On Wed, I am having the screening procedure that Katie Couric so vividly demonstrated some years ago. Basically the story is that if you have this procedure at age 50, any colon cancer that might be detected will be at a sufficiently early stage for it to be quite curable. So because I have good health insurance, I can be sure I will not die of colon cancer.
Those without insurance are not so fortunate. Such patients can only get the screening if they pay out of pocket ($2000-$3000) or, if they are patients at places like the LA County hospital, if they are symptomatic, which means the cancer might not be caught early. For the median family, $2000 is a lot of money; for those who occupy the netherworld of having too much money to get medicaid but not enough to afford health insurance, it is even more so.
I hope the new health care system rectifies this. Under the old system, this difference in service delivery was unjust.[Updates: First, I misspelled “colon,” which shows that I should never write things while being reflective at midnight. Second, it is worth saying something about cost benefit analysis and screening–according to this source, the cost per life year is about $45,000, which seems like a good deal to me].