Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) accused the Republican Party and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Ten.) of politicizing breast cancer in a heated debate over preventive care Sunday.


"The Republicans, and Ms. Blackburn, have for the first time politicized breast cancer," Wasserman Schultz told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

Blackburn contended that new controversial breast cancer screening guidelines are an example of how Democrats will ration health care.

A preventive medicine task force recommended last week that women not necessarily get mammograms before age 50, and even then get them only two years, according to The Hill.

Wasserman Schultz blamed a difference of interpretation, saying, "The task force language in that bill actually makes sure that prevention services like mammograms and colonoscopies would be free."

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okl.) from the Health Committee cautioned that Americans face, "a bureaucracy stepping between a physician and their patient."

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) from the Appropriations Committee said, "I worry about a government-run plan that would be subject to recommendations that might be applied universally without respect to patients. I am concerned about that."

ABC attempted to present balance by inviting two Democrats and two Republicans onto the show. However the echo of talking points proved the deck was stacked.

Blackburn added, "You know that this is the bureaucrat in the exam room. This is how its going to happen."

Wasserman Schultz realized she would not be given time to rebut the statement before a commercial break, so in a feat of nearly indecipherable crosstalk, she countered, "Marsha, there's an insurance company bureaucrat in between a patient and her doctor right now."

This video is from ABC's This Week, broadcast Nov. 22, 2009.


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