Dear Huan Yi,
Interesting article by Krauthammer.
However, not all preventive care is useful, and not all should be used in all cases. Krauthammer takes the position of arguing against all preventive care options being taken in all cases.
I doubt anybody is actually taking that position, which is expensive and potentially dangerous and probably counterproductive.
Some preventive case, however, is not expensive, is reasonably cheap, and is even supported by some folks on the right. Reducing the cost of premiums, for example, for those people who follow generally considered healthy life styles has gotten support by some right wing groups as a way of bringing some health care costs in line.
Stopping smoking, introducing regular exercise and a low fat diet are all fairly good ways of preventing many of the causes of long-term disease and premature death. They aren't terribly expensive and show a high cost to benefit return. I think that Mr. Krauthammer would be silly to suggest that we eliminate these; nor do I think that you, Huan Yi, would wish to make such a recommendation either.
Regular screening for prostate cancer and regular mammograms, however, may need to be rethought as preventive care. Mammograms have a very high rate of false positives, and may not be the high quality test that many of us think they are. I'd need to see more research on this, myself, to feel comfortable on an intellectual level, though I'd never want my wife to stop getting hers regularly. She finds them reassuring, and I don't actually know they're unhelpful. Prostate screening tests may actually prove harmful in the long run, and in some places, like England, they seem to be phasing them out.
Mr. Krauthammer, however, by painting with too broad a brush, is distorting the actual picture on preventive care to make a political and financial point that is at odds with my understanding of the medicine involved. If the preventive medicine is applied appropriately, in line with the medicine and not in line with Mr. Krauthammer's misdrawn debating point, I think that he is fairly clearly trying to present misinformation to win a political point. I don't approve of the ethics of such a discussion.
Sincerely, Bob Kaven