Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

A Taste of What’s to Come: UK Cutting Back on Operations to Save Costs, Elderly Hit Hardest

June 6, 2010

The case for repealing Obamacare grows stronger each day.  The harsh reality of Nationalized Healthcare is that it’s simply unaffordable over time, as we’re also seeing with Social Security and Medicare.  For proof look no further than the UK, where operations such as hernias, joint replacements, and cataract surgery are being cut back in order to save costs.  Sorry Seniors. 

From the Daily Mail via Gateway Pundit:

Millions of patients face losing NHS care as bosses prepare to axe treatments to make £20billion of savings by 2014, a top doctor has warned.

Among procedures being targeted by health trusts are hernias, joint replacements, ear and nose procedures, varicose veins and cataract surgery.

Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association’s consultants

He said primary care trusts – which commission care – are already compiling lists of ‘low value’ operations that would no longer be provided.

These include hip replacements for obese patients and some operations for hernias and gallstones. Procedures for varicose veins, ear and nose problems including grommets in children are also not funded in some areas.

You Lie! Obamacare to Increase Cost of Healthcare

April 23, 2010

Shocker!  Per a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, Obamacare will actually increase the cost of healthcare over time.   From Foxnews.com:

President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law will increase the nation’s health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation.  A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama’s aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls.

But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, however, since the report also warned that Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, forcing lawmakers to roll them back. 

The mixed verdict for Obama’s signature issue is the first comprehensive look by neutral experts.  In particular, the warnings about Medicare could become a major political liability for Democratic lawmakers in the midterm elections. The report projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, “possibly jeopardizing access” to care for seniors.

IRS Commissioner: Buy Health Insurance or Lose Tax Refund

April 7, 2010

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman spoke at the National Press Club earlier this week and told the crowd that for those individuals who don’t pay for Obamacare, their payments will be taken from their tax refunds.  From the Daily Caller via Gateway Pundit:

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told reporters yesterday at the National Press Club that the government plans on punishing those who don’t purchase government health care by confiscating their tax refunds.
The Daily Caller reported:

Individuals who don’t purchase health insurance may lose their tax refunds according to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. After acknowledging the recently passed health-care bill limits the agency’s options for enforcing the individual mandate, Shulman told reporters that the most likely way to penalize individuals that don’t comply is by reducing or confiscating their tax refunds.

Speaking at the National Press Club on Monday, Shulman downplayed the IRS’s role in enforcing the recent overhaul of the health insurance industry by claiming the agency would not aggressively target individuals who don’t purchase coverage. He noted that the health-care bill expressly forbids the agency from freezing bank accounts, seizing assets or pursuing criminal charges, but when pressed said the IRS would most likely use tax refund offsets to penalize those that don’t comply with the mandate. The IRS uses refund offsets to collect from individuals that owe the federal government a delinquent debt.

Harry Reid on Aftermath of Obamacare: “People are so nice to me”.

April 6, 2010

From his Greta interview which aired on 3/5/2010.

Krauthammer on Obama’s Rambling, 17-minute Healthcare Answer: It’s only 9 times longer than the Gettysburg Address

April 5, 2010

Click here for background info.

Georgia AG, 1 of ACORN’s favorites, Refuses to Join Healthcare Suit

April 2, 2010

From Mark J. Fitzgibbons in the American Thinker:

Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker has angered Georgia Republicans to the point that some have called for his impeachment. Mr. Baker refuses to join other state attorneys general filing suit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare.  He’s become the darling of the left by his refusal to file suit.

Based on praise by the liberal media, you’d think General Baker was the model of fiscal responsibility and restraint on judicial activism.

That bastion of fiscal responsibility, The New York Times writes, that Mr. Baker “has rejected such lawsuits as ‘frivolous’ and ‘a waste of taxpayer money.'”

AlterNet reports on Mr. Baker’s appearance on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC conservative smear show:

“It’s impossible to have a lawsuit where there are no inherent costs,” Baker said. “Every time you are pulling employees away from their appointed duties to file a lawsuit and to engage in this counter-activity, there’s going to be cost. Lawyers don’t work for free, not even lawyers who work in house. So I’m not aware of any way that a lawsuit can be filed, even if we do it in house, where it doesn’t cost the taxpayer some money.”

