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Fighting breast cancer

Dear Editor:

On May 5, Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law both the Pink Plate Breast Cancer Surcharge Bill (House Bill 1164) and the Clinical Trials Bill (HB 1059).

Komen Aspen, as well as and our sister affiliates in Colorado Springs and Denver, are very excited by this legislation.

I’d bet almost everyone you ask will think the money raised from the special pink license plates was already going to support breast cancer screening, treatment and research. Now it will!

And, others would not participate in a clinical trial during treatment for fear of jeopardizing their insurance coverage. Now, they will!

This is great news for the advancement of breast cancer treatment and research in Colorado.

Throughout the U.S., one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, but in Colorado, it’s one in seven women.

HB 1164 will add an additional $25 surcharge on to the Committed to a Cure breast cancer awareness license plates. This new revenue will go towards expanding eligibility for our state breast and cervical cancer treatment program for low income uninsured women in need of breast and cervical cancer treatment.

Currently, low income uninsured women who are not diagnosed through the state contracted screening program are ineligible to receive treatment dollars, the revenue raised from the license plate will put Colorado on a path to expanding this eligibility to all low income uninsured women in Colorado regardless of where they were diagnosed.

This revenue will put our state in a position to save more women who otherwise would go without treatment for their breast or cervical cancer.

HB 1059 will require private health insurance companies to cover the cost of routine care for covered persons who decide to enroll in a clinical trial.

This legislation is so critical for those dealing with cancer who want to enroll in a clinical trial but decide against for fear of being dropped by their health insurance or being denied claims coverage simply because they are enrolled in an investigational trial.

Often times, enrollment in a clinical trial is an option patients utilize when other forms or conventional treatment are no longer working.

Congratulations to all our supporters on the larger implications of this legislation. The women that will be touched by this are faces that you may never see, but your impact on their lives is very real. We have used our voices, evoked change, helped people, and furthered our mission. Thank you!

Claudia Curry Hill

Executive director, Aspen Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure


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