Some House Democrats Question Whether Recent HHS Decisions Were Motivated by Ideology
A group of 12 Democratic House members led by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) yesterday sent a letter to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson conveying concern that "scientific decision making is being subverted by ideology" at HHS, the Washington Post reports (Connolly, Washington Post, 10/22). The letter addresses the administration's recent choices for members of several advisory committees and states, "We are deeply concerned that stacking advisory committees with individuals whose qualifications are ideological rather than scientific will fundamentally undermine the integrity of scientific decision making at our leading public health agencies" (AP/Houston Chronicle, 10/21).The group also cites the NIH's recent removal from its Web site of the National Cancer Institute's findings that concluded that abortion does not increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. Although a bipartisan group of House members requested more than three months ago that the information be restored to the Web site, the group has not yet received a reply, according to the letter. The group also questions why both the NIH and CDC Web sites have removed information about the "effectiveness of condoms" and a sex education curriculum titled "Programs that Work." The group writes in the letter that the removal of information about pregnancy prevention and sexually transmitted diseases "strongly suggests an ideological, rather than a scientific agenda at work" (Washington Post, 10/22).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.