Sen. Graham, Rep. Scott want male breast cancer covered by Medicaid
Tue, 09 Aug 2011 12:32:27 GMT —
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WACH, WCIV, AP) -- U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and 1st District Congressman Tim Scott say they favor changing Medicaid rules to cover men suffering from breast cancer.
The lawmakers told The Post and Courier of Charleston they will consider amending federal Medicaid rules if administrative actions fail.
Medicaid is looking into what administrative options may exist in South Carolina to provide such coverage.
26-year-old Raymond Johnson from Cross was denied breast cancer coverage because of a loophole that excludes men.
Scott says it's wrong to deny such coverage just because a patient is a man.Related Stories Medicaid denies Lowcountry man's cancer treatment... because he's not a woman Breast cancer patients turn to yoga for relief Breast Cancer Awareness license plate now available
Graham's spokesman Kevin Bishop says Graham will see if there is an administrative fix and, if not, consider legislation to change the rules.
For Johnson help can't come soon enough. Raymond doesn't have insurance. He works laying tile and says he just doesn't make enough money.
"Each treatment is probably roughly around 10 grand," said Susan Appelbaum, a patient advocate for Raymond Johnson. She says, Raymond still needs several more chemotherapy treatments.
"Right now I'm stuck with these bills and I'm trying to find a way," said Raymond, who just underwent his second round of chemotherapy at Roper Saint Francis Hospital.
Breast cancer in men may be rare, but it does happen. Federal statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that roughly 1 percent of cases occur in men.
Do you think it's fair that Medicaid has denied coverage for a man with breast cancer just because he is not a woman? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
( WCIV and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)