“That’s not rationing. That’s being smart. It’s using good science to determine where your dollars should be spent.”
Those are the words of Dr. Michael Pramenko, a family practice doctor from Grand Junction and the President of the Colorado Medical Society, in describing the use of evidence-based medicine to seek out the most effective and lowest-cost treatments. He notes that “Other countries – not socialist – are covering all citizens and doing it for half the cost.” Very true. And he points out that as our health care costs continue to rise on their current trajectory, we’ll actually see more rationing simply because care will be unaffordable.
We cannot continue to tackle the health care mess by focusing on health insurance reform. That has been a large part of the focus of debate over the last couple years, mainly because health insurance is the point at which most people interact with the financial aspects of their health care. But health care costs are what drive health insurance premiums, and there’s no getting around that. It’s refreshing to hear the President of the Colorado Medical Society talking about the need for evidence-based medicine and a general scaling back of what we spend on health care. We’ve been led to believe that the newest and fanciest technology, treatments, and medications are just what the doctor ordered. But maybe they aren’t really making us healthier than their lower-cost alternatives. Maybe they are just driving up the cost of care for everyone.