WASHINGTONPresident Clinton has signed the Breast and Cervical
Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000 into law. The Act
provides $990 million over 10 years to expand the treatment options
for uninsured, low-income women diagnosed with breast or cervical
cancer in a nationwide program run by the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC).
The new law ends a situation that many physicians and patient
advocates found incomprehensible. Prior to the new law, there was no
federal program to treat women diagnosed through CDCs
10-year-old National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection
Program. The Act creates a new optional Medicaid eligibility category
to cover such treatment. The measure sets a federal matching formula
with a ceiling of 85% and a floor of 65%. The formula varies from
state to state.