Monday, May 31, 2010

A Vaccine For Breast Cancer? Will the Rationers Allow It? How Will the CBO Score It?

Great news: Scientists are edging closer to a vaccine for breast cancer, reports the BBC:

Vincent Tuohy, from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, said: "We believe that this vaccine will someday be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women in the same way that vaccines have prevented many childhood diseases.  "If it works in humans the way it works in mice, this will be monumental. We could eliminate breast cancer."

Sounds great, but how will the rationers in the federal government regard this possible news?  How will the  Congressional Budget Office score it?  What if it takes another 10 years of research and trials to get the breast-cancer vaccine to market?  Will that decade's worth of effort be counted as a cost--a cost to be pruned--or will it be seen as an investment, to be nurtured along?

The CBO is a hard-working bunch, and mean no harm, but their mandate is to look at everything through their single-variable bean-counting prism.   And that means that something as radical as a costly cure might not fit into scarcitarian vision, or their computer model.


  1. Any rationing of treatment or prescription drugs as a result of Obama care or CBO statistical and financial review may result in devastation as millions of Americans through no fault of their own will be modified in their regimens and suffer to the point of hospitalization or fatality. I have written before that synthroid which is brand is indicated for thyroid disease, the generic is not. If our medical system starts leaning totally generic and save a buck at any cost, our life spans and death rates will be affected to the downside. The mental health system will be in chaos because recovered patients mostly need to be maintained on the same plan for their lifetime. Fiddling with their present pharmaceutical management could bring back their submerged disease and possibly put people back in hospitals after years of clean living and happiness. The American medical system is not the place to pinch pennies. Search for the cure and R&D is where any rationing will surface as the culprit for devastation.

  2. There's of course no what to tell other than that the LAST thing they will do is whatever is best for us.