Join us in Breaking Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening

March 21, 2012

On Wednesday, March 28, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy want you to make your voice heard in Congress in support of HR. 4120, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2012. This legislation, introduced by Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania would, if passed, correct a provision in current Medicare coverage policy that subjects older Americans to coinsurance if a polyp is removed during a routine screening.

Currently, screening colonoscopy is fully covered under Medicare, with no co-pay or coinsurance. This makes sense. Colonoscopy is a highly effective screening method that can actually prevent cancer as well as find it in its earliest stages. However, once a polyp is removed during a screening, the procedure becomes diagnostic, subjecting an individual to an unexpected and costly coinsurance charge. This does NOT make sense.

While this bill applies to Medicare health insurance, Medicare coverage is often a standard that private and state health insurance plans follow as a model.

So what can you do? Call your Member of Congress on March 28. The phone number is 866-615-3375 and the call is free of charge.  You’ll be greeted by an operator with instructions on what will happen, and you’ll be asked your name and where you live.  You will then be connected to the office of your Congressional representative. Tell the staff member answering the phone what your name is and where you live, and then ask that he or she COSPONSOR HR 4120, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2012 sponsored by Congressman Charlie Dent, because Medicare beneficiaries should not be subject to unexpected coinsurance payments for colonoscopy screening.  If the staff indicates that the Member has already cosponsored or will plan to, thank them for their support!

Building support through cosponsorship is a critical part of the legislative process, and lending your voice to this effort will help accomplish this. It will only take a minute of your time.  Please remember to join us in breaking barriers on March 28.  And let us know if you participated!

For more information on how to be an advocate and our legislative activities, please visit our Advocacy Action Center.

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