If only Mr. Baker had been consistent throughout his career. You see, Mr. Baker was given a grade of A from ACORN in 2008 precisely because he is an activist attorney general who spent taxpayer money in pursuit of ACORN’s legislative and judicial agenda. Mr. Baker’s grade of A is shown on page four of ACORN’s report.

View the full article here.

Texas HHS Chief on cost of Obamacare: “I can’t justify Congressman Waxman’s math”.

April 1, 2010

Frankly, it’s Congressman Waxman who can’t be justified.  View the related article on Hotair.com.

Obamacare Triggers Sell-Off in US Treasuries

March 29, 2010

Great.  November (pick a year) can’t get here soon enough.  From The Telegraph via Gateway Pundit:

The yield on 10-year Treasuries – the benchmark price of global capital – surged 30 basis points in just two days last week to over 3.9pc, the highest level since the Lehman crisis. Alan Greenspan, ex-head of the US Federal Reserve, said the abrupt move may be “the canary in the coal mine”, a warning to Washington that it can no longer borrow with impunity. He said there is a “huge overhang of federal debt, which we have never seen before”.

David Rosenberg at Gluskin Sheff said Treasury yields have ratcheted up 90 basis points since December in a “destabilising fashion”, for the wrong reasons. Growth has not been strong enough to revive fears of inflation. Commodity prices peaked in January and US home sales have fallen for the last three months, pointing to a double-dip in the housing market.

 The trigger for last week’s sell-off was poor demand at Treasury auctions, linked to the passage of the Obama health care reform. Critics say it will add $1 trillion (£670bn) to America’s debt over the next decade, a claim disputed fiercely by Democrats.

View the full article here.

Howard Dean Admits Obamacare is About Redistribution of Wealth

March 29, 2010

“This is a form of redistribution.” Dr. Howard Dean, aka “The Screamer

Obama’s M.D. Cousin: “Patients will suffer under Obamacare”

March 26, 2010

Excellent piece from Milton R. Wolf, M.D. in the American Thinker.  Dr. Wolf is a Kansas radiologist who is also a 2nd cousin of Obama. 

I am Milton Wolf. After this last week, you probably know me as the doctor who is Barack Obama’s cousin.   

Like millions of other Americans, I watched with bafflement and frustration as Congress wrestled with the onerous task of reforming our health care system. After studying both the House and Senate’s health care plans, and a lot of sleepless nights, I knew I had to take a stand for my patients, my profession, my state, and my country. I made the decision to “go public” with my opposition to “ObamaCare.”  

I wish my cousin well, but my oath is to my patients.    

What began as a humble blog led to a Washington Times op-ed. Then a massive media storm erupted. Morning news with a visit to the Curvy Couch, radio interviews, ruffled feathers at Media Matters & Democratic Underground, another op-ed, an army of Davids carrying my questions to their representatives in Congress, Hannity, more FOX & Friends, radio, and more print and internet opinions than I could ever read. Last Saturday, it all culminated in an address to thirty thousand patriots who set their lives aside long enough to rush to the Capitol and try one more time to be heard by their elected leaders in Washington.

My message is simple: Patients will suffer under ObamaCare

Continued…

We are given a preview of what this rationing board will try in section 3007 of the Senate bill. This portion of the health care bill addresses a scheme that actually penalizes your primary care doctor for providing the care he has determined that your family needs. The top ten percent of doctors who refer patients to specialists, no matter how valid the reason, will be penalized. This ignores the expertise of the family care physician. It does not care if your daughter hurt her arm and needs an orthopedic surgeon. It does not care if your mother is short of breath and needs a pulmonologist. It matters to them only how many of your doctor’s patients are sick enough to need a specialist. 

There’s no other way to say it: “ObamaCare” penalizes your doctor for providing medical care. This is rationing. It will get worse as costs continue their upward climb and more doctors opt out of Medicare and medicine altogether.

View the full article here.

