This statement is issued by Sean Shacklett on behalf of the Northeast Ohio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure
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The best tool we have in the fight against breast cancer is early detection. When breast cancer is detected early, before it spreads beyond the breast, the 5-year survival rate is 98 percent. Once the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, survival rates plummet to 23 percent. This is why the Northeast Ohio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure supports Governor Kasich’s plan to expand Ohio’s Medicaid program.
Bringing more federal funds to Ohio would allow the state to allocate more money to programs like the Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP), which provides breast cancer screenings and diagnostic services to underserved and uninsured women in Ohio.
Thousands of women currently delay or forego breast cancer screenings because they have no way to pay for the service. As a result many of these women are diagnosed with late-stage cancers, when the odds of survival are considerably lower and the cost of treatment can be up to five times more expensive than if cancer is caught earlier.
Despite the critical importance of BCCP to low-income populations, the current state budget appropriation to the program is only enough to reach 5 percent of the eligible population in the state of Ohio.
Our state policy makers have the opportunity to support a program that promotes prevention and early detection and will save lives. Rejecting the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio will only send the money to other states. These women won’t disappear, and neither will their cancers.
Komen Northeast Ohio strongly supports the expansion of Medicaid, which would bring the number of uninsured in Ohio down from over 1 million to around 600,000. Please contact your local legislator to let them know why Medicaid expansion is important for breast cancer. Information on how to contact your legislator can be found here: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/search.cfm#reps_zip.