Even if medicine in the USA isn’t the most accessible or inexpensive system in the world, at least we like to think it’s the best. What if we don’t even have that?

It is easy to be a prophet while Bush is in power. One need merely predict the inevitable. After five years of Bush’s regressive administration, the consequences for public health and safety are finally showing their effects nationwide.

A 15-month inquiry by a top House Democrat has found that enforcement of the nation’s food and drug laws declined sharply during the first five years of the Bush administration. The seizure of mislabeled, defective, or dangerous products dipped 44 percent, according to the inquiry pursued by Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, the senior Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee.

The Times article also reports, “The biggest decline in enforcement actions was found at the agency’s device center, where they decreased 65 percent in the five-year period despite a wave of problems with devices including implantable defibrillators and pacemakers.”

This administration is ruining our environment, our economy, our world standing, and now our health?

  1. Improbus says:

    You expect the FDA to be more competent than the rest of the government? I don’t think so.

  2. Kevin says:

    I work at a hospital, managing medical device technology. Quality is increasing regardless of any administration. There are a lot more well planned controls to prevent problems, and catch them early, before they become dangerous.

  3. Smartalix says:

    That may be the case in your facility, but the facts don’t lie.

  4. Mike says:

    “That may be the case in your facility, but the facts don’t lie.”

    Great rebuttal. Lol.

  5. Angel H. Wong says:

    The technologic equipment does improve in terms of quality and safety. What plummets is the safety of the medications.

  6. Douglas A Griffiths says:

    LIberals must live in a total dream world. George Bush is responsible for everything bad and and everything is bad. It must be sad to wake up everyday thinking the world is coming an end because of Bush. The fact that you liberals believe all this with all your heart and what is left of your mind is punishment enough. You have my sincere pity.

    By the way did you hear our economy is doing great? Oops, sorry, I didn’t mean to upset your depression.

  7. cjohnson says:

    Facts? Show me a single fact in the entire posted article. All that I see is a rant by someone critical of the current administration, quoting a newspaper with an axe to grind, with “facts” from a “top House Democrat”. Facts indeed. For all of its faults, the FDA is one of the strictest bodies to any kind of medical equipment approved. My sister works for a company who is trying to get a new kind of artificial heart approved. It already has approval in many European countries, but not here yet.

  8. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    I go with Kevin on this. The quality of medical implants is constantly improving. Products are being used today that weren’t even a dream 10 years ago. Countless lives are not only being saved, but made much better through medical devices. What the major driving force, IMHO, is the fear of lawsuits if they fail.

    Drugs, on the other hand, have shown signs of political manipulation and a lack of enforcement.

    Smartalix, but the facts don’t lie , that would depend if they are liberal facts. #6&#7 think they do.

  9. AB CD says:

    >ruining our environment, our economy, our world standing, and now our >health?

    World standing is fine, as people no longer think that America will run after a few attacks which is what happened after Beirut and Somalia. Air quality is better than ever. The economy’s doing quite well, with unemployment low and GDP a new record. Even the deficit is dropping by hundreds of billions of dollars.

  10. joshua says:

    and….for those who are political novices….Rep. H Waxman is NOT an unbiased source for ANY info of ANY kind. I’m not saying Waxman is a liar, but pointing out that the Congressman is a very liberal Democrat, very anti-Republican and especially anti-Bush. I tend to give people like Waxman and his Republican counterparts a wide berth when wanting unbiased facts about anything other than the day of the week (and I’m real skeptical about what either party tells me on that subject as well).

  11. George of the city says:

    Any thing from the times is suspect also. They have made it clear they hate the president and will do anything to bring him down.

  12. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    …Rep. H Waxman is NOT an unbiased source for ANY info of ANY kind. I’m not saying Waxman is a liar, but pointing out that the Congressman is a very liberal Democrat, very anti-Republican and especially anti-Bush.

    yup, PROOF !!! Those damn liberals “facts” do lie !!!

    Don’t dispute the message or facts, just the messenger.

