Observations Yankee Doodling

Politics and science: a cautionary tale for the presidential candidates

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2093 (Published 14 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2093
  1. Douglas Kamerow, chief scientist, RTI International, and associate editor, BMJ
  1. dkamerow{at}rti.org

    A look back at the Bush administration’s record on health

    With the US economy in shambles, it is hard for the presidential candidates to talk about anything else. The small amount of newsprint and bandwidth available for other issues is devoted to Iraq, Afghanistan, and terrorism. Nobody is focusing much on health care and science policy any more. And when health care is discussed, it is mainly about coverage and cost: how can we change our healthcare “system” to take care of more of our population and afford to pay for it? Pundits proclaim that healthcare reform will be unachievable in the next president’s first term because there is no money to do it and no energy for anything but the economy and the war. This is depressing.

    One thing that doesn’t depend on funding, however, and that could be done immediately by the next president would be to reverse the unprecedented policies of George W Bush’s administration that have subverted scientific integrity throughout the government.

    The Union of Concerned Scientists has documented dozens of examples over the past eight years of direct …

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