By author/contributor, Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.
Yes, there IS a war on women and women’s health—but it’s not being waged by Republicans or covered by the media. The accusations being hurled at Republicans are distracting attention from the real issues.
Women not only make up half the population. They also make 90 percent of the decisions about medical care for their children, husbands, and aging parents. They understand the importance of having the freedom to choose their doctors and their treatment.
As a political Independent and a specialist in women’s health for 27 years, I know their needs and concerns for their own health and that of their families. But Democrats and feminist groups are obsessively focused on the single issue of contraception and abortion, with efforts to compel other taxpayers to pay for these “women’s health” services.
Feminists and Democrats seem totally unconcerned that paying for abortions and “free” contraceptives for young, single women comes at the expense of medical care of older women (and men) on Medicare.
For my whole career, contraceptive options such as birth control pills and other methods have been available free to low-income women at public health clinics. Contraceptives—often no more than $4.00 for reliable generics—are available at regular drugstores. There is no problem of access to contraceptives at minimal or no cost. What is new is the demand to take money from all taxpayers, including those with moral objections, based on the myth that women need assistance from big government’s “Big Daddy” to protect them from pregnancy.
What are the real threats to women’s health? Osteoporotic fractures cause disability or early death for 50,000 women every year. Heart disease kills 500,000 women every year. Many of these are preventable, but occur in part because of the government’s exaggerated presentation of the risks of hormone therapy in 2002.
The government-funded study was later shown to be wrong, but the correction never got the intense media attention that accompanied the misinformation. Dr. Philip Sarrel, founder of the Yale Menopause Clinic, has calculated that more than 60,000 women died prematurely between 2002 and 2012 because of wrong information from our federal government exaggerating the risks of hormone therapy for menopausal women.
The hidden knives buried in ObamaCare will cut $716 billion from the care for Medicare seniors, the majority of whom are women. This means loss of access to life-saving medical care for older women so that younger women can use others’ tax money to abort babies (more than half of whom would grow up to be women). Obamacare cuts to Medicare mean more suffering for older women –suffering that could be prevented from treating debilitating conditions, such as arthritis, incontinence, and osteoporosis.
The rights that women are concerned about are the same ones that men are also concerned about losing in the name of “healthcare reform”:
- The right to keep our individual property and businesses that we have worked hard to build. YES, Mr. President, WE DIDBUILD IT!
- The right to the fruits of our labors without excessive federal or state government regulation and taxation
- The right to choose our physicians and health professionals, free of third party insurance or government interference
- The right to work with our physicians to decide what treatment is best for us, without oversight and control from faceless bureaucrats who have never examined us and do not know or care about our medical history and individual needs.
- The right to our medical privacy, and not having our medical records forced to go into the federal government’s database
- The right to appeal decisions made by others about our medical care
- The right to use our own money for independent second opinions when care is denied by a third party or government-controlled medical delivery system.
Along with the real war on older women’s health, there are the President’s failed economic policies that are costing entrepreneurs their businesses, employees their jobs, and seniors their savings, both women and men.
Winning the “war on women” (and men and families and children) requires a President, Senate and House that will repeal Obamacare and put power back into women’s hands to choose medical care and health insurance policies for their families.
Author/Contributor short bio:
Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D. is a preventive and climacteric medicine specialist with medical practices in Tucson AZ and Dallas TX that take an integrated approach to evaluation and treatment of women and men with complex medical and hormonal problems. Dr. Vliet is also President of International Health Strategies, Ltd., whose mission is twofold: liberty and privacy in treatment options and preservation of the Oath of Hippocrates focus on the individual patient.
Dr. Vliet is the 2007 recipient of the Voice of Women award from the Arizona Foundation for Women for her pioneering advocacy for the overlooked hormone connections in women’s health. Dr. Vliet received her M.D. degree and internship in Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, then completed specialty training at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Vliet is a Director of the Association of American Physicians