Arlen Specter pronounced that his former party's priorities killed Jack Kemp this past weekend. Arlen was quoted on CBS Sunday that (with regards to medical research), "...if we had pursued Nixon's call to war on cancer in the 1970's, Jack Kemp would be alive today." The presumption was he was talking about the funding for the National Institutes for Health. What is interesting is under the Republicans (Congress, White House or both) from 1994 to 2006 is the NIH budget more than doubled to around 25 billion annually. Wow! I suppose he is suggesting it should have been higher?
What is really interesting is the advances in medical techology , treatment and research are the result of even more private money through venture capitalists. In fact, in the same period of time, the US venture capitalist machine invested four times more heavily than the whole of the European Union. The reason given is the EU is more centralized and intolerant of risk whereas the Americans can offset the risk of the investment by making huge profits on the back end. To a large extent patients in the EU, Canada and Japan - where strict caps on spending for medical research exist - are free loading off the more open US Heathcare system.
Now that Democrats are looking to bring the same models of healthcare to the US shores the result will likely be more bureaucracies that try to contain costs by restricting access to new therapies by limiting or denying payment or even restricting what doctors are allowed to prescribe. The tragedy of the Universal Healthcare system is the lifesaving medicines that are never developed.
See Wall Street Journal for more.
Another interesting article in yesterday's WSJ was in regards to ethanol production in the US and the subsidies that are given to bait farmers into production. The pollution abatement from ethanol is real when you compare just the fuel to gasoline in a side by side test. However, when you include the environmental impact of farming to meet the needs (think volume) the pollution is double that of gasoline. Ooops!
And yet we proceed with more ethanol production. The chosen one has been deceived by his envirobuddies and he is pandering to the farmers. At least he is as transparent as he said he would be.
Obama's approval rating is still up around 70% or so we are told by the big media outlets. Typically these polls are 1000 people and have an error of +/- 4%. Last week MSNBC had a poll that asked respondents to grade Obama's first 100 days A-F. Incomplete was not an option even though it is the only correct answer. When last I checked the results, 350,000 folks had weighed in and the results were not 70% approval. Only 32% of voters graded him as an A with another 6% giving him a B. 39% gave him an F with 10% giving him a D. What is interesting is the bathtub shape to the distribution. If Obama seeks to make good on his promise to unite America he has sorely failed in his first 100 days. Clearly he needs to do more to reach across the aisle instead of proclaiming, "We won. Get over it!" or using reconciliation to avoid debate on tough issues like spending trillions on healthcare.
Another day in the jar.