Breast Cancer Screening Program Reopens for Low-Income Californians
On Wednesday, California's Every Woman Counts breast cancer screening program for low-income women reopened enrollment for women age 40 and older, HealthyCal reports (Weintraub, HealthyCal, 12/1).
Every Woman Counts provides annual breast cancer screenings to more than 350,000 low-income residents who are uninsured or underinsured.
In December 2009, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) administration raised the minimum eligibility age for the program from 40 to 50 and stopped new admissions altogether. The administration cited declining revenue from state tobacco taxes, which fund the program.
The enrollment freeze initially was scheduled to end at the start of the fiscal year on July 1, but was extended because of the state's 100-day budget impasse (California Healthline, 8/30).
Restoring the Program
Several stateÂ lawmakers objected to the eligibility changes for Every Woman Counts and restored the program to its previous status as part of budget negotiations.
The Schwarzenegger administration agreed to end payments to health care providers for tracking women who test negative for cancer, a move that is expected to reduce program spending by about $14 million annually. Lawmakers also added $20 million to the program's budget.
This fiscal year, the state expects to screen more than 300,000 women through the Every Woman Counts program (HealthyCal, 12/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.