State Legislative Priorities
Legislative Priority #1: ABCF is urging continued support of The Breast and Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS) program as well as support of Medicaid funding for the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act (MBCC). These two programs need to continue to provide screening and treatment to low-income uninsured women in Texas. We urge maintaining and preserving the current level of funding for MBCC and the current reimbursement to providers in order to protect the viability of this life-saving program.
Legislative Priority #2: ABCF is urging support of the benefits and provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including its implementation. We cannot cure breast cancer unless all women have access to quality care. It is especially important that we now have options for individuals who were denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, that insurance cannot be cancelled because someone has an illness and that patients will have coverage if they participate in a clinical trial.
Legislative Priority #3: ABCF is urging support of trained consumer advocate involvement on peer-review boards and committees of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
Legislation Passed Into Law with the Support of ABCF
ABCF’s concerted advocacy efforts have been instrumental in the passage of the following Texas state legislation:
- House Bill (HB) 39 passed in the 1997 Legislature, providing protection from discrimination in employment or health insurance due to genetic information derived from genetic testing. ABCF spearheaded and worked on this legislation until it passed.
- Senate Bill (SB) 217 passed in the 1997 Legislature, requiring insurance coverage of breast reconstruction after mastectomy, including surgery on the non-affected breast to promote symmetry.
- HB 349 passed in the 1997 Legislature, requiring insurance companies that cover breast cancer treatment to provide inpatient care for a minimum of 48 hours following mastectomy and 24 hours following lymph node dissection.
- SB 532 – the Texas version of the federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act (establishing the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program run by Medicaid) – passed in the 2001 Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Perry, becoming effective September 1, 2001.
- SB 39 passed in the 2009 Legislature, requiring all Texas health insurers to cover routine care costs associated with participation in federally approved clinical trials. This legislation was also spearheaded by ABCF.
- HB 438 passed in the 2011 Legislature, providing coverage for orally administered cancer treatment no less favorably than intravenously administered or injected chemotherapy treatments.