Open thread June 21,2016 Dan Crawford | June 21, 2016 8:38 am Tags: open thread Comments (22) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Fatalities from accidents and homicides in the US every year are a far distant second and third to the half a million Americans (and uncounted millions around the world) who die from heart failure. There now there looks to be a stabilizing procedure for most all and an actual cure for many … but from Sunshine Heart, C-pulse device e-news I get, being $20-30 million short to fund final clinical trials stands between those millions and the rest of their lives.
It goes like this. A trial with 20 very ill patients (stage III, stage IV HF, with at least one hospitalization and considered for another device) ended in 2012 with 5 complete cures (device removed), the majority improved and none worse.
Novel, implantable device ‘could slow, reverse heart failure’, Honor Whiteman, Tuesday 7 October 2014
”Around 50% of people who develop heart failure [5.2 million Americans] die within 5 years of diagnosis. But could a novel, implantable heart device change this? In a clinical trial, the C-Pulse – a cuff that wraps around the aorta and pumps blood from the heart around the body – has proved effective in reversing heart failure, even in some patients with severe cases.”
No problems with clots or strokes with the C-pulse balloon outside the bloodstream. Implanted non-invasively too.
Sunshine Heart has been working up a final trial with 200 patients to win FDA approval but can’t seem to get past 100. Money seems the bigger obstacle.
“Unfortunately, there don’t appear to be easy solutions to Sunshine Heart’s primary problem – it lacks the resources of major cardiology companies like Boston Scientific (BSX), Medtronic (MDT), or St. Jude Medical (STJ) that could otherwise support and encourage enrollment. Getting the FDA’s permission to run an interim analysis would certainly help, and the shares do appear undervalued, but the company is…”
One email from Sunshine Heart (can’t dig it out) made out private investors to be reluctant for fear any patent could be too easily worked around.
Here’s the thing. I figure 5 million currently terminal patients (we all know somebody) would gladly pony up $6 apiece. 🙂 More sensible path – government supporting this and all clinical trials from now on – possibly neutralizing big pharma’s biggest gouging excuse without hampering innovation (encouraging) – in this case, with 10,000 American deaths every week, pronto. Maybe states could get together and pitch in. Maybe GoFundMe. ??? Whatever, soon.
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“To use Sovaldi to treat each of the 3 million hepatitis C patients in the United States, it would cost around $300 billion, or about the same amount we annually spend for all other drugs combined.”
Thus the opposite end of the pharma-out-for-pharma cruelty scale. Federal legislation exists* to put and end to what-should-be a $300 billion joke right now. Be a nice Democratic campaign issue – if that’s what it takes.
Bydureon (once a week) keeps my blood sugar down, my insulin up and caused me to lose 50 pounds in as many weeks without effort. The VA endocrinologist (the right hand man to a Nobel Prize winner) who discovered the prized molecule in the saliva of a Gila Monster is likely still working on salary. Pharmasset’s chief Sovaldi researcher made $446 million dollars for himself …
… made possible only because the “Gilead Monster” could fork over $11 billion in the expectation of getting back $1,000 a pill (that cost $1 to make).
$30 million or $300 billion short, America’s wonder drug machine needs major redesign — and in a hurry.
Is global warming already impacting commercial passenger aviation in PHX? http://abc13.com/weather/flight-returns-to-iah-because-it-was-too-hot-to-land/1391923/
The story cites “effects of heat on the airplane’s equipment”. Right. Like wings. When the air gets too hot it’s not dense enough to provide the needed lift to allow the plane to land at a safe speed (i.e. one that can be stopped before you run out of runway). The same problem can occur during takeoff but I guess they must be carefully managing the weight.
And for those who want to be reassured by The Donald’s hapless not-a-campaign against HRC we have Senator Mark Warner on CNN this evening saying she should pick Senator Tim Kaine of VA for VP so they can forge a “bipartisan consensus on debt and deficits”. The Grand Bargain will never die!
AS I saw that too. I thought it was a very Clintonian choice. But I am curious what the “progressive” world thinks.
