Royally Kranked

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tax Cuts Really Are Bad For Your Health

Diabetes is exploding throughout the country, treatment funding is decreasing while W insists on tax cuts for those who don't need the financial help in ANY way, shape or form

Public healthcare costs are rising, while public funding is being drained for foolish tax cuts benefitting those "Haves & Have Mores", Dear Leader's Base that he panders to and whores out for constantly

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Rising Diabetes Threat Meets a Falling Budget

In Worcester, Mass., scientists are boxing up their test tubes at a shuttered laboratory where just two years ago they isolated a chemical that triggers diabetes.

In Oklahoma City, health workers faced with soaring rates of Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, question whether they can afford to continue to offer classes where diabetics learn how to avoid foot amputations.

In Columbia, S.C., diabetes educators say they need more money to expand a program that uses the pulpit in black churches to preach the importance of a healthy diet and exercise.

Across the country, health care officials who rely on federal money to help stem the growing epidemic of Type 2 diabetes say they have become increasingly frustrated and alarmed.

Diabetes is the only major disease with a death rate that is still rising — up 22 percent since 1990 — and it has emerged as the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness and nontraumatic amputation.

I know that while I've been lucky enough to not worry about Diabetes, it does affect my parents, and friends as well

No doubt, a couch potato culture doesn't help when it comes to combatting this disease either, especially when combined with technological advances that result in even more time spent either sitting down or being nonactive physically

But public health experts say federal spending on the disease has historically fallen short of what is needed. And now the government has cut diabetes funds in the budgets for this year and next, despite the explosive growth of a disease that now figures in the deaths of 225,000 Americans each year.


Until this year, federal health spending had risen steadily for more than 20 years, fueling expanded efforts against many diseases, including diabetes. But the experts say the commitment to Type 2 diabetes never kept pace with the spread of the disease.

The first sentence of the paragraph immediately above is exactly what's wrong with this Administration-necessities cut to fund corporate giveaways, faith-based initiatives targeting those of mainly one religious faith, and tax cuts aimed to those already at the top of the economic ladder

This President is clearly out of touch with economic reality for all those not in his lauded, gentrified league, and he's now waging class warfare on those unwilling or unable to throw campaign contributions his or the GOP's way

In short, this President is making it his mission to be as brutal as possible to the least among us, to make life as miserable as possible for all those not borne even more upwards by W's warped values that cherish the rich and scorn all others

The number of Type 2 diabetics in the United States has doubled in the past two decades, to an estimated 20 million, when undiagnosed cases are included, making the disease the country's fastest-growing public health problem. Epidemiologists predict that one in three American children born in 2000 will join the ranks of those afflicted with Type 2.

This year, the federal government is spending $1.1 billion to study diabetes, less than a quarter of what is spent to study cancer. The government spends 10 times more per patient on cancer research, and the death rate for that disease, unlike that for diabetes, has begun to fall.

1 in 3 children born in 200 will develop Type 2 diabetes-and if funding is cut back further, expect that percentage to rise.

Even more infuriating as it relates to W watching out only for his campaign contributors-Over $9 Billion has gone missing in Iraq-while public funding for diabetes research, $1.1 billion, is less than 1/4 that spent on comparable cancer research

For President Jr, it's obviously more important that corrupt, no-bid contract holders in Iraq-Halliburton-profit with as little legal oversight as possible, while badly needed funding for the most exploding health problem, one which is now affecting people at historically younger ages, in our society is slashed for massively idiotic tax cuts that reward those already at the very top financially

To be fair, there are other factors as well that must be taken into account when it comes to the Cancer/Diabetes funding disparity

Spokesmen for the federal health and budget agencies declined to comment for this article on their spending decisions. But some budget analysts said that diabetes activists have not properly credited tens of millions of dollars that the federal government spends annually to stem obesity, a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes.

Some epidemiologists also suggested that expenditures for cancer research make sense, given the fact that cancer still kills twice as many people as diabetes. And some public health experts said it was often a bad idea to measure spending for one disease against another because overall public health spending needs to be increased.

