Introducing Your “Death Panel”

I haven’t had a chance to write about this since it happened but I wanted to put it down in cyberspace. I am a frequent user of Facebook. One night back in November, while perusing the various scribblings of my friends, I found one very outraged one. She is an old friend from high school who works in the medical field. She was very upset that the US Preventive Services Task Force had reversed itself and advised women under 50 NOT to get routine mammograms. This flew in the face of recommendations from the American Cancer Society and others for women 40 and over to have routine mammograms. Many lives have been saved by this procedure over the years.

She had posted some links to this Task Force and wondered if the insurance companies were behind this. This is not surprising since we have had our fill of the insurance companies being demonized over the last several months. I checked out her links and boldly posted that this was the opening salvo in the new health care reform. As I began to read more about this panel and their recommendation, it became clear to me what the agenda was. Not only were they recommending women not get mammograms until they are 50, they were also recommending women not self-exam! What could be the harm in a simple, life-saving self exam? Since I was familiar with the health care debate and what many of us expect from a socialized medical plan, the end game was obvious to me. The only reason to tell a woman not to self exam is to keep her out of the doctor’s office, tying up needed staff to treat the overwhelming number of new people now in the system.

I looked harder at the background of the members of the task force. All of these members are professors or deans – members of academe; not practicing doctors! So we know they are very liberal based on their academic background. Not only that, but most are from states who voted for Obama (ok, there are a lot of those anyway!). Given the liberal slant of these people and the obvious goal in their current recommendation, I felt very secure in posting to my friend, “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce your new death panel!”

I got a lot of heat from my friend and from some of her friends who said I was politicizing this. My point was that I was not the one who was politicizing it. Our President has already done that! It wasn’t until later that I found out that the bill which had already passed in the House has named the US Preventive Services Task Force as the sole authority on what will and won’t be covered under the new federal health plan! (So even when I don’t know it, I’m right! LOL) Death panel anyone?

Since the outrage from both the medical community and private individuals, the Task Force is reconsidering their recommendation. That’s nice of them. Just wait until the new federal health care system is in place and these kind of reversals have dramatic consequences on coverage. They will not be so quick to change their mind!


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