Good news! Governor Pataki signed the Colon-Prostate Treatment Act into law, making New York the first state in the country to have such coverage for colon cancer treatment. Thank you to all the advocates who took action and made a difference!
Attention New Yorkers! On July 14th a bill to provide Medicaid treatment coverage for people diagnosed with colon cancer through the Healthy Women and Healthy Living Partnerships (NY State Dept. of Health Cancer Services screening programs) was sent to the Governor Pataki for his approval – or veto. A6763a/S4691a is a bill which will guarantee treatment costs are covered for uninsured people diagnosed with colon cancer by local state-funded screening programs. Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in New York, and uninsured people are much more likely to die of this disease than people with health insurance.
Because this legislation adds a new group of people eligible for Medicaid, the American Cancer Society anticipates the Governor may be reluctant to approve the bill. (read ACS’s memo in support)
C3 has just sent the following email to our New York constituency:
Imagine that you have no medical insurance.
You find out that there is a no-cost screening program for colorectal cancer. But – if you are diagnosed with cancer, you know that you cannot pay for treatment without bankrupting yourself and your family.
Would you be screened? Would you be screened even if you knew that screening can find colorectal polyps before they become cancer and actually prevent colorectal cancer? Or would lack of insurance to pay for treatment be too high a barrier?
The NY State Legislature, both Assembly and Senate, has passed a bill that would qualify uninsured people for Medicaid coverage for colorectal cancer if it is diagnosed as a result of New York State Health Department screening programs. Breast and cervical cancer found during screening are already covered ? this bill will be fair in adding the same benefit for colorectal cancer.
The bill has just gone to Governor Pataki for his signature. He has 2 weeks (10 business days) to sign it. There is some pressure for him not to sign the bill since it may increase Medicaid costs. He needs to hear from people who know how critical colorectal screening and medical treatment are. Your action today is urgent.
Please contact Governor Pataki and urge him to sign the bill — S4691/A6763. You can do this easily through this action alert. Just sign in and send. We urge you to personalize our sample letter and follow up with a phone call. Tell Governor Pataki how colon cancer has personally affected you or someone you care about.
If you vote in New York, please visit our action alert page (or forward that URL to someone who does live/vote in New York) to send a message to Governor Pataki urging him not to veto this life-saving legislation.