Senator Atkins’ Legislation to Expand Access to Breast and Cervical Cancer Screenings and Treatment Passes State Senate

May 22, 2024

SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, Senate Bill 1213 passed out of the Senate on a 38-0 vote. The bill, authored by Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), would expand access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, diagnostic services, and treatment for lower income Californians.

“No one in California should have to choose between paying their bills and accessing essential breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment. This bill is a critical part of our efforts to reduce cancer deaths and make health care more accessible and affordable for lower income Californians,” said Pro Tem Emeritus Atkins. “By increasing access to state programs that provide screenings, diagnostic services, and treatment, we can reduce the incidence of late stage cancer, ensure people get the care they need, and improve health outcomes.”

Senate Bill 1213 would increase the eligibility threshold for the Every Woman Counts (EWC) program and the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (BCCTP) from 200% of the Federal Poverty Level – or $30,120/year for an individual – to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level – or $45,180/year. The EWC provides eligible Californians with free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services. The BCCTP provides affordable treatment options to eligible low-income California residents diagnosed with breast and/or cervical cancer. Expanding these California Department of Healthcare Services programs would help more Californians access the timely, quality care they need and improve health outcomes.

Pro Tem Emeritus Atkins has worked to improve healthcare access throughout her career. SB 1213 follows years of work expanding the EWC and BCCTP programs to serve more women in California. In addition, Senator Atkins has also championed multiple efforts to expand Medi-Cal to provide health coverage to more Californians.

SB 1213 is sponsored by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. It now moves on to the Assembly.

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Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore Emeritus of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Emeritus Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins