Monday, October 24, 2011

The new PSA screening recommendation is not just a recommendation

What has mostly been neglected by the press in reporting the latest pronouncement of the USPSTF is that their conclusion that PSA measurements should not be done to screen men for prostate cancer is much more than a recommendation. Before the passage of ACA  it was merely a recommendation  but now the rules of the game have changed.

Dr. Rich at The Covert Rationing Blog  gives us his excellent analysis of the the panel's recommendations and the data they emphasized as well as the data they underplayed.Here is a quote from that commentary that explains why what the panel at the Task Force says really matters.


Obamacare, which is now the law of the land, makes the USPSTF the final arbiter of which preventive services are to be covered by private insurers (Section 2713), by Medicare (Section 4105), and by Medicaid (Section 4106). Only those that have achieved a grade of A or B by the USPSTF will be covered. And if you believe you will be able to purchase for yourself PSA screening (or any other medical service which Obamacare has decided not to cover) you have not been paying attention. Perhaps you can do so today (if you’re not on Medicare or Medicaid), but probably not for long.

  So CMS (Medicare and Medicaid ) will not pay for the tests.How long will it take private insurers to follow suit?The question remains can you pay for the test yourself.It is not clear that you cannot but I share Dr.Rick's concern  that prohibiting private choices paid for with private money for health care issue may become illegal.

Cato has recently published their report on economic freedom.  Freedom fans will not be pleased with the falling economic freedom indicators in the U.S. noted in their report. Health care freedom is incompatible with the vision that medical progressives have for the U.S.,namely that medical care is too important to be left in the control of individual physicians and individual patients. From the perspective of the progressives, Obamacare is a great step forward and has been heralded by certain medical organizations as promoting social justice while loss of  individual freedom to make one's health care choices seems to be part of the price of that "justice".

1 comment:

sch said...

A controversy reminiscent of the foorah over mammograms a year of so
ago. Be interesting to see where the
ACA comes down on mammograms, as the
arguments against mammograms are
even more compelling than the PSA
screening. Mammograms are a lot
more expensive and radiation exposure
is cumulative.