Health Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Health Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important health articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Wendell Potter on Profits Before Patients
2009-07-10, PBS Bill Moyers Journal
Last month, testimony in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation by a former health insurance insider named Wendell Potter made news even before it occurred: CBS NEWS headlined: "Cigna Whistleblower to Testify." After Potter's testimony the industry scrambled to do damage control: "Insurers defend rescissions, take heat for lack of transparency." In his first extended television interview since leaving the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter tells Bill Moyers why he left his successful career as the head of Public Relations for CIGNA, one of the nation's largest insurers, and decided to speak out against the industry. Potter began his trip from health care spokesperson to reform advocate while back home in Tennessee. Potter attended a "health care expedition," a makeshift health clinic set up at a fairgrounds, and he tells Bill Moyers, "It was absolutely stunning. When I walked through the fairground gates, I saw hundreds of people lined up, in the rain. It was raining that day. Lined up, waiting to get care, in animal stalls. Animal stalls." Looking back over his long career, Potter sees an industry corrupted by Wall Street expectations and greed. According to Potter, insurers have every incentive to deny coverage — every dollar they don't pay out to a claim is a dollar they can add to their profits, and Wall Street investors demand they pay out less every year. Under these conditions, Potter says, "You don't think about individual people. You think about the numbers, and whether or not you're going to meet Wall Street's expectations."
Note: To educate yourself on this important issue, watch this revealing PBS Bill Moyers segment available here.
U.S. to vaccinate millions against swine flu
2009-07-10, Washington Post
School-age children will be a key target population for a pandemic flu vaccine in the fall, and they may be vaccinated at school in a mass campaign not seen since the polio epidemics of the 1950s. The federal government should get about 100 million doses of vaccine by mid-October, if the current production by five companies goes as planned. But enough vaccine for wide use by the 120 million people especially vulnerable to the newly emerged strain of H1N1 influenza virus will not be available until later in the fall. Those were among the messages administration officials delivered to about 500 state, territorial, city and tribal health officials yesterday at a "flu summit" at the National Institutes of Health's Bethesda campus. President Obama, speaking by audio link from the Group of Eight summit in L'Aquila, Italy, urged "complete ownership" of preparations for what he termed a "significant outbreak" of H1N1 flu in the next few months. "We want to make sure that we are not promoting panic, but we are promoting vigilance and preparation," he said. He added that "the most important thing for us to do is to make sure that state and local officials prepare now to implement a vaccination program in the fall." Children, pregnant women, adults with chronic illnesses, and health-care workers would probably be first in line for the vaccine, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the gathering. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said "we would absolutely welcome" the idea that the nation's schools be a principal venue for delivering the vaccine. He called them "natural sites" and said that "to open our doors and be part of the solution really makes sense."
Note: The fear-mongering and vaccination plan continues. Note the Post's claim that "more than 1 million Americans have become ill from it." Where did they get this number? The CDC website at this link as of July 10th claims around 40,000 cases in the US. Could this mistake have been intentional? For lots more on this, see this link. And to watch a powerful segment from CBS 60 Minutes showing how government propoganda killed and maimed thousands during the swine flu scare of 1976, click here.
Coffee 'may reverse Alzheimer's'
2009-07-05, BBC News
Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer's disease, US scientists say. The Florida research, carried out on mice, also suggested caffeine hampered the production of the protein plaques which are the hallmark of the disease. The 55 mice used in the University of South Florida study had been bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. First the researchers used behavioural tests to confirm the mice were exhibiting signs of memory impairment when they were aged 18 to 19 months, the equivalent to humans being about 70. Then they gave half the mice caffeine in their drinking water. The rest were given plain water. The mice were given the equivalent of five 8 oz (227 grams) cups of coffee a day - about 500 milligrams of caffeine. When the mice were tested again after two months, those who were given the caffeine performed much better on tests measuring their memory and thinking skills and performed as well as mice of the same age without dementia. Those drinking plain water continued to do poorly on the tests. In addition, the brains of the mice given caffeine showed nearly a 50% reduction in levels of the beta amyloid protein, which forms destructive clumps in the brains of dementia patients. Dr Gary Arendash, who led the latest study, told the BBC: "The results are particularly exciting in that a reversal of pre-existing memory impairment is more difficult to achieve. They provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable 'treatment' for established Alzheimer's disease and not simply a protective strategy. That's important because caffeine is a safe drug for most people, it easily enters the brain, and it appears to directly affect the disease process."
