US News & World Report

Proponents of the proposed healthcare reform reassure the public that the government won’t be in the business of “rationing” care. It’s one of the topics on the White House’s “Reality Check” website; the headline insists: “Reform will stop rationing-not increase it.”

Yet the public is getting a glimpse into how government rationing might work. This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (that’s a panel charged with reviewing evidence and making recommendations for preventive services) offered its opinion about best practices for screening women for breast cancer. Their recommendations were a significant change from what’s common today: They suggest that women in their 40s should not have annual mammograms and older women should reduce the use of this screening devise.

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