Healthcare Premiums? WHO WILL BEAR THE BRUNT OF THE COSTS?

Guest Link from Dr. CRISTIN A. DICKERSON, MD. Dr. Cristin A. Dickerson is the founding partner of Green Imaging. Her article about how the public will be sent the bill  for the Covid-19 pandemic is very revealing. To read it please follow this link:

WHO WILL BEAR THE BRUNT OF THE COSTS?

Written by Dr. Cristin Dickerson, MD

In The Global Covid-19 Pandemic Who Suffers Most?

In The Global Covid-19 Pandemic Who Suffers Most?

January 5, 2021 – In the midst of an ongoing and worsening global pandemic, there are those who are more likely to be sicker and die than others. This according to respected neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative. He told his regular podcast audience that the mortality rate from the Covid-19 infection was greater for patients with obesity, chronic lung disease, diabetes and hypertension and that the older a patient was, the greater the mortality.  “The Covid-19 pandemic teaches us that improving public health should be a priority in reforming healthcare,” Dr. Goldstein said. The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can be heard on Backtracks,SoundCloud, Libsyn, Listen Notes, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts and the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site.

When things are uncertain
Americans remain in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. What can we learn from it and how can this influence our thinking when it comes to personal lifestyle choices and healthcare reform?

Mayo Clinic Data

According to the Mayo Clinic web site, risk of severe Covid-19 is highest based on age; older people are at higher risk than those who are younger. Other conditions include type 2 diabetes, severe obesity and serious heart diseases. The site states, “obesity and diabetes both reduce the efficiency of a person’s immune system. Diabetes increases the risk of infections in general. The risk of infections, including COVID-19, can be reduced by keeping blood sugar levels controlled and continuing your diabetes medications and insulin.”

What Individuals Can Control

Dr. Goldstein said that people can take control of their own health by leading a healthier lifestyle. “By this I mean maintaining a modicum of physical fitness and being compliant with medical treatment if you have a chronic illness like diabetes and hypertension,” Dr. Goldstein told his audience. These and other voluntary measures like quitting smoking, moderating alcohol consumption and eating sensibly will help prevent an infection of Covid-19 or keep one from being more serious.

Freedom & Responsibility

Dr. Goldstein believes that in the New Year, the congress should find a balance of individual freedom, responsibility and monetary incentives for a better, national outcome. “People should have the freedom to adopt any lifestyle they wish as long as they do not interfere with anyone else. But, along with that freedom comes the responsibility to pay for it,” Dr. Goldstein said.   He mentioned how the government frequently uses its power to promote lifestyle choices. “For example, they impose high taxes on cigarettes to discourage tobacco use. But it does not outlaw the use of cigarettes. If anyone wants to lower their healthcare costs, they can adopt a healthier lifestyle.”

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Photo Caption: Americans remain in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. What can we learn from it and how can this influence our thinking when it comes to personal lifestyle choices and healthcare reform?

The Case for Healthcare Reform in Unsettled Times

Unsettled Healthcare
2021 starts with healthcare no less unsettled than it ended in 2020.

Healthcare reform in unsettled times. That times are troubled was never truer than in 2020 and 2021 will start out that way. But in an unsettled time with so much of the nation’s attention turned to medical care, could it be the time to really push healthcare reform and what might that reform look like? Americans remain in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. What can we learn from it and how can this influence our thinking when it comes to healthcare reform? Or is it all too big for any of us to do anything meaningful? Here to share his insight with us is respected neurologist and founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, Dr. Steven Goldstein.

Will more or less time save or cost lives? Shortcuts On Regulations For The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccine Research

Will more or less time save or cost lives?

 Shortcuts On Regulations For The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccine Research

According to Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, it usually takes years for any vaccine to be developed, tested on humans and finally introduced to the public. What of the Shortcuts On Regulations For The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccine Research? The much-anticipated vaccine for the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic is progressing at unprecedented speed. But why is this the case and should the public be concerned? On his regular podcast Dr. Goldstein provides explanations. The listen to the Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast visit: Soundcloud, Libsyn, iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Radio.com,

Timing

Will more or less time save or cost lives?
Will more or less time save or cost lives? Shortcuts On Regulations For The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccine Research.

