Health Care Reform – First up for rationing? Mammograms

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government, Health Care | Posted on 18-11-2009


This morning on Morning Joe, they had on NBC’s medical expert to discuss the government’s medical panel’s recommendation that women should wait till they’re 50 for mammograms, and then only get them every two years.

So the death panels are not real? This is your death panel. If government controls health care, either this task force or some other central planning board will decide these type of issues based on cost. No panel can be independent when it is funded by the government. Also, their answer has to have a question. What was the question? Who posed the questions, and why? If I tell my wife, we need to cut our coffee budget by $50 a month, she is going to look and say, “well we really don’t need to have a cup of coffee after lunch, so I’d say we only have coffee in the morning going forward. That should reduce our cost.” This is similar to how this is being decided. We only have so much money for health care (thanks to the government), so do we really need to start mammograms at 40? Is the extra cost worth the saved lives? Under government controlled health care, the value of your life will be determined by these boards, or as Sarah Palin correctly called them, death panels.

I love how this lady starts putting down the Susan G. Komen charity.  Apparently, she doesn’t know what freedom is all about. No one is forcing people to donate time and money to this charity. People who have been touched by breast cancer donate to fight breast cancer. This is what real compassion is all about. Of course, that is great until it interferes with government policy. Now, she decides to turn it into greed.

Next, she says, (paraphrasing) “This is rationing. We ration food, sleep, etc.” Yes that is true, but we ration it based on our own personal choices and needs. The government does not force rationing. We decide what foods we want based on the money we have and the need we want to fulfill. This is how the free market works, and why you don’t need a government agency telling you how often you can eat meat (oh this did happen when the government controlled the economy during WWII). Only government creates unnecessary rationing.

When talking about rationing, she says, “Let’s take money to invest in ‘new treatment tools’” OK, this is silly. Treatment only matters if you are identified first, so they don’t do you any good if you aren’t getting tested. Also, who is the government to decide where money should be invested. If there is demand for mammograms by women, then it should be up to the woman and the doctor where that money should be invested. Are we to believe that companies aren’t investing in new technologies when there are so many people touched by breast cancer and so much money flooding into fighting breast cancer? If there is a need, the market will meet it.

But to her, this is “smart health care rationing”. I’m sure the Soviets and the Chinese thought they were doing smart rationing as well when tens of millions died of starvation. The problem is you can’t have a person or group of people who aren’t party to the transaction being the decider of rationing. Rationing is done by consumers and suppliers based on needs and pricing.

You have to love how compassionate she is about it though. It only saves 1 out of 2000 she says.  I guess one person doesn’t count. Joe has a great point. If that’s your relative, you don’t care if it’s only one out of two million. Also, this is voluntary. If it saves only one in 500,000, who cares as long as people want to get mammograms and doctors are willing to provide the service. Oh wait, that’s right. It is against the public good once government takes over health care. Also, what they are saying is confusing. It isn’t one life is saved out of 2000. It is one person is identified out of 2000 to have cancer. That does not sound too bad to me. Hopefully, it will eventually be only one out of 10,000. This has to be one of the most stupid reasons for not having mammograms. “Not enough people have cancer, so we shouldn’t check.” The government doesn’t mind when the poor spends hundreds of dollars per month on the lottery when their chances are one in millions. Oh, but that benefits the government . Never mind.

Then she talks about we don’t scan for these other things till 50 like colon and prostate cancer. So what. Could that be because those don’t normally occur till 50, and because maybe men just aren’t as prudent about things like that?

Next she delves off into the sex and the breast. I have no clue what that has to do with whether it’s worth having mammograms that catch cancer early, so I’ll just skip past it before I start blushing.

As with all media, there is no question as to whether the government should even have a role or say in this. Joe Scarborough says “We’ve been able to afford these fiscally(that means government money) in the past, and we just can’t anymore.” I’m sure glad he’s a Republican. He doesn’t even understand the market and that government is creating this shortage. Nor does he realize this is a free society, and the government should have nothing to do with these decisions.

As with all consumer purchases, this is not the place for the government to be involved. It should be up to a woman and her doctor. If a woman wants to get mammograms at 40 and every year, that should be her perogative. This is what I’ve been saying in all my post. If you ask the government to give you something, you give up your liberty. Ask them to pay for your health care, and you give up your right to have  your mammogram.

So, I wonder what’s next?

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