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A Texas-Size Health Insurance Mandate For Heart Tests (NPR)

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The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) is out with a story about a Texas law, signed in 2009 by Republican presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry, that requires health insurers to reimburse patients up to $200 for CT scans and ultrasound tests screening for heart problems.

The trouble is, cardiologists say there’s little to no data supporting the effectiveness of this type of screening in reducing illnesses or deaths from coronary disease. The tests do, however, increase patients’ cancer risks and usually lead to additional testing, they say.

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CPI says the law is at odds with Perry’s stated opposition to government intrusion. The center also speculates that Perry may have passed the law to win support from Pfizer, maker of cholesterol drug Lipitor; a Perry spokesperson declined comment when the center asked. 

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