Congress Protects Breasts from Science, Themselves

In a roll call vote (all the better to point fingers at lady haters later, my pretties) the Senate voted 61-39 today to make mammograms untouchable and require all insurance plans to offer them without a copay, forever and ever amen. The vote helped break a couple of days of gridlock in the health care reform debate.

Welcome to the future of health care decisions in the United States. While most health care choices will remain outside the political sphere, every time a procedure or drug pops into the news—complete with sob stories featuring bald children and/or adults missing vital parts—we'll get a cycle of senatorial speechifying followed by a vote on a bill or amendment that will circumscribe behavior of doctors, patients, or insurance companies.

Plus, we're doomed to an eternity of quotes like this:

“The insurance companies take being a woman as a pre-existing condition,” [Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)] said. “We face so many issues and hurdles. We can’t get health care.”

For the most part, all the yakking and bill-passing will not solve the underlying problem that sparked the interest in the health issue in the first place. In this case, promising to make mammograms free does nothing to resolve the legitimate debate about the utility of breast cancer screening in women under the age of 50 with no risk factors. But nevermind that: Everyone who wants to be is on record as being pro-boobs.

Last week, Reason's Ron Bailey asked "Who Decides If Breast Tests Are Best?"

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  • Cliché Bandit||

    I would like togo on record as being VERY pro boob. I am extremely supportive to boobs. I like to ensure thier prosperity and growth.

    BOOOBIES!!!

  • ||

    +2

  • ||

    Seriously, this is one type of gov't interference and waste i can get behind.

    I'll spend any amt of money to keep all the boobies safe and healthy.

    Oh wait, WHAT?! I don't get to touch them?! Never mind, scrap the whole plan.

  • ||

    I am extremely supportive to boobs.

    We should call you Wonderbra, then.

  • Reason Disclaimer||

    Libertarians are not adolescent, boob-o-centric, wet-dreaming misfits.
    We regret the errors.

  • ||

    Speak for yourself.

  • ||

    We have a sense of humor, the deadliest offense in the eyes of the totalitarian.

  • Kim Jong Il||

    No, it's why is evawyrone so fuckin' stoopid?

  • ||

    "Stop that laughing! Have you forgotten what happened last time?! If you don't stop this laughing, you're gonna end up dead, just like your idiot hyena cousins!"

    -Judge Doom, Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  • Paul||

    We have a sense of humor, the deadliest offense in the eyes of the totalitarian.

    Win. A sense of humor is to have a lack of reverence.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    Merciful heavens! What if National Review's Jonah Goldberg were to read a thread like this and call us "libertines" (a quaint nineteenth-century term of contempt he applies to many of his political foes)? Could we ever live down the shame?

  • JB||

    'America...it's Wonderbra.'

  • ||

    +3

  • Erewhon||

    Come now, this isn't about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...

  • Old Mexican||

    “The insurance companies take being a woman as a pre-existing condition,” [Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)] said. “We face so many issues and hurdles. We can’t get health care.”

    I respectfully volunteer to offer my services to test breasts for cancer, free of charge. My office hours and contact information is available upon request.

  • DBN||

    To assist underserved populations, I only screen women under 50.

  • ||

    this deserved a +2 more than the "BOOBIES" from above. More clever.

    Cheers.

  • Beezard||

    umm...have you ever seen Barbara Mikulski? She looks like my toe.

  • Enyap||

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Now you realize why health care costs are skyrocketing.

    The beer that the mammogramologist has to drink to get the nerve up to screen her isn't free you know.

    And we are talking lots of beer. LOTS.

  • ||

    Never mind the mammogram, what's that creature on top of her head?

  • ||

    On behalf of all Mary-landers and to well, the universe, I would like to apologize for the existence of Babs Mikulski.

    We're really, really very sorry.

  • phillip traum||

    the boy scouts (and the onion) beat you to it:

    http://www.theonion.com/conten....._volunteer

  • ||

    I would like to go on the record as being displeased with the picture that was chosen to accompany this article.

    Also: BOOOBIES!!

  • ||

    You don't like joe's "wife"? Why's that?

  • ||

    Since no one else will, i have to firmly disagree.

    That crash dummy performing a self-exam damn near broke my funny bone.

  • ||

    *rushes off to google to see if funnybone fractures will be covered under obamacare*

  • No Name Guy||

    What a quote from Senator Mikulski. I'm sure Cantwell or Murry came up with something equally stupid.

    "We can't get health care"....uhhhh... so Senator, you mean a gal can walk into her doctors office with a fist full of cash and the doctor will refuse to treat her because she's a she?

    How fucking stupid.....

  • ||

    But women don't have fistfulls of cash, cause us evil men won't let them out of the kitchen.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Bull!

    I'm so tired of hearing that men are troglodytes who want to keep women shut up in the kitchen.

    Us enlightened folks know that it is not only OK for our women to leave the kitchen, but is to be encouraged.

    At our house you can always hear me offering words of encouragement to my wife in order to get her to leave the kitchen. Ask our kids they will confirm that I say (at least 3-4 times a night), "Honey, can you bring me a beer?" But that is just the type of liberated guy I am.

