Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
The U.S. Preventive Task Force is an outside independent panel and they cannot deny coverage. As Secretary Sebeliuus said in as statement yesterday,"they do not set federal policy and they don't determine what services are covered by the federal government." Nothing about these recommendations will prevent insurance companies from covering mammograms as they do today. Spokespeople for different insurance companies have said that mammograms ordered by doctors will continue to be covered as they are currently covered in plans.Courteosy of: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2009pres/11/20091118a.html,http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-11-19-1Amammogram19_ST_N.htm
But "More important for the future, every Democratic version of ObamaCare makes this task force an arbiter of the benefits that private insurers will be required to cover as they are converted into government contractors. What are now merely recommendations will become de facto rules, and under national health care these kinds of cost analyses will inevitably become more common as government decides where finite tax dollars are allowed to go.In a rational system, the responsibility for health care ought to reside with patients and their doctors. James Thrall, a Harvard medical professor and chairman of the American College of Radiology, tells us that the breast cancer decision shows the dangers of medicine being reduced to "accounting exercises subject to interpretations and underlying assumptions," and based on costs and large group averages, not individuals."I fear that we are entering an era of deliberate decisions where we choose to trade people's lives for money," Dr. Thrall continued. He's not overstating the case, as the 12% of women who will develop breast cancer during their lifetimes may now better appreciate."
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