The following letter was published in North Platte Telegraph, Grand Island Independent, Kearney Hub, and Scottsbluff Star Herald on April 2, April 5, April 6, and April 7.
Letter in North Platte Telegraph: Rep. Smith urged to co-sponsor colon cancer screening bill
Our lawmakers should be doing everything they can to help Nebraskans fight cancer. That’s why I’m urging Rep. Adrian Smith to co-sponsor the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, H.R. 1570.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men and women combined in America. In 2019, it is estimated to take the lives of 310 Nebraskans. But it doesn’t have to be this way; colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer, and many of these deaths could be prevented by ensuring access to regular colorectal cancer screening.
These preventive screenings are covered with no cost sharing for patients under private health insurance. But, due to a current loophole in federal law, older Americans on Medicare may owe up to $365 out of pocket if a precancerous polyp is discovered and removed during a routine screening colonoscopy—a reality that creates a significant barrier to individuals accessing this lifesaving screening. We should not let potential expenses deter Nebraska seniors from receiving the cancer screenings they need.