Black Women’s Health Imperative Statement in Support of the Breast Screening Mammography Extension in the 2017 Omnibus Spending Bill
The Black Women’s Health Imperative applauds the decision to include a one-year extension of the PALS Act in the fiscal 2017 Omnibus spending agreement. The PALS Act protects women’s access to mammograms by placing a moratorium on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recent recommendations for breast cancer screening, thus protecting insurance coverage with no copay for screening mammography starting at age 40. The moratorium was due to expire January 1, 2018, and the spending bill extends it to January 1, 2019. The literature is clear. Women without health insurance are twice as likely to die from breast cancer due to late diagnosis. Black women are 45% less likely to have health insurance than White women and have a 41% greater mortality rate from breast cancer. Early screening is especially critical for Black women because we tend to be diagnosed with breast cancer at 5 to 10 years younger, and are more likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, a more virulent form than White women. As the only national organization dedicated to the health and wellness of the nation’s 21 million Black women and girls, we know the importance of mammography for screening breast cancer and thank the Congress for recognizing the importance of this issue by extending the breast cancer screening moratorium.
Linda Goler Blount, MPH
President & CEO