Is Big Brother now in the dentist’s office?

I was astonished – and angry – to see this letter posted on Gab.  Click the image for a larger view. I was absolutely dumbfounded at the thought that any medical practitioner would use the law to threaten its customers.  If it’s authentic, this letter appears to represent nothing more or less than legalized extortion.  “Pay us money for services you may not even need, or else!”  However, I don’t know if the letter is real or not.  It isn’t signed, and there’s no return address on the letterhead – both of which I’d expect on that sort of communication.

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Learning a lot about my body, and about pain

As many readers will know, I suffered a work-related back injury in 2004.  After two surgeries, I was left with a fused spine and permanent damage to my sciatic nerve.  I’ve been in constant pain, 24/7/365, since the date of injury, with just one glorious, all-too-brief break in 2005, when I was given an epidural injection of steroids to see if it would reduce inflammation in my spine.  (It didn’t.)  A spinal anesthetic was part of the treatment, which numbed everything below my waist, including the damaged nerve.  That was the last time I remember being pain-free.  It’s been my

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Good advice on reducing major medical expenses

A writer styling himself “hedgeless_horseman” offers a detailed article on how to negotiate with medical service providers, to reduce their bills by as much as 80% or more, if you’re lucky.  It’s very long, but packed full of useful advice, and is worth reading – particularly if, like me, you’re older, and can expect your medical expenses to increase.  Here’s a brief excerpt. Primarily, this talk is to educate those of you that are, now, or may be, in the future, responsible for paying for your own healthcare.  It is not directed at the nearly half of America that is

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Predatory lending comes to hospitals?

It looks like Big Medicine may be getting into bed with Big Banks. Laura Cameron, then three months pregnant, tripped and fell in a parking lot and landed in the emergency room last May — her blood pressure was low and she was scared and in pain. She was flat on her back and plugged into a saline drip when a hospital employee approached her gurney to discuss how she would pay her hospital bill. Though both Cameron, 28, and her husband, Keith, have insurance, the bill would likely come to about $830, the representative said. If that sounded unmanageable,

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Thanks for the prayers, and good news

Thank you to everyone who offered prayers for my friend’s brother, as requested in my previous post.  It looks as if he has encephalitis, which is not good, but is entirely treatable and curable.  I was very worried that it might have been a stroke or a brain tumor, both of which can produce the same symptoms. I’m sure he’d rather not have encephalitis at all, but it’s a lot better than it might have been. Peter

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Urgent prayer request for a friend

A friend’s brother has just experienced sudden, extensive memory loss.  He’s being taken to a treatment facility as I write these words.  Of course, there’s no diagnosis available right now, but as I’m sure many of you are aware, that can be symptomatic of several ailments, all of them serious. My friend and his family will be grateful for your prayers, I know.  I’ll provide more information as and when I can. Peter

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A side of President Trump that doesn’t receive enough attention

The mainstream media don’t talk about it much, but President Trump – long before his election to his present office, and after it as well – has helped a great many people on a personal basis, never making a fuss about it or seeking publicity.  The latest episode has, however, been noticed – and I think that’s a good thing. Bouvet’s son, Shane Bouvet, worked with Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 by day while holding down a job as a delivery man by night. The Republican reportedly met with president-elect Trump the night before the inauguration and shared his father’s

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Your skin cream may be a fire hazard

I daresay some readers have already seen the warnings spreading from England about the use of paraffin-based skin creams. Paraffin-based skin creams may be linked to hundreds of deaths, a senior firefighter has warned. Chris Bell, a watch commander with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the creams – used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis – are safe to use. But he warned they can become flammable when they soak into fabrics, clothing, bandages and dressings, then come into contact with a cigarette, naked flame or other heat source. “Hundreds of thousands of

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An “emotional support chicken”???

I think I’ve heard it all now. The day of the service duck and emotional support chicken on airlines may be drawing to a close. Delta Air Lines Inc. said Friday it will more thoroughly vet passengers’ efforts to fly with all manner of unusual animals, which often board U.S. airlines under the guise of psychological or medical support. “Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders and more,” the airline said Friday in a news release. “Ignoring the true intent of existing rules governing the transport of service and support animals

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An abandoned patient? Not so fast . . .

I’m sure many readers have been horrified by headlines blaring that a Baltimore hospital allegedly “abandoned” an older and/or indigent patient at a bus stop in freezing weather.  Unfortunately, the reality is likely to be very different to what’s being presented by the news media. Under the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, popularly known as EMTALA, any hospital accepting Medicare funding must provide emergency medical assessment to anyone, irrespective of their ability to pay.  The law is very specific in its requirements – but it makes no provision for funding those requirements.  Basically, hospitals are on their own. 

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