Healthcare Reform Simplified: Prevention

Iron lungs helped children breath that were stricken with the polio virus.

Post 4 in a series on healthcare reform and how it affects Americans.

In 1947 Jonas Salk accepted a position with the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine to identify the various polio viruses. For the previous 30 years polio epidemics would surface killing and paralyzing thousands. The public was clamoring for a cure to polio. What they got was prevention.

Salk’s research led to a vaccine to prevent the polio virus from attacking the nervous system. In 1952 there were 58,000 reported polio cases, over 21,000 were left with some form paralysis and over 3,000 died. After the polio vaccine became widely distributed in school programs, the cases of polio dropped precipitously.

While we still have not found a cure for the virtually eradicated polio illness, the vaccine stands as a

Many children that contracted polio had to fight back to regain the use of their legs.

testament to the adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It was with the tremendous cost savings that can be achieved with prevention that a variety of no cost office visits for the screening of preventable diseases were included in the ACA.

Price – Demand Curve

Micro-economic theory tells us that, in general, when the price of a good or service increases the demand decreases. Under perfect competition a product that is free will experience unlimited demand by the consuming public. I have not heard of a rush of people to get their cholesterol checked, especially guys, but the hope is that with the cost barrier removed, more folks will take advantage of free screenings and avoid costly illnesses in the future.

No copay, no coinsurance, no deductible

All health insurance plans offered after certain dates must include a variety of preventive office visits at no charge. Some of the women’s preventive visits start August 1, 2012. Some of the listed conditions may involve tests and prescriptions that may or may not be included at no charge. Consult your physician at the time of the appointment. Complete list:

No cost office visits for screening or counseling on the following:

Children: covered preventive services, September 23, 2010

  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Autism
  • Behavioral assessments
  • Cervical Dysplasia
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism
  • Depression
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Fluoride Chemoprevention
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hearing
  • Hematocrit or Hemoglobin
  • Hemoglobinopathies
  • HIV
  • Immunizations
  • Iron supplements
  • Lead screening
  • Obesity
  • Oral health risk assessment
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Tuberculin
  • Vision

Women: covered preventive services for women and pregnancy, all effective August 1, 2012

Pregnant Woman

  • Anemia
  • Bacteriuria
  • BRCA genetic disorder counseling
  • Breast cancer mammography
  • Breast cancer chemoprevention
  • Breastfeeding
  • Cervical cancer
  • Chlamydia
  • Contraception
  • Domestic violence
  • Folic Acid
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis B
  • HIV
  • Human Papillomavirus test
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rh Incompatibility
  • Tobacco use
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Syphilis
  • Well-woman visits

Adults: covered preventive services, September 23, 2010

warehouse workers for wellness

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Aspirin
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Colorectal cancer, adults over 50 colonoscopy
  • Depression
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Diet
  • HIV
  • Immunizations
  • Obesity
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Tobacco use
  • Syphilis