LETTER: Fiorello Voted No on Coverage for Breast Cancer Testing and Treatment

Submitted Missy Barkin and Jeannie Kriftcher, Stamford

October is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, aside from skin cancers, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime – we all know someone who has been impacted by this disease.

The 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is excellent – 99% – if the tumor is detected at an early stage. This means that access to screening is crucial!!

As breast cancer survivors, we had the good fortune to receive both mammogram and ultrasound screening which helped to detect our breast cancers early on.  This enabled us both to receive the proper treatment and ensure the best long-term prognoses.  As 8- and 13-year survivors, we know first-hand the incredible importance of proper and early screening/testing and treatment.

This is why we were shocked and disappointed to learn that our current State Representative, Kimberly Fiorello, was one of only three legislators—let that sink in—to vote against expanding access to lifesaving breast cancer screening. 

For many women in our state, financial barriers exist that prevent breast cancer screening. This session, the Connecticut General Assembly took steps to ensure ability to pay would not be a barrier to breast cancer screening by requiring insurance carriers to expand coverage for essential diagnostic tests and treatment. This legislation will have real implications for a woman who is told she has dense breast tissue and should have a breast ultrasound for optimal screening in addition to a mammogram. 

This important bill had bipartisan support, passing with 179 of Ms. Fiorello’s colleagues, both Republican and Democrat, voting in favor. It’s time to elect a representative who believes everyone in Connecticut deserves access to essential healthcare services.

On November 8th, please join us in voting for Rachel Khanna for State Representative in the 149th District.

Missy Barkin and Jeannie Kriftcher