Note: For many highly informative health reports from reliable sources, click here.
Britain's National Health Service: Simple, sensible and civilized
2009-07-05, Los Angeles Times
For the first couple of years I lived in Britain, I was an illegal immigrant from the United States, visaless with an expired passport and looking over my shoulder all the time. Even so, from the very first day I arrived at Victoria Station in London, suffering from bronchitis, I was accepted in the NHS -- the national health scheme, we called it -- no questions asked and no ID required. After I'd become a legal resident, I asked my doctor why he had taken me, almost literally off the boat, with so little fuss. Weren't foreigners a drain on his time and the National Health Service? He shrugged. "If you come here with a contagious disease, we don't want you infecting the rest of us. So of course we give you medical care. Purely selfish on our part."
For three decades I used and, being of a hypochondriacal nature, exploited the British medical system without paying a farthing except for the taxes taken out of my wages as a working journalist. And that single-payer, socialistic, government-run, bureaucratized, heavily used, nationalized health system served me -- and 50 million others -- very well. In need, I saw many doctors, with no money ever changing hands. There was nothing to sign, hardly any papers to shuffle. My primary-care physician ran his "surgery," his office, with the help of only one receptionist whose job it was to arrange appointments. It was all free, including specialists, and I came to believe that healthcare is a right, not an entitlement I had paid for. This "free" part sometimes puzzled my visiting American friends. When they got ill in London, I'd send them to my doctor, who would smile bemusedly when offered money.
Purity of Federal 'Organic' Label Is Questioned
2009-07-03, Washington Post
Three years ago, U.S. Department of Agriculture employees determined that synthetic additives in organic baby formula violated federal standards and should be banned from a product carrying the federal organic label. Today the same additives, purported to boost brainpower and vision, can be found in 90 percent of organic baby formula. The government's turnaround, from prohibition to permission, came after a USDA program manager was lobbied by the formula makers and overruled her staff. That decision and others by a handful of USDA employees, along with an advisory board's approval of a growing list of non-organic ingredients, have helped numerous companies win a coveted green-and-white "USDA Organic" seal on an array of products. Grated organic cheese, for example, contains wood starch to prevent clumping. Organic beer can be made from non-organic hops. Relaxation of the federal standards, and an explosion of consumer demand, have helped push the organics market into a $23 billion-a-year business, the fastest growing segment of the food industry. Half of the country's adults say they buy organic food often or sometimes, according to a survey last year by the Harvard School of Public Health. But the USDA program's shortcomings mean that consumers, who at times must pay twice as much for organic products, are not always getting what they expect: foods without pesticides and other chemicals, produced in a way that is gentle to the environment. "It will unravel everything we've done if the standards can no longer be trusted," said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who sponsored the federal organics legislation. "If we don't protect the brand, the organic label, the program is finished. It could disappear overnight."
Note: For many revealing reports from major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Senate Bill Would Fine People More Than $1,000 for Refusing Health Care Coverage
2009-07-02, Fox News/Associated Press
Americans who refuse to buy affordable medical coverage could be hit with fines of more than $1,000 under a health care overhaul bill unveiled Thursday by key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama's top domestic priority. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the fines will raise around $36 billion over 10 years. Senate aides said the penalties would be modeled on the approach taken by Massachusetts, which now imposes a fine of about $1,000 a year on individuals who refuse to get coverage. Under the federal legislation, families would pay higher penalties than individuals.
