Government Studies: Yesterday and Tomorrow

So the government’s come out with new guidelines for mammography.  Rather than getting them every year beginning when a woman turns 40, they now say that these are unnecessary and result in too many tests and cost too much money, so we’ll just let women wait until they’re 50 to get going on that.  Now, usually, such government studies don’t mean a damn thing because no one in the medical community really cares what the government says; they’ve done their own research, their own studies, and they know that mammography results in early detection and treatment and that it saves lives . . . in the 40-50 year range.  Indeed, the government’s own study says this, but the recommendation is still that women not receive them until age 50.

And the health insurance industry goes with the medical community for the most part, so we’d normally shrug, say, yeah, there goes that wacky government saying that the mamographies save lives of women between 40 and 50 and somehow concluding that mammographies are not necessary or “recommended” for women between 40 and 50.  Have you ever, we’d say, and we’d roll our eyes, recall the time the government told us that milk causes cancer or that water makes you fat, and sip our coffee with amused skepticism at this further evidence that the government is inept and incompetent.  Wonder which lobby is behind this one?, we’d giggle.  And we’d go about our day, scheduling our annual mammography for the week before our 44th birthday.

With nationalized, government-run healthcare hanging threateningly over our heads, however, such indulgent partial-interest in these government studies is dangerous.  Life threatening.  If the government runs healthcare, guess who decides what is covered and what is not?  And guess what those decisions are based on.  Not common sense, not what the medical community says, and certainly not on what you want for yourself.  They are based on government studies just like these.  Studies that say that mammograms for women in their 40s save lives but conclude bizarrely that these women shouldn’t get them.  And there is no recourse.

Our conversations tomorrow about these government studies will be very very different.  When we read about those, we’ll just cower and cringe and accept that we have to accept that as the new law of the land.  No one will be able to counter it, no one will be able to shrug and giggle and mock the absurdity of it all.  Because there will be nowhere to turn.  We’ll talk about how we can get the care we need, if that’s possible, which country can we go to (we’ll google Canada and Great Britain and try to figure out where their citizens go now that America can’t help them when their own government-run healthcare systems fall short), we’ll wonder how many of us will die because early detection is now solely in our own hands (and literally, I’m guessing they can’t stop self exams).  We’ll wonder what this means for us if we do find a lump and aren’t yet 50.  And we’ll call our government doctor, and we’ll be put on a waiting list, and hopefully, if we’re still alive, we’ll go to our appointment in a year or so.  And we’ll find that our breast cancer has metastasized.  But, gee, it’s okay, the government just saved a bundle not only in early detection but in treatments that would have saved our lives.  Now, of course, we’re past curing, so there’ll be no government-approved treatments to prolong our silly little, meaningless lives.  Take a pain pill.

Anyone who doesn’t personally, for themselves and their family, want to enroll in the government-run “option” better get off their couch because the plan is to move to single-payer, government-run healthcare, and in the meantime, this bill, which people seem to forget is LAW, will dictate what private insurance can offer, at what price, and for how long.  This isn’t alarmism, this isn’t extremism, it’s fact.  It’s what BO has said he wants, and what the House bill is designed to provide a path for (and if this bill gets through the Senate and back on the floor, it’s the House bill we’ll get, complete with public funding for abortion and coverage of illegal aliens.  And as an added bonus, the taxes, fines, and penalties on you and your employer will ensure that your ONLY option is the government option.  It’s in HR 3200, and that’s the one Pelosi and Reid want and will get).

If you believe this administration when it says you can keep your own plan, then I suppose that you believe all those “saved or created” jobs in invented districts, in districts that didn’t even receive stimulus money, and in universities that don’t even employ the number of people whose jobs were supposedly “saved or created.”  And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything (my favorite so far is a tweet @ConNews: WH report shows 68,136 jobs “saved or created” in Narnia, Neverland & Oz).  Sure, you’ll even believe that women in their 40s don’t need the mammograms that the very agency reporting this acknowledges save lives.

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19 thoughts on “Government Studies: Yesterday and Tomorrow

  1. And if our NHS falls short – which occasionally it does (though not so often, the vast majority of patients are satisfied with it) then we have the option to go private. Freedom of choice – I love it.

  2. Yes, I've heard it's great if you're healthy. I sometimes watch British television shows, some are so excellent, and in every one that depicts a hospital, be it a cop show or a sit com or a soap opera, there are scenes with cots lining the hallways of the hospital because there is no room in the rooms for patients. That doesn't happen here. Well, it does in government-run hospitals like the VA and in Indian “care,” but as a rule, our patients, even those without insurance, are given rooms, shared often, but they aren't left in the hallways and waiting rooms. That's sickening and a vile way to treat human beings.

