What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : Less Affluent Women : HR 3590. (Health care overhaul) Mikulski of Maryland amendment that would require health insurance providers to cover preventative care and screening for women/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 355)
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HR 3590. (Health care overhaul) Mikulski of Maryland amendment that would require health insurance providers to cover preventative care and screening for women/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 355     Dec 03, 2009
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., that would require health insurance providers to cover preventative care and screening for women. It also would prohibit insurers from denying coverage of breast cancer screening tests, such as mammograms, based on recent controversial findings issued by the U.S. Preventative Service Task Force. The amendment was offered to a bill that would create marketplaces for purchasing health insurance and create a public option for health care coverage, among other items.

Mikulski said her amendment would eliminate deductibles and copayments for preventative care screening for women.

“Many women don’t get these services because, first of all, they don’t have health insurance; and, No. 2, when they do have it, it means these services are either not available unless they are mandated by States or the copayments are so high that they avoid getting them in the first place,” Mikulski said.

Mikulski’s amendment came in the wake of a controversial government task force recommending that women not seek regular mammograms until the age of 50.

Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is a practicing doctor, said Mikulski’s amendment would put the government in charge of deciding what preventative care screening women should receive, instead of doctors.

“The real debate on this bill—the Mikulski amendment is the start of the real debate—is do we have the government decide based on cost or do we have the professional caregivers who know the field decide based on what is best for that patient. That is the difference,” Coburn said. “For, you see, what happens with the Mikulski amendment is the government stands between you and your doctor. That is what is coming.”

By a vote of 61-39, the amendment was adopted. All but two Democrats present voted for the amendment. All but three Republicans voted against the amendment. The end result is that the measure went forward with language that would require health insurers to cover preventative care and screening for women, including things like mammograms.

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