July 14th, 2010
06:20 PM ET
12 years ago

Michelle Obama unveils preventative care guidelines

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/15/art.mobama.bidenj.jpg caption="Michelle Obama and Jill Biden attended at even Wednesday focused on preventative care guidelines."]Washington (CNN) - Cost savings could be coming this fall to a doctor's office near you. First lady Michelle Obama announced Wednesday a plan for free preventative health care services, a part of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect in September.

One of the services provided under the new guidelines, obesity screenings, directly impacts the first lady's signature issue, the Let's Move campaign to prevent childhood obesity. She said her interest in the subject started years ago when she as a mother was "having a regular, normal life."

"I wasn't cooking enough. We were eating out a little bit too much, having our way with snacks and desserts - it was shameless," Obama said.

She thanks her children's pediatrician for recommending a body mass index screening at an annual well-child visit.

"I never would have thought to ask for a screening myself. You know, I was like any mother, my kids were perfect. They still are," she said. "And that's how most parents think. It's hard to recognize the problem early enough.

The first lady was joined by Dr. Jill Biden, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other health care professionals at George Washington University Hospital.

The new guidelines do come with a hitch - they will apply only to insurance plans created after September 23 of this year. People who stay on their existing plan won't benefit from the change.

Under the provisions, those newly created insurance plans will no longer charge copayments or other fees for preventative services such as screenings for diabetes, breast and colon cancer, tests for cholesterol and blood pressure, tobacco cessation and tetanus shots. For children the change will apply to regular pediatrician visits, vision and hearing screening, developmental assessments and immunizations in addition to screening for obesity.

Biden, wife of the vice president, said that after a number of friends were diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided she would use her experience as an educator to teach more people about breast cancer prevention.

Maggie Roberts of California, who had been invited to the event to introduce the first lady, shared a story about a routine well-child visit that saved her son, John, when he was 1 year old. His pediatrician found a mass inside his stomach that turned out to be a tumor, a Stage 3 neuroblastoma. John, now 12 years old and sitting in the front row at Wednesday's gathering, is in remission.

"We are so lucky to have come out on the positive side of this experience," she said. "But to see those children there who suffer because they did not have preventative care, and the long-term effects on not only the children but their families, is devastating."

Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "One analyst has found that a quarter of state legislatures are in play this November, with the vast majority of the bodies at risk controlled by Democrats."

    A. That's because, just like with the Congress, when the vast majority of the state legislatures are controlled by Democrats, it is simply a statistically greater likelihood that if one is "in play," it will be one controlled by Democrats.

    B. This highlights why the GOP, conservatives and Teatards want to abolish everyone's right to vote for their US Senators by abolishing the 17th Amendment and having US Senators be appointed by the state's legislature: all it takes is winning the state's legislature once, doing some clever redistricting to keep it that way and poof...you get to pack the US Senate.

    July 14, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. CBR

    This story deserves to have front page status. Preventative care is so important. There are so many diseases and conditions that could be caught early on. There are shots for shingles, a disease that strikes many citizens over 60 years of age. Did you know there was a shot?

    Every path that can be taken to prevent disease in children and young adults should be taken. It is just so important.

    July 14, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. D.

    I like the way these two women represent together.

    July 14, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. Victim of GOP Taliban

    That's why U.S. healthcare costs are skyrocketing. America has become a fast-food obese nation and the system is based on profiting on sick people instead of prevention. And the blame isn't only the insurance companies. Tons of doctors and especially dentists run their practices to rip-off both insurance providers and patients. Dentists are crooks in particular.

    July 14, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. Steve- Illinois

    And ya still think your health insurance is going to be cheaper?

    July 14, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. nancy

    I laud your efforts toward a healthier population of all ages. Have you ever considered talking about health promotion ideas and dropping the word preventative. For me I would work harder to promote my health than work on preventative health. Thank you for listening.

    July 14, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. ib

    food police from the White house another way for Obama to take controll of our life.

    July 14, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. louis perez

    Good for her, I admire the first lady for her grace and dignity and how she is able to talk to people and have the respect she deserves.

    July 14, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I am so proud of our beautiful First Lady. She is such a real, hands-on person. I thank God for President Obama and his wonderful family every day. I pray that they will be kept safe from these hate-filled people who do nothing but spread lies 24/7 and try to undermine everything he is trying to do for this country.

    July 14, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. Kevin in Ohio

    A perfect example of this government abridging individual freedoms.

    July 14, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. Gregory johnson

    My preventive care plan is not going to the doctor to prescribe a pill that might make me sick, and staying away from my family.

    July 14, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. Hugo

    First lady Michelle Obama announced Wednesday a plan for free preventative health care services, a part of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect in September.

    Here is Michelle's advice in a nut shell. Let my husband and his Liberal goon squad force the American taxpayers to pay the lions share for you...

    July 14, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. campaign to prevent childhood obesity

    a serious issue

    not a sexy issue, not a BP or Iran issue

    but our nation needs to tackle this one head on

    July 14, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. Nobamacare

    I am tired of hearing about Michelle Obama talk about health as if she were an expert. She went to school and studied LAW not health and wellness. I wish she would shut up about it.

    July 14, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. Tom

    That may have helped her children to get good advice, but not following it herself is a bit 2-faced about it. Sounds more like the do as I say not as I do.

    July 14, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |