November 24th, 2009
02:37 PM ET
8 years ago

Women sharply disagree with mammogram recommendation

Three-quarters of American women between the ages of 35 and 75 disagree with the relaxed medical recommendations for mammograms announced last week.

Three-quarters of American women between the ages of 35 and 75 disagree with the relaxed medical recommendations for mammograms announced last week.

(CNN) - Three-quarters of American women between the ages of 35 and 75 disagree with the relaxed medical recommendations for mammograms announced by a government panel last week, according to a new Gallup/USA Today poll.

The survey released Tuesday finds 47 percent of women "strongly disagree" and another 29 percent "disagree" with the recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force last week that women in their 40s should no longer get routine breast cancer exams, and that the interval for women getting a mammogram in their 50s should be every two years, rather than every year.

Only 22 percent of those surveyed expressed support for the proposals.

In what could be bad news for the White House and congressional Democrats as they attempt to calm fears an overhaul of the nation's health care system would result in rationing, 76 percent of those polled believe the panel's recommendations were motivated by cost savings rather than an actual assessment of the true risks involved.

The White House has distanced itself from the panel's recommendation amid the uproar it sparked last week.

The report "shouldn't be dismissed," Sebelius said told CNN last week." But, she added, "There are other groups who have disagreed with this information." The task force is "making recommendations, not coverage decisions, not payment decisions."

The poll surveyed 1,136 women, aged 35-75, between November 20-22 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Fitz in Texas

    Early health that voted for Obama how you liking that change now.

    November 24, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. Proud Member..Party of No

    Get used to it people.....this is the way government runs health care. Rationing of services and the government deciding who will get what treatments and when which results in........that's right...death panels.

    The Obama "final solution".

    November 24, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. mary jack

    My 41 year old niece just lost her 3-year long battle with breast cancer.
    It was stage 4 before it was diagosed. Had she had mammograms the cancer could have been diagnosed earlier and she may be alive today to take care of her three children, the youngest being 5. I'm for given mammograms earlier not later.

    November 24, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. Robin

    Just testing the waters to see how we really feel about rationing.

    November 24, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. proud conservative

    This is just the beginning of Obamacare and the "death panels" that will follow. Be careful what you wish for....

    November 24, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    It was a recommendation that should be discussed and then dismissed. Once again, before the wingnuts spew their hate and fear, it was a recommendation.

    November 24, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Beth

    So,76% of those polled feel that the Panel's recommendations were motivated by cost savings rather than true risks? Why would this be bad news for the White House? Have you forgotton that a health care bill has not been passed and very well may not be passed. So we are still operating under the current system which is driven by corporate insurance companies.If this was motivated by cost savings then it is benefitting the insurance companies, not government bureaucrats. This is a panel that puts a corporate bureaucrat between you and your doctor not a government bureaucrat. This is why the Obama administration wanted to address health care to begin with--to get out from under the current system and provide care based on need, not cost. I think this is good news for the White House, not bad news.

    November 24, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This report is ammunition for republicans to say that the Healthcare Refform bill is going ot lead to rationing. Wake up people!! You get rationed care NOW, you just don't know about it or aren't reading your medical EOB correctly. If you look at an EOB(Explanation of Benefits), look at procedures that were performed on you, and then look at which procedures the insurance company covered. I guarantee you in majority of cases, there are some procedures that are not covered.

    November 24, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Greg, MN

    Obama was quick to point out that the government panel was appointed by Bush... but this just more clearly demonstrates the problems with government panels, committees, advisors, etc creating rules for health care. These groups are in-fact becoming the "death" panels the pro socialized medicine backers claim do not exist.

    November 24, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. suzy

    someone needs to clarify to the women in this country if what CNN talked about last night is true or not – is this "recommendation" by the "task force" included in the new health care bill???? is this the same task force mentioned in the new health care bill?????
    women will NOT be the scape goats in this reform!!!!

    November 24, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Paul from Phoenix

    Welcome to Obamacare and the farce that is "preventative medicine." These groups that make these recommendations are the people who are going to determine what types of tests will and won't be covered in Government run health care.

    Here is my question for you people who want this to pass, the US Postal Service is billions in debt, Medicare is bankrupt, Social Security is bankrupt, and our government is in record debt.

    With this track record, how could you possibly want this incredible failure determining what health care should look like?

