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  • Morning Bell: The Obamacare Rationing Threat To Your Mammograms

    Last week, the United States Preventive Services Task Force issued new guidelines recommending that women in their 40s no longer have annual mammograms and that women ages 50 to 74 have them only every other year, instead of annually. The recommendations were highly controversial, and by week’s end most health insurers and the federal Medicare program said they would ignore the panel’s recommendation and continue covering annual mammograms. This is as it should be: the federal government collects information and makes recommendations, and Americans are then free to consult their health care providers, ignoring the government if they so choose. The problem is that Obamacare would forever change this relationship.

    Both the House and Senate versions of Obamacare create detailed new federal regulations that micromanage all health insurance decisions. Specifically, 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. This move to give the evidence-based medicine determinations of health experts the force of law is not incidental to Obamacare: this cost control rationing is the very heart of Obamacare’s promise to control health care costs. Trying to convince wayward moderates that Obamacare would control health care costs, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag wrote in the Washington Post last Friday:

    An independent Medicare commission … will ensure that reforming the health-care system is not a one-time event but an ongoing process that implements the most recent progress in medical science with the goal of improving care and lowering costs.

    In other words, when the Obamacare health experts conclude that the “medical science” dictates that your mammograms must be cut to meet “the goal of … lowering costs,” then you’ll be out of luck.

    The left is now desperately claiming that by raising this mammogram rationing issue, conservatives are politicizing health care. For example, Obamacare supporter Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) told ABC News that Republicans have “Politicized Breast Cancer.” But the left has it exactly backward: it is Obamacare that is guaranteed to politicize every single medical decision between you and your doctor. When the government becomes responsible for providing everyone’s health care, everyone’s health care becomes everyone else’s problem. President Barack Obama once pitched his version of health care as “Everybody in. Nobody out.” In reality, this will mean “Everybody in your health care business. Nobody out.”

    Quick Hits:

    • Explaining the Heritage Foundation’s overcriminalization project, former U.S. Attorney General and Heritage Foundation fellow Ed Meese tells the New York Times that the “liberal ideas of extending the power of the state” are to blame for an out-of-control criminal justice system.
    • According to the Pew Research Center, 10% of adults younger than 35 have moved back in with their parents because of the recession.
    • According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thanks to the recession, 34.5% of young African American men are unemployed.
    • According to Rasmussen Reports, just 38% of voters now favor Obamacare.
    • The drug industry group PhRMA is now running television ads calling on Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to support Obamacare.


    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    33 Responses to Morning Bell: The Obamacare Rationing Threat To Your Mammograms

    1. Gerard, Morrisville says:

      "An independent Medicare commission … will ensure that reforming the health-care system is not a one-time event but an ongoing process that implements the most recent progress in medical science with the goal of improving care and lowering costs."

      What happens when improving care involves higher costs or when lowering costs involves decreasing care? It is, once again, the great, flowery language that we've become accustomed to. In reality, we know from experience that the only way to both reduce care and improve care is through increased competition.

    2. Richard Coddington, says:

      Many years ago, I was taking a class at the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, and the teacher was discussing outdated practices. The issue was tuberculin testing school children in Minnesota public schools, in the late l950's. At the time, Minnesota had practically no tb. Dr. Andersen's comment was that the only reason he could think of for continuing the practice was the school nurses were sadist minded and liked sticking needles into children. I've never forgotten that.

      The question is how do we change outmoded or outdated practices? In the case of mammograms, it appears there is a down side to giving them before age 50. The data on a total population says that. So, what to do? Obviously, on a single patient to Dr. basis, there is a different view. But, if that view dominates, we'd probably still be giving the tb tests in Minnesota. How do we take advantage of the information available and still retain the traditional Dr. patient relationship? It's not a simple issue.

      I've just read Freakanomics, and that triggered my thinking on how does on go about actually looking at what's going on and what works and what doesn't.

      I'd like to see the media give both sides of this issue, if you can.

      Richard Coddington

    3. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      If you move to a place that has less stress and less pollution, better natural foods, you will live a longer healthier life without all this obamacare. less taxes will allow you to live better, also I know a landowner who is desperate for cash, who is willing to sell for 25% of value. take advantage of this mans poverty to steal a piece of paridise! I only know of this one, when this is gone, everything else will by four times as expensive located in lake Arenal area, Costa Rica. ww77651@aol.com

    4. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Is anyone is surprised! Those of us that have the power to reason and reconize who and what is Obama and the Democrats, know full well exactly that their plan is to not only ration all of health care, but to control every aspect of our lives. Yet the left-wing media still will not expose the truth. The continue to attack conservatives, such as Sara Palin, for point out the fact that indeed Obama does have plans for

      "death pannels" to decide who lives and who dies.

      Make no mistake. Obama and the Dems want to end

      our American way of life and will do and say anything to reach their goal.

