Crystal Harris was at her Virginia home one winter afternoon when she received a 911 call.
As an unpaid volunteer of the Smith River Rescue Squad in Woolwine, a small town located in northern Patrick County, Harris needed to drop what she was doing and head to the nearest ambulance station, a trip that normally takes about 10 minutes.
“Then you would respond to the house, which could take anywhere around 15 minutes,” Harris, the captain for advanced life support on the squad, told CNBC. If necessary, the rescue team would then take the patient to the nearest hospital, about 45 minutes to one hour east in Martinsville.
Harris could have taken the patient to the much closer 25-bed Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick in Stuart, where she had been an employee before she retired. But the hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed last year, leaving more than 100 people without a job and the roughly 19,000 residents in the surrounding community without a nearby emergency health facility.
Harris, 72, now spends most of her days responding to 911 calls. She said there are five other rescue squads in the Patrick County area addressing the unmet need in their community of emergency medical services, a broader trend in the U.S.
The Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads, a nonprofit organization in Roanoke for rescue squads statewide, has 18,000 dedicated members, according to its website, and is dedicated to providing pre-hospital care.
Tea Time: Government Health Care Strikes Again
Less than a year ago the vaunted “free” British government National Health Care Service (NHS) that is so admired by liberals here, killed 11 month old Charlie Gard when it refused to continue treating Charlie’s serious and likely terminal illness but worse, refused to allow his parents to take him to the United States at their expense where a couple of doctors believed they could give him a fighting chance. Charlie’s parent lost in their appeals to the British courts and even the UE Court of Human Rights and little Charlie lost his life.
This sad tale was recently repeated when 23 month old Alfie Evans who suffered from a neurodegenerative disorder and required assistance with ventilation and hydration died late last month after the NHS stopped treating him. The NHS determined that further treatment for the boy was “futile” which may be another way to say that they do not see a future return on their investment. The Pope had intervened and an Italian hospital offered to continue the boy’s treatment and the Italian government even offered him citizenship – all gallant efforts to give this young child a chance at life. Unfortunately none of these offers for help were ever utilized because once again the NHS refused to
release the boy to his parents and the British court system and the EU Court of Human Rights once again ruled in favor of government bureaucracy instead of in favor of life.
This episode is another warning for Republicans to repeal the smoldering remains of Obamacare and its internal potential death panel, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). If you think my “death panel language is a bit over the top, let me remind you that it nearly happened here in 2013 when then Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius denied a much needed lung transplant for 10 year old Sarah Murnagham, because she was too young for the 12 year age limit the government had established. Fortunately, the public firestorm ultimately forced Sebelius to allow the surgery, but she did it because of the optics, not because it was right.
While it is true the Republicans dealt Obamacare a death blow with the elimination of the individual mandate they have not taken all of the possible actions to enable the private insurance market fill the varying needs of Americans which would make it easier for the federal government to largely get out of health care where it never belonged in the first place. The president remains ready to sign any reasonable repeal bill the Republican controlled congress will bring him, but after 16 months he is still waiting.
-Larry Wiwi for the Franklin County Tea Party
California STD Cases Rise 45% In 5 Years
Zerohedge Reports: Sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases have reached record-high numbers in California, the Los Angeles Times reports, as the ‘sharing’ economy goes viral.
In 2017, the number of California residents diagnosed with gonorrhea (over 13,000 cases), chlamydia (over 75,000 cases) or syphilis (over 218,000 cases) hit a consecutive three-year record, according to the California Department of Public Health.
The 300,000+ people diagnosed last year represents a 45-percent increase in STD cases since 2013.
Those most commonly affected by chlamydia and gonorrhea are under 30 years old. As The Sacramento Bee reports, “Rates of chlamydia are highest among young women, while men account for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.”
“While there are advocates and champions for cancer, nobody is out there saying, ‘I have gonorrhea and these are the best ways to treat it.’ There’s no one out there being a champion for these conditions,” said Klausner.
Britain Social Services Takes Away Baby From Elder Parents
(Via The Sun)
A COUPLE have become Britain’s oldest new parents — only to have their baby taken from them by social services.
The 63-year-old mum and her partner, 65, are “devastated” after bosses stepped in and took the child from them.
The couple’s age is thought to be a factor in fears over the one-year-old’s well-being. A source said: “They are devastated.
Social services have been dealing with them since last year and told them to make improvements in how the child was being looked after.
“They then decided that the called-for improvements had not happened and took the child into care.”
The couple from the north of England had the baby using a surrogate mother in her 30s. She is believed to have been impregnated using the 65-year-old’s sperm and a donor egg.
The adoptive parents spent more than £100,000 on the procedure and used a clinic abroad as most in the UK would not deal with a couple their age.
The child’s British birth mother and her husband were named on the birth certificate, but they signed a parental order letting the older couple adopt.
Social services closely monitored the situation and, after the concerns were raised, the child was taken away and is thought to be in foster care.