U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., and Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., today introduced the Mobile Mammography Promotion Act, which would allow mobile mammography units to purchase fuel without the federal excise tax.
The bipartisan legislation is modeled after existing exemptions for blood centers and other service entities. Mobile mammography units -- known as mammovans -- travel thousands of miles each year to provide mammograms and other services that help detect and treat women's medical conditions.
"Early detection is one of the best ways to fight breast cancer," Kirkpatrick said. "But in our district, thousands of women in rural towns and tribal nations struggle for access to health care. This legislation provides a cost-efficient incentive for mobile mammography units to serve these remote populations and save lives."
Luetkemeyer said, "The majority of us all have a mom, sister, daughter, aunt, or another loved one that has been diagnosed, suffered, and fought breast cancer. Unfortunately, too many of us have lost that loved one due to the disease. I am hopeful that other lawmakers will step up and support this bipartisan legislation to make regular mammography screenings a reality for those that it isn't already because early detection and treatment is critical in battling breast cancer."
Breast cancer affects one in eight women in the United States, resulting in approximately 40,000 deaths in this country annually. In Arizona, an estimated 2,800 women will be diagnosed and 600 women will die of breast cancer, according to MOM, an Arizona-based Mobile On-Site Mammography organization.
The nationwide percentage of women receiving a mammogram within the past two years increased from 29 percent in 1987 to 70 percent in 2000. Screening rates declined by 3 percent after 2000 and have remained stagnant for the past decade. This bill is aimed at helping improve those screening rates once again.