Category Archives: Medicine & Health

On Medicaid Work Requirements

As expected, and I’m shocked they took this long, Donald Duck’s administration announced that they will allow states to institute work requirements for Medicaid recipients.

A few panic-staving reminders: Continue reading

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Sometimes People Get Sick

Eliot Kukla wrote a beautiful meditation on the ways that our vulnerabilities and weaknesses define us.

Approximately 0.6 percent of American adults identify as transgender, just under 0.2 percent of the world population is Jewish, and 100 percent of us will get sick, yet it is being chronically sick that makes me feel like an outsider. That’s how much our society fears and rejects the core human experience of being ill, of having a body that gets sick, that ages, that is not controllable.

The United States’ mandate to be forever strong and self-sufficient belies the reality of human experience: we are neither.  Continue reading

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Single Payer NOW!

Kaiser Health News sent an intrepid reporter to uncover just how utopian, on a scale from the Trump White House to Star Trek: The Next Generation, Canada’s single-payer health care system is.

Turns out it’s about Gilmore Girls utopian: some obvious inequities (where’re the people of color in Rory’s Yale??) but, in general, a heartening collective belief in shared values.  Continue reading

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Peter Thiel’s Herpes Problem

A medical researcher dying of cancer, William Halford, couldn’t get institutional approval to run trials on a herpes vaccine that he designed. So he got cash from anti-government bully Peter Thiel to run rogue experiments in St Kitts. A year later, many participants in these trials are sick, possibly from the experimental vaccine. One participant believes that instead of curing the herpes he had, he contracted an entirely new strain of the disease. But they have no clear legal recourse because the experiment happened outside any system of regulation. And Halford died in June.  Continue reading

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Roxane Gay Believes in Love

Readers may already be familiar with Roxane Gay’s primal story: A bookish, awkward 12 year-old girl, obedient daughter of Haitian immigrants, biked with her sexy, controlling, popular boyfriend to a deserted cabin in the woods where he and his friends raped her. She hid this trauma from her family for years and protected herself by doggedly making herself huge, maintaining her size through fat camps, parental distress, and professional peregrination.

She has told and retold this story through her increasingly prominent books, both fiction and nonfiction: An Untamed State, about a Haitian-American woman kidnapped by Haitian dissidents; Bad Feminist, a collection of cultural and political criticism; short story collection Difficult Women; and, most recently Hunger, a memoir that only ostensibly addresses her trauma and its lifelong effects more directly than her other work. Continue reading

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Conspiracize!

Conspiracy theorists take note! An actual conspiracy! A shadowy cabal of zealots using money and power to change the most intimate details of our lives to strengthen their own power. A cluster of old white men controlling whether we live or die. Operating a the highest levels of government but trickling down into the muddle of everyday schmoes, trying to get health care. After being shot at a concert.

The NRA, y’all.

NRA lobbyists successfully eliminated medical research into preventing and treating gunshot wounds. Because almost all science and medical research is either federally or Musk-funded, ER doctors are using fucking oral tradition to save lives.

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