Wente Watch

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wente and autism

Wente believes medicare should cover children's treatment for autism.

For someone who has long supported two-tier medicine, Wente sure makes plenty of demands on the public sector. Last week it was $3,000-a-dose cancer drugs, now autism.

The Autism Society of Canada estimates that 1 in 200 children born today will suffer this illness. Canada has 9.5 million children. Divide by 200, multiply by $50,000, and you get a price tag of $2.4 billion a year.

Only a nut would think that the private sector could possibly turn a profit out of funding autism treatment. Governments must supply the money, and that means what it always does: cutting other programs, or raising taxes.

2 Comments:

  • Last I heard it was one in 166, but yesterday someone posted that it was one in 117. I'll see if I can find the reference for you later.
    Best wishes

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 21, 2006 10:53 AM  

  • Wente seems to phone all her articles in. She could have got an estimate of the cost easily enough, since Alberta funds the treatment. It would probably be considerably less than your estimate, since many children don't require treatment, but since she was too lazy to find out what it would be you're entirely entitled to work it out as you did. Wente also says rates are soaring for unknown reasons -- well, one of the reasons is clearly that the defintion of autism has been broadened. Again, that raises the question of just how many children display the symptoms she talks about, but again finding that out was apparently too much trouble for her.

    By Anonymous sid, at November 21, 2006 2:15 PM  

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