    November 24, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Lee Kaplan

    The Secretary's remarks ring hollow. We ration care now between the covered and uncovered. We will continue to ration it in the future, but differently, and anyone who thinks the total number of mammorgrams will increase to cover the previously uncovered is being unrealistic. The money won't be there. The current "health reform" efforts do almost nothing to bring down demand–in fact, they increase it. But supply is not ony not increasing, it will decrease. The truth is coming out slowly and sooner or later, the 80-85% of Americans who are already covered will figure out that their costs are going to increase and that availability of care will decrease in order to extend more care to the uncovered. When that happens, they will turn against the current legislative "reform" efforts–and the people who promoted this "reform.".

    November 24, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Don't these women get it? What they think doesn't matter! The Government has spoken!

    Welcome to Obamacare.

    November 24, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. marcia

    Is there a similar recommendation for prostate tests?
    I bet not!
    That's for men..."real" people!
    There's always the women who get the short end!

    November 24, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. mjm

    "76 percent of those polled believe the panel's recommendations were motivated by cost savings rather than an actual assessment of the true risks involved."


    It's going to get worse. When the government is flipping the bill and there is no money behind the "public option", this is what happens.

    And YES, private insurance will use this to deny payment for these tests. That's why you can't have some panel of bean counters sitting around making these decisions.

    November 24, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Peggy-Tx

    The panel is doing what it is suppose to do, and has always done, which is to review raw data and make recomendations based on that data.

    The significants of these findings are being distorted for political purposes. Also, another point to consider is that maybe getting a mammogram every year can also contribute to some one getting canser as well. But in this politicaly toxic environment, rational discussion is not an option.

    Medical cost can best be contaioned, not by reducing screenings but by making the affordable. An MRI that cost $160 in Japan cost around $1600 in the US.

    People should not be afraid of the Government getting involved in our heath care as the long term implications are imporved, more affordable health care for all.

    At this time, the focus is on who these provate interpirses can squeeze $ out of the populus, rather the quality care and effecient cost structure.

    November 24, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. RL

    Yeah, right, only recommendations – except this is the same panel that is in the health care bill that is tasked with setting what procedures insurance companies do / do not have to cover.

    Obamacare – it appears it's not all it's cracked up to be.

    November 24, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Republican'ts are anti-democracy

    As a two time breast cancer survivor, I would like to weigh in on this. First of all, this fear-mongering about "rationing" has to stop! I had pre-menapausal breast cancer . . . twice. Both lumps I found myself through self exams. Both times there was confusion AFTER I had a mamogram because the lumps were too small and my breast were too dense for the mamogram results to be reliable. Women, PLEASE use common sense and talk to your individual health provider . . . should you be lucky enough to have health insurance, that is! Again . . . . the politicians who are trying to use this to gin up fear in women are despicable!

    November 24, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. Nathan

    Another reason why gov't anything with your health is bad. Gov't is not a performance based operation.

    November 24, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. tom


    November 24, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. look ladies

    as a dad, husband and father I think you need to step up and vote a woman as president

    this garbage is obviously NOT in your best interests and you as a collective group need to do something

    I will support you, but get off your collective butts and vote someone in

    I also think, on a crazier note, Africa needs an all female army, we could arm them with machine guns etc

    November 24, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. Russ

    Unfortunately, polls like these simply tap the primal fear of government. I haven't read the group's written recommendation, nor any of the papers and studies they cite as evidence for their recommendation... and I seriously doubt many of the people who disagree with their recommendation have either. Without examining the evidenciary support it's impossible to make an informed decision of their motives. Which is not to say I agree with them or not – I can't form an educated opinion until I educate myself.

    November 24, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. ggb

    A government funded study and the WH distances itself? Excuse me but aren't we in the midst of discussing health care reform? If this becomes part of his coverage policy....and we won't know it til all is said and done...I do hope the government will make the decision NOT to use my tax dollars anymore for Viagra, Cialis and any other ED drug. These do not treat a lifethreatening disease.

    November 24, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Goldn

    My best friend died of breast cancer at the age of 31.Her first mamogram was at 28. If it had not been detected then she would have probably died at 29.

    With a family history of breast cancer myself I think it important to continue annual mamograms' in the forties. What are these people thinking? Two years could be a death sentence for some.

    November 24, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. ib

    Get ready people if the gov. controlled health care plan these will no longer be recommendations they will become law under rationing of health care which is what the new plan is all about in my humble opinion.

    November 24, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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