The President goes through the benefits in health insurance reform that are already kicking in for young adults, retirees, and families, and says more benefits are coming down the pike.
Category Archives: Breast Cancer
Most women should start regular breast cancer screening at age 50, not 40, according to new guidelines released Monday by an influential group that provides guidance to doctors, insurance companies and policy makers.
The new recommendations, which do not apply to a small group of women with unusual risk factors for breast cancer, reverse longstanding guidelines and are aimed at reducing harm from overtreatment, the group says. It also says women age 50 to 74 should have mammograms less frequently — every two years, rather than every year. And it said doctors should stop teaching women to examine their breasts on a regular basis.
Just seven years ago, the same group, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, with different members, recommended that women have mammograms every one to two years starting at age 40. It found too little evidence to take a stand on breast self-examinations.
The task force is an independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care appointed by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
Its new guidelines, which are different from those of some professional and advocacy organizations, are published online in The Annals of Internal Medicine They are likely to touch off yet another round of controversy over the benefits of screening for breast cancer.
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It was shocking to hear the interview with a woman who was seeking the candidate’s opinion on mandatory insurance coverage for mammograms, which is a tool in diagnosing breast cancer. Mr. Christie was dismissive in saying that the cancer surgery the woman had when she was in her 20s was “an exception.” These situations are not exceptions as Mr. Christie may think, and the numbers prove it.
Medical professionals and patients agree that preventive care needs to be a priority as it saves lives and money in the longterm. Patients need confidence that their insurance providers will not find exclusions for coverage such as preexisting conditions, family history or some arbitrary notion that the patient is young and therefore considered “an exception.” We cannot undermine the need for access to screening techniques, whether mammograms, sonograms or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, which are all available with today’s technology.
It is frightening to learn that Christie would give insurance companies free rein to drop coverage for critical procedures like mammograms. The woman from Rider is not “an exception” and a mandate is not an “extravagant benefit” for “young, single consumers,” as Mr. Christie stated on his Web site as of September 27, 2009.
Governor Jon Corzine, along with Senator Loretta Weinberg and other legislators have fought hard to assure that insurance companies provide adequate coverage for women’s health needs. In 1991, mandates were established for women over 40 years of age to be covered for annual mammograms. It has only been five years since insurance company mandates have been expanded to cover mammograms for women under 40 if they have a family history.
According to the National Cancer Institute 2005 and 2006 Fact Book, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in young women ages 15-54. For 25 years we have recognized this month of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month which promotes awareness, education and empowerment.
This movement has been stressing “early detection saves lives”. Many children are being raised by their mothers as a result of early detection. We cannot turn back the clock and allow any wiggle room for insurance companies to drop coverage for mammograms or other vital diagnostic tests. We need to continue advocating for staying healthy. It is the pillar of a strong society. Our future depends upon it. To that, there can be no exception.
Amy A. Mallet
Monmouth County Freeholder
If Chris Christie still feels it is OK to have “mandate-free” health insurance policies written in this state, than he needs to take a look at this latest video From the Corzine campaign.
In this video, Breast Cancer survivors speak out to tell Mr. Christie that mammograms and other forms of preventative procedures are not only necessary but essential in early detection and the prevention of not just Breast Cancer but all forms of cancer.
Two people that I would like to point out to anyone who watches this video are Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet, who as a 19 year old was the victim of Breast Cancer and my wife Debbie, who completed her treatments of chemotherapy and radiatoin in June of this year.
Without mammograms and other proceedures being mandated as part of insurance policies here in the New Jersey, who’s to say that Amy Mallet, my wife, or others in their situation would be here today to tell us their stories.
John R. Bohrer – Huffington Post
New Jersey’s off-year gubernatorial race has been pretty boring for outsiders, except for maybe the TV ad accusing Chris Christie, the Republican nominee, of “throwing his weight around.” (Christie’s on the heavy side.)
The ad was supposed to draw attention to the fact that Christie got away with some pretty obscene driving offenses, but really, no one cares about that stuff. New Jersey’s race isn’t about driving, it isn’t about corruption, it isn’t about President Obama — it’s about the state economy and taxes. The inability of Governor Jon Corzine, a Democrat, to find his footing on the economy has made him deeply unpopular for a long, long time. Pundits believe he’s a surefire loser.
