Monthly Archives: November 2010

Texas Legislature Must Cut Homeowners Insurance Costs


I’ve written about the ridiculously high cost of homeowners insurance in Texas many times, most recently this November 18. Now the Beaumont Enterprise has published an editorial on this subject, and I completely agree with the newspaper. Here are excerpts: When the Legislature convenes in January, it has to do more than agree with fed-up […]

Bassettbaby Recalls Drop-Side Cribs Due to Suffocation Hazards


Here’s the latest in what seems to be a never-ending stream of crib recalls. Bassett Furniture Industries has recalled about 90,000 Bassettbaby drop-side cribs. I keep telling parents to just not use any drop-side crib. They all seem to have similar problems, and hundreds of thousands have been recalled, by many different manufacturers. Here are […]

Study Finds No Progress in Safety at Hospitals


We’re not making progress in preventing medical malpractice and hospital negligence, according to a disappointing article last week in the New York Times.  The article presented details from a study conducted in ten North Carolina hospitals, from 2002 to 2007. The bottom line is that harm to patients was common, and the number of incidents […]

Friday Fun


Six Things From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly

Your Medical Information Isn’t Very Private


The AP reports, “A Vermont law that restricts companies’ use of information about the drugs doctors prescribe is unconstitutional on free speech grounds, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.” IMS Health, SDI and Source Healthcare Analytics “had sued over the so-called data mining law.” Vermont pharmacies are required to “collect information including the prescriber’s name […]

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope each of you has a happy Thanksgiving, with family and friends around you. Drive safely if you’re traveling, take your time, rest if you get sleepy, and always buckle up everyone in your vehicle.

Teenage Pickup Drivers Double Risks of Severe Injury in Wrecks


The conclusions drawn in this article will be a surprise to many people, and that may be the point of the Dallas Morning News in publishing it. The bottom line is that teenagers in large pickup trucks are unsafe drivers, and that big trucks are not necessarily safer than cars in collisions. The article is […]

Political Rhetoric Harms Perception and Future of Texas Medicaid Programs


A recent article about Medicaid in the Houston Chronicle repeated some of the political musings of Governor Rick Perry and other politicians. For anyone with even a basic knowledge of Medicaid, the suggestion that Texas could simply “opt-out” is ridiculous. Of course that doesn’t stop politicians from proposing it, and thereby frightening the poor, the […]

Featured Link – Vietnam Virtual Wall


This has nothing to do with auto collisions or Social Security disability, but for those of us who are “of a certain age” the Vietnam war was very personal. We lost friends there, or saw friends return in bad physical or mental condition. If you have not visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, I highly […]

CPSC Releases Top Three Tips for a Safer Holiday Toy Shopping and Playing Experience


The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a timely press release about toy safety, just before the Holidays. The report notes the decrease in toy recalls in 2010 compared with 2008, and the decrease in child deaths during the same period. This is great progress, and perhaps a sign of tougher oversight under the new […]

Insurers Gave U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Breathtaking” Sum to Combat Obama Health Care Law


Bloomberg News reported that the national insurance member group America’s Health Insurance Plans, armed the US Chamber of Commerce with $86.2 million “that was used to oppose the health-care overhaul law.” Bloomberg notes, “The spending reflects the insurers’ attempts to influence the bill, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will provide coverage to 32 million […]

About 15% of Medicare Patients Receive Harmful Hospital Care


The U.S. Health & Human Services’ inspector general has issued a report stating that 1 in 7 Medicare patients received harmful medical care while in a hospital. This inadequate or negligent care increased the duration of the hospital stays and caused or contributed to the deaths of some patients. And of course this all increased […]

Friday Fun


Hardball Frenzy is a fun little game brought to my attention by Tom Mighell. It’s been a long time since I succumbed to the temptation of one of Tom’s games, but this one was nifty, and I did eventually manage to complete all 25 levels consecutively with no errors.

Texas Reclaims Top Spot in Nation for Highest Homeowners Insurance Rates


I knew they couldn’t keep us in second place for long. Now “insurance company friendly” Texas is number one in the nation again for highest homeowners insurance rates. Florida edged ahead of us for a brief time, but the almost total lack of regulation in Texas let us reclaim our rightful spot at the top […]

No Social Security Cost-of-Living Increase for 2011


As I’ve written before, there will be no cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits in 2011. This is the second year in a row with no increase. Of course the reason is that inflation did not rise enough to trigger an automatic increase. The actual rule is a bit complicated: the COLA is determined by […]

Questions Raised About Supervision of Resident Doctors at Parkland Hospital


As local citizens probably know, the Dallas Morning News has been reporting on unfortunate surgical results at Parkland Hospital. The allegation is that these problems may be partly due to improper supervision of inadequately trained medical students and doctors in residency training. The articles have caught the attention of the American Association for Justice, which […]

Social Security Unveils New Home Page to Make Finding Services Easier


The Web site of the Social Security has a new look, as of yesterday. Here is the announcement from SSA: Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today unveiled the agency’s newly redesigned home page at www.socialsecurity.gov that will help visitors more quickly and easily find the information and services they need. One of the […]

Senator Urging FDA to Investigate Lead Content in Grocery Bags


Good grief, we’re not safe even when we try to be environmentally sensitive and buy reusable grocery bags so we don’t have to choose between paper or plastic. Here is information from the American Association of Justice: USA Today (11/15, Armour) reports, “Lead found in some reusable grocery bags is raising concerns that the toxin […]

Parsonage-Turner Syndrome and Social Security Disability Benefits


We recently successfully handled a case where our client suffered from severe Parsonage-Turner syndrome. Individuals suffering from this disorder experience severe shoulder or arm pain followed by weakness and numbness. This is a rare idiopathic syndrome with symptoms resulting from inflammation of unknown an etiology of the brachial plexus nerve network through which the impulses reach the arms, shoulders, and […]

Friday Fun


This item is not really “fun” but it’s pretty darned amazing. Mr. Dalton Ghetti takes months or even years to carve intricate moldings from plain pencils. The photos are absolutely amazing. I can’t imagine the combination of talent and patience required to do this. Check it out.