Sunday, November 05, 2006
Bill McClellan Opposes Medical Research As Its Discoveries Would Be Expensive
At least, I think that's the point he meanders to in his column today:
    Medical care is already expensive. Without health insurance, the most expensive treatments are beyond the reach of even an affluent citizen. Consider bone marrow transplants. This is the most common adult stem cell therapy, and technology-wise, it's horse-and-buggy stuff compared with what might be coming in the not-distant future. And what does this horse-and-buggy stuff cost? Approximately $100,000.

    So what would we do? If the insurance companies have to foot the bill for the new technology, rates would have to rise, and maybe rise steeply.

    This would compound the problem we already can barely ignore about health insurance. Millions of Americans don't have any. We're able to ignore this only because most middle-class people have at least some semblance of health insurance, but if rates go up, what then? Could we become a society in which some people — the most affluent — are able to get new organs while many go without even basic treatment?

    More likely, we will have to make some very difficult decisions. Who will get the cutting-edge treatment and be allowed to cheat death? I think about a spiritual man in his mid-60s, a man who used to dress as a horse for Shakespeare in the Park. Would he make the cut?
Never mind how the free market would eventually balance this out by finding more cost-effective solutions so health care providers could make money by applying the cures to new people with smaller budgets. Nah, let's just grab that precise moment of maximum suck, where it's no longer impossible but remains prohibitively expensive, and extrapolate to indict.... I don't know who McClellan's trying to indict here. Health care? Researchers? Opponents of Amendment 2? All of the above?

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."