Dr. Goldstein described to his audience some of the reasons these vaccine trials were progressing so quickly. “Given the urgent need for a vaccine to help end this global pandemic, some vaccine developers are compressing the clinical process by running trial phases simultaneously,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that independent Data and Safety Monitoring Boards can end trials early if their interim results are overwhelmingly positive or negative, so that is another time saver.”

Caution Takes Time

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) promised to fast track the approval process for a Covid-19 vaccine. But they have also said that there are far more rigorous standards in place than is typical for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) process for this vaccine. So while the NIAID made a way for the work on the vaccine to proceed more quickly than normal, the FDA says that its work will be ‘a careful evaluation with no rushing.’

The FDA Speaks

In an article published in the October 27, 2020 issue of USA Today, Dr. Peter Marks states that “this process will not be rushed. There will be no shortcuts in developing the relevant phase 3 efficacy results.” Dr. Marks also said that the public’s trust is important for the Covid-19 vaccine so it gets taken by the public. “Trust means everything. Trust in vaccines facilitated the incredible positive impact that vaccination had on public health in reducing illness and death over the past century.”

Not Predicting The Future But

Dr. Goldstein admitted that he was not very good at predicting the future, but he believed that the Coronavirus/Covid-19 vaccine could be available as early as January 2021. “There are currently dozens of vaccines under development and in the advanced stages of approval,” Dr. Goldstein said. “That the government has streamlined some of the requirements without compromising safety to help advance development is remarkable. But nothing in the world of medicine is without risk and the ultimate introduction of the Coronavirus vaccine is no exception. The laws and regulations, at least for now, seem to strike a balance that protects the public and aids in the fast delivery of a vaccine.”

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

Dr. Steven Goldstein is a Houston based neurologist. He founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative and is an advocate for common sense solutions to the healthcare crisis that confronts the citizens and residents of the United States of America.

 

Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.

NOTE: Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week. Watch how Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, contributed to a major television feature on vaccine trials in the state of Florida. You can see him and the full story here:

WFTV ABC in Orlando, Florida news on Covid-19 vaccine trials.

Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week. Starting this week, researchers will begin testing one of the experimental COVID-19 vaccines on children, marking the first trial in the country to do so.

It’s one of several big developments in the race to approve a vaccine.

Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 4.23.06 PM Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.
In this story Dr. Steven Goldstein discusses liability waivers for vaccine trials starting in the state of Florida.

So far, more than 600 Central Floridians have walked into a DeLand lab, willing to test the Moderna vaccine.

Moderna and Pfizer are in the final phases of testing their vaccines. For Pfizer, that includes testing children 12 and over.

On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson paused its study after one person got “an unexplained illness.” And it’s been over a month since AstraZeneca’s trial had been put on hold in the U.S. after two British participants experienced neurological issues.

When a vaccine is approved and available by, at the earliest, the end of the year, companies cannot be held liable for any unexpected complications. A good place to start with answers is here as Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.

“Now, if there are expected complications, and the company hid that information, like they knew about something that it would happen, and they don’t tell people about it, you can still sue for that,” said Dr. Steven Goldstein of the Houston Healthcare Initiative.

A recent Gallup Poll found people are split right down the middle when asked if they’d take a vaccine, down from the 66% of people who were willing to take it three months ago. People in Florida will help the entire country find answers.

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation. There will be issues with the new Coronavirus/Covid-19 vaccine because there were issues with every single vaccine introduced before. There are currently numerous studies and trials devoted to finding a shot that will give immunity to the recipient against the deadly and contagious Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. The company that is first to introduce a successful shot for immunity will reap big rewards in the form of profits and scientific prestige. But when there are problems with it, as there certainly will be, what recourse does the public have?

Vaccine Liability Photo
Vaccine waivers protect manufacturers from lawsuits and liability other drugs have.

On his regular podcast, respected neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein describes the risks and benefits of vaccines and a regulation known as the ‘vaccine liability waiver.’ The Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast can be heard on SoundCloud, LibSyn, Google Play, iHeartRadio, iTunes, Stitcher, Radio.com and many other places where podcasts are heard.

What Is The Vaccine Liability Waiver?

