A proposed cut in a cancer screening program will actually cost money, and lives, supporters say. The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program provides cancer screenings for women who don’t have health insurance and who can’t afford to pay. The program detected 2,000 incidents of breast and cervical cancer from 2008-2013. The governor proposes cutting it by 71 percent, which State Rep. Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale) says will only make treatment more expensive if these ladies turn up on Medicaid.
Click here for summary
“It’s not only saving lives, but it is also reducing the cost of the treatments. I can’t understand why Gov. Rauner is proposing to cut this program at the cost of lives of Illinois citizens,” he said.
The program also now automatically enrolls in Medicaid those who tested positive and who qualify, and that provision would be eliminated. If this goes through, it means it could take months for patients to be enrolled in Medicaid and for treatment to begin.
“Can you imagine being uninsured, using this program, getting screened, only to find out there is no way for you to get treatment? The whole point of linking Medicaid eligibility to IBCCP is to avoid this exact scenario,” said Heather Eagleton, director of public policy for the American Cancer Society.
The budged cut is worth $10 million; it is estimated that this would reduce the number of women screened from 27,000 to 13,000.