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UC offers in-depth analysis of proposed health care legislation

Not even the star of “The Nanny” can escape the watchful eye of the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP).

“Nanny” actress Fran Drescher, a uterine cancer survivor, sponsored a bill two years ago that would have required health insurers to cover tests for gynecological cancers. Since AB 1774 mandated a health benefit for Californians, the state was required to study its medical, financial and public health impacts. Rather than rely on a partisan report, lawmakers turned to CHBRP, a unique University of California-run service that provides fast, in-depth, objective analyses of proposed health benefit laws.

Within weeks, CHBRP concluded that AB 1774 could lead to genetic testing of many women at more than $2,300 apiece, potentially driving its total cost to $2.7 billion. The bill failed

Administered by the UC Office of the President, CHBRP provides the state Legislature with independent analysis of the medical, financial and public health impacts of bills that mandate or repeal health insurance benefits, ranging from services to help smokers quit to health care reform. With more people becoming eligible for health insurance under the new federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, CHBRP’s studies of how benefit laws will impact Californians are increasingly essential.

“This is one of the best kept secrets in the nation,” said task force member Dr. Sheldon Greenfield, a UC Irvine professor of medicine. “No one campus could provide the levels of expertise. It represents the richness of the university system that no single campus could mimic.”

Read more about the program here.


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