veterans hospitalThe 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.

Obama signs tobacco billPresident Barack Obama signed legislation on June 22 granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration broad powers to regulate many aspects of tobacco product manufacturing, marketing, and sales. Known as the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the bill allows the FDA to ban candy- and fruit-flavored tobacco products and to prohibit companies from labeling their products “light,” “mild,” or “low tar.” The act requires larger warning labels on tobacco product packaging, restricts the advertisement of tobacco products, and forces companies to lower the levels of nicotine in cigarettes.

cheeriosIf ever there was a textbook example of why a free people should think twice before tasking government with a job (much less dedicate an entire agency to it), the Food and Drug Administration’s latest goofball maneuver to classify the breakfast cereal “Cheerios” as a drug is it!

doctor patientDetails of the various proposals for healthcare reform are beginning to emerge. House Democrats and Republicans are each formulating their own plans, while two Senate committees are taking different approaches. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a group composed of former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle, Howard Baker, and Bob Dole, has proposed a plan meant to gain support from both political parties. Yet another perspective is being offered by Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), a doctor whose lifelong practice of medicine gives him unique insight.

medicinePresident Obama devoted his June 13 weekly address to outlining cost savings to offset the massive price tag for his proposed healthcare reform. Supposedly an additional $313 billion can be saved during the next 10 years through "common-sense changes" to Medicare and Medicaid that will "rein in unnecessary spending, and increase efficiency and the quality of care."

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