McSally’s bill would hasten health coverage for metastatic breast cancer patients

U.S. Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) on May 8 sponsored bipartisan legislation that would eliminate the waiting periods for disability insurance benefits and Medicare coverage for Americans having metastatic breast cancer.

“Breast cancer patients don’t have time to wait months or even years to access treatment,” Sen. McSally said. “My bill would waive these arbitrary wait times and give patients the chance to fight their diagnosis faster and more effectively.”

Sen. McSally introduced her chamber’s version of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act, S. 1374, with cosponsor U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT).

If enacted, S. 1374 would defer both the five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance and the 24-month waiting period for eligible Medicare benefits, according to information provided by Sen. McSally’s office.

A companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the same-named H.R. 2178, was introduced on April 9 by U.S. Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Kathy Castor (D-FL).

“Ninety percent of breast cancer deaths are as a result of metastatic disease, when the cancer spreads to another part of the patient’s body,” said Sen. McSally.

S. 1374, which is supported by the National Breast Cancer Coalition, has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

“The National Breast Cancer Coalition and its members from across the country who have worked hard to address this issue, are grateful that Senators McSally and Murphy have stepped up as leaders on this bill that will make a difference for women who face this terrible situation,” said Fran Visco, president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition.