Sounds A Lot Like “Death Panels” (and BS) To Me

Posted on November 20, 2009. Filed under: General Info, Soapbox | Tags: , , , , |

Cardiologist / health administrator Bernadine Healy became the first woman to head the National Institutes of Health from 1991 to 1993. She has been particularly effective in addressing medical policy and research issues pertaining to women. Beginning her career at Johns Hopkins University where she rose to full professor on the medical school faculty, while simultaneously undertaking administrative duties. She served as deputy science advisor to President Reagan from 1984-1985. In 1985 she was appointed Head of the Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation until her appointment as director of the NIH in 1991. Healy was also president of the American Heart Association from 1988-1989 and has served on numerous national advisory committees. Healy was named dean of the College of Medicine and Public Health at Ohio State University in 1995. And in the fall of 1999 she became president of the American Red Cross, serving until late 2001. She has been a senior writer for US News and World Report since 2003. If you missed this four and a half minute interview- please watch!

 
 
 

According to HHS: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), first convened by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1984, and since 1998 sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is the leading independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care. The USPSTF conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the “gold standard” for clinical preventive services.

The mission of the USPSTF is to evaluate the benefits of individual services based on age, gender, and risk factors for disease; make recommendations about which preventive services should be incorporated routinely into primary medical care and for which populations; and identify a research agenda for clinical preventive care.

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Members include various members of the medical community, but at present contain no known oncologists.
 
Wikipedia notes the incidence of breast cancer varies greatly around the world, being lower in less-developed countries and greatest in the more-developed countries. In the twelve world regions, the annual age-standardized incidence rates per 100,000 women are as follows: in Eastern Asia, 18; South Central Asia, 22; sub-Saharan Africa, 22; South-Eastern Asia, 26; North Africa and Western Asia, 28; South and Central America, 42; Eastern Europe, 49; Southern Europe, 56; Northern Europe, 73; Oceania, 74; Western Europe, 78; and in North America, 90. Breast cancer can strike at any age, but only 5% of all breast cancers occur in women under 40 years old.Women in the US have a 1 in 8 (12.5%) lifetime chance of developing invasive breast cancer and a 1 in 35 (3%) chance of breast cancer causing their death In 2007, breast cancer was expected to cause 40,910 deaths in the US (7% of cancer deaths; almost 2% of all deaths).This figure includes 450-500 men who die annually in the U.S. out of approximately 2000 who contract it.Medicine Plus notes 

Breast cancer affects one in eight women during their lives. Breast cancer kills more women in the United States than any cancer except lung cancer. No one knows why some women get breast cancer, but there are a number of risk factors. Risks that you cannot change include

  • Age – the chance of getting breast cancer rises as a woman gets older
  • Genes – there are two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that greatly increase the risk. Women who have family members with breast or ovarian cancer may wish to be tested.
  • Personal factors – beginning periods before age 12 or going through menopause after age 55

Other risks include being overweight, using hormone replacement therapy, taking birth control pills, drinking alcohol, not having children or having your first child after age 35 or having dense breasts. Symptoms of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in size or shape of the breast or discharge from a nipple. Breast self-exam and mammography can help find breast cancer early when it is most treatable.

Seer Stats fact sheet estimates that 192,370 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during 2009 and of those 40,170 women will die of cancer in the same year. The median age for women being diagnosed was 61 years of age, and none were under the age of twenty; 1.9% were aged 20 and 34; 10.5% were diagnosed between 35 and 44. From the ago of forty five the incidence rose sharply 22.5% were between 45 and 54; 23.7% were aged between 55 and 64. After 65 and between 74 the incidence dropped again to 19.6%, 16.2% were aged between 75 and 84; and finally 5.5% 85+ years of age. Just because their were only five and a half percent diagnosed at over 85 merely indicates that there were less women in that age group living.

The incidence was higher in white women as 123.8 per 100,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, blacks were diagnosed at 117.7 per 100,000 women, the Polynesians less still as 89.5 per 100,000 women , Hispanics had 88.3 per 100,000 women And native American Indian/Alaska Native had the least number affected. 74.4 per 100,000 women.