  13. Klemens says:

    Unfortunately our health system is heavily controlled by the goverment, polictis. Our doctors are hand-tied! As a doctor I feel it greatly.

    Digital Photo Frame | Digital Picture Frame

  14. Paul Stewart says:

    I must have missed a charater there for the link to the NYTimes Article.

    Just in case here it is too:

  15. joshua says:

    #12 fusion…..you know as well as I do that you can make anything say what you want it to say in *research* or in *satistics*.
    Find someone who honestly has no ax to grind and have them study the issue….not some political hack of either party……then come see me.

  16. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    Joshua, when the FDA’s own records are used, and not disputed by the FDA, then something is wrong. For example, The investigation found that by almost every measure, enforcement actions had significantly declined from 2000 to 2005. The lone exception was in the number of products that had to be recalled from the market: that increased 44 percent. The number of recalls suggest that the lack of enforcement isn’t working very well. That is not a bias, it is reality.

    I work in Quality Control for a medical device maker. I can tell you a bit about the FDA and paper work. Last year one of our salesmen caught a problem in the field. It was only our paperwork that saved us from a massive recall by proving the problem was limited to a small number. The FDA put us on notice to make changes and we were to be audited, but they never showed or told us what changes to make. That would not have happened six years ago.

  17. Smartalix says:

    Good point, Mr. Fusion.

    It’s amazing how those in denial attack the messenger, not the mesage.

    My pointing this stuff out is not to ridcule America or insult those involved. My posting things like this is intended to raise attention to the issue so we can talk about what we can do about it.

    To simply accept everything the government presents to you without question is not only foohardy, it is being disingenuous to oneself.

  18. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    18, Alix, Thank you. Good post.

    So often I hear conservatives say that government has no business regulating commerce. The market place is capable of regulating itself. Yet, here is a valid case of why government should be involved in regulating the market place. Caveat Emptor makes sense when the consumer has a reasonable knowledge to make a rational decision. It can not apply when such complicated items such as drugs, medical devices, or chemicals applied to our food are concerned.

  19. cjohnson says:

    “This administration is ruining our environment, our economy, our world standing, and now our health?”

    Smartalix – If that isn’t meant to ridicule, I don’t know what is. I do agree with your acertian that it is not wise to accept everything that the government presents as facts. However, that should go with just about any one presenting facts. The referenced article is clearly written by someone who would almost automatically think that every thing the the GWB administration does is the work of the devil, at the same time praising just about anything that the previous administration had done. The article references a New York Times article that as its sole arguement, only presenting two data points from which it renders judgement from 2000 and 2005. What happened in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004? and is all of the statistics in for all of 2005? Also since the article is all about enforcement, there seems to be no consideration for how the enforcement branch of the FDA has been effected by the restructuring of the federal government since the creation of the Dept. of Homeland Security. Also, there is no consideration for how any kind of changes in the FDA under the Bush Administration has negatively or positively affected the quality of medical services in general. The Times article only mentions an increase in recalls in defective equipment, which could be a sign of good or bad industry policing, but there is no other data from which one can draw any number of conclusions. Finally, which part of government should we question, and which part should we accept foolhardily? Smartalix seems to favor distrust in the executive branch. The New York TImes seems to favor beating up on Congress (however the administration vis-a-vis the FDA is still there). Why not question Congressman Waxman? Doesn’t he have a campaign that he needs to run this November to get reelected? It is fine to question what any part of the government motives may be at any time, it just would be nice to have some good facts backed up be strong data to draw solid conclusions. From what is presented here may be cause for alarm and demanding of our elected officials to take action to overt a disaster before one happens, but from the questions, I raised above from the data presented, I don’t think that the punchline of “This administration is ruining our environment, our economy, our world standing, and now our health?” has been earned in this case.

  20. Smartalix says:

    By those “not ridiculed” I meant the medical profession. They who actually do the work in our health-care system have little control over their plight. It is the insurance companies and our legislators who are at fault. That was the point I was trying to make in my comment, that this post on the dangerous state of medicine (or any of my posts on problems in our system) is not to take a swipe at doctors, nurses, and other care providers.