According to Dr. Goldstein, vaccine liability waivers are really what the name implies which is that vaccine makers are not generally held responsible for injuries their vaccines may cause. “This is notable because it is the only part of the healthcare industry where such protection exists,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “The companies that make these vaccines cannot be sued for monetary damages unless a person who died or was seriously injured can demonstrate that the company engaged in “willful misconduct” which is a very high legal standard to achieve.”

The Vaccine Waiver Makes Vaccines Possible

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation? It is very likely that were it not for the ‘waiver’ there would be few if any vaccine makers in the U.S. Starting with the Salk vaccine in the 1950’s through the 1970’s and ‘80’s, lawsuits against vaccine makers increased to the point that there was only one Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus (DPT) vaccine maker in the U.S.

In 1986 the U.S. Congress responded to the situation in the vaccine market by passing the ‘National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act’ or NCVIA. The act included a number of regulations related to informed consent and adverse event reporting but also removed many of the monetary recovery options that were putting the industry out of business.

Complexity Comes With Safeguards

Vaccines are developed, tested, and regulated the same as other drugs but more so. Vaccine development is a complex process that takes usually takes years. That is because the number of people in vaccine clinical trials are usually greater, and, those who receive vaccines are more in number than those who receive or take other prescription drugs. In addition, post-license monitoring of vaccines is closely examined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

So, while the liability waiver exists, all the other pharmaceutical safeguards are in place. Regardless of expectations, no medical treatment is completely risk free. “Vaccines are made to protect us from disease, but they can have negative side effects,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Most of these effects are pretty mild like soreness in the arm from the injection. Others can be more serious. But without these rules it is unlikely anyone in the U.S. would be researching a Covid-19 vaccine.”

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation? Nothing in the world of medicine is without risk and the ultimate introduction of the Coronavirus vaccine is no exception. The laws and regulations strike a balance that protects the public and aids in the delivery of a vaccine sooner than later.

The Effectiveness Standard for Covid-19

The minimum requirement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any COVID-19 vaccine is that it should at least prove 50% effective when compared with a placebo — that is, a neutral saline solution. The annual flu vaccine is a success when it is 40% – 60% effective. Fifty percent is right in the same range as the flu vaccine.

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

Dr. Steven Goldstein is a Houston based neurologist. He founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative and is an advocate for common sense solutions to the healthcare crisis that confronts the citizens and residents of the United States of America.

 

Vaccine Development Liability Waivers Where Safety & Business Gel

The pluses and minuses of the vaccine liability waver laws on this edition of the Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast.

Vaccine Development Liability Waivers Where Safety & Business Gel.

There are currently 120 Coronavirus/Covid-19 vaccines in development and a race to be the first one available for the public. Being first with this vaccine will mean big rewards for the maker in the form of profits and scientific prestige. Along with these developments there is political pressure to not only be first but be first by election day.

Regardless, the benefits of a vaccine for this extremely contagious virus will ultimately accrue to the public. But nothing is foolproof and there will be problems with this vaccine because there were with all of them. And when there are problems who is ultimately responsible and how can the public find justice? To know better what the possible risk benefit for a vaccine to the Covid-19 is and help us understand the possible downside and upside is respected Houston neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein. On his podcast Dr. Goldstein describes the advantages of vaccine liability waivers and the potential downside.

Off Label Prescriptions Removed From The Table Overly Zealous Watchdogs Interfere with Patients and their Doctors

Off Label Prescriptions Removed From The Table….

Overly Zealous Watchdogs Interfere with Patients and their Doctors

October 1, 2020 – Does a physician or the pharmacist know what is best for a patient? When the Ohio

