Wellpoint Says Anesthesia Unnecessary in Colonoscopies

We’re posting this not simply because it involves the wistful dream of the CEO of a major medical insurance company taking it up the can, but also for the remarkably vivid lead-in: “Mr. Insurance Company CEO … when you get your colonoscopy, are YOU going to go without the sedative?”

Allen Wastler over at CNN Money writes:

Colon cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men. About 145,000 Americans are diagnosed with it in a single year and more than 56,000 of them die, according to the American Cancer Society.

A colonoscopy can catch the cancer early. And we’ve all been told that early detection can mean the difference between you beating cancer and cancer beating you.

But like a veritable Greek tragedy, there is a price for this test that lets you get a jump on death: It involves pain and humiliation. After all, they’re poking a camera where it generally remains unpoked. Sure, it’s a small camera on the end of a flexible tube, but still…

Now, the medical folks have been using sedatives and such to take the sting out of the procedure. And the drug of choice is becoming Propofol, from the fine folks at AstraZeneca…

But Propofol is enough of a heavyweight drug that it requires an anesthesiologist to be present. And that costs. Hence, insurance company objections. Why should they have to pay extra just because you don’t like the feel of that “small” camera?

Gee, swell.