Alert: Bill to help uninsured Kentuckians filed

We are so excited to share this news! This bill will be an enormous step in helping people become more aware about colon cancer screening and getting uninsured people screened. It will save people from the pain and suffering of colon cancer.

See the bill at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/12RS/HB55.htm.

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Contact: Andrea Uhde Shepherd

(502) 290-0288

ashepherd@c2p2ky.org

October 21, 2011

FRANKFORT, KY – Rep. Jim Glenn (D-Owensboro) and Rep. Bob DeWeese (R-Louisville) this week pre-filed a bill that will appropriate $8 million over the next two fiscal years to provide colon cancer screening for thousands of uninsured Kentuckians.

The bill will fund the existing Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program that the legislature enacted in 2008 but has not yet funded. It will allot $3 million next fiscal year and $5 million the following year to cover screening for uninsured residents ages 50 to 64 and others determined to be at high risk for colon cancer. The program also will educate all Kentuckians on the importance of screening.

Kentucky ranks No. 1 in colon cancer mortality despite the fact that colon cancer deaths are 90 percent preventable. Finding and removing pre-cancerous polyps prevents colon cancer. Each year in the U.S., colon cancer kills as many people as breast cancer and AIDS combined, and it’s the second leading cancer killer among both men and women in the country.

A decade ago, Kentucky was the worst state in the U.S. for colon cancer screening, but it has risen to 32nd, and now 480 fewer people are getting colon cancer each year. That equates to a savings of around $35 million each year in direct treatment. 

Rep. Glenn lost his wife to colon cancer last year.

“I’m just trying to make sure other people don’t go through the experience I went through,” he said. “I’m just trying to make sure everyone is aware you need a colon checkup.” 

Rep. DeWeese said he supports the bill because early detection will “result in a higher cure rate, and will also mean that many people can be cured by a simple operation and not have to undergo chemotherapy or other long-term treatment.”

Dr. Whitney Jones, a Louisville gastroenterologist who founded a non-profit called Colon Cancer Prevention Project in 2004, said of the bill: “Kentucky has made amazing advances in colon cancer, but without state support to reach those at risk who need access, we may continue to fall behind other states. That would be a shame since this has been a public health success story.”

Attachments:

  • Pre-filed bill
  • Colon Cancer information

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