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Cost of medical procedures

April 26, 2009

Re: "Cancer exams get political," April 18:

The debate over virtual colonoscopy is emblematic of the dysfunctional way America makes healthcare decisions.

Whenever a new, expensive procedure comes out, the question seems to be framed, "Should we pay for it?"

It is very hard for me to believe that when available knowledge is taken into account and special interest groups have less influence, this procedure could not be performed with as good or better results at a fraction of the current cost. I suppose the same might also be true of traditional colonoscopies.

The question we should be asking is, "How can these procedures be made more affordable so that those who will actually have better outcomes will be able to get them?"

Hyman J. Milstein, M.D.

Studio City

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