The latest controversy brewing over President Obama's proclivity for circumventing the legislative branch (and the Constitution) is his recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the monstrous Medicare and Medicaid bureaucracy. Those opposing Berwick's appointment describe him as a "radical" and a "socialist," while supporters laud his "humanity" and "irrefutable qualifications."
With brave new “apps” on the market every few weeks, high-tech hearing aids that use radio signals instead of microphones, DNA diagnostics for horrible diseases, and titanium replacements for knees and teeth — all made feasible within the last decade or so — people take for granted breakthroughs in technology and medicine. So, headlines like “Early Signs of Schizophrenia in Child’s Brain Identified”, headlined in various forums last week, didn’t raise many eyebrows.
Amidst strong criticism of governments’ responses to the swine flu H1N1 hysteria, nearly half of the more than 150 million swine flu vaccines purchased by the feds for the American public will be incinerated after starting to expire earlier this week.
Economist Robert Higgs wrote a paper in 1997 arguing that “regime uncertainty” — “a pervasive uncertainty among investors about the security of their property rights in their capital and its prospective returns” owing to the constant barrage of regulation emanating from the Franklin Roosevelt administration and its bureaucracies — was a significant contributor to prolonging the Great Depression. Investors were skittish about putting their money to work when they didn’t know what new, destructive government policies the next day might bring, so they just sat on all that capital. Without capital investment, the economy ground to a halt.
From the “more is better” school of thought comes the idea that more of anything, including healthcare treatments is better, yet studies show that ‘overtreatment’ of incurable diseases has sometimes worked to the detriment of patients. They are being over-treated up to the point of death. Whether those treatments are patient- or doctor-driven is another question.