Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Scherz and Fogoros on USPSTF

Dr. Hal Scherz of Docs4PatientCare has a new OpEd in the 5/28/2012 TownHall.com, "A Bunch of Doctors from the Government Here To Help You".

He discusses the latest set of clinical recommendations from the government's U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) covering prostate cancer screening.

The money quote:
This is just the latest attempt by the USPSTF to limit effective screening methods for cancer. In 2010, they made recommendations to significantly curtail screening mammography for breast cancer in women. Now they are recommendations, but soon, when Obamacare is fully implemented, these will be policy, not suggestions, and will have the full force of law behind it. Other screening programs will soon be on the chopping block, like colonoscopy for colon cancer screening.
The reason behind this is simple. It is about money, power and control. On the UTPSTF web site, it states that over 1000 PSA tests were necessary to save a single life from prostate cancer.
Someone in Washington has decided what the value of a human life is, and what would be the acceptable cost associated with saving it. This is called “comparative effectiveness” and is what happens in a socialized healthcare system, like in England, where resources need to be allocated prudently, and healthcare is rationed. This is the essence of Obamacare -- a system where medical decisions have been taken away from patients and their doctors and transferred to bureaucrats in Washington.
Dr. Scherz also notes that President Obama had this PSA test within the past year.  So his doctors considered it appropriate.  But Obama's panel of experts don't want you to have the same level of medical care.

(Read the full text of "A Bunch of Doctors from the Government Here To Help You".)

Dr. Richard Fogoros also covers this issue in his essay, "Preventing Preventive Medicine".

He discusses the underlying methodology of USPSTF recommendations and how it will lead to "herd medicine". If the individual must be sacrificed for the good of the herd, so be it. Is this the kind of national medical system we want?