Longman says: …Cohn opens his book with a story about a woman who dies of a heart attack purportedly because she did not receive a cardiac catheterization, a procedure in which a cardiologist inserts a balloon into a patient’s circulatory system and then expands it in order to open a partially blocked vessel…Yet a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association last year revealed that while the elective use of such procedures has been skyrocketing over the last ten to fifteen years, there has been no change in the rate of heart attacks. Since Cohn’s book went to press, a new blockbuster study …found that the specific use of angioplasties (the opening of a blocked blood vessel using a thin tube with a balloon or another device on the end) and stents (the tubes that prop open a blood vessel) is no better at preventing heart attacks than nonsurgical therapeutic treatments, such as taking aspirin or cholesterol-reducing drugs.
The reason that the free marketeers and their cohorts in industry oppose Canadian-style single-payer, or even French or German-style universal coverage has got nothing to do waiting lists and everything to do with the restrictions on prices and incomes that those governments put on the corporations selling to, and the people working in, the health care industry.
Little by little by little there is some hope that the “war” on drugs is becoming a political issue – the first step in undoing a set of policies that make little sense no matter how you look at them. Now, only a brave and sloppy analyst would claim there was really any reason to expect a major rethinking about the 25 disastrous of the drug war by American law enforcement and politicians. But for the first time in a while, there’s hope.
Two weeks ago appeared what seemed to be a very interesting survey in The New York Times. It suggested that most Americans were supportive of universal health care, and more importantly were interested in considering raising taxes to pay for it. Several gleeful commentators on the left, and even a few on the right, considered this was a new dawn for the health reform movement. Unfortunately this is nothing new.
But the train is out of the station on the reform message. Even though the chances of real reform are slim, everyone and their dog has a plan. Most of these plans are self-serving. And even the ones that aren’t are generally built on continuing the employment-based health care system that got us into this mess in the first place…