Coming Soon: Senate Hearing on New Mammogram Guidelines
Following in the footsteps of House health care leaders, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, plans to hold a hearing on contentious new recommendations for screening breast cancer, Harkin’s office said this afternoon.
The senator has yet to announce a date, but with the health reform debate likely to occupy the upper chamber for most of December, scheduling the hearing this year would be a tricky proposition.
Last week, 22 senators representing both sides of the aisle had written to Harkin and Sen. Michael Enzi (Wyo.), the senior Republican on the HELP panel, urging the committee to examine the new mammogram guidelines, which recommend that women get screenings less frequently and later in life — an overhaul of existing protocols.
In the House, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), who heads the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, has already announced his intention to hold a December hearing on the new mammogram recommendations. From a scheduling standpoint, Pallone has the advantage: the House has already passed its version of the health reform bill.