The media recently put out some nice warmhearted stories that really makes you feel good inside. The first is the Ohio woman who gave birth to her own triplet granddaughters. The real mom couldn't do this due to a hysterectomy and so in vitro fertilization was performed. Unfortunately, the babies were born 2 months early and weighed less than three pounds. Congratulations to mom, dad and grandma!
The next story comes out of the pharmaceutical research world. The JUPITER study showed that using Crestor, a cholesterol drug, to treat people with normal cholesterol cut the risk of heart attacks, strokes and premature death in half. Wow! This is amazing news. Sign me up.
These two little diddies mentioned above seemed wonderful at first glance until one digs a little deeper. The first story about "Grandma Surrogate" sure cost someone a whole lot of money. Her daughter already had two children from a previous marriage but I guess she really needed those triplets in her life. That is fine and dandy with me. Hey, have as many as you want. Who is paying for it, though? The IVF probably cost upward of $100K. That would be chump change compared to the premies that are vacationing in the NICU for two months. We are looking at millions. That is a whole lot of immunizations to spread around the country. That is a whole lot of blood pressure medications for people who can't afford them.
The second story seems like we have the newest and greatest pill that should be put in the water supply. But hold on. About 7 billion people would qualify to follow the JUPITER protocol which, at a cost of $116 a month, would put us back almost $10 billion. That would prevent 28,000 heart attacks, strokes, etc. In other words, in order to save one life it would cost us about $500,000. Ouch.
What seems so sweet and nice on the outside may be hard to swallow once you dig a little deeper. We DO NOT have the money to pay for all this. The truth is that someone has to make hard calls in the future which would put the kibosh on both these stories. That is called rationing. That is called reality.