Support for H.R. 1570

Published 7:12 pm Friday, March 29, 2019

To the editor:

Our lawmakers should be doing everything they can to help Mississippians fight cancer. That’s why I’m urging Rep. Bennie Thompson to cosponsor the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, H.R. 1570.

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men and women combined in America. In 2019, it is estimated to take the lives of 650 Mississippians. But it doesn’t have to be this way; colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer, and many of these deaths could be prevented by ensuring access to regular colorectal cancer screening.

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These preventive screenings are covered with no cost sharing for patients under private health insurance. But, due to a current loophole in federal law, older Americans on Medicare may owe up to $365 out-of-pocket if a precancerous polyp is discovered and removed during a routine screening colonoscopy—a reality that creates a significant barrier to individuals accessing this lifesaving screening. We should not let potential expenses deter Mississippi seniors from receiving the cancer screenings they need.

Our representatives in Congress have the opportunity to pass bipartisan legislation that will close this loophole and help ensure that seniors can get lifesaving screenings without worrying about incurring big bills later.

Please join me in calling on Rep. Bennie Thompson to help advance this important effort to protect our seniors and reduce the cancer burden in Mississippi.

Pearl W. Carter

ACSCAN Volunteer