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 Must Reduce Health Care Costs*
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. (Read more Eugene Robinson stories.)

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