Hand Over Your Health
These past nine days I’ve had a never-ending, pain-in-my-backside cold. I’ve been in and out of bed, on and off of supplements, and through more cups of hot green tea with honey than I’ve had in my entire lifetime. As minor as this cold is in comparison to many of the health care issues other Americans are facing, I’m grateful that I was able to treat my cold the way I wanted to, and the way my doctor advised. I can’t imagine having a much bigger health concern and having a government appointed task force deciding for me what was best for me. But isn’t this what we are headed for? Here has what has happened in the last week:
New mammogram guidelines for women between the ages of 40-49. The Associated Press writes last week, “A government task force said Monday that most women don’t need mammograms in their 40s and should get one every two years starting at 50 - a stunning reversal and a break with the American Cancer Society’s long-standing position. What’s more, the panel said breast self-exams do no good, and women shouldn’t be taught to do them.”
This immediately caused me suspicion, and I mean immediately. But ok, maybe that’s just my “conspiracy theory” mindset (read my sarcasm). Then another guideline came out later in the week regarding cervical cancer screening:
“In what some see as further attack on women’s health care, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended Thursday that women delay cervical cancer exams, also called Pap smears, until the age of 21 and that women younger than 30 undergo cervical cancer screening once every two years instead of an annual exam. The organization also said that women age 30 and older can be screened once every three years. The recommendations, the college said, are based on scientific evidence that suggests more frequent testing leads to overtreatment of irregular Pap smears, which can harm a young woman’s chances of carrying a child full term. Reaction to the recommendation has been mixed.
“I think it’s bad timing with the whole health-care reform effort going on and the mammogram recommendations that came out earlier this week,” said FoxNews.com managing editor of health Dr. Manny Alvarez, who opposes the new mammogram recommendations. “But these particular guidelines don’t fall into the criteria of saving money. These guidelines have to do with minimizing injuries to women that are of reproductive age.”
But Dr. Elizabeth Eden, an obstetrician/gynecologist and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City, disagrees and says it’s another attempt by the government to cut costs on preventative medicine” (source).
Ok, but to all you cynics out there, maybe these decisions are really for our best interest and not about money. You think? Then I see a news segment that prices for prescription medicines have been on the rise this year, and again, I wonder why. Yes, the economy is in a recession, but is there more to it?
“Financial analysts have attributed some of the increases to drug makers attempting to boost profits amid an economic downturn as they confront the prospect of congressional action on health care that could change the marketplace” (source).
Nooo! Could it be that drug makers are reacting to the possibility of Obamacare passing, and now it’s being taken out on patients? Surely we are just Obama haters. We really won’t be that affected by the health care plan, will we? After all, what kind of influence do these new recommendations really have on our choices in health care? These are just recommendations, aren’t they? The Heritage Foundation sets us straight:
“Section 2713 of the Senate Health Bill would give the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force the force of law by requiring all health insurance plans to provide coverage (with no patient co-pays) for “items or services that have in effect a rating of “A” or “B” [recommended] in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Conversely, under Obamacare, last week’s Task Force decision to give annual mammograms a “C” rating (not recommended) will henceforth be viewed by insurers and employers as a justification for discontinuing coverage.”
So if Obamacare passes, these task forces have considerable weight in what will or will not be covered by insurers? So potentially life-saving tests (beyond just mammograms or pap smears) could be withheld from me (if I cannot pay out of my own pocket for them) because a panel of 16 (including no oncologists) says so? And again, why was Sarah Palin impaled and labeled a fear-mongering liar for her Facebook comment about “death panels”? Seems to me this sort of scenario is developing right before our eyes.
Should we hand over our health then? Should we throw debt on our children and grandchildren for a bill that the majority of Americans still do not want? In an excellent article by David Broder of The Washington Post, he says that according to a Quinnipiac poll, only 19% of us trust Obama when he promises he will not sign a bill that will add to the national debt. That’s a very telling number. But yet, the Senate Health Care bill was given the go-ahead for debate over the weekend. Are the people we’ve elected not listening to us?
Maybe they are being bribed:
Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana reportedly has been offered $100 million for her state if the plan passes.
The AMA? The AARP? The drug industry? According to Dick Morris in a Newsmax article, yes, they were bribed too for their support.
If you are not convinced by now that you cannot trust the government, what will it take? And yet, we should hand over our health to them?
Newt Gingrich says it best on his webpage Center for Health Transformation: “Health reform or ‘health insurance reform’ should not be a political wedge, pushed to satisfy political allies at the expense of the American people. Healthcare is too important and the stakes are too high. The American people deserve and have demanded better. With an honest process, the right priorities, and the right solutions, we can and will succeed.”