Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Made Redundant

Via Darleen Click of Protein Wisdom comes this story from England’s universal healthcare system: Young women under the age of 25 are not only denied pap smears that could detect potentially lethal cancers, but also not allowed them under any circumstances — even if they pay for them themselves.

This is the logical consequence of universal health coverage.  All are equal. No one need fear someone else getting treated better because of their socioeconomic status or ability to pay. All shall be entitled to the same treatment, based on nondiscriminatory criteria.

Criteria such as  signs that a woman just might develop cervical cancer before the age of 25. Statistics show that the vast majority of women under 25 don’t need tests for that disease, so they simply aren’t allowed. Not even if the woman is willing to pay for her own peace of mind, and her doctor agrees that it would be a good idea. No, such tests would be redundant — just like that very small number of women whose lives might be saved by earlier testing.

No, the American health care coverage system isn’t perfect. But as flawed as it is, it’s still a lot better than the alternatives being cited as role models.



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