There has been a lot of proposed legislation about comparative effectiveness in this congressional term, and I just ran across an interesting story that helps to understand the political forces that are opposing comparative effectiveness research. It is:
Rationing of health care is one of those issues that strikes fear in people, an I think there has been a lot of misunderstanding about it. Medicare and insurance companies make decisions every day about whether a particular medical treatment will be covered, and this is rationing (even though it is not visible). Comparative effectiveness is simply a way to help decision makers (including those who make coverage decisions) apply the best evidence to their decisions. It really will help protect us all from the bad effects of rationing.
I find it curious why rationing is trotted out as a supposed indictment of comparative effectiveness. It makes more sense to think of comparative effectiveness as a path to better and more efficient health care. It will forestall the need for uninformed rationing.