But it would be wrong to ignore the government task force’s conclusions. Given that slow-growing cancers may not need to be detected early to be cured, and that fast-growing ones may be fatal regardless of when they are found, the fact that its review of the available epidemiological data shows that P.S.A. testing does not save lives from prostate cancer should not come as a huge surprise.
Stephanie was then told by a billing clerk that the estimated cost of Sean’s visit — just to be examined for six days so a treatment plan could be devised — would be $48,900, due in advance. Stephanie got her mother to write her a check. “You do anything you can in a situation like that,” she says. The Recchis flew to Houston, leaving Stephanie’s mother to care for their two teenage children.
About a week later, Stephanie had to ask her mother for $35,000 more so Sean could begin the treatment the doctors had decided was urgent. His condition had worsened rapidly since he had arrived in Houston. He was “sweating and shaking with chills and pains,” Stephanie recalls. “He had a large mass in his chest that was … growing. He was panicked.”
This is one of the great failings of technology. We get to know what is going to kill us so far before it does and we get to sit there and think about it while an industry springs up to take complete advantage of us at our most vulnerable moment. That industry is causing the real economic hardship and angst for The People. Any politician or administration that wants to survive the next election has absolutely no incentive to reign in Healthcare costs. Think about it. What would happen to the "economy" if Healthcare spending were suddenly dropped from 18+% of GDP to the 9% of GDP found elsewhere in the West? A contraction of 9% would be in line with the Great Depression and much worse than the Great Recession of 2008-09.