Day by Day

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007

I'm torn.

There are two bills before Congress, a House of Representatives version and a Senate version, titled the "Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007.

Essentially, and to spare you the legalese in the bills (though I always encourage you to read the bills - unlike our actual lawmakers), it mandates that patients not be sent home from the hospital less than forty-eight hours after a mastectomy is performed.

I remember with Ellicia how happy we were that the Germans held her for quite a few days to ensure everything worked out ok... Mastectomies are MAJOR surgery.

Easy vote. Of course, patients shouldn't be sent home and it's sad that they are.

And I wish, really wish, that such a vote wasn't necessary.

Why am I torn? Because it goes against my beliefs of having the government tell the private sector (and insurance companies are private companies whom we hire to provide a service to us - namely, insurance) how their business should be run.

It's against my core beliefs.


What I feel, essentially, becomes a classic Liberal versus Conservative argument. On the Liberal side, I feel that it should be voted for. These women NEED to stay longer in the hospital to ensure their surgeries go well.

On the Conservative side, I don't want government meddling and mandating the business rules.

So, let's draw a compromise here. Attention insurance companies - here is a MARKET OPPORTUNITY. Differentiate yourself from your competitors by offering better mastectomy care. Customers, especially women at risk, and those who love them, will flock to your company.

Don't make government legislate the morality of good care. Do it on your own.

(Sad note - one of the House bills - HR 119 - was introduced by Rep. Jo Ann Davis, of the 1st Congressional District of Virginia. She passed away last year - from cancer.)

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