Advocacy in Action.
From The Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 6, 2013

The Iowa Breast Cancer Action Foundation (IBCAF) would like to take this opportunity to thank our local legislators and remind our community that work can get done. In a ...time of daily onslaught of the inabilities of our politicians, we have a great example in Linn County.

During this time, one year ago, the IBCAF invited you to join in a discussion on two main points of concern for Iowans diagnosed with breast cancer.

During the last legislative session, because of the work of the Linn County delegation, the Iowa Legislature recognized that the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act of Medicaid excluded men. This meant that men who are in the same income and age bracket seeking care had to pay out of their own pockets. Breast cancer does occur in men.

The Department of Human Services and the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise has requested from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services an amendment to provide this service. We’re anxiously waiting to hear from CMS the conclusion of this request. This ends the discrimination against men for breast cancer care.

The Iowa Legislature also removed the requirement, under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act of Medicaid, that those eligible must be screened through the Iowa Care For Yourself (not the same as Iowa Care) program or Susan J. Komen grant funding and be uninsured and found in need of treatment for breast or cervical cancer to qualify for the treatment act.

The individual may have been on the hook to pay for all of his or her own cancer treatment out of pocket. This requirement no longer exists.

I am excited to come back to you a year later and report that with the leadership of our Linn County legislators and our governor’s signature, this is in the process of being put on the list of “done.” It may seem like a small step but just imagine the people who must pay out of pocket for services who now have coverage. The care of our family, friends and neighbors who face breast cancer now has our support.

Be proud, Linn County, of our bipartisan legislative leadership.

Julie Zimmerman is an Iowa Breast Cancer Action Foundation Immediate Past President. Comments: j.zimmermanrn@gmail.com
- See more at: http://thegazette.com/2013/11/06/legislators-work-to-help-those-with-cancer/#sthash.uFSEyV8F.dpuf
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