Last week and the week before I had some sort of bug. Mrs. D.S. nagged me enough that I went to the doctor to see about it. During the examination, the doctor's assistant told me I had high blood pressure, based on the "new blood pressure standard created by the blood pressure experts." Under the old standard, I would not have been marked as having high blood pressure. I laughed because my pressure was raised from what my blood pressure norm.
Monday, while talking with Mrs. D.S., I heard the newscaster state a government medical panel has changed the recommendation for regular breast cancer screening from 40 to 50. When I heard that, I went on a quick mini-rant about changing standards, asking who knows what's the right answer for anything these days.
Tuesday, while driving, I remembered Mrs. D.S.'s friend who found out she had breast cancer. She was in her late 30s and is now recovered. She would not have known if she followed "the advice" of this government board. In fact, because her family has a history of breast cancer, she started getting regular checks earlier than the old standard.
Today, this issue is still being discussed but I hear the political spin on it. Imagine if we had single payer or the system that is in the House bill that recently passed. Would women in their 40s be able to get mammography readings done and paid for by insurance, if the standard is 50? And can't the new standard be seen as a way of COST CUTTING? To really cap this off, in Britain, the death rate from breast cancer is higher than in the U.S. because a medical treatment that is available in the U.S. is not paid for by the Britain health care system, thus causing deaths.
This is a GREAT example of the fear of rationed care under a government system and there seem to be a lot of women AND men concerned about this.