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Mammogram guidelines debated along party lines as panel members are grilled

Washington Post, December 3, 2009

Republican lawmakers pressed their case that new U.S. recommendations advising against routine mammograms for women in their 40s could be used to ration healthcare under reform legislation before Congress. The guidelines, issued Nov. 16 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, scaled back recommendations for annual mammograms to screen for breast cancer in women in their 40s with an average risk for the disease. At a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on health, members of the task force acknowledged that their description of the new guidelines might have been "poorly worded," leading people to think they were suggesting that screenings were unneeded for any patients in their 40s, the Washington Post reports.