Monday, July 30, 2007

Political interference with Health Care

It is unfortunate that this is unsurprising, but once again Bush's regime seems to be interfering with scientific reports in the name of politics. The recent accusations by the former Surgeon General are well detailed in this report: Bush Aide Blocked Report in the Washington Post.

Carmona told lawmakers that, as he fought to release the document, he was "called in and again admonished . . . via a senior official who said, 'You don't get it.' " He said a senior official told him that "this will be a political document, or it will not be released."

Steiger did not return a phone call seeking his comment. But he said in a written statement released by an HHS spokesman Friday that the report contained information that was "often inaccurate or out-of-date and it lacked analysis and focus."

Steiger confirmed that he sharply disagreed with Carmona on the issue of how much the report should promote Bush administration policies. "A document meant to educate the American public about health as a global challenge and urge them to action should at least let Americans know what their generosity is already doing in helping to solve those challenges," Steiger said in the statement.

Steiger said that "political considerations" did not delay the report; "sloppy work, poor analysis, and lack of scientific rigor did." Asked about the report's handling, an HHS spokeswoman said Friday that it is still "under development."

This seems amazing, if you read the actual draft of the report available here: draft report (Hat tip to Daily Kos) You will see that Carmona primarily relies on World Health Organisation figures and data, not renowned for their lack of scientific rigour. And the report seems sound, there is nothing radically wrong here. It sure looks like the regime trying to edit the science in the name of politics.


Jasper said...

My blog is about sports as a means to show the practicality of philisophical tohught and often deals with capitalism and the commercial control of modern culture and seeks to question the validity of criticizing these things or supporting them. It's light hearted and I urge philosophers to be open minded and to think in new and different ways and steer clear of dogmatism. My aim is to raise the awareness among the masses of intellectual independence using practical philosophy. I study metaphysics and epistemology and enjoy it, but promote the practical use of philosophy, for if it is not used, the opinions of the ignorant about philosophy being pedantic become true - excercize your philosophy on your reality; you must have one.

Jim Sabin said...

It has been well known in the US that what Carmona described was happening throughout the Bush administration. But Carmona deserves credit for blowing the whistle with a detailed story. We in the US need more officials willing to speak out as Carmona did about governmental efforts to squelch awkward facts that do not support ideological positions.