Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Not so Nice NICE

Just published "Not so Nice NICE" at Serious Medicine Strategy.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Shulmans: The Cost of Serious Medicine vs. The Cost of Dying Young

I have decided to switch "Serious Medicine" to "Serious Medicine Strategy." So this site will remain, but it will no longer be active--it will be an archive only.

So please follow this link to Serious Medicine Strategy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Republicans Not Interested in Releasing Their Health Care Plan?

Can't imagine why. Actually I can.

Here's one view, from the lefties at Daily Kos, but the links are all there, to be verified. Scroll down to:

The Republicans Have A Plan ... Or Not
by BarbinMD
Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 03:28:04 PM PDT

Serious Medicine Is Not "Bloodless"

Politico, the must-read publication for DC insiders, offers a daily feature called "Arena," in which various pundits and observers offer brief opinions on the issue of the day. Today, in response to Politico's question, "Did the president advance his cause last night?" Mary Frances Berry, professor of American Social Thought and History at the University of Pennsylvania, a former chair of the US Civil Rights Commission, offered this crisp but devastating assessment of the Obama plan:

The best evidence that President Obama did not advance the cause of health care reform in his press conference is the not unexpected announcement today that the Senate will not pass a bill before the August recess. He failed to excite the American people to insist on immediate action. Perhaps, the President's almost bloodless approach to the issues in the press conference was because he already knew the delay was at hand. Now the opponents of reform have time on their side.

Note her words: "the President's almost bloodless approach to the issues." And that's the problem for Barack Obama, and for liberal, but not far left, health-care crusaders. As noted here at Serious Medicine, "health care policy" is a term deliberately designed to be bloodless; it's a term that engenders emotion among few, other than some self-selected experts.

By contrast, the true essence of health and medicine is literally the opposite of "bloodless." Health and medicine is all about blood, and tissue, and flesh--about ife itself. That's why ordinary people care about health and medicine; because health and medicine are about them, and their families. By contrast, ordinary Americans tend to think of "health care policy" as a bore.

No wonder Obama can't get his health care plan through--because not many people are really in favor of it. On (not up, as of Thursday, but will be up soon) David Corn of Mother Jones wondered aloud to me why the Obamans haven't mobilized the vaunted 13-million-member grassroots network--you know, the folks on Facebook and all who helped elect him last year. Why can't those millions be put to work on behalf of Obamacare? My response to David: Because people don't care passionately about "health care policy," except, perhaps for "the public option," aka "single payer," which does animate the lefty crowd. But single payer is probably too far to the left for Congress to pass; so the Obamans are trying to mobilize on behalf of a plan that is merely liberal, as opposed to far left. (I have never met Ms. Berry, but I suspect that she is for a single-payer plan.)

If Obama wanted to get a plan through with popular enthusiasm, it would have to be much different plan than either Obamacare or single-payer--it would have to be a plan with real appeal. It would have to be Serious Medicine. That is, a plan for dealing with the terrible diseases that Americans fear and loathe and want to go to war against. That's blood-and-guts stuff, and people love it. But that's not what Obama is offering. His plan is "bloodless," and it shows.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

John Holdren is Serious--But Not About Your Health and Well Being!

Just published another look at John Holdren, Science Czar to President Obama, for Obviously a scary guy to have loose, anywhere in the government.

But nobody should want him anywhere near health care policy, because anyone that interested in reducing population can't be trusted to actually be in favor health care.

Serious Medicine on

This article is a generally Hamiltonian critique of Obamanomics, but I zero in on Serious Medicine herein:

And what of health care? Not only is health care a desirable good in and of itself, but it is also a natural driver of economic activity, as anyone who lives near a hospital knows. There are millions of jobs to be found in medicine, from taking care of patients, to inventing cures, to mass-producing medical equipment.

But what if the Obamans succeed in cutting back on health care, in the name of "controlling costs"? In the eyes of liberal Democrats, the whole point of putting the government in charge of health care is so that planners in Washington will be able to "improve" the system--which, of course, means rationing of one kind or another. In an article summarizing the White House economic report, The Washington Post's David Cho might have been too polite to say the obvious--that Obamacare will constrict job growth in the health sector--and so he confines himself to simply noting, "The projections do not account for Obama's plan to revamp the U.S. health-care system." That is, if Obama gets his way on health care "reform," then rosy scenarios of health-care employment growth will fade to black.