Thank You for Making a Difference!!!

April 21, 2009

Victory in Montgomery!
The Alabama Senate gave HB147 a unanimous yes vote
Next Stop......Governor Riley's Desk

Hurdle #3 Overcome
Unanimous vote YES!!!! in Senate Health committee
Everyone please call your Senator....Tell them to vote YES
for HB147

Hurdle #2 Overcome!!
Unanimous vote YES!!!! in the House
Everyone please call your Senator ----Tell them to vote YES
for HB147.....
Mail petitions to Steel Magnolias, P.O. Box 36, Jacksonville, AL 36265
or to your state senator
please continue to pray
Uninsured Alabama women need your help!

Thanks to everyone who signed a petition/said a prayer
One Hurdle Overcome!!
15 Member House Government Appropriations Committee/Unanimous YES vote for bill to close Loophole in 2001 Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act
Full House to consider HB147 following Spring Break

One is too many!!!
The Steel Magnolias Breast Cancer Support Group, Inc.,  pleads with every person who reads these words to send a letter to your state senator, 11 S. Union Street, Montgomery, AL 36130, asking that they support Rep. Lea Fite's bill (HB147).  Below is a form letter concerning the loophole in the 2001 Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act.  Together we can end this travesty! 

January, 2009 Session, Rep. Lea Fite, reintroduced bill to close loophole!!
Read last two paragraphs in the following letter

Close the Medicaid Loophole!!

The Steel Magnolias Breast Cancer Support Group, Inc., has been, for years, receiving frantic calls from uninsured women, hard working women, who have worked all their lives in jobs that provided insurance, but upon retirement, lost that coverage.  Not yet qualifying for Medicare, they felt abandoned, with no way to pay for the treatments needed for the cancer they learned was growing in their breast.  Only recently have we been receiving calls from young, single, low income, uninsured mothers, who are terrified because of the lump in their breast.

It was recently learned that, in Alabama, a law has been in place since 2001, for underinsured patients who qualify for Medicaid, that was intended to pay for treatments, surgery, and medications such as Zofran.  We also learned that the people we elected to serve us, adopted a policy of exclusion.

We are outraged that our sisters, mothers and female friends, working women, were not shown more concern.  These women who paid taxes all their productive lives, and provided funds that helped pay for this program, now upon retirement and loss of health insurance, are diagnosed with breast cancer and because of the Medicaid Loophole, are left to spend their retirement years in suffocating debt.

The September 13, 2007 issue of The Wall Street Journal, shined a light on this deliberately placed loophole, with an investigative report, Medical Maze--Legal Loophole Ensnares Breast Cancer Patients.  In the Wall Street Journal article, we learned that because of breast cancer survivors and the people who love them, stepping forward and speaking out, the state of Texas, on September 1, 2007, closed this loophole.  Texas changed it's policy to cover women diagnosed by any health provider.

Currently, in Alabama, if a woman is diagnosed by a doctor without first going through the Alabama Public Health Department, she is disqualified for the Medicaid program.  The Alabama Public Health Department, with funding from The Centers for Disease Control Breast and Cervical Cancer Project and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, do a great job.  However, the state of Alabama created a loophole that has caused great hardship.

With the inclusion of a map, taken from the Susan G. Komen website, we learned, in the Wall Street Journal article that neither Mississippi nor Georgia attached the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act, funded through Medicaid, to the Public Health Department's, CDC Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program.

It is outrageous that here in the Heart of Dixie, we have lost our heart!  It must not matter who a woman consults about an abnormality, she finds, or from where she gets her mammogram, or through which agency, urgent care facility or doctor's office she is diagnosed.  Whether CDC paid for the mammogram or she, through her need, paid for the screening, if she qualifies financially, she should be enrolled in Medicaid.

January 29, 2009, we learned the bill that was introduced in the 2008 legislature, by Rep. Lea Fite, has been reintroduced for the 2009 session.   Thank you Rep. Fite! 

We implore the men and women, we elected to serve us, to please vote for passage of Rep. Fite's bill (HB147) to close the loophole in Alabama's Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act.  Our underserved mothers, sisters, daughters and female friends, deserve the same access to treatment as our neighboring states, Georgia and Mississippi, have made available to their precious, and valuable, uninsured women.

Concerned and informed citizens can make a difference!  One is too many to lose!!!

Because Research Saves Lives......