Although roughly 20% of women are diagnosed with breast cancer UNDER age 50, and incidences increase with age, with roughly 22% of women diagnosed at age 75 or over, the “C” grade given mammography for women under 50 and over 75, means insurance will no longer cover this procedure. In my opinion, this does indeed constitute a “death panel”, putting middle aged moms and grandma at risk. Particularly, as the cost of a mammogram with doctor and other fees is several hundred dollars, and from personal experience is a four digit figure if a “lump” is found, cancerous or not, prompting the quicker turn time for results. At these costs, the number of cases being diagnosed at a treatable stage is going to decline. If you do the math, you can clearly see that of the nearly 200,000 women who would be diagnosed this year alone with breast cancer, 40% would not have had insurance covered mammograms. How many of those women could pay the  costs and fees associated with the test? Not many. As well, the USPSTF suggests no benefit to self-examination at any age.

Think, America. This is the same group of “independent” consultants who will, under the bill being voted on this weekend, get to determine what is covered and what is not covered going forward. Do you really want them in charge of who gets what? 

Allow me to point out, and believe me, I know how absurd this sounds, this administration believes in total compliance with UN Agenda 21 (sustainable development) which clearly calls for population reduction. Seriously. There are many posts here and elsewhere discussing this. If you know not what I am speaking about, please educate yourself. Science Czar John Holdren wrote a book touting population control by means of spiking water supplies throughout the country. So, just consider, even if you don’t believe me, how much easier it would be to deny medical testing and treatment under the guise of inaffordability.

Made clear by the press release from the Catholic League is the fact abortions will be covered in the bill.

On November 15, presidential advisor David Axelrod made it clear that President Obama opposes the Stupak amendment that bans abortion funding in the House’s version of the health care bill. The Senate has just completed its version, and it contains nothing like the language of the Stupak amendment. As reported today by AP, “On a controversial issue that threatened to derail the House legislation, [Senate Majority Leader] Reid would allow the new government insurance plan to cover abortions and would let companies that receive federal funds offer insurance plans that include abortion coverage.”

President Obama, after telling the public that he would not support a bill that provided federal funds for abortion (he was hailed by the bishops for doing so), is now championing a bill that would do just that. Moreover, he is pushing for legislation that the American people do not support: CNN posted survey results yesterday showing that 61 percent of the public is in favor of banning the use of federal funds to pay for abortion; only 37 percent favor it.

READ THE BILL FOR YOURSELF

(It is only 2074 pages in length – and hey- what better way to spend your weekend???!)

President Obama said “From day one, our goal has been to enact legislation that offers stability and security to those who have insurance and affordable coverage to those who don’t, and that lowers costs for families, businesses and governments across the country,” adding the proposal “meets those principles.”

Republicans have vowed to block the bill. As you may know, however, there are 58 democrat Senators and 2 more independents that may as well be. Reid, D-Nevada, needs 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to open debate on the bill. It would take another 60 votes to close debate, but final approval of the bill would only require a simple majority, or 51 votes. Leadership says it expects to prompt a vote to start debate Saturday.

Senate Minority leader John Boehner said in a statement:

Just like the original 2,032-page, government-run health care plan from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) massive, 2,074-page bill would levy a new “abortion premium” fee on Americans in the government-run plan. 

Beginning on line 7, p. 118, section 1303 under “Voluntary Choice of Coverage of Abortion Services” the Health and Human Services Secretary is given the authority to determine when abortion is allowed under the government-run health plan.  Leader Reid’s plan also requires that at least one insurance plan offered in the Exchange covers abortions (line 13, p. 120).

What is even more alarming is that a monthly abortion premium will be charged of all enrollees in the government-run health plan.  It’s right there beginning on line 11, page 122, section 1303, under “Actuarial Value of Optional Service Coverage.”  The premium will be paid into a U.S. Treasury account – and these federal funds will be used to pay for the abortion services.

