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Here is part of an email I received from the ACS:

The U.S. Senate is about to eliminate guaranteed insurance coverage for mammograms and other vital cancer screenings.

As an advocacy volunteer, your help is needed to stop them. Imagine getting your mammogram or colonoscopy and then being told your insurance company refuses to cover it.

Email your senators right now. It only takes two minutes. Please do it now since the vote could happen at any time.

The bill your senators will vote on is S. 1955. If passed, insurance companies would no longer have to cover mammograms and other life-saving cancer screenings.

Insurance coverage for all of these cancer screenings and more are at risk of being lost:

Mammograms - Colonoscopies - Pap smears - Prostate cancer screenings - Clinical trial

participation - Off-label drug use - And more ... [the more including clinical trials]

I have emailed my senators. Please take 2 minutes to do the same. Here is the link:

http://capwiz.com/acs-national/issues/a ... id=8714491

Below is a copy of the letter I sent. The second paragraph was my personal part and the rest is what the ACS had written.

I am writing you to express my concern about the Small Business Health

Plan ( S. 1955) legislation, and to ask you to oppose any bill that fails

to protect insurance coverage for lifesaving mammograms and other vital

cancer screenings and treatments.

My husband just died of lung cancer because there is no early detection

for it. Now efforts are being made to eliminate coverage of early

detection for those cancers that can be found early and lives saved.

Also, without off-label use of Avastin, he would have died several months

sooner likely before he had another Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day

and our teenage daughter's birthdays. This was precious time.

I am deeply concerned that S. 1955 will undermine important patient

protections and hamper efforts to prevent, detect and treat cancer. Early

detection of cancer is the key to saving lives, especially with the use of

mammograms to detect breast cancer. By allowing insurance plans to be

exempt from covering cancer screenings, access to mammograms, colorectal

cancer screenings and pap smears, along with insurance coverage of

off-label prescription drugs and participation in clinical trials would be

in jeopardy.

For the first time in 70 years, the number of cancer deaths has declined,

due in very large part to these screenings and treatments. Please help

ensure that we stay on the right track by opposing S. 1955 and any bill

that that fails to ensure these crucial protections for cancer patients. I

look forward to hearing your position on the bill and how you are going to

stand up to protect cancer screenings and treatments.



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You might want to double-check this. For some reason, the words used in this announcement, Tina, sound like it could be a hoax and may not really be from ACS even though that's what the email said. For one thing, I don't think there is any kind of medical coverage test "guaranteed" - it all depends on what your insurance co. covers, doesn't it? At least I think that's the way it works.

I checked at the ACS website and their hoax list, their press releases, and didn't see anything about this at all. I also checked Snopes.com and truthorfiction.com, but am at work and don't have time to research this right now.

Anyway, if it's the real thing, I SUPER apologize, but thought before this causes a big uproar, we might want to get it confirmed. It just sounded a bit "off" to me.

Love you!


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It is on the official American Cancer Society website. I don't think it's a hoax unless someone has hijacked their website...but, I don't think that's the case. I get these emails from ACS on a routine basis when new legislation comes up relating to cancer.

I really hope it is a hoax...I couldn't believe it, either. How could they? Just proves that ins. companies are running our country if this passes.

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Thank you for that information. I sent a personalized letter off to my representatives.

With early detection being key to winning this uphill battle of cancer, I am terrified that people won't be able to get their screening exams that find so many of these before the symptoms start.

Both of my cancer diagnoses came with no warning symptoms. They were just found with screening tests. Thank you Tina.


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ill could

limit cancer screenings

Kris Wise

Daily Mail Capitol reporter

Friday April 28, 2006

Find a job today.

A controversial plan developed in part by Sen. Robert Byrd to offer lower-cost health insurance to small businesses has drawn ire from cancer awareness groups and state attorneys general.

Senate Bill 1955, dubbed the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2006, is an expansion of a bill Byrd co-sponsored. It would let private insurers create lower-cost health care plans that would be cheaper but would offer less comprehensive health coverage.

Opponents, including state Attorney General Darrell McGraw and the American Cancer Society, said the bill would allow insurance companies to get around current state mandates requiring insurers to pay for certain types of health care.

Among the services that might not be covered under the new plan: mammograms, other cancer screenings, routine gynecological care, diabetes treatment supplies and preventive pediatric exams.

Byrd is no longer a co-sponsor of the bill, but it is based on a plan he created with Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

Byrd's original bill, Senate Bill 406, has stalled in the Senate as the new measure has taken flight. The Senate could vote on the expanded bill as early as next week.

