It’s becoming apparent that Komen for the Cure’s primary focus is Komen for the Cure, and not what is best for breast cancer patients, particularly low-income breast cancer patients.
Otherwise, how does one explain lobbying Congress to refuse support for bills that would promote breast health for such women?
In 2000, when I first became a breast cancer activist, one of my first assignments was contacting the senators and members of Congress in my area to encourage their support for the Breast & Cervical Cancer Prevention & Treatment Act. The bill was to provide Medicaid coverage for uninsured women diagnosed through the Breast & Cervical Cancer Prevention & Screening Act, which had been passed several years earlier. IOW, the Treatment Act was necessary because uninsured women were getting no-cost breast cancer diagnosis, but still had no means to pay for treatment.
Sounds easy, right? You screen and diagnose them, you have to help them get treatment. Except one of my GOP senators didn’t see it that way, and he had another breast cancer group who agreed with him….
Upon calling my GOP senator and speaking with his aide, I was shocked to hear her tell me “Sen.__ can’t sign on as a co-sponsor to the bill because all the breast cancer groups aren’t in agreement on it.” Shocked, I asked her who was opposing it. She told me that Komen opposed the bill. When I asked her why, she explained that Komen felt that treatment for uninsured breast cancer patients should be funded through private donations, like the pink ribbon race. I was speechless, in shock. A phone call to another activist confirmed it was true – Komen was lobbying behind the scenes to kill the bill. A moment later, Sen.__’s aide called me back and begged me not to repeat our conversation to anyone, that she had given me the information by mistake.
Thus my lesson about Komen began in 2000. They spend a lot of money lobbying for a very different agenda.
Lobbying against legislation that provide uninsured women with breast-healthcare in order to make money off those women through their pink ribbon races?
(h/t Kerry Reid)
[via Daily Kos]