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Congress Passes Breast/Cervical Cancer Bill

Congress Passes Breast/Cervical Cancer Bill

Congress finally passed a bill (H.R. 4386/S. 662) that allows states to provide medical treatment for women with breast and cervical cancer. At their option (there is no requirement), states can treat women who have tested positive in a screening program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Frequently, these screening programs are located at community health clinics in poor urban areas and on Native American reservations, clinics funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Nearly 2 million women have been screened since 1990. The budget in fiscal year 2000 for this National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program was $167 million. In the past, many of the women diagnosed with cancer had nowhere to turn for medical treatment because they were uninsured. The Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act opens up a treatment avenue for some of them. States will be able to provide treatment through Medicaid, and will get an enhanced federal matching grant for establishing that treatment program.

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