  3. FS – what you describe is “drama” not reality. What you describe has never happened to me, my parents (both of whom are in poor health), my friends (some who have had cancer), in fact nobody!!

    I'm sure this post will receive a barrage of anti-socialised medicine comments. Sadly the anti-NHS propaganda in the US has worked.

    Honestly, you have nothing to fear. In fact you have the opportunity to create a NHS that will be the best in the world – you can learn from our mistakes and build something even better. The best thing is that your premiums will benefit you, the consumer, not the shareholders and chief execs of the insurance companies.

    I really should be working …… so better sign off, but if you don't believe me see what others have to say:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=249360150703

  4. Thank you for your opinion, CL. I do not want, will never support and will fight against a government takeover of our healthcare system. The only “opportunity” here is for BO to amass still more power and wield still more control over this country's people. It goes against everything that we are, everything that we stand for. Your country can do as it pleases.

    This post will indeed probably receive more comments against government controlled healthcare than for. That is because, and I'm sure you've noted this, this is a conservative blog that espouses conservative values. One of those, one that we all hold dear, is the concept of limited government control that is clearly established in our Constitution. I note that you are popping up on a lot of conservative blogs, and I'm sure you have your reasons, but to come here and note with disdain (?) that my readers are opposed to government-run healthcare strikes me as . . . well, let's say silly. If you want to troll here, that's fine, but realize what this page is and that what I write is what I believe and that I will not allow any negative commentary about my readers here (even if you do want to couch it in language about how sad you are that we have stupidly believed “anti-NHS propaganda”).

  5. I am not trolling. I am interested in the USA, its politics, and care a great deal for a number of its people – the great friends I made in OR.

    I am not representing a particular ideology – just my own point of view.

    I shall desist from posting here again. Why on earth would anyone write a blog inviting comment if you don't want to hear another viewpoint. Surely debate is more interesting than consensus?

    I bear you no ill will. All good wishes, CL

  6. Your viewpoint, as I've said, is welcome, however being disparaging about my readers is not. Your suggestion that we are all blinded by propaganda is insulting; I'm sure you must realize that.

    You may not realize this (I find it hard to believe that you don't), but your “own point of view” is decidedly liberal–you are pro-climate control treaties and the regulations that would mean our handing over our sovereignty, you are pro-big government and government control, and you seem to support limiting the manufacture of paper on the grounds that it takes too much energy to produce (I suppose you might have been opposed to it on environmental grounds if we didn't have tree farms for the sole purpose of paper production). You also defend BO's bowing to foreign leaders of communist countries and are opposed to our Second Amendment rights in this country. To my mind, these views of yours put you firmly in the liberal column, and that's fine. I've not said anything to you about it before, as I said, I don't mind trolls who at least manage to construct coherent sentences, as you do. (and look up the term, if you think you may not be a troll–and no worries, I troll liberal blogs from time to time, too, and with the very best intentions as I'm sure you have.)

    Again, I don't mind your posting here, but I do mind your implication that I and my readers are idiots. And I don't mind if you don't post here again, either. That's completely your right. Of course I bear you no ill will, either.

  7. I certainly do not think your readers are idiots, quite the opposite. I wouldn't bother commenting on theirs or your blogs if that were the case. Propaganda works by persuading intelligent people that a particular idea is the correct one. There is no need to use propaganda against the stupid!

    Maybe I'm a “liberal”, maybe not. I think I am a social democrat economically but I don't want government interference in my personal life. Healthcare and its provision falls in that grey area between the two. There are enormous economic benefits to a national insurance system – for example the purchasing power of the NHS with Big Pharma is far greater than that of your private insurance companies. However I do understand your resistance to government involvement.

    All I really wanted to say originally is “don't fear the NHS”! It really isn't so bad……

  8. Sounds like rationing to me, and this is how it's going to start. They will make recommendations that won't be in our best interest. Then when the lump gets too big, they will tell you that you are too far gone.

  9. This makes sense, but I think that what I worry about is the trade off here. There are other, less-invasive and less-intrusive, ways to control costs, and republicans have been proposing these for months now. But the left isn't listening, they are set on government-run healthcare. This makes me question their true motives. If it's to reduce costs and cover more people why insist that a government takeover is the only way to do this? Why not look at why people are not covered and get them covered by less expensive (our deficit spending is truly outrageous and very very worrying, and our debt is unpayable. China is already making noises about how BO is running the country, they need to protect their investment.)? Why not increase competition by actually increasing competition among private insurers by allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines? Why not give tax credits to individuals who purchase independent of an employer-based plan? Why not, in other words, solve the problems in a low-cost, most bang for your buck way?

