Secondhand smoke and myocardial infarction

Some time ago, before I was banned, Bill Quick and I had a long conversation about the effects of secondhand smoke.  Bill’s attitude is that bans on secondhand smoke are simply examples of the evil nanny state who bans a perfectly healthy thing (secondhand smoke) simply because of political fashion.   He provided one study that purported to show no ill effects of secondhand smoke, and claimed that other studies showing decreases in symptoms were falsified because of the political leanings of restaurant workers who were polled.

Well, the answers are in.  A new metanalysis indicates that banning of secondhand smoke results in dramatic decreases in myocardial infarction rates — on average 17% the year after implementation and 36% three years out.  Earlier studies had a much greater variance (hence the study quoted by Bill),  because of a number of factors including follow-up time and some definitional issues.

So, for the radical libertarians out there.  I assume that most still believe that laws against assault are a good thing — that
one’s right to punch ends where my nose begins.”  Does it follow that “one’s right to cause heart disease ends where my lungs begin?”

If Obamacare passes, the best physicians in the US will simply quit

Instapundit has a link to an article in Investors Business Daily of something that I have been seeing among my colleagues for a long time.  The bottom line is that if Obamacare passes, almost half of successful physicians will simply retire early and stop practicing.  And guess what — these are the best and most experienced who are in a position to go John Galt on this matter.  I wrote earlier about how the AMA has abandonded its constituency –– the last time I looked, only about 23% of physicians were members, and the IBD report puts it as 18%.  That 18% are the academic and government physicians who are doing quite well on the goverenment payroll, thank you very much, but it leaves most practicing physicians out in the cold.

Obamacare is a joke.  As a method of “controlling” costs, it will raise taxes on health insurance for the middle class, making it *more* expensive to get health care.  It penalizes those who practice medicine in favor of those who regulate it.  It limits care to the sick and elderly.  Less care by less professional people at higher prices paid for by onerous taxes on the middle class. What a deal.

Incremental Obamacare — let’s stop treating sick people *now*

The socialist approach to “universal” health care — stop treating the sick and elderly, particularly if they live in rural areas. What a great way to “fix” healthcare!

Yet the policymakers at CMS, who base their decisions on numbers and statistics, are unilaterally and dramatically changing the delivery of heart and cancer care by proclaiming that care for heart disease and cancer is too costly, while treatment for other diseases has greater value.

Yep! If we stop treating folk with cancer and heart disease we can save a *lot* of money! One size fits all!

The future of Obamacare

From the utopia of socialized medicine:

One million NHS patients have been the victims of appalling care in hospitals across Britain, according to a major report released today. In the last six years, the Patients Association claims hundreds of thousands have suffered from poor standards of nursing, often with ‘neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel’ treatment.

The charity has disclosed a horrifying catalogue of elderly people left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly canceled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff. The Patients Association said the dossier proves that while the scale of the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust – where up to 1,200 people died through failings in urgent care – was a one off, there are repeated examples they have uncovered of the same appalling standards throughout the NHS.

While the criticisms cover all aspects of hospital care, the treatment and attitude of nurses stands out as a repeated theme across almost all of the cases. They have called on Government and the Care Quality Commission to conduct an urgent review of standards of basic hospital care and to enforce stricter supervision and regulation.

Claire Rayner, President of the Patients Association and a former nurse, said:“For far too long now, the Patients Association has been receiving calls on our helpline from people wanting to talk about the dreadful, neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel treatment their elderly relatives had experienced at the hands of NHS nurses.

Remember, as the Nazi’s used to say, lebensunwertes Leben.  It’s your duty to die. Hope and Change!

The future of American healthcare

A telling report from StoptheACLU:

Cancer Patient Offered Gov’t Suicide Funds But Not Medical Care

Doctor C.L. Gray and his Physicians for Reform group tell us of the horror story of Oregon’s government run healthcare plan that offered a cancer patient named Barbara all the suicide assisted funding she wanted, but not one penny for the medical care that could save her life.

As Doctor Gray put it, Barbara was no longer thought of by government as a patient but instead had become a “negative economic unit.” Oregon’s government run healthcare system wanted Barbara dead because keeping her alive was simply too costly.

It’s bad enough that a handful of states have taken up these uncaring, cut-rate medical plans, but at least patients in Oregon or Massachusetts can go to another state to find the proper care. But once Obamacare becomes a nationwide plague, there simply won’t be any other place to go…

That’s the future the Dems want for all of us, or as Obama puts it, maybe you should just take a pain pill instead of getting life-saving surgery.  At least if some bureaucrat decides you’re a “negative economic unit.”