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State of Vermont

Senate Chamber

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint Senate Resolution

     By Senator Flanagan,

J.R.S. 35.  Joint resolution urging Congress to adopt the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007.

Whereas, breast cancer is a serious illness that is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States, and

Whereas, it is estimated that in the United States, there will be approximately 178,000 new incidents of breast cancer this year, and that roughly 40,000 deaths will be attributed to this disease, and

Whereas, one medically viable, although emotionally difficult, option for some women who have contracted breast cancer is mastectomy surgery during which a breast is removed with the intent of also removing the cancer before it can spread further in the body, and

Whereas, although the techniques to perform this surgery have improved considerably in the last decade, it remains a serious operation; and ideally patients should be permitted to remain hospitalized for at least a brief post‑operative period of time in order that their immediate recovery can be monitored for complications, and

Whereas, contrary to this common‑sense approach, insurance companies are increasingly confining their coverage for breast cancer treatments and only authorizing mastectomy surgeries to be performed on an outpatient basis, and

Whereas, in order to reverse this unacceptable trend, members of Congress, from both the House and Senate, including Representative Jo Ann Davis of Virginia, the bill’s original sponsor and one who has experienced breast cancer personally, are sponsoring in their respective chambers, H.R.758/S.459, each of which is known as the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007, and

Whereas, the bill, as introduced in both chambers, would “require that health plans provide coverage for a minimum hospital stay for mastectomies, lumpectomies and lymph node dissection for the treatment of breast cancer and coverage for secondary consultations,” and     

Whereas, both versions would require a minimum coverage period for mastectomy and lumpectomy surgery of 48 hours and a 24‑hour minimum coverage period for lymph node dissection, and

Whereas, American women and, indeed, American men who, as shown in the recent well‑publicized case of former United States Senator Edward Brooke, can contract breast cancer, should not be denied comprehensive treatment because insurance companies are denying complete coverage for post-operative care and other procedures related to this illness, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to adopt the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the members of the Vermont Congressional delegation and to the Vermont office of the New England Division of the American Cancer Society in Williston.



____________________________              Attested to:

President of the Senate


____________________________              ____________________________

Speaker of the House                                     David A. Gibson

                                                                      Secretary of the Senate



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont