More Money for Breast/Cervical Screening

March 1, 2002

Despite a tight proposed domestic budget for fiscal 2003, President Bush wants to increase spending on the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Despite a tight proposed domesticbudget for fiscal 2003, President Bush wants to increase spending on theNational Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program administered by theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The president proposed a $9million increase in funding for the year that begins October 1, 2002. Theprogram provides screening services, including clinical breast examinations,mammograms, pelvic examinations, and Pap tests, to underserved women. It alsofunds postscreening diagnostic services, such as surgical consultation andbiopsy, to ensure that women with abnormal results receive timely and adequatereferrals. 

The increase, if Congress agrees, will bring program funding to $203million. The increased funding would allow an additional 29,000 diagnostic teststo be performed in addition to increasing education and outreach programs forwomen and health-care providers, improving quality assurance measures forscreening, and improving access to screening and follow-up services.

In most states, the Medicaid program will cover cancer treatment for womenwithout health insurance who are diagnosed with cancer through the CDC screeningprogram. To date, Health and Human Services (HHS) has approved requests from 34states to expand Medicaid to cover these women since Congress authorized suchcoverage in October 2000. 

HHS will move quickly to approve similar requests fromother states. In addition, President Bush signed legislation in January thatallows states to expand Medicaid to cover Native-American women diagnosedthrough the CDC program. Since its creation, the program has provided more than3 million screening examinations and diagnosed more than 8,600 breast cancers,39,400 precancerous cervical lesions, and 660 cervical cancers.