Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Don't forget to listen to the Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk show heard Saturday at 9:00 AM PST. On the show this week we have Paul Waldman of Media Matters and Independent Presidential candidate Brad Lord -Leutwyler.
Don't forget Saturday at 9:00 AM PST listen live at Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk
How much is your life worth? How about the life of a spouse, a child or a parent? Have you ever wondered what your hearing or the ability to walk is worth? These questions and many more like them are being asked everyday as Americans face the price of health care.

Many economists are studying the price of a person's health to determine just how much the average person will pay for the use of dominant body parts. These studies will determine whether or not a new medicine or treatment is worth the cost.
Health care technology and health care treatment in general continues to become more and more expensive. These skyrocketing costs have become an unbearable burden on patients, taxpayers and employers.

Many countries such as Britain and France use the method of cost-effectiveness of treatments to determine which drugs and methods to cover. The U.S has been hesitant to limit health care due to the cost and benefits of each treatment. That decision may be quickly changing.

Studies have shown that Americans place the value of a year of their lives between $100,000 and $300,000, according to research at Tufts-New England Medical Center, that has measured the cost-effectiveness of treatments.

It typically costs $70,000 a year to keep a patient alive with dialysis. Dialysis directly saves lives but many other treatments lessen pain, ease depression and enable mobility of limbs, which improve the quality of live, not necessarily lengthen it.

Several tests are being developed to determine whether or not treatments should be used or allow the patient to risk suffering and death. Since patients typically adjust to their present conditions, this ensuring that they will be more tolerant of their diseases and less likely to be given treatment to lessen the severity of the illness.

Once the ranking is established on the costs of different diseases, a determination will be made as to the worthiness of a certain treatment. If the treatment is not cost-effective in comparison to the quality of the life, that treatment will not be used.

As the Bush administration continues to allow insurance companies to dictate the spiraling costs of health care, and the drug companies to have free reign over prescription costs, health care rationing is the next step in eliminating the rights of a patient.

Once again ask yourselves the simple question, how much is the life, the mobility, the ability to hear or see worth to you or your spouse, child or parent? If something isn't done about the rising cost of health care, that is a decision we all will face sooner than we think.