Section 1303(a)(2)(C) describes the process in which the Health Benefits Commissioner is to assess the monthly premiums that will be used to pay for elective abortions under the government-run health plan and for those who are given an affordability credit to purchase insurance coverage that includes abortion through the Exchange.  The Commissioner must charge at a minimum $1 per enrollee per month.

A majority of Americans believe that health care plans should not be mandated to provide elective abortion coverage, and a majority of Americans do not believe government health care plans should include abortion coverage. Currently, federal appropriations bills include language known as the Hyde Amendment that prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, while another provision, known as the Smith Amendment, prohibits federal funding of abortion under the federal employees’ health benefits plan.

Leader Reid’s 2,074-page health care monstrosity is an affront to the American people and drastically moves away from current policy.  The National Right to Life Committee has called the Reid abortion language “completely unacceptable.” The American people deserve more from their government than being forced to pay for abortion.  The pro-life Stupak/Pitts amendment passed the House by a vote of 240 to 194, enjoying the overwhelming support of 176 Republicans and 64 Democrats.  The Stupak/Pitts Amendment codifies current law by prohibiting federal funding of elective abortions under any government-run plan or plans available under the Exchange.  The Reid plan ignores the will of a bipartisan majority of the House, and indeed the American people, by rejecting this bipartisan amendment.

Health care reform should not be used as an opportunity to use federal funds to pay for elective abortions. Health reform should be an opportunity to protect human life – not end it – and the American people agree.  House Republicans have offered a common-sense, responsible solution that would reduce health care costs and expand access while protecting the dignity of all human life. The Republican plan, available at HealthCare.GOP.gov, would codify the Hyde Amendment and prohibit all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. And under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage may not receive federal funds.

There are many other issues Soldier for Liberty finds fault with in the bill. In yesterday’s column we featured a clip Glenn Beck did on his show pointing out just a few of the absurd and vulgar taxes being hoisted on the backs of the American taxpayers. Seniors have much to fear from this program.

Even if this bill does not pass, let this be a lesson to all the younger people in this country. These seniors or those about to become seniors did everything they were supposed to do. They fought wars, sacrificed for their country, saved pennies to fun savings accounts and 401K programs, bought and lovingly maintained their homes, put their kids through college, paid into the social security program – everything. Now, at the cusp of the point in time where they may get to enjoy life – the government and their partners in this ponzi scheme rape their 401K accounts and IRAs, steal (and I do mean steal) the equity in their homes, now they will defund their medical care and revoke privileges for tests and procedures because it’s just too expensive to allow them to live. They have outlived their usefulness and can no longer contribute to the ever hungry government – so- well.. it’s a tough world. AMERICA- WAKE UP! I am not being melodramatic here. This bill penalizes companies if they choose to continue to pay for drug prescriptions for retirees. What do they think they are doing? And furthermore, why in the hell would AARP back this program? Because they sell medigap insurance. Period. If you are paying dues to AARP, you need to call them, NOW (888-OUR-AARP), and tell them to refund your dues. Don’t forget to tell them why. Consider joining Amac – The Association of Mature American Citizens or ASA- American Seniors Association instead. The AARP has been corrupted and no longer fairly represents the seniors of this country, in my opinion. It could be no more evident than the fact they favor cuts to senior care. It’s no small cut either.

The Washington Post noted:

Republicans dismissed it as “another trillion-dollar experiment,” in the words of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) said the bill “may claim to be deficit-neutral, [but] it uses sleight-of-hand budgetary tricks by assuming unrealistic tax increases and Medicare cuts that members of Congress will not be willing to follow through on.”

The Senate measure is similar in scope to legislation the House approved earlier this month. It would require most people to buy insurance, and if their employers did not offer affordable coverage, they would be able to shop for policies on new state-based “exchanges” that would function as marketplaces for individual coverage. Insurance companies would have to abide by broad new rules that would ban practices such as denying coverage based on preexisting conditions.

But the bills diverge on other key provisions. The House version would require all but the smallest businesses to offer insurance, while the Senate measure would merely fine companies for not offering affordable coverage. The Senate bill would bar illegal immigrants from buying insurance through the exchanges, while the House would restrict access only to subsidies and federal programs such as Medicaid, which would be vastly expanded under both bills.

