Single payer government run healthcare

Here’s why I am not in favor of government run healthcare.

https://www.policymed.com/2013/10/uk-hospitals-post-excessively-high-death-rates.html?sthash.fGHzbjOl.mjjo#

In addition to worse care and higher death rates for hospitalized patients, just think of your experience at the DMV – government employees who get their salary and their two breakshttps://www.policymed.com/2013/10/uk-hospitals-post-excessively-high-death-rates.html?sthash.fGHzbjOl.mjjo# and a lunch who don’t care how long you wait, have no motivation to improve the process or the quality and if they did, there’s not budget for improvements.

To my friends who say “we need single payer healthcare” – I am astonished.  Sure it makes it equally accessible to all – an equally frustrating, inefficient and uncaring experience. Competition among physician practices to earn more money drives improvements in customer service, quality and improved outcomes.

Maybe politicians want single-payer to lower the average life span in order to improve Social Security’s solvency and remove people from city,  state and federal pension rolls. Much like Governor Cuomo did in NY by sending the elderly with Covid to nursing homes.

FOCM Networking Person of the Year for 2020

Without a doubt the work done by the pharmaceutical, biotech, clinical research, drug development industry and the Food and Drug Administration is worthy of this distinction for 2020. What was accomplished is just short of miraculous.

The federal government (FDA) and the corporations cut no corners. I have no doubt that everything was done according to established good clinical principles. What was done was the speeding up of the regulatory processes; decreasing the workflow processing time. Turn around time on data review and decision making was the focus. The researchers and the reviewers of the data had Covid-19 treatments and vaccines at the forefront of their priorities.

The typical time for vaccine development to get approved is 4 years. The first two approved were done within 12 months!! There are several more in development.

We are now beginning to see the impact the vaccine is having in the decline of daily new cases. Many people have now received their second dose.

The United Kingdom began vaccinating their population one week earlier than the US and you can see the impact to their daily new cases as well. This has me very encouraged. I’m hopeful that by Memorial Day, we’ll be back to dining out and meeting in person, traveling to conferences, vacations, etc.

What Would Andy Taylor Do

Remember Andy Griffith’s character Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, NC. He rarely carried a gun, almost never had one in a holster on his hip. Now I know times have changed since the idyllic 1950’s, but a phone call to a radio station caught my attention. The caller said that X number of years ago, probably in the 1960’s – 1970’s, police forces began learning and training using military type tactics. The caller indicated that people at the top in US police forces all began to adopt similar training.

He stated once upon a time, police were trained and called Peace Officers. The new training teaches them to control and dominate a situation and a suspect.

The situation with Rayshard Brooks could have happened so differently with the mindset of a Peace Officer. And in my mind that’s the policing style of (I know he’s just a TV character) Andy Taylor. So ask yourself in the situation with Rayshard Brooks: what would Andy Taylor do?

The police were talking with Rayshard Brooks for about 30 minutes when they decided they had to arrest him. Rayshard tested positive for DUI with a blood alcohol level of .108. About 30 years ago a person was deemed intoxicated with a level of .10 and then I think all states lowered it to .08. Why he chose to resist arrest and fight so hard when everything was going so calmly is beyond my understanding. No doubt that he’s responsible for the escalation that took place once he resisted arrest. Current police training is to take all measures to control and arrest the individual and if fired upon, end the situation as quickly as possible.

What would Andy Taylor have done – in this case? Possibly talk to Rayshard for an hour, just chattin’ away like Andy liked to do and then re-test him, at which point, his blood alcohol could be down to or below .08. Then perhaps have him go into Wendy’s to get his dinner, eat it there and then go home, by which time he would no longer be above the limit. Another approach after talking to him for a while would be have Rayshard go in and get his dinner and then the police drive him home and Rayshard could get his car the next day. That’s thinking like Andy Taylor, Peace Officer.

And for the future of policing, why they’re not widely using the BolaWrap https://wraptechnologies.com/ boggles my mind. Had they had this when Rayshard ran away, he would have been stopped, like with a spider-man spider web, he would be alive today, his daughter would still have her dad.

I’m not in favor of defunding the police and I applaud and support them for the tough job they have. I think there is room for peace officer training. I realize they do get training in how to de-escalate, they should also have some leeway in how to handle situations like in the case of Rayshard Brooks.

COVID-19 Quarantine Update

Well, I admit it, my optimistic interpretation of the data was incorrect. I felt strongly that April 4 was the peak of new cases in the US and that stayed true until April 24 when we had a spike of 38,ooo+ new cases reported.

