Federal task force makes radical change in breast cancer screening guidelines Some questioned whether the new guidelines, coming in the midst of an intense debate about the health-care system and costs, were designed more to control spending than to improve health. In addition to prompting fewer doctors to recommend mammograms to patients, they worried, the move would prompt Medicare and private insurers to deny coverage of many mammograms. But the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and other experts condemned the change, saying the benefits of routine mammography have been clearly demonstrated and play a key role in reducing the number of mastectomies and the death toll from one of the most common cancers. "Tens of thousands of lives are being saved by mammography screening, and these idiots want to do away with it," said Daniel B. Kopans, a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School. "It's crazy -- unethical, really."