February 12, 2009 7:44AM

Government‐​Funded Comparative‐​Effectiveness Research: a Fool’s Errand

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle by Victoria Colliver explains:

  1. Why the Left and insurers want the government to fund comparative‐​effectiveness research (CER),
  2. Why conservatives and the health care industry oppose government‐​funded CER,
  3. Why the opponents of CER will prevail,
  4. That the Left is going to keep pursuing this fool’s errand anyway, rather than better ways to generate CER, and
  5. Why I want to knock all their heads together.

All that in a rather short article. Here are the best parts:

“The intent is to use that information to ration care. Why else would you come up with the research to help people choose what provides a lot of value for the money and what doesn’t?” said Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank…

“It is perfectly legitimate for Congress to ration care in government programs,” said Cannon, who believes any government effort to conduct comparative‐​effectiveness studies will quashed by industry. “That’s exactly why you don’t want government paying for medical care.”