Acne Prevention vs Cancer Prevention: Did the IRS Get it Wrong?

This story from the New York Times on what health promotion items get tax breaks is sure to spark some heated comments, and it should (story).

The IRS has ruled that Americans can get tax breaks on denture adhesive and acne cream, but not on breast pumps and other nursing supplies because “breast-feeding does not have enough health benefits.”

As we have noted here before, breast feeding is associated with lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers. And we didn’t even get into the numerous benefits for the child that the Times mentions, which might include a lower risk of breast cancer in female children.

Despite calls for health care reform to focus on prevention, there is clearly work to be done in improving the quality of the evidence base supporting it. What do you think? Should breast pumps be covered?

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