Certain medications that reduce the risk of breast cancer now must be covered under Obamacare.
The Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance Thursday saying that most insurance plans are required to cover the chemo-preventative drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene without co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses for women with an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
The Obama administration issued the clarification after questions arose about whether these medications count as preventative care, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz — a breast cancer survivor — wrote in a blog post Thursday.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts selected by HHS, revised its recommendation in September to suggest the medications be available to women at high risk for the disease.
There is an exception to HHS’ policy, however: Grandfathered plans — those that existed prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act — are not subject to the same requirements.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2013 there were 232,340 new cases of breast cancer in women, and 2,240 in men. Cause and prevention of breast cancer in men is currently less well understood.
Preventative screening is a point of emphasis for the Affordable Care Act, as the law aims to promote such treatments in a bid to cut total health spending. But what treatments and medications meet the law’s criteria for preventative care — and which ones get an inclusion mandate in insurance plans — is a point of contention for various medical constituencies trying to get their treatments under Obamacare’s umbrella.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."