In a revamped health care system envisioned by lawmakers, people would be required to carry health insurance just like motorists must get auto coverage now. The government would provide subsidies for the poor and many middle-class families, but those who still refuse to sign up would face penalties. Called "shared responsibility payments," the fines would be set at least half the cost of basic medical coverage, according to the legislation. The goal is to nudge people to sign up for coverage when they are healthy, not wait until they get sick. The legislation would exempt certain hardship cases from fines. The fines would be collected through the income tax system. Obama wants a bill this year that would provide coverage to the nearly 50 million Americans who lack it and reduce medical costs. In a statement, Obama welcomed the legislation, saying it "reflects many of the principles I've laid out." The government's costs would be covered by a combination of higher taxes and cuts in projected Medicare and Medicaid spending.
Note: How can Congress even consider forcing people to buy insurance with threat of a major fine? What happened to the country of freedom and liberty? And is the people or the HMOs who benefit here?
Health Insurance Insider: 'They Dump the Sick'
2009-06-24, ABC News
Frustrated Americans have long complained that their insurance companies valued the all-mighty buck over their health care. Today, a retired insurance executive confirmed their suspicions, arguing that the industry that once employed him regularly rips off its policyholders. "[T]hey confuse their customers and dump the sick, all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors," former Cigna senior executive Wendell Potter said during a hearing on health insurance today before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Potter, who has more than 20 years of experience working in public relations for insurance companies Cigna and Humana, said companies routinely drop seriously ill policyholders so they can meet "Wall Street's relentless profit expectations." "They look carefully to see if a sick policyholder may have omitted a minor illness, a pre-existing condition, when applying for coverage, and then they use that as justification to cancel the policy, even if the enrollee has never missed a premium payment," Potter said. Small businesses, in particular, he said, have had trouble maintaining their employee health insurance coverage, he said. "All it takes is one illness or accident among employees at a small business to prompt an insurance company to hike the next year's premiums so high that the employer has to cut benefits, shop for another carrier, or stop offering coverage altogether," he said. More and more people, he said, are falling victim to "deceptive marketing practices" that encourage them to buy "what essentially is fake insurance," policies with high costs but surprisingly limited benefits.
Note: For lots more on corruption in the health industry, click here.
Weed-Whacking Herbicide Proves Deadly to Human Cells
2009-06-23, Scientific American
Used in yards, farms and parks throughout the world, Roundup has long been a top-selling weed killer. But now researchers have found that one of Roundup’s inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. The new findings intensify a debate about so-called “inerts” – the solvents, preservatives, surfactants and other substances that manufacturers add to pesticides. Nearly 4,000 inert ingredients are approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is the most widely used herbicide in the United States. About 100 million pounds are applied to U.S. farms and lawns every year, according to the EPA. Until now, most health studies have focused on the safety of glyphosate, rather than the mixture of ingredients found in Roundup. But in the new study, scientists found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells – even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns. One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself –- a finding the researchers call “astonishing.” “This clearly confirms that the [inert ingredients] in Roundup formulations are not inert,” wrote the study authors from France’s University of Caen. “Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death [at the] residual levels” found on Roundup-treated crops, such as soybeans, alfalfa and corn, or lawns and gardens.
Note: Monsanto, Roundup’s manufacturer, is the same company that has been using a corrupt judicial system to bankrupt farmers who won't use their seeds. For more on this important topic, click here.
