A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill to postpone recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that would limit access to breast cancer screening for women in their 40s and continue the moratorium on the USPSTF recommendations, which Congress has extended several times. 

The Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act of 2019 is being sponsored by U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

 

“Until we have a cure for breast cancer, it’s essential that all women who choose to be screened have access to these services,” Capito said in a release. “I’m proud to sponsor this bill with my colleagues and to continue raising awareness and saving lives.”

Feinstein added, "We know that early detection of breast cancer is key to survival and that access to affordable screenings plays a major role in whether women receive mammography services. Our bill would ensure women continue to be covered for breast cancer screenings at no cost. 

A number of health-related organizations have expressed support for the legislation, including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  

A companion bill was introduced in the House in May.

— Wendy Holdren

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