Just one point on this

Cancer will still be killing more people, but more & more people WILL be afflicted with Diabetes at younger ages as well-Which will make the funding disparities even more drastic, which in turn will drive up the health care costs of treating T2D at the treatment, rather than the prevention, end of things

It's much more expensive to deal with Diabetes in the emergency room as opposed to the Dr's office, to treat instead of prevent

This type of public spending priority by this Administration is one reason health care costs are exploding, and a factor in the growing, vast numbers of those with no health insurance to rely on

And that funding priority is costing this society


Disease research is often underwritten by advocacy groups and pharmaceutical companies, but the federal government is by far the chief financier. From the viewpoint of pure economics, some health experts say it is hard to fathom why the federal government does not spend more on diabetes, which the American Diabetes Association has estimated costs the United States economy about $132 billion per year for treatment and lost productivity at work. Federal spending for both research and treatment, meanwhile, is $1.2 billion annually.

"That means the federal government is putting less than 1 percent of what this disease costs us into research and development," said Dr. C. Ronald Kahn, president of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, a leading research institution. "Even the tire industry spends at least 3 percent of their total sales on research and development."

It's become apparent that the Administration looks at all social spending in terms of how to cut taxes for the wealthiest among us, which means that when taxes get cut, those in the real world suffer for this very real form of class warfare so enthusiastically supported by this President

Research efforts are traditionally financed though the National Institutes of Health, based in Bethesda, Md. Programs to prevent, track and treat the disease at the community level are paid for by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Until this year, both agencies had seen two decades of growth in their budgets. The National Institutes of Health budget, for example, increased 261 percent, adjusted for inflation, to $28.6 billion today from $7.9 billion in 1980. The institutes' spending on diabetes research soared as well, by 240 percent, adjusted for inflation, hitting $1.1 billion this year. But since 1980, the percentage of the institutes' budget devoted to diabetes has shrunk slightly, even as the number of diabetics has doubled.

So once again, the public good is sacrificed for the good of those already well off, a true sign of this President's obsession with doing good for the rich that cannot be denied logically

Of course, the President doesn't pass the laws or the funding himself, no, he's got class-warfare practicing lackeys & acolytes in the Congress & Senate to do that dirty work for him-In short, Class Warfare isn't just a vague concept used to tar liberals, it's an important part of budget considerations when it comes to the GOP's tax cuts for the wealthy

This year, after two decades of increases, Congress trimmed health care spending across the board. Efforts to fight diabetes at both the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control were cut. The 2007 budget proposes further reductions.

The C.D.C. is facing a cut of $700,000 next year from its $63 million diabetes budget, or just over 1 percent. At the National Institutes of Health, money for diabetes will be cut $1.2 million next year, or a tenth of a percent of the agency's $1.1 billion budget.

On their face, the cuts to diabetes spending are not huge. But the impact will be felt, according to an internal memorandum from scientists at the institutes' largest diabetes research division. They told the institutes' director that they worried about "major implications for both the human and economic costs of Type 2 diabetes" because of the reduced spending.

At one location affected by the cuts, Dr. Aldo Rossini, director of the Diabetes Division at the University of Massachusetts at Worcester, said the budget shortfalls could not come at a worse time. He is closing down one lab where successful research was being done because federal funds were not renewed, and said he might have to close others.

"Diabetes is this massive tidal wave hitting the country," he said, "and we're cutting our best hope at protection."

In the diabetes arena, federal money is paying for projects like one at the University of Miami, where scientists are trying to implant insulin-producing cells into diabetics so they can avoid multiple daily injections of the hormone. In another project, University of Iowa researchers are trying to develop a continuous blood monitor that Type 1 diabetics could wear at night to avoid having to awaken repeatedly to check their sugar levels.

In a perfect world, public funding of T2D would be more robust than it is now, but since we're talking about the Bush Jr Administration, perhaps the surprise here is that funding hasn't fallen even more drastically

At the treatment and prevention level, the reductions in Centers for Disease Control funds are being watched closely in places like Oklahoma, where the number of diabetics has more than doubled in the past 10 years.

Federal grants from the C.D.C now pay for all of the state's major prevention and treatment programs. Without this federal help, said Adeline Yerkes, director of the Chronic Disease Service in the state's Department of Health, diabetes threatens to overwhelm the state.

"It's still just a fraction of what we need to get this under control," she said.

Tens of thousands of dead, maimed & traumatized Iraqis and US troops, and starving public funding for diseases exploding among US citizens at younger ages

It's obvious, President Bush Jr is nothing more than a malignant cancer in human form, bringing ruin, misery and anguish to all he touches but his cherished base of "The Haves & The Have Mores"


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