The U.S. Preventative Service Task Force has come out with new guidelines for women and mammograms today, which has led me to wonder about the timing and nature of the findings they released. The new guideline states that women under 50 should NOT get mammogram test, and those 50 or older should be tested once every 2 years.
This new policy is a complete reversal of earlier findings by this same government organization (though the panel that gives the guidelines is different). The ramifications of this policy change are far reaching, as many believe that this will provide health insurance companies a reason to not cover mammograms in women younger than 50.
Currently 1 in 8 women are at risk of having some form of breast cancer in their lives. Roughly 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year. It is the 2nd leading cause of death among women. So obviously this is a critical matter affecting nearly 12% of the female population in the nation.
White women are more likely to get breast cancer, while African American women are most likely to die from it.
African-Americans have the highest death rate from breast cancer and are more likely to be diagnosed with a later stage of breast cancer than White women.
In the age groups, 30-54 and 55-69 years, African-American women have the highest death rate from breast cancer, followed by Hawaiian women, and white non-Hispanic women. However, in the 70 year old age group, the death rate from breast cancer for white women is higher than for African –American.
So what do I conclude from this?
This is what Health Care Reform will do to millions. It is the often disputed intervention of the Government into personal health care decisions. It is a means of causing potentially millions from getting treatment that might otherwise save lives. And this will disproportionately affect women of lower income groups than anyone else.
The U.S. Preventative Service Task Force’s decision, if mandatory government-run healthcare were in effect, would now eliminate what is considered an effective early detection method of cancer among those that it would cover – because the Task Force arbitrarily believes that mammograms on younger women are not cost-effective. Even though the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and many other experts significantly disagree with their conclusions.
Considering that there is a higher proportion of African Americans in lower economic groups, and that the Health Care Reform is targeted to lower incomes, this decision will affect African American women more than any other group. Already Black women are the leading group of women that die from breast cancer between ages 30 – 55, imagine how much worse this will be under this new guideline. Imagine how much worse it will be if Health Care Reform is passed and thus no insurer will provide this early detection method.
This is completely biased. For those that can afford to pay for private mammograms, there will be a consistent rate of early detection and thus a continued high rate survival. But for those that cannot afford to pay for this out of pocket, the death rate will increase – especially for Black women.
Given claims by Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand, as well as Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid, that the current versions of Health Care Reform will benefit America, I challenge them to explain how this is a benefit. I challenge them to explain that on a national basis, under a Government program, when such a guideline is enacted how additional preventable deaths will be acceptable. I challenge them to explain how minority groups they claim to be seeking to help with Health Care Reform will benefit when that is the very groups directly and disproportionately negatively affected by such actions.
I wonder if this is why Senators Schumer and Gillibrand (among most of the rest of Democrat politicians) refused to speak with the public about the Health Care Reform since the summer. I wonder if this is why Democrats so strongly denied that coverage would ever be left to death panels – because this effectively is just that.
I have sisters and my mother that are at risk of breast cancer because they are women. Because they are African American they are at great risk of late detection and highest risk of death. And now the Government is trying to ensure that the chance of them having breast cancer and providing fewer chances of survival is greater. Plus the Government is going against the public will to create a bloated monstrosity that is the Health Care Reform legislation that will make things even worse.
Yet those same Democrats and Government expect African Americans and the U.S. citizenry to blindly re-elect them to office. I directly request Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Rep. Hinchey and all of Congress to explain why I should accept the health Care Reform Bill or their re-election bids. I strongly suggest that all my readers, especially Black women, do the same thing.
This is unacceptable, let your voice be heard.