KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Sebelius Issues Statement On Mammography Guidelines As GOP Attacks Health Reform Proposals

ABC News: "HHS Secretary Sebelius did her best to ride the wave of incredulous opposition to the new government-sponsored guidelines advising women to hold off on regular mammograms til age 50. Perhaps anticipating that opponents of the President's health reform efforts will argue that this is a glimpse of the future under Obamacare." Sebelius said in a written statement that the guidelines were the product of an outside, expert panel that does not "set federal policy and they don't determine what services are covered by the federal government." On Capitol Hill, two Republican congresswomen held a press conference today in which they said the tas force recommendation "is a glimpse into what health care would be like if Democrats can pass their reform plans" (Wolf, 11/18).

Fox News reports that the White House, in the meantime, "blasted critics" of the new guidelines, "saying the guidelines are merely a recommendation and that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that produced the report out this week has 'no power' to deny health care coverage."

"In a Q&A developed for the Web site, (White House Deputy Communications Director Daniel) Pfeiffer wrote that under the health insurance reform being considered in Congress, the USPSTF does not have the power to deny insurance coverage but 'their recommendations would be used in health reform to identify effective clinical preventive services'" (Corbin, 11/18). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.