Today's New York Times has two excellent articles that give some depth, analysis and perspecive to what happened this week in the public debacle over new guidelines for breast cancer screening. In the first, a front page piece, "A Medical Culture Clash", Kevin Sack pinpoints why health-care reform is so terribly hard to accomplish in this country. He writes:
"This week, the science of medicine bumped up against the foundations of American medical consumerism: that more is better, that saving a life is worth any sacrifice, that health care is a birthright."
Gina Kolata also has a terrific piece, "Mammogram Debate Took Group Off Guard." Most damning are comments by Philip Lee, MD, former assistant secretary of health in the Clinton administration. He wonders, could the panel possibly have been that naive not to realize in the middle of a huge health-care debate the new guidelines would drop like a lead balloon? A very good question.