Monthly Archives: December 2010

Drug Maker Mylan Agrees to Settle Medicaid Case for $65 Million

The  drug maker Mylan Inc. has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against it by both the U.S. government and the State of Texas. The suit alleges that Mylan artificially inflated prescription drug prices, causing Medicaid to pay the company far more money than should have been reasonable. Mylan will pay $65 million under the […]

Friday Fun

Here’s a good question for New Year’s Eve -— what’s your time perspective? This fun animation is described as “A fascinating 10-minute animated talk by Philip Zimbardo about the different “time zones” or “time perspectives” that people can have and how the different zones affect people’s world views.”

No Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Veterans Compensation and Pension Benefits in 2011

This was a foregone conclusion, but there will be no increase in veterans pension or compensation benefits for 2011. I wrote previously about no increase in Social Security disability or retirement benefits, and because veterans benefits are based on the same government standard, we knew there would be no increase for those benefits. However, the […]

Big Business Finds Friends on U.S. Supreme Court

The New York Times tells us what most lawyers already know — that the Supreme Court of the United States is very “business-friendly.” Not as much so as the Texas Supreme Court, but that would be a hard record to match. Please read the article; you may be surprised at the influence big business has […]

Med Schools Flunk at Keeping Faculty Off Pharmaceutical Speaking Circuit

I’ve written several times about pharmaceutical companies paying doctors to shill for them. Speak-for-fee has gotten enough bad publicity recently that fewer doctors are accepting money from the drug companies to tout certain medications. But, as a lengthy article at the ProPublica site details, medical schools are falling behind physicians in general in reining in […]

Texas Auto Liability Insurance Limits Increase January 1, 2011

Here’s a sliver of good news for people who may get involved in a car wreck in 2011 or after. The automobile insurance liability limits that were raised from the decades-old minimum of $20,000 to $25,000 in 2008 will increase again, to $30,000 effective January 1, 2011. This will be for policies written or renewed […]

Editorial: Preventable Medical Mistakes Take Intolerable Toll

Preventable hospital negligence and medical malpractice cause far too many patient deaths each year. A recent editorial in USA Today put this in perspective. Here are excerpts: If a 747 jetliner crashed every day, killing all 500 people aboard, there would be a national uproar over aviation safety and an all-out mobilization to fix the […]

Merry Christmas!

Here’s wishing a very Merry Christmas (or whatever other holiday you may be celebrating) to all my friends. I love this Nativity Story for the millenial generation:

Friday Fun

This is one holiday song we can all relate to — the Christmas Can-Can:

The Medical Implants Loophole

“The brief and troubled life of DePuy’s A.S.R. hip points to a medical implant system that is piecemeal and broken on many fronts, critics say.” This quote is at the heart of a lengthy article in the New York Times. The article explores in depth the approval process for medical devices such as the problematic hip […]

Featured Link – Safest Vehicles for 2011

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its annual list of safest vehicles. You can see the entire list on the Top Safety Picks page.

After Dozens of Deaths, Drop-Side Cribs Finally Outlawed

I know that you, and your parents, and probably your grandparents, used drop-side cribs as infants, and you all turned out just fine. But these cribs are dangerous, and after a couple of years of writing about their dangers, I am very happy that the government has finally, after dozens of toddler deaths, banned all […]

Ten Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Medicare

The annual enrollment period for Medicare runs through the month of December. For those who have not yet made a decision, here is a list of ten mistakes to avoid, provided by PlanPrescriber, a subsidiary of eHealth, Inc. 10 Costly Mistakes That Seniors May Make During Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (1) Missing the Fine Print: […]

Senate Food-Safety Bill Strengthens FDA Authority

The Washington Post (12/20, Layton) reports, “A bill that would overhaul the nation’s food-safety laws for the first time since the Great Depression came roaring back to life Sunday as Senate Democrats struck a deal with Republicans that helped overcome a technical mistake made three weeks ago and a filibuster threat that seemed likely to […]

Allstate Will Increase Insurance Rates Next Month for Texas Homeowners

I have written many, many times, here and elsewhere, about the ridiculous homeowners insurance system we have in Texas. For years Texas has had the highest homeowners premiums in the nation, surpassed for a brief time only by hurricane-prone Florida recently. In Texas, insurance companies can charge whatever they want, without asking permission from the […]

Darvon and Darvocet Painkillers Pulled From U.S. Market

Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc., the manufacturer of the painkillers Darvon and Darvocet has agreed to stop marketing those drugs in the Untied State. A new study has linked Darvon and Darvocet to serious and sometimes fatal heart rhythm abnormalities. This action was taken at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA also asked makers of […]

Friday Fun

This video of a Japanese prank is pretty funny:

Featured Link –

Click, Check, and Protect is a program by Consumer Reports to help consumers find out if products they are considering obtaining have been recalled for safety reasons. It’s a worthwhile effort, and there’s a lot of good information here.

Hidden Hazard of Crib Bumpers

The Chicago Tribune published an important article about the hazards of crib bumpers. I recommend this story for all parents of young kids. The main point is that babies can suffocate if their faces become wedged between the mattress and bumper pad, which wraps around the inside of a crib and ties to crib slats.

Social Security’s Online Retirement Estimator Available in Spanish

Announcement from the Social Security Administration: Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced that the agency’s most popular online service – the Retirement Estimator – is now available in Spanish at  The Retirement Estimator uses a person’s own Social Security earnings record to provide immediate and personalized benefit estimates.  To publicize the website and the new […]