I wish Obama all the best, and I'm excited that health care reform is being contemplated as one of the first orders of business after the stimulus package is passed. Prevention is being touted as a big healthcare money saver.
But prevention of what?
1. Prostate cancer by PSA screening. (Whoops, early detection doesn't decrease mortality.)
2. Breast cancer by self-exam. (Whoops, ditto. Mammograms work, though.)
3. Colon cancer by colonoscopy. (Right-sided cancer might not be caught by colonoscopy.)
4. Pneumonia by vaccination. (Whoops, maybe not - except in high-risk groups.)
5. Heart disease in women by estrogen replacement therapy. (We know how that turned out.)
6. Cancer by vitamin ingestion. (Whoops again.)
So not only is prevention very unlikely to save significant healthcare money, but we have to make sure we're actually preventing what we set out to prevent.