    It's also going to cost far far more to do the takeover, they'd be better off just giving people money for private insurance than pouring all that money into so many new government bureaucracies, giving us no choice or freedom (freedom to buy private insurance sounds great, but not if you don't have a job or enough money to afford it, and the other thing this administration is doing is growing the number of people on the government handouts).

    In addition to all that (!), the government is a dead end. If you don't like your doctor, you're stuck. If you want a second opinion, well, you have to get approval from the government. Sure, we have that to a large extent with private insurers, but we can switch plans, sue, argue, fight. What do you do against the government? And this government is already making noises to tax and fine lifestyle choices that relate to healthcare cost (this is pretty much everything you eat, drink, breathe, do) and looking to add to that government control that relates to environmental issues (that's everything that doesn't “fit” in the lifestyle rubric). This is a dangerous path, and one that I wholeheartedly resist.

  10. You made the point succinctly Fuzzy. This being that we probably will not have a right to the “redress of grievances” in the future as stated in the constitution. BO's appointee for 7th Circuit Court of appeals in Chicago was passed through committee yesterday with the support of 10 Rhinos. This guy Hamilton is a recycled Clinton hack, pro-abortion activist, ACORN fundraiser, and ACLU lawer who was denounced by the ABA and lost his bid for this seat before because of the lack of any judicial experience whatsoever. He says the responsibility of a judge today is to add subtext to the constitution and to rule with “empathy” and consideration for a person's “status in society”. Sound familiar? Leaky Lehey as I have said is about to stuff the judiciary with new lifetime leftist judges and no matter what we do to try to reverse the disasterous course we are on, we will be thwarted by moonbats on the bench. My Senator Voinovich is a leader on the committee and did not back this hack,(in spite of backing Cass Sunstein–I recieved a personal letter explaining his rationale on that vote–disappointed as I was) but our legislators need to wake up to the long lasting effects of these decisions.

  11. Fuzzy, I guess you and I will have to hop a plane for Mexico or Costa Rica for our mammos. What a crock!

    And I thought that screening and treatment would be reserved for the younger, more productive members of society. I guess even that is now too much trouble.

  12. @ Scott, yes, I'd heard about this, and it was also a concern with Sotomayor. That's ridiculous, laws are not (yet) written with codicils like “this shall apply only to those members of society who are well-off, white, and Christian,” though that is, of course, what all that “empathy” and “status” means. It's absurd and flies in the face of law making in general and in a lawful society in particular.

    @ Opus, no thanks on the mammos in Mexico and Costa Rica; I had my appendix out in Panama, and that was quite enough experience in substandard hospitals for my taste (though my doctors were all trained here, so they were good). Now, a touro-trip to either would rock! ๐Ÿ™‚ And BO's said time and again that one of his goals is to reduce testing (he says unnecessary testing and what better way to “prove” something is unnecessary than publish a government study claiming it is–this is probably the first of many. And my guess, this wonderful liberal government will hit women hardest. Want to bet that paps are next? The elderly are already getting the shaft with Medicare cuts, we're next, then they'll hit the lifestyle things like lung cancer–you smoke? no screening for you!).

  13. I'm afraid you have given a good example of what the potential problems will be. There was some other good reference in Dick Morris's letter…according to Bloomberg News, a 2009 survey by Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a recruiting and research firm in Irving, Texas, found that “the average waiting time to see a family-medicine doctor in Boston…is 63 days, the most among the 15 cities” Perhaps you could verify that claim since you're up there… So now you will have to wait 2 mos. to see a doctor to get a referral to see the radiologist to get an appointment to get a breast exam. You better rely on your boyfriend or significant other instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. @ Heyman, the government cannot run healthcare competently. They just can't. My God, they can't even track stimulus money! Actually, the report recommends against SELF exams, but it doesn't say anything about boyfriends . . . hmmmm, maybe there's hope yet.

    @ Velcro, that's a good post. The idea that propaganda works on thinking people is insane; the whole point of it is to lull unthinking people into a false sense of “knowledge.” Anyone can see what the president is doing with the National Endowment for the Arts is wrong, using public money to push his agenda is unethical and immoral. Spewing lies and hoping the unwashed and uneducated masses gobble them up is an insult to any thinking person. The reason that propaganda works is either that people do not have access to opposing viewpoints (thus the crackdown on “opposition media” in places like Nazi Germany and contemporary Venezuela and right here in America with BO's attack on Fox and on public radio/the internet) or they do not bother to access opposing viewpoints (those who look down their nose at Fox or conservative bloggers without bothering to listen, those who can look at BO make a balls up of every damn thing he touches and continue making excuses for him). But even with propaganda blaring from speakers 24/7 thinking people can see what is going on around them. Sheep cannot.

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