I can’t make stuff like this up even if I wanted to.

More Stem Cell Success

ADULT stem cells, that is. This time, the blind are seeing.

By Amir on June 24, 2010 | Medical/Science, Pro-Life | 1 comment

It’s Official: Coffee is Good for You

I’ve been drinking the stuff since I was 5. In addition to the great taste and nice kick of a good, strong cup of mud, it also helps prevent cancer.

By Amir on June 22, 2010 | Health, Medical/Science | 7 comments

They Paid Money to Reach THIS Conclusion?

Anyone with at least a double-digit IQ knows that heavier women tend to be disadvantaged in the romance department. (This is not a putdown of anyone; just a statement of the obvious.)

I say that because it does not seem that we needed experts to tell us this much.

And yes, I know that they are saying that heavier men don’t have the same difficulties. This is not really news either. While women can be choosy when it comes to male obesity, the men tend to be more finicky in that department.

Like I said, I did not post this to start any fights, but rather to point out the lunacy of the research world, in terms of wasting assets to prove what anyone with half a brain already knows.

By Amir on June 15, 2010 | Health, Humor, Medical/Science | 5 comments

Ouch! Doc Supposed to Remove Cyst, Cuts off Right Nut

HT: Vox Day

Thomas Sowell, in his books Basic Economics and Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One, provides a critical review of government interference in health care.

Putting things in simple terms,

(1) If government imposes a price ceiling on anything, then you still do not address the fundamental issue of the cost of the product; the cost merely gets distributed in other arenas.

(2) If the amount of demand (surgery) stays the same and price is not allowed to rise, then there will be a shortage of product available (surgeons to deliver the surgery).

(3) That shortage gets addressed through one (or more) of several options:
(a) rationing — government deciding that a patient does not “need” a particular product
(b) delay — management of a que that is subject to bureaucratic bias and little accountability
(c) increasing the available supply of the product, in ways that adversely impact the quality of the goods and services delivered.

Looks like this was the latter.

Dr Sulieman Al Hourani was only supposed to cut out a cyst, but removed the whole right testicle instead.

Why would this be a big deal, given that American doctors have done exactly this?

I’ll answer in one word: accountability. Yes, there are quacks who make it through American medical schools, make it through residency, manage to pass their boards, and go on to inflict damage on patients. But the system here is far more transparent than, say, importing a doc from BFE.

It’s not so easy to vet a doc, who comes in from Jordan, as government–given a supply-demand management problem–has no compelling reason to do things that would crimp the supply. And it’s an order of magnitude harder to sue a regulator who fails to regulate–when was the last time the SEC or the OTS faced, let alone lost, a lawsuit–than a doc who fails to practice.

(Even with the latter, it’s like locking the house after the burglar arrives, and this adversely impacts supply, as raises the cost for the good docs to stay in business.)

As for Vox’s take on Obamacare, I’m not so sure that it will end as badly. This is because Obamacare–if Americans take advantage of it–will destroy the insurance industry without providing a public option. This will return health care back to doctors negotiating with patients, minus the middleman.

(Denninger says this will pave the way for a government-run single-payer system. I disagree, because–if the insurance industry implodes, then government credibility will be zilch, and no President will have the political capital to pursue such a system in such a case. Besides, government will be out of money.)

The wildcard: if that happens, look for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Humana, HealthSouth, etc. to clamor for bailouts. The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department will get behind them and perhaps even make the pitch. But it won’t happen. Not with borrowing costs up several percentage points…

By Amir on April 20, 2010 | Economics, Govt Funnies, Health, Medical/Science | A comment?

Mohler Weighs in on “Health Care Reform”

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler provides what ought to be a no-brainer regarding the Christian obligation to pay taxes, even as we are facing the specter of government-funded abortion.

(And yes, that is where this is headed, as Obama’s Executive Order is worth a used roll of toilet paper. A court challenge to the EO will almost certainly lead to a “Landmark Decision” that requires not only government, but all health insurance providers, to fund abortion services.)

But Mohler is not speaking to anything new, as tax-funded abortions are hardly a novelty. Republican Presidents (Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43) have made such funding more difficult–while not eliminating it–whereas Democrat Presidents (Clinton, Obama) have opened the door for more subsidizing. The United Nations–funded in part by the American taxpayer–actively provides abortion services to “developing” nations.

OTOH, there are ways that the taxpayer can work within the system.

Keep in mind that:

(a) The “health care reform” is now a health insurance mandate.

(b) The cost of health insurance is already high, in the neighborhood of at least $10,000 for a plan that will provide decent coverage.

(c) Even a bare-bones-basic plan will not protect you from financial disaster if you suffer a catastrophic event, or need any form of major surgery.

(d) the fine for not having coverage is only $750.

(e) insurance providers can no longer deny you on the basis of “pre-existing conditions”.

So, as my wife and I have noticed, the time is not far away, in which it will be more economically advantageous to forego health insurance, pay the $750, and then take our chances.

Moreover, as Denninger has pointed out, you can always sign up for insurance after you suffer your event.

Besides the fact that this approach will bring down the insurance system altogether, you have the advantage of keeping more cash on hand to mitigate your own risks.

If having insurance doesn’t mitigate your risks, then why pay through the nose for it?

By Amir on April 5, 2010 | Economics, Health, Medical/Science | 10 comments

Another Stem Cell Breakthrough

You guessed it: this was with ADULT stem cells, NOT embryonic stem cells.

By Amir on March 20, 2010 | Medical/Science, Pro-Life | 2 comments

Stossel Hits a Very Important Nail

quite squarely, I might add.

Any discussion of health care reform, must also include reforming the FDA–I would propose eliminating it altogether.

The price for innovation is prohibitively high.

By Amir on February 24, 2010 | Govt Funnies, Medical/Science | 3 comments

Discuss Amongst Yourselves

Karl Denninger outlines an idea for health care reform. I agree with most of it.

He’s absolutely correct in this regard: you effectively have two alternatives. The first is one that is more of a pure free-market system. The other is a Canadian-style system.

For all my issues with the public option–having worked in government, and having seen the types of people who would make policy decision, I absolutely have zero trust in any government-run option–it would still be better than the “health care reform” bill that is up for reconciliation. This is because the House and Senate versions have the worst of both worlds, and do nothing to correct the issues that are making the current system a broken one.

Even with his idea of billing the government–at published rates–for the cost of treating poor/uninsured folks with life-threatening conditions, that may be the only option from a practical standpoint. The problem I can see evolving from it, though: providers, in search of sure money, will seek to send as many bills as they can to the government. Even if private insurance is otherwise reliable. Policy wonks will also seek to cover as much as they can, as that creates justifications for increases in their budgets. The accountability of such a system to public scrutiny, would be questionable.

By Amir on February 22, 2010 | Economics, Govt Funnies, Health, Medical/Science | 2 comments

Guinness is Good for You

Well…maybe. Haven’t had one in almost 2 months, but after reading this, I might open up a cold one.

By Amir on February 8, 2010 | Health, Humor, Medical/Science | A comment?