Monday, July 30, 2007

Back in the U.S...., Back in the U.S...., Back in the U.S.S.R.

That is about all I have to say on this bit of news:

A surgeon general's report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration's policy accomplishments, according to current and former public health officials.

The report described the link between poverty and poor health, urged the U.S. government to help combat widespread diseases as a key aim of its foreign policy, and called on corporations to help improve health conditions in the countries where they operate. A copy of the report was obtained by The Washington Post.

Three people directly involved in its preparation said its publication was blocked by William R. Steiger, a specialist in education and a scholar of Latin American history whose family has long ties to President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Since 2001, Steiger has run the Office of Global Health Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Well, I do have a little bit more to say about this. One important role for the government is the provision of accurate, helpful information of the kinds that the market has no incentive to produce. Even conservative scholars agree on this role. But the Bush administration does not.