Diary

Let the Healthcare Rationing Begin

For decades women have been badgered by healthcare professionals, politicians, government officials and celebrities to have regular mammograms after the age of 40. Early breast cancer detection is the key to survival, they’ve preached.

We’ve had to undergo embarrassing examinations, and be taught how to self-examine. An awareness campaign was launched, complete with Mary-Kay-Pink ribbons on everything from M&M’s to t-shirts (I reluctantly admit to buying a Breast-Cancer-Awareness-Pink flat iron last month).

Hot off the heels of über-PC Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) we get this news: “Breast exam guidelines now call for less testing

Really? According to the Washington Post, a highly intelligent group of doctors (appointed by the government), with lots and lots of letters after their names, have done some research and determined that the risks of regular screening outweigh the benefits.

Now let’s just forget for a moment that these Really Smart People (appointed by the government) are going to set the precedent for what medical procedures will or will not be paid for by any insurance plan (government or private). Forget that there are nearly three decades of research that prove early breast cancer detection saves lives. Let’s forget that the American Cancer Society and other organizations are having major heartburn over the potential harm this new study will cause, and let’s just look at the facts.

Risks of regular screening, according to the Brainy Government-Appointed people (I’m not making these up):

1. False positive results may cause anxiety
2. A small number of false positive tests can lead to unnecessary biopsies
3. Too much follow up testing
4. Some cancers can go away on their own, without treatment (that one is my personal favorite)
5. It’s really expensive

Benefits of regular screening, according to the Brainy Hospital People Who Actually Treat Cancer Patients:

1. Thousands of lives have been saved by early cancer detection

To sum it up, according to this government panel, thousands of women’s lives are not worth a few bucks and a bit of anxiety.

It’s just a little too coincidental for comfort that these new guidelines are coming from the government in the midst of a hot healthcare debate. Government is looking to take over the healthcare system, and suddenly we’re to throw out three decades of research, facts, and pestering? Sounds like one of these illusive “cost cutting” measures we keep hearing about. Cost cutting to the tune of $5 billion a year — and untold thousands of lives.

The Super Smart People are engaging in a re-education campaign, even recommending against self breast-examination. This is just the beginning of healthcare rationing, folks. One thing is for certain, those boobs in Washington cannot be trusted.

I’ll wrap up by paraphrasing the illustrious Paul Harvey: And now you know…the breast of the story.