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Dec 2, 2009 1:31 PM by Associated Press

David Vitter's amendment to prevent restricting mammograms

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Sen. David Vitter today introduced an amendment to the Senate health care bill that would prevent the new United States Preventive Service Task Force recommendations from restricting mammograms for women. In November, the USPSTF released a series of recommendations that stand in stark contrast to common-held cancer prevention practices.

"Last month, this task force came out and publicly stated that women under the age of 50 should no longer get mammograms - a recommendation which flies in the face of everything that all women have been taught for decades," said Vitter. "They also advised against annual mammograms for those over 50. These recommendations could have a drastic and negative impact on hundreds of thousands of women, and they should not be implemented - period. I held a roundtable in Louisiana on this very topic last month and heard from a number of survivors who credited annual mammograms for the early detection of their breast cancer."

Vitter's amendment is a second degree amendment to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski's amendment. Mikulski's provision and the discussed alternatives do not directly address the November recommendations of the USPSTF that caused an uproar among members of Congress and the general public.

"After these recommendations generated such anger among the American people, there was a lot of talk in Congress about taking steps to correct this situation," Vitter said. "Unfortunately, none of the other amendments currently being proposed do that. But my amendment will keep the current standing recommendations in place and set aside those issued in November."

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