President Obama is campaigning hard on his promise to give women access to free oral contraceptives and surgical sterilization, benefits that are guaranteed under ObamaCare. But women should also know about all of the health services they stand tolose. ObamaCare empowers a host of new boards and committees to arbitrate over what insurance will pay for, and what remains uncovered.
The US Preventive Services Task Force, will evaluate preventive health services like contraception and decide which benefits must be part of the coverage that insurance plans offer — indeed, which services must be covered in full, with no co-pays.
But requiring first-dollar coverage for those services is expensive, so health plans will have to offset those costly mandates by dropping coverage for things that don’t make the board’s grade.
,Look at all of the things that the Task Force doesn’t recommend, and therefore won’t be mandated under ObamaCare.
Dozens of screening tests and treatments that directly benefit women are likely to be dropped from any coverage. Preventive Services Task Force dings: chlamydia screening in most women over 25; cervical-cancer screening in those over 65; breast-cancer screening using digital mammography or MRI instead of the traditional plain film. Screening for ovarian cancer and the genes that raise a women’s risk of breast cancer also don’t make the cut. Same for clinical breast exams in women older than 40.
Americans first became familiar with the Preventive Services Task Force in November 2009, when it made the controversial decision to advocate that women ages 40-49 shouldn’t get routine mammograms. More recently, it rebuffed routine use of tests for detecting the viruses that can cause cervical cancer. And now it’s calling the shots for what benefits must be included and what can be nixed from our plans.
The Preventive Services Task Force convenes in Washington, so it will be cognizant of the political winds. Decisions will inevitably hew as much to politics as to medical need. That’s how benefits like full coverage for contraception make their way into the mandates.
As health plans come under tighter regulation of what they must offer, what they can charge for premiums and what they can spend on overhead, insurers will scramble to cut costs by cutting benefits, wherever the feds suggest. Focus groups rather than doctors will start to shape medical benefits.
Source—dr. scott gottlieb, American enterprise institute, new york post