Remember that old saw about getting a donkey to do something? First, hit him on the head with a 2×4 to get his attention.

Consider yourselves hit!

With all the arguments about the proposed changes to our health-care system, the most important ones have to do with money.

In fact, the whole discussion about health “care” is bogus. It’s all about money. How much it costs? Who decides who pays what and when and why and to whom?

The Senate will be “debating” the varied features of the proposal but the bottom line is controlling – well, everything, and that spells nothing but danger for us, our health, and our lives.

The bottom line of any government health-care proposal is loss of individual rights and privacy with government bureaucracy taking over and having the final word.

That’s not good.

It’s begun, and we must pay attention.

First, several weeks ago, there were news reports of changes in how men should be screened for prostate cancer. Everything we’d been told was being changed or eliminated.

Change the test, don’t do it so often, and be more concerned with the state of mind of the man rather than whether his body might be harboring the seeds of the cancer that could kill him.

The American Cancer Society press release stressed “potential harm” from the tests and the reality there are some false positives, which could lead to “unnecessary” biopsies.

Note: an “unnecessary” biopsy is one which turns out to show that the patient doesn’t have cancer.

Silly me! I thought that was good news – but I’m not a bureaucrat looking to cut costs.

It’s interesting they define “potential harm” as being the state of mind of a man who suspects he has cancer but it turns out not to be true.

Of course, they didn’t delve heavily into the state of mind of a man who didn’t have the early screening test and who then is diagnosed so late that the disease is fatal.

It seems to me, a little early concern that turns out OK is what we want. According to the “experts,” that’s not the case.

And then there was last week.

What a week! Their attention turned to women, and we got a good dose of what the future holds.

First, the rug was pulled out from under the routine protocols for breast cancer screening. Then, a few days later, the same thing was done to the recommendations for routine Pap tests for cervical cancer.

It’s mind-boggling that tests that were groundbreaking in their impact when developed and introduced as ways to help women be diagnosed early and survive cancer were being downplayed, delayed and demeaned by people supposedly in the “healing professions.”

But remember those “healing professionals” were joined and led by bureaucrats watching the bottom line.

Every test avoided is money not spent.

When the announcement was made concerning the changes, the media went nuts and so did women across the country. The echoes of their anger, screams and lamentations reverberated across the country, especially in broadcast media – most especially, in talk radio.

The story got front-page coverage and lead story positions in newscasts – and deservedly so. When changes are made in what has been regarded as proper and routine screening for a disease that maims and kills millions every year, it’s not surprising there’s an angry uproar.

What’s odd is that while the breast cancer story was front-page news, the changes for use of the Pap smear barely made a short mention in much media. One local paper made only slight mention; another ignored it.

A shrink would have a field day with that!

The 16-member “U.S. Preventative Services Task Force” announced the mammography report.

The what?

Those recommendations, published in the annals of Internal Medicine, revamp the guidelines for breast cancer screening. This is the first re-evaluation since 2002.

For the task force, the rationale for the changes is the same as for men and prostate cancer screening. The words are the same: false positives, unnecessary biopsies and unwarranted mental anguish.

The task force can coat the report with any justification it wants – and it does – but the reality is that it turns routine breast cancer screening upside down and ignores the fact that the “unnecessary” biopsy is good news because it means the woman does not have cancer! What’s wrong with that!

The proposed changes are dramatic: Stop routine annual mammograms for women in their 40s. Do a baseline screening after 50 and only alternate years after that. Stop annual mammograms for older women. Stop all mammograms for women over 74.

From someone whose mother was diagnosed at age 87, the elimination of testing for seniors is outrageous.

Needless to say, the changed guidelines don’t sit well with the millions of women under 50 who’ve survived breast cancer because of early detection.

As if those changes weren’t drastic enough, the panel says women of all ages not be taught breast self-exams and be urged not to do them.

To many, the recommendation report was viewed as a vendetta against women. It’s not. It’s simply the beginning of what’s in store for everyone if government takes control of health care.

Prostate cancer. Breast cancer. Cervical cancer. What’s next? The same panel will make those decisions, too.

Cut the screening. Delay the testing. Eliminate it for some based on age. Old people are expendable.

Voila! Look at the money saved.

On the other hand, look at all those dead bodies. But government doesn’t care and neither do bureaucrats.

Be afraid. Be angry and don’t be silent.

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