Democrat Hypocrisy: Congress and Senior Staffers Exempt Themselves from Obamacare

March 25, 2010

From John McLaughlin in the American Thinker:

 From the New Ledger blog comes news reported by Ben Domenech of an interesting item in the newly passed ObamaCare legislation now being scrutinized in detail:

One such surprise is found on page 158 of the legislation, which appears to create a carveout for senior staff members in the leadership offices and on congressional committees, essentially exempting those senior Democrat staffers who wrote the bill from being forced to purchase health care plans in the same way as other Americans.

Sweet, huh?  Domenech explains that, during passage of the legislation, controversy arose as to whether Congress would commit to placing themselves under the same health care exchanges being mandated for average citizens.  To that end, the words were added to the legislation mandating that each Member of Congress and the Member’s congressional staff would have health plans created under the Healthcare Act.

Sounds great until you dig into those pesky details — such as the definition of “congressional staff” (emphasis added):

(ii) DEFINITIONS- In this section:
(I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS- The term ‘Member of Congress’ means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.
(II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF- The term ‘congressional staff’ means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.

Thus, by this definition, the legislation applies only to a Member of Congress and the member’s personal office staff.  It does not apply to the Democrat staffers employed by the various Congressional committees or the Congressional leadership.  Domenech confirms:
According to the Congressional Research Service, this definition of staff will only apply to those staffers employed within a member’s “personal office” – meaning that it will absolutely not apply to committee staff members, and may not apply to leadership staff.
 

Fidel Castro Endorses Obamacare

March 25, 2010

Not everyone is against Obamacare.  From Foxnews.com:

It perhaps was not the endorsement President Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for.

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform “a miracle” and a major victory for Obama’s presidency, but couldn’t help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago.

 “We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama’s) government,” Castro wrote in an essay published in state media, adding that it would strengthen the president’s hand against lobbyists and “mercenaries.”

 View the full article here.

States Lining Up to Sue Over Obamacare

March 23, 2010

It starts.  As of today, nearly a dozen states are set to sue with another 26 in the initial phases of filing suit.  From state-controlled Reuters:

“The health care reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last night clearly violates the U.S. Constitution and infringes on each state’s sovereignty,” Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican, said in a prepared statement announcing a news conference.

“On behalf of the State of Florida and of the Attorneys General from South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alabama if the President signs this bill into law, we will file a lawsuit to protect the rights and the interests of American citizens.”

John Boehner’s Response to Healthcare Bill on the House Floor

March 23, 2010

From John Boehner’s speech on the House floor:

“We have failed to listen to America. And we have failed to reflect the will of our constituents. And when we fail to reflect that will – we fail ourselves and we fail our country.”

SC Senator Jim DeMint to Introduce Legislation to Repeal Obamacare

March 23, 2010

Sen. Jim DeMint, one of the few Republican Senators not afraid to raise his voice, will introduce legislation to repeal the healthcare bill.  It begins.

From The Freedom Post:

“This bill is unconstitutional and it cannot be fixed. It must be repealed,” said Senator DeMint. “The battle for health care freedom is not over and I will introduce legislation this week to repeal this health care takeover.
 

“Unless this trillion-dollar assault on our freedoms is repealed, it will force Americans to purchase Washington-approved health plans or face stiff penalties. It will fund abortions, raise taxes and insurance premiums, while reducing health care choices and quality.This arrogant power grab proves that the President and his party care more about government control than the will of the American people. Americans told Washington to keep its hands off their health care in opinion polls, at public protests, and at the ballot box, but their pleas were ignored. If the President and Democrats were serious about true health care reform, there were many free-market solutions we could have easily passed. Americans support commonsense reforms such as purchasing coverage across state lines, stopping frivolous medical lawsuits, and giving the same tax breaks to Americans who don’t get their insurance at work. Unfortunately, Democrats refused to listen.”

 

Bret Baier Healthcare Interview with Obama on Fox News

March 18, 2010

Dem Senator Dick Durbin Says Premiums will Increase with Obamacare

March 10, 2010

Illinois Senate Democrat Dick Durbin is actually telling the truth on this.  One has to think that wasn’t what he meant to do…  Courtesy of Hotair.com.

Sen. Paul Ryan tells Obama his Healthcare Plan is a Fiscal Disaster

February 26, 2010

From the meaningless Healthcare Summit.

