You always remember your first.
Gov. Josh Shapiro made history on Monday with his signature on a first-of-its-kind law in the nation that will require insurers to cover preventive breast and ovarian cancer screenings for high-risk women at no cost.
The landmark legislation that was introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) passed both the House and the Senate unanimously. It removes out-of-pocket costs associated with genetic testing for hereditary breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancer syndromes – as well as supplemental breast screenings for women with a high lifetime risk of breast cancer. Act 1 ensures this critical healthcare will be accessible and affordable for more Pennsylvanians and save countless lives.
“I am proud that the first bill I have signed as Governor is a bill that passed both chambers unanimously – with Democrats and Republicans coming together to improve access to critically important healthcare and save countless lives in Pennsylvania,” said Shapiro.
“This historic legislation is going to help women fight breast cancer and live healthier lives – and it would not have been possible without the courage, tenacity, and bipartisan cooperation of Senate Pro Tempore Kim Ward and Speaker Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia). “I believe government can and should be a productive force for good – and this is a real example of the big things we can accomplish in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when we work together.”
Ward said, “Pennsylvania is leading the nation in the fight against breast cancer by eliminating out-of-pocket costs associated with BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling for high-risk individuals, as well as supplemental screenings such as breast MRI and ultrasound for women. My personal experience with breast cancer presented me the opportunity to see where some of the gaps were in the system. With approximately 14,000 new cases of breast cancer per year in Pennsylvania, what this legislature did by getting the Bill to Governor Shapiro for his signature, will have a huge positive affect on women’s health and lives.”
“Breast cancer is a terrible disease with roughly 264,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed in women and 2,400 cases in men every year,” added McClinton. “For Black women, the statistics are even more alarming, as it is the number one cause of cancer death for Black women at an alarming rate of 31 percent. But there is hope, now as a result of this new law more Pennsylvanians will have access to the screening and genetic counseling that can lead to an early diagnosis and save lives. This is a testament to the good work we can do for our neighbors across the Commonwealth.”
Ward joked that after hearing all the nice words from Shapiro, she is thinking about taking him along with her on the campaign trail.
Today Senate Bill 8, a comprehensive breast cancer screening bill was signed into law as Act 1 of 2023. 🖋️
— Senator Joe Pittman (@SenatorPittman) May 1, 2023