THE COSTS OF TOO LITTLE MEDICAL TESTING. Medical tests are not like ice cream or cake which people will be tempted to indulge in if they are free. Tests are uncomfortable and time consuming at best. There is a lot of discussion of excessive medical testing which results in part because the full costs of the tests are not borne by the patient. But there are two kinds of errors that can be made in choosing a course of action—costs of testing too little as well as costs of testing too much. In fact one of the problems for uninsured people who rely entirely on emergency rooms for treatment is that that they are not getting enough medical tests. And we all know people who have health care insurance and family doctors, but who put off tests and checkups because they are too busy or because they dislike undergoing tests and checkups. It may well be that there are too few mammograms being given, rather than too many.

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