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. Isabelle, Texas

    Sebelius is not being honest when she says they are just guidelines and aren't coverage or payment decisions. National recommendations and guidelines are what insurance companies use to form their rules for what they will cover and what they will not cover.

    It is very possible and, dare I say probable, that these guidelines will be used to shut women out of having mammograms under Obama's heathcare. Even though the administration may be distancing themselves from the guidelines now, they could use them as rationale in the future to "ration" care for women. They will have no other choice than to deny care to one group or another because there simply will not be enough money to give people the level of care we have now in America.

    November 24, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Ted from Calif.

    Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill. This was a scientific study that makes recommendations based on statistics.There are other factors that are considered before making policy. I think Secretary Sebelius handled this report well in her comments a few days ago.

    I'm sure there are interests that will try to politicize this issue for their own political purposes. However, one should consider the source and take it from there.

    November 24, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Jane

    I'll feel comforted when they decide not to pay for penile implants and give Viagra scripts to men (it affects their health and well being). What a bunch of crap.

    November 24, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. JWK

    Yep, let's blame Bush who is no longer president. The bottom line is this is the first taste of what we can expect from government run health care no matter who is in charge. Everything the government touches gets more expensive, more inconvenient, and less efficient.

    November 24, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. JWK

    By the way, not to mention dangerous for all of us.

    November 24, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Kristi

    No question about it, if obama can save money by eliminating these sorts of tests then the gov can insure more illegals with the money they will save once they take over healthcare.

    Next up, babies don't need innoculations until they are 21.

    November 24, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Another Reformed Republican

    It's amazing how many stupid people voice their opinions on these posts without having any facts. Also amazing is that many of these stupid people are associated with the Republican party, talk radio hosts, Fox news, Palin, tea partiers, birthers, Klansmen and other deranged groups.

    November 24, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. The people are right

    The recommendation is idiotic - every American woman knows someone who has died of breast cancer before age 50. There is an equally idiotic recommendation against regular PSAs for men. My father's doctor followed it and now dad has stage 4 prostate cancer. Any decent health plan should pay for mammograms and PSAs - both slow-growing cancers that are curabe if detected early.

    November 24, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. rcasteel

    FYI folks,

    Bush is no longer President. Time to stop blaming him.

    Obama is the acting president. start blaming him.

    If Obama didn't like the panel, he should have signed an executive order disbanning it. But that probably would not have looked good on the Oprah show.

    It is time for you Obamadrones to start holding him accountable.

    November 24, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    The Obama Adminstration did not write this recommendation. And it is just that: a recommendation, not policy.

    To everyone here who's posting otherwise, stop LYING!

    November 24, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. R.C.Stewart, MD

    In the current bill before the Senate, if passed, this task force will be making recommendations that will determine policy for diagnostic and treatment procedures. This is a preview of health policy under a government controlled system.

    November 24, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    What about all those health insurance companies who deny treatment because it's going to cost them too much?

    What do you call that, all you right wingnuts out there trying to make this recommendation into some kind of example of the health care reform currently under consideration?

    The right wingnuts of America need to start pulling their heads out and think for themselves instead of listening to Limbaugh and all the other health insurance company lackeys who want to maintain the status quo of paying insurance company CEOs on average $14 million a year and who continually put profit before anyone's health!!!

    November 24, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Trang, Fremont, CA

    This is what a group of scientist come up w/ from looking at the data at large. The question is would insurance people use this to exclude people? W. the new bill, they can't, so this is a non issue. However, if the bill isn't passed, insurance companies might use this new data to exclude coverage, since they will find all kinds of reasons to exclude.

    November 24, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. SLM

    The study was probably done by men!

    November 24, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. snowflake

    This whole report has just been promoted completely out of proportion! It was just a "recommendation", but was never deemed mandatory!! This is what happens these days in the news media outlet. A simple story turns into a COMPLICATED STORY, and EVERYONE ends up being confused! Any woman with common sense will KNOW she MUST talk to her Doctor about her OWN medical needs at ANY GIVEN TIME!! This report certainly wasn't put through Congress and made law (Thank God)!! The way things move in Congress these days, it would a zillion months before the debate could even begin on this subject.

    November 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. ms2phx

    I'm a 2nd year med student in phoenix and one of the USPSTF panelists is a professor of mine. What this poll shows is that the general public does not have a complete understanding of what this recommendation actually means, or how the decision was made to issue it. The panel issues recommendations based on the best available data. This study was a collaboration by teams from top institutions, Harvard, Yale, & Stanford included. It showed that mammograms aren't as a reliable for screening breast cancer for women in their 40s as they are for older women. Their recommendation was that women in their 40s don't have to be routinely screened but can consult with their doctor to decide what screening regimen would be best for them.
    It's clear that this misunderstanding has been cynically seized upon by those who would prefer to scare the public to score political points. This study was initiated well before President Obama came into office, a fact which the people shouting "Rationing!" are conveniently ignoring.

    November 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Art Surette

    Obama care is starting

    November 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Kat

    I believe like a lot of you, this is the beginning of our soon to be Healthcare Reform. Do you really think they (the Gov.) cares about you? Don't be so naive, They just want total control.

    November 24, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. demo no mas

    less care at more cost = Obamacare

    November 24, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. Indy 08

    are you working for the GOP, the recommendations were from an independent panel appointed by Bush. This is bad for the Dems because ? you also mislead on who is to balme for the recession 52% blame the GOP and that is also bad for Dems, huh

    November 24, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. valwayne

    If Obamacare had already been passed this panel's recommendation would mean that these exams would not be covered. This is exactly what will happen with Obamacare. We all know the cost will sprial out of control 3 to 5 times current estimates at which point the Government will be desperate and life saving healthcare, especially for the very sick and elderly, will be rationed an denied. Call your Congressman and Senator if they are a Democrat to ask them to stop the madness, or plan on the Government deciding whether you live or die!!!!

    November 24, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Gary

    This is the same government panel that the Democratic Healthcare reform bill gives the power to make medical decisions for us. This panel is a mess. We want reform, but no government panels, no government healthcare, no government/public option. We need to stop the Democrats before they destroy our healthcare system.

    November 24, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. Sharon

    don't be foolish............this is a strong indication of what Obama care means for all of us. How's that change working for ya?

    November 24, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Pee Wee

    I can solve this for all concerned women. Free exams at my house, no insurance necessary. The 'free' market at work.

    November 24, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. A Citizen

    Anyone who doesn't believe that the only way a government run health care program will reduce costs is by rationing is kidding themselves. It's already happpening in the other countries that are using this socialist model. People need to start paying attention to what's going on. Fortunately, they are beining to do just that.

    November 24, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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