ACR Honors Senator Vitter for Support of Radiology
Senator David Vitter (R-La.) received the American College of Radiology's Congressional Award for Radiological Excellence (CARE Award) for his championship of radiology issues in the Senate. According to the ACR, during the health care reform debate, Senator Vitter proposed and won bipartisan support for an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that asked the federal government to set aside the November 2009 U.S. Preventive Screening Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations on breast cancer screening and mammography. In addition, in May 2010, the Senator wrote to Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, asking that her department remove from its website and cease promoting the USPSTF mammography recommendations. The USPSTF recommends women start mammography at age 50 — a full decade later than the ACR and the Society for Breast Imaging recommend — and that women only be screened every other year. An analysis published in the American Journal of Roentgenology showed that following the USPSTF breast cancer screening guidelines would result in approximately 6,500 additional U.S. women dying from breast cancer each year. Last year, Senator Vitter also agreed to serve as the lead Republican on the ACR's MPPR legislation in the Senate. The bill received a total of 22 co-sponsors. According to the ACR, half of these co-sponsors were Republican Senators brought in by Senator Vitter’s efforts. When that bill died in committee at the end of the last session of Congress, Senator Vitter again stepped up and introduced another MPPR bill (S. 623) in March of this year, "Senator Vitter’s efforts on behalf of radiology have proven that he is indeed very deserving of the ACR’s prestigious Congressional Award for Radiological Excellence (CARE Award)," wrote ACR spokesperson Shawn Farley in an email to ImagingBiz.