Category: Health

Precision Medicine for a 21st Century World

Current trends in healthcare are accounting for the realization that an individual’s disease is inherently personal, affected by the patient’s genetic makeup. As such, medicine is evolving towards medical professionals who are able to use more precise and defined technological tools for each individual patient, ushering in the concept of personalized, or precision, medicine. Personalized medicine involves analyzing an individual’s genetic profile to qualify a presumed diagnosis, to group patients for more tailored therapy, and to develop and translate treatments with greater benefits than risk into a clinical setting.

Disease starts with the cells of the human body. All the cells of the human body (except red blood cells) contain DNA, which is considered the instructions for life. Strikingly, the genetic information contained in all these cells is identical; however, the expression of the genes differs between cells. Expression refers to which genes are used by the cell, and accordingly what proteins are made. Proteins are the main effectors of the cell, doing most of the work within our bodies. Here is where personalized medicine steps in. Based on the genomic and proteomic (protein) aspects of an individual’s profile, person A may be diagnosed with the same disease as person B, but the two may respond differently to their prescribed drugs. Studies have shown that Continue reading

Ready or Not?

Elections are over and now there is no question that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will go into implementation. H.R. 3590 was nothing if not controversial. Introduced on September 17th 2009, signed by President Obama on March 23rd 2010 without bipartisan support, and upheld by a surprising 5:4 majority in the United States Supreme Court two years later on June 28th 2012, the Affordable Care Act has come a long way. Schoolhouse Rock never let on that it took Bill that long to become a law, and while some would have preferred it, not everyone was cheering when Nancy Pelosi came running down the capitol steps spreading the word that Bill passed.

While most Americans would agree that some type of healthcare reform is necessary, it is a drastically different story when it comes to how to reform healthcare, thus strong arguments were expressed for and against PPACA. Yet, polls are still showing the public to be very much torn on the issue of healthcare reform. Consider a Gallup poll taken following the SCOTUS ruling. The poll attempted to gauge the public’s perception of how Continue reading

Healthcare is a state issue

Movses Musaelian is a Statistics major in the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. His interest in politics has lead him to become a contributor to an innumerable amount of political forums, and he is an avid follower of Armenian events. Read his bio in the ‘About Us’ page.

A major issue that has been dominating the U.S. political landscape in the past couple years has been undoubtedly the case for a universal healthcare system. Obama’s revolutionary new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which contains an individual mandate requiring individuals to purchase healthcare or be penalized a tax, has caused a lot of controversy, and rightfully so. In the current day, the federal government takes on a lot more responsibilities than it should – responsibilities that are beyond its fundamental duties to maintain a national defense, regulate interstate commerce, engage in international trade, etc. While there are some legitimate debates regarding its involvement, in the case of healthcare Continue reading

Reform healthcare industry, not Obamacare

If you can get past the legal jargon, you should realize that much of the debate concerning the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act is actually misguided. As initially assessed in an opinion by Bloomberg.com, the problem with Obamacare is not the individual mandate, but the state of the healthcare industry itself. The skyrocketing costs of a doctor’s visit and the increasing qualifications needed to be health insured has made basic coverage for the average American a commodity to be treasured when available. To the uninsured, the prospect of sustaining a financially bankrupt healthcare system actually sounds appealing considering that most government services aren’t legitimately funded anyway. Have doubts? Look at the size of the debt. If Wall Street Fortune 500 companies can get bailouts, then surely Continue reading

What happens next for Obamacare?

President Obama may have won the legal battle for the fate of the Affordable Care Act, but there is reason to believe he may be losing the political one. After the ruling by the Supreme Court, many be wondering what the next step is in the lengthy process of implementing ‘ObamaCare’, which isn’t scheduled to take full effect until 2014. Last month’s ruling by the Supreme Court left the health care law in the most vulnerable position it has been in to date. In an opinion still being debated by constitutional scholars, and the public alike, Chief Justice John Roberts defined the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act in his majority opinion as nothing more than a tax Continue reading