  • Paul||

    My wife wouldn't let me out of the kitchen and I was the primary bread winner.

  • ed||

    Not bad, KMW, despite all the typos and requisite snark.
    I especially enjoyed "forever and ever amen."
    Extra credit for exposing idiot-dwarf Barbara Mikulski's latest inanity.

  • Kolohe||

    Don't you need a plastic lobster in that picture, also?

  • OO=================D||

    Whoa Momma!

  • ||

    [cough]

    SugarFree|12.3.09 @ 1:46PM|#

    Way, way OT:

    Who's the anti-science zealots who ignore consensus recommendations again?

    http://jezebel.com/5418196/sen.....-for-women
  • ||

    You'd have been given credit, except no one really reads your links. Especially not so soon after lunch.

  • ||

    Grr.

  • ||

    I read part of it. This part:

    Senators Barbara Mikulski (left) and Olympia Snowe sponsored an amendment that "would allow the Health and Human Services secretary to require insurers to cover preventive health screenings free of charge."

    Free of charge? So men get to subsidize healthcare for women? Who has to pay when I want my nutsack examined orally?

  • ||

    From the always insightful Jezebel comments:

    Now that the dudes have made their gesture to women via the pink ribbon brigade, they can justify their misogyny to themselves. Awful.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't, fellas.

  • ||

    It's like were married to the entire Jezebel board.

  • ||

    It's like were married to the entire Jezebel board.

    This never would have happened if you'd only listened to Santorum.

  • ||

    I divorce thee
    I divorce thee
    I divorce thee

  • ||

    Oh noes! Shariah Law!!

  • ||

    "Well I can't hear a thing. Let's go to stoning."

  • BeesInTheBrain||

    Thanks, now I know that what is wrong with american health care is that they don't cover tampons. Would not have known that.

  • ( o )( o )||

    Who's talking about me, now???

  • ({'})||

    Wouldn't you rather be talking to me anyway?

  • ( ¡ )||

    I believe they're talking to me, furball.

  • ||

    I interpreted the curlybraces as the labia minora. You people and your cryptic ascii genitalia.

  • ( v )||

    You haven't seen nothin' yet.

  • ( ¡ )||

    I'm post-vaginoplasty.

  • ||

    punchline to an old joke:

    "Well, with gums like that, it's no wonder."

  • ||

    So to prove that government run healthcare is going to be free from the vagueries of politics and profits the Senate immediately injects costs and politics into a healthcare system that has not even come into existence yet. That bodes well.

  • ||

    Actually, I don't believe there are any costs. The pols just dictated the insurance companies would pay for it, so it's all freeeeeeee!!!

  • ||

    Watch what we say, not what we do?

    Actually, don't pay attention to the words either.

  • creech||

    Can we have a list of the 39 misogynists who hate women?

  • Mike M.||

    Kay Bailey Hutchison clearly hates her fellow women, and wants them all to die of breast cancer.

  • triangleman||

    Let me get this straight. A government panel--the very same panel that is supposed to be the source of our salvation from rising health care costs--made a very simple recommendation to Congress for cutting costs, and was shot down? How in the world is this whole health care reform supposed to work at all? If Congress can't bear to deny mammograms for 10 years, they will never deny anything. Until they do. Right after they declare martial law. We are so fucked.

  • Joette||

    Gee....I'm so reassured. It hasn't occurred to me what what the government thinks they have the power to give they also think they have the power to take away.

  • ||

    And nobody is even mentioning that the reason mammograms are being questioned is because they may cause more harm than good... It's got little to do with price in the first place.

  • Jennifer||

    Gee....I'm so reassured. It hasn't occurred to me what what the government thinks they have the power to give they also think they have the power to take away.

    On a related note, while I am firmly pro-choice I wanted to slap the idiots who freaked out because the government won't pay for abortions. Who was damnfool enough to think "free" government stuff wouldn't have strings attached? If you're old enough to need more than one digit to write your age, you're too old to be that damned naive.

  • Paul||

    Jennifer, I tried to explain to a family member of mine, who was a card-carrying member of NARAL that the freedom to have an abortion and free abortions are two different issues. One is an issue of civil rights, the other is a fiscal issue...

    And before I could extrapolate, her exact response: My uteris isn't fiscal.

    It was at that moment that I realized that Democracy sucks.

  • ||

    Olympia slid her hands between the loose folds of Barbara’s flimsy robe. It fell aside and the sodden weight of Barbara’s breasts fell in her hands. The wrinkles in the flesh raced toward her ragged nipples. Olympia felt a shiver center on her clitoris. Already it had nosed its way past the dangling folds of her labia and stood out from her sparse, iron-gray pubic hair. Olympia began to palpate Barbara’s ponderous breasts in lazy circles.

    “We have to take care of ourselves,” Barbara whispered hoarsely, “being a woman is a pre-existing condition.” Olympia shuddered anew when Barbara pulled the heavy speculum from where it was warming in a pan of water. She felt wet for the first time in decades.

