Could the challenge to the Susan B. Komen (SGK) Foundation breast cancer screening statistics be a smokescreen for a hidden, more insidious agenda? A CNN report Friday questioned the Susan G. Komen Foundation breast cancer screening statistics, claiming that they are “overstating the benefits of mammograms” and “using misleading statistics to convince women to have mammograms”. (Read more)
In the CNN piece, Professors Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice state, “The foundation overstated the benefits of the procedure and totally ignored the risks.” Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York is quoted as saying, “It is not uncommon in the medical field for researchers, doctors and health care professionals to use statistics in a way that advances their point of view. Results can be spun to be either favorable or unfavorable, depending on one’s stance.”
According to the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth faculty website, Professor Steven Woloshin’s “main focus is on the communication of medical statistics and information about the benefits and harms of screening and prescription drugs.” (More)
ReThink Health, an initiative of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice states, “Re Think Health seeks to answer the complex challenges of cost, quality, and equity facing American health care.” (More). A Wikipedia entry for the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice reads, “The institute’s largest policy product is the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, which documents unwarranted variation in the American health care system.” (Read)
Interestingly, Dartmouth College has recently made other news. Dartmouth College president, Jim Yong Kim, is now the new President of the World Bank. “Highly respected among global health experts, Dr. Kim is an anthropologist and a physician who co-founded the nonprofit Partners in Health and a former director of the department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization.” (More info) Jim Yong Kim is described as “determined to eradicate global poverty through goals, targets, and measuring success in the same way that he masterminded an Aids drug campaign for poor people nearly a decade ago. “(Click here)
So which is it? At first glance, this could be a conflict between researchers and doctors in the medical community. In early February, the SGK Foundation was in the media spotlight for cutting controversial funding to some Planned Parenthood projects and then reversing their decision days later. Now, one of the leading advocacy groups in the world for breast cancer screening and awareness has their data, and possibly their reputation called in to question.
Is there a political agenda here? The challenge to the SGK Foundation was published yesterday in the British Medical Journal (bmj.com). It’s titled, “How a Charity Oversells Mammography“. Do charities “sell” medical procedures? The BMJ website tagline reads, “Helping Doctors Make Better Decisions.” Britain, of course, is the “home” of the National Health Service (NHS), a publicly funded, single-payer healthcare system.
Medical care cost savings is one of the stated objectives of Obamacare. The federal government has inserted itself between doctor patient relationships via legislation. In November 2009, the United States Preventive Services Task Force “issued new guidelines recommending that women in their 40s no longer have annual mammograms and that women ages 50 to 74 have them only every other year, instead of annually.” (Heritage.org)
Under Obamacare, health insurance plans must provide coverage for medical services with an “A” or “B” (recommended) rating. The Task Force assigned a C rating (not recommended) to annual mammograms. Is this a not so subtle attempt to discredit SGK? Or convince the populace that we really do not need or want annual cancer screenings in order to control costs through rationing of medical care? “When the Obamacare health experts conclude that the “medical science” dictates that your mammograms must be cut to meet “the goal of … lowering costs,” then you’ll be out of luck, says Heritage.” Could this (fewer mammograms) be part of the left’s continued “war on women”?
I just learned some very sad news last week. Someone I know was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Five years ago, I was present when the doctor gave my friend, a healthy 34-year old triathlete, the terrible news. She is now a five-year survivor, thanks to early detection and treatment. Another friend was diagnosed with another type of cancer just last year. We all know someone and have a story we can relate to.
I am not a doctor or a medical researcher, but I do know this – the United States of America has the best health care system in the world! We need to pledge our time, our energy, and our financial support to the repeal of Obamacare. Health screenings and the practice of medicine should not be left to the discretion of faceless bureaucrats who see it as a means to control every aspect of our lives, but left in the hands of the patient and their physician.