Perhaps that is due to broader availability of testing, which is finding more individuals who test positive for coronavirus. However, the optimist in me did find a brilliantly shining piece of good news – April 26 – the number of new cases reported was 26,509; the 4th lowest daily new cases since April 1.

But my prediction that we’d be dancing around the MayPole on May 1 will not be the case. Yes, some states will be easing restrictions on May 1, but not to the extent I’d hoped. We have to continue to be wise and listen to the scientists, review the data and go forward cautiously. 14 days from April 24 is May 8 and my new prediction (like economists know, if you keep changing your forecast, you’ll eventually be right) is that by May 8, we’ll be having 10,000 or fewer new daily cases. Be optimistic – let’s make optimism be contagious!

Quarantine Day 27

April 4 is standing tall as the peak day of new coronavirus cases in the US. We’re now 8 days since that date. Looking at data from other countries, shows that in day 10 – 14 from peak the number of new daily cases is around 20% of the peak.

With over 2,000 patients in clinical trials of drugs that have solid promise based on pre-clinical data, those patients will likely be contagious for shorter periods of time reducing the transmissibility and blunting the number of new cases. Also, the prescribing of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in early published trials shows elimination of the virus by day 5 whereas patients with no treatment are still positive for 10-12 days. This, too is probably a significant reason for the decline since April 4.

I truly believe pharmaceutical intervention is playing a big role in flattening the curve. Let’s remember that the US pharmaceutical industry is one of America’s greatest assets and is an important part of our excellent and effective healthcare system.

COVID-19 on the ropes

Well, as you know if you keep changing your prediction you’ll eventually be correct. I had optimistically hoped that the number of new cases would have peaked by March 31; however, I missed it by 5 days. The peak, I believe, occurred on April 4 and in analyzing other countries, by day 10 from the peak, the number of new daily cases will be halved.

Call me an optimist – because I am one. With so many patients being treated in clinical trials with several drugs and vaccines and the availability of the safe (on the market since 1955, side effects well known and manageable) hydroxychloroquine, either alone or in combination with azithromycin, the duration of illness is declining in thousands of patients. This reduces the time they’re contagious. That coupled with social distancing and warmer weather will soon have us back to our new normal.

I think we can all gather around the May pole on May 1 (no one seems to do this any more, do they?) and skip around it, singing, “I’d like to buy the world a coke”. I do recall skipping around a May pole in elementary school. What was the purpose? What is a May pole? Questions for another time perhaps. Or feel free to use the comments section to post a reply.

It is now time to unquarantine all of us and move to quarantining just those who test positive, those who have symptoms or who have had recent contact with someone who tested positive.

And let’s start buying stuff so heavily from one country, maybe even make stuff in America again. I’ve been looking for a toaster oven made in any country but China – no can find!

COVID-19 Day 15+1

Okay, so here we are on 3/31, day 15 + 1 from the 15 day social distancing edict. We’ll have to wait a few more days to see if my prediction that our nation-wide effort will result in the US hitting its peak by 3/31. is accurate. It is encouraging to see that the number of daily new cases is increasing but at a decreasing rate. Only 400 new cases reported yesterday.

Troubling though is the quick rise in a few large cities: Detroit, New Orleans, for example.

COVID-19 Day 10

My day 10 observation of the number of new cases and the groundswell of support for the male identifying members of our society to cease shaving their facial hair until we have two consecutive days of a decline in the number of new cases of the corona virus in the US.

Several good signs in the data, many EU countries have recorded a one day drop from their peak of new cases and two countries have had a two day drop, suggesting that globally we may have hit the peak.

Covid-19 Virus Quarantine

Disclaimer: I am no epidemiologist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express in Burlingame, CA earlier this month. Importantly, I am an optimist with a bit of experience as a data analyst.

I am doing two things in regards to global Covid-19 virus event. First, I am not shaving my facial hair until we have two days in a row of new cases in the US increasing at a decreasing rate. I think that’s the same as having two days after the peak number of reported cases.

Second, since Day 6 I have been giving snippets of my analysis on youtube.

I have learned how to show the beard’s progress without having to do each day’s session in two video snippets. Day 9 is below:

I believe that the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin will be extremely helpful in flattening the curve and getting the country back to normal. Provided that there’s sufficient quantity of these drugs and if not, that generic companies fire up their plants and start cranking this out. Knocking the virus out in 3-6 days in early studies will reduce transmission to others and reduce the projected number of deaths. My prediction is that in the US we’ll reach our peak number of daily new cases by or before March 31. I am hopeful that we’ll be back to going to work in our offices and dining out the week of April 7.