Monday, November 30, 2009

A congressional subcommittee chairman said he called a hearing this week "to get to the bottom" of a recent task force recommendation on mammogram screening for women in their 40s.

"My goal is to get to the bottom of why the task force made these recommendations," Rep. Frank Pallone, D-Va., told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. "Has anything changed in the way we’re looking at testing? And find out about better ways of breast cancer screening to develop in the future, including more efficient blood tests and exams with no radiation impact."

Pallone, who chairs the health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says the recommendation made it "very confusing for women deciding what to do."  He said he wants insurance companies to continue to allow coverage for those women who want the mammogram at a younger age, and said the flap should not affect the outcome of health reform legislation.

"There’ll always be disagreements about tests and procedures," he said. "Health care reform needs to move forward, as fast as possible. More people lack coverage, insurance premiums and drug prices are going up. We can’t delay it any longer."


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