Former Red Cross chief: Feds' new mammography policy is "a shocking thing"

The White House website already has a “reality check” up about the mammogram uproar, but from what I can tell, the reality there is “selective.” For one thing, they lay the controversy at the feet of Fox News (of course) when in fact it was WaPo’s story that generated the most heat online. For another thing, while the White House strains to minimize the task force’s role under ObamaCare, WaPo notes that “under health-care reform legislation pending in Congress, the conclusions of the 16-member task force would set standards for what preventive services insurance plans would be required to cover at little or no cost.”

Beyond that, though, even if the panel’s role is small now, why would anyone trust the feds not to expand it over time as rationing became more urgent to limit costs? Everyone understands that the program will end up costing vastly more than the early projections indicate; there’s no reason to think that inertia towards growth wouldn’t also apply to agency responsibilities. (On the contrary, the former begets the latter.) Republican women on the Hill are using the mammography buzz to warn of it:

“This is how rationing begins. This is the little toe in the edge of the water,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “This is when you start getting a bureaucrat between you and your physician. This is what we have warned about.”…

Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) said today that she feared health insurance companies would change their policies. Furthermore, she said, she feared that such studies would be used to set policy in the national health insurance exchange that would be set up and run by HHS if Democrats are able to pass their health care bill.

“The rules of what will be required to go into the exchange have yet to be written,” Schmidt pointed out. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated about 30 million Americans could receive their coverage through the exchange.

Here’s the clip. I described Healy the way I did in the headline because that’s how most people know her, but her medical credentials are rock solid. Click the image to watch.