PNS Daily Newscast - November 21, 2018 

Senators from both sides of the aisle want Trump to clear the air on the Khashoggi killing. Also on the Wednesday rundown: Massachusetts leads the U.S. in the fentanyl-overdose death rate; plus we will let you know why business want to preserve New Mexico’s special places.

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Affordable Care Act: Newest Tool in Fight Against Breast Cancer

PHOTO: The Affordable Care Act is expected to help in the fight against breast cancer. CREDIT: Army Medicine
PHOTO: The Affordable Care Act is expected to help in the fight against breast cancer. CREDIT: Army Medicine
October 4, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this year's event marks a major change for women's ability to access the health care they need. According to Matt Schafer, government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, under the Affordable Care Act, women cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, such as breast cancer.

"The health care law also requires health plans to cover annual preventive mammograms for women starting at age 40," he pointed out. "It prohibits lifetime dollar limits on coverage, and it also restricts the amount of out-of-pocket costs."

Nationwide, only 17 percent of women age 40 and over who are uninsured or underinsured received a mammogram in the past year, compared with 55 percent of women who have full health insurance benefits.

Education on prevention, earlier detection and better treatment options have all helped the five-year survival rate for breast cancer to climb to around 98 percent, and Schafer said more improvements are expected as more women are able to access affordable health care and get in for regular check-ups and treatment if needed.

"We've learned a lot about cancer. We've learned a lot about preventing it. We've learned a lot about treating it, but the one challenge we've encountered is cost," he said. "And the peace of mind that women are going to have looking into the next year ... they can spend more time focusing on getting healthy and not worrying about their life savings."

Enrollment under the state's health care marketplace, called Covered California, is now in progress, with the policies to take effect as of January 1.

More information is at

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA