Washington Outlook

House Passes Breast and Cervical Cancer Coverage Bill

May 15, 2000

The House of Representatives, on May 9, passed by a vote of 421-1, H.R 4386 a bill that would give states the option of providing Medicaid coverage to low-income women who are diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's early detention program. Under the legislation, Federal Medicaid funds would be available beginning in fiscal year 2001. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the provision would increase federal Medicaid spending by $280 million over the 2000-2004 period.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Sue Myrick (N.C.) stipulates should the states agree to provide these services the federal government would pay 75 percent of the treatment expenses while the states would pay the other 25 percent. This bill represents the natural next step for the CDC National Breast and Cervical Cancer screening program which provided funding to test women for breast and cervical cancer but did not provide funding for those who were given a cancer diagnosis.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the U.S. and the leading cause of cancer death for women worldwide.

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