My Dear American Sisters,
As a sister, daughter, mother, physician and patient, my maternal core drives me to reach out to you. We must act now. One in 6 of us will be diagnosed with breast cancer within our lifetimes; 230,000 of us will be diagnosed and 40,000 of us will die from breast cancer this year alone in the U.S. Our government has already begun deciding who gets mammograms and who doesn’t, who gets treatment and who doesn’t, and what that treatment will be if you are deemed eligible.
You see, I have read the healthcare law, and it creates government task forces of non-experts and non-doctors that make medical decisions where they are willing to sacrifice thousands of women’s lives to save money to spend on other things the government deems more important than our lives.
Already they have gone against the recommendations of the very medical and scientific groups that have afforded us Americans the earliest diagnosis and best survival rates in the world.
Traditionally, American medicine is based on the Hippocratic philosophy where we, as doctors, take an oath and strive to do the utmost for each individual patient as part of a private patient-physician relationship. Experts in each specific field of medicine do research and publish peer reviewed science based data for us to guide our treatment accordingly for each unique patient.
President Obama’s healthcare law totally shatters this and instead implements a philosophy of medicine according to Plato, where government and its subject society are more important than the individual patient. They believe it is the individual’s duty to sacrifice medical care and treatment if it is more cost effective for society as a whole.
This started with The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act in 2009, known as Obama’s stimulus bill, which created The Federal Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research- “The Council”. The Council is a group of 15 government bureaucrats appointed by President Obama and chaired by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is also appointed by Obama and is also not a doctor. This Council already exists. One member is Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ezekial, an Obama crony, who favors socialized medicine and created a new rationing system called the Complete Lives System that prioritizes care to those between ages 15 and 40. This Council uses its own discretion and data it takes from Health Information Technology, also funded by the stimulus law with money taken from Medicare, to make major life and death decisions for us. The government has empowered itself to delve into our private medical records, extract personal data, do comparative effectiveness research on us, and dictate our care-all without our consent. Doctors that do not comply will be penalized and punished. Doctors that do comply will be rewarded. This is unacceptable and unethical.
Already, a government task force born of the healthcare law defied the accepted, state-of-the-art medical standards that have afforded American women the highest survival rates and earliest diagnosis in the world. Instead, the U.S. government task force of appointees, which had no breast cancer specialists on it, made recommendations that will delay diagnosis and cost lives. They decide who lives and who dies. They believe it is our duty to die if it is in their best interest.
The government has the audacity to over-rule the best practices of medicine in the world and say no mammograms under age 50 or over age 70, and only every other year in between. The youngest women, who have young children at home, will be diagnosed in late stages subjecting themselves to more severe treatment and lower survival rates. This especially hurts our African-American young women who are diagnosed later and have lower survival rates already. The older women aren’t even offered mammograms, apparently because they won’t be offered treatment. They will be diagnosed late when struck by late metastatic disease and face poor chances of survival. We will see our mothers, sisters and daughters diagnosed late and die unnecessarily of painful devastating late stage disease, which is more costly and more difficult to treat.
You see, I have read the law, I am a physician, a daughter, a mother of 4 daughters, and I have personally battled breast cancer.
I was always so trusting of my government, just as my patients trust me and I trust my doctor. I was fooled into thinking I could delay my mammogram based on government task force recommendations, but a wise young medical student, who was in the midst of her “women’s health module”, said this was wrong. She insisted I not wait but have the annual mammogram ASAP- the very test that revealed my cancer in early stages and led to my expert personalized treatment which got me back to work taking care of my own patients and my family with excellent chances of survival… a cure. I bet this bright young doctor never dreamed the first life she would save would be her mother’s.
We, the women of the United States, have the highest survival rate of breast cancer in the world, and now our government has decided to change that. We must stop them.
Please, make repeal of this unacceptable, un-American healthcare law the litmus test for who you will vote for this November. The government must not be allowed to practice medicine. This is the most critical vote in the history of our country. Do you have the right to the patient-centered individualized care of Hippocrates, or do you have the duty to die when you become a burden to society in the fashion of Plato and the authors and players of this healthcare law? Vote for only those candidates who vow to repeal the healthcare law and return control over our most intimate decisions, our very lives, to us and our doctors through true patient-centered, market-driven healthcare reform.
The choice is ours…for the time being…
Kristin S. Held, MD
Dr. Held is a practicing Ophthalmologist in San Antonio, Texas. She is a co-founder of American Doctors for Truth. http://americandoctors4truth.org/