"Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records, and improving quality are merely lipstick cost control, more for show and public relations, than for true change."He's right, of course. But what he proposes instead is threatening to the doctor-patient relationship, especially when the government intervenes in end-of-life decisions. Could government bodies ever understand the nuances of a patient's illness and family dynamic when a loved one is near death? It is hard to conceive how any doctor could take the Hippocratic Oath, as Emanuel states, "too seriously" at that time.
Maybe rather than taking away physicians' discretion regarding end-of-life decisions and care (especially when tort reform is not and has not been part of the reform discussion) we should ask why are we being smeared with the "EMR-Prevention-Wellness-Waste Reduction" lipstick as a means to justify significant cost savings if it's all a ruse. Might all those non-intercommunicating computer systems, drugs, testing, and wellness initiatives actually increase the costs of care delivery due to the large number needed to treat to save one life? Have these things really saved costs to our "system" or merely made healthy patients sick?
But then, serious discussion wouldn't be feeding our political constituents, would it?
Here's the video of Bachmann's comments:
Addendum: This from the New England Journal of Medicine - Prevention might not save costs. Who knew?