June 25, 2009

Preventive Care is a Sick Idea

Posted: 12:07 AM ET

David Harsanyi via

art.gloves.operation.giDespite the extraordinary energy exerted in trying to delay the inevitable, the inconvenient fact is we all die.

So it is no surprise that "preventive" health care, that game-changing fix to policy trotted out relentlessly by both Democrats and Republicans, is so appealing. And like many cure-alls, it's a myth.

Surely, for some, preventive health care is worthwhile. And no one is stopping you from eating an apple. But unless policy changes have the power to stop the Grim Reaper—rather than only postpone his arrival—it will make health care more expensive.

Let's begin with the morbidly obvious. The longer people hang around the longer they utilize the health care system. End-of-life care is often the most expensive. Old folks just love doctors. (I know I plan to unleash septuagenarian fury on physicians regularly.) As studies on Medicare have proved, easy availability to services at the tail end of life translates into lots of needless services.

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LKL Show Note:  Elizabeth Edwards will join Larry on Thursday to discuss health care

Filed under: Health • Larry King Live

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Common sense is dead   June 25th, 2009 11:59 am ET

Have no fear, under the Obama plan those pesky old people who have lived long enough will be last in line for treatment. Oh, and they don't need any of those unecessary tests to extend their lives any further. All those working people who have health insurance through their employer will just be taxed on that benefit to pay for all those poor people who have no insurance or money!! Yeah, this is change we can believe in!!

Michael C. McHugh   June 25th, 2009 12:37 pm ET

Personally, I have never liked doctors and hospitals and avoid them religiously. I have to be near death before they get their hands on me, and I doubt that I'll feel any different when I'm old, sick and senile. Like most people, I realize that medicine is just a business to most of these people, and they treat their patients accordingly, so my only satisfaction is in avoiding them as much as I can and not adding to their profits.

This is one reason I strongly oppose mandates to buy health insurance, especially private insurance. I do not want to be forced to add to the profits of big insurance companies, nor do I want to see more people forced into this medical system to add to the profits of doctors and hospitals.

shark   June 25th, 2009 12:57 pm ET

david harsanyi must be pessimistic,suffering from depression or working the repulsive party ( gop). people don't let anyone like david into your thoughts. preventive measures work. iam a person with diabetes almost was bound to a wheel chair. just by changing my eating habbit and taking preventive actions caused my condition to remit. the 7 medications that i was on,down to 1and the doctors 5 every 90 days went to 1 every 6 month. david we know that all of us going to face the grand reaper . the qaulity of life we can have some say in the matter.

Charlotte Bloebaum   June 25th, 2009 5:34 pm ET

Preventative health care means taking care of yourself so you do NOT have to visit a doctor – duh!! Point being, doctors need to do more to educate patients on self care and life styles and diets so they do not get so sick in the first place. Elderly people are NOT expendable nor do I believe Barack Obama wants to just eliminate care for them & let them die. Hospice does an excellent job of caring for dying patients, often elderly and at no charge. If folks want the extreme measures just to be kept alive – well that needs to stop. Of course will all die but we can have a good quality of life IF we learn self care. You, Mr. Harsanyl, are a sadistic freak.

Dan Queen   June 26th, 2009 1:57 am ET


We have lost many icons in the past few days. Michael Jackson as a musical icon and dance genius. Farrah Fawcett as a beautiful lady and great spirit to the cancer cause. Ed McMahonm as a tribute to the American Youth.

MJ   June 26th, 2009 10:09 am ET

As for Michael Jackson's death. Is it worth it to have this Fame and Fortune? What a horrible sad. sad life he and ALL THE OTHERS LEAD. My God is it worth it all? No life at all, just material stuff. He will for now live on with his music until the next one dies and soon he will be lost like all the others. What a sad life all these stars and singers have. Think what he could of done and his legacy if he would of given the 500 mill. $$$ he was in debt to the poor. Buy each person one modest home a yr. how many could he of helped through out HIS COUNTRY OF THE USA!!!!

eJay   June 26th, 2009 10:48 am ET

Private healthcare is too expensive, and they only insure people who are 100% healthy. It's time for public insurance, i'm tired of being rob by private insurance.

eJay   June 26th, 2009 10:48 am ET

Private healthcare is too expensive, and they only insure people who are 100% healthy. It's time for public insurance, i'm tired of being rob by private insurance.

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