Friday, July 17, 2009

Medicare: Issues of Insolvency and Looming Budget Deficit

With the looming budget deficit which is expected to reach $1 trillion this fiscal year, major federal programs such as the Social Security and Medicare are facing insolvency for the next few years according to analysts.

Meanwhile, the threat of insolvency in Medicare and Medicaid programs is more alarming compared to Social Security’s case, some experts said.

According to a government data, spending by the Department of Health and Human Services, which runs federal healthcare programs, increased by $475.3 billion in 2008 compared to the previous year—an alarming rate considering that the funds are running out.

If the health department will not be reformed or well-funded, analysts fear that the funds of federal healthcare programs will be completely depleted by 2017—something which can potentially create social problems as millions of Americans, especially those with limited income, will be stripped with their basic right to receive healthcare.

The threat of insolvency and budget deficit may undermine MMSEA Act which was enacted during the Bush Administration to reform the basic healthcare programs including Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

In Will Shapiro’s article, “The Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act, Medicare Set Asides and what they mean to your practice”, he explained MMSEA Act and how it can overhaul the healthcare system in the country.

Shapiro said Medicare has become stricter in giving payments, making sure the funds will go to the rightful beneficiaries. While this method may reduce spending (and wasted funds), some analysts said the federal government should pass a law—that will complement MMSEA Act—to save this healthcare program and its beneficiaries.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Jackson’s Dermatologist not the Source of Diprivan

Now that Michael Jackson had been laid to rest, question on the cause of his death continues to puzzle millions of his fans.

The death certificate left Jackson’s cause of death blank pending the completion of the toxicology report. In fact, a part of his brain was still in the custody of the investigators until neuropathology tests were completed.

Jackson’s dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, came up and said the he was not the source of Diprivan. He claimed that he may have sedated Jackson for past painful medical procedures but he had never given him Diprivan.

Klein also confirmed that Jackson had always ways with things. He had this whatever-he-likes-he-gets attitude. He left an intriguing statement that Jackson was with a team of surgeons who did not know where to stop.

Inferring from Klein’s last statement and judging from Jackson’s what he likes-he-gets attitude, Jackson may have acquired drugs from this team of professionals who had access to the drugs.

Authorities recovered several drugs from Jackson’s home including Diprivan. Diprivan is a powerful drug administered by anesthesiologists in hospitals. A dangerous drug like this should never be injected in private homes or left in the hands of an inexperienced person.

Klein had also discounted the rumor that Jackson’s health was poor. In fact, when he saw him three days before his death, Klein said he had not notice anything that would make him worry. As a 50 year old man, Jackson may have slowed but he was strong, Klein said.

The course of investigation may have led authorities to prescription drugs. But everything seemed to boil down to one thing: the source of these prescription drugs.

Whoever was the source of it was negligent in giving them to Jackson. The source knew better than Jackson that the drugs were very dangerous and may cause death if given indiscriminately. Consequently, a medical malpractice case could be filed against such person.

Monday, July 6, 2009

LAPD Officers Suspended for Showing Excessive Force

Police authorities are defenders of civilian rights. They enforce the law and ensure that it is strictly adhered to. However, when they exceed the exercise of their authority, punishment is imposed.

In May 2007, eleven Los Angeles Police Officers were accused of using excessive force on demonstrators and journalists at the May Day gathering at MacArthur Park. The incident produced public opinion regarding police brutality.

Due to the tumultuous incident, Police Chief William J. Bratton punished 11 officers and recommended the termination of four others. The officers were sent to the Board of Rights for disciplinary actions. The melee caused the city $13 million in legal settlements.

After investigation, the officers involved were given a maximum penalty of suspension. As no officers were dismissed, Batton said he could no longer do something as the ultimate decision lies with the board.

The counsels for the demonstrators were distraught with the Board’s decision. Despite submitting videos showing unauthorized force, officers were only reprimanded while others suspended.

On their part, the accused officers cited lack of training, poor leadership and overly aggressive tactics as causes of their illegal conduct.

Police officers are required to observe maximum tolerance when dealing with demonstrators or the general public. The use of excessive force is never encouraged and is in fact prohibited. Otherwise, officers may not only face administrative actions but criminal actions as well.

For people who have been a victim of an excessive display of force by a police, a case may be filed against them. If injury resulted in the process, a personal injury case may prosper.