Viewpoints: Why Curing The Common Cold Is An Elusive Pursuit; Vaping’s Link To Smoking Is A ‘Bad Theory’
A selection of opinions on health care from news outlets around the country.
Why Vaping Isn't A 'Gateway' To Smoking
As Imre Lakatos so eloquently stated in 1973, “Blind commitment to a theory is not an intellectual virtue: it is an intellectual crime.” Indeed, blind commitment to a bad theory in the public policy realm will have long lasting impacts, negatively affecting the pursuit of improved public health. That is why it baffles me when otherwise smart researchers remain committed to bad theories. Indeed, the theory that e-cigarette use will lead to cigarette smoking is a bad theory. (Carrie Wade, 1/6)
Science: No Cure For Common Cold?
We've found thousands of distant planets, but not a cure for the common cold. What gives? It’s a paradox of science: How is it that researchers keep achieving the impossible while leaving seemingly simple tasks incomplete? As astronomer Martin Rees put it in a recent essay in The Atlantic, scientists can detect two black holes colliding a billion light years away, and yet they’ve learned very little about how to treat the common cold common cold. (Faye Flam, 1/8)
The New York Times:
Diabetes Shouldn’t Bankrupt You
If there was one thing that doomed the Republican proposals to remake health care last year, it was the great uncertainty about how they would cover patients with chronic illness and pre-existing conditions. Throngs of people with a wide range of ailments staged dramatic protests in and around the halls of Congress during the debate. Night after night, Jimmy Kimmel, whose infant son was born with a serious congenital heart defect, took up the cause on his talk show. (Elisabeth Rosenthal, 1/6)
Los Angeles Times:
Orrin Hatch Is Leaving The Senate, But His Deadliest Law Will Live On
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) last made a public splash during the debate over the GOP's tax cut bill in December, when he threw a conniption over the suggestion that the bill would favor the wealthy (who will reap about 80% of its benefits by 2027). Hatch subsequently announced his retirement from the Senate as of the end of this term, writing finis to his 40 years of service. In that time, he has shown himself to be a master of the down-is-up, wrong-is-right method of obfuscating his favors to rich patrons. That was especially the case with his sedulous defense for 20 years of his deadliest legislative achievement. We're talking about the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, or DSHEA (pronounced "D-shay"). Hatch introduced DSHEA in collaboration with then-Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), but there was no doubt that it was chiefly his baby. The act all but eliminated government regulation of the dietary and herbal supplements industry. (Michael Hiltzik, 1/5)
Medical Schools Shouldn't Divorce Education From Politics
Many medical schools don’t encourage political thought in their students, far less nurture it. That’s a shame because it squanders an opportunity to equip future thought leaders to deal with serious concerns facing the U.S. population, many of which have their tentacles in politics. ... Politics is the way that civilized societies are supposed to decide how limited resources should be distributed. It makes sense, then, to say that health care is a political issue. (Faiz Kidwai, 1/5)