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President Obama's Colonoscopy
The President Has His Annual Physical
March 6, 2010
While working wit his radical left allies in Congress preparing to force socialized health care on an unwilling American public, President Obama took time out over the past weekend to undergo an annual physical.
This is obviously a wise move for anyone over forty.
However, according to an opinion piece in the March 3, 2010 Wall Street Journal by Dr. Mark Klein, for the colonoscopy portion of the exam the President and his doctors opted for a virtual colonoscopy rather than an optical colonoscopy.
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Same Virtual Colonoscopy Option Not Available to Medicare Patients
This was a wise choice from both a medical and a cost standpoint as it gives more information and is potentially less expensive. Also, being a non-intrusive process, the virtual colonoscopy is a safer procedure.
While the President had the opportunity to choose the type of colonoscopy he was given, the government he leads has denied Americans over 65 the same choice – they have to settle for traditional optical colonoscopies or pay for the virtual colonsocopy themselves as the mandatory Medicare health insurance they have to rely on will not pay for virtual colonoscopies.
Purpose of a Colonoscopy
The purpose of a colonoscopy is to detect polyps in the colon. Polyps are often, but not always, a sign of potential colon cancer.
An optical colonoscopy involves the insertion into the colon of a long, flexible tube equipped with a camera and scissors.
This allows the doctor to both inspect the colon for polyps and, if found, snip and bring them out for a biopsy. This procedure is generally done under sedation and involves some minor risk to the patient both from the procedure itself and from the use of an anestesia.
A virtual colonoscopy, on the other hand, is a non-invasive procedure using a CT scan. In addition to providing a picture of the inside of the colon, the virtual colonoscopy also provides a picture of the area surrounding the outside of the colon.
A Glimpse of What We Can Expect from Obamacare
The virtual colonoscopy is a newer technology that has been endorsed by numerous physician, insurance and other medical groups to be a safe and effective procedure.
However, the Preventative Services Task Force, an independent body appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2008 concluded that there was not enough evidence to have Medicare pay for this procedure.
According to the task force there were two problems with virtual colonoscopies. The first was that, unlike optical colonoscopies, virtual colonoscopies can only detect, not remove, polyps.
So if polyps are discovered the patient has to undergo a second, optical colonoscopy, to remove the polyps and this means that Medicare would have to pay twice for that patient. However, according to Dr Klein's article polyps are only found in 10% of patients.
A second problem that the task force (or maybe I should say death panel)
is that by showing more than just the inside of the colon there is a
risk that the virtual colonoscopy may detect abnormalities outside the
colon which would lead to Medicare having to pay for more tests.
The logic behind this line of thinking seems to be to allow the political elite and their death panels to sleep easier at night by simply blocking new technologies thereby avoiding have to decide who gets life saving care and who doesn't because we wouldn't know if other problems existed.
Washington Taking us to Where Others Have Gone and Failed Before
There is no question that the present health care payment system in the United States is inefficient and failing.
However, replacing a bad system with a failed system, like the proposed socialist style Obamacare system, will do nothing more than institutionalize the worst of the present system and simply make matters worse.
However, if history is any guide, we can be certain that, like the nomenklatura of the old Soviet Union, the political class who are seeking to impose Obamacare will make sure that what little quality medical care remains after their plan is in place will be reserved for them and their friends.
Links to My Other Hubs On Health Care
- Mandatory Auto Insurance is Not the Same as Obama Care Mandatory Medical Insurance
Supporters of Obama Care defend the controversial (one of the many controversial items in a very controversial bill) requirement that makes it a crime not to buy health insurance coverage, have been citing...
- Health Savings Accounts - A Solution to the Health Care Crisis
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are special savings accounts that are created in combination with a high deductible health insurance plan. Like traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account) plans, money...
Chika's Link to Darlene Sabella's Latest Hubs
At the left are the latest Hubs by fellow Hubber and fellow 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenger Darlene Sabella.
If it hadn't been for Darleen's challenge we would not be involved in this writing frenzy to produce thirty Hubs in thirty days. So we salute her and encourage you to check out some of her offerings in this challenge.
As I explained in my Hub about this project I also would not have been forced to hire my dog, Chika, to assist me in this project.