Renewed Legislation Designed to End Financial Barriers to Prostate Cancer Screening Introduced in the House

On March 29, 2023, a bill was introduced in Congress that aims to lower many of the high financial barriers to prostate cancer screening that many high-risk patients currently face. The bill, H.R. 1826, the Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening for High-risk Insured Men (PSA Screening for HIM) Act, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Larry Bucshon (R-IN) as the primary sponsor with Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Neal Dunn, M.D. (R-FL), and Troy Carter (D-LA) as original cosponsors.

The bipartisan legislative proposal would waive cost-sharing requirements for men with the highest risk of prostate cancer, with the bill focusing on black men and patients with a family history of the disease. The PSA Screening for HIM Act is a bill introduced in Congress previously. In 2020, during the 117th Congress, the PSA Screening for HIM Act was first introduced by Representative Bucshon and now-retired Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-IL).

The PSA Screening for HIM Act is an essential step toward addressing the growing incidence of prostate cancer; the number of deaths due to prostate cancer has been increasing in recent years, and prostate cancer is now the second-highest cancer-related cause of death in the United States.

The new legislation will allow men with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer to receive screenings without deductibles, copayments, or coinsurances. This is critical because early detection is essential for positive prostate cancer outcomes: early detection leads to a higher chance of disease cure, control, and long-term survival.

The legislation focuses on Black men due to the increased incidence rate and lethality of prostate cancer in that community. According to a 2023 American Cancer Society report, the incidence rate among Black men is 73 percent higher than in White men, and Black men are over twice as likely to die from prostate cancer. This bill will help millions of men secure an early diagnosis, seek treatment for this potentially deadly disease, and could help save thousands of lives annually.

In addition to the legislation being considered in Congress, several additional state-level bills have been introduced or passed that would lower many of the same financial barriers imposed on PSA screening for prostate cancer. Illinois and New York have passed legislation that made prostate cancer screening available without co-pays or other cost-sharing; similar bills have also been introduced in California and Texas.



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