“The government needs to extend the Medicaid extension to states. Over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Women of low socioeconomic status are less likely to seek mammography and are more likely to use public insurance. Not only will this extension allow mammography screening, many other preventative services will still be available.
However, if this does not get passed a public health approach to breast cancer is the best way continue screening. These local campaigns will increase awareness and education, and address barriers such as lack of insurance, transportation issues, psychological factors. There are many successful campaigns to model after. The Dana-Farber Mammography Van goes into neighborhoods and “breaks down cultural, linguistic, financial, and logistical barriers to care and makes mammograms more accessible to those least likely to obtain one.” The Boston Public Health Commission's Breast Friends program brings trained facilitators into homes to conduct mammogram information workshops. These are just a few example of how a public health approach can be used to increase breast cancer screening.
Millions of people rely on Medicaid for their medical needs. If this does not get passed, there are other efforts that can be done to address screening services. Everyone has a right to have health care. Individuals need to be responsible for prevention. If access to screening is taken away, there will only be an increase in number of preventable deaths. Let’s hope Congress does the right thing and extends Medicaid funding for the next fiscal year.”