Even in the toughest of financial times there is legislation that, even though it costs money, draws bipartisan support.
Such is the case with a bill that would require health insurance carriers to cover 3D mammography.
The bill, H.B. 5233, passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives, by a vote of 139-3 in favor, late Thursday evening.
It now moves to the Senate for a possible vote ahead of next Wednesday’s General Assembly end of the session deadline.
The bill carries a fiscal note because it would require the service to be covered by the state employee health insurance policy.
The Office of Fiscal Analysis found it will cost between $139,000 and $572,000 in 2017 and between $275,000 and $1.14 million in 2018.
“In this day and age we have to figure out ways to save money,” House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said. However, she said, “This will save lives in a new and proven way in one of the most easily detectable cancers in women.”
Rep. Robert Megna, D-New Haven, referred to the bill as a “positive step for the health of women.”
During a public hearing on the bill, Michael Crain, chairman of Radiology Department at Middlesex Hospital, said that studies show Tomosynthesis — or 3D mammography — “finds 40 percent more invasive cancers.”
It also decreases the number of women who have to return for a mammogram because the results of the first were not conclusive or gave a false positive.