Democrats Allow Unions to Escape “Cadillac Tax” on Health Benefits

January 16, 2010

Democrats are once again caving to Unions by allowing their members to be exempted from the “Cadillac Tax” on health benefits.  Under the plan, Union members won’t have to pay the tax until 2018 but you just know that come 2017 more back-room dealings will occur and they’ll again be exempted. 

From Foxnews.com:

In pushing a giant step closer to a health care reform deal, Democratic leaders are once again drawing fire from their critics for extending special treatment to an interest group in exchange for its support of the bill. 

The latest deal was struck Thursday among the White House, Congress and union leaders over the proposed tax on high-value “Cadillac” health insurance plans.” 

Unions had objected strongly to the proposed tax on high-value insurance policies, fearing it would hurt their members, and they won several concessions from the administration. Under the deal, if it becomes law, union workers will be shielded from the 40 percent tax for five years — until 2018. The threshold for the tax also was raised so that it will kick in for plans worth $24,000 instead of $23,000. And dental and vision coverage will not count toward that threshold. 

But what about everybody else? 

The unions, traditional supporters of the Democratic Party and a major factor in Obama’s political infrastructure, got a deal, but Republicans said that non-union workers will still have to pay the tax from the get-go starting in 2013. 

Obamacare: Senate Bill Takes Aim at Middle Class

January 5, 2010

From Foxnews.com:

The Senate health care bill could end up hitting middle-class workers hard, through a new tax on insurance plans that could ultimately cut through to their wages. 

Both the House and Senate packages will have to be aligned and passed again in both chambers of Congress before a final bill makes its way to President Obama’s desk. Both bills raise money for the sweeping overhaul of America’s health insurance system by cutting about a half-trillion dollars from Medicare and raising lots of new revenue. 

The House bill raises it by imposing a 5.4 percent surtax on people making $500,000 a year or more — a strictly money-raising move with no impact on health care itself. But the Senate bill raises the biggest chunk of its new revenue through a 40 percent tax on so-called Cadillac health insurance plans — plans that cost more than $23,000 per family. 

And that tax, critics say, will trigger a series of changes that will result in billions of dollars in new taxes on the middle class over the next decade. 

First, the tax will hit plans widely used by middle-class employees. The majority of workers with the high-value plans are union members and state government employees who are not considered wealthy, even though Obama advisers like to say the tax is aimed at benefits enjoyed by the likes of Wall Street bankers. 

“A lot of those folks that have Cadillac plans have Chevy wages. And that’s what makes it, has made it, somewhat controversial and a real issue of contention,” said Jim Kessler, vice president for policy with the non-profit think tank Third Way. 

Second, some say the tax will make many of the high-value plans too expensive and slowly cause them to disappear — since employers could wind up cutting back on benefits they offer to avoid any passed-on price increase. 

Third, as those union members and other workers lose their health benefits, which are not taxable, the Senate assumes the lost benefits will be replaced by wages, which are taxable. 

Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, referred to this scenario during a speech in October, saying workers could end up with more “take-home wages” that are taxed. 

“A smaller fraction of your compensation takes the form of health insurance — you actually see it in your pocket in terms of wages. Of course when you get things in your pocket in terms of wages, you pay taxes on them,” Romer said. 

In fact, the Senate is counting on raising $120 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years, the majority of which will come from the middle class. Another $30 billion is expected to roll in from the actual tax on insurance plans, but far more comes from wages.

“This is a big tax on the middle class,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, noting that 95 percent of people with the so-called Cadillac plans make under $250,000. 

Stewart Acuff, with the Utility Workers Union of America, said the House financing plan is actually “much fairer” since it taps money from the wealthy. 

“They got a $2.5 trillion tax cut from President Bush, and asking them to give a little of that back to provide one of the most necessary things in a democracy, which is health care for our people … is the fairer way to go,” he said. 

Acuff noted that Obama campaigned against the idea of a tax on insurance plans when Sen. John McCain, his  Republican rival, talked about it during the presidential campaign in 2008. 

But Obama has since embraced a tax on the insurance plans themselves, and unions are urging Congress and the White House to reconsider. 

