“First, do no harm” has been the guiding philosophy for the medical profession since Hippocrates. It still dominates medical science, technology, and clinical practice. That is why I trust my doctor to do his or her best for me, and that is why at times I have changed doctors when I thought they fell short of that standard.
That is why the cost of developing one medication to FDA standards is about a billion dollars. Entire technical professions have grown up over the past century, dedicated to finding and developing new medical molecules with remarkable sophistication. They are constantly testing thousands of promising drugs, digging into life’s basic biochemical pathways, and finding ways to make precise changes in body chemistry to save lives. We benefit from that extraordinary science every time we take an aspirin.
It’s an amazing success story, and by far most people in it are personally admirable and dedicated. Needless to say, our pop media understands nothing about it. Sheer ignorance is a big reason the media and political elites can’t think straight about medical care. They just don’t understand even the basics. There are no scientists, no engineers, and few physicians in Congress.
We live in an amazingly arrogant age, at least in politics and the more self-indulgent fields of academia.
Obama is a product of the non-scientific academic world, where Marxist pseudo-philosophy is popular, as long as the colleges themselves can live off the fat of the (capitalist) land. Our academics are revolutionaries who never take a personal risk, just like our Democrats. That’s why the philosophy behind Obama’s Marxoid takeover of our health care seems to be:
Who cares if we do harm? We’ll fix it later! If it’s politically convenient! Whatever we do cannot hurt the apparatchiks, the ruling elite, who will have their own medical system.
Congress and federal bureaucrats will keep their current insurance plans. Academics will keep their tenure and their soft lifestyle at the expense of taxpayers. It’ll be a two-layered system straight out of Soviet Moscow: the nomenklatura versus the workers.
ObamaCare is really, really cheap compared to that one billion dollars for testing a single drug. The cost of testing and developing HR 3200, the current and ever-changing plan for ObamaCare, is zero dollars — because no testing and development has ever been done on more than 1,000 complicated pages. The bill has been thrown together in back-room deals between lobbyists and staffers in Congress. It’s like a hugely complex computer program that’s never been tested to see if it will run.
How likely is it to work? It won’t, which is why there will be tens of thousands of pages of regulations. And if it runs, how likely is it to make one-sixth of the U.S. economy cheaper and better, as Obama claims?
This is the ultimate snake oil.
ObamaCare is a really sweet deal — if you believe in abysmal ignorance and wild guesswork as a basis for turning over control of a half-trillion-dollar-per-year medical system to a Central Committee of Wise Heads. No sane real-world organization could work this way. But power has its perks, and one of them is to dictate a revolution in the United States without ever trying to understand its consequences.
If Obama were running a drug company he would be criminally liable for fraud. Morally he is no different from a drug maker who skips all the testing, peddling thalidomide around 1960, when 10 to 20 thousand people died from a poorly tested drug.
Nobody knows what will happen if this amazing coup d’etat passes. The European models are much smaller, took half a century to evolve to their present size, and have significant, life-threatening failures that Americans would never accept — including state euthanasia of the elderly, even if it is not called that in public.
China, which owns a chunk of our sky-rocketing debt, is alarmed by U.S. money printing. The Chinese understand very clearly that Obama must raise taxes to prevent dollar devaluation if the O-Care bill passes. They see it as doing harm. He sees it as an historic opportunity.
“First, do some harm. Then, claim to fix it.”
In Britain the NHS is draining the public treasury — and all too often failing its patients at the same time. Just in the last weeks the British newspapers have published a slew of scandalous exposes on the National Health Service:
Professor David Reid, a world expert in brittle bones, said that government guidelines are so stringent that GPs are often prevented from giving alternative treatments to those who have suffered side-effects on the first pill they’ve been prescribed.
Patients with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under an NHS scheme to help end their lives, leading doctors have warned.
A free product is always over-utilized. If gasoline were free, you might be driving a lot more. You’d be using gasoline for backyard barbecues, to heat your house, and to generate home electricity, because the other fuels would be driven out of the market. You can’t compete with free.
The British socialist state has ended up importing hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis from the badlands of Peshawar to vote Labour in order to keep the welfare elites in power. Those are the same Pakistanis who now make up a hotbed of terrorist indoctrination against Britain and the United States — in the middle of London and Birmingham. But anybody who criticizes Britain’s suicidal immigration policies is denounced as a racist. Ordinary citizens have been frightened into submission. Britain is losing its sovereignty to the EU, it can no longer control its borders, and its politicians look forward to fat new careers in Brussels as soon as the ship of state goes belly up.
