July 21, 2021
(Washington DC) –Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) presented the Protection of Access to Life-Saving Screening Act (PALS) 2021, a bill to preserve coverage of routine breast cancer screening in women in their 40s.
The bill extends a congressional moratorium, first passed in 2015, on the recommendations of the U.S. Task Force on Preventive Services, which would advise women to begin biannual breast cancer screenings at age 50 instead of annual screenings from the age of 40. PALS law is delaying these recommendations to protect insurance coverage for free annual breast cancer screenings for women 40 and older. The accompanying legislation was presented to the House by Representatives Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and Fred Upton (R-MI).
“Early detection of breast cancer is essential to save lives. This year, it is estimated that approximately 43,600 American women will lose their lives to breast cancer – a shocking statistic that shows why we must continue to make access to life-saving preventive screening as affordable and accessible as possible, ” said Senator Shaheen. “The PALS Act is an important law that would ensure that women as young as 40 can have mammograms without worrying about expensive deductibles or cost sharing. I urge honorable senators on both sides of the aisle to support our common sense bipartisan effort to protect women’s health. “
The full text of the legislation is available here.
The bill is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Radiology, American Women Unite for Breast Cancer Screening, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Breast Care of Washington, Check for a Lump, DenseBreast-Info, FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Men Supporting Women With Cancer, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, National Black Nurses Association, National Consortium of Breast Centers, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, Prevent Cancer Foundation , Servicewomen’s Action Network, Sharsheret, Society of Breast Imaging, Society of Breast Imaging, Susan G. Komen, and the Tigerlily Foundation.
Last year, CBS This Morning’s “Medical Price Roulette” series featured Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Roy Blunt’s (R-MO) legislation examining surprise healthcare costs associated with breast cancer screenings. . Senator Shaheen is used to working across the aisle to increase access to preventative screening. In January 2020, in response to a bipartisan appeal from Senator Shaheen and former Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) – and following the introduction of their bipartisan legislation to address the issue – the Defense Department agreed to d ” expand TRICARE coverage to include 3D mammography, which is the most effective breast cancer screening option.