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Breast Cancer Survivors Praise House Committee Action as Vital to Health Care Reform.

Change Would Enable Women on Medicare to Fill Prescription - Before Going to the Hospital, Not After - for Post-Surgical Camisole to Aid Recovery

Current Law Only Reimburses Medicare Patients after Surgery - But Only During a 48-Hour Window - Impacting Access and Recuperation

Coalition Asks Supporters to Contact Their U.S. Representative to Support the Proposal

WASHINGTON -- The Breast Cancer Survivor Coalition for Advancement, Reform and Equity (Because we Care) today praised a House of Representatives committee for adopting an amendment to the "America's Affordable Health Choices Act" (H.R. 3200) that would remove barriers to care for breast cancer survivors.

"The committee's amendment would help many estimated one in 12 women1 that will develop breast cancer in their lives to recuperate more fully, more rapidly and more easily," said Because we Care member Chris Webb, Manager of Government Affairs and Compliance for Amoena USA Corporation. "Including this provision in the final health reform bill is a significant step forward in improving the country's health care system on behalf of women facing breast cancer surgery."

Under current law, Medicare will reimburse women who have had breast cancer surgery for a post-surgical camisole, which aids recuperation, only after surgery has been performed, and only during a 48-hour window. As these garments should be applied before survivors leave the hospital, many women on Medicare cannot obtain reimbursement for the post-surgical camisole before surgery, effectively depriving them of the benefits that post-surgical camisoles offer for recuperation. If the House committee amendment sponsored by U.S. Representatives Betty Sutton (D-OH), Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-GA) and Gene Green (D-TX) is included in the legislation that the President signs into law, women that undergo breast cancer surgery, and who are Medicare patients, will be able to fill a prescription for a post-surgical camisole to aid her recovery before going to the hospital, and that prescription will be reimbursed by Medicare.

The Because we Care coalition urges breast cancer survivors, health care providers, members of the business community and other advocates to contact their U.S. Representative and urge him/her to ensure that the Sutton-Gingrey-Green amendment is included in the health reform legislation to be considered by the full House of Representatives in the near future. To assist individuals with this important advocacy effort, sample e-mails and phone scripts are posted on www.becausewecarecoalition.com. Contact information for individual United States Representatives is available at http://www.house.gov/.

About Because we Care

The Breast Cancer Survivor Coalition for Advancement, Reform and Equity (Because we Care) is a national organization on a mission to enhance breast cancer survivors' access to high-quality prosthetics and related post-surgical items. To accomplish the mission Because we Care is educating public policymakers on problems and solutions in the areas of insurance coverage of, and access to, breast prosthetic health care. Because we Care members include a patient advocates, physicians, business groups, non-profit organizations and others across the United States. Because we Care is on the Web at www.becausewecarecoalition.org.

1 Source: American Cancer Society

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Date:Sep 14, 2009
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