In a conference call with the media this morning the Clinton campaign announced she will increase funding for breast cancer research and services by $300 million per year as President. This would be the first real incremental increase in eight years and work toward a goal of increasing funding from the current $750 million per year to $1.5 billion.
According to Pat Halpin-Murphy of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition in Ephrata, Pennsylvania is third in the nation in breast cancer mortality. She said Pennsylvania "is especially hard hit by this disease." Hillary wants to increase funding for services, be they mammograms and other treatments and preventive services in addition to research.
The women on the call, Fran Visco, President of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, Rep. Donna Christian-Christensen M.D., and Catherine Brown Domestic Policy Adviser for Hillary, in addition to Ms. Halpin-Murphy, recollected Hillary's long involvement and support for breast cancer research, services and legislation while serving both as First lady and United States Senator. They reiterated her long standing support for these issues and saluted her for her unwavering support for their efforts.
The Congresswoman lamented the fact that women of color are often omitted from research studies about the disease. They mentioned that not enough is known yet about the environmental causes of breast cancer and how more needs to be done in this area.
Much of the discussion was devoted to the problems of the uninsured and underinsured in receiving care, both preventive and treatment related. I wanted to ask if the fact Hillary isn't supporting HR 676, a single payer, truly universal health care plan or the Pennsylvania version, the Family and Business Healthcare Security Act, would go much further in eliminating these problems. I didn't get that chance before the call ended so I'll ask it here. Wouldn't Hillary's support for real healthcare reform where all women would have access to true wellness care, preventive medicine and full treatment with no copays or deductibles go further towards providing the needs expressed by the women on this call do more to solve these issues than her plan? Obviously it would. It would solve every one of the concerns expressed on the call.
I also wanted to ask Pat Halpin-Murphy why Pennsylvania ranks so dismally high in terms of breast cancer mortality? Does she have any idea or theory as to why we're afflicted with such a high mortality rate? Is it lack of access to medical care, lack of insurance, environmental factors, or some other reason?
Regardless I salute Hillary's strong support for this issue and recognize her efforts to bring this issue into the campaign. Neither of the other candidates has yet to do so.