Misguided mammogram guidelines
The federal government intrudes again and reduction in services is the result
There has been lots of discussion about the new American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines regarding breast cancer screenings. With the advent of Obamacare, many of us warned that the federal government’s involvement in healthcare would mean a reduction in services, lack of general access to doctors and a rationing of care.
You didn’t need to be a psychic to know what was coming; you just needed to know a little history, basic economics and the societies socialism has destroyed after its promises of Utopia turned into a hell of a reality.
This latest from the ACS follows a government panel at Health and Human Services that recommended in 2009 (President Obama’s first year in office and while Obamacare was the government’s sole focus), downplaying the importance of mammograms.
When Mr. Obama insisted his healthcare takeover was going to “lower the costs of healthcare” little did we know he meant the government’s cost would be lower while yours would increase. You see, as they continue their bullet-train to singlepayer (where the federal government reimburses all healthcare providers with your tax dollars) the government’s main focus has to be an elimination or delay of certain screenings and treatments.
As Fox News reported, the ACS “is recommending that women at average risk of breast cancer get annual mammograms starting at age 45 rather than at age 40, and that women 55 and older scale back screenings to every other year.”
Why? One doctor supportive of the change told Fox breast cancer screenings every two years “among women older than age 55 is acceptable, because women’s breasts tend to be less dense and their cancers tend to grow more slowly after menopause.”
You didn’t read that wrong. The excuse is older women can handle having cancer in their bodies because, gosh, it’ll be slow-growing. That sort of reasoning should shock the conscience of every American and highlights what happens when the medical establishment begins to think it answers not to patients, but to the federal government.
The ACS also recommends “women continue screenings as long as they are healthy or until their life expectancy falls below 10 years,” as Fox reports.
Isn’t that interesting. As long we you’re “healthy” (based on the government’s benchmark I’m sure), but it’s the life expectancy guideline that’s especially extraordinary. Average life expectancy for Americans born in the 1960s is about 70 years old. Do you plan to stop maintaining your health and keeping an eye out for cancer simply because you reach 60?
You could check with most everyone and find none of us intend to allow cancer to dictate how we live the last, and for some possibly best, years of our lives.
I spoke with various individuals involved in both the medical and insurance fields, and all agreed that the government task force and the ACS guidelines will be looked to by insurance companies determining what to cover, and what not to cover; it is essentially the permission slip for health insurance companies to stop paying for annual mammograms.
But it doesn’t stop there. For some reason, the ACS also “advises against clinical breast exams in which doctors physically check a woman’s breasts for lumps,” reports Fox. This micro-managing of something only a woman and her doctor should decide simply allows the insurance company to refuse payment for that as well.
Apologists for both the government and ACS insist that “access” isn’t controlled by those groups. In fact, it is. For many women access is tied directly to how much something costs. It’s more than disingenuous to say women still have the same access when the only thing the new guidelines accomplish is making something too expensive to use.
And that’s the irony of Obamacare, as each new revelation reveals how Mr. Obama and his Big Government sycophants made us all patsies. We were told healthcare would be more available and more affordable, yet the opposite has proven true, and deliberately designed in that fashion. In other words, having health insurance is not the same as getting healthcare.
Many people laughed when “death panels” were discussed as embedded in Obamacare. While there may not be a specific group of people deciding which individual will get care and which won’t, the insidious truth is that Obamacare itself is the death panel. Just ask the 300,000 veterans who died waiting to get an appointment at the VA.
The real problem we face isn’t a set of guidelines which ration care and services, it’s the fact that we have allowed this to happen at all. Treating people and their healthcare like hash marks on a budget sheet was the inevitable result of allowing the federal government to begin the process of nationalizing our health care services.
Perhaps they saw they got away with it at the VA. Now for liberals the answer is to spread the disease to everyone. We, however, have the power to stop this government from continuing to abandon our veterans to the deathcare of the VA and crush Obamacare before crushes us.
Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host.