Members of the Florida delegation on Capitol Hill are continuing to champion the “Comprehensive Breast Reconstructive Act.”
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., introduced the bill back in October and he brought it back at the end of last month.
The proposal would have the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) update the National Coverage Determination (NCD) “to more closely align Medicare and Medicaid coverage guidelines with the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) to ensure full coverage of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction procedures” and “would amend the WHCRA to require coverage of nipple-areolar complex (NAC) tattooing across Medicare, Medicaid, and private/group healthcare providers.”According to Hastings’ office, “NAC is a crucial option for many as the final stage of the post-mastectomy breast reconstruction procedure to provide a more natural and symmetrical appearance, and should be covered for breast cancer patients who choose to undergo it.”
U.S. Reps. Val Demings, D-Fla., Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, R-PR, Darren Soto, D-Fla., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., are among the cosponsors.
“Breast cancer survivors have already fought for their lives, they shouldn’t have to fight for the care they deserve. This legislation builds on advancements to fix the holes in the current patchwork of care available to survivors after a medically-necessary mastectomy, expanding covered procedures and allowing survivors access to the care they need to heal,” said Hastings.
“As a breast cancer survivor, I know firsthand the importance of ensuring Americans can access the full range of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction procedures. Restoring a breast cancer patient both physically and mentally is absolutely critical to the healing process,” said Wasserman Schultz. “I’m proud to join with my colleague Congressman Alcee Hastings to introduce legislation to ensure nipple-areola tattooing, a medically necessary surgery, will become accessible to the thousands of Americans in their battle with breast cancer.”
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Breast Surgeons are also backing the bill.
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce; the Ways and Means; and the Education and Labor Committees last week. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.