To the letter:
I wish to publicly thank Sen. Pat Roberts for co-sponsoring, and Sen. Sam Brownback for his support of the Eliminate Colorectal Cancer Act (S.710). This bill, in the U.S. Senate Health committee, would provide insurance coverage for the crucial screenings that catch colon cancer before it threatens the lives of our loved ones. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, but it doesn't have to be. It is one of the most preventable if colon polyps are caught before they turn into cancerous tumors. According to the American Cancer Society, in Douglas County alone between 1996-1998, there were 66 people diagnosed with colon cancer. Twenty-three were diagnosed in an early stage where the survival rate is 91 percent. However, 43 (65 percent) were diagnosed at a later stage where the survival rate drops to 8.5 percent. No doubt some of these individuals postponed testing because of the lack of insurance coverage for the screenings.
This bill, introduced by Sens. Jesse Helms and Ted Kennedy, is truly a bipartisan effort. This cross-aisle cooperation to improve coverage for vital colon cancer screenings is a refreshing change from politics-as-usual.