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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Mammography Decision...Things that Make You Go Hmm

Let's see if I understand this correctly. The president is full force behind preventative medicine. Not only would preventative medicine spot diseases before they became out of control but it would save hundreds of billions and trillions in medical costs. Preventative medicine involves routine check ups to spot potential diseases. This is what President Obama has been hammering for months.

Now, a government task force says that women under 50 shouldn't have a routine test for breast cancer.

Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are blasting new guidelines from a government task force that recommends against routine mammograms for women under 50, questioning whether they are tantamount to health care "rationing" in the fight against the No. 2 cancer killer in U.S. women.

"I absolutely believe this could be a form of rationing," said Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga, a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist for 26 years. "It scares me."

Here's the irony. Those that criticize the idea that preventative medicine will save money on health care costs often point to some of the exact same points made by the Task Force about some of the needless costs related to preventative medicine.

That's because most people are healthy. So, most tests are unnecessary. That's not to say they aren't important. Every time cancer is spotted early is a time that someone lives when they could have died.

That said, this won't necessarily save money. You should always be weary when someone backs up an argument with something so factually inaccurate. Preventative medicine saves lives, not money. Everyone should get a mammography on a regular basis because that will spot breast cancer early. All preventative medicine will catch disease early. It won't, however, save us on health care costs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its commonly pointed out that preventive medicine is practiced in Western Europe and Canada as if that is the reason their populations are healthier. The fact of the matter is, those people also eat LESS.

Not just healthier, LESS.