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.