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.

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soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. The Other Michael in Houston

    Okay, fair enough, now how many of that 76% actually go get a mammogram done? Being a healthcare professional for the better part of 20 years, in most cases, unless a woman devolops a problem i.e. lump or pain in the breast area and/or have a strong family history of breast cancer, a lot of women under the age of 50 do not get a mammogram, even when they are instructed to do so. I actually agree with the panels recommendation but of course only a piece of the recommendation is stated in this article. Actually, the recommendation say if you have no family history and/or no evidence of possible breast cancer, thne it is not necessary to have a yearly routine breast mammography. It does not say that you cannot have one. Now I know there are some cases where some women who were asymptomatic and went in for a routine mammogram and after further testing, were diagnosed with breast cancer, but the percentage of that happening is low.

    November 24, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    If this had come up after Obamacare passed do you think DHHS would have come out against it. You have really just seen the future under Obamacare and it isn't pretty.

    November 24, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. Johnny DC

    This is step 1 of many.

    Call it fear-mongering, call it obstruction, call it fantasy. Call it whatever you like.

    Health Care rationing won't just explode overnight. It will reveal its ugly face slowly, through events just like this. That's why more than 65% of America doesn't want this Health Care bill rammed down our throats.

    November 24, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. james

    Whoops! Round 1 in the socialist's attempts to ration health care looks to have misfired.

    November 24, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Debbie from California

    This is a big bruhaha over nothing! If a woman wants to get mammograms at 40 that is fine. If not then she can listen to the recommendations.

    Yes "some" cancer might be caught if baseline at 40 but some might not. More logical would be that if cancer runs in your family you should have a base mammogram at 16! If your family has no cancer then waiting till 50 is reasonable. In addition, women are not exclusive to breast cancer. Yes men can have breast cancer!

    November 24, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Susan, Macedon New York

    You can't tell me that the timing of this panel's report was coincidental. From what I understand, more women than men are in favor of health care reform and this report/recommendation is designed to scare them into opposing the legislation.

    Someone needs to look into the makeup of this panel and how many members have ties to the health insurance industry or the Republican right wing.

    November 24, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. tpco

    Argueably the FIRST step in the gov't take over of your health care. Some would also call this the first step roward Death Panels. The quoted 1 in 1900 women who would die as a result of following this "recommendation" are obviously not needed in the obamanation.

    Who's next?

    November 24, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Andy from CA

    The uproar you hear concerning this panel's findings and recommendations stems from successful conservative attempts to link this august advisory body to the health care debate. After all, it was the previous administration who appointed these folk, and now it is their neo-con guardians who are happy to saddle the Obama government with the mantra of rationed health care( i.e. mammograms and pap smears). Let the word go forth, "death panels" are the domain of the GOP not the DNC.

    November 24, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    Democrap and Obummer care is not what we want !

    November 24, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Shelley Rose

    These panel members were appointed by George W. Bush. Why doesn't CNN report that fact?!

    November 24, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Steve in Ct

    Who is the task force working for. The insurance companies using these recommendations as a scare tactic about changes if the government gets into health care coverage or the government practicing? Either way we lose. There can be death panels on both sides.

    November 24, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Mike

    Just the begining folks, CHANGE I don't want.

    November 24, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Sian

    Yet another reason everyone needs access to health care!
    I found a lump in my breast after feeling pain for several weeks. I am without insurance so I called Livaware ( and was referred to a local clinic. After almost a dozen phone calls and being given 2 other internal numbers to call, leaving countless messages and waiting for a call back or an appointment I continue to hope and pray for some consideration. It's been 3 weeks...
    I have spent the last 2 years working as a temp in the same position for a government office...

    November 24, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. John from Massapeuqa NY

    You people who say Bush...blah blah blah have Bush derangement syndrome and have likely never had a high level job in your life. The government led by all parties establish commissions like this one all the time. The fact the commission was established under Bush is irrelevant. it is the recommendations that are at issue and they were clearly influenced by the current administration. If Bush were in office you would have a point but you don't. And to those who say "it was leaked to hep defeat health care," why on earth would the Obama administration leak or publish a recommendation that hurt it's own cause? it wouldn't, and you are just stupid. This is what Obamacare will lead to. There will be thousands of recommendations you will never hear of that will ration and limit care and ultimately cost lives. You voted for change, and you will get the Statist world.

