Rep. Payne, Jr. Announces Passage of his Colorectal Cancer Screening Bill

December 13, 2019
Press Release

Media Contact:    Patrick Wright -- (202) 225-3436 -- patrick.wright@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. scored one of his most significant legislative achievements on December 12, 2019, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed his Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screenings Act (H.R. 1570) as part of the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R.3).

The bill would provide Medicare coverage to patients who get cancerous polyps removed during routine colorectal cancer screenings, called colonoscopies.  Currently, patients could receive a surprise charge for the removals, which can cost thousands of dollars. 

Congressman Payne, Jr. said he hoped the bill would encourage more Americans to get screened for colorectal cancer.

“Too many people are afraid to get routine colonoscopies because their insurance would only cover the screening and not the polyp removal,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.  “This bill allows Medicare to cover those removals and improve the health and well-being of millions of Americans.  I have fought for seven years to get this bill passed.  I want to thank my colleagues for voting to approve it.”

Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable and deadly forms of cancer in both men and women nationwide.  More than 145,000 people will be diagnosed with the disease this year, according to the American Cancer Society.  But with early detection, the five-year survival rate from colorectal cancer is 90 percent.  The bill was added to the Lower Drug Costs Now Act last week and passed when the House voted to approve it. 

It was a personal and professional win for Congressman Payne, Jr. because his father, former Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr., died of colon cancer in 2012.  The bill heads to the Senate for a possible vote and, if passed there, to President Trump for his approval before it becomes a public law. 

 

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