Breast and cervical cancer bill passes House

Posted: Monday, April 30, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- Some women who lack health insurance could receive treatment for breast or cervical cancer under a bill that passed the House on Sunday.

House Bill 65 would take advantage of a change in federal law that lets states provide treatment through Medicaid for women whose breast or cervical cancer is detected through a federally funded screening program for low-income women.

Women whose income is less than 250 percent of the poverty level would be able to receive treatment as long as their cancer was detected through the federal screening program, and they don't have insurance.

That means a single woman earning $26,075 would qualify without having to spend down her assets.

If the bill passes, the state estimates it would treat about 42 women a year using a $413,000 federal grant, which requires a state match of $175,000.

The measure passed the House 35-0.

An identical bill is in the Senate Health Education and Social Services Committee. The committee's chairwoman, Sen. Lyda Green, R-Matanuska-Susitna Borough, said last week she will allow the bill to move from the committee despite her reservations about expanding the Medicaid program.

Gov. Tony Knowles has said passage of the measure is one of his priorities for this legislative session.

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