Off Label Prescriptions Removed From The Table….  Overly Zealous Watchdogs Interfere with Patients and their Doctors   October 1, 2020 – Does a physician or the pharmacist know what is best for a patient? When the Ohio Board of Pharmacy ruled that doctors could not prescribe the off-label treatment hydroxychloroquine to treat the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic it was a chilling trespass into the rights of people in Ohio and set a dangerous precedent in the other forty nine.  Medicines to treat conditions with off-label prescribing occurs when a physician stipulates a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition different than what a patient has. Off label prescribing is nothing new.   Unanticipated Consequences of Overly Aggressive Regulators This practice is legal and common as one in five prescriptions written today are for off-label use. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy decision was without precedent. Americans should be nervous about this instance because it puts the relationships between doctors and patients at risk and removes the judgement of physicians about how to best treat their patients, putting it into the hands of government regulators. “This overreach is a present and future danger for Americans and their doctors in the wake of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic,” Dr. Steven Goldstein told the audience on his podcast. “This puts decision making about how best to treat a patient into the hands of someone who does not know the individual, never mind has any medical experience with them.”  The Future Beyond Covid-19 The prospect that someone other than the doctor and patient are involved in this decision making is bad practice. “Doctors are trained and educated to diagnose and treat patients”, Dr. Goldstein said. “They also have experience treating their patients and know how to evaluate scientific papers about new treatments. Pharmacists and government bureaucrats do not have this training or experience.”   In the case of hydroxychloroquine there is no randomized controlled trial to prove scientifically whether or not this drug is effective for Covid-19. It is also true that there is no other treatment that has been proven with a randomized controlled trial to be effective. “Physicians should be able to use any treatment that may be beneficial to their patient,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Interference by government boards or other non-physicians will retard the development of effective treatments and lead to additional mortality and morbidity.” The next outbreak is a certainty, it’s only a matter of time. “If pharmacists and bureaucrats are getting between doctors and patients now, we should be very worried about the future,” Dr. Goldstein concluded.  About the Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To hear the podcast go to: SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Backtracks, LibSyn, or the website at www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org. Dr. Goldstein insists that for the health and welfare of the American public, the congress must pass reforms that limit the influence of the pharmaceutical industry and its lobby.
Overly Zealous Watchdogs Interfere with Patients and their Doctors.

Board of Pharmacy ruled that doctors could not prescribe the off-label treatment hydroxychloroquine to treat the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic it was a chilling trespass into the rights of people in Ohio and set a dangerous precedent in the other forty nine.  Medicines to treat conditions with off-label prescribing occurs when a physician stipulates a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition different than what a patient has. Off label prescribing is nothing new

Unanticipated Consequences of Overly Aggressive Regulators

This practice is legal and common as one in five prescriptions written today are for off-label use. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy decision was without precedent. Americans should be nervous about this instance because it puts the relationships between doctors and patients at risk and removes the judgement of physicians about how to best treat their patients, putting it into the hands of government regulators. “This overreach is a present and future danger for Americans and their doctors in the wake of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic,” Dr. Steven Goldstein told the audience on his podcast. “This puts decision making about how best to treat a patient into the hands of someone who does not know the individual, never mind has any medical experience with them.”

The Future Beyond Covid-19

The prospect that someone other than the doctor and patient are involved in this decision making is bad practice. “Doctors are trained and educated to diagnose and treat patients”, Dr. Goldstein said. “They also have experience treating their patients and know how to evaluate scientific papers about new treatments. Pharmacists and government bureaucrats do not have this training or experience.

In the case of hydroxychloroquine there is no randomized controlled trial to prove scientifically whether or not this drug is effective for Covid-19. It is also true that there is no other treatment that has been proven with a randomized controlled trial to be effective. “Physicians should be able to use any treatment that may be beneficial to their patient,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Interference by government boards or other non-physicians will retard the development of effective treatments and lead to additional mortality and morbidity.” The next outbreak is a certainty, it’s only a matter of time. “If pharmacists and bureaucrats are getting between doctors and patients now, we should be very worried about the future,” Dr. Goldstein concluded.

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To hear the podcast go to: SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Backtracks, LibSyn, or the website at www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org. Dr. Goldstein insists that for the health and welfare of the American public, the congress must pass reforms that limit the influence of the pharmaceutical industry and its lobby.

 

 

Federal Government Goofs Delayed Coronavirus Tests By 6-8 Weeks

The United States badly bungled coronavirus testing.
The United States badly bungled initial coronavirus testing. Federal Government Goofs Delayed Coronavirus Tests By 6-8 Weeks.

Federal Government Goofs Delayed Coronavirus Tests By 6-8 Weeks. On his regular podcast Dr. Steven Goldstein described how failures within the federal government delayed proper testing for the Coronavirus/Covid-19 virus by several weeks.  The outcome? Tracking and tracing the infection early in the process was impossible. The Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast is available on SoundCloud, iHeartRadio,LibSyn, Spotify,  iTunes, Radio.com, Stitcher, ListenNotes, Podcast Addict, or the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site.

