Genetic testing will receive a big push from ObamaCare. While many insurance companies have denied or delayed genetic testing the insurance exchange programs under the Affordable Care Act require that certain types of preventive services be offered without a co-pay. One of those tests is genetic testing for mutations in the BRCA genes. Those tests are a big relief for high-risk patients of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
BRCA mutation testing is important because it is one of the most effective and quick ways to determine ovarian cancer in high-risk patients.
ObamaCare exchange policies are also required to cover annual mammograms for women over age 40. Chemoprevention for women at a higher risk of breast cancer is also covered under Obama's new healthcare policies.
Offering genetic testing under ObamaCare is an important step in saving lives. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2013 as many as 234,580 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,030 will die from the disease.
Under current insurance plans some women have learned that even mammograms are not routinely covered. In some cases mammograms are only covered once per every two to three-year period.
Not only does genetic testing help discover cancer risks for patients, it can also help determine future risks for their children.
In this sense ObamaCare is following a similar path to healthcare programs in Canada, Sweden, and the UK. Those healthcare systems place a focus on preventive care to help cut long-term costs for the programs. The more people who receive genetic testing and other preventive care, the less taxing the Affordable Care Act becomes on our medical system.
In the meantime, Republicans and Democrats continue to fight over the fate of ObamaCare with the government "slimdown" now enacted.
Do you think ObamaCare's focus on preventive services will help the program succeed over the long-term?