Another potential flashpoint is abortion coverage. The issue sparked a major battle in the House, forcing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to agree to an amendment that would bar people who receive federal subsidies for insurance coverage from using that money to purchase policies that pay for abortion.

Reid took a different approach that may or may not pass muster with abortion opponents, proposing to establish a “firewall” that would segregate private premiums from federal funding if abortion coverage were offered in the public insurance plan.

Few details were available Wednesday, but Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), an abortion rights advocate who was working to forge a compromise on the issue, said, “I couldn’t be happier. For those who want to keep abortion out of this bill, Senator Reid did it the right way.”

The National Right to Life Committee, however, called the firewall “completely unacceptable” and said it utilizes “layers of contrived definitions and hollow bookkeeping requirements” to permit federal funding of abortion.

Like the House bill, Reid’s proposal would be financed through billions of dollars in Medicare cuts, as well as new taxes. But while the House would impose a 5.4 percent surtax on income over $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for families, the Senate would rely primarily on a new tax on high-cost insurance policies that has been hugely unpopular among House members.

To blunt opposition, Reid would impose the 40 percent tax on fewer policies, raising the threshold to $8,500 for individuals and $23,000 for family coverage. That change required him to come up with about $60 billion in additional revenue, most of which would come from raising the Medicare payroll tax from 1.45 percent to 1.95 percent on individual income over $200,000 and household income over $250,000. Reid is also proposing a new 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery.

FRED BARNES, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD in a panel discussion on Special Report (Fox News): Well, if you were a government bureaucrat you would think they designed this bill just for me. That’s what it does. It gives the government a lot more power and their panels or commissions or commissioners and so on.

If you’re a doctor or a patient, you’re going to have less power. Patients now will have less choice than you get when you go to Starbucks to buy coffee. They’re going to have very little choice.

And then there are up couple of other things: One of the tricks they have used, of course, that are pretty transparent that they have used to make the bill look like it actually will reduce the deficit. Now Bret, if you believe it is going to reduce the deficit, I’ve got a few things I’d like to sell you.

And of course they took out the doctor’s fix and that saved them, what $210, $220 billion? And then they have the taxing and the so-called spending cuts, which they may or may not actually cut, go for 10 years, but the benefits only go for five years. When you get to the second 10 years, then of course it costs so much more. And that’s pretty transparent.

But here’s the hard part: Anything in this bill is going to be hard to change because you’re going to need 60 votes if you want to change the part about abortion or if you want to get rid of the public option. It is going to be hard.

And Republicans are not going to help. They are not going to let this bill be improved because they think at the end of the day it will be an awful bill anyway. Why should we make it nicer so a few of the more moderate Democrats will vote for it? They don’t want to vote for it.

Host BAIER: A. B. They move the spending to 2014, but when the program actually goes into effect — the taxes goes into effect in 2011.

One thing about the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment that Senator Reid has touted again and again as being a good thing, on page nine they say that the public plan that’s in there would typically have premiums that were somewhat higher than the average premiums for the private plans in the exchanges.

In other words: The public plan that’s offered in this plan would cost more than the private plans. I don’t get it. Wasn’t the purpose to drive down premium costs?

The fact of the matter is no matter what they vote on, most of the wording is open to interpretation for whomever is writing the bill (Cass Sunstein). They will meld this with the House bill and end up with some hodge-podge they think they can get passed. The President will sign it, knowing full well with the way it is written they can do just about anything they want to do with it.

Breaking: Sources tell me, the three or four democrats on the fence, are being handsomely rewarded for any consideration they may give to voting for the bill.

Who, in their right mind, would trade $1,000,000 subsidy or $1,000,000,000 one for that matter, for the welfare and shorter life expectancy of their constituents? Who ever they are- they need to be fired, and maybe jailed. 

Stay tuned, we will post names the very minute they are available.

UPDATE: No need to post names – politics as usual in spineless Washington DC. Only robots- no individual thinkers, not even among so called “Independents”. I can only have one repsonse: The 2nd American Revolution Has Begun:

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