It seems a lot of folks are upset by the recent Supreme Court decision on corporate free speech. Let me reprise a discussion at Talk Polywell on some aspects of health care that have a bearing on why corporate free speech is important. The discussion was about life extension and how cooling the body in trauma situations helps prevent damage until treatment can be obtained. Currently such methods only gain you an hour or an hour and a half. It is often enough.

The most common long-duration medical procedure performed in the U.S. is bypass surgery. Traditionally, the patient is put on a heart-lung machine while the surgery is performed. It is believed that the brain damage that results from bypass surgery (bypass surgery almost always reduces patient IQ by around 15 points – this is real brain damage) is due to the heart-lung machine. I do not believe this. However, most of the medical community does and as such, they are very eager to utilize a technology to cool the patient to near zero C such as to eliminate the need for the heart-lung machine.
I expect all hospitals and clinics that do bypass surgery to utilize this technology within 5 years. Of course, it is much better to chelate with EDTA than to under go bypass surgery. However, the FDA and AMA do not recognize EDTA chelation as effective. The reason is economics. Bypass surgery cost $100k, which is paid by insurance. EDTA chelation typically runs around $3k, which is usually not paid by insurance. Since EDTA chelation actually works in 75% of the cases, the medical industry would loose a considerable income stream if EDTA chelation become popular. Since bypass surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the U.S., this presents a significant percentage of the income revenue for the MD’s, clinics, and hospitals. They are loath to loose this income stream. Don’t be surprised. The medical field and its players are just as greedy, corrupt, and evil as any other private industry or government-funded milieu (e.g. NASA, Tokamak fusion, climate research, etc.).

So I asked:

A lot of this sort of thing was sorted in the electrical industry with UL which was designed to lower insurance losses.
If only we had a medical UL instead of the FDA.
So my question is: why aren’t insurance companies pumping for lower cost therapies?

And I got this reply:

I think the recent supreme court ruling on free speech will help to end FDA tyranny.
One would think that the insurance companies would be interested in lower cost therapies. One would also think that an effective anti-aging therapy would be considered a form of preventive medicine. Why the industry is slow to respond to this kind of thinking is not clear to me.
Aubrey de Grey thinks its due to cultural inertia, which we calls the “pro-aging” trance. I think its due to medical bureaucracy and that the industry itself does not favor such an approach because it will lead to radical downsizing. Nothing will down size the medical industry more than an effective cure for aging. Curing aging will do to the medical industry what the mp3 downloads are doing to the music industry.

I think the founders had it right. The answer to bad speech is more speech. With the internet multiplying the venues available for people to speak their minds (you are reading me – an unknown with no access to big media aren’t you?) the risks from corporate speech are much less than they were when big media was a one way street.
Update: 1319z 25 Jan 2010
Before you run off to your nearest chelation therapy provider see what Jeff has to say in the comments.
Cross Posted at Power and Control