Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What Angelina's breasts say about America

Angelina Jolie is making headlines today for having had a double mastectomy. She says she did it to thwart a high risk of breast cancer, and wants all women to get tested. Good for her.

Was that the best course of action? Hard to say; in her situation, probably. But intentionally or not, Angelina has made an important point:

Preventive medicine is a rich person's game.

How inspiring is it, really, that one of the richest and most famous women in the world was able to undergo an expensive procedure? Let me know when some poor woman in New Orleans' 7th Ward with the same risk factors can have this done. That will be inspiring.

Preventive medicine is too cost-prohibitive for most people, much in the same way as eating healthy. And yet, both actions keep people healthier, longer, and for a lower overall cost. But of course, that notion is too politically loaded to an American majority convinced that health must be a function of wealth. So our jacked-up medical system continues to be beset with broke people who've waited too long to seek help and drain taxpayers and their own wallets, and/or die.

But, hey, freedom. Ain't it great?

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