Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weaponizing Healthcare

With apologies to Maureen Dowd, the style of this post is going to be a bit snarky.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was in the news this past week for her characterization of Republicans as killers.  The quote that is getting all the attention is her reaction to the Protect Life Act:

"Under this bill, when Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor, and health care providers do not have to intervene if this bill is passed."

The idea that Republicans want to see young women in a pool of blood on the floors of hospitals is extreme. However, some of our political leaders are clearly comfortable in expressing this sentiment. They believe that I, as a Republican, have murderous intent in my heart, directed particularly at young women.


Contrast that rhetoric with the quiet efforts of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). I noted its current work in my previous post. The USPSTF is recommending against use of the PSA test for early detection of prostate cancer.

Here is what Medscape says on its Web site about USPSTF actions from a few years ago (my emphasis):

Despite the apparent survival advantage of early diagnosis conferred by PSA screening, a 2008 US Preventive Services Task Force statement recommends against screening for prostate cancer in men aged 75 years or older. The statement also concludes that the current balance of benefits versus drawbacks of prostate cancer screening in men younger than age 75 years cannot be assessed because of insufficient evidence.

That was the USPSTF in 2008. This year, the USPSTF wants to do away with the test completely. Here are three facts we know:

1) The PSA test is useful in early detection of asymptomatic prostate cancer.

2) Early diagnosis of prostate cancer increases life expectancy.

3) The USPSTF wants our universal healthcare system to exclude the PSA test.

Here is what I find troubling: Our current healthcare legislation makes exceptions to its provisions for political favorites. That means people affiliated with Democratic Party organizations might very well have unrestricted access to PSA tests, while Republicans will face barriers.

What’s the big deal? If I want a PSA test, I can still get it. I just might have to jump through extra hoops and pay additional money. The only ones who would be negatively impacted would be those “stupid Republicans;” the ones who “cling to guns or religion.”

The “dirty little secret” is that the public policy effects will only show up years later. A study done 20 years from now will find that mortality rates for American males are higher in the universal healthcare system than in private systems. The results will be characterized by our media as “unexpected.”

And what if the study finds a political component? So it turns out a disproportionate number of Republican males are experiencing the early deaths. Males affiliated with the Democratic Party and not in the universal healthcare system have significantly longer life expectancies.

Would that be a scandal?


A scandal is when Republicans are “outed” by Minority Leader Pelosi when she exposes them as harboring murderous intent. The fact that male Republican voters will be quietly killed off by a Voodoo Healthcare System is simply “right and natural.”

Behold our anti-Republican culture.

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