Study Raises Questions About Cost Savings From Preventive Care Reform's Backers Say Such Measures Will Help Pay for Overhaul of Health System By Lori Montgomery Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, September 1, 2009 Preventive services for the chronically ill may reduce health-care costs, but they are unlikely to generate the kind of fantastic savings that President Obama and other Democrats have said could help pay for an overhaul of the nation's health system, according to a study being published Tuesday. . . . The study comes a week before lawmakers are due back in Washington to continue the debate over Obama's signature domestic initiative, a debate that has come to focus heavily on cost. . . . The study was funded in part by the National Changing Diabetes Program, which is primarily funded by Novo Nordisk, a maker of diabetes medicines.
_________________________________________ There's a couple of things, interesting to me, going on here. The first, is a willingness to authenticate by comparison, the cost-benefit ratio of national health.
Certainly that might be important to a mother with a child suffering from early-onset LCA.
(Wikipedia) Leber Congenital Amaurosis damages the light receptors in the retina and usually begins affecting sight in early childhood, with worsening vision until complete blindness around the age of 30.
The study used a common cold virus to deliver a normal version of the gene called RPE65 directly into the eyes of affected patients. Remarkably all 3 patients aged 19, 22 and 25 responded well to the treatment and reported improved vision following the procedure. Due to the age of the patients and the degenerative nature of LCA the improvement of vision in gene therapy patients is encouraging for researchers. It is hoped that gene therapy may be even more effective in younger LCA patients who have experienced limited vision loss as well as in other blind or partially blind individuals.
Unless, of course, you are relegated to a life with a white cane, because your government didn't like the C/B ratio. A guide-dog might be a better bargain.
If our outrageously spendthrift history of throwing money at the ill-named 'war on drugs' was subjected to such a cost/benefit analysis, we'd quickly realize that spending $18 billion a year to mitigate (not eliminate) 17,000 illicit drug-induced deaths annually. That's over $1 million per death, but don't get me started.
The second point of interest, is the unflinching and uninquisitive manner by which newspapering has fallen to the quick-and-dirty (profitable as well) habit of blazing headlines based on the 'research' of interested parties.
Novo Nordisk is a Danish company that manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services, particularly focused on the diabetes market. That by no means impugns their motives in entering the debate, but it does lead to shoddy and uninvestigative reporting.
Consistently, the health care debate is being framed in terms that almost completely ignore the reasons we pursue it;
protecting those without an empowered advocacy
catching up to the more enlightened single-payer systems that have left us behind, with a #1 cost and #37 effectiveness rating
containing runaway costs that threaten our ability to provide other needed public services
making sure children have a fair run at adult health, and
taking bribery of our elected officials out of the equation
It's just like being at the dog-track. The rabbit we are chasing is not real.