How the Government Wastes Money on Medical Research

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Ten proposals that should be employed to reduce or eliminate this wasteful government spending.

Years ago a United States Senator named William Proxmire from Delaware used to host an awards event he called the Golden Fleece Award. It was an award he gave to the Federal government agency that he felt had done the most wasteful and unnecessary project or study since the last awards were given. Government agencies hated to receive the award because it identified them for ridicule, and chastised them for wasting taxpayer monies.

Dr. Maupin and Brett Newcomb often talk about studies that seem to be wastes of citizens hard earned money. It is kind of like the radio show: Mr. Obvious. Money is dedicated to research and awarded to people who do medical research on topics that seem to be just common sense, while they ignore the harder questions that medical people want to investigate. Medical research is really written to help doctors practice with the best information, but why should it be done to prove what every doctor knows?   For instance, why do we spend research money on the question, “Do people who go on diets to lose weight regain that weight when they go off their diet?”   Every doctor in America knows the answer to that! So do dieticians, nutritionists, psychologists, and even ordinary people. That is only one example of wasted money, that citizens pay in taxes.

We are frustrated because there seems to be so many wasteful and unnecessary government expenditures supporting programs or research ideas that to us do not make common sense and appear totally unnecessary. We admit we don’t know about most of the government waste, but we do want to bring attention to the waste that is spent on “Mr. Obvious’s type research” documenting well known medical truisms.

In this weeks healthcast, we identify a list of ten proposals that we think should be employed to reduce or eliminate this wastefulness. Some of our ideas involve replacing existing government research programs that simply add no value with new and effective social and medical programs. We also talk about changes that we think can be made in the existing laws, as well as the changes we can make in how we conduct our lives as individuals (changes that the government really has no control over, we must do ourselves). We believe that these changes make sense and that if they are implemented, Americans will be healthier and our government will waste less of the peoples money on spurious research!

Herewith the ten suggestions:

  1. Restart the President’s Physical Fitness Award – Under the Kennedy Administration, this program was used by public schools all over America. The goal was to get kids to be active and capable of performing specific levels of physical achievement, for which, they would receive an award certificate.
  2. Stop supporting the false self esteem movement in America. – Somehow in the last decade and a half the culture and the institutional systems of the United States have fallen prey to the idea that children can be prevented from feeling low self esteem by giving them rewards and banners and trophies as participation awards. We have moved away from the idea that performance is rewarded by achievement and reaching goals, not by participating. The idea that every child gets a ribbon or a trophy and that we do not identify winners and losers helps fragile self -esteem go away is both abhorrent and dishonest. Kids know, parents know, teachers know, coaches know who can and who cant. What we need to do is focus on identifying those who cant and helping them learn how to become one of those who can, or help them learn how to do what they are capable of doing. Not everyone can be a brain surgeon or a pilot or an astronaut.
  3. We should remove dangerous and toxic substances from our food. – (example: like having bromide added as an ingredient to our bread products instead of the iodine that we used to add.) There are areas of our country that are iodine sinks because we do not have home grown food products that have iodine in the soil. People in those areas are at risks of having their thyroids not work because we need to consume iodine. That used to not be a problem until regulators of the government and the food industry chose to take the iodine out of the baking process and replace it with a toxic substance called bromine
  4. Revise the food plate – (the New Harvard Food Plate, which replaced the old food pyramid put out by the FDA.) What has happened with both the Harvard Food Plate and the Food Pyramid is that the agricultural industry and the lobbyists for them have convinced the regulatory agencies to “recommend” grain products so that we can sell more grains and keep our farmers wealthy, instead of helping teach us how to eat more healthy diets and consume healthier products. Corn Syrup is an additive to most things we eat or drink. It is unhealthy and damaging. Why is it in our food? We want to sell more corn. Our social policy is being sold by our government to the corn market.
  5. Decrease the use of cars and increase public transportation that is safe and available to the public. – There has been an ongoing argument in America about our love affair with the car. Most of our transportation dollars are spent on building and maintain roads. There are millions of Americans who live in cities and do not even own cars. We need cheap fast safe transportation for those people, but we still spend most of our transportation dollars on road building and maintenance.
  6. Decrease the time your kids are allowed to spend watching TV or playing with electronic media. – We do not need a governmental policy for this we simply need a parental policy. Get your kids active in work and play. Give them chores and let them discover how to fill their time without television or electronic games.
  7. Give tax credits to those who cultivate their own food. – This is similar to the Victory Garden idea from World War II. Encourage and reward people to plant their own gardens and consume leafy green vegetables. We would all be healthier if we did that.
  8. Decrease insurance costs for those who maintain an ideal weight standard. – Most of our health care costs go to maintain and treat the obese among us. If we can generate a reward structure to promote the idea of keeping closer to an ideal weight we might be able to reduce our medical costs and help people live healthier and happier lives.
  9. Make all insurance policies pay for and provide easy access to preventive medical services.
  10. Focus some of our medical research on positive motivation tools to help us enable people to be active, eat healthy, and exercise appropriately all the days of their lives. – Passing laws to regulate morality or behavior seldom work. Positive motivations can and do work. An example was the anti littering program of the late sixties. Another example would be mothers against drunk driving. These types of programs can and do help society change the way it thinks, feels, and acts. Lets use our skills here for good things and good outcomes.

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.

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