A electoral winner from a purple swing state. He might temper Clinton’s hawkishness.
Warren needs to stay on the outside. Can you imagine her having to support President Clinton’s decisions?
Castro is a lightweight and as Bruce said months back, can you picture a bumper sticker…Clinton/Castro? I don’t think Hillary will need too much help capturing the Latino vote this cycle.
Take off depends on engine power, which on modern jets is excessive.
Landing in heated (light) air requires speed which the engines can provide, touch down needs to be faster to maintain controlled flight in heated air. A jet slows using brakes which are limited and trust reversers which light air makes less potent. Those really powerful engines don’t rev up fast enough to push the light air against the reversers, and the brakes are limited.
Now as to HRC’s VP a republican would motivate the impeachment!
Hey thanks for the clarification. I guess that explains why that flight from Houston had to turn back but they can keep taking off. It’s not so much that there’s not enough lift it’s just that you’re going so fast you can’t brake (enough) before you run out of runway yes?
Makes me wonder if any other flights were affected or if they just canceled most of them before they could take off. I guess it’s really only bad during that hottest part of the day flights landing earlier or later are within the safety margins.
Airport managers monitor (sensors etc) the weather etc and report to FAA on certain out of normal conditions. Between the FAA and the airport the flight or landing restrictions are “declared” and if landings diverted the “system” of flight plans is notified. If airplane scheduled to take off cannot get in they are “delayed”, en route get diverted. Lots of decision rules.
Lots of data bases filled by sensors, and people (in the loop) talking to each other in the air traffic control systems
well, it’s early days in the new tropical paradise, but i suppose longer runways are not out of the question.
what may be out of the question was my first thought: diverting some of that engine power on landing to cooling the brakes?
The Trustees Report is out, and it looks like little change from last year (a slight improvement).
thanks, Mike B.
apparently they have made it inaccessible to people like me with old computers.
it will take me a while to get a look at it.
meanwhile, there are several (many) studies of different proposals you can find (with dilligence) on ssa website. i think they all fall short of what “one tenth of one percent whenever the Trustees report short term actuarial insolvency” will do:
keep SS “worker paid”
with tiny tax increases
spread out over years
while wages are increasing
and no cuts in benefits
or increases in the retirement age
or need to “tax the rich”.
but some of them are close enough so that even if you don’t believe me, you should be able to see the basic fact:
the XX Trillion Dollar Unfunded Deficit! is a stupid an inflammatory and deceitful way to say:
if we are going to be living longer we will need to save a little more for our retirement
and if wage growth is going to be slower, that little more will be in fact an increased PERCENT of wages (while leaving a large increase in the AMOUNT of after the tax wages), but in increase in the amount you save for your own retirement is not a catastrophe and a whole lot less expensive than say an increase in the cost of bread, or gas, or interest… in other words all of the various changes in the prices of things.
trouble is… and it’s a big trouble… getting anyone to listen, much less DO anything.
Been poking around the Report a bit. As Mike B said not much big picture change. But I will want to compare some short term numbers from last year. First take is that the actual turning point to negative TF “change in assets” might have been pushed out. Not sure yet.
Working tonight, won’t be post probably until weekend.
well Campaign To Fix The Debt is already on it.
with their standard we are all going to die and Social Security is what is going to kill us message.
But they do actually give the honest story in one line that no one will understand:
“According to the Trustees, the Social Security programs face a 75-year shortfall equivalent to 2.66 percent of payroll, almost identical to last year’s projected shortfall. By the end of the 75-year projection window, that shortfall will grow to 4.35 percent of payroll – the equivalent of $3.9 trillion over the next decade.”
That 2.66% of payroll is 1.33% for most workers. And it can be reached gradually at a rate of one tenth percent per year if started in the next two years.
even the full 2.66% would not be a real burden… though it might be a bit of a shock, especially after the hysterics from the haters of SS get through…
The thing about the 2.66% is that it is “only” a 75 year fix. after that it is likely another 1% or so would be needed to make SS “sustainable.”
i’d be happy to let the folks in 2090 worry about that, but i’d be happier if we just took the one tenth percent per year approach and fixed it ourselves now and forever.
that’s “per year” that the ten year forecast actually calls for it. like others here i think an increase in the minimum wage or other improvement in wages for workers would result a need for less, or fewer, increases.
