Health Care

    Dunn Provision to Increase Reimbursement for Preventative Health Care Included in Chairman's Mark

    New Improvements For Women's Health

    Combatting Breast Cancer

    Washington State Children's Health Insurance Program

    Health Care Reform


    Preventative Health Initiative for Women

    November 5, 1999
    (Washington, D.C.)

    Today U.S. Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (8th Dist.-Wash.) delivered the following statement on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Today the House passed H.R. 3075, the Medicare Balanced Budget Refinement Act of 1999, by a vote of 388 to 25. The bill included Dunn's measure to increase reimbursement rates for preventative health care for women.

    Dunn's provision would increase the pap smear reimbursement rate from $7.15 to a minimum of $14.60 for conventional and automated pap smear tests. The last time the rate increased was more than ten years ago; the current $7.15 reimbursement has not kept up with the cost of service.

    "As we continue to reform federal law to ensure that there is greater access to health care, we always want to make sure that nobody falls through the cracks. I rise in enthusiastic support of H.R. 3075, a bill to provide essential relief to seniors affected by unintended reductions in Medicare under the Balanced Budget Act.

    "I want to thank Chairman Thomas for his willingness to work with me on several provisions important to women's health and the pace of medical innovation.

    "First, this bill doubles the reimbursement for pap smears. This reimbursement rate has not been increased in over a decade. It is really essential to maintain access to one of the most important preventative measures for detecting cervical cancer.

    "Secondly, the bill extends pap smear reimbursements to automated screening technologies. These are important innovations in health care that will help identify cervical cancer at an earlier stage and with greater accuracy.

    "Mr. Speaker, protecting women's health as they grow older is one of the most important public policy decisions we can make. This bill recognizes that fact, and goes a long way toward making innovative new treatments available to women. I would like to thank Mr. Thomas again for his willingness to work with many of us who are interested in advancing this cause."



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