Katko eyes immediate access to benefits for people with metastatic breast cancer

The National Breast Cancer Coalition, which has state and local groups, is supporting the bill. 

Fran Visco, the coalition’s president, said the organization’s members have worked for years to address these waiting periods. She added that it will “make a significant difference for those who face this terrible situation.” 

That sentiment was echoed by Holly Anderson, who is the executive director of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. The local organization serves residents in Katko’s district. 

Anderson said immediate access to benefits is necessary so people with metastatic breast cancer can receive uninterrupted care. 

“Those living with metastatic breast cancer want to live full, meaningful, vibrant lives while they are able. And they do,” Anderson said. “They walk among us, hardly noticed, raising families, caring for others, working in careers they love, but when they can no longer work, when they are nearing the end of life, they can’t endure the required waiting period for disability insurance benefits and Medicare.” 

The bill’s cosponsors include 19 Democrats and 18 Republicans. Seven New York members of Congress are supporting the bill, including Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice and GOP U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin. 

It has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee for review. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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