Monday, August 10, 2009

Healthcare misinformation: Ah, where to begin

How about here:

Don't Need To Be a Rocket Scientist

Once you thoroughly unfasten yourself from reality, truly all things are possible.

AJC columnist Jay Bookman noticed that in the latest Investors Business Daily editorial about how the 'death panel' will condemn all handicapped or disabled people to death on some horrid wind-swept mountain, it notes that ...

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

Needless to say, Hawking, who is recognized as one of the great theoretical physicists of the 20th and 21st century, was born in the UK and has lived his entire life there.

Also, health insurance companies have nothing to do with medical innovation and research in this country. (That's not their business.) The U.S. Government funds a big chunk of that. ("Government funding for medical research amounts to approximately 36% in the U.S." --Wikipedia) Also see here.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research. Helping to lead the way toward important medical discoveries that improve people's health and save lives, NIH scientists investigate ways to prevent disease as well as the causes, treatments, and even cures for common and rare diseases. Composed of 27 Institutes and Centers, the NIH provides leadership and financial support to researchers in every state and throughout the world.

For over a century, the National Institutes of Health has played an important role in improving the health of the nation. The NIH traces its roots to 1887 with the creation of the Laboratory of Hygiene at the Marine Hospital in Staten Island, NY. . . .

With the support of the American people, the NIH annually invests over $28 billion in medical research. More than 83% of the NIH's funding is awarded through almost 50,000 competitive grants to more than 325,000 researchers at over 3,000 universities, medical schools, and other research institutions in every state and around the world. About 10% of the NIH's budget supports projects conducted by nearly 6,000 scientists in its own laboratories, most of which are on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. . . .

In the past several decades, NIH-supported research, and its national programs to communicate the results of research, played a major role in achievements such as:

* Death rates from heart disease and stroke fell by 40% and 51%, respectively, between 1975 and 2000.

* The overall five-year survival rate for childhood cancers rose to nearly 80% during the 1990s from under 60% in the 1970s.

* The number of AIDS-related deaths fell by about 70% between 1995 and 2001.

* Sudden infant death syndrome rates fell by more than 50% between 1994 and 2000.

* Infectious diseases—such as rubella, whooping cough, and pneumococcal pneumonia—that once killed and disabled millions of people are now prevented by vaccines.

* Quality of life for 19 million Americans suffering with depression has improved as a result of more effective medication and psychotherapy. . . .

See here too.

1 comment:

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