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Topic: Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

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  1. #1

    Thumbs down Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

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    http://slate.msn.com/id/2106453/

    The other head-scratcher uttered by Kerry in the past two days came Wednesday in Greensboro, N.C. There, in response to a question from a woman about the health problems caused by mold and indoor air contamination—and her complaint, "There's not one agency in this government that has come forward" to deal with the problem—Kerry endorsed the creation of a new federal department. "What I want to do, what I'm determined to do, and it's in my health-care plan, is refocus America on something that can reduce the cost of health care significantly for all Americans, which is wellness and prevention," Kerry said. So far, so good. But then, "And I intend to have not just a Department of Health and Human Services, but a Department of Wellness." Again, what? Apparently this idea comes from Teresa Heinz Kerry, who told the Boston Herald in January 2003 that she would, in the Herald's words, "be an activist first lady, lobbying for a Department of Wellness that would stress preventive health." Oh, boy. Preventive health is a fine idea, but do we need a new agency—I assume it's not Cabinet-level—to handle it?

    You know. Actor Ron Silver (A democrat mind you ) says it best in his support of Bush in this upcoming election. Years from now, he fears our children will be looking back on these times...with the war on terror and all the threats against us as a nation and they will be saying, "You were arguing about privatizing social security and talking about health care in that election?"

    That's just what we need. Maybe while Kerry is at it he can add a Dept. of Hugs and Kisses. His second term administration can open the Dept. of the Homeless and Laundry.

    And the best part is this seems indicative of what a Kerry administration would bring domestically. I am speaking of Tereza Heinz. Since the Dept. of Wellness is originally her dumb idea. It is like buy one, get one free with these people.

    For the love of all that is....
    Regards,
    Brian W. Ralston

    Check out my new FREE iPhone App! Click Here!

  2. #2

    Re: Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

    Personally, I'm thrilled to hear about the proposal - if not the name.

    My sister-in-law passed away from cancer less than one month ago. She was 39 and left behind a husband and two children, 4 and 11.

    During her illness I was stunned at the ineffectiveness of the AMA-sponsored treatments. It was evident that the treatments undermined her quality of life, and any life extension provided is debatable.

    Cancer research is big business, but the results have been piss poor. Lots of money to be made on selling snake oil though. It's poison, but it's the more effective than the poison they sold last year. And if you're really lucky you'll eventually be in "remission". They stopped using the word "cure" long ago.

    But there is a cure for cancer: don't get it in the first place! So how much money do we spend on prevention studies? Virtually nothing. You can't make the big bucks by telling people to eat blueberries and elliminate certain chemicals from their diets and shampoos. How about alternative medicine studies? None. They get shut down by the FDA.

    For more information than I could ever type look here.

    The drug companies will not do trials that do not help them make money by selling drugs. Private individuals do not have the resources to do studies on prevention. Organizations can, but not if the FDA disallows the studies.

    The NIH funds drug research today. We need to ensure that a sizable percentage of the money goes towards studies on prevention and the strengthening of the immune system by both what we take into our bodies and what we avoid.

    Yes, terrorism and war are threats to our security. Cancer and other diseases can kill us just as dead. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, more than 4.9 million people die per year from cancer worldwide. The statistics on terrorism pale in comparison.

    You may or may not know somebody who died from terrorism. I guarantee that you know somebody who has died from cancer. Likely more than just a few.

    That Kerry will promote wellness gives me hope that he has the guts to fight the AMA and the drug companies for health over profits. When it comes to drug industry lobbyists, Bush is a pathetic wimp.

    Fighting for our health over drug company profits? Now that's leadership.

    -JF

  3. #3

    Re: Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

    Jon,

    I'm sorry to hear about your loss, but I don't see how a Dept of Wellness would have changed your sister's outcome.

    I don't think leadership is creating a new department, especially if there is a current department established for such matters (besides the Office of the Surgeon General of the US).

    If the current department is feckless, what sense does it make to create a second and what proof is there that the second would be any more competent than the first?

    Leadership would be making the current Dept of Health and Human Services do their job, or better yet, scrap the entire dept and tell people that their state departments are responsible and that they need to have their state services help them.

    There is a saying that "America is a country that can choke on a gnat, yet swallow tigers whole". Kerry's campaign is suffering because he's addressing the gnat problem while Bush is focusing on the tiger issue.


  4. #4

    Re: Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

    I agree that simply creating a department is not the solution. Setting the agenda is. Had there been serious funding for cancer prevention and enhancement of the immune system, it is very possible that many outcomes could have been changed, but we will not know until the studies are performed in earnest.

    BTW, if the gnats are actually mosquitos and they carry malaria, we had better deal with both the tiger and the mosquitos.

    -JF

  5. #5

    Re: Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

    This would fit in nicely with his "more sensitive" war on terror.

  6. #6

    Re: Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    My sister-in-law passed away from cancer less than one month ago. She was 39 and left behind a husband and two children, 4 and 11.

    During her illness I was stunned at the ineffectiveness of the AMA-sponsored treatments. It was evident that the treatments undermined her quality of life, and any life extension provided is debatable.

    Cancer research is big business, but the results have been piss poor. Lots of money to be made on selling snake oil though. It's poison, but it's the more effective than the poison they sold last year. And if you're really lucky you'll eventually be in "remission". They stopped using the word "cure" long ago.

    But there is a cure for cancer: don't get it in the first place! So how much money do we spend on prevention studies? Virtually nothing. You can't make the big bucks by telling people to eat blueberries and elliminate certain chemicals from their diets and shampoos. How about alternative medicine studies? None. They get shut down by the FDA.

