We Must Reduce Health Care Costs*
*But please don't touch mine, no matter how wasteful
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2009 10:37 AM CST
We're all for reducing health care costs, but no one actually wants to go without a procedure.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The brouhaha over mammograms proves that we’ll never corral health care costs for one simple reason: no one wants to give up any care. Intellectually, women may understand that life-threatening breast cancer is pretty rare before age 50, but rare doesn’t mean non-existent. “Many women would rather be safe than sorry,” writes Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, “and safe costs money.”

“Each of us should ask ourselves: How much expensive, unnecessary testing and treatment am I willing to have our out-of-control health system pay for to save one life, if the life in question might be mine?” asks Robinson. “The honest answer, I think is: a whole bunch.” So the only “honest solution is a word that cannot be spoken: rationing.” Our current systems already rations based on our ability to pay and the whim of insurers. It doesn’t really work—but no one’s willing to change it.