Power. Progress. Prevention. May 24, 2019

Published on May 24, 2019

Updated on April 17, 2023

Power. Progress. Prevention. -- An Advocacy Newsletter | Prevent Cancer Foundation

May 24, 2019

Urge your representative to protect women’s access to mammograms

[megaphones]Last Wednesday, Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) reintroduced the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act in the House of Representatives. The PALS Act, which was last passed in 2018, would extend the moratorium on current breast cancer screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), protecting access to mammograms for women 40 and older until 2025.

Currently, the USPSTF screening guidelines only recommend annual breast cancer screening for women age 50 and older, threatening access to critical screening for women younger than 50. The decision on when to start breast cancer screening should be between a woman and her doctor, but many women are at risk of losing insurance coverage for their mammograms—which may force them to pay out of pocket or avoid screening altogether.

While not a long-term solution, reauthorization of the PALS Act will ensure women have access to the care that they need in the short-term, without the burden of high cost—saving lives in the process. Read this press release to learn more.

Urge your representative to vote in support of this important legislation—take action today.

House passes new package of bills on drug pricing, Affordable Care Act

The House passed a new package of bills last Thursday that included new legislation on drug pricing and rolls back some of the recent affronts to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bipartisan drug pricing bills would restrict anti-competitive behaviors among pharmaceutical companies and remove barriers to the introduction of generic drugs on the market to help lower drug prices for Americans.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates this will save the government $4 billion over a decade, offsetting costs for the ACA-related bills that were passed. These ACA-related bills would ban short-term insurance plans and restore marketing and outreach funding for promoting enrollment.

While these measures passed in the House, they still need to go to the Senate before anything is enacted. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they happen.

Judge orders quicker FDA review of e-cigarettes currently on the market

Last Wednesday, a federal judge ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to speed up their review of the thousands of e-cigarettes currently on the U.S. market. Siding with public health groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Maryland district judge ruled that the FDA’s delay in reviewing e-cigarette products was neglect of their duty.

The FDA was granted authority to regulate e-cigarettes in 2016, but is delaying enforcement until 2022. Before leaving office in March, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb moved up the deadline to 2021—but now the agency will have to expedite their timeline even further. They have two weeks to provide the court with a plan of action.

We support the court’s decision to hold the FDA accountable for reviewing e-cigarettes. Much is still unknown about the long-term health effects of these products and proper regulation must be enforced to ensure Americans are protected. Learn more about the ruling here.

Congress tackling surprise medical bills through new legislation

A series of new measures aimed at combatting surprise medical bills is making its way into the House and Senate over the coming weeks.

The House bill was introduced by Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Greg Walden (R-OR), the top members on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This bill would prevent surprise medical charges for emergency and non-emergency care through a multi-pronged approach that includes measures for insurers to treat out-of-network emergency care as in-network, a ban on balance billing, and a minimum payment requirement for insurers to out-of-network providers. Read this article to learn more about the House bill.

The Senate bill, called the STOP Surprise Bills Act, was introduced by Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA). It would also secure in-network pricing for emergency services and care when receiving treatment from an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility. Read this article to learn more about the Senate bill.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® applauds Congress’ efforts to prevent surprise medical bills that can be detrimental to the physical and financial health of Americans. We will continue to share updates as they happen.

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