Fiorina Draws on Breast Cancer Experience While Blasting New Guidelines
Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, has suggested that new federal mammogram guidelines could offer a preview of how officials might implement current health care reform proposals, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended mammogram screenings every two years for most women starting at age 50, rather than annual exams starting at age 40 (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 11/26).
After the guidelines were released, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that federal health insurance programs will not alter their mammogram coverage policies to line up with the recommendations.Â Medicare -- which primarily covers U.S. residents ages 65 and older but also insures some younger people with disabilities -- pays for annual mammograms beginning at age 40 (California Healthline, 11/19).Â Â
This summer, Fiorina underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer. She has drawn on this experience to criticize the task force recommendations, suggesting that she might not have received timely treatment without regular screenings.
Fiorina and other Republicans also have suggested that federal officials might use the mammogram guidelines and other recommendations to ration care and cut costs.
Fiorina is hoping to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Boxer also opposes the mammogram recommendations and recently signed a joint letter urging the Senate to hold a hearing on the new guidelines (Sacramento Bee, 11/26).
WSJ InterviewIn a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Fiorina spoke about her opposition to the new federal mammogram guidelines. She also discussed her reservations about President Obama's health care reform plan (Fund, Wall Street Journal, 11/27). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.