Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Spectre of Cancer

Specter hints Hemp died of GOP agenda
"Sen. Arlen Specter ... suggested that had the Republicans taken a more moderate track, Jack Kemp may have won his battle with cancer."

"'If we had pursued what President Nixon declared in 1970 as the war on cancer, we would have cured many strains. I think Jack Kemp would be alive today. And that research has saved or prolonged many lives, including mine.'"
Which is a load of crap. As the WSJ pointed out today,
"Between 1994 and 2006, when Republicans controlled Congress or the White House or both, NIH biomedical R&D spending more than doubled in real terms, jumping to $25 billion in 2003 from about $10 billion in the early 1990s."

"Most of the advances in biotechnology and pharmacogenomics that are revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of disease are occurring in America. One reason is a research environment that is less centralized, more competitive, tolerant of risk and richer in cash -- public, yes, but especially private."
The truth is, if we had adopted a single-payer healthcare system in the 90s, we would almost certainly have a program like Great Britain's NICE that determines which treatments are sufficiently cost effective. More to the point, they decide if a new drug's promise to give a cancer patient a couple of more years are worth the cost of said drug.

If the Democrats had their way in the 90s, Sen. Kennedy would probably be dead today.

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