Daily archives: October 7th, 2009

Bob Dole: Health Care Will Pass, ‘We’ve Got to do Something’

From the Huffington Post:

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kans.) told reporters on Wednesday that opposition to the president’s health care package was driven, in part, by knee-jerk partisanship and he urged Congressional Republicans to consider backing a version of reform.

The 1996 Republican presidential candidate also predicted, following a speech at a health care reform summit in Kansas, that "there will be a signing ceremony" for a reform bill sometime this year or early in 2010.

But the comments that seem likely to create the most ripples were those that dealt with Congressional opposition to the White House. Dole, according to reports, framed the pushback to Barack Obama’s reform agenda as almost perfunctory in nature.

"Sometimes people fight you just to fight you," he said, according to The Kansas City Star. "They don’t want Reagan to get it, they don’t want Obama to get it, so we’ve got to kill it…"

"Health care is one of those things," he added. "Now we’ve got to do something."

In a statement to the Huffington Post, an aide to the former majority leader clarified that Dole "believed there is an opportunity to do something on health care" but that he wasn’t urging Republicans to simply get on board a final package.

Source: huffingtonpost.com

Keith Olbermann’s Closing Commentary on Health Care Reform

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If you missed Countdown tonight, at least watch the last 11 minutes of tonight’s show, which was dedicated in its entirety to a call for health care reform.

I was expecting a rant.  Instead, Keith personalized the issue by talking about his father. This was no rant.

Olbermann’s right.  We need the medical community on our side.

Go to MSNBC to watch the entire show.

Evidence Builds that Marijuana is Safe, Effective

I’m going to simply run this release in its entirety:

The International Association for Cannabis as Medicine just concluded its 5th Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine in Cologne, Germany. The conference included significant new evidence that marijuana is a safe, effective medicine for certain conditions, some of which can be found in the conference abstracts, now available online.

Canadian researcher Mark Ware presented results of a yearlong safety study known as the COMPASS study, which compared 215 patients who used marijuana to manage chronic pain with comparable control patients who did not use marijuana. Ware and colleagues report “no difference in serious adverse events” between the two groups, concluding, “Cannabis use for chronic pain over one year is not associated with major changes in lung, endocrine, cognitive function or serious adverse events.”

A much-awaited study came from the University of California, San Francisco, where Donald Abrams and colleagues tested the effects of adding marijuana to the therapeutic regimen of chronic pain patients on long-term morphine or oxycodone therapy. Unfortunately, because the researchers were crunching numbers right up until the conference, the abstract doesn’t include a lot of details. But the study shows that marijuana did indeed add significant pain relief on top of that already provided by the narcotic painkillers. The scientists conclude, “Cannabinoids may augment the analgesic effects of opioids, allowing longer treatment at lower doses with fewer side effects.”

Meanwhile, British researchers added to the body of evidence indicating that marijuana can aid the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Two-hundred and seventy-nine patients received either a standardized cannabis extract, given orally, or a placebo. Patients receiving the extract were twice as likely to experience relief of muscle stiffness, and also reported relief of body pain, spasms, and sleep problems.

Source: mpp.org

Tip of the hat to eNews Park Forest for this.