I am never sure why, but Americans seem to struggle with the concept that we don’t have unlimited funds to shuttle off into healthcare. Most of the industrialized nations of the world have made attempts, some successfully, in this area. Enter the concept of Cost Effectiveness Research (CER). This is certainly becoming a hot topic and has drawn the ire of some right wingers who have thrown epithets like “Death Boards” out to be sensational (and goodness knows we like a good dose of sensationalism).
For those of you who’d like a little more info on this topic I’m going to refer you to two really nice articles via the New England Journal of Medicine. One is on the need for CER while the other is a perspective piece bemoaning recent legislation passed by Congress that makes using CER quite difficult. This second piece in particular is a good insight into the world of medical economics thinking.
I don’t have an answer, certainly. I just know we need to quit acting like there are no hard choices to make before we break the bank.