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Health Care’s Generation Gap

Posted Aug 18 2009 10:19pm

Richard Dooling has a nice op-ed in yesterday's New York Times.

[E]xpensive care is often worse care, because it snowballs into what some are calling an “epidemic of overtreatment,” in which unnecessary procedures, tests and medications all spawn more tests, more meds (to treat the side effects of the first batch) and more follow-up scans and procedures (in stand-alone clinics owned by the same doctors prescribing the tests, scans and procedures).

With so much evidence of wasteful and even harmful treatment, shouldn’t we instantly cut some of the money spent on exorbitant intensive-care medicine for dying, elderly people and redirect it to pediatricians and obstetricians offering preventive care for children and mothers?

He makes things seem almost feudal -- with the working young paying taxes, sacrificing assets, and even forgoing health insurance and access in order to keep "lord" grandma alive a little longer.

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