Preventive Care Commentary Featured in Health Affairs Blog

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On January 29, Richard Hughes published a piece on the Health Affairs blog discussing the presidential candidates’ opportunities to incorporate preventative services into their healthcare policy platforms.

To date, much of the healthcare policy conversations on the presidential campaign trail has centered on the issue of access to coverage. While Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are focused on transitioning the US healthcare system to Medicare for All, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden are interested in building on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, Buttigieg and Biden have stated that they would like to expand the availability of health coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, qualified health plans on the exchanges, and the establishment of a public option. Although these issues are at the forefront of public discourse, another component of the ACA could also be significantly strengthened: coverage for preventive healthcare services.

In “As Presidential Candidates Debate Sweeping Health Care Proposals, Preventive Coverage Opportunities Are Overlooked,” Hughes outlines 4 policy options for the candidates to consider:

  1. Extend preventive service coverage requirements to Medicare and traditional Medicaid
  2. Require first-dollar coverage of preventive services delivered by out-of-network providers or incidental to a visit
  3. Clarify first-dollar coverage requirements
  4. Direct the United States Prevention Services Task Force and Health Resources and Services Administration to provide guidance to payers

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