Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) thinks jokes about losing breast cancer screenings are hilarious.
According to a tweet by Talking Points Memo reporter Alice Ollstein, Sen. Roberts responded to a question about whether or not he supports House Republicans’ amendments to the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) by flippantly remarking about losing coverage for breast exams.
I asked Sen. Roberts if he supports scrapping Essential Health Benefits. "I wouldn't want to lose my mammograms," he snarked. #AHCA
— Alice Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) March 23, 2017
However, it’s likely that millions of people would lose their mammogram coverage if the current version of the American Health Care Act were to become law. The American Cancer Society estimates that roughly 235,000 Americans are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. More than 40,000 Americans die every year from breast cancer, making it one of the most fatal forms of cancer. Annual mammograms can help at-risk patients stop breast cancer at its early stages before it becomes irreversible.
Over the course of late-night meetings on Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and other top Republicans crafted a series of amendments to the existing Trumpcare bill that would allow insurers to not provide coverage for ten services deemed essential under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Among those ten essential benefits were pediatric services for children (including dental and vision care), pregnancy and maternity care for new mothers, hospital visits, emergency room services, and prescription drug coverage, among others. The amendments were (ironically) added to make the Republican healthcare proposal more palatable for House Republicans on the fence about whether or not to vote for it on Thursday night.
Healthcare policy think tank Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that private health insurance deductible costs will amount to an average of $4,100 each year under Trumpcare in its current form, compared to roughly $2,500 for the average American under Obamacare.
If you want to contact Sen. Roberts about supporting mammogram coverage, call his Washington, DC office at 202-224-4774, or send a letter to:
U.S. Senator Pat Roberts
109 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
View a full list of Sen. Roberts’ Kansas offices and their contact information here.
Jamie Green is a contributor for the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.