That is the logical outcome of the socialist establishment in the UK, and it is why we are now importing millions of third world immigrants into the United States. Those are automatic Democrat votes. This is not an accident, but a deliberate policy; it was Ted Kennedy and the Senate Democrats who made it happen. ObamaCare will speed up the flow of easily-bought voters from poor and unstable countries, because we will be giving away free goodies that are inconceivable over there. Those people are just vote-fodder for the left.
This is just your friendly Federales at work.
And yet Obama cannot be wrong, even if he prescribes a dose of poison to our society. That’s because Obama is compassionate by definition. The history of medicine is full of over-confident doctors who ended up killing their patients. We have a special word for physician-caused disease: “iatrogenic.”
Most “grand-scale” politics is iatrogenic.
Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society created decades of welfare pathology among the poor it was supposed to help. FDR’s New Deal is believed to have lengthened the suffering of the Great Depression by almost a decade. Grand politics all.
Mr. Obama is both ignorant and superstitious about the reality of modern medicine. He really seems to believe in bizarre and vile urban myths that demonize doctors. He has alleged in public that doctors take out tonsils just for the money and that diabetics are denied medications because those bloody-minded docs make more bucks by amputating legs. That is unbelievably ignorant and malevolent — slanders against a profession that is generally highly ethical and enormously hard-working. It’s that cheap kind of cynicism that is now seeking to control the future of American medicine.
Notice what Barack Obama does not do. As the first black president Obama could have a huge impact on epidemic drug abuse in the black community, a true scourge that destroys families and individuals in every single city in America every single day. AIDS is a big problem in the black community, probably because young men are poorly informed about high-risk anal intercourse. Or they just don’t believe what they’re told, or they live in such despair that they are vulnerable to self-harm. Or maybe drug addiction makes them desperate for money to get another fix.
Whatever the reasons may be, Obama could use his fabled preaching talents to bring about genuine, positive change among people who live self-destructive lives, both white and black.
Inner city violence is a huge problem. Out-of-wedlock births are still the biggest predictor of social pathology. Chaotic schools fail to teach children and leave them handicapped for life. All those endemic social pathologies could be helped if the first black president focused on changing self-destructive behavior.
Obama could be a great teacher for vulnerable populations — most of which are on the left. Gays, blacks, Hispanics, the multi-generational poor — they all could use better life education from an inspirational leader. Bill Cosby understands that. Oprah Winfrey does, too. Obama does not.
In fact, the first black president is doing exactly the opposite by whipping up the blame game that keeps the underclass fixated on non-solutions to their own, painfully urgent problems. Obama’s veto of the Washington, D.C., school voucher program shows his working philosophy: “First, do some harm.”
Killing welfare reform is the same. That was just as destructive and just as ignorant of the real effects of welfare policies. Those Obama decisions are either malignant or, more likely, just ignorant and harmful. Our self-proclaimed national physician is running loose with a scalpel and he doesn’t know where to cut. But he is bound and determined to have a dramatic surgery.
The Obama “health plan” claims there aren’t enough medical outcome studies, so a special federal bureaucracy has been set up to do more, using Porkulus money. The fact is that Google Scholar shows 3,260,000 citations for the phrase “medical treatment outcome study.” PubMed is the online database for biomedical science, and it shows more than 70,000 published studies in peer-reviewed journals on medical treatments and best practice recommendations. Doctors are swamped with information about the outcomes of their treatments. Far more than any single person can read.
I invite Mr. Obama to read and understand just one medical outcome study — you can get them with just one click on your PC keyboard using Google Scholar. Apparently he has never read a single one. Yes, Mr. Obama has a health prescription for all of humanity, but he hasn’t understood even one study of one medical treatment.
That’s his out-of-control Napoleon complex. Mere human doctors can’t compete with a messiah.
The fact is there is no “Obama Plan” at all, because Obama is abysmally ignorant about real medicine and real science. He is a man who can act like a very thoughtful guy on TV. The liberals love it, because most of them are just as ignorant, and they confuse the act for the real thing.
Marxist scapegoating has nothing to do with real understanding. It is pseudo-understanding. Its prescriptions can only do harm. Yet the left has convinced millions of half-educated Americans that they are the “physicians to society.”
This is the worst kind of cocksure and malignant ignorance. If we had any journalists worthy of the name, they would be telling us that. What we are seeing is a scary and ignorant power-grab, following the ancient political slogan:
First, do some harm. Then, exploit the crisis.