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June 2013

May 2013

Don't call it autism

We trace the history of autism, going back to Eugen Bleuler, and especially medical hero Leo Kanner. But what many now call "autism" is much different from what Kanner described, and an increasing number of voices suggest that this has led us horribly astray.

That's why we spotlight the work of Michael J. Goldberg, MD—a modern day Martin Arrowsmith—who sees a neuro-immune connection in affected kids, even if they do show some signs of classic Kanner autism.

I think he's onto something...and you might just agree.

Read the complete article.

Dealing with addiction

In this HND piece, we take a look at the long love affair humanity has had with drugs. According to psychiatrist Tammy Saah, "Archaeological records indicate the presence of psychotropic plants and drug use in ancient civilizations as far back as early hominid species about 2 million years ago."

Various detox/treatment methods are discussed, but nearly all of them come with this chilling caveat:

An estimated 90 percent of people who have recovered from an addiction to drugs or alcohol will eventually relapse. Depending on the severity of the relapse, you may have to begin the process of addiction treatment and recovery from the very beginning.

Read the complete article.

You don't need the food police

Inspired by Mayor Bloomberg's recent failed venture attempting to control the size of soft drink portions, this HND story takes dead aim at that portion of the Nanny Staters, known as the Food Police. Although there are obnoxious individual spokesmen such as Bloomberg and food writer Mark Bittman, the reigning leaders of the food police are the inaptly named Center for Science in the Public interest (CSPI).

While CSPI is (finally) against trans fats, few people realize that they were formerly the biggest proponents of trans fats. What's more, they've been lying about it ever since.

We also discuss the concept of anarcho-tyranny, and how it applies to the food police. Read the complete article.

The medical device tax

This HND piece analyzes what might actually be the single most stupid provision of all Obamacare...the medical device excise tax. You know something must be up if even some of the most liberal members of the Senate have voted to repeal it.

While many are aware that it levies a 2.3 percent tax on essentially all medical devices, few are aware (mostly because it was not publicized) that the tax is on the GROSS, and not the net. Thus, even companies that are showing a loss must still pay up. Of course, when this tax was first proposed back in the 1990s by Hillary Clinton, she smugly noted that she was not responsible if some companies were under-capitalized.

The biggest argument in favor of such a tax (that Obamacare will bring in so many more patients that it would be no problem) is complete nonsense, and we tell you why. Read the complete article.

Could Obamacare force people to start taking charge of their own health?

This HND story looks at an unintended consequence of Obamacare: People might be forced into taking ownership of their own health.

If all the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) kick in next year as planned, most folks will look back with fondness on what they had before. For one thing, insurance premiums will be going up--and not by a small amount either. Given the expected influx of new patients, against a backdrop of a supply of physicians that has not appreciably increased since the late 1990s, it will be more difficult to see a doctor.

Perhaps even the government will see the light and create a paradigm shift from a disease care to a true health care model. Stranger things have happened. Read the complete article.

Spotlight on food snobs

This HND piece examines the rampant snobbery connected with victuals. It starts off by quoting a rant from an anonymous Brit...

Every day, people compromise on their diet due to convenience and expense. This does not make them ignorant or in any way beneath you. There will always be those that try and stay ahead of the trends by discovering more prestigious/expensive ingredients, but this definitely does not mean that the quality of your food is better.

The snobbery covers many aspects of food, including "organics" (despite mountains of evidence showing that they are no more healthy than conventional fare); and a prejudice against frozen food, as if there had been no progress in that industry since the 1950s. Far better to keep clinging to stereotypes, I guess.

Read the complete article.

Fear, empowerment, and health care--with an eye toward women

Quite a mouthful, and also the title of this HND article.

We take a look at how fear (especially the creation of fear in women) drives the marketing of health care. Even worse, the notion of empowerment, a term most often applied to women, is often victimization called by another name. As it is, both the US Department of Labor and health care marketeers agree on one thing: If you want to sell a health care product or service, go after women.

Read the complete article.