A report released Thursday commended the government for developing plans and stockpiling antivirals after the avian flu scare but warned that gaps still exist and that the health system may not be prepared in a more severe outbreak.
- Battle lines being drawn:
President Barack Obama's hopes for a bipartisan health deal seemed in jeopardy Thursday as GOP senators protested his renewed support for a new public health insurance plan, and a key Democratic chairman declared that such a plan would likely be in the Senate's bill.
- Two physician-written diaries of note: A physician "comes out". is a Daily Kos health care diary written by an AMA delegate with clear and valuable perspective on health reform. The Elephant in the Room: My Meeting With Senator Baucus (Health Care Series) speaks for itself.
- Tuberculosis In Muslim World: A Chance For Cooperation discusses a health initiative that would make a huge difference:
Now Mr. Obama must look for ways to turn this promise into a reality and in a way that reaches ordinary people. An excellent place to start would be to partner with Muslim countries in the fight against tuberculosis, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh, where millions are affected by the disease and where important, but fragile, gains have been made.
According to the World Health Organization, there are nearly 9 million new TB cases and perhaps 1.5 million deaths from the disease annually. Even in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied up 13,293 new cases of TB in 2007.
- On FDA regulation of smoking:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could not reach an agreement with Republicans regarding consideration of a tobacco regulation bill Thursday evening, effectively forcing the chamber to allow more time for the legislation next week after it already consumed an entire week’s worth of debate.
Several Republicans wanted their amendments to the bill to be considered on the floor, with the charge led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who tried to get a time agreement on his amendment to legalize drug reimportation.
“One Senator has held this up. That’s the way things can happen around here,” Reid lamented on the floor. “We’ve worked for a couple of days to arrive at the point we are, and the sad part about it is that the Senator that has held all this up has an amendment that isn’t remotely germane to this bill.”
More from Congress Matters:
So far no move to invoke cloture on the bill, though the fact that they had to do it on the motion to proceed suggests that cloture may eventually become necessary for the underlying bill, too. That plus the nature of tobacco regulation, which itself suggests that the bill might otherwise face a trial of filibuster-by-amendment.
- More autism research:
If you're an older mother, if you're having your first child, if your child is born in the breech position - your child is more likely to be autistic. Why? No one knows...
As happens all too often, this particular study seems to have found correlations - not causes. What that means is we don't actually know WHY an older mother giving birth for the first time to a baby in the breech position is more likely to have an autistic child. And what THAT means is... more questions than answers.
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