Mis­guided mam­mo­gram guide­lines

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment in­trudes again and re­duc­tion in ser­vices is the re­sult

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Tammy Bruce

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.

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