October 1, 2010
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid today made the following statement in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“Whether it has touched the lives of family members or friends, breast cancer has affected us all in some way. That is why I have worked to provide doctors, scientists, cancer advocates and survivors with the tools they need to fight this devastating disease. I have also supported funding for prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control, like the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, known as Women’s Health Connection in Nevada, as well as crucial research programs at the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, a program that seeks to eradicate breast cancer through innovative, high-impact research. I am the proud author of the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act (P.L. 110-354), a law that establishes a national strategy to study the potential links between the environment and breast cancer.
“Our best hope in the fight against breast cancer still rests with early detection of the disease. Unfortunately, the American Cancer Society estimates almost half of Nevada women over age 40 did not receive a mammogram or clinical breast exam in their most recent doctor’s visit. To aid in this effort, the new health reform law lowers the cost of testing, increases access to preventive measures, and will prevent insurance company discrimination against people like breast cancer survivors who need the most care. The Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young Act, known as the EARLY Act, was also included in the Affordable Care Act to improve education and awareness of breast cancer among young women, particularly those in heightened risk groups. Under the Affordable Care Act, all new plans are required to provide coverage of preventive health care services like mammograms without imposing deductibles or cost-sharing.
“In the past year we have fundamentally changed the way women who risk being diagnosed with breast cancer are covered by their health insurance and evaluated by their doctors. I will continue working to build on this effort to provide funding for research and programs that make a difference in detecting and treating breast cancer. In a country as great as ours, no one should be forced to struggle without medical coverage because of an illness that could have been detected and treated.”