ / 0-)

      of follow up questions... Do you happen to know who funded the study?

      Here's the thing I've been noticing about these Koch-funded efforts (which have infected our entire media landscape, and universities, and research centers, etc.)...

      Take any issue: Global Warming, Gun Control, Health Care.

      Regarding most of those issues, when you study them "objectively," the scientific community (and intellectually-honest researchers) usually come to a consensus that's generally-accepted.

      As we've learned, these billionaires-funded propaganda outfits find this type of scientific, or intellectual consensus a little bothersome, so they find ways to muddle the waters.

      Then they use their money to influence universities and researchers in a myriad of ways.

      For example, regarding this study, you as a researchers could have done everything honestly, looking at all the data and coming up with accurate conclusions.

      But then, depending on how the research study was structured, these propaganda outfits could take certain portions of the study and use it to move their agenda forward--which may have been the intended purpose to begin with.

      That's why when I see this stuff, my first question is "who funded the study?"

      Either way, thank you very much for contributing to the thread.

      •  Sure, I can tell you that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        The study was funded by a combination of support from NIH and several private Foundations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a number of others.  Full disclosure of funders available at:

        www.oregonhealthstudy.org

        Funders did not receive advance copies of the article or have a chance to comment or edit before it was published.  What you see in NEJM is unfiltered.  That may or may not be true of what people are writing about the NEJM piece, of course.

        Soon we shall invent a method of being born from an idea. But enough, I shall write no more from the underground... --Fyodor Dostoevsky

        by Last Call on Thu May 02, 2013 at 12:48:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you that's very helpful. I'm going to (0+ / 0-)

          check out the list of funders.  As you may imagine, I will be  looking to see if there is any association (in any way) with Koch-funded groups (or the groups I mention in the diary).

          That to me would be important to know.

          Either way, thanks again for participating in the discussion.

    •  You've seen this, of course. (2+ / 0-)

      from phd comics, go there to embiggen.

  •  Julie Rovner might "benefit" from reading (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rivercard, Ray Pensador

    another journalist's approach to this study on Medicaid in Oregon -- Jonathan Cohn's at the New Republic from yesterday.

  •  An awareness that we're being messed with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    has been growing imo. I think when Obamacare fully kicks in, this awareness will experience a big jump. It's hard to mess with people when they know that's what you're trying to do.

  •  Given that it's Rovner, I'm not surprised. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    NPR should have fired her after her praise of the Sarah Palin performance at the VP debate, which Palin clearly lost.

  •  I am totally confused ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emelyn, kefauver

    I encourage anyone who read this diary to click on the link and read the actual NPR piece.  I did, and I don't get what all the hysteria is about.  As best I can tell, this was "Phase 2" of a major study, now published in the NEJM (probably the most respected medical journal in the US), the positive Phase 1 results of which were widely reported (I very clearly recall hearing it discussed very favorably on NPR).  Phase 2 noted some qualifications on its original findings -- that for some metrics (blood pressure, cholesterol), the measured health outcomes didn't match the perceptions of patients.  And NPR is reporting those.

    So I'm not sure what's got the diarist so up in arms.  In what sense is this a "hatchet job?"  Who is a "corporate shill," and for what corporation(s)?  And what's all this stuff about the Koch brothers?  Did they fund the Harvard study?  NPR?  Even the AEI guy they quote in the piece sounds like a progressive -- his big complaint about Medicaid is that  "for people who really need to access a lot of specialty services ... in many cases you just can't get access to it in a timely fashion."

    Really, this diary reads like Matt Taibbi on steroids.  Much ado about nothing ... truly nothing.

  •  NPR Liberal? Hardly! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    Anybody who listened to NPR during the last election cycle understands that they're no different from CNN, CBS or any of the other MSM. Just like the MSM, blatant Republican lies weren't called out. It was sickening and disappointing to listen to them talk about "half-truths" that were "not entirely factual" that may or may not have been "misleading." They were fucking lies! Say it with me; "Lllllliiiiieeee." See how easy that was?

    Are they in the tank for the right wing? It's possible I suppose, but I think it's more likely that they've just fallen into the same trap as the rest of the MSM. They've been accused of having a liberal bias for so long, that they're now afraid to even be unbiased. If you're a Republican, you'll be given the benefit of the doubt, always and under every circumstance.

    NPR also has to be concerned about the fact that most of their funding has to be approved by Congress. Mitt Rmoney wanted to execute Big Bird, do you think the Republicans would have a problem with getting rid of ME or ATC? I'm sure that situation doesn't exactly encourage truthful, unbiased reporting.

    I used to listen to Robin Young on "Here and Now" every day during my lunch, but now I just read. It's better for my blood pressure.

  •  If I may ask (0+ / 0-)

    What on Earth makes doing more research, or in this case reporting the results of that research, a "hatchet job"?

    Science, information, facts, you know, it's a good thing.

  •  heh (0+ / 0-)

    all this diarist does with his diaries is run around like a headless chicken all day :) Everywhere you look it's just fascism and propaganda.

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