Congress Passes Breast/Cervical Cancer Bill

December 1, 2000

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

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