HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, May 4, 2006

Congress Considers Cutting Mammograms and other State Law Health Mandates

The American Cancer Society website has a call to action against proposed Senate Bill 1955 (Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2005) which would, among other things, extend ERISA's broad preemption to the small group insurance market, currently regulated at the state level.  Many of these state insurance laws provide a significant source of patient protection by providing access to such items as mammograms and other essential diagnostic tools.   

For more information about this bill, see the text here and some commentary on its impact on diabetes coverage here and here.    Many health care providers and state attorneys generals oppose this legislation.

This doesn't look like a very good idea to me. Having these tests covered by insurance would seem to lead to a healthier citizenry, which would save money in the long run.  I am not sure how much they cost, but it doesn't seem that coverage for these tests would force the insurance companies into bankrupty.  Thanks to firedoglake for the heads up on this legislation.  [bm]

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