Unity in Congress for Colorectal Cancer


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Bipartisan, bicameral agreement boosts colorectal cancer as a top priority as members come together to re-introduce the “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act”

Alexandria, Va. – March 4, 2015 – Colorectal cancer is a national priority and this week Congress recognized the importance of screening and prevention. Members from both parties and chambers united to re-introduce the “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act” (H.R. 1220 & S. 624) – a bill that seeks to remove a Medicare loophole that results in unexpected expenses for seniors receiving colonoscopy screenings.

Although colonoscopy screening is covered for seniors on Medicare at no charge as a routine screening procedure, if a physician detects a polyp and removes it, the procedure becomes ‘diagnostic’ and seniors may face an unexpected bill upon completion of the colonoscopy. This bill seeks to remove this cost barrier that is preventing some from receiving lifesaving prevention.

“Colorectal cancer is preventable, and 60 percent of deaths could be avoided with screening – yet it’s still the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.,” said Anjee Davis, president of Fight Colorectal Cancer. “It’s critical that this loophole in Medicare that’s charging some seniors extra, unexpected costs gets fixed so this barrier preventing them from screening is removed. We’re hopeful that this Congress will be the one to sign this bill into law.”


Previously, the bills (H.R. 1070 and S. 2348) received 158 co-sponsors in the House & 15 in the Senate. In the current 114th Congress, Reps. Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Charles Dent (PA-15), Joe Courtney (CT-2), Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-8) and Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), have come together to re-introduce the bills.

“No senior on a fixed income should have to choose between their health and buying groceries,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “But under the current Medicare cost-sharing structure, many seniors are faced with unreasonably high costs that deter them from receiving cancer screenings.

I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to remove barriers and increase accessibility for Medicare beneficiaries seeking life-saving colorectal cancer screenings and treatment,” added Congressman Payne, Jr. “I applaud the colorectal cancer community for its efforts to increase awareness about this important issue, and I look forward to our continued partnership in the 114th Congress.”

Advocates from Fight Colorectal Cancer will be on the Hill March 16-18 for the organization's 9th Call-on Congress to request member support. For more information, visit our call on congress page. Advocates interested in getting involved with Fight CRC advocacy initiatives are encouraged to register on our advocacy page.

About Fight Colorectal Cancer

Fight Colorectal Cancer is a leading colorectal cancer nonprofit in Washington, D.C. Through patient education, advocacy and involvement in research the group spreads awareness and demands a cure for the second-leading killer in the United States. As the leading advocacy group, the organization serves as a resource for colorectal cancer patients, grassroots advocates, policy makers, medical professionals and health care providers.

One thought on “Unity in Congress for Colorectal Cancer

  1. This is happening not only to seniors but others too. My insurance co. Humana, did the same thing to me. They said if they found a polyp then it would be considered diagnostic and I would have to pay more. It makes no sense, and it would keep a lit of people from getting screened because of the cost.

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