Shaheen, Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Bill to Improve Access to Lifesaving Breast Cancer Screenings

June 21, 2019

Washington, DC) – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act of 2019 with a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The bipartisan legislation would postpone recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that would limit access to breast cancer screenings for women in their 40s. It would continue the moratorium on the USPSTF recommendations, which Congress has extended several times.

The PALS Act is cosponsored by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

“The statistics are scary: more than 40,000 Americans will die from breast cancer this year. Early detection can save lives, which is why it’s critical that women of all ages have access to affordable, timely breast cancer screenings,” said Senator Shaheen. “This bipartisan effort continues Congress’ commitment to ensure that women as young as 40 can get mammograms without worrying about costly deductibles or cost-sharing. No one should be dissuaded from seeking a preventative cancer screening because the cost is too high – this legislation will help eliminate that barrier to care.”

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American College of Radiology, American Women Unite for Breast Cancer Screening, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Breast Friends, Bright Pink, DenseBreast Info. Inc, Don’t Be a Chump! Check for a Lump!, FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Men Against Breast Cancer, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, National Black Nurse Association, National Consortium of Breast Centers, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Servicewomen’s Action Network, Sharsheret, Society of Breast Imaging, Susan G. Komen, and Tigerlily Foundation support this legislation.

A companion bill was introduced by Representatives Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) in the House of Representatives last month.