Health care outrage goes uncovered
You probably have never heard of Robin Beaton, and that's what's wrong with the debate over health care reform. Beaton, a retired nurse from Waxahachie, Texas, had health insurance -- or so she thought. She paid her premiums faithfully every month, but when she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, her health insurance company, Blue Cross, dumped her. The insurance company said the fact that she had seen a dermatologist for acne, who mistakenly entered a notation on her chart that suggested her simple acne was a precancerous condition, allowed Blue Cross to leave her in the lurch. Beaton testified before a House subcommittee this week. So did other Americans who thought they had insurance but got the shaft. The subcommittee's chairman, Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan, called the hearing to highlight the obnoxious and unethical practice called rescission. His researchers produced performance reviews of insurance company bureaucrats who were praised and rewarded for kicking people off their coverage. Then Stupak asked three health insurance executives the big question: Will your company pledge to end the practice of rescission except in cases of intentional fraud? All three health insurance executives said no. It was as dramatic as congressional testimony gets. Yet it got no airtime on the networks, nor, as far as I can tell, on cable news, although CNN.com did run a story. The story did not make The New York Times. Nor The Washington Post, which found space on the front page the morning after the hearing for a story on the cancellation of Fourth of July fireworks in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, but not a story on the cancellation of health insurance for deathly ill Americans who've paid their premiums.
Note: For lots more on corruption in the health industry, click here.
Inventory Uncovers 9,200 More Pathogens
2009-06-18, Washington Post
An inventory of potentially deadly pathogens at Fort Detrick's infectious disease laboratory found more than 9,000 vials that had not been accounted for, Army officials said yesterday, raising concerns that officials wouldn't know whether dangerous toxins were missing. After four months of searching about 335 freezers and refrigerators at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick, investigators found 9,220 samples that hadn't been included in a database of about 66,000 items listed as of February, said Col. Mark Kortepeter, the institute's deputy commander. The vials contained some dangerous pathogens, among them the Ebola virus, anthrax bacteria and botulinum toxin, and less lethal agents such as Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and the bacterium that causes tularemia. Most of them, forgotten inside freezer drawers, hadn't been used in years or even decades. Officials said some serum samples from hemorrhagic fever patients dated to the Korean War. The overstock and the previous inaccuracy of the database raised the possibility that someone could have taken a sample outside the lab with no way for officials to know something was missing. The institute has been under pressure to tighten security in the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks, which killed five people and sickened 17. FBI investigators say they think the anthrax strain used in the attacks originated at the Army lab, and its prime suspect, Bruce E. Ivins, researched anthrax there. Ivins committed suicide last year during an investigation into his activities.
Note: Fort Detrick is the home of the government lab which is suspected to be involved with the creation of many previously unknown lethal viruses and germs. For lots more, see the excellent work of Dr. Leonard Horowitz at this link and this one.
Swine flu shots may go to kids first, Sebelius says
2009-06-16, USA Today/Associated Press
Schoolchildren could be first in line for swine flu vaccine this fall — and schools are being put on notice that they might even be turned into shot clinics. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday she is urging school superintendents around the country to spend the summer preparing for that possibility, if the government goes ahead with mass vaccinations. "If you think about vaccinating kids, schools are the logical place," Sebelius told The Associated Press. No decision has been made yet on whether and how to vaccinate millions of Americans against the new flu strain that the World Health Organization last week formally dubbed a pandemic, meaning it now is circulating the globe unchecked. But the U.S. is pouring money into development of a vaccine in anticipation of giving at least some people the shots.
While swine flu doesn't yet seem any more lethal than the regular flu that each winter kills 36,000 people in the U.S. alone, scientists fear it may morph into a more dangerous type. Even in its current form, the WHO says about half of the more than 160 people worldwide killed by swine flu so far were previously young and healthy. If that trend continues, "the target may be school-age children as a first priority" for vaccination, Sebelius said Tuesday. "That's being watched carefully." The last mass vaccination against a different swine flu, in the U.S. in 1976, was marred by reports of a paralyzing side effect — for a feared outbreak that never happened. The secretary said: "The worst of all worlds is to have the vaccine cause more damage than the flu potential."
