The Oregon state House voted 48 to 12 in favor of a bill that would require state-regulated health insurance programs to cover Gardasil for female beneficiaries. Gardasil is a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that protects against about 70 percent of the HPV strains that are linked to cervical cancer. It was approved for use in girls and women between the ages of 9 and 26 in 2006.
Though most insurance companies already cover the vaccine, the bill seeks to ensure that coverage continues and that any new insurance programs include coverage.
State Representative Deborah Boone told Oregon Public Broadcasting that “The best use of our money is a little bit up front to vaccinate, to pre-treat, to prevent- whatever you want to call it- because the backside expenses are so high, especially in cancer treatments.” She told The Oregonian “This will help innumerable young women from ever having to worry about cervical cancer as they grow older.”
The Oregon bill must be passed by the state Senate and signed by the governor to become law.