Latest statistics show that former President Barack Obama was wrong — horribly wrong — when he had Obamacare cut the number of mammograms and PSA tests allowed.
It turns out that these were not superfluous, unnecessary tests after all.
A New York Post Op-Ed by health care expert Betsy McCaughey of the London Center for Policy Research noted that cutting the number of tests allowed has led to later diagnoses and more serious outcomes for patients of both breast and prostate cancer.
The consensus in the medical community — before Obama — was that women over the age of 40 should have annual mammograms.
But in 2009, Obama’s Preventative Services Task Force cut back the recommendation to mammograms every two years, starting at age 50.
And the panel cut back on its payments for more frequent testing.
Now, Dr. Elisa Port, chief of breast surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, has reported that women who accepted the recommendation and only got mammograms every other year were more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage cancer, more likely to need mastectomies and chemotherapy, and more burdened with cancer that spread to their lymph nodes.
Likewise, Obama’s panel recommended against annual PSA tests for men to detect prostate cancer.
The panel said that for each man found to have prostate cancer, the PSA test showed five more with false positives.
But it turned out that it was worth the inconvenience and added anxiety.
In the years since the Preventative Services Task Force recommended the discontinuation of annual PSA tests, more men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and at later stages.
And last year, McCaughey wrote, “the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that PSA tests reduce prostate-cancer deaths by almost one-third.”
The Obama task force has now dropped its decision to reduce PSA tests.
Over the next few years, we can expect gloomy data just like this to show us how fatuous and naive Obama was being when he claimed Obamacare was only cutting unnecessary tests and procedures that we didn’t really need in the first place
Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant.
His most recent book, “Rogue Spooks,” was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.
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