Note: This article admits "swine flu doesn't yet seem any more lethal than the regular flu that each winter kills 36,000 people in the U.S. alone." Be very cautious around any vaccination campaign. Vaccines are extremely poorly regulated and known to fill the wallets of rich politicians invested in them. For lots more reliable, verifiable information on this, click here.
Lawmakers Reveal Health-Care Investments
2009-06-13, Washington Post
Almost 30 key lawmakers helping draft landmark health-care legislation have financial holdings in the industry, totaling nearly $11 million worth of personal investments in a sector that could be dramatically reshaped by this summer's debate. The list of members who have personal investments in the corporations that will be affected by the legislation -- which President Obama has called this year's highest domestic priority -- includes Congress's most powerful leaders and a bipartisan collection of lawmakers in key committee posts. Their total health-care holdings could be worth $27 million, because congressional financial disclosure forms released yesterday require reporting of only broad ranges of holdings rather than precise values of assets.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), for instance, has at least $50,000 invested in a health-care index, and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), a senior member of the health committee, has between $254,000 and $560,000 worth of stock holdings in major health-care companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck. The family of Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee drafting that chamber's legislation, held at least $3.2 million in more than 20 health-care companies at the end of last year. "If someone is going to be substantially enriched by the consequences of the vote, particularly if it represents a meaningful amount of their net worth, then there is a problem," said Harlan Krumholz, a professor of medicine at Yale University.
Note: For more powerful information on major corruption in health care reform, click here. For lots more on government corruption from reliable, verfiiable sources, click here.
Meet Your New Farmer: Hungry Corporate Giant
2009-06-12, New York Times
Forget buckets of blood. Nothing says horror like one of those tubs of artificially buttered, nonorganic popcorn at the concession stand. That, at least, is one of the unappetizing lessons to draw from one of the scariest movies of the year, “Food, Inc.,” an informative ... documentary about the big business of feeding or, more to the political point, force-feeding, Americans all the junk that multinational corporate money can buy. You’ll shudder, shake and just possibly lose your genetically modified lunch. The director Robert Kenner jumps all over the food map, from industrial feedlots where millions of cruelly crammed cattle mill about in their own waste until slaughter, to the chains where millions of consumers gobble down industrially produced meat and an occasional serving of E. coli bacteria. The voice in the opening belongs to the ethical epicurean and locavore champion Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Mr. Pollan ... is a great strength of “Food, Inc.,” as is one of its co-producers, Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation. [They], together with Mr. Kenner, chart how and why the villains not only outnumber the heroes in contemporary food production, but also how and why they outbluff, outmuscle and outspend their opponents by billions of often government-subsidized dollars. The movie takes a look at the animal abuse in industrial food production — including clandestine images of sick and crippled cows being prodded to join the rest of the ill-fated herd — but its main focus is on the human cost. It’s a cost visible in the rounded bodies of a poor family that eats cheap if filling fast-food burgers for breakfast and in the obscured faces of farmers too frightened to go on record about Monsanto, the agricultural biotech giant.
Note: For another excellent review of this important film, click here.
MIA may be a quarantine site in pandemic
2009-06-10, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
Miami International Airport [MIA] and 18 other major American airports have been lined up to handle a future pandemic that could require them to quarantine international flights. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up stand-by quarantine/screening facilities at the 19 airports to which all flights from affected countries would be diverted. Nationally, airline and airport lobbyists predict chaos, saying there is no way the air-traffic system can handle such extensive rerouting. Now, new proposals are emerging in Washington, including one that would designate Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Orlando International and four other major airports as potential second-tier quarantine sites. Local officials say they understand the CDC will approve the new designations only if the airports pay for the quarantine facilities themselves. The CDC would pay for the quarantine stations at the 19 primary airports. The facilities are not cheap. A 2008 study by the Federal Aviation Administration concluded that setting aside space for health screenings and a quarantine of up to 200 people could cost $15,000 a month, with costs of an actual quarantine running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood officials began developing a plan to handle quarantined passengers and flights several years ago during the bird flu scare. It calls for erecting air-conditioned tents on the runway ramps to screen or quarantine passengers before they enter the terminal. Quarantined passengers might have to remain for days to show they are not infectious.
