WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency and empowered his health secretary to suspend federal requirements and speed treatment for thousands of infected people.
The declaration that Obama signed late Friday authorized Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to bypass federal rules so health officials can respond more quickly to the outbreak, which has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States.
The goal is to remove bureaucratic roadblocks and make it easier for sick people to seek treatment and medical providers to provide it immediately. That could mean fewer hurdles involving Medicare, Medicaid or health privacy regulations.
Personally, I find it appalling that they're requesting/recommending pregnant women and children get it first. Guinea pigs eh? I'm 9 months pregnant and both my midwife and OB told me NOT to get it b/c there hasn't been enough testing; and quite frankly, I wouldn't get it anyway. Too much media hype, too much attention being drawn to this instead of ways OTHER THAN a "shot" to protect you. How come we always think of "medicinal" ways to protect ourselves versus through other "non-medicinal" ways first? Have we ever thought about current medicines that already suppress peoples immune systems, thereby making them more susceptible to dying from the flu? Probably not. There are plenty of drugs that children are on (asthma inhalers) that already suppress their immune system, making them more susceptible to getting pneumonia b/c their own immune systems are already suppressed. I'm only throwing out one example.
I smell profit over patient safety yet again. Yes, I'm a bit skeptical as I always am. Especially when we know there is such a LARGE profit to be made off of fear!
Last edit by CityKat on Oct 25, '09