Nevada Governor Slams Harry Reid for Obamacare

December 30, 2009

Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons slams Harry Reid, D-NV, for Obamacare and calls it a “Knife in the back”.

Democrats Cut $43 Billion from Medicare Home Health Care

December 7, 2009

This is supposed to be the Party of the People?  Maybe they meant the Party of the ‘Young’ People, since they’ve essentially hung homebound Medicare recipients, most of which are elderly, out to dry with their latest move.

From Carol Brown in the American Thinker:

As Senate Democrats hung together last week on a “test” vote on health care reform, their willingness to cut Medicare to fund their colossal plan revealed their willingness to abandon the most vulnerable among us – the frail and elderly. Many among the oldest of the old receive in-home care, something that is essential as it helps reduce hospital admissions or winding up in a nursing home. It also provides access to medical services for those with the added challenge of living in rural communities.

Home health care will be a casualty of the current bill as it is slated to absorb more than 10% of the Medicare cut. Ironically, proponents of health care reform brag about how the bill will reduce costly hospitalizations of elderly folks. But by slashing home health care, the effect will be the opposite of their stated intentions. More elderly patients will be hospitalized as a result, not less.

Of course the Democrats have rationalizations for everything. But their explanations are nothing more than double talk that appears to be founded on something akin to the credibility of climate change. Democrats in both houses of Congress have rationalized the cuts by claiming that care will not be compromised. The Senate Finance Committee as gone so far as to suggest that the proposed changes would “encourage home care workers to become more productive.”

“Encourage home care workers to be more productive.” What does that even mean?

As far as I can tell, the expectation of increased productivity suggests that home care workers are currently slacking off on the job. But if the nurses who work for Eastern Maine Home Care cited in this article are any example, they sure aren’t slackers. These nurses see patients throughout rural parts of the state, traveling across fields and forests, using snowmobiles and cross country skis, doing whatever it takes to take care of their patients.

Perhaps the Democrats are counting on increased productivity in the form of home care workers increasing the length of their shift for no extra pay. Or, I suppose cutting corners could be another way to increase productivity.

View the full article here.

Reid’s Healthcare Bill: Uninsured Americans Pay Penalty Tax, But Uninsured Illegal Aliens Do Not

November 23, 2009

From Keith Hennessey:

Under Leader Reid’s amendment, in the year 2019 about 16 million U.S. citizens would be uninsured and be forced to pay a penalty tax of almost $800 per year.  About eight million illegal aliens would be uninsured and would owe no penalty tax.  Both groups would get their health care through a combination of out-of-pocket spending and use of uncompensated care in emergency rooms and free health clinics.

View the entire article here:

A Taste of What’s to Come: Liver Cancer Drug Deemed “Too Expensive” in Britain

November 19, 2009

If Government Healthcare passes, here’s another taste of what’s to come. (click here for a similar story)

A liver cancer drug that can extend the life of patients with severe liver cancer was deemed too expensive for use in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (NICE) 

Make no mistake. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is a government entity that made the decision to NOT extend the lives of those patients with severe liver disease.  The decision was NOT made by the patient but by a government panel instead.  Those suffering with severe liver cancer were not allowed to choose and essentially told that their lives weren’t worth the cost of the drug.  This is Government Healthcare.

From the BBC:

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said the cost of Nexavar – about £3,000 a month – was “simply too high”.

But Macmillan Cancer Support said the decision was “a scandal”.

More than 3,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer every year in the UK and their prognosis is generally poor.

Only about 20% of patients are alive one year after diagnosis, dropping to just 5% after five years.

‘Disappointed’

Campaigner Kate Spall, who won the right to have two months of treatment for her mother, Pamela Northcott, in 2007, said it had prolonged her life by four-and-a-half “precious” months.

It had allowed her 58-year-old mother, from Dyserth in Denbighshire, “closure” and “peace”, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“The problem in Mum’s case is it took a year for me to fight for the treatment, so we’ll never know how well she could have done,” she said.

Prof Jonathan Waxman: “I’m very unhappy about the way these decisions are made”

“We had extra time, which was very precious to us all, her symptoms were helped greatly. And, more importantly, for Mum it was a case of getting some closure and peace.

