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Media Matters slams WaPo, American Cancer Society. (Just kidding.)

November 19, 2009

Cartoon by Henry Payne ( 8/17/09)

Media Matters’ selective outrage is on full display today. They declare, “Beck, Limbaugh, and Hannity link nonbinding mammogram guidelines to ‘death panels'”:

Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity have linked a task force’s recommendation that fewer women younger than 50 receive regular mammograms to the widely debunked smear that Democratic health reform bills include “death panels.” Right-wing media figures have repeatedly raised the specter of these purported panels in their discussions of health care; in this case, their fearmongering is undermined by the fact that the recommendations are not legally binding on health care providers or insurers.

This really is getting tiresome. Not even your average Democratic legislator is dumb enough to literally put the phrase “death panels” in a bill. However, in nations where socialized medicine is the norm, powerful decision making entities that sound awfully similar to “death panels” do function, complete with Orwellian names like “NICE”.

They have to, because “free” health “care” can only “work” in a system based upon often irrational rationing. I know: I’m a Canadian citizen.

There’s more:

…the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and other experts condemned the change (…)

“Tens of thousands of lives are being saved by mammography screening, and these idiots want to do away with it,” said Daniel B. Kopans, a radiology professor at Harvard Medical School. “It’s crazy — unethical, really.”

Some questioned whether the new guidelines were designed more to control spending than to improve health. (…)

The new recommendations took on added significance because under health-care reform legislation pending in Congress, the conclusions of the 16-member task force would set standards for what preventive services insurance plans would be required to cover at little or no cost.

Say, who are all those lying, fearmongering radical crazies?

Well, that’s actually a November 16 story in the Washington Postnot generally regarded as a right wing paper. WaPo first broke that “mammogram” story, not anyone on Fox News or talk radio.

But don’t wait for the disingenuous ideologues at Media Matters to call the Washington Post part of the right wing smear machine, or start comparing a Harvard professor to Glenn Beck, or the former head of the Red Cross to Ann Coulter.

  1. November 19, 2009 11:03 am

    NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook just aired a show about this very topic, “Mammograms and Medicine.” I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I will. Some of the comments are interesting:

    I would very much like to hear the explanation of the suggestion to stop self exams. If we no longer get mammograms (I understand the cost/benefit argument), why cut out self exams, too? How on earth will we discover ANY tumors then?

    I’m disgusted to hear about these new recommendations. It sounds to me like they’re laying the ground-work to refuse insurance coverage of mammograms. I can’t help but wonder if these guys are in bed with big insurance. In this day and age, what other conclusions can we arrive at?!

    So, after decades of doctors telling everyone to know their bodies, now we are specifically telling women that they don’t need to know what is normal for this particular part of their body?

    I’m a healthy 49 year old that breastfed 4 children and had no family history of breast cancer. I may not be alive today if I didn’t have a routine mamogram at age 40. An area of calcification led to surgery 7 years ago and a lumpectomy that discovered LCIS (lobular carcenoma in situ) or a cancerous growth in my breast. That diagnosis places me in a high risk category and my care has been very proactive and regular since that point.

    I worry about insurance companies that will now deny the mammogram to those women who want to choose this option in their 40’s as your speaker indicated.

    I also have a 43 year old niece that is currently undergoing chemotherapy after a double masectomy.

    Isn’t it funny that now that the government is thinking about getting into the health insurance business, all of a sudden a report comes out saying you don’t need medical tests…. Are prostate exams for men going to be next?

    • November 19, 2009 11:32 am

      I don’t WANT to relapse into my former ultra-feminist self, but in answer to Chris Rowan’s very last question, I’m pretty sure the answer is:

      Don’t bet on it! 🙂

      • old white guy permalink
        November 21, 2009 7:26 am

        you know that we men have to pay for prostrate tests.

      • Karen Northon permalink
        November 23, 2009 6:58 am

        Some groups have already offered up recommendations to decrease screening for prostate cancer.

  2. Revnant Dream permalink
    November 20, 2009 1:29 am

    It won’t be long before Obama makes voting for Women illegal.
    All the better to make way for Sharia with the Koran ruling America.
    Seems to me 100s of millions in tax dollars where spent telling Women to do self check exams. Money well spent I thought. Now its deemed redundant?

  3. peachey permalink
    November 20, 2009 12:58 pm

    This is just the beginning at a massive scale back of preventative medicine. The next will be the elimination of the yearly physical with the lab work,EKG, etc that go with it. With the
    insane new reviews of mammograms and PAP’s, the next will also include PSA’s, chest x-rays,EKG’s, treadmill exams, blood counts, blood chemistry,cholesterol and triglyceride levels,etc….Everything that has been accepted as the foundation for healthy living and the incorporation of preventative medicine will be re-written to eliminate early detection,early diagnosis and early intervention. This is the “death panel” by another name. Late diagnosis means there is a much greater probability of your death, and they will save money by not treating you because by the time you are diagnosed, the odds of cure are poor and beyond the deemed therapy guidlines for success. Thank you Mr. Obama. You and your family will receive excellent care paid for by the tax dollars saved by killing off those that are forced into the healthcare from hell program (as all Americans will eventually will be). You will be remembered, but not with the glowing adoration that you crave.

  4. old white guy permalink
    November 21, 2009 7:28 am

    in canada if you want an annual checkup you pay extra. its every two years if you want your ohip to cover it. but we pay for that too.

  5. John Davidson permalink
    November 21, 2009 7:36 am

    In the VA system, I do get a notice every years to get a check-up, but they send a hearse to take me. (Just kidding, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the next time it would occur.)

  6. Mason permalink
    November 22, 2009 7:09 am

    How ironic that our betters in government have been chirping about the cost saving wonders of prevention and early treatment and now discourage even breast self examination. Sorry ladies, you must die early to make room for the the next generation. Move along.


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