If you’ve noticed a lot of pink in stores these days, you are probably aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The American Bar Association (ABA) recognizes the important role lawyers can play in patients’ journeys. Did you know the ABA Health Law Section has a Breast Cancer Task Force? The task force was formed to:
…provide legal advocacy training to lawyers, provide resources for lawyers and consumers dealing with breast cancer, and educating women, attorneys and policymakers on the range of legal issues impacting women’s health.
The Task Force web site provides resources such as: a 218-page legal advocacy guide, a legal guide for cancer patients, pro bono referrals, and more.
Some key bits of legislation relating to breast cancer are:
- The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA), which amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) ( 29 U.S.C. §1185b ) regarding insurance company payment of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, prostheses and complications like lymphedema.
- The Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act (2000) and the Native American Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Technical Amendment Act (2001) amended title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act to determine eligibility of low-income and Native American health care services.
If you’re interested in state laws:
- The American Society of Plastic Surgeons website keeps a list of State Laws relating to breast cancer and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a publication of state laws relating to breast cancer (1949-2000).
- Most recently, if SB 173, which passed the Legislature, gets the Governor’s okay, California will be the third state (joining Connecticut and Texas) to pass a law regarding dense breast tissue.