Fitzpatrick’s breast cancer screening bill heads to full House for action

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 20 voted 46-0 to advance a bipartisan bill cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) that would reauthorize and improve the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) for fiscal years 2024 through 2028.

The committee-approved Screening for Communities to Receive Early and Equitable Needed Services (SCREENS) for Cancer Act, H.R. 3916, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY), currently has 49 cosponsors in addition to Rep. Fitzpatrick, the lead original cosponsor. The measure now heads to the full chamber for action.

“I am thrilled to see that the Energy and Commerce Committee has reported favorably the bipartisan SCREENS for Cancer Act,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “I look forward to seeing this bill come to the House floor for a vote.”

The NBCCEDP provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid, according to information provided by Rep. Fitzpatrick’s staff. 

At current funding levels, the program serves only 15 percent of the estimated number of women eligible for breast cancer services. If enacted, H.R. 3916 would provide greater funding authorizations to strengthen outreach and accessibility to the program, the information says.

“Early cancer screenings are an essential tool for saving lives, and I’m proud to co-lead this legislation that would ensure Americans, especially those who are vulnerable and reside in underserved communities, have access to screening services through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “I want to thank my colleague Rep. Morelle for his partnership on this critical piece of legislation.”

“I’m grateful the SCREENS for Cancer Act has successfully moved through committee and I look forward to working alongside my colleague Rep. Fitzpatrick to bring it to the House floor for a vote,” said Rep. Morelle.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and Susan G. Komen support the bill.