Friday, November 20, 2009

"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” [Plato]

This week the government issued new guidelines for mammograms and pap smears.

Apparently after decades of telling women that annual mammograms and annual pap smears save lives, we're now being told that we should limit mammograms to every two years after age 50 and virtually eliminate pap smears.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) website, "...the USPSTF [U.S. Preventive Services Task Force] says the actual number of lives saved is not enough to recommend widespread screening," although they would increase survivorship by 15%.

I guess if you or I are among the 15% of possible survivors, we might debate that.

Funny, just six months ago the same task force issued a warning that the # of women getting mammograms had dropped and this could result in more women dying from breast cancer. Hmmmm, what changed?

Speaking of change. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) now says women under 30 should have a cervical cancer screening every two years instead of annually and women over thirty should only get tested every three years.

If you didn't believe Barack-star's healthcare reform would lead to rationing believe it now.

Why start with women's services? Well, by all actuarial accounts women live about five years longer than men--thus, routine preventative healthcare for women costs more than it does for men. Limiting the number of recommended tests translates to limiting the cost. Note that if this nebulous USPSTF board with nary a breast cancer specialist to be found--not even an oncologist(!)--makes this recommendation now it doesn't carry with it Barack-star's fingerprints.

Go ahead put government-run healthcare in place. Then, guess what? Previously issued government guidelines can be followed. Rationing accomplished. Women's healthcare diminished. Lives needlessly lost.

This is the way it begins. Quietly.

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