The Senate, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee approved, 16-5, a bill (S. 710) that would require group health plans to cover colorectal cancer screening at regular intervals for beneficiaries age 50 and over and any beneficiaries who are at high risk. The committee began debate on the measure on June 26 (see The Source, 6/28/02).
Prior to approving the bill, the committee defeated two amendments. Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) offered a substitute amendment that would have directed the General Accounting Office and the Institute of Medicine to study current coverage of colorectal screenings, including what is being covered and who is being denied coverage. It was defeated, 6-15.
The second amendment, offered by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), would have established a commission to study and evaluate the cost of health mandates. It was defeated, 10-11.