Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Republicans and ineffective medicine: The saga continues

The love affair between Republicans and ineffective medicine grows ever more torrid.  Last week it was seeking to undermine the US Preventative Services Task Force, this week it's eliminating health services research.

These attacks on effectiveness research are bizarre.  Republicans claim to support market solutions to health care, but one of the biggest obstacles to that is that people have no idea what they are buying.  Are they buying a Cadillac treatment that delivers 100% satisfaction with no side effects or a 1979 Pinto that will blow up in their face?  When people can't tell the difference between shit and shinola there is no market and you can't have market solutions.   If Republicans are in any way serious about markets they should be advocating for more effectiveness research, not less.

So what explains the attraction?  Why do Republicans seek to protect treatment that doesn't work, like widespread PSA screening?  It's almost like they're afraid of the paradigm of using evidence to guide decisions.  Probably because in the real world so much evidence goes against them...

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