Pulling the Plug on Science, Compassion and Medical Freedom

  • by: |
  • 10/11/2011

There’s only one thing you need to know about the most recent decision of the United States Preventative Services Task Force claim the PSA set for prostate cancer is useless and the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that all medical services now and forever should be covered under Obamacare only if they are cost-effective: They both rely on one-size fits all information that ignores racial, gender, cultural and genetic variations that doctors rely on to personalize care and developers of medical technology now use to develop more targeted treatment.   




The one size fits all approach is tailored to the goal of Obamacare of reducing the cost of government run health care by rationing the use and creation of medical services and products.   And the cost-effectiveness benchmark is designed to delay and discourage adoption of new treatments.  So for instance, the USPSTF hasn’t considered research showing that certain women should get mammograms as a early as 25 to reduce the risk of breast cancer.  And it neglects discussion of  next-gen PSA tests called pro-PSA  that measures at least three forms of free PSA (called B-PSA, I-PSA, and pro-PSA. These first two forms are decreased in the blood of prostate cancer patients and pro-PSA is increased. )  This test can predict prostate cancer more accurately and earlier. 


Pro-PSA will have to go through testing before it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  But under Obamacare the cost of proving it is cost-effective even for specific groups of patients.  This will add millions of dollars to the cost of development and extra years before it’s available. If at all.


Multiply this exercise countless times and before you know it, fewer new drugs, devices and tests will come to market.  Since these products often reduce other treatment costs, save lives and increase productive, hindering their development will not save money or make healthcare cost effective or humane.  But that is not the goal of Obamacare.  The goal is to give government – or rather thousands of bureaucrats and second-rate health economists who do not practice medicine, who never developed a drug or device, who rarely accept responsibility for the damage they cause with their monstrous regulatory certainty – control over decisions our more enlightened overseers believe we are too stupid and greedy to make on our own.  


This breathtaking assault on freedom will not stand.  But before it falls, people will die.  Those who profit from this enterprise in the form of consulting contracts from Health and Human Services and the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research are and will be to blame.  Shame on them.  And shame on us for not doing and say more to stop this sick slide into rationing.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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