    5. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      They also say self examination is not needed. 1st I am a nurse and lost my mother and aunt to cancer, both found theirs through self examination, my aunt was 38YO when she died, she had bi-lateral cancer in breast, my mother was 44, she survived, she did die of another cancer 16 yrs. later, this time cervical. If there is cancer in your family yoy need to be more aware at younger age. I am a strong believer in Doctor's practicing medicine, not politicians or Ins. bigwigs.

    6. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      This just what's going on in Canada. Where will we go to get away from Obamacare?

    7. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Government provision of anything is never based on individuals and their needs. Delivery of any program is based on the 'collective need', statistics and economics. It is a 'net' in which individuals get caught and the need of any one person is subsumed to the decisions applied to the 'collective in the net'

      It is Marxist Socialism in practice. It is antithetical to what is guaranteed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

      It is Obama, not American!

    8. Loves Dogs says:

      I find this an outrage. I have a daughter and daughter-in-law that should be getting mamograms every year. It seems to me with my daughter and women she knows and that I've knows over years that more are getting breast cancer in their thirty's and forty's anymore. That's what research is for and why women get mamograms. Breast cancer kills. I find it so discusting that Obama and Pelosi and Reid and all of these idiot Dem's want to give free to the poor and lazy. They want to destroy everyone in this country. WHY? WHY? WHY?

      At 64 this is the most insane group of politicians I've ever seen. These people are insane and out of control. They are threatening other politicians and buying votes from maybe those that otherwise would say no….

      I hope and pray that we can start to get better people in office to represent us that can not be bought, should not be bought and get rid of the Obamas and Pelosi's etc etc etc.

      Obama just wants to be a rock star and NOT DO what a PRESIDENT should do.—-make decisions.

      Our military—pull them all out of where ever they are and put up walls around this country and bring them home to protect JUST THIS COUNTRY and to hell with all the others out there. DRILL FOR THE OIL WE HAVE HERE AND BECOME SELF SUFFICIENT HERE!!!!!

      This supposed President ISN'T a real president—he's a fake

    9. Evan, Anchorage says:

      Health care reform is needed to keep medicare from going broke. Three years ago my wife and I were spending $23,000 per year for $1,000 deductable and no dental or optical through blue cross. The next year it went up 18% for no reason other than they could. What's the party of "no" going to do to fix that? Let's study other countries and pick the best one. I am sure lobbist will screw this one up for us if we try and invent something new.

    10. Joe Howell, San Anto says:

      When Sarah Palin spoke of "death panels" this is precisely what she meant. The Senate health care reform bill references these government panels to provide the structure of what constitutes "acceptable" care. The Public Option will not cover items that aren't "acceptable" and then the private policies, needing to compete, will go that way too. People will die. Liberals are quick to point out how much more we spend on health care than other countries. One of the reasons is the advanced level of early testing. President Obama likes to say these tests save money. That is a lie. They do not. They may save money in an individual case for someone who catches something early, but overall they are expensive and do not save money system wide. They do save lives.

      If Americans let them take over health care, lives will be lost and it won't just be grandma. The young people that are "guidelined" out of early detection of cancers will die young.

      Joe Howell

      Editor, The Right Viewpoint

    11. Andrea Plummer, TX says:

      My father died of cancer while under the "care" of the VA. He complained for at least six months about not being able to swallow food. Eventually, all he could swallow was coffee that he had drink sitting perfectly straight or standing up. When they finally got around to doing a larynoscopy, they found a cancerous tumor in his esophagus that was almost completely blocking it. Then they found that the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, liver, and bones. He died within 6 weeks of being diagnosed.

      My aunt, Daddy's sister, now has breast cancer that she found through BSE and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. It looks like she has a good chance of surviving it, but she has private insurance.

      Government rationed healthcare does not work, yet our elected representatives do not seem to care that we don't want it. If the government would stay out of health care, doctors and scientists could better do their jobs and decisions like whether or not to test students for a disease that was almost non-existent in the area would be left up to the doctor and parents to decide.

      I realize that my comment about Daddy being under the "care" of the VA could be construed as derogatory towards his doctors. It was not meant to be. I'm sure that the doctors at the VA want to provide better care and do what they can, but in many cases, their hands are tied. Either the government regulations won't allow them to do what is medically necessary without more testing that costs both time and money, or they have too many patients to give each the attention they deserve. I have a great respect for the doctors. It is the system I have problems with.

    12. Doctor Horton, USA says:

      These recent recommendations will be ObamaCare's waterloo….If we shine the light of truth on it. This is but one example of the type of task force which will be implemented to produce economically biased protocols that will change the delivery of health care from an empathetic/hippocratean approach to an economic/bottom-line approach. Someone with the ability needs to gather a group of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer thanks to a screening mammogram between the ages of 40 and 50 and make a highly effective commercial.

