State to cut mammograms for low-income women
December 30, 2009
Sacramento intends to cut $10 million to Every Woman Counts, a cancer-screening program for low-income women. [Newsweek]
The California Department of Public Health decided earlier this month to save money by raising the minimum age for free mammograms from 40 to 50.
During the last seven years, Every Woman Counts has provided free mammograms and cervical-cancer screenings to women earning less than $21,660 a year. The program had been funded mostly through tobacco tax revenue, which has decreased along with the number of smokers in the state.
Given the bad economy, more women have used Every Woman Counts and Sacramento had to use emergency funds to keep the program afloat.
Such funding is no longer available and women’s health advocates worry that other states will follow California’s example. Twenty states have scaled back their screening programs in the last 18 months, according to the American Cancer Society.