Early Kit Troubles

Early in the testing process the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent Coronavirus/Covid-19 test kits to approximately 100 health labs across the country. Initially the FDA had done all the testing in in-house, but more cases meant that tests had to be available in more locations. There was just one, very important mistake and that was there was no way to validate the tests and its ingredients all acted the same way when used, regardless of the location.

Thirty-six of the approximately 50 tests returned results to the FDA that were ‘inconclusive’. Manufacture of new ingredients for the tests took 3 weeks. The failure to get working test kits into public-health labs came at a really bad time. Early in any outbreak, contact tracing, isolation, and individual quarantines are used to contain the spread of disease. These steps don’t work when suspected cases cannot be tested. The gap made by the bad test kits made it impossible for public-health officials to get a read on how far and fast the disease was spreading. The result, Covid-19 spread undetected for several weeks. “The government was not prepared when it came to identifying and quarantining contacts of the first patients and preventing sick patients from entering the country,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “Government bureaucracy delayed the development of laboratory tests for 6-8 weeks.”

Worse still, when an Emergency Use Application (EUA) test was sent via email and followed up with phone calls from the University of Washington Virology Lab to the FDA for approval, the applicants learned that U.S. law required a hard copy of the applications be sent with a CD or thumb drive via the U.S. Postal Service to be considered. Instead of using more advanced communications like e-mail the lab was forced to use ‘snail mail’. (The F.D.A. has since dropped the requirement to send a CD-rom or USB drive with a copy of the application).

Bureaucrats Want More Power Not Less

According to Dr. Goldstein, issues like this have more to do with the bureaucratic class maintaining its influence than protecting the public or any devotion to science. “People ensconced in government bureaucracy want to preserve their authority and it seems that they are willing to take drastic measures to preserve that power,” Dr. Goldstein said. “These people are very invested in expensive, high tech treatments. Low tech measures like contact tracing and quarantining and testing anyone entering the country could have controlled the epidemic early on.” One possible lesson from this is to remember that government takeover of any health crisis will persist long past any benefit is exhausted. Finding ways around these career government employees should be part of any proposed reform for the healthcare industry.

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative

Dr. Steven Goldstein is a Houston based neurologist. He founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative and is an advocate for common sense solutions to the healthcare crisis that confronts the citizens and residents of the United States of America. Federal Government Goofs Delayed Coronavirus Tests By 6-8 Weeks.

 

Possible Remedy for the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Global Pandemic Invites Immediate Controversy

Blood Plasma
Possible Remedy for the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Global Pandemic Invites Immediate Controversy
Treatment with blood plasma from recovered patients is an accepted practice that goes back to the early 20th century.

Possible Remedy for the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Global Pandemic Invites Immediate Controversy.

On August 23, 2020 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a decision to grant blood plasma treatment for Coronavirus/Covid-19 patients with a fast-track authorization for its emergency use as a treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The next day, claims about the effectiveness of this treatment were retracted. Subsequent news coverage about this potential treatment did little to clarify blood plasmas’ usefulness or lack thereof. The idea that there could be a political motivation behind the fast track authorization for this potential treatment, other than looking for a useful therapeutic, is troubling.

Who Can Americans Believe?

On his regular ‘Houston Healthcare Initiative’ podcast, respected neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein defines how this decision triggered an outcry from scientists and doctors, who said the decision was not supported by adequate clinical evidence and criticized the FDA for what was perceived as bowing to ‘political pressure’.

Dr. Goldstein also reviews those who believed this approach was worthwhile. Generally, treatment with blood plasma from recovered patients is an accepted practice that goes back to the early 20th century. Many believe the possibility that blood plasma from recovered Coronavirus/Covid-19 patients could help people fight off the virus was worthy of further investigation.

Who is correct? Who should the American public rely on for the best information about treatment for this global health emergency?

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can be heard on: SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Listen Notes, iHeartRadio, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site.

About Houston Healthcare Initiative And Dr. Steven Goldstein

Dr. Steven Goldstein is a Houston based neurologist. He founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative and is an advocate for common sense solutions to the healthcare crisis that confronts the citizens and residents of the United States of America. Blood plasma treatment for Covid-19 patients invites controversy.