    13. Bob R Geologist, Tuc says:

      I'm afraid us old-timers are part of the problem because we are living too long. However, we could stay gainfully occupied longer, particularly if we are in academic and professional positions where experience trumps youth on a regular basis. In my case, as an Economic Geologist, I was forced to quit consulting at 75 because the mining business in the USA was becoming ever less profitable due to environmental restrictions. Now I find myself embroiled in the politically contrived fantasy, corrupting science, known as global warming. To bring total ruin to a hoped for, placid old age, the last election put a totally irrelevant character to everything I hold dear, as President of the USA. Now, well into my 90's, I fear for the adequacy of my nest egg.

    14. Prevailer76AZ says:

      Even mammograms are not fool proof, however they are a first line of defense in discovery of breast cancer. My 3 daughters are doubly at risk, having the incidence in both maternal and paternal families. For me, my breast cancer has metastasized and there is no cure. But there is/was hope for my children and grandchildren.

      If anything, the preventative measure of mammograms is not only a life-saving means, but economically prudent as well. The politicians so far bringing their plans to the forefront, could care less about our well being, as long as they can get control of every facet of our lives. Health care is only one element of the power grab, being done anyway they can.

    15. Jake, WV says:

      If we had this system 3 years ago, my sister would be dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    16. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Over the past several months, I have seen a number of ads on TV encouraging mother's of young daughters to have them vacinated for prevention of cervical cancer. How much longer do you think it will be before we find out that this too is an "unnecessary expense"?

      Who knows, maybe once Mr. Obama's 'Diversity Czar" takes over the air waves, we will learn how all vacinations are really unnecessary. Who will dispute this, the AMA, AARP? They have already sold out their constituencies to the government. The AMA supported Obamacare and in return, the government allowed it to retain the franchise on controlling the ICD9 codes that doctors must use to file clams with insurers. AARP supported Obamacare and in return the government agreed to discontinue the subsidy of Medicare Advantage plans, thus making them uncompetitive with the plans being sold by AARP. AARP makes most of its money selling insurance to retirees.

      Remember, Obama is from Chicago. He came up from ACORN, through Mayor Daley's Chicago machine and the sewer system called Illinois politics in Springfield, IL. These are places where everything and everyone is for sale. This is the place where he launched his political career with the help of Bill Ayers. This is the place where he learned ethics from people like Rod Blagojevich and Tony Resko, humility from Rahm Emanuel and the Christian principals this country was founded on from Jeremiah Wright.

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    18. Judith in Michigan says:

      Why have we spent millions over the last several decades for cancer (and other disease) research to now be told, No, you can't take advantage of this advanced treatment/drug therapy because the gov't panel of "experts" has deemed it too expensive or you are not felt worthy due to age & health.

      And what about all of the fund raising being done by organizations such as The Cancer Society? Why bother? Who will donate now for future research?

      I am a 15 year breast cancer survivor. I'm one of the lucky ones because it was caught early.

      The congress people do not have to concern themselves with such pesky matters. They have "gold-plated ins.", and do not have to worry. How about their spouses? Are they also covered by this ins.?

      How wonderful, if they are.

      Perhaps we should all go back to leeches. Would that be aceptable to the panel of "experts"? Or would leeches be considered endangered, and we couldn't use them?

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    20. Ellen, Bullard, TX says:

      If the anatomy under discussion were THE male "body part", rather than a woman's boobs, quarterly screening would be mandated!!

      I want to know when someone is going to screw up enough fortitude to call Obamacare by its right name: GENOCIDE.

      If it is such a wonderful program for America, then those pushing for passage should be required to participate in the program they write for the "peons" rather than have the carte blanch coverage they enjoy for pennies — OUR pennies.

      There are sickos and mean people in high places that should be tried for abuse of power, treason, and any other ism that can be thrown at them.

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    22. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      The Federal Government has all the appearence of a new gardener who has taken over the care of the garden and decided to let the weeds, insects, diseases and varmits tend to the crops! A gardener who wants a very low yield from his husbandtry. If Obama truly wishes to be God, he should remember that God never abandons his children.

    23. Pingback: AntiObamaBlog.com » The Obamacare Rationing Threat To Your Mammograms

    24. R Smith says:

      And so it begins!

    25. Emma Hunt, Utah says:

      I am alive today because, I was allowed to have a mammogram early and start 18 long months of treatment and surgory. I like my insurance plan and I don't want changes.

    26. Pingback: Video: On “This Week,” the Obamacare Rationing Debate Grows Heated | Conservative Principles Now

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    31. Jean Johnson, San An says:

      In response to Dr. Horton's comment, "Someone with the ability needs to gather a group of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer thanks to a screening mammogram between the ages of 40 and 50 and make a highly effective commercial." You must realize that Fox News is the only channel that would run such an ad. No other network would touch it. And most of America does not watch Fox News, the soak up what the Liberal press spews out at us. I'm not saying it's not a great idea, just that it wouldn't be played where the people that need to hear it would learn from it.

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