    “Your mouth, Barbara. Your mouth looks like the sweetest asshole I’ll ever know.”

  • ||

    fap fap fap?

    I've never been so creeped-out and turned-on at the same time. Another piece of Pure Win.

  • 2999||

    I just vomited in my mouth.....

    You are history's greatest monster.

  • ||

    This is disturbing.

  • ({'})||

    You have a mouth like the anus of a starfish.

  • ||

    I have the decency to attribute my entertainment quotes, instead of making people wrack their brain for "where they heard that".

    Thanks.

  • ({'})||

    Bored to Death

    But the fun is in the guessing game, no?

  • ||

    Ty. Had a hard time getting into that, but they had a marathon on the other day and it caught me. Now i wonder why Ted Danson doesn't get more work.

  • Ska||

    I really liked it - funny and absurd with interesting characters. Ted Danson's appearances really are the best scenes in the series. George (Bored to Death) is just a lot more fun than Ted Danson in Curb.

  • Bob #2||

    In order to help with this problem, I'll offer very, very thorough breast examinations for only $10 a pop.

  • ||

    So your hand have some sort of flesh penetrating vision? (Just trying to help with the pamphlet for your "office")

  • Reformed Republican||

    Everyone who wants to be is on record as being pro-boobs.

    It's for the children.

  • ||

    Men also get breast cancer, not as much, but we still do. I suppose that because our breasts aren't such a popular and profitable waste of space, we can't get no respect from the man-hatin' Mikulski's of the world.

  • ||

    Leave us men out of it. You know they won't pay for us to have mammograms. But as a concession we get more frequent prostate exams. So STFU, you won't like the results.

  • T||

    It's god's punishment on the moob, that's why. Nobody wants to interfere or they get smited, too.

  • ||

    you should have used the picture of lobster girl. That was some nice, and real sideboob.

    Goooooo boobies.

  • ||

    The Poster for that ad campaign:

    Lobster Girl for Universal Mammograms
    *picture of lobster girl*
    C'mon. You Know you want 'em. The mammograms i mean.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Forget Lobster Girl, this gal - Octo Girl(probably not safe for work) should become the new poster gal for this issue.

    Feel sorry for her. She can't afford to get a mammogram because of the icy cold hearts of Big Insurance, so she is stuck with only old fashioned alternative medicine therapies.

  • ||

    HEY NOW! That octopus is fully trained and licensed! (Unlike those foot nibbling plecos)

  • ||

    Hmmm, I'd rather look at pictures of prostate surgery.

  • ||

    FYI, Octo-girl != Octomom.

  • ||

    Save it for group. *shudder*

  • ||

    Sorry, I'm not into tentacle porn. Curious, but not into.

  • Paul||

    “The insurance companies take being a woman as a pre-existing condition,” [Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)] said. “We face so many issues and hurdles. We can’t get health care.”

    we:
    1. nominative pl. of I.
    2. (used to denote oneself and another or others): We have two children. In this block we all own our own houses.

    Can't: contraction of cannot.

    Cannot: cannot but, have no alternative but to: We cannot but choose otherwise.

    So by this persons reckoning, she, a sitting Senator of the United States is unable to receive healthcare, and therefore extended higher insurance rates to the rest of us so she could receive free preventive care.

    I swear I'd shake this woman until her fillings fall out...

  • David Gallaher||

    Just as I try to speak up for anarchy, I am proud to declare myself pro-booby. Thanks for providing the opportunity.
    In a former life I was a life insurance salesman. Believe it not, even scum of the earth moi, knew then that there were such things as "principles of insurance." Principles! Life insurance! Boggles mind.
    How many "principles" may be violated before we evolve a new "animal" entirely? Answer: We are way past that already.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    This would be exactly why health insurance is more expensive than it should be- the insurance companies are being forced to cover everything the statists want instead of leaving these decisions to market forces. A procedure as simple and quick as a breast exam makes more sense to be paid for out of pocket by the consumer.

  • ||

    Can we get Congress to un-ban those frictionless machines now?

  • Robert||

    Is it like this in democratic countries with socialized medicine? Do particular conditions & rxs become favored over others because of momentary political pressure?

  • ||

    I'm not sure about mammograms or abortions, but Canada refused to buy any MRI machines until they could get enough for everyone*.

    * subject to a long waiting list.

    That could certainly be construed as a politically influenced decision.

  • ||

    the Senate voted 61-39 today to make mammograms untouchable and require all insurance plans to offer them without a copay, forever and ever amen.

    Does anyone now not see how fucking ridiculous putting the government in charge of health care rationing decisions is?

    They can't even say no to something when their own experts tell them it's a wasteful, potentially harmful procedure. Simply because a handful of lobbying groups freak out and throw a hissy fit.

  • ||

    YOU WOULDN'T FIND IT SO FUCKING RIDICULOUS IF YOU WERE A WOMAN UNDER 50 WITH BREAST CANCER, LIKE ME!!!!
    You are very screwed up.

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