Today I appeared on the Sheer Balance internet radio program (podcast). It was a lot of fun. Sheer Balance is the brainchild of Brett Blumenthal. She’s launched the site dedicated to the balance of fitness, nutrition and health and I urge you to check it out (especially all the yogaphiles).
The topic was health care, and health care reform, and I appeared with two physicians: Dr. Desmond Ebanks, MD Founder of Alternity Healthcare and Georgianna Donadio, PhD, Founder and Director of the National Institute of Whole Health. We had a great conversation.
At one point, we talked about the costs of health care reform, and who was going to pay. It got pretty animated and I found myself in the somewhat unusual position of defending pharmaceutical companies and PhRMA.
Dr. Donadio seemed suprised to learn that pharmaceutical companies have agreed to spend $80 billion to help pay for health care reform. I agreed with her that they stood to make a lot of money in the process. But if that meant more patients could get more medicine, I say “Go For It!” Millions of people who need it aren’t getting it.
We all unfortunately agreed that tomorrow’s “Big Health Care Summit” is pretty much a waste of time. Republicans have been intransigent all year long and they’ve just picked off Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. You tell me they’re wiling to compromise now???
The real problem is that Democrats aren’t even together as a party on health care reform. If they were, then the House Democrats (who hold a 75-seat majority) would pass the Senate bill tomorrow and President Obama would sign it next week. Going through reconiliation is a bad strategy. Trying to blaming the Republicans for your own shortcomings is even worse.
Then I defended pharmaceutical company advertising. It was charged that advertising makes people take medicine they don’t really need. “Why is it bad when someone is educated through advertising?” I countered. Aren’t we TRYING to educate people about disease and prevention? I’d love to have a $50 million ad campaign promoting my cause, and so would many others. No one else has that kind of money.
Am I turning into a Republican? Defending drug companies and castigating Democrats. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Alternity Healthcare, Astella, Billy Tauzon, brett blumenthal, Desmond Ebanks, Eli Lilly, Georgianna Donadio, Lundbeck, merck, national health council, National Institute of Whole Health, Pfizer, PhRMA, Sheer balance, Wyeth |