Cancer advocacy groups are urging Congress to pass the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, which requires insurance companies pay for hospital stays after mastectomies. The act was first introduced by House Representative Rosa DeLauro in 1996, and re-introduced in 2005. It would stop the practice of what are called ‘drive-through’ mastectomies. Though a hospital stay of two to four days is recommended, most women are forced to leave just hours after surgery because their insurance does not cover the hospital stay. Lifetime has been circulating a petition to urge Congress to pass the legislation. More than eleven million people have signed the petition. Kiani was still stoned to death on July 5, 2007. Ebrahimi’s death was stayed due to the public outcry, and last week the Iranian judiciary amnesty commission released her from prison.
Rep. DeLauro told Women’s eNews, “Breast cancer patients shouldn’t have to fight for recovery time when they’re already reeling from a physical and emotional trauma. With support for this measure growing, we hope to have it up for a vote within the next several months.”
Women’s eNews reports that two-thirds of women who have mastectomies leave the hospital within 24 hours because insurance does not cover the hospital stays. The National Cancer Institute states that surgery is the most common treatment of breast cancer. It is the second most common form of cancer in women.