So do national Republicans. According to U.S. News & World Report, GOP strategists in Washington will milk a Corzine loss for all its worth, trying to delay the vote on health care reform in order to “[scare] moderate Democrats away from the Obama plan as they worry about their own re-election in 2010.”
But like a lot of other outsiders, the Republicans in Washington haven’t been watching this race closely enough.
If they had been, they’d know that the Christie camp is deeply concerned about the health care debate hurting their candidate. A little more than a week ago, while the rest of the country was buzzing about the ‘Look At That Fat Guy’ ad, Corzine also started airing a TV spot informing voters that Christie supports health insurance companies who deny coverage for mammograms.
The ad must have hurt in the Republicans’ polling, because in no time at all, Christie — long the frontrunner in this race — was forced to play defense.
In light of Christie’s response, the Star-Ledger says Corzine’s ad “happens to be true.”
Final word on this? No way. Christie, when questioned by a cancer survivor, was emphatic when explaining why insurance companies should deny mammograms to young women. The cancer survivor tells him that in fact she had been diagnosed with cancer in her twenties. To that, Christie continues to defend the health insurance companies — and even gets nasty and dismissive with the woman — insisting that dropping mammograms is A-OK because “that’s an exception.”
This is Christie’s ‘macaca moment,’ unleashing his nasty side to show people what Republicans really think about providing all Americans with decent, quality health care. He’s saying that insured or not — if you’re a young woman who wants a mammogram, a health insurance company shouldn’t have to pay because “that’s an exception.”
Christie’s nasty attitude and dismissive tone toward the cancer survivor only makes it worse for him. In July, I wrote that Republicans were endangering Christie — perhaps their only rising star in the Northeast — by stalling the health care reform vote and carrying the debate into October. That was before the rancor and lies of August. New Jersey is still a very blue state, with many more Democratic-leaning independents than Republican ones. The GOP’s angry rhetoric toward the President and his efforts to reform the health care system do not endear Republicans to these voters — voters Christie needs to win this election.
Now Christie is on film, getting short with someone for daring to question the whims of the health care industry. He’s going to have a tough time not looking like just another anti-reform Republican, disdainful for the economic concerns of average citizens just trying to stay healthy.
If Corzine plays his cards right, Christie will have a hell of a time keeping voters focused on the issues he wants. Christie will win this race if GOP opposition to health care reform doesn’t become the leading issue; he may even win it if it does. But if Republicans in Washington believe they can continue their antics without paying the price for it, they may soon think again.
Take a look at this amazing video put out by the Corzine campaign, in it Republican challenger Chris Christie argues with a cancer survivor about mandates that the State requires insurance providers to cover.
Christie believes in a mandate free state and he would eliminate all or most mandates proposed or enacted by the state.
The unseen women says to Christie that her daughter is at the same age now, as she was when she had her first cancer surgery. Christie responds to her by saying that her daughter would be an “exception” if she has indeed developed cancer in her 20’s.
Obviously Christie must not know a lot about cancer and it’s genetic impact on patients and their children, siblings or other family members. Otherwise he would not have talked over this woman or argued about the need for the woman’s daughter to be screened for cancer.
Having multiple members of my family diagnosed with cancer over the past few years, I know full well the importance of early detection in the fight against cancer. Many cancers, like breast and colon-rectal cancer, have been found to be genetic in nature, meaning that there are genes that are passed along from parents to children that make the child of a cancer patient more likely to develop the disease than children from non-cancer patients.
Mandating that insurance companies provide genetic testing for cancer patients and survivors saves lives and money in the long run.
Christie should know the facts before he speaks about cancer and its effects on families in the future.
With the health care debate raging and tempers at town hall meeting boiling over, the Corzine campaign has released their latest video highlighting their achievements at making heath care more accessible and affordable for New Jerseyans.
Universal access to health care coverage for children and mandating insurance companies to provide coverage for mammograms for women under 40 with a history of family breast cancer are a few of the highlights featured.
The video then contrasts Governor Corzine’s health care achievements with the do-nothing, status-quo approach of Chris Christie that would cut health benefits for many who live in our state.