Health Medical Pharma
Starting now, I will be writing blog post now and then at Minnesota Progressive Project. I'll be focusing on the intersection of science and politics, the politics of science, and now and then I'l rant wildly about something random.
My inaugural post is HERE. It is about the possibility of a Science Debate in Minnesota and consists mainly of an interview with Shawn Otto. Read more
Shawn Otto, author of Fool me Twice, will be on Science Friday this week talking about Science Debate with Ira Flatow and Vern Ehlers.
Fri 1-2 CT, 2-3 ET Read more
“No more free rides for uteruses in MY state!” cried Governor Brewer, as she signed off on a bill that would end most public funding to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. Citing her supporters, who do not wish to have their tax dollars support cancer screenings, vaccinations, and health education (editor's note: this should read “cancer screenings, vaccinations, health education, AND abortions. We apologize for the error), Governor Brewer called it a “common sense” law that “closes loopholes”. Read more
The U.S. is widely known to have the highest health care expenditures per capita in the world, and not just by a little, but by a lot. I'm not going to go into the reasons for this so much, other than to point out that how to rein in these costs has long been the proverbial political hot potato. Any attempt to limit spending or apply evidence-based guidelines to care runs into a buzz saw of criticism. Read more
It just occurred to me that, even though there was news about it, I never mentioned what's happened recently with respect to California bill AB2109. As you might recall, I wrote about this bill about four weeks ago. In brief, this bill, if passed into law, would require that California parents seeking a "personal belief" exemption for vaccines to meet with a physician and have a physician sign off on what is more or less an informed consent form stating that the parents had been informed of the risks and benefits of vaccines and, more importantly for purposes of the personal belief exemption, the risks (many) and benefits (virtually none) of not vaccinating. Read more
Conservatives go to the High Court with the low goal
of making it harder for Americans to get healthcare,
yet while they threaten to undo Obama's achievement,
the President's own national poll numbers rise.
Republicans realize that Romney's the one
& start to close ranks if not exactly rally --
yet amid talk of car elevators & jokes about lay-offs,
his own approval ratings continue to sink.
The Tea Party Congress does what it promised:
attack benefits, defend the rich, obstruct progress
-- yet as they succeed in stalling all legislation,
those who elected them are having buyer's remorse. Read more
This week, the Supreme Court is hearing a case that can only be described as historic. Any of you out there (in the U.S. anyway; I realize that my readership is international) who have paid even a passing attention to the news can't help but avoid reporting, debate, and polemics related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which is often disparagingly referred to as "Obamacare." If the law is upheld, or even if most of the law is upheld, it will radically reshape health insurance in this country. Having spent 13 years in the trenches at cancer centers that see a high percentage of uninsured patients, I've come to the view that I hope the law is given a chance to go into full effect, because what we were doing before sure wasn't working. Read more
The NYTimes reporting suggests a 5-4 split against ACA is likely:
Justice Kennedy, along with Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. all asked questions suggesting that they had a problem with the constitutionality of the mandate requiring most Americans to buy insurance. Justice Clarence Thomas, as usual, did not ask any questions, but he is widely expected to vote to overturn the mandate.
As does CNN's Toobin's analysis: Read more
HEALTH CARE REFORM SUPREME COURT WASHINGTON
I've discussed the concept of "misinformed consent" multiple times before. Quacks in general, particularly the "health freedom" movement proclaim their dedication to "informed consent." "All we're asking for," they will say, "is informed consent." The antivaccine movement in particular demands "informed consent" about vaccines. Be it Barbara Loe Fisher, the bloggers at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, or any of a number of antivaccine warriors, demanding "informed consent" seems to be every bit as much of the antivaccine arsenal as the "toxins gambit" or ranting about "fetal cells" in vaccines. None of this is to try to say or even imply that informed consent isn't incredibly important. Read more
Turns out I gave Virginia governor McDonnell too much credit after he rejected the VA ultrasound bill on the grounds the state should insert itself into medical decisions. He's gone and flip-flopped as a slightly revised version of the bill passes through the VA Senate: Read more