2008 Presidential Candidates on the Issues of Biomedical Research and Healthcare

A major determinant of America’s health and competitiveness in the world is progress in the life sciences. Over the past twenty years, the life sciences have had a tremendous impact on human health through the understanding of the molecular basis of disease and the development of new diagnostics, therapeutics and other medical products. Given the significance of biomedical research on healthcare, I felt it was important to highlight the 2008 presidential candidates’ positions. A number of online resources are discussed in this post and listed at the end of the article. With the election less than two weeks away, it is paramount that voters know where the presidential candidates’ stand on these essential issues.

Living Healthy Isn’t Cost Saving, It’s Cost Effective

There are a lot of good reasons for people to lose weight and to quit smoking. However, according to a new study published in PLoS Medicine, saving money on lifetime healthcare costs isn’t one of them [1].

Physician Profiling

The Washington Post published an interesting article today on physician profiling.

In the fight to control healthcare costs, employers and insurance companies are now monitoring physican performance. Using sophisticated computer software to analyze millions of health claims and billing data, doctors are being profiled. Physician profiles are rated and used to direct patients to effective and reasonably priced healthcare.

Healthcare Costs and the Looming U.S. Budget Crisis

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a report last month on the state of the U.S. economy [1]. The report warns that the U.S. is headed for a budget crisis unless it reforms healthcare spending.

An Inconvenient Financial Truth – Healthcare Costs Endanger U.S. Financial Stability

The federal government has made financial promises over the next 75 years at an estimated value of $50 trillion dollars. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), medicare obligations alone represent almost $39 trillion of that amount and have increased 197% since 2000 [1].

You read that right — future Social Security benefits and future Medicare benefits increased 197% from 2000 to 2006.

And — here’s the clincher — in the absence of extensive reform to both the Medicare program and the nation’s healthcare system, the government won’t have the money to meet those financial promises.