Preventative Health Initiative for
November 5, 1999
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
"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."