Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Wisconsin Flunks The Colonoscopy Coverage Test

According to Business Week:

There is only one cancer screening test that has been definitively proven to save lives—a colonoscopy for colon cancer. But a new survey finds that only 20 states, plus the District of Columbia, have laws mandating that insurance providers cover the cost of colonoscopies. That could mean many lives lost, because the same study found that screening rates in those states that mandate coverage have risen 40% faster than in states without such mandates . . .

The Colorectal Cancer Legislation Report Card, first issued in 2004, gave 15 states, plus the District of Columbia, an "A" grade for laws mandating coverage of colonoscopies as well as future advances in screening technologies: Arkansas, Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. State laws requiring insurance coverage of colon cancer screening have significantly increased the number of potentially lifesaving screenings in those states, according to an analysis by the American Cancer Society . . .

States that received an "F," for having no legislation requiring coverage, included Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. The remaining states require or recommend only some level of coverage.

Isn't it sad how Wisconsin, which once had a reputation as a "progressive" state, increasingly gets bad marks on just about everything from quality of campaign finance laws to poverty and health indicators?

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