As a political adviser, I am going to be one of the first to tell a client that, “When it comes to politics, timing is everything.” In the case of the USPTF (United States Preventative Task Force) stating that women between the ages of forty and forty-nine do not need yearly mammograms, the timing could not be more incomprehensible then right now. With the health care reform debate going on in Washington DC, there are too many questions that could be raised about the USPTF’s timing.
Medical schools, health care providers, and health insurance companies almost always follow the recommendations of the USPTF. By recommending that women wait until they are older for mammograms, the USPTF sends a message to health insurance companies that any mammograms before the age of fifty are not under the full recommendation. This gives health insurance companies an stronger opportunity to deny the claims of a woman having a mammogram at the, “inappropriate,” age.
With the health care reform debate, the recommendation by the USPTF causes for too many questions in people’s minds because of the timing. Let me give you a few ideas of the questions that I have already seen posted on Facebook and Twitter today. These are not exact quote, but will give you the jest of what I am getting at. Also, I am not showing support for any of these quotes, just passing them on to you for my point.
1. Is the USPTF trying to lower the responsibility of health insurance companies to make it cheaper for the government if the health care reform bill passes?
2. Is the USPTF under the direction of the president? This brings a lot into perspective with his health care reform bill.
3. Is the health care reform bill going to cover yearly mammograms now that the USPTF doesn’t think that they are needed?
4. Is the USPTF trying to cut insurance costs before a health care reform bill passes to keep their profits up?
5. President Obama is trying to use the USPTF to pad the pockets of insurance companies?
In the case of introducing a new recommendation about mammograms, the USPTF should have waited until the health care reform bill was out of Congress so that it did not cast any doubt in the minds of the American people, or the media. Already, social networking sites are being overloaded by people in the search for questions that they have assumed by the timing of this recommendation about mammograms by the USPTF.
As a part of the government, the USPTF should know that there are certain times in which an undue panic can be caused. In my opinion, as a political advisor, with health care reform being debated right now, the USPTF could not have come up with a worse time for the introduction of their recommendation on mammograms than right now.