Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dear US Preventive Services Task Force: Bite me.

So some task force has decided that women shouldn't be screened for breast cancer, or even do a monthly self-exam, because it's not cost-effective for women under the age of 50. Evidentally women don't get breast cancer and die from it until they're at least in their 50s.

Just who are these people anyway? It's not the American Cancer Society's researchers who've come up with this gem. I suspect it's a bunch of bureaucrats who looked at the bottom line and decided that the government won't want to pay for all those "unnecessary" tests once the government assumes the mantle of Health/Death Experts.

Do you want to let these people (and I'll go out on a limb here and say that I bet most of them are men) take care of our health care/insurance system? What's next, no screening for cervical cancer, or prostate cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, any other killer? What will happen when an elderly person needs a new hip or knee? Sorry, it has to go to someone younger who'll be able to take advantage of it longer? How about those really expensive injections of Lucentis that help to preserve vision in people with wet macular degeneration? Hey, that includes me. I guess that $2000 per course of treatment would be better used to what, give a new liver to some rock star? How about all those babies born so early that they'd die without medical intervention? How would you feel if your child or grandchild had some horrible illness with a relatively low rate of survival? Would you be okay with not treating that illness because it isn't cost-effective? Would the powers that be allow my oldest granddaughter to have SupprelinLA, at a cost of close to $20,000 per year, to let her have the opportunity to grow normally and not start her period at age 6? All kinds of health risks are associated with precocious puberty. Since those risks affect a small number of the population--mostly girls--should we just let a bunch of men in suits decide that the effort doesn't justify the amount of money spent, won't help enough people (read: girls) to make it worth the money?

What if it's decided that anxiety and depression aren't really chemical imbalances that are relatively easy to treat with medication? Will we be told to just suck it up and soldier on?

I'm scared.


Georgi said...

I would say that all the people who were on the task force where either men or insurance company executives. Jerks

rita said...

All three! I'm betting that there are some politicians involved....