A report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for a sweeping overhaul of U.S. medical device regulation, challenging the FDA to broaden government oversight and enact stricter approval standards for thousands of devices — ranging from artificial hip and knee joints to bypass-surgery devices.

Originally commissioned by the FDA, the Institute of Medicine urged FDA officials last Friday to foster "a new framework that used both premarket clearance and improved postmarket surveillance of device performance to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of Class II devices." The IOM protests that premarket screenings are far too lax, as current standards neglect to provide a thorough examination of the safety and effectiveness of medical devices.
 

Those who predicted that ObamaCare would do nothing to reduce healthcare costs but would increase government control over healthcare have been vindicated by a new report from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary. According to the report, published in the journal Health Affairs, by 2020 the United States will be spending $4.6 trillion — nearly a fifth of the gross domestic product — on healthcare, almost half of which will come from government. What’s more, ObamaCare, far from reducing healthcare costs, will actually contribute significantly to the increase in spending.

The report begins by noting that 2009 and 2010 actually saw historically low growth rates (about four percent each year) in healthcare spending. The primary cause of the slowdown is the recession, which threw many people out of work, costing them their health insurance. Also, because of the weak economy, “many people continued to restrain their use of health care goods and services,” according to the report, so out-of-pocket costs did not climb as rapidly as before.

The Traditional Values Coalition has released the second installment of its investigation into grant-making by the National Institutes of Health. This time, TVC reveals that U.S. taxpayers pumped $90 million into “research” that included investigating AIDS in China, Chinese prostitutes, and a treatable parasite that infects one in every 1,000 Chinese.

A week ago, TVC exposed grantees who used NIH money to study whether the physical endowment of homosexuals affected their sexual satisfaction.

Now taxpayers get this news, as Congress and the President grapple about raising the debt ceiling and a few relatively small cuts in the federal budget that won’t come close to nicking the surface of the nation’s $14.5 trillion debt.

McDonald’s, and more specifically, the Happy Meal, continues to be a point of contention for those behind the nanny state. As a result, the Happy Meal has been targeted for a number of reforms. In San Francisco, for example, Happy Meals are no longer permitted to include toys so that they may be less enticing for young children. Now, a new McDonald’s policy will make Happy Meals healthier by cutting French fries orders in half and including fruit.

And though the changes have not been well-received by customers, McDonald’s plans to continue enforcing the policy.

Under the new policy, McDonald’s will be offering apple slices, half-portions of French fries, and healthier beverages such as one-percent milk and fat-free chocolate milk.

The Blaze contends McDonald's is kowtowing to political pressures:

This November, Ohio residents will have a chance to amend their state constitution to protect them from the central feature of ObamaCare, the individual mandate, and to prevent their state and local governments from enacting similar laws in the future.

The Associated Press reports: “Secretary of State Jon Husted determined that supporters of the amendment ... had gathered 427,000 valid signatures. They had submitted more than 546,000 and needed roughly 358,000 of them validated to make it on to the ballot.” Therefore, the proposed amendment will be placed on the ballot this fall.

The amendment was proposed by the Ohio Project, a conservative grassroots organization, and was drafted by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, which describes itself as “a non-profit, non-partisan legal center dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government abuse.”

After 102 years, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, America’s historic military hospital that treated Presidents, foreign leaders, and generations of wounded soldiers returning from combat and service around the world, is set to close its doors in September.

“Hundreds of thousands of the nation’s war wounded from World War I to today have received treatment at Walter Reed, including 18,000 troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan,” reported the Associated Press. “President Dwight Eisenhower died there. So did Gens. John J. Pershing and Douglas MacArthur. It’s where countless celebrities, from Bob Hope to quarterback Tom Brady, have stopped to show their respect to the wounded.”

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead joins William F. Jasper to discuss stopping ObamaCare, federalism, conservation and why his state has one of the lowest unemployment rates.

Seen any walnuts in your medicine cabinet lately? According to the Food and Drug Administration, that is precisely where you should find them. Because Diamond Foods made truthful claims about the health benefits of consuming walnuts that the FDA didn’t approve, it sent the company a letter declaring, “Your walnut products are drugs” — and “new drugs” at that — and, therefore, “they may not legally be marketed … in the United States without an approved new drug application.” The agency even threatened Diamond with “seizure” if it failed to comply.

Diamond’s transgression was to make “financial investments to educate the public and supply them with walnuts,” as William Faloon of Life Extension magazine put it. On its website and packaging, the company stated that the omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts have been shown to have certain health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. These claims, Faloon notes, are well supported by scientific research: “Life Extension has published 57 articles that describe the health benefits of walnuts”; and “The US National Library of Medicine database contains no fewer than 35 peer-reviewed published papers supporting a claim that ingesting walnuts improves vascular health and may reduce heart attack risk.”

As if the healthcare law was not controversial enough, enter free contraceptives. The Institute of Medicine recommends that insurance companies provide free contraceptives to all women, and the Department of Health and Human Services appears to be receptive to the idea.

According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the suggestion is “historic” and she praised the Institute of Medicine for it.

The proposal already has the support of some lawmakers.

Rep. Lois Capps, (D-Calif.) said, “The request for the study actually came out of the healthcare legislation and I am pleased that the secretary has indicated that the department will implement it quickly.”

Representatives Ron Paul of Texas and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the only presidential candidates among current members of Congress, broke with almost all of their Republican colleagues in the House Tuesday night when they voted against the GOP "cut, cap and balance" plan for deficit reduction.


"This bill only serves to sanction the status quo by putting forth a $1 trillion budget deficit and authorizing a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt limit," Paul said in a speech on the House floor.

Bachmann faulted the measure for not dealing with health care reform bill passed by the Democratic Congress last year, the Affordable Patient Care and Protection Act.

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