Capito, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Improve Access to Lifesaving Breast Cancer Screenings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) joined Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce S. 1936, the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act of 2019. The bipartisan legislation would postpone recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that would limit access to breast cancer screening for women in their 40s and continue the moratorium on the USPSTF recommendations, which Congress has extended several times. 

“Until we have a cure for breast cancer, it’s essential that all women who choose to be screened have access to these services,” Senator Capito said. “I’m proud to sponsor this bill with my colleagues and to continue raising awareness and saving lives.” 

“Breast cancer is far too common a disease. One woman out of eight will develop some form of breast cancer during her life, so most of us know firsthand how devastating it can be for our families and friends. By making these screenings available during an age in which this disease can be most aggressive, it is possible to save the lives of so many sisters, daughters, mothers and even grandmothers,” Senator Blackburn said. 

“We know that early detection of breast cancer is key to survival and that access to affordable screenings plays a major role in whether women receive mammography services. Our bill would ensure women continue to be covered for breast cancer screenings at no cost,” Senator Feinstein said. 

The PALS Act is also cosponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). 

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American College of Radiology, American Women Unite for Breast Cancer Screening, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Breast Friends, Bright Pink, DenseBreast Info. Inc, Don’t Be a Chump! Check for a Lump!, FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Men Against Breast Cancer, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, National Black Nurse Association, National Consortium of Breast Centers, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Servicewomen’s Action Network, Sharsheret, Society of Breast Imaging, Susan G. Komen, and Tigerlily Foundation support this legislation. 

A companion bill was introduced by Representatives Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) in the House of Representatives on May 15.


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