Byrd's spokesman, Tom Gavin, said the senator still is trying to influence how the final bill turns out, and he would like to see states have more oversight over which services insurers are required to pay.

Byrd has not said whether he will support the insurance plan if no further amendments are added to the bill.

"Sen. Byrd is concerned because the bill doesn't have a number of things that are important to West Virginians, like the breast cancer screenings," Gavin said this morning. "But Congress does have to find a way to open the door to health care to more people. Having 275,000 West Virginians without health care is unacceptable. If this is part of an overall solution, maybe it's something we should be willing to take a look at."

Most states already have passed their own laws barring insurers from selling coverage that doesn't pay for mammograms and other such services.

The National Association of Attorneys General says the proposed Senate bill will pre-empt those laws regulating all insurance plans, and could allow insurers to stop paying for vital services even in large-scale group plans.

The group has sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate asking them to vote against the bill.

The letter is signed by McGraw and attorneys general from 40 other states.

"This bill contains provisions that will erode state oversight of health insurance plans and eliminate consumer protections in the areas of mandated benefits and internal grievance procedures," the letter said. "Under (the bill), insurers of individual, small group and large group policies could ignore such requirements in favor of bare bones plans, subjecting consumers to reduced care and ever increasing out-of-pocket expenses."

The American Cancer Society also is strongly opposing the bill. It has started a nationwide "Red Bra" campaign, asking people to send letters to their representatives in Congress to try to get the measure defeated.

The cancer society's chapters in West Virginia have planned a number of rallies next week, including in Charleston and Morgantown, to speak against the bill.

Gail VanVoorhis, a nursing instructor at West Virginia University's School of Nursing, said the measure would devastate the state's attempts to get more people screened for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

"You know, a mammogram is not the most fun thing you can do," said VanVoorhis, a breast cancer survivor who's been in remission for seven years. "If they knock out that requirement for funding and start making people pay, that's just another excuse for people not to do it."

Also More Info

Ill. Attorney General, 38 Others, Oppose Health Plan in U.S. Senate

April 27, 2006

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sent a letter this week to U.S. Senate members urging them to oppose a bill that would dramatically change the health insurance marketplace by preempting state-mandated benefit coverage, gutting important state consumer protections and permitting insurance carriers to sue states that do not adopt the new federal standards.

Madigan, who led the letter writing effort with Attorneys General Joseph Curran of Maryland and Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota, was joined by an additional 36 Attorneys General in opposing the legislation, Senate Bill 1955 (S. 1955), the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2006 (HIMMA).

Madigan said that while the bill was allegedly designed to help small businesses provide some form of health insurance to their employees, the bill actually would allow all types of insurance plans (individual, small group and large group) to offer bare-bones policies that do not include services that Illinois law currently requires, such as mammograms and other types of cancer screening, supplies necessary for diabetes management, access to specialists, care for newborns and adopted children, mental health treatment and other important healthcare safeguards.

According to Madigan, the bill would also preempt important state protections against unfair claims handling practices, potentially eliminating the right of Illinois HMO beneficiaries to an external, third-party review of a claim denial. Without these important protections, consumers would lose meaningful rights to contest unwarranted denials of insurance coverage and might not obtain benefits to which they are entitled.

The Illinois Attorney General also said in a written statement that the bill would permit insurance carriers to sue states that do not adopt the new federal standards.Not only would this provision open the door to a new breed of costly lawsuits against the states, but it would afford insurers the unprecedented right to bring those claims directly in the federal court of appeals, and to have them decided on an expedited basis.

" This bill represents yet another attempt to expand federal preemption of state oversight and regulation, with disastrous consequences for consumers," Madigan said. "The preemption of state authority would erode consumer access to critical health benefits, eliminate important protections that consumers have come to rely upon and likely impair the ability of states, and consumers, to ensure that health insurance plans meet their obligations. "

Madigan is supporting S. 1955, a proposal sponsored by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) that designs a plan to help small businesses afford health insurance for their employees without eroding state-mandated coverage and protections.

Durbin's bill, the Small Employers Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) would enable small businesses across the nation to band together to obtain lower health care prices by pooling their purchasing power and spreading the risk over a larger number of people. According to Durbin, employers would qualify for an annual tax credit to partially offset contributions of low-income employees. Durbin said the plan is modeled after the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).

S. 1955 is expected to come to the Senate floor as early as next week.

Source: Illinois Attorney General's Office

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