Sunday, July 22, 2012

Republicans: Pushing Medicine Into The 19th Century

Republican Surgeon's Kit

Paul Krugman, in a short post called What You Don't Know Can't Heal You, examines the teabagger House of Representatives' proposed ravages of the Affordable Care Act Health and Human Services funding bill:
Austin Frakt looks at the Republican health legislation, and finds (quoting a report from AcademyHealth) that
[I]t completely eliminates the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Sec. 227), and prohibits any patient-centered outcomes research (Sec. 217) and all economic research within the National Institutes of Health (Page 57, line 19).
And remember the hatred aimed at comparative effectiveness research.
Health care is one of those disciplines in which the invisible hand of the market, likely as not, raises its invisible middle finger at us all. The market cannot determine rational behavior here, and omitting the necessary research... which only the government has incentive to do, on behalf of the citizenry... is sure to drive an irrational, profit-obsessed, dangerous outcome. Only actual knowledge of outcomes of treatment approaches, as determined by actual research by people trained in performing that research, can tell us whether a given approach is worthwhile or just a waste of patients' money. Doctors are not gods who can simply "know" these things, however vast their professional experience. I cannot imagine that even insurance companies, rapacious as they are, think that this knowledge-free approach is a good idea.

But ranting radicals in today's House... I won't dignify their position by calling it "conservative," because it isn't and they aren't... would discard (indeed, forbid!) the government's support of medical-care quality research and medical economics research.

I suppose it would be useless to remind them that one of the stated goals of our Constitution is to "promote the general Welfare," and I suppose they consider it utter folly to acknowledge that that "general Welfare" includes establishing the validity and cost-effectiveness of medical treatments. The GOP War on Science knows no bounds.


  1. What the bloody hell is that idiot playing at? That is utter bloody stupidity

  2. jams, the US seems determined (at least the nut-jobs in the GOP are determined) to hold America back, as long as it saves them tax money... no matter what it costs in lives lost and ruined. They preach the Constitution as if it were a chapter in the Bible, and yet they have never read our founding document, let alone studied it. The ignorant are beginning to dominate the process here, to the peril of all of us. Be glad you were born elsewhere!



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