The prognosis for medical progress based on research and innovation is excellent right now, just not in this country. While China is increasing its investment in research and innovation by 26% and other Asian and European nations plan to ramp up their investments as well, here at home, current budget proposals and automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect in January could drastically slow the pace of scientific discovery and medical progress.
President Obama's healthcare reform is about to severely restrict drug treatment options for millions of America's most vulnerable patients.
This certainly wasn't the president's intention. But a new, preliminary regulatory ruling from the Department of Health and Human Services required by the 2010 healthcare reform law applies a one-size-fits-all approach to prescription medicines. And the result could be substantially fewer treatment options for Americans all across the country.
For most of my adult life, I was a public servant representing the interests of my neighbors in the Gulf coast region of Mississippi as a state senator, a highway commissioner and ultimately a member of the United States House of Representatives. Serving those years in public office was both an honor and a privilege.
Once I left Congress, like most Americans, I had to enter the private sector and continue to earn a living to support my family. To be honest, I had a lot of things to learn about running a business.
As we move into the fall and future political debate about how our nation should control spiraling healthcare costs, one item is certain: the Affordable Care Act will do little to reduce healthcare spending.
America contributes billions to save millions of lives of HIV infected people. Gates Foundation contributes billions to this fight for new technology and vaccine development. Many other donors internationally donate considerable sums. Yet, we see that organizations like Global Fund and others are asking for more funds. I think we are missing the point. It is not money but innovation that helped us accelerate our fights against HIV/AIDS. And it is innovation that we need to put more emphasis to end AIDS.
There's a misguided cost-cutting plan being discussed on Capitol Hill that could severely jeopardize the health of millions of rural Americans. Community cancer clinics across the country could be forced to shut down, leaving many patients living outside of major cities without anyone to treat them.
The fight over health reform has plummeted from the stratospheric heights of constitutional jousting to nitty gritty decisions by states over whether they can afford reform. Critics warn states that reform will bankrupt them. The reality: states cannot afford to miss out on the cash and the almost free pass to provide coverage and care for millions of uninsured residents.
The recent Supreme Court decision to uphold the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as Chief Justice John Roberts implied, does not make the law necessarily good policy or good politics. The evidence so far overwhelmingly refutes the law’s supporters on both fronts. The law continues to be a significant political liability, but more tragically, it has been an even bigger policy failure. Even the legal battles are just beginning.
In Zambia, like 14 other African countries, major progress has been made in the fight against malaria, thanks in large part to the efforts of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). The use of proven interventions like insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying of insecticides (IRS), improved diagnostic tests, and highly effective antimalarial drugs has increased dramatically. The result: more than 28 million people were protected with IRS in 2011, and more than 31 million bed nets have been distributed since PMI began. Because of the program, more and more children are able to sleep under the protection of bed nets and benefit from IRS in their homes—contributing to more than one million lives being saved in the last decade alone.
We are one step closer to a healthier America — millions of Americans will be able to access affordable healthcare and coverage in the coming years. Here’s a radical suggestion: let’s make sure they don’t need to use it.