Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ (IA-02)
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, May 18th, 2022, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ (IA-02)SERVICE Act and MAMMO for Veterans Act passed the House of Representatives. Both of these bipartisan and bicameral bills would increase access to breast cancer screenings for female veterans.
“Our veterans risked their lives and their health in service to our country. Female veterans are especially at risk for several types of cancer, especially breast cancer,” said Miller-Meeks. “As a doctor, I have always told my patients that early detection is the key to successfully treating all types of cancer. I am thrilled to see both of my bipartisan bills pass the House today and I look forward to seeing them become law to support female veterans across the country.”
Read the full text of the SERVICE Act HERE, and watch Miller-Meeks’ remarks HERE.
Read the full text of the MAMMO for Veterans Act HERE, and watch Miller-Meeks’ remarks HERE.
In July of 2021, Miller-Meeks joined Rep. Julie Brownley (CA-26), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to introduce the SERVICE Act. The bill unanimously passed the Senate in March of 2022.
In July of 2021, Miller-Meeks, Brownley, and Boozman joined Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), the Chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, to introduce the MAMMO for Veterans Act. The bill unanimously passed the Senate in March of 2022.
The incidence of breast cancer in female veterans and military populations is estimated to be 20-40% higher than the risk of the general population. Breast cancer diagnoses are also higher among female servicemembers with exposure to toxic substances than those with low or no exposure. Under current law, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) national policy on breast cancer mammogram screening for veterans advises screening on the basis of age, symptoms, or family history. This bill revises the current guidance to include female veterans who served in areas associated with burn pits and other toxic exposures.
The Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas Supporting Expanded Review for Veterans in Combat Environments (SERVICE) Act would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide mammogram screening for female veterans who served in areas associated with burn pits and other toxic exposure.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. The SERVICE Act would require the VA to submit a report to both the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees two years after enactment that compares the instances of breast cancer among members of the Armed Forces.
The Making Advances in Mammography and Medical Options (MAMMO) for Veterans Act would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop a strategic plan to improve breast imaging services, create a telemammography pilot program for veterans in areas where VA does not offer in-house mammography and expand veterans’ access to clinical trials through partnerships with the National Cancer Institute.
The MAMMO for Veterans Act would also require VA to upgrade all in-house breast imaging to 3D mammography, which is considered the gold standard imaging technology for mammography. It would also direct VA to expand partnerships for clinical trials and research on breast cancer care, and emphasize improving access to care for women veterans, rural veterans, and disabled and paralyzed veterans.