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Senator Collins Co-Sponsors Bill to Strengthen Support for Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) co-sponsored the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act, bipartisan legislation that would give metastatic breast cancer patients access to support and medical care years sooner than current law allows. Metastatic breast cancer accounts for 90 percent of breast cancer deaths, and the average life expectancy from diagnosis is just three years.


“Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among American women, and nearly 90 percent of cases are metastatic breast cancer.  However, women diagnosed with metastatic cancer struggle with accessing medical care in a timely manner,” said Senator Collins.  “Our bipartisan legislation would shorten the waiting period for these patients to access Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare benefits, allowing them to receive the quality care and support they deserve.  I will continue to work to find new and more effective ways of preventing, detecting, and treating all forms of breast cancer.”


The Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act would waive the five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the 24-month waiting period for eligible Medicare benefits. Under current law, if an individual is found to be disabled for the purposes of Medicare and SSDI, the person must wait 24 months to enroll in the former and 5 months to receive the latter benefits.


In addition to Senator Collins, the legislation was introduced by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Jon Tester (D-MT).


Click HERE to read the bill text.



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