“The psychological feeling when a group of people decide that you cannot have a treatment that can help you is really devastating.”

Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician Peter Johnson said the decision was “enormously frustrating” because there was no doubt about the drug’s effectiveness.

He said: “There’s no alternative treatment and there are no other places for people to go. It is expensive, but the only issue is cost and the number of patients affected are quite few – there’s probably only six or seven hundred patients a year.”

Nexavar – also known as sorafenib – had already been rejected in Scotland, despite studies showing it could extend the life of a liver cancer patient by up to six months.

‘Devastating disease’

The Scottish Medicines Consortium ruled that “the manufacturer’s justification of the treatment’s cost in relation to its benefit was not sufficient to gain acceptance”.

Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE, agreed: “The price being asked by [the manufacturer] Bayer is simply too high to justify using NHS money which could be spent on better value cancer treatments.”

And the group’s clinical and public health director, Peter Littlejohns, added the drug was considered “just too expensive” by its advisory committees.

 ‘NICE, on behalf of the the NHS, has to look at the cost-effectiveness of care.’

Nexavar is routinely offered to cancer patients elsewhere in the world, and Mike Hobday, head of campaigns at Macmillan Cancer Support, said he was “extremely disappointed” at NICE’s decision.

“It is a scandal that the only licensed drug proven to significantly prolong the lives of people with this devastating disease has been rejected, leaving them with no treatment options,” he said.

Alison Rogers, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said: “The decision to reject a treatment for advanced liver cancer is a huge blow for patients.  There has to be a point when the NHS says no. It’s sadly but simply unrealistic.

“This is a treatment to extend life for people where all other options have run out.

“It is particularly hard for people with liver cancer given that treatments for many other advanced cancers have been given the green light by NICE.

“People with liver disease often face stigma and discrimination and sadly this decision feels like a further disadvantage to them.”

Earlier this year, a government review of end-of-life treatment said NICE should give extra weight to drugs that could extend a patient’s life.

The Department of Health said NICE was not ignoring that recommendation, but the NHS could not just pay for any drug at any cost.

A Taste of What’s to Come: Federal Panel Recommends Mammogram Screening Begin at Age 50 Instead of 40

November 17, 2009

Here’s the 1st of many cost-cutting measures if Government Healthcare passes.  Cost-cutting at the expense of patients, that is.  A Federal panel yesterday recommended women begin mammogram testing at age 50 instead of 40.  The American Cancer Society immediately issued a statement standing by their recommendation that mammogram testing begin at 40.  

From Washingtonpost.com:

Women in their 40s should stop routinely having annual mammograms and older women should cut back to one scheduled exam every other year, an influential federal task force has concluded, challenging the use of one of the most common medical tests.

In its first reevaluation of breast cancer screening since 2002, the independent government-appointed panel recommended the changes, citing evidence that the potential harm to women having annual exams beginning at age 40 outweighs the benefit.

Coming amid a highly charged national debate over health-care reform and simmering suspicions about the possibility of rationing medical services, the recommendations immediately became enveloped in controversy.

“We’re not saying women shouldn’t get screened. Screening does saves lives,” said Diana B. Petitti, vice chairman of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which released the recommendations Monday in a paper being published in Tuesday’s Annals of Internal Medicine. “But we are recommending against routine screening. There are important and serious negatives or harms that need to be considered carefully.”

Several patient advocacy groups and many breast cancer experts welcomed the new guidelines, saying they represent a growing recognition that more testing, exams and treatment are not always beneficial and, in fact, can harm patients. Mammograms produce false-positive results in about 10 percent of cases, causing anxiety and often prompting women to undergo unnecessary follow-up tests, sometimes-disfiguring biopsies and unneeded treatment, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

But the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and other experts condemned the change, saying the benefits of routine mammography have been clearly demonstrated and play a key role in reducing the number of mastectomies and the death toll from one of the most common cancers.

Tens of thousands of lives are being saved by mammography screening, and these idiots want to do away with it,” said Daniel B. Kopans, a radiology professor at Harvard Medical School. “It’s crazy — unethical, really.

View the full story here.