For many women, getting a mammogram is already one of life's more stressful experiences.Unbelievable.
Now, women in their 40s have the added anxiety of trying to figure out if they should even be getting one at all.
A government task force said Monday that most women don't need mammograms in their 40s and should get one every two years starting at 50 — a stunning reversal and a break with the American Cancer Society's long-standing position. What's more, the panel said breast self-exams do no good, and women shouldn't be taught to do them.
Now, the point of this post isn't to debate the merits of the policy, but instead to discuss what kind of political effect it will have in 2010 and 2012.
The fact is, the issue will have political ramifications. And it should. It's difficult to find anyone who wants to defend the new recommendations, and the criticisms have been valid.
But I digress.
Soon after the news broke, I tweeted the following:
Pondering how mammomgram-gate is going to effect women's approval of Obama.Then, as I saw some objectors to the new policy using it to highlight the realities of rationing under Obamacare, I wondered if they were focusing on the right issue:
While using mammogram-gate to highlight rationing is a +, breast cancer is a serious issue. Can't allow Dems to minimize its dangers.In other words, the dangers behind the policy are large enough that the issue does not need to be nuanced into the Obamacare debate.
Now, I imagine many would disagree that breast cancer is an important issue to most women.
As of last night, "Breast Cancer Awareness" had 1,009,177 fans on facebook.
The 2009 Race for the Cure had 45,000 participants and raised $4.3 million for breast cancer research.
And even the NFL had players wearing pink shoes for a week to increase awareness.
In other words, a lot of people care. And they care a lot.
In the meantime, the Obama Administration sent a very simple message back - we don't care.
And the GOP is going to make sure you know about it.
Here is the latest Weekly Video Address from the Republicans. It's given by Carly Fiorina, a Republican candidate for Governor in California - and a survivor of breast cancer:
According to Gallup in mid-November, Obama's approval among all women was 51%.
After this kind of message is properly, and justly, utilized by Republicans in 2010 and 2012, we could very well see Obama's number plummet further among females.
And that will severely damage the electability of Democrats everywhere.