Monday, August 10, 2009


  • The director of the Congressional Budget Office says on his blog that "most preventive [health care] services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall."
  • John Stossel asks if Congress has any shame. Well, of course not -- and it's a bipartisan issue.
  • Big business and big government in cahoots: the pharmaceutical industry is set to spend $150 million in advertising promoting the Obama Administration's health care reform initiative.
  • Robert Samuelson explains why the Obama Adminstration's approach to health care reform will make things worse.

1 comment:

Paradigm Shifter said...

As always, thanks for the kudos on the cross-post. It wouldn't happen if you didn't find the initial batch of data!

I especially enjoyed the CBO's analysis. What they are showing is a classical example of the wrong conclusions that can be drawn when logic is reversed. I must admit, I sometimes fall victim to that same faulty logic, as preventative medicine has certainly helped me. But, in the CBO's excellent analysis, they point out that many of us would get the preventative medicine and find nothing wrong. The net effect is to drive up overall health care.

That's not to say that everyone should go without preventative medicine. It is to say that a shotgun approach of "EVERYONE MUST GET SCREENED" makes as much sense as everyone waiting until an emergency room visit for a heart attack to do anything about their health. There is a happy medium, based upon risk and cost, that must be struck in preventative medicine. Otherwise, we won't contain costs.

Quick personal story. I went to the doc a couple of months ago for an annual physical. I told him about my family history, current medical issues, diet, exercise, etc. He then made an EDUCATED decision as to what preventative tests would be covered, and consequently it impacted how much of the cost of each my insurance would pay. "Ok, you want these tests, I think they are reasonable and your insurance will pay this much. These tests are completely optional at this phase, and consequently you will pay far more out of pocket." I then have to determine if the benefit of the test was worth the cost, given the very low likelihood I needed the test. We do that with everything else in life - home and care insurance, extended warranties on electronics, etc. Why not health insurance?