My friend escapade52
raised some questions about my earlier post regarding the Obama administration changing the recommendations saying that women under 50 do not need mammogram screenings.
The fact is that prior to 1997, the general medical consensus was that women under 50 did not need mammogram screening. Then, in March 1997, the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute issued new guidelines
recommending women aged 40-49 to receive annual mammograms. That study changed how the medical community treated breast cancer screening, and was effective at educational outreach to convince women of the importance of getting early breast cancer screening, since early detection is the best way to save a woman's life.
And now the government is changing its tune? Many in the medical community are loudly and openly criticizing
the Obama administration for this move; including the American Cancer Society and The American College of Radiology.
Otis W. Brawley, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for the American Cancer Society, stated, “With its new recommendations, the USPSTF is essentially telling women that mammography at age 40 to 49 saves lives; just not enough of them.
The American College of Radiology (ACR) issued a statement saying that the USPSTF mammography recommendations will result in countless unnecessary breast cancer deaths each year.
Even Teresa Heinz-Kerry
, the wife of 2004 Democratic Presidential Nominee, Sen. John Kerry is blasting the Obama administration.
The basis of the criticism is clear: that government has an interest in seeing less women get mammograms in order to save money on the cost of mammograms.
Whether or not you agree with the criticism, the main argument still exists that, political pressure should have no place in healthcare policy. This is yet one more reason why increased government control of healthcare is scary.