Assembly panel OKs combined cancer bill |

Assembly panel OKs combined cancer bill

Associated Press

A proposal requiring most insurance providers to make a cervical cancer vaccine available to young women was approved by an Assembly panel after it was combined with a separate measure mandating coverage for prostate cancer screenings.

SB113, mandating the prostate screenings, was amended to include SB409, mandating the cervical vaccine availability, and was passed by the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee.

The new combined bill also restores the mandate that self-funded health plans would have to offer the vaccine. The provision mandating that these plans offer the cervical vaccine had been taken out of the measure in the Senate after some local government groups objected.

If approved by the full Assembly, the combined measure would then return to the Senate for its consideration.

Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, made the motion to combine the two measures, saying Wednesday, “It’s just not right to say we’re going to support men’s cancer and not women’s cancer (prevention). I think we should put them together in one bill and stand up for men’s health and women’s health.”

Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, sought the cervical vaccine coverage. Insurance companies must provide the vaccine, but there is no mandate that young women be vaccinated. The intent is to make the vaccine more affordable and accessible.

The measure requires health insurance companies, including Nevada Check-Up and Medicaid, to make the vaccine, called Gardasil, available to females ages 9 to 26. Funding for the vaccine is included in the budgets for Medicaid and Nevada Check-Up, health plans for the working poor and the uninsured.