Last week the Department of Health and Human Services’s Preventative Services Task Force issued new mammogram guidelines for women. If the recommendations are followed, gone are yearly mammograms for women between 40 and 50 years old and women over 75. The Task Force claims that cost was not a consideration, but rather the concern for unnecessary biopsies and the emotional stress of a potential cancer scare. Despite the denials of a cost-benefit motive, this recommendation could not have come at a better time to highlight the future of preventative medicine under Obamacare.
Anyone who watched the “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos on November 22, got a preview of women’s healthcare under the proposed bills. Despite denials by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, both Representative Marsha Blackburn and Stephanopoulos pointed out that in the bill the Preventative Services Task Force would be responsible for rating preventative services with A, B, C or D. Mammograms for women between 40 and 50 would be rated C by the Task Force. Only A and B are covered services under the proposed bills. Wasserman Schultz claims that more women would get access to free mammograms. More? Do we sacrifice one group of women for another?
Following quickly on the heels of the mammogram recommendations, came the Task Force’s recommendations that doctors no longer test yearly for cervical cancer. Why women’s preventative healthcare measures that save so many lives seem to be the first on the chopping block is uncertain, but a clearer red flag of the rationing to come could not have been waved. When it comes to rationing, Obamacare proves that chivalry is not dead.
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