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Susan G. Komen® Advocates Urge Congress to Improve Access to Breast Health Care and Patient Outcomes

Passing Pending Legislation Is Crucial In The Fight Against Breast Cancer 

WASHINGTON, DC – Hundreds of advocates are asking members of Congress today to pass pivotal legislation aimed at facilitating affordable access to crucial breast imaging and life-saving treatments for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, is focused on removing barriers to care during its annual Advocacy Summit.  

“We have high-quality health care in the United States and the tools to detect breast cancers early but too many people cannot access or afford the services or treatment they need, impeding our ability to save all lives from breast cancer,” said Molly Guthrie, vice president of public policy and advocacy at Susan G. Komen. “Congress has introduced legislation that would resolve some access and affordability barriers, and now is the time for passage.”  

Komen and its advocates are asking Congress to prioritize and move the following legislation:

H.R.3851/S.2464 – The Access to Breast Cancer Diagnosis Act eliminates patient costs for necessary diagnostic and supplemental breast imaging. Access to no-cost screening mammography is available to millions today but if the results of that screening mammogram require a follow-up diagnostic exam or an individual requires supplemental breast imaging due to being at high-risk for breast cancer, they often face hundreds to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs.  

H.R.3916/S.1840 – The SCREENS for Cancer Act reauthorizes the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program for an additional five years and modernizes the program’s ability to meet the unique needs of communities today. It allows grantees flexibility to implement innovative evidence-based interventions and aggressive outreach to under-resourced communities.

H.R.2630/S.652 – The Safe Step Act requires health plans to offer an expedient and medically reasonable exception process for step therapy protocols to help ensure patients are able to access treatments safely, efficiently and in a timely manner. Step therapy, also referred to as “fail first,” occurs when a patient is required by the patient’s insurance to try and “fail” an insurer’s preferred treatment prior to receiving coverage for the drug originally prescribed by their provider.

“These policies cannot afford to languish inaction – that is the resounding message advocates are spreading across Capitol Hill,” Guthrie added. “We appreciate the bipartisan and bicameral leadership on these bills and efforts by lawmakers to ensure everyone in this country has access to high-quality, affordable health care.”