News Roundup

3 Sep

  • Japan has elections? – Japan is a one-party state with elections.  Until today.  For only the second time since World War II, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan lost in an election against the opposition, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).  A former LDPer, Ichiro Ozawa aka “The Destroyer“, will be the man behind the curtain in the opaque world of Japanese politics.
  • Who killed primary care?  – has an interesting article about Medicare’s Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC), a panel run by the American Medical Association that decides what a physician’s services are worth.  Somehow only subspecialists ended up on the committee!  Gasp!
  • Did Madonna take them all?  – In a very surprising feature, the Economist talks about the falling birthrates in Sub-Saharan Africa despite few improvements in socioeconomic status.  Urbanization of a very rural continent is part of the explanation.  It’s interesting to note that there used to be two Europeans for every African, now there is a one-to-one ratio.  Soon there will be twice as many Africans as Europeans.  And all of Africa only adds up to a billion people… less than India.
  • As if you hadn’t heard – Ted Kennedy died.  The liberal lion of the conservative era, he pretty much lost all the time.  An article from his bitter admirer.
  • Third World sold out for Crummy promise from Big Pharma  – Hopefully you have heard that Obama outrageously agreed to veto price controls against pharmaceutical companies if they “voluntarily” decide to reduce costs by $80 billion over TEN years.  The deal was struck with the quite sleazy head of pharmaceutical lobbying, ex-Congressman Billy Tauzin (R-LA).  Less played on the news, is the fact that Obama administration is adopting their talking points in fighting against the developing world’s struggle for affordable access to essential medicines.  Activists consider the Obama Administration no different or better than the Bush administration on this issue.  Apparently, getting an African in the White House doesn’t help Africans.  Barack Obama’s pathetic attempts for an inoffensive healthcare deal leaves us with a health care plan that doesn’t help Americans or the rest of the world either.    


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