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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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."