General Electric is entering into a venture with Geron Corp to commercially develop products from human embryonic stem cells, including developing sample human cells that drug companies can use to test the toxicity of new drugs. The use of embryonic stem cells to develop other types of human cells entails the destruction of human life.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control on July 1 released preliminary data for insurance coverage in America during 2008. According to the data, the percentage of Americans with private health coverage has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years. The percentage of Americans with private insurance in 2008 was 65.4 percent, a drop from 66.8 percent in 2007.
President Barack Obama on July 1 continued to push his healthcare reform plans at a town hall meeting at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia. The meeting included online participants who asked questions via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. A transcript has been posted at the White House website, and a video is available on YouTube.
On June 24, ABC TV gave President Barack Obama interview time with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, a prime-time special with both Sawyer and Charles Gibson at the White House called Questions for the President: Prescription for America, and the whole Nightline program after the local news.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is at the center of a growing controversy over the improper treatment of veterans at VA hospitals. On June 16, CNN noted that a report released in June by the VA’s Office of Inspector General showed only “about 42.5 percent of 42 VA facilities inspected without warning in May had standard operating procedures in place for the equipment being used and could demonstrate that their staffs had been trained to use the devices.” In other words, more than half of the institutions (57.5 percent) had improper procedures or training.