Drug Agency May Reveal More Data on Actions
2009-06-02, New York Times
For years, the Food and Drug Administration has withheld information about drugs and medical devices from the public when their makers cite trade secrecy — even in cases where the agency suspects that the products are causing serious illness or death. Now the new leadership at the F.D.A. may change that. The Obama administration ... is setting up a task force within the agency to recommend ways to reveal more information about F.D.A. decisions, possibly including the disclosure of now secret data about drugs and devices under study. The goal is to open up a system in which the agency failed to inform the public that a widely prescribed heartburn drug was especially toxic to babies; that a diabetes medicine and a painkiller increased heart attack risks; and that antidepressants increased suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and teenagers. “Many people have been harmed over the last decade because the F.D.A. has treated clinical trial results of drugs and devices as trade secrets,” said Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic who has campaigned for the release of such information. In 2007, Dr. Nissen published a study showing that Avandia, a popular diabetes medicine made by GlaxoSmithKline, increased the risk of heart attack by 42 percent. The data Dr. Nissen used was made public because of a lawsuit, but the agency had known of the possible risk for nearly two years. Repeated scandals led the Bush administration in 2005 to promise to make public its product safety investigations more quickly, but it did not recommend changing the laws and regulations that govern the release of trade secrets and agency records.
Note: For a powerful summary of corrupt practices by government and corporations in the pharmaceutical industry, click here.
Can Positive Thoughts Help Heal Another Person?
Ninety percent of Americans say they pray — for their health, or their love life or their final exams. But does prayer do any good? For decades, scientists have tried to test the power of prayer and positive thinking, with mixed results. Now some scientists are fording new — and controversial — territory. When I first meet Sheri Kaplan, she is perched on a plastic chair at a Miami clinic, holding out her arm as a researcher draws several vials of blood. "I'm quite excited about my blood work this time," she says. "I've got no stress and I'm proud of it." Kaplan is tanned and freckled, with wavy red hair and a cocky laugh. She is defiantly healthy for a person who has lived with HIV for the past 15 years. "God didn't want me to die or even get sick," she asserts. "I've never had any opportunistic infections, because I had no time to be down." Kaplan's faith is unorthodox, but it's central to her life. She was raised Jewish, and although she claims no formal religion now, she prays and meditates every day. She believes God is keeping the virus at bay and that her faith is the reason she's alive today. "Everything starts from a thought, and then the thought creates a reaction," she says. "And I have the power to control my mind, before it gets to a physical level or an emotional level." Kaplan has never taken medicine, yet the disease has not progressed to AIDS (and she is not part of the population that has a mutation in the CCR5 gene that prevents progression of HIV to AIDS).
Hospitalization Rates Higher in Kids Who Get Flu Shots
2009-05-19, Forbes magazine
Children who get the annual flu vaccine, especially those who have asthma, may be more likely to be hospitalized than children who don't get the shot, a new study shows. But the researcher noted ... "This may not be a reflection of the vaccine but that these patients are the sickest, and their doctors insist they get a vaccination," said study author Dr. Avni Y. Joshi, a fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "I would be very cautious about interpreting this," said Dr. Gurjit Khurana Hershey, director of asthma research and professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. "The bottom line is that kids with asthma who get the flu vaccine are probably a different population anyway. They may be the more severely ill children, so it may have very little to do with the vaccine." The study has too many unknowns and covers too wide an age range over too many flu seasons to indicate any change in recommendations, said Dr. Hank Bernstein, a member of the committee on infectious diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The authors looked back at 263 children aged 6 months to 18 years who had visited the Mayo Clinic between 1999 and 2006 with laboratory-confirmed influenza. Children -- including children who had asthma -- who received the annual inactivated flu vaccine were almost three times more likely to be hospitalized than those who were not inoculated.
