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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cancer, Rationing, Broken Promises

President Obama said that "no government bureaucrat will come between you and your doctor."


The healthcare community has long recommended that women over 40 get mammograms every year. But now, as Congress and Senate try to pass a government takeover of healthcare, a government "task force" has just recommended that be changed. Just to be clear, the data has not changed, only the recommendations.

They now say that only women over 50 should get mammograms, and then only every other year.

Right now, the United States has the best cancer survivorship in the world. If the government enforces this "recommendation" as part of its new healthcare plan, many women will die who would before have survived, and many women who would have had a simple treatment and recovery will now have to endure long, complex, painful (and expensive) treatments, because their cancer was not caught early.

Well, that last part, "expensive," may not come. European countries with government-controlled healthcare don't allow expensive treatments for people over 60. That means that those who are over 60 and get cancer don't get treatment - they get management. Pain therapy. Don't treat the problem; manage the symptoms.

Guess what? It's not (for the most part) the Republicans who are telling people to "die quickly". It's those who are pushing for this government takeover of what is right now the best healthcare system in the world.

It's not perfect, and it can use some tweaks (mostly protection from already overbearing government, like allowing frivolous lawsuits and outrageous penalties), but it's the best anyone has.

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