CANCER SCREENING: Bill Stalls Over HPV Concerns
Work on the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act of 1999, a bill that would help uninsured women who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare pay for screening and treatment of cervical and breast cancers, has stalled in the House Commerce Committee, due to Rep. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) desire to place warning labels on condoms stating that they do not prevent transmission of the human papillomavirus. Coburn also wants to include a provision that would require the CDC to track HPV, the primary cause of cervical cancer, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), the bill's co-sponsor, has been working with Coburn and indicated earlier this week that he may drop his condom labeling amendment. Coburn said Wednesday, however, that "there's no way" he will stop his demands for the warnings. Coburn said the government is "reluctant to warn against" HPV, as there is no way to block its transmission during intercourse. He said, "It's not politically correct. It's not proper to say you shouldn't have intercourse outside of marriage, even though it's the only thing that's going to work." He added, "Women don't need to get cervical cancer anymore. We can stop it. But we can't stop it if we put our heads in the sand" (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 10/14).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.