Dysfunction and the Medical Revolution

Lee Hood writes that dysfunction on Capitol Hill is hindering medical revolution.

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Couldn't agree more. I was

Couldn't agree more. I was just up on the Hill meeting with Representatives, and they are sadly bogged down in the sequester. Meanwhile, Medicare has suspended reimbursements for molecular diagnostic testing. Congress is missing an entire paradigm change where the art of patient care has led to the rapid emergence of Personalized Medicine. Without appropriate funding, we will not be able to educate patients, clinicians, reimbursement directors, and Congress themselves on the astounding advancements that have been made in personalized medicine. We can perform whole genome sequencing to identify clinically relevant mutations in individual patient's tumors- morally, this technology could and should be available to all late stage cancer patients immediately. Frustratingly, we lack the political leadership and vision. In an environment where jobs for many experienced, bright scientists are so desperately needed, the failure of governmental leadership has led to the siphoning off of technological development and jobs to other more perceptive countries. This is a mess that can be corrected in no time with appropriate leadership from the three branches that Dr. Hood mentions. Here's hoping that Dr. Hood's communication will open some eyes.

Well Hood has been enormously

Well Hood has been enormously successful (& no doubt wealthy)from money educed from the private sector for selling them breakthroughs "pioneered" by the enormous factory labs he has run on money donated him by the US taxpayer. For the last couple decades, the biggest pressure on grant money avaialbility has not been sequestration but rather that the significant majority of it goes to large factory labs and program projects. They are the ones who are choking out the smaller labs and stifling innovation.

As for Hood, he should have no trouble continuing to raise money for his grandiose ideas in the private sector and maybe he can donate some of his own spoils for grants to startup labs to supplement the money the Federal government doesn't have. Doesn't have because there aren't enough people gainfully employed to pay taxes; unemployed because the return on investment of grand visions in all fields (including medicine) is so uncertain and far off in the future that no one is willing to invest any money in non commodity programs and dispose of workers like garbage; won't invest in anything except for the vacuous, non-productive economy of advertising predicated on spying on and categorizing people.

So there you go, Lee, marry into Google and you will have access to the world's largest (and maybe only) bank of liquid cash to fund your dreams of low predictive value, anecote-based translational medicine. Woops, someone already did that.