House subcommittee delays USPSTF mammo recommendation

2018 11 07 21 59 2159 Breast Mammography Tech 400

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee voted on July 7 to continue delaying a controversial recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to begin biennial breast cancer screenings at age 50.

The U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies voted nine to six on the fiscal year 2021 funding bill, which includes a provision to delay implementing the USPSTF recommendation as it applies to the Affordable Care Act and other laws that reference the recommendation through January 1, 2025, according to the American College of Radiology (ACR). The legislation now goes to the full House Appropriations Committee for markup.

The bill's language helps ensure insurance policies will continue to cover annual screening mammograms for women ages 40 or older as recognized by the USPSTF's 2002 recommendations, according to the ACR. The USPSTF first recommended biennial screening mammography for women ages 50 to 74 in 2009 and reaffirmed that position in 2016.

The fiscal year 2021 budget bill also included a $5.25 billion increase in funding for the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). The agency's $47 billion budget includes $42 billion in annual appropriations and $5 billion in emergency appropriations, the ACR noted.

The budget increase will help the NIH's efforts to improve capacity at research institutions, fund Alzheimer's disease and dementia research, and invest in the Cancer Moonshot, All of Us Precision Medicine Initiative, BRAIN Initiative, and Clinical and Translations Science Awards, according to the ACR.

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