    Now, I am ridiculing the politicians and bureacrats perpetuating the problem.

    Now, did you really not understand who I was ridiculing, or are you just pretending ignorance to create a point to attack me with?

  21. cjohnson says:

    19, That opens up a hole new can of worms. Why can’t the questioning consumer in conjunction with a knowlegable, competent doctor together pick out the prothesis, or medication that will work best for the patient/consumer? Isn’t that how it is supposed to work? In the ideal case it should be, but too many times the uncritical patient blindly takes the first thing that the doctor suggests, not knowing that the doctor may have other interests in mind. This gets down to what I think is the bigger problem with the whole healthcare situation that this country is faced with. Too many people don’t really care about the costs/processes/procedures involved with their health. Just as long as the insurance company covers it and they feel good fast. Have you ever wondered why a doctor orders the tests involved, or what they cost? Not very many are aware that a cheaper CAT scan or XRay can do what a more expensive MRI can find, but don’t ask certain questions of the doctor, just as long as the copay is low. I feel that is more people just asked more questions at the doctors office, and atleast were somehow more involved with how much is actually involved in the cost or their care, the system would run a lot smoother.

    -sorry, I guess I am just long winded today.

  22. cjohnson says:

    21, I am refering to your ascertian that based on the article that you posted to and the subsequent New York Times article referred to. I looked at the data provided and am trying to see any significant conclusion that can be drawn. I am not trying to attack you, I was just trying to analyze the evidence presented in front of me. I do not understand from the artcle(s) presented how the administration (including the FDA) has really done any thing wrong.

  23. Smartalix says:

    If a police officer starts to slack off in a neighborhood, there may not be an increase in crime immediately, but the potential for the unscrupulous to take advantage of a lax enforcement sysytem is immense.

    The same drug companies that are paying this administration to let them write its laws are also pushing for less regulation. That creates a catastrophic time bomb.

    This is a perfect example of what’s wrong with our cash-based political system. Company A pays off Congressman B for legislation C, which Company D uses unscrupulously, causing Congressman B’s constituents to force him to place regulation in place to close some of the massive loopholes in law that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

    So we wind up with a thicket of laws and regulations that only those who can afford to navigate can use.

    We can fix it, but first we must agree it’s broken.

  24. cjohnson says:

    The murder rate in the US has been dropping to last several years, does that mean the police are slacking off? No, that is nonsense. I don’t understand how you can come to the conclusion that we are in grave danger from the articles that you have presented. From the NYT article, the only years presented as data are 2000 and 2005. What happened in the years 2001 thru 2004? Could it be that 2005 just happens to be a very slow year for citations to be issued? Likewise what about 2000? Could that just be a year that saw a large amount of citations issued. The data presented is very sparse to make a deterimation one way or the other. I would be with you in your call for changes to be made at the FDA if it can be shown that magically after 2000, enforcement had dropped.

    The same drug companies that are paying this administration to let them write its laws are also pushing for less regulation. That creates a catastrophic time bomb.

    Bribery is illegal, and if you some other evidence to show that bribery is taking place, please, show some proof. Nothing in what you have posted so far shows or even hints at this.

  25. Smartalix says:

    So you think the drug lobby (or any other) is not bribing our politicians with campaign donations? Why do you think they give so much money, tout of the goodness of their heart?

    My comment about cops was an analogy. I guess you do have comprehension problems. A lax enforcement environment encourages abuse. Or do you not agree?

  26. cjohnson says:

    Wait a minute, I push your analogy to an extreme and you question my abilities of comprehension? All I am doing is applying critical thinking to the articles that you presented as proof that the FDA is lax in their enforcement of current laws. You have yet to offer anything to debate my ascertian that these articles are anything but proof of your ascertians, devoid of supportable facts. Instead, you only offer further unsupported allegations of bribery? Like I said, I would agree with you fully if you supported any evidence what so ever. BTW, I do agree that current campaign finance laws are totally assinine, but that is another issue alltogether.


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