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Power. Progress. Prevention. August 31, 2018

August 31, 2018

Power. Progress. Prevention. -- An Advocacy Newsletter

August 31, 2018

USPSTF releases final recommendation for cervical cancer screening

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) last Tuesday released its final recommendations for cervical cancer screening, reversing its position on co-testing from the draft recommendations released last year. Co-testing, which combines both a Pap smear and HPV test, identifies more cases of cervical cancer and pre-cancer than either test alone. The new recommendations will safeguard insurance coverage of co-testing for millions of women.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® applauds the USPSTF for maintaining co-testing for women in its recommendations. To learn more about the guidelines, read the statement from the Foundation and other prominent women’s health groups.

GOP senators propose pre-existing conditions bill

A bill recently introduced by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and nine other Republican senators aims to prevent insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. With the recent lawsuit filed by several states challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the sponsors of the bill hope to protect this popular protection of the ACA.

While the bill will require insurers to provide coverage for anyone, they will still have the authority to control services through their exclusions process. In other words, while someone may be guaranteed an insurance policy, that does not mean coverage for specific conditions or services will be covered under that policy. Ultimately, this could lead to cancer patients and survivors not receiving the care they need.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® supports legislation to increase accessibility to coverage for all; however, access to care should not have conditions.

To learn more about the bill, review it here.

Democratic senators tackle short-term health insurance plans

In a move of their own to protect pre-existing conditions, Democratic senators, led by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), are seeking to reverse the administration’s policy on short-term, limited-duration health plans. Short-term plans are not required to cover pre-existing conditions or essential health benefits, which include screenings and early detection services, among other things.

Sen. Baldwin hopes to leverage the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress the authority to reverse federal regulations within a certain timeframe. If she can gain enough support (which would require at least one Republican senator), she can pass a resolution to reverse the rule on short-term plans. However, this approach would require a vote in the House and approval from the president, which is highly unlikely.

Health care remains a huge issue for both parties in the upcoming mid-term elections, and the debate will not stop here. To learn more about Sen. Baldwin’s plan, read the resolution. She also issued a press release.

Senate passes spending package

The Senate last week passed an $857 billion spending package for defense, labor, health and human services and education programs. Included in the package was:

  • $2 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • $190 million funding boost for the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Preserved funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cancer programs
  • $2 million to support cancer registries to track pediatric cancer cases as outlined in the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access & Research (STAR) Act
  • $875,000 increase for skin cancer programs
  • Preserved funding levels for other programs at the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC)

The House passed its own package before leaving for summer recess. When members return next week, they will review and vote on the bills in both chambers. If the bills pass, they will head to a conference committee comprised of representatives and senators, where they will hammer out the differences and then send a final version to the president.

This is a developing story, and we will provide updates as they become available.

Remembering John McCain

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® remembers Senator John McCain after his passing on August 25. Sen. McCain was a Vietnam War veteran and former presidential nominee who helped shape the American political landscape for more than 30 years, serving as an example of compromise, cooperation and patriotism.

The late senator was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, also called a glioblastoma, in 2017, receiving care for more than a year before deciding to stop treatment and passing away from the disease last weekend. As with most things in his life, Sen. McCain faced his journey with immense courage, still making the time serve and always putting his country first.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® sends its deepest condolences to Sen. McCain’s family, friends and colleagues. We are grateful for his years of dedication and service—he will be greatly missed.

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