Friday, February 29, 2008

The Future of Medicine and "The Bottom Line"

If you're my age, you remember the promise that DNA held back in the 1970's. How "one day", we'll be able to identify what diseases you'll get, and heal you before you're even sick!

That was before the dark times. Before the advent of the HMO. How much proof do you need to decide that our system is horribly broken? Check out this article about people refusing DNA tests for conditions they're likely to have.

"Insurers say they do not ask prospective customers about genetic test results, or require testing. “It’s an anecdotal fear,” said Mohit M. Ghose, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, whose members provide benefits for 200 million Americans. “Our industry is not interested in any way, shape or form in discriminating based on a genetic marker.”"

Puhleeeeeze. This from the people that are being sued in pretty much every State in the union for despicable acts in the name of the bottom line. The only reason they AREN'T testing is that currently they need blood to do the tests. If they could figure out how to test us without our knowledge, you can bet your ass they would.

Nationalized health care isn't the answer, but we need to move fast to protect ourselves from this kind of genetic discrimination. The basis is already in the law - which prohibits discrimination based on some specific genetic traits like race, gender and (yet to be proven, but it will be) sexual orientation. It's time to start demanding that our politicians expand that protection, before a lack of it starts costing human lives.

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