Close the Medicare colonoscopy loophole and save lives from cancer

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Dear [Decision Maker],

As your constituent and a volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, I ask that you work with your colleagues to ensure that seniors on Medicare have access to colorectal cancer screening without any surprising out-of-pocket costs.

This year, 140,000 new colorectal cancer cases will be diagnosed and over 50,000 deaths will occur. Yet, colorectal cancer is a disease that can be treated successfully if found early enough or even prevented altogether with the removal of polyps during a colonoscopy. In fact, if 80 percent of adults were screened for colorectal cancer by 2018, 203,000 fewer people would die from this devastating disease!

That's why we need to pass S 479, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act this year. Right now, seniors who go in for a screening colonoscopy expect that the procedure is free. However, if a polyp is found and removed these seniors get a big surprise when they wake up from the procedure. Suddenly, they have to pay 20 percent coinsurance on the colonoscopy (patient cost could be more than $300). It is simply unfair that seniors on Medicare will get this surprise bill while those on private insurance will not.

Congress needs to fix this loophole this year. I therefore ask that you work with your colleagues to save lives by passing S 479, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]