Amputate this, part 2

When we caught President Obama in the act of sliming America’s physicians at his dog-and-pony show in Portsmouth, he was touting the superior virtues of preventive care over treatment. Remember, this guy is smart. Why didn’t we think of that?
Obama illustrated his insight with an example. If you are borderline diabetic, you need to be told to change your diet and drop a few pounds. Your primary care physician won’t tell you this, according to Obama, because he doesn’t get paid enough for counseling. Moreover, he seems to be in cahoots with the surgeon who is raking in the big bucks performing amputations at a rate of up to $50,000 per foot. Thus the epidemic of footless citizens all around us. Again, why didn’t we think of that?
Charles Krauthammer explains the rationale underlying Obama’s invocation of preventive medicine. It is the deus ex machina come down to resolve the internal contradictions of Obamacare. Obamacare will pay for itself by reducing the epidemic of costly amputations. It will save money, and also save lives. So we’ll be hearing a lot more about it.
As Krauthammer notes, however, there is at least one problem with this scenario. Krauthammer quotes CBO Director Doug Elmendorf: “Researchers who have examined the effects of preventive care generally find that the added costs of widespread use of preventive services tend to exceed the savings from averted illness.” But has the CBO factored in the increased productivity of borderline diabetics whose feet will be saved under the regime of Obamacare?
The more salient question is whether there is anything that can be done to prevent Obama from invoking prevention as the magic solution to the internal contradictions of Obamacare. The guy is like a flim-flam man selling a patent medicine. Unfortunately, modern medicine hasn’t yet devised a cure for deceit and demagoguery.


Books to read from Power Line