House Passes HCR Bill – Women’s Reproductive Rights Take Hit

us-houseThis past Saturday night, the  US House of Representatives worked all day and into the evening (it felt good to watch these people work on a weekend for once) and narrowly passed a bill aimed at reforming the broken healthcare system.  In the process though, they were forced to insert an amendment (the Stupak amendment) which disallows women who would be enrolled in the public option plan from getting abortions.  I am fed up with people inserting their religious preferences into legislation that effects all Americans, religious or otherwise. Continue reading…

McCarthy & Maher – If it Quacks Like a Duck

snake-oil-salesmenThere’s an old expression used to convey the idea that what appears obvious is frequently the truth.  The expression goes, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck”.  Well, this bit of folk wisdom is not to be trusted.  Especially when it comes to the claims of, well, quacks!  That is, purveyors of bogus medical items.  From phony H1N1 “swine flu” cures online, to aisles upon aisles of homeopathic “remedies”, unregulated by the FDA on shelves in pharmacies across the country, people are frequently taken in by sales pitches that seem completely plausible. Continue reading…

One “Flu” Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

syringeI don’t know about you, but I have never been a proponent of the annual flu vaccine. I have always felt that it was really only necessary for the very young and the very old/infirm. But I also know that influenza became pandemic on a faily predictable schedule about once every 30 years or so. And since it has been nearly 40 years since the last pandemic of “Hong Kong” Flu killed 1 million people in 1968-69, I am thinking this year, I ought to at least get my 4 year old innoculated. So I called my pediatrician and they said, “No we don’t have any H1N1 vaccine and no we don’t have any info on when any will be available”. Shocking! Continue reading…

Latest Neat-o Advance from the Field of Medicine

vscan-stethoscopeI have always been amazed by how far medical science and technology has advanced in the space of the last decades and wrote a piece back in August illustrating how far medical technologies have progressed since the turn of the last century.  Training for a career serving the healthcare field is really exciting because it is a field that will definitely be home to continuing innovation and technological breakthroughs.   Take for instance the latest device dreamed up by the engineers at General Electric. Continue reading…

Following the Money Part Deux

follow-the-moneyBack in July, before the screaming town hall silliness of Congress’s August recess and before the slow as molasses delivery of Max Baucus’s Senate Finance Committee health care bill, I wrote a piece about how to gauge the progress of health insurance reform legislation.  I pointed out that insiders on Wall Street, who have paid for unfair access to our legislators, would know ahead of the curve which way the reform would go.  This way they could nearly guarantee that they would not lose money from their investments into the healthcare sector whether reform passed or was defeated.  If it looked like reform was imminent, Wall Street would sell their holdings in healthcare companies driving stock prices of insurers down.  If the “Street” figured reform would go down in defeat, they’d buy more of the insurers’ stocks as it would be a safe bet that the gravy train would continue for the highly profitable insurance companies.  Back in July, the prices of insurance company stocks were surging.  The bankers on Wall Street seemed convinced that the public option – the only serious reform device being considered – was all but dead.  What does the insurance sector look like today three months later and weeks from the bill’s eventual passage?  Follow me over the jump to see. Continue reading…

FactCheck.org:Another Great Resource

factchecklogoWith passions running so high in the healthcare debate, and with so many powerful forces trying to manipulate the process to suit their own agendas, it gets really hard to believe anything we hear.  How does one separate the truth from the lies, the policy positions from the propaganda, the facts from the noise?  Let me tell you of an excellent resource for cutting through the static and getting some answers from reputable sources.Continue reading…

Transition from Manufacturing to Heathcare

With the closure of hundreds of Chrysler and GM dealerships across the country, there are going to be thousands of folks joining the ranks of the unemployed. And its not just dealers that will be out of work. Decreased demand and closures will have a rippling effect throughout the workforce as parts manufacturers, detailers, shippers, and other ancillary automotive support industries are pared back in tandem with the closures. Even non-automotive industries will suffer from the maleffects of these closures. I know that the bagel shop, newsstand and lunch counters adjacent to my local automall will all be suffering from fewer salesmen, mechanics, detailers, etc., there each day to buy coffee, newspapers, lottery tickets, bagels and lunches. The sad part is, many of these jobs will be lost for good. When manufacturing plants close, and large numbers of skilled workers are dumped into the labor pool, it is near impossible to find new positions for these workers. These jobs simply dry up. As painful as this is, it is this function of the business cycle that prompts displaced workers to seek training in industries where there is greater opportunity for growth and job stability.Traumatized by the loss of a lifelong career path, folks seeking job training typically seek fields that they believe will insulate them against falling victim to this kind of cataclysmic collapse ever again. The medical billing and coding field is a natural match for those seeking to retrain and redeploy into a growing field. With the Baby Boomer generation entering retirement age, the need for healthcare is projected to continue to rise dramatically. As the population continues to age, the security in this field should rise in direct correlation.  So if you’re a victim of the collapse of the US auto industry, you might consider a new career in a secure and growing field. We are sorry for your hardship and loss, but we offer you the hospitality of our community and the opportunity to grow with us.

Best and Worst Cities for Healthcare Jobs

I found this excellent piece of research via website www.nursinglink.com outlining the top 5 best and worst cities for seeking employment in the healthcare field. As part of my series on job markets across the country, I will explore these top 5 best cities, one by one, in subsequent posts.Here’s the list of the best and worst from NursingLink:5 Best Cities for Healthcare Job Hunters
  1. Sioux Falls, SD
  2. Madison, WI
  3. Ft. Walton-Crestview-Destin, FL
  4. DesMoines, IA
  5. Boston, MA
5 Worst Cities for Healthcare Job Hunters
  1. Yuma, AZ
  2. Fresno, CA
  3. Dalton, GA
  4. Waterbury, CT
  5. Monroe, MI
I know a little something about both Madison Wisconsin and Boston Massachussetts having spent some time in both those fair cities. So I am looking forward to providing some more detailed info on those two markets as well as the three other top 5’s in subsequent posts in this Job Market series.