California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill this weekend that would have required health insurance companies that cover cervical cancer treatments to cover the cost of the vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is linked to many kinds of cervical cancers. The bill passed in the Assembly by a vote of 52-23 and 26-13 in the Senate.
California has the highest cervical cancer rate in the US. The vaccine, which is administrated in three doses over six months, costs about $360 and is recommended for girls and women ages 11-26, reports the California Chronicle.
“Without this bill, the law only requires coverage for girls sixteen years or younger in group plans or insurance policies,” said the bill’s author Rep. Noreen Evans in the California Chronicle, “That fails to protect millions of California’s women within the full age range recommended for receiving the vaccine.”