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Today, Congressman Jim Gerlach joined several colleagues, breast cancer advocacy groups, Lifetime Television and singer-songwriter Jewel at a morning press conference to urge quick action on H.R. 1849, the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Reps. Sue Kelly (R-NY) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), would end major obstacles many women face when seeking treatment for breast cancer.
“Breast cancer is an issue that truly hits home for me. As a child, a dear aunt of mine passed away from this dreadful disease and I remember that horrible experience and the effect it had my young cousins at the time very clearly to this day,” said Rep. Gerlach, a co-sponsor of the legislation. “We need to be doing more to make it easier for those seeking treatment from this disease. One piece of legislation will not solve everything, but it is better than doing nothing.”
With 175 cosponsors, the Breast Cancer Patient Protection would end some major obstacles women face when seeking treatment for breast cancer. More than 12 million Americans nationwide have supported the bill through an online petition drive being conducted by Lifetime TV. Jewel came to Capitol Hill on Sept. 20 to deliver those petitions to House and Senate leaders.
The bill will ensure that health care providers cannot limit hospital stays for a mastectomy to less than 2 full days; will ensure health care coverage of a second opinion for any breast cancer diagnosis; and will require coverage for radiation therapy for patients undergoing a lumpectomy.