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Mike Rogers (R-MI), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, really doesn't like the thought of health care reform.  Really.  

According to Mr. Rogers, all we need area few tweaks to the existing health care system.  

He's (over)shared his story of being diagnosed with bladder cancer at age 19, and he just knows that guvmint health care could have killed him.

"Well I wouldn't have fit the profile for what -- mandated government plan compensation plan pays for in other words. If it fits outside of the normal which is a very cold calculation. Just statistically impossible to get bladder cancer. [skip] And it and reason is that the only way the government control cost is by denying you things by rationing care. So -- had they not caught it early and they did when I was nineteen. By the time that thing would've been spread through my body and they could've found it later on 22, 23 point four. Probably would have been too late that's certainly what my doctors told me."

Today, Mr. Rogers upped the ante, adding to his collection of fact-free anecdotes and dire warnings with this:

Another controversial Republican amendment passed by voice vote, over Waxman's objections. Backed by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., it would bar the federal government from using research comparing medical treatments' effectiveness to deny or ration care.

Research comparing effectiveness of treatment is called evidence-based medicine (EBM) and it's been around for a while.  

Mr. Rogers either is too dim to understand the concept of EBM, or he has chosen to misrepresent it for political purposes. Whether the former or the latter, it is pretty grim to know that he is my representative...

What, exactly, is the "cold calculation" that so concerns Mr. Rogers?  The Journal of the American Medical Association defines EBM as

The conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. Evidence-based clinical practice requires integration of individual clinical expertise and patient preferences with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research, and consideration of available resources.  (emphasis added)

In other words, it's not a cookbook -- doctors use the best evidence, combined with clinical experience, to make decisions with individual patients -- one size does not fit all.  

Doctors and nurses think EBM is a good idea.

Even the insurance industry thinks EBM is a good idea.

At the end of the day, it's simply common sense. Public funding, private insurance, whatever -- health care providers should make treatment decisions based on what's been proven to work.  

If Mr. Rogers is serious about his amendment, then he should also favor dismantling the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (responsible for overseeing the training of every licensed medical school and residency program in the United States). Evidence-based medicine is the foundation of medical education in our country. It is beyond disgraceful to see Mike Rogers use uninformed personal anecdotes to play politics with peoples' lives.

Originally posted to kelster93 on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 05:38 PM PDT.

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