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Examining Breast Cancer Under Obamacare
WASHINGTON -- Women may be reading headlines and stories on the web or Facebook about breast cancer care and treatment under the new health care reforms, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Some of those headlines are simply not true, and Family 411 correspondent Sheila Gray went looking for answers.
We first checked the claims that women won't be able to get mammograms, and others won't get them often enough. The Kaiser Family Foundation is a private non-profit that researches major health care issues. The Affordable Care Act guarantees 22 preventive services specifically for women. Women age 40 and older can have breast cancer screening mammograms every one to two years with no cost sharing, that is, no co-pay or deductible.
Some of the confusion on how mammograms are covered under Obamacare stems from the four-year-old controversy involving the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. It said back then that women didn't need mammograms before age 50, and they didn't need them every year. The panel of doctors argued that the risk of cancer in women between 40 and 49 was too small to justify routine screening, and it's still prompting scary headlines.
But the National Institutes of Health says specific language in the 2010 reform law repudiates the breast cancer recommendation. The Kaiser Family Foundation says women and their doctors can opt for mammograms yearly or every two years. Doctors can also have women younger than 40 screened if they're at high risk for breast cancer.
Breast surgeon Dr. Thomas Heck of the Gem City Surgical Breast Cancer Center says screenings are very important. Mammograms lead to earlier detection and lead to saving lives.
Breast cancer susceptibility gene counseling and testing are also guaranteed for women with genetic pre-disposition. Angelina Jolie thrust the testing into the spotlight when she underwent a double mastectomy earlier this year.
Social welfare expert Dr. Shawn Cassiman of the University of Dayton said she hopes the politics of health care won't keep people from signing up.
"I hope folks will get beyond that rhetoric and say 'let me check it out at least'," Cassiman said.
Analysts at Kaiser stress that it's important women talk with their employers or their health care providers to determine whether they have to share part of the cost of breast cancer screening, but the coverage is guaranteed under the law.
The Ferguson Decision
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Applications for US jobless aid jump to 313,000
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits jumped last week, pushing total applications above 300,000 for the first time in nearly three months.
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"DANCING WITH THE STARS"-ALFONSO WINS
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The long wait is over for Alfonso Ribeiro.
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