In yet another example of why politicians make bad doctors, Barack Obama offered the following justification for ObamaCare in his Portsmouth, NH greenhouse town-hall forum. We can prevent prostate cancer, Obama explained, by making colonoscopies more available:
Now, when we pass health insurance reform, insurance companies will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime. And we will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because no one in America should go broke because they get sick. (Applause.)And finally — this is important — we will require insurance companies to cover routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies — (applause) — because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and prostate cancer on the front end. That makes sense, it saves lives; it also saves money — and we need to save money in this health care system.
Does that “make sense”? Only if you flunked medical school. Colonoscopies don’t detect prostate cancer; they give an early warning of colon cancer. If Obama hasn’t yet figured out the difference between a prostate exam and a colonoscopy, someone should tell him to switch doctors.
Even if one overlooks that amateurish fumble, his argument still doesn’t make sense. The current system does better at providing those screening tests than the Canadian and British systems Obama admires so much. The Hoover Institute had the numbers almost two weeks ago:
- Nine out of ten middle-aged American women (89 percent) have had a mammogram, compared to fewer than three-fourths of Canadians (72 percent).
- Nearly all American women (96 percent) have had a Pap smear, compared to fewer than 90 percent of Canadians.
- More than half of American men (54 percent) have had a prostatespecific antigen (PSA) test, compared to fewer than one in six Canadians (16 percent).
- Nearly one-third of Americans (30 percent) have had a colonoscopy, compared with fewer than one in twenty Canadians (5 percent).
Sounds like we have a much better system now, using the Obama Finger In The … Wind system. (h/t HA reader Buy Danish)
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