Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Such Thing as a Free Mammogram

Mrs. Fundman and I "discussed" the new recommendations for mammograms last night after dinner and a few drinks. I say "discussed" because I hadn't read much about it and she was pretty wound up after a long day with FundInfant at the pediatricians. As a conservative who watches too much Glenn Beck/John Nash, she saw the specter a conspiratorial future of cost-cutting once Obamacare passed the Congress. I just suggested it might be related to the changes that doctors had recently recommended to prostate exams for men.

Well today I officially apologize to Mrs. Fundman, because the White House is apparently freaking out over the panel and its potential impact on the debate. The quote from the Post, not Fox or some right-wing blog, that got me was:
Under health-care reform legislation pending in Congress, the task force's recommendations would be used to help determine the basic coverage that insurance companies would need to offer for preventive services. But task force officials said that played no role in the panel's decision and costs were never considered.
Yeah, sure. That's why the White House has issued about 35 public statements saying that this had nothing to do with the reform.

Just as an fyi - this little piece was brought to my attention by a friend in the UK, which has socialized medicine. A panel there just decided not to give people with liver cancer a drug which is proven to extend life because it's too expensive. And the drug apparently has some positive effects on breast cancer as well - not that any Brit will ever enjoy those benefits.

Folks as I've noted before, there is NO WAY to increase access and decrease costs without limiting available treatments. Full stop. The question is which alternative is more just, and that's a discussion we don't want to have in this country.


  1. Maybe congress would be more successful if they went back and tried to solve Cold Fusion. Do you want to solve the Health care challenges in this country? Treat the whole patient and not just rip out his spleen.

    More Access for everybody? You're going to need more primary care docs. What's your plan there?

    Lower costs? Get rid of fee for service, let's talk about tort reform, and let's explore what's going on with prescription drugs -- your high-priced lipitor is probably financing boner commercials depicting idiots in outside bathtubs.

    A wise friend once told me that if you listen to the Right, Obama care is a trip to the GULAG. If you listen to the Left, it's all about rainbows and puppies.

    Good luck having an open and honest dialog about an extremely complex issue. In order to solve this problem, sacrifices must be made on all sides and the only Americans capable of sacrifices are in Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg WWII Epics.

    But what the hell do I know...

  2. You know more than anyone serving in the Congress or working on K Street.

    I'd put all of the above on the table, especially tort reform, fee for service, and the fact that Medicare should not be a right for someone because they've been lucky enough to not die.

  3. Do the Btits have socialized dental care? Just asking...