Why the Health Care System Can't Cure Cancer

When it comes to health care, there is an oft-sung mantra: "We have received little return from the investment of health care dollars!"  Nor, the chorus fervently adds, have we cured cancer or heart disease. One of the most recent singers of this old song is David Brooks, who breathlessly extolled a tender essay by a dying man weighing the end of his life on the scale of human and economic costs. Then there's Dennis Callahan, an advocate of "we have spent too much for so little."  Callahan has argued that it is against the natural order of things to extend marginal lives in pallid substitution for actually finding cures. These new-age philosophers' aggregate view is that we should suck it up and die when we are still fiscally neutral -- for the sake of the economy and nature.  This colloquy is a good example of observations being put in service of surprisingly shallow conclusions. But to understand the real reason why we have not achieved our health care ambitions, we...(Read Full Article)