Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Once more, more is less

It shouldn't be a surprise that oral surgeons think that 80% of people who don't have their wisdom teeth prophylactically removed will eventually end up with big trouble, but it turns out not to be true. Unless you have recurrent infections or other serious problems, you're better off just leaving them there and waiting until and unless something goes wrong to have them extracted, according to the Cochrane review, the American Public Health Association, and other disinterested parties.

Once again, if we had an equivalent of the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, we could spend considerably less money on medical goods and services and actually be happier and healthier. Unfortunately, the resistance to this comes not only from the lunatic "Death Panel" fringe but also from medical specialty societies and drug companies (who are probably behind the death panel lunacy in the first place). Achieving real, fundamental health care reform in this country will be extremely difficult because of the enormously powerful vested interests that stand in the way. But we really must try.

So let's collectively move the Overton Window:

We need universal, comprehensive, single payer national health care. Like those commies in Canada and Britain.

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