cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
What am I doing blogging about such a subject? It impacts all of us whether or not we understand that at the moment.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has decided that mammograms aren't needed for women in their forties on a routine basis. This task force has decided that mammograms aren't necessary on an annual basis for women age 50 and over; they should schedule a mammogram only on an every other year basis. And, finally, women over 74 shouldn't be receiving mammograms at all. Apparently that just isn't cost effective.
And this "nonsense" about self-examination should just be cast aside. If a woman should just happen to notice some apparent abnormality, then it is okay to consult with her physician, but a regular routine of self-examination is now taboo.
Melody Wilson Oldenburg was in her very early forties, as I recall, when her breast cancer was diagnosed. We probably are aware of many such instances even though this isn't a topic for casual conversation in mixed company on a regular basis.
The subject of breast cancer in women is equated by this same task force to that of prostate cancer in men. The question of testing men for PSA levels seems about to fall into this same morass. Could it be that this testing is deemed too expensive for the return on investment, the ROI?
The apparent reason behind this decision is that about one in ten early detections is a false detection; therefore, we should simply ignore the other nine if this task force is to be the determining authority.
Experts will argue about this loudly and over the next many years, and I personally hope that women will continue to have mammograms annually...so long as that is permitted.
So long as that is permitted becomes the operative phrase. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is one of those dandy little federal panels that will make decisions about your health care and my health care in the new world envisioned by the Obama health plan. This is another of those helpful glimpses into the future that seems ill-timed since the debate on nationalized health care continues to bubble away in Washington. The all-controlling Obama Administration let this one slip out a bit too soon.
We are on the precipice of that moment in time when we will make a decision that places health care in the realm of "return on investment" instead of seeing medical care as that very personal relationship between patient and physician that is so much more than a 'return on investment' equation.
Physicians in this new world of health care will ultimately be told how to practice; it won't happen in year one or year two, but it will happen. It will happen because the government will have become the controlling source of money that drives our system of health care. It will happen because there is never enough money to pay for health care when it is seen as being "free". And, as that is happening, the truly gifted who would've become physicians may just find a different way to use their talents.
If you want your health care to be determined by a bureaucrat in some federal office somewhere, then by all means tell your elected representatives to vote for ObamaCare.
If you'd like to keep the personal doctor-patient relationship you have today, if you'd like to be able to make decisions that directly affect you and your health, then maybe ObamaCare is not the right answer.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and all its cohorts in the new world of health care have different ideas about health care than do most of us mere human beings who receive health care.