Note: With hospitalization rates nearly three times that of children who did not get vaccinated, why are these doctors downplaying this study so much? Why the focus on asthma, when the study covered a wide range of children? Why isn't anyone calling fo rmore research on these striking results? For lots of articles raising serious questions about the safety of vaccines, click here.
Health care's enigma in chief
2009-05-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
The most stunning and least reported news about President Obama's press conference with health industry executives this week wasn't those executives' willingness to negotiate with a Democrat. It was that Democrat's eagerness to involve those executives in a discussion about health care reform even as they revealed their previous plans to pilfer $2 trillion from Americans. That was the little-noticed message from the made-for-TV spectacle administration officials called a health care "game changer": In saying they can voluntarily slash $200 billion a year from the country's medical bills over the next decade and still preserve their profits, health care companies implicitly acknowledged they were plotting to fleece consumers, and have been fleecing them for years. With that acknowledgment came the tacit admission that the industry's business is based not on respectable returns but on grotesque profiteering and waste - the kind that can give up $2 trillion and still guarantee huge margins. Chief among the profiteers at the White House event were insurance companies, which have raised premiums by 119 percent since 1999, and one obvious question is why - why would Obama engage those particular thieves? It's a difficult query to answer, because Obama is a health care mystery, struggling to muster consistent positions on the issue. Listening to a 2003 Obama speech, it's hard to believe he has become such an enigma. Back then, he declared himself "a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program" - i.e., one eliminating private insurers and their overhead costs by having government finance health care.
Note: For lots more on health issues from reliable sources, click here.
Tamiflu Developer: Swine Flu Could Have Come From Bio-Experiment Lab
2009-05-14, ABC News
An Australian researcher claims the swine flu, which has killed at least 64 people so far, might not be a mutation that occurred naturally but a man-made product of genetic experiments accidently leaked from a laboratory -- a theory the World Health Organization is taking very seriously. Adrian Gibbs, a scientist on the team that was behind the development of Tamiflu, says in a report he is submitting today that swine flu might have been created using eggs to grow viruses and make new vaccines, and could have been accidently leaked to the general public. "It might be some sort of simple error that's not being recognized," Gibbs said on ABC's "Good Morning America." In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Gibbs admitted there are other ways to explain swine flu's origin. "One of the simplest explanations if that it's a laboratory escape, but there are lots of others," he said. Regardless of the validity of Gibb's claims, he and several experts say that just bringing the idea of laboratory security to the public's attention is important. "There are lives at risk," Gibbs said. "The sooner this idea gets out, the better."
Note: What would cause one of the developers of Tamiflu to make such a statement? If you read between the lines, there is much more here than meets the eye. For lots more on this intriguing development, click here.
The danger of drugs … and data
2009-05-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A fascinating court case in Australia has been playing out around some people who had heart attacks after taking the Merck drug, Vioxx. This medication turned out to increase the risk of heart attacks in people taking it, although that finding was arguably buried in their research, and Merck has paid out more than £2bn to 44,000 people in America. The first ... thing to emerge in the Australian case is email documentation showing staff at Merck made a "hit list" of doctors who were critical of the company, or of the drug. This list contained words such as "neutralise", "neutralised" and "discredit" next to the names of various doctors. "We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live," said one email, from a Merck employee. Staff are also alleged to have used other tactics, such as trying to interfere with academic appointments, and dropping hints about how funding to institutions might dry up. Worse still, is the revelation that Merck paid the publisher Elsevier to produce a publication. This time Elsevier Australia went the whole hog, giving Merck an entire publication which resembled an academic journal, although in fact it only contained reprinted articles, or summaries, of other articles.
Note: For a superb overview of corruption in the pharmaceutical industry by a leading MD and former medical journal editor, click here.
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