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Partnership Applauds Obama's 'No Cost-Sharing' Protections for Preventive Services

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, July 29 Partnership for Prevention today applauded President Obama's call for a health reform bill that requires no cost-sharing by patients to obtain preventive services.

The preventive services proposal was among eight "core consumer protections" that Obama said would be provided by health reform legislation. He listed the eight protections during a Thursday town hall meeting in Raleigh, N.C. A fact sheet issued by the White House on Thursday said their cost-sharing protections mean that "Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics."

"We applaud the president for seeking this type of protection for patients," Partnership President Robert J. Gould said. "Proven preventive services will help save lives and reduce the incidence of chronic disease that is a leading driver of spiraling health care costs.

"It makes no sense to seek cost-sharing for preventive services," Gould said. "The main purpose of cost-sharing is to discourage the use of medical services. But clinical preventive services are currently under-utilized."

Gould said the president's stance should strengthen support for an amendment that Partnership is helping members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to craft that would prohibit cost-sharing for preventive services funded under Medicaid.

A study by Partnership for Prevention's National Commission on Prevention Priorities found that increased utilization of just five clinical preventive services - daily aspirin use, tobacco cessation counseling, adult pneumococcal immunization, and breast and colon cancer screening - would save an additional 100,000 lives a year, while all five services either save money or are cost-effective.

Partnership for Prevention is a non-profit organization of business, health care and government leaders who are trying to make evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion a national priority.

SOURCE Partnership for Prevention
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