Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tomorrow's Vote on Healthcare

Like most Americans, I've been calling and FAXing members of Congress for several years now about my plan for healthcare ( It's based on the unexpectedly awful experience I've had for the past 15 years with all the existing players in healthcare: the private insurance sector, the federal sector (VA, Medicare), the non-profits, academic medicine, the Institute of Medicine, the World Health Organization, et al. The whole gruesome story of all the authorities who've dropped the ball and refused to eradicate disease, presumably for their own financial gain, is laid out at

Lately, Congressional staffers have refused to speak to anybody outside their voting district. For the past few days, every number, including the FAX machines, at every office listed for every Congressman I've tried has been busy. Talk about feeling powerless!

Meanwhile, President Obama says that there is nothing new to discuss about healthcare, that all the ideas have already been discussed. I beg to differ. For 3 years, since the summer 0f 2007, I've tried to communicate my plan to his healthcare staffers. They turn out to be just as arrogant and inattentive as Hillary's. Funny thing! They're all the same people--Rahm Emmanuel and his brother Ezekiel are back again. Nancy-Ann De Parle was in-house counsel for Baxter, which profits from dialysis. No wonder she had no interest in me, since I can prevent 90% of dialysis.

As my father used to say, two things could happen tomorrow. (He liked dichotomous outcomes. In his own way, he may have been affected by Marx's dialectic. It certainly keeps things simple). One, the President's bill could pass. Two, it could fail.

While I personally hope that members of Congress will somehow find my FAXes and telephone communiques from the past few years before they vote tomorrow, I am not naive. I doubt if my input still exists, if it ever did. In any event, it's long since been consigned to the round file. Staffers must clean out their offices every night. Members of Congress will vote tomorrow purely with their gut. The time for facts and rational decision is long since gone. My own experience is that it never was.

No biggie. The net effect will be exactly the same. We're headed for bankruptcy.

Healthcare costs will continue to skyrocket. Medicare will go bankrupt by 2017, as predicted by its Trustees. Private insurance, even with government subsidies, will continue to price itself out of existence. Soon, only Fortune 500 CEO's and the few remaining labor union members left in the US will be able to afford private health insurance. The rest of us will have no healthcare insurance at all. We'll be one hospitalization away from personal bankruptcy.

Like any apparent catastrophe, this one has a silver lining. I happen to believe that the current healthcare system is so rigged against patients that even if it disappeared, patients would be better off. Here's why.

The current system, as everybody knows, makes money only when you're sick. When you're well, there's no money to be made. Science can finally keep you healthy, through this new field I love called "preventive molecular medicine." I first coined the phrase in 1996. Nobody else is using it yet, which just goes to show you what a real revolution medicine is in for. PM2, as I call it for short, is what medicine will become.

So it might not be such a bad thing for current healthcare to disappear. They certainly didn't want you to be healthy. Now that you're on your own, with a few dollars in your pocket, like a rolling stone, to paraphrase our generation's prophet, Bob Dylan, it turns out that's all you need to stay healthy. GenoMed, my Next Generation Disease Management company, can put off cardiovascular disease for perhaps a decade. Some things, like kidney failure, we can put off forever.

For the past decade, we've been working on cancer. Even with the vagaries of biotech funding, we've managed to find more cancer-causing genes than anybody else, about 2,500 per cancer for six common cancers: breast, colon, lung, ovary, pancreas, and prostate. Naturally, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society won't help us. This gives me hope: we must be on to something clinically useful!

I hope that (a) people hear about us through the Internet (in particular, I'd like to make the world dialysis-free by 2015); and (b) we bring in some cash soon to validate our cancer SNPs, so we can provide people with an early warning system for what cancer they're most likely to get.

For now, we can offer free Phase IV trials to anybody with Stage IV (metastatic) cancer, preferably in one of the six tumors mentioned above. But we would be willing to tackle any metastatic cancer, since there's a small number of genes (about 25) that show up strongly in all six cancers, and may contribute to other cancers as well.


  1. Hi Dave, nice to see you at the Blogg and keeping at the grind stone. Will bell you on Monday, have a good idea ...

  2. Hi, Dave: Thanks for the blog. We know yu are right; stay with the program!
    Bob Baker