(NaturalNews) Angelina Jolie's announcement of undergoing a double mastectomy (surgically removing both breasts) even though she had no breast cancer is not the innocent, spontaneous, "heroic choice" that has been portrayed in the mainstream media. Natural News has learned it all coincides with a well-timed for-profit corporate P.R. campaign that has been planned for months and just happens to coincide with the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on the viability of the BRCA1 patent.
Salt Lake City-based Myriad Genetics MYGN +0.04% holds the patent on the test that determined the actress had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer, as well as the genes themselves.
Myriad’s stock closed up 3% Tuesday, following the publication of the New York Times op-ed.
While Jolie writes that the cost of the test, which Myriad says is about $4,000, “remains an obstacle for many women,” Jolie wrote, insured American women with a high risk of breast cancer can actually get the test for free, thanks to a new Affordable Care Act guideline.
The health reform law stipulates that insurance policies must cover 100% of the cost of 22 preventive health services for women, including mammograms to check for breast-cancer and cervical-cancer screenings.
But until recently, the law only specified coverage for counseling about genetic testing for cancer, known as BRCA testing, not the test itself.
In late February, the Department of Health and Human Services clarified that the preventive health coverage should be interpreted to include the BRCA test if a doctor recommends it. And while insurance carriers now have to pay more to provide the screening, they are still encouraging anyone with a bigger chance of getting cancer to take the test. While Cigna’s insurance plans have long reimbursed the BRCA test after the patient pays a copay, the carrier recently updated its policies in compliance with the Affordable Care Act to cover the entire test.”Everyone who is at risk should absolutely go get the BRCA test,” says Dr. Julie Kessel, Cigna’s senior medical director overseeing the coverage policy unit.
MarketWatch’s Jen Wieczner notes in a story today that at least one company benefited from the actress’s disclosure that she had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery after discovering she carries a gene would make her highly susceptible to breast cancer.
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