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  • Happy Birthday, Obamacare? What It Really Means for Women

    Yesterday marked the first anniversary of Obamacare. While advocates spend the week highlighting the new law’s effects on different groups of Americans, we will do the same. A review of the facts on the ground and the conclusions of Heritage research over the past year reveal the far-reaching negative consequences of the new law.

    Today, the argument is that Obamacare is good for women. Though there are sure to be those who experience some benefit under the new law, its overall effect will be negative for all Americans, women included.

    The act includes new requirements that all health plans cover specific preventive services with no cost-sharing. Increasing prevention of serious illness is necessary to promote better health among Americans and would also likely reduce long-term health care spending. But Obamacare goes about it in the wrong ways, and it will have unintended consequences that hurt patients. Last year’s recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) regarding breast cancer screening for women between the ages of 40 and 50 highlights how these changes could hurt women specifically.

    The new law requires insurers to cover all preventive measures ranked A or B by the USPSTF with no cost-sharing. Turning the task force’s recommendations into requirements has proven to be a bureaucratic nightmare. More importantly, as research by Heritage analyst Brian Blase shows, “the mandate requiring insurance companies to pay for preventive services with no cost-sharing has increased premiums while reducing consumer opportunity to select from a variety of plans.”

    Before passage of Obamacare, Heritage expert Ed Haislmaier warned that “the more specific [the Department of Health and Human Services] gets in its benefit requirements—driving up the cost of coverage—the greater the incentive will be for insurers and employers to control those escalating costs by not covering anything that they aren’t absolutely required to cover by federal law.”

    Last year, the USPSTF changed its recommendation rating for breast cancer screening for women between the ages of 40 and 50 from B to C. Because, as the Congressional Research Service points out, “a plan or issuer has the discretion to either cover or not cover additional preventive services not recommended by the USPSTF,” mammography would be unlikely to be covered by health plans under Obamacare. Because of the controversy that followed the USPSTF recommendation, Congress actually overturned it, thereby proving how vulnerable the process is to political manipulation.

    The change in rating was not intended to signal that women in this age bracket should not be screened for breast cancer but rather that they should determine with their doctor, on a case-by-case basis, whether or not to undergo routine screening. But bureaucratic involvement will turn this gray area of medicine, where value is subjective and varies by case, into a black-and-white issue at the patient’s expense.

    Though this particular case exemplifies how women would be impacted by this harmful provision of Obamacare, the problems presented by the mammography controversy could affect all patients. Health care reform should allow patients to choose, from a wide range of options, the health care plans that best meet their needs. It should also empower doctors and patients to determine together what is best in the case of each individual rather than allowing bureaucrats to influence decision-making.

    While liberals try to sell the ever-unpopular Obamacare to the American people, a look at the bigger picture reveals that, in practice, the new health care law ultimately hurts patients.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Happy Birthday, Obamacare? What It Really Means for Women

    1. Pingback: How it affects you « ObamaCare 411

    2. CIndy Wisconsin says:

      I just found out my insurance only pays $10,000.00 per year hospital stay. Well I had to have a blood transfusion due to severe bleeding due to menopause problems. I need a hysterectomy ASAP but I guess I will have to die because this country will only allow good health care to the rich and others from other countries such as Mexico etc. So the saying of "I am proud to be an American" is not true for me it sucks to be an American I need to be a Mexican or other illegal. It sucks to be an American whose family goes back 100's of generations, who fought in the wars for this country and died. Since this country is allowing all others to enter this country and have babies here so they can stay and get all the help this country can muster, I get to die

    3. Bryce, SLC says:

      So, HCR is terrible awful because it forces insurers to pay for 100% of some services. And it's also awful because a specific service for women of a specific age is not one of those fully covered services.

      By your logic, this decision makes HCR *better* for women, because now instead of forcing women to take insurance for procedures they don't want, they now get to choose from a variety of plans based on whether they want that specific service covered. Logically, if forcing insurers to cover x, y, and z narrows the variety of plans available, then releasing the restriction on z should widen variety, right?

      Frankly, I don't want my safety sacrificed on the altar of consumer choice. I'm glad that the government sets things like crash safety standards, drinking water pollution levels, etc. I don't want to be offered $100 off for a car that explodes every million miles. But let's set that aside, and focus on the fact that your logic has no logic to it.

      My guess. This comment gets deleted. The above comment that wrongly claims that illegal aliens get free health care will stay.

    4. Pingback: What ObamaCare really means for women « ObamaCare 411

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