A woman from Mason City who has breast cancer is at the statehouse today, lobbying for a bill that would require insurance companies to pay for mammograms when a doctor recommends one, or there’s a family history of breast cancer. Forty-year-old Holly Mennen says the bill won’t do her any good, since she’s already been diagnosed with breast cancer, but she’s getting involved because she doesn’t want anyone else to have her experience.Mennen was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast disease when she was 30. Her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer about five years ago, which means Mennen was high risk. In 2001, Mennen’s doctor suggested she have a mammogram, but she couldn’t afford one.Mennen says in March of 2002, doctors found cancer in her breast and lymph nodes. She says she’ll be back before legislators often to urge them to pass the bill that’d force insurance companies to pay for mammograms when a woman has a history of breast cancer. She says she’s concerned that high risk people are not getting the mamograms they need. One of the legislators who’s co-sponsoring the bill says debate about the issue will hopefully highlight the grants and other programs that’re available to low-income women who can’t afford a mammogram. Critics of the bill say it’ll raise the price of health insurance, and there are already special boards to hear protests from policyholders who’re denied coverage for mammograms or other medical treatment.
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