Cortez Masto Leads Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Cancer Screenings
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led bicameral legislation with Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), to introduce the Screening for Communities to Receive Early and Equitable Needed Services (SCREENS) for Cancer Act to reauthorize the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), a lifesaving program that provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services for women who are low-income, uninsured, and underinsured who do not qualify for Medicaid. The NBCCEDP has provided breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to more than six million women, detecting nearly 75,000 breast cancers and almost 4,000 premalignant breast lesions.
“Since it was established thirty years ago, the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program has helped millions of women who otherwise would not have gotten care and detected thousands of cancers so they could be treated as early as possible,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “These preventative and lifesaving programs are vital for Nevadans, and I’ll keep working to ensure they’re reauthorized.”
The SCREENS for Cancer Act, led by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Susan Collins (R- Maine), Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) would reauthorize the NBCCEDP through 2027. The program provides public education, outreach, patient navigation, and care coordination to increase breast and cervical cancer screening rates and reach underserved populations. Without access to early detection programs, many people who are uninsured are forced to delay or forgo screenings, which could lead to late-stage breast cancer diagnoses. The SCREENS for Cancer Act would also increase flexibility to NBCCEDP grantees, allowing for a greater emphasis on implementing innovative evidence-based interventions and aggressive outreach to underserved communities through media, peer educators, and patient navigators. At current funding levels, NBCCEDP serves only 15 percent of the estimated number of eligible women for breast cancer services. The SCREENS for Cancer Act provides additional funding to better support the program and ensure that more women are able to access services.
Senator Cortez Masto has been a strong advocate for women’s health care. She has been a staunch supporter of the Affordable Care Act, which established important benefits and protections for women’s health. Most recently, she joined Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) in introducing the Affordability is Access Act, which would ensure women across the country have access to over-the-counter birth control, in an effort to protect women’s agency over planning their reproductive lives. She also urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect the data privacy of women seeking reproductive healthcare. She has strongly supported the Women’s Health Protection Act to defend the right to choose across the country. During the previous administration, she repeatedly pushed back on efforts to roll back health care protections, including protections for women’s preventative care.
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