Breast Cancer Bill

From: Barbara
Sent on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 11:58 AM

Proposed Mastectomy Law Change
(written by a surgeon);

I'll never forget the look in my patients eyes when I had to tell them they had to go home with the drains, new exercises and no breast. I remember begging the doctors to keep these women in the hospital longer, only to hear that they would, but their hands were tied by the insurance companies. So there I sat with my patient giving them the instructions they needed to take care of themselves, knowing full well they didn't grasp half of what I was saying, because the glazed, hopeless, frightened look spoke louder than the quiet 'Thank you' they muttered.

A mastectomy is when a woman's breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure. Let's give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for 2 days after surgery. This Mastectomy Bill, called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy and is in Congress now. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through mastectomy' where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

It takes 2 seconds to do this and is very important. Please take the time and do it really quick! The Breast Cancer Hospitalization Bill is important legislation for all women. Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support.. Last year over half the House signed on. PLEASE! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below.
http://www.mylifetime.com/community/my-lifetime-commitment/breast-cancer/petition/breast-cancer-petition

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Additionally, if you will take the extra moment, contact your congressperson or Senator regarding his or her support for this bill; this bill has been in the works since 1997. It has been referred to committees and killed each time since then. Each time is was killed Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro didn’t quit. She sponsored the bill 5 more times.  Finally in 2008 they got the bill through the house only to have it killed again in the Senate because it was not passed before the end of the 110th Congress. The current, and 6th version  of this bill introduced last year, HR 1691 is now in the House and Senator Olympia Snow has introduced a Senate version, S 688. The AMA has written statements supporting the bill, saying it “focuses on the fundamental concept that medical decisions should be made by patients and their physicians, rather than by insurers.”

Maybe this issue will be covered in the Health Care Reform bill, maybe not. Please take a moment to contact your Congressperson and Senators if you support this bill. If insurance companies will not make decent and caring decisions; maybe we can convince Congress to finally force them to do the civilized and compassionate thing.

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