    For more information than I could ever type look here.
    Jon...I have a degree in Biochemistry. My senior thesis project was working on Breast Cancer research and developing a technique that would be used in future studies to try to prevent the spread of cancer throughout the body. Respectfully, I probably know a lot more about cancer than you do, despite your family being touched by it personally (which mine has been too by the way).

    The FDA does what it does (being caucious with new approvals) mostly because of lawyers and frivilous lawsuits. Imagine quickly approving a drug or procedure and then getting sued because there was something harmful to it that was not found in the "rushed" clinical trials.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    The drug companies will not do trials that do not help them make money by selling drugs. Private individuals do not have the resources to do studies on prevention. Organizations can, but not if the FDA disallows the studies.

    The NIH funds drug research today. We need to ensure that a sizable percentage of the money goes towards studies on prevention and the strengthening of the immune system by both what we take into our bodies and what we avoid.
    This is also an area where I know first hand because I worked for a Neurologist for 3 years doing clinical research for Pharmaceutical companies for new drugs in many areas including Alzheimers, Epilepsy, Parkinsons's Disease, MS, Migraine head aches, Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy and more. I never found ANY individual either on our end (Doctors office and research lab which was basically me collecting all data) or on the Pharmaceutical companies end that did not have the best interests of patients in mind when trying to develope new drugs to fight these ailments. The motivation was always "if we could only help". These are good people Jon. Not motivated by greed...but by the will to help others and a genuine excitement in the possibilities new technologies might bring to medicine.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    Yes, terrorism and war are threats to our security. Cancer and other diseases can kill us just as dead. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, more than 4.9 million people die per year from cancer worldwide. The statistics on terrorism pale in comparison.
    true...until al Quaida sets off that nuclear bomb in the middle of NYC because your guy Kerry left it all up to law enforcement and officer Krupke to handle the war on terror.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    That Kerry will promote wellness gives me hope that he has the guts to fight the AMA and the drug companies for health over profits. When it comes to drug industry lobbyists, Bush is a pathetic wimp.
    Do you even know how much money is spent on drug development over the years and how many drugs get to the last stage of clinical trials after 10+years of study with many positive benefits, only to then be ripped apart by the FDA in the final stage of study because some retrospective analysis of data saw as many as 10 people out of thousands have something like "Peripheral Weakness"? This is the exact case of one promising Alzheimers drug called Metrifonate that will now never see the light of day. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent on your behalf to find cures for diseases that will never be recouped because the drug is now dead in the water. But no...no recognition of the drug companies doing any good there. None at all. It's all evil corporate profits isn't it Jon?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    Fighting for our health over drug company profits? Now that's leadership.
    This is nothing but a reckless proposal to expand Gov't in an area which is redundant and not needed. What do you think the Dept. of Health and Human services does? But no, instead of fixing what already exists, the proposal is to expand Gov't with idiotic ideas. And on the other side you complain of the deficeit.

    That's not leadership Jon...that's stupidity.
    Regards,
    Brian W. Ralston

    Check out my new FREE iPhone App! Click Here!

  7. #7

    Re: Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

    Brian,

    I absolutely agree that the overwhelming majority of researchers are working with the best interests of the patients at heart when developing new drugs.

    But look at the key phrases in that statement: "patients" are people who are already sick. "new drugs" are not about prevention, they are used as treatments for patients. The money sets the agenda of the researchers. I know. I work in a research lab. If we don't get funding for something, we don't do it. At least not in earnest nor for the long haul.

    Today the NIH spends millions (billions?) for drug research, subsidizing the drug industry. If Kerry directs some of this existing money towards prevention, I'm 100% for it. That doesn't necessarily increase spending or bureacracy. The concept is sound.

    There is nothing "stupid" about supporting the prevention of disease.

    Bush's approach to health and disease prevention is negligent at best and collusive at worst. Hell, the guy wrote a law saying the the very government he leads is not permitted to negotiate prices with the drug industry. The man doesn't permit the very group he heads to negotiate on our behalf? Let's fire the bastard and get somebody who will.

    -JF

  8. #8
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    Re: Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

    As many of us know, the AMA and the phamaceutical industry are not oriented toward prevention. I have yet to go to an MD for an illness and be asked about my diet, for example.

    I have not read about Kerry's proposal so I can't comment. But I feel that it is self-evident that any furtherance of the concept of prevention is helpful to people. Why would anyone object to that?

  9. #9

    Re: Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

    Quote Originally Posted by runamuck
    As many of us know, the AMA and the phamaceutical industry are not oriented toward prevention. I have yet to go to an MD for an illness and be asked about my diet, for example.

    I have not read about Kerry's proposal so I can't comment. But I feel that it is self-evident that any furtherance of the concept of prevention is helpful to people. Why would anyone object to that?
    My objection isn't to wellness as a tool for the prevention of illness...my objection is to Kerry's proposal to create a new governmental "Department of Wellness".

  10. #10

    Re: Kerry wants a "Dept. of Wellness"

    Quote Originally Posted by wes37
    Jon,

    There is a saying that "America is a country that can choke on a gnat, yet swallow tigers whole". Kerry's campaign is suffering because he's addressing the gnat problem while Bush is focusing on the tiger issue.

    You are brainwashed. 911 killed 3000. Cancer kills how many per year? How about dangerous working conditions in meat packing factories? or mis treated illness? or stress from overworking? Or guns? Try thinking for yourself instead of letting the media do it for you.

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