Quick Fact: Fox's Johnson falsely claims that Senate health care bill prevents payment for some screenings
Research ››› ››› TODD GREGORY
While discussing U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations on medical screenings, Fox News' Peter Johnson Jr. stated on Fox & Friends that "what we see now in the Senate bill is the Senate saying that if you get an A or a B, then it's gonna be paid for. If you get a C, it's not gonna be paid for." In fact, the bill requires only that insurers provide coverage for screenings that receive A or B recommendations from the task force; it says nothing about whether insurers may or may not cover other categories of recommendations.
From the November 23 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
JOHNSON: This is a group appointed by the government. And so what we see now in the Senate bill is the Senate saying that if you get an A or a B --
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Right.
JOHNSON: -- then it's gonna be paid for. If you get a C, it's not gonna be paid for. And so --
DOOCY: Well, you would never know going in if you were gonna wind up with an A, B, or a C.
JOHNSON: Well, they've said it now.
Fact: Senate bill does not prevent insurers from providing coverage for screenings that do not get A or B recommendations
Bill requires insurers to adopt USPSTF recommendations in favor of specific preventive screenings. The Senate health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires insurance companies to cover screenings that the USPSTF rates as A or B recommendations. It does not prohibit insurers from covering screenings that receive other ratings:
''SEC. 2713. COVERAGE OF PREVENTIVE HEALTH SERVICES.
''(a) IN GENERAL. -- A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall provide coverage for and shall not impose any cost sharing requirements for --
''(1) evidence-based items or services that have in effect a rating of 'A' or 'B' in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force;
Johnson's claim echoes misinformation in a New York Post column by fellow Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel, who cited task force recommendations against regular mammograms for some women to baselessly assert that "under ObamaCare, guidelines will quickly become mandates."