Cancer is the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 65 and 84.

For older adults, access to Medicare is associated with significant increase in the detection of cancers, patricularly for women and people of color. There are proven tools that can catch deadly cancers sooner, and seniors must be the first in line to access them. Multi-cancer early detection (MCED) technologies are unlocking a new era in how we detect and treat cancer, and legislation has been introduced in congress that would create a meaningful pathway for Medicare coverage of these new tools. The legislation would allow for Medicare coverage of MCED screenings once they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and shown to have clinical benefits. 

Congress acted decisively to give seniors access to mammography, pap smear and colorectal screening. Now its time for Congress to act again by allowing Medicare to cover multi-cancer early detection in the fight to find the disease as early as possible. 

The #MCED Screening Coverage Act was just reintroduced in the U.S. Senate and over 500 organizations are calling for its passage this year. Please join us in urging Senator Patty Murray: @PattyMurray (Facebook/Twitter), @SenPattyMurray (Instagram) and Senator Maria Cantwell: @SenatorCantwell (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram) to join the movement giving seniors access to these life-saving tests.

The Washington State Board of Health, in collaboration with the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities, conducts Health Impact Reviews. A Health Impact Review is an analysis of a bill or budget proposal to determine how it would likely impact health and health equity. Because health is hugely impacted by where we live, learn, work, play, and worship - Health Impact Reviews can be requested on proposals outside of healthcare such as bills on education, incarceration, transportation, housing, early learning, access to fresh foods and safe places to walk, etc. These reviews compile the evidence to support bills that will improve equity and also highlight when a bill would increase disparities or harm equity.

By statute, a Health Impact Review can only be requested by a state legislator or the Governor. Community members can work with their legislators to request Health Impact Reviews on issues that the community cares about. More information can be found here.