In the debate about healthcare, the voices of the people have been very quiet, likely because they lack the resources to make them louder and because they have few options for forging any common viewpoint. I cannot help but think that our citizens want decent and affordable care and do not particularly care whether it is provided by the public or private sector. For that matter, I think that most providers do not really worry about the structure of healthcare as long as it is fair and equitable and they would be more than happy if the discussion turned from so-called unnecessary care to unnecessary bureaucracy.
About one thing I am sure. The people in this country are great supporters of medical research and they want to make investments of the kind of science that, in rheumatology, has produced methotrexate, TNF blockers, bisphosphonates, and the myriad new agents for inflammation or pain on the horizon. Our people are deeply committed to improvements in care as embodied in the progress since the founding of the ACR during the dark days of The Depression.
About one thing I am sure. The people in this country are great supporters of medical research and they want to make investments of the kind of science that, in rheumatology, has produced methotrexate, TNF blockers, bisphosphonates, and the myriad new agents for inflammation or pain on the horizon.
A Different Kind of Research Support
On Sunday morning after the opening ceremony, I got up early to attend a lecture on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis by my good friend and collaborator, Steffen Gay, MD. Alas, blue laws are no longer in force, at least when it comes to scientific meetings. Although I think that Sunday morning should be a time for slumber, crossword puzzles, or church, the pressure to gain new knowledge and hours of continuing education credit have nullified the concept of a day of rest. Steffen gave a great lecture, although as soon as it was over, I rushed back to my hotel room to catch some needed shuteye.
On my way down Market Street to get to the Loews Hotel where I was staying, I noticed coming toward me a procession of people who were oddly dressed. Certainly, there were many people in the City of Brotherly Love who looked differently than the usual Durhamite, but these people, mostly women, seemed to be in costume. Many were wearing large pink foam rabbit ears that said “Energizer.” At that point, the weather was sill miserable, trying to rival that of the EULAR meeting in terms of the number of inches of cold rain that fell. On the walkers, plastic anoraks and raincoats were in full force, rather than long, black leather coats that the Philadelphians seem to like.