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Ajit Alles

Thanks for responding to my comment on your post. As follow-up, I agree that we spend way too much on end of life care, but that won't be reduced without a cultural shift. People expect miracles from medicine based on what they hear on the news and see in TV dramas. We could spend less and get better results, but people have to first start accepting that modern healthcare has limitations, not the least of which is funding. The new push for genomic healthcare is a good example of unrealistic ideas being pushed for profit. If everyone thinks that they are going to get personalized gene targeted healthcare they are dreaming! I know I'm a curmudgeon in this regard, but we first need to have good basic healthcare before we get cadillac genomics, etc. We in for-profit medicine must share the blame for pushing "new and improved" medicine that is unaffordable and only (marginally)benefits the few people who can afford it. I recently heard of a family that wants some genomic test done on their child with cancer. The test looks at sequence variation in multiple genes and provides a "report" of very limited utility since most of the variations have no specific treatment. The test costs about $25000 and is not covered by insurance (why would they when it has limited utility?). The family can afford to pay for this so it's being done with the encouragement of the oncologist. There are others who peddle proteomics reports to desperate patients. Enough said. This is the road to ruin.

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