Picking a unity VP candidate sounds good unless you face a divided senate, and they’re positioned with the choice of backing their party or backing the president’s party.
Teaser. Trust Fund Operations trough 2024 (2015 Report) and through 2025 (2016 Report) Table IV.A3
2015 projected year end 2015 balance of $2.798 trillion and peak of $2.885 in 2019. 2016 had actual year end 2015 of $2.812 and peak of $2.892 billion in 2019.
That is any commenters who claimed that we would see actual short term deterioration in these numbers were in fact wrong. $14 billion over projections for this year and $7 billion over projection for peak balance is in the big picture a rounding error. Still some insisted that the short term numbers in last year’s Report were widely optimistic. Instead the sign on the number is at least positive. If you like this shows that the Office of the Chief Actuary is being properly cautious with short term economic estimates.
On another note Real Wage projections were bumped up slightly from 1.17 to 1.2 thus increasing actuarial balance a tad. I still believe we could target Real Wage by systematic policy, i.e. MJ ABW – More Jobs at Better Wages. Instead we have a conservative projection that continues to project wage stagnation going forward.
(There is of course an argument that if productivity holds steady then any increase in real wage, coming as it would from capital share, would disincentivize revinvestment and so decrease overall employment. That is workers as a whole just can’t afford to be paid more via such things as increases in minimum wage. But this underlying argument is not a natural law in the way Neo-Libs would have it. At least its authority rests more on assertion than proof.)
I just went on the major networks’ web sites to see what they were saying about the Trustees Report. I only saw one article, on CNN’s website (and it said that Medicare’s Part A trust fund is projected to run out 2 years earlier than last year’s report). On the other sites I didn’t see anything about Social Security, but I did see a whole lot of Trump (CBS was the worst, with 5 pictures of Trump near the top of the page). Why is it considered big news when one candidate slams another? I’m going to stay away from these sites until after the election (even BBC thinks Trump’s attacks on Hillary are front page news).
Do SS’s actuaries update their assumptions based on trends in longevity? I.e. are the recent revelations regarding lower life expectancies in the US factored in?
i think the answer is yes, but you should look it up yourself while i am beating my computers into line.
The fix is reverse upward distribution of the fruits of society.
The real problem with SS is it is no longer hiding the general fund deficit.
SS money invested in Syraghistan, so US productivity investment went to paying cooks in chow halls run by Weinberger and Cheney.
Distribution issue as discussed on EV is income trending toward people already above the cap.
The fix is not possible since they want to own everything and will rattle sabers with Russia for more divestiture of US productivity.
Unlike the Soviets world banksters are not out to get US.
I worry more about climate disaster and Nuclear winter.
The Trustees Reports do constantly update their demographic assumptions based on new data as it becomes available. However, I don’t think overall life expectancy is decreasing – I think it’s only middle-aged white males whose life expectancy has been decreasing recently.
That said, Social Security might be planning for a major revision in assumptions about future changes in life expectancy for next year’s report. This year’s report says “The Trustees intend to carefully consider the mortality assumptions for the 2017 report” – a comparable statement was not included in recent reports.
Thanks Mike B.
I couldn’t find any indication a change in life expectancies had any effect on the current Report. But they don’t make it easy to pick out.
The changes in mortality rates (which they use rather than life expectancy) are discussed in section V.A.2 and values are given in the table below that. But the changes from last year’s report were very small, so I doubt they’d have any significant effect on the headline numbers.
I just read an AP story about the Social Security reports in my local paper, and it emphasized two numbers that were very unreliable – the projected COLA for Social Security and the projected increase in Part B premiums for Medicare (the number they give depends on the COLA). Granted, those are the numbers a lot of people care about, but they both depend on what inflation does in the next few months (it went negative late last year, but has been strongly positive for the last 3 months).