    November 24, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Alex


    Before you start all your whining about how this is the first step to "rationing" of healthcare – which, by the way, you're in idiot if you don't realize that this is already the main profit strategy of health insurance – please realize that this "task force" are a bunch of Bushees. The Obama Administration has said repeatedly they don't agree with it, just like they don't agree with a lot of Bush's failed Anti-American policies.

    November 24, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Joe D

    Everyone better get ready because this is just The Start of things to come !!

    November 24, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Joe

    Health care workers know better than any of you all how often you need to get a breast exam. Stop acting like any of you know what you're talking about. Chances are none of you are getting them every year anyway.

    November 24, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. ETM

    Once again the people opposed to health care reform are using fear and smear to make points.

    First, it was a Bush-appointed panel that came up with these recommendations. Second, the Obama Administration rejected them almost immediately. Finally, the government is always going to support broader health-care practices than private insurers because the government does not have to make a profit.

    The fact that health care reform opponents can't come up with any legitimate reasons to oppose the health care bill tell us how fatuous their arguments really are.

    November 24, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Hopefully this will be the last report from the Bush administration.

    November 24, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Angi's mom

    This task force should have heard expert testimony from my friends, Barbara (age 30), Mary (age 30), Joanne (age 40), Aunt Edith (age 60), but they all died from breast cancer. Friend Marti (age 50) and Aunt Phyllis (age 60) are now breastless, but are survivors thanks to mammagrams.

    November 24, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    I want to know the following:
    WHO empaneled the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force?
    WHO is on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and how were they selected? What are their names, occupations, etc?
    WHO pays/paid the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force members, and/or whom (what companies) do they represent?
    WHAT were their EXACT instructions and intentions of/for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force?
    WHEN was this U.S. Preventive Services Task Force empaneled?
    Was it During the current or a previous administration?
    WHY has the media failed so utterly in providing this information?

    Without knowing who started this ball rolling, why they did, who they REALLY represent (OBVIOUSLY not American WOMEN), who they are, Etc., Etc., ETC... It is impossible to get anything but hysteria, resentment, fear and panic from women and those of us who love and care for them.

    Is that all you really want from us?

    November 24, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Sally

    I believe the timing on this report was intentional but not by the Obama Administration. This panel sounds like it is trying to make it harder for healthcare reform. Who appointed this panel? I bet they are a bunch of Bush groupies appointed in the last days of the Bush administration. Bush certainly did his best to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and I bet he did the same with this group.

    November 24, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. sissy

    This panel was appointed by President Bush. It's an ongoing panel – nothing new. But two of it's members work for insurance companies. Why isn't anyone asking why this information was released now and why it was slanted to hurt health care reform?

    November 24, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Pamela

    My grandmother died in 2005 of breast cancer. I was only 41 that year and discovered four lumps in each breast by a mammogram. I had to have a lumpecotomy since they were against the chest wall. You could not feel these lumps since they were so deep. I would have died if these recommendations were followed. Women all ready get poor health care as it is compaired to men. What about the two teenagers this year 15 and 16 that was diagnosed with breast cancer? Most people I have met that have had breast cancer have been in their early 40's. My sister in law was in her 40's when diagnosed with breast cancer. Where in the study is the average age of a person who has breast cancer?

    November 24, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. Rick CT

    Just the beginning. When freed of the necessity to answer to the people by passage of this bill, you can bet on more and more rationing and government control of our lives.

    Maybe all the tests aren't completely necessary, but they are ordered to protect doctors from lawsuits. Now, with rationing, doctors will still be subject to suits while unable to order protective screenings because they won't be covered by insurance. And despite St. Barack's promise in his address to Congress on September 19th, there is nothing in these bills that protects doctors, hospitals and the like from those who would use the tort procedures as a potential 2nd chance lottery ticket.

    November 24, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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