Taking a break from the critique of the Chicago Tribune article to post this comic from xkcd...
I think that science has done a lot to improve doctors' ability to diagnose illness and deal with major trauma. Vaccines, modern anesthesia, pain medication, antibiotics, X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, chemotherapy, and advanced surgical techniques have saved many lives. Science still has yet to catch up in coming up with effective treatments and cures for some of the worst diseases in history, though, and has to leave politics and profit margins at the door.
When we look back on this moment in history, we may be shocked at the degree that last bit played in decisions that affect future generations to come. What happened to the role of science in basic research, and how can we return to that role?