Thursday, October 22, 2009
HEALTH - October 22, 2009
I have been interested in the constant comments being made about the increasing cost of health care. Like many similar comments, this fails to take into account what we buy with that money. In short, we buy our lives and our good health, where that has become possible. A notable example was the carping we heard a few years ago about the cost of MRI diagnosis. It would seem that the complainers would rather that we were without that machinery, with all its costs. What many fail to take into account is that many of the uses we put MRI to are investigations that we would never have made before, because the cost, pain and danger of the investigative diagnoses would have kept us out of the picture in certain cases. I had an instance myself where such an investigation revealed an edema in my femur, a condition that was unknown until the investigations of a certain physicist from Columbia made possible the deep picturing of the inside of the human body without cutting into the flesh. Indeed, in this case I might have taken on an investigative surgery. And it would have done no good even then, as no reputable surgeon would have cut open the bone to find the cause of the pain. It was never heard of until the invention of the machine based on Prof. Rabi’s investigations into a never-before suspected phenomenon called NMR. And now it costs some money, where before all it cost was bearing the pain of the illness. In addition, we now make some medical coverage available to people who formerly had to bear the pain without recourse, a supposed disadvantage that conservatives think we could get away with by pretending not to notice the suffering of the victims. As in many other things, it is time we were paying the cost of our new blessings. And it is well worth the cost, so let’s all stop that particular complaining.