Sunday, August 2, 2009
I generally do not get to ask questions to our "political elite" but happened to have one cornered in the hospital so I let them fly. I asked "If we shift our medical spending to prevention and early detection of diseases, doesn't that mean that people will still get sick and die but later and of different things? So, how does this save money?" He replied "well, we wont have the cost of chronic preventable diseases." I asked him "which ones", and "how does this make any savings", he started gulping air, so I went on. I mean, say we "prevent" cancer. People are going to get other things, like chronic renal failure, congestive heart failure, other "chronic diseases", it is not like people are not going to need medical care and just suddenly drop dead (about Medicare age). "So, are you going to stop treating these other things?" He started to have blepharospasm and I was worried that any minute he might code. He went to his fall back party line quote "most medical expenses occur in the last months of life", of course I threw back, "How does prevention change that?". I would love to have had him on telemetry to see what his st segments and t waves were doing, but then one of the residents paged with a crisis and I had to leave. I am sure that I will be in the hospital CEOs office soon, why do we have our names on our white coats.