ICYMI: “A Big Day” and “A Very Good First Start:” Governor Shapiro Signs Landmark, Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Breast Cancer Screenings for Free As First Bill
May 02, 2023
“I agree with the Governor, we can do big things in this legislature and this was a very good first start” … “We’re here to help people and improve their lives and create solutions for everyday problems” … “Getting this passed, it’s nothing short of a miracle”
HARRISBURG, PA – Yesterday, Governor Josh Shapiro signed the first bill of his Administration – Act 1 of 2023, a first-of-its-kind law in the nation that will require insurers to cover preventive breast and ovarian cancer screenings for high-risk women at no cost.
Act 1 removes out-of-pocket costs associated with genetic testing for hereditary breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancer syndromes – as well as supplemental breast screenings for women with a high lifetime risk of breast cancer – and ensures this critical healthcare will be accessible and affordable for more Pennsylvanians and save countless lives.
This landmark legislation, introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, passed both the House and the Senate unanimously, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle joined Governor Shapiro and breast cancer survivors and advocates as he signed the bill into law.
Governor Shapiro is focused on bringing people together to deliver solutions on the pressing issues Pennsylvanians face. Act 1 exemplifies the progress that can be achieved in Harrisburg – and the Shapiro Administration looks forward to continuing this bipartisan cooperation in order to deliver real results for all Pennsylvanians.
Read what lawmakers and breast cancer advocates are saying about Governor Shapiro’s first bill signing.
Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward: This is indeed a big day. It is just humbling and such an honor that we have all of these legislators that made this happen. And I agree with the Governor, we can do big things in this legislature and this was a very good first start.
Speaker Joanna McClinton: I look forward to being able to stand here many times throughout this session and celebrate together because that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to help people and improve their lives and create solutions for everyday problems.
Sen. Devlin Robinson: Really proud to see everyone working together on SB8, a bill I co-sponsored with Senator Kim Ward and Senator Pennycuick to eliminate costs associated with breast cancer screening and genetic testing, which has been signed into law! Today’s a great day for Pennsylvanians!
Sen. Tracy Pennycuick: BREAKING NEWS… IT’S A LAW!! 🎉 Act 1 of 2023 (Senate Bill 8) Today, PA took action to save lives! 💗
Rep. Melissa Shusterman: Proud to stand w/ Governor Shapiro as he signs his first bill into law. This bill will save lives by eliminating testing costs for those most at risk for #BreastCancer. By removing this barrier, many will seek treatment earlier. #EarlyDetection can make all the difference!
Sen. Judy Schwank: Today #SB8, which covers the cost of preventative screenings for Pennsylvanians at higher risk of developing breast cancer, became the law. Congrats to Governor Shapiro on signing your first bill as governor and to Senator Kim Ward for sponsoring this historic legislation!
Sen. Lisa Baker: It was a packed rotunda as Governor Shapiro and Senator Kim Ward celebrated the historic signing of SB 8, a comprehensive breast cancer screening law eliminating out-of-pocket costs for BRCA testing & counseling, & screenings, like breast MRI & ultrasound, for those at high-risk.
Rep. Joshua Siegel: Proud that the first bill of our session was a bipartisan bill to ensure high-risk woman can get breast cancer screening with no out-of-pocket costs. Thank you, Governor Shapiro, Rep McClinton, and Senator Kim Ward, for working together in a bipartisan fashion to get this done.
Rep. Jim Haddock: I was proud to vote for legislation that was signed into law today by Governor Shapiro to require insurers to cover preventative breast and ovarian cancer screenings for high-risk women at no cost.
Rep. Matt Bradford: Today I was honored to join colleagues in the legislature, PA Breast Cancer Coalition and Governor Shapiro as he signed a new law that will save lives and help prevent breast cancer and other hereditary cancers. It eliminates out-of-pocket costs for critical screenings for high-risk patients.
Rep. Dan Deasy: Over 25 yrs ago we lost my mother to breast cancer. Today’s bill signing is an investment in early detection and will save lives. I was proud to stand with my colleagues as Governor Shapiro signed this important bill into law.
Sen. Jay Costa: What an incredible honor to join Governor Shapiro as he signed SB8 into law, marking his first act as Governor. This bipartisan bill will absolutely save lives by making prevention and detection of breast cancer more accessible to our women and families.
PA Breast Cancer Coalition: It’s LAW! Thank you, Governor Shapiro for signing Act 1 of 2023 / SB8 introduced by Senator Kim Ward. Pennsylvanians at high risk will now have access to:
✔️ No-cost breast MRI
✔️ No-cost breast ultrasound
✔️ No-cost genetic testing
✔️ No-cost genetic counseling
Pennsylvania Health Access Network Director of Policy Patrick Keenan: No life-saving test should be out of reach for any patient. Senate Bill 8 is a really important step. It has a targeted audience. And there’s so many other things that are out of reach, unaffordable, or avoided altogether because of cost. And that’s what we have to deal with.
President of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Pat Halpin-Murphy: Getting this passed, it’s nothing short of a miracle.
Director of Women’s Imaging at UPMC Magee Hospital LaJuana Fuller: A lot of times, people who cannot afford to pay, they won’t come. And so then what happens? You have people walking around potentially with a cancer that’s not diagnosed. Someone will have their mother, their sister, their wife, their daughter, because we’re saving lives.
See what Pennsylvanians are reading about the landmark legislation to make healthcare more accessible for Pennsylvania women.