January 5, 2018
PALS Act moratorium extended through next year
Congress has extended the moratorium established under the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act until January 1, 2019. The moratorium deferred the implementation of the current United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) screening guidelines for breast cancer, which give a “C” grade to annual screening for women of average risk ages 40-49. This means millions of women could lose access to screenings due to coverage lapses that will force them to pay out-of-pocket or skip the exam completely. The extension of the moratorium will ensure access without a copay for at least another year.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® remains firm in its recommendation that all women of average risk should begin annual breast cancer screening at age 40, and we applaud Congress for the extension to protect access to appropriate screening measures for women.
Congress debates funding under looming deadline
As one of its last actions before the holiday recess, Congress extended a continuing resolution to fund the government until January 19, 2018. However, with the House not returning until January 8, there are only eight legislative working days to create a new proposal before a potential shutdown. This will be no small feat, with many high-stakes issues like health care, immigration and national security up for debate. For health care, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has expressed her desire to see the continuation of cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, while Democrats are concerned about the individual mandate, which was eliminated in the Republican tax bill in December. With the deadline looming, Congress will have to work quickly to resolve any concerns and make big decisions before a shutdown. We will keep you informed about what happens on the Hill to affect your health care.
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
You can help protect your friends and family members from cervical cancer, a highly preventable disease that kills more than 13,000 women every year. Most cervical cancer cases are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), but there is a proven, safe and effective vaccine to protect against the virus and ultimately, prevent cancer. That’s why it’s so important to spread the word to your loved ones about the importance of getting themselves or their children vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the HPV vaccine for boys and girls ages 11-12, when the immune system response is strongest. Young women can get a “catch up” vaccine until age 26 and most young men can be vaccinated until age 21. Remember, it is critical that adolescent girls AND boys get vaccinated.
To learn more about the link between HPV and cervical cancer, check out the Think About the Link® campaign.
Awesome Games Done Quick marathon
Video games are proving to be a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer! Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) is a week-long video game marathon that raises funds for the Prevent Cancer Foundation®. Viewers from around the world can watch the 24/7 livestream and see the world’s best gamers speedrun (play as fast as possible) popular games.
Last year, the AGDQ community raised a record-breaking $2.2 million for cancer prevention and early detection. You can support the marathon by watching the livestream and learning about the programs AGDQ is funding.