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PENNSYLVANIA – The Pennsylvania Senate today passed Senate Bill 8, a comprehensive breast cancer screening bill, in a unanimous vote. The bill, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39), along with Senator Devlin Robinson (R-37) and Senator Tracy Pennycuick (R-24), removes all costs associated with BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling as well as supplemental screening such as breast MRI and ultrasound for women at high-risk. High-risk conditions covered by the bill include:
“Today’s Senate vote is a huge, huge victory. Screenings like breast MRI are proven to be twice as effective than even 3D mammograms in women at high risk. Senate Bill 8 allows those women to receive the best screenings and testing available at no cost, “said PA Breast Cancer Coalition President Pat Halpin-Murphy. “We know Senate Bill 8 will save lives. Thank you, Senators Ward, Robinson and Pennycuick for introducing this urgently needed legislation and to all our senators for recognizing its impact. Now, on to the House of Representatives! Take action. Find it early. Save lives.”
The PA Breast Cancer Coalition supported previous legislation, Act 52 of 2020, which, for the first time, required insurers to cover breast MRIs and ultrasounds for women with high-risk factors. Senate Bill 8 is step two, eliminating costs including co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurance for those screenings as well as BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling.
“The information learned through genetic testing is life-changing. I introduced this legislation to ensure that all Pennsylvanians know their risk of hereditary cancers and have the ability to detect those cancers at their earliest, most-treatable stages,” said PA Sen. Kim Ward, prime sponsor, Senate Bill 8. “I know first-hand the importance of genetic testing and supplemental screenings, and I am proud to partner with Senators Robinson and Pennycuick on this bill that will benefit thousands in our state and future generations to come.”
Senate Bill 8 now goes to the PA House Insurance Committee for consideration. If reported out of committee, the legislation will go before the full PA House of Representatives for a vote.
About the PA Breast Cancer Coalition
The PA Breast Cancer Coalition, a 501(c)3 organization, represents, supports and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants. The PBCC is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure now…so our daughters don’t have to. For more information, please call 800-377-8828 or visit www.PABreastCancer.org.
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