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Two weeks ago, I blogged about the Daly Kos posting in which Dennis Kucinich boasted about his contributions to getting a health care reform bill passed thought his Congressional committee. So spoke the congressman:

“One amendment brings into standard coverage for the first time complementary and alternative medicine.”

As part of my retort, I opined:

“And not only will the promoters of woo be emboldened and legitimized, but in our current times of shrinking health resources, the institutions that ultimately wind up paying for citizen’s health care will look to these relatively-lower-cost alternatives more regularly as legitimate “solutions”.”

For the SGU’s friends in The United Kingdom, this is not some horrific prediction of what might happen in the future. It is a reality that is playing out right at this very moment.

From yesterday’s Telegraph:

“The Government’s drug rationing watchdog says “therapeutic” injections of steroids, such as cortisone, which are used to reduce inflammation, should no longer be offered to patients suffering from persistent lower back pain when the cause is not known.

Instead the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is ordering doctors to offer patients remedies like acupuncture and osteopathy.

The NHS currently issues more than 60,000 treatments of steroid injections every year. NICE said in its guidance it wants to cut this to just 3,000 treatments a year, a move which would save the NHS £33 million. “

This is the real deal, folks. How much a treatment costs is going to become the preferred factor when bureaucrats decide which kinds of doctors and treatments the state is willing to cover. They are not at all concerned if acupuncture actually works, or if osteopathy is effective. They have a fixed budget, and it is their job to balance the ledger sheet as best as they can. In the coming years, all kinds of alternative and complimentary medicines are going to experience an inflated legitimacy and a financial boon the likes of which we can only imagine, to the detriment of us all.

Lost in the murky broth of the health care soup are the basic scientific questions about what works and what doesn’t. It is assumed by too many people, including doctors who don’t know any better, medical institutions that are trying to offer more “holistic” approaches to patient care, bureaucrats in government who know next to nothing about science based medicine, and awful politicians whose main concern is re-election, that alternative and complimentary medical practices deserve serious consideration as part of a government managed health care system.

And having been driven home and pounded into our culture by all the various media machines over these past years and decades, we seem to no longer have the foresight or the will to ask the most basic question of all: Does any of this work? By the government’s own admission and studies, the answer is a resounding NO. Once again, science and critical thinking are pushed aside and shunned when it is needed the most – when it comes to our health.


1 comment to Painful

  • “Does any of this work?”…

    …means different things to different folks.
    To you and I, it means: “Do the long-term positive health effects outweigh the negative?”.
    To the providers, it means: “Is it the cheapest action in the short term?”

    The two rarely coincide, but asking that single question is not nuanced enough.

    Parts of the equation are:
    * Short-term vs. long term.
    * Patient outcomes vs. provider outcomes.
    * Being seen to be doing something vs. actually doing something.

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