Tuesday October 15, 2019
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Democrats in Congress Ready To Take Control

This is about us lifting up the voices, the stories, the struggles, the innovation and the ideas of the people that we represent.

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Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, left, speaks at a small rally outside an orientation meeting for incoming members of Congress at Harvard University. Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley, right, and Rep.-elect Lori Trahan, second from right, look on in Cambridge, Mass. VOA

Incoming members of the Democratic Party’s new U.S. House majority say they’re ready to turn the energy of their campaigns into real power on Capitol Hill.

Rep.-elects Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and a handful of other liberal-leaning incoming Democrats used an orientation event for freshman lawmakers Tuesday sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics to stake out some of their top issues – from gun violence to health care to climate change.

They say they’re ready to leverage their victories at the ballot box into victories in Congress — an institution that prizes seniority.

Pressley said power is about more than just how many terms a lawmaker has served.

“It’s a confluence of things. It’s about the committees that we’ll be appointed to. It’s about the values- and issues-based caucuses that we’ll serve on. And it’s about us simply leveraging the platform that we have available to us as well as our social media networks,” Pressley said.

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Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar reacts after appearing at her midterm election night party in Minneapolis, Minnesota. VOA

Pressley won election to the House by beating a fellow Democrat – longtime U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano – in a September primary.

Ocasio-Cortez said like-minded incoming Democratic members of the House have the numbers needed to press their case for change.

“We have a magic number in the House … and it’s 218,” she said. “Two hundred and eighteen is the magic number to get things done and how many member Democratic freshmen do we have? Sixty Three. Sixty-three of that 218 is brand new and 35 of that 63 have rejected corporate PAC money, 35 of that 63 is not funded by opioid companies, not funded by the NRA, not funded by for-profit health care, not funded by fossil fuels. Thirty-five are independent of the interests of corporate influence.”

Like Pressley, Ocasio-Cortez also won election by defeating another veteran Democratic incumbent – Joe Crowley – in New York’s June primary.

Ocasio-Cortez said Democrats have to fight back against an opposition she said “is predicated on us being turned against each other, of us accepting the idea of zero-sum thinking that one community’s gain must be another community’s loss.”

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Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat-New York, talks during a news conference with members of the Progressive Caucus in Washington. VOA

“We know that all of our issues are tied and are the same,” she added. “There is no health care justice without gun violence reform.”

Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley have both pledged to support Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker after Democrats take control of the House in January.

Other new and incoming Democratic House members who spoke at Tuesday’s event include Lori Trahan of Massachusetts, Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania and Andy Levin of Michigan.

Pressley said the timing of Tuesday’s press conference wasn’t meant as a rejection of the Harvard orientation event.

Also Read: Political Ads Under Scrutiny By Google Before The EU Elections

On its website the school says the sessions are designed to help incoming House members “forge bipartisan relationships and learn practical skills of lawmaking just one month prior to taking the oath of office.” Since 1972, the program has hosted nearly 700 current and new member of Congress.

“There is nothing adversarial,” Pressley said. “This is about us lifting up the voices, the stories, the struggles, the innovation and the ideas of the people that we represent. So I think it’s a good thing.” (VOA)

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Increased Data Entry Workloads Are Pushing USA Doctors Towards Burnout

The types of mistakes that doctor burnout may trigger impact public safety, as well as quality of care

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A report by Harvard researchers even categorized physician burnout as "a public health crisis." Pixabay

Technology is changing the healthcare landscape with American doctors now needing to complete more data entry work to account for an array of factors, including the possibility of medical malpractice, according to a Becker Hospital Review report. The extra workload is making it harder for doctors to feel energized and positive while they are on the job. In fact, 13 percent of doctors place the blame for their feelings of burnout directly on their increased data entry workloads. When doctors burn out, they are prone to making mistakes which put patients at risk. So this extra workload, some of which is designed to lower the risk of medical malpractice lawsuits, may ironically be resulting in an uptick in legal issues.

Doctor burnout needs to be addressed

Doctors who are burnt out are twice as likely to make mistakes, which may have severe or even fatal consequences for patients. A report by Harvard researchers even categorized physician burnout as “a public health crisis.” The types of mistakes that doctor burnout may trigger impact public safety, as well as quality of care. Doctors who burn out and make medical errors frequently suffer psychological turmoil, which may extend to suicidal thoughts, and may also end up in court due to medical malpractice lawsuits. Janet, Janet & Suggs asserts that medical malpractice lawsuits are filed to access compensation and justice for victims of medical malpractice. These cases are on the rise in several states, including Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Vermont, based on recent information from the National Practitioner Data Bank. As a consequence of the growing amount of data entry required of doctors, burnout is considered an urgent problem, especially since some malpractice lawsuits can be directly linked to physicians being overworked.

Physician burnout affects everyone

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Doctors who are burnt out are twice as likely to make mistakes, which may have severe or even fatal consequences for patients. Pixabay

Almost 50 percent of US doctors report feelings of failure, exhaustion, and depression, as a result of their long hours, hard work, and ever-increasing quantity of patients. Extra data entry work is part of the problem, and another issue is that fact that there are so many patients and only 1.1 million physicians. Since Americans need health care that they can trust, physician burnout can unfortunately affect doctors in every practice and field. Skyrocketing medical malpractice lawsuits in some US states tell a story about the impact that long hours and electronic health record (EHR) systems are having on physicians. Doctors don’t always have access to the latest technology while they practice medicine. This means that they may need to spend even more time updating records. Better technology might lead to lower incidences of doctor burnout and medical malpractice lawsuits, but other solutions should also be sought.

Also Read- Tanzania Denies Withholding Information from WHO on Suspected Cases of Ebola

Americans need to be aware of the pressures placed on doctors, but also need to understand that they may be at higher risk of being subjected to medical mistakes as a consequence of physician burnout. The burnout issue among physicians is something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, so doctors are able to deliver the best quality of care possible and avoid malpractice lawsuits.