Quick Takes

Kentucky House advances two preventive, diagnostic health bills 

By: - February 5, 2024 5:58 pm

Breast cancer awareness ribbons. (Getty Images)

The Kentucky House unanimously passed two health bills on Monday that are aimed at making childhood vaccines more accessible and detecting cancer early. 

House Bill 115 would get rid of insurance copays and cost sharing for diagnostic cancer screenings like mammograms. It passed 93-0 with no debate. 

Sponsor and former nurse Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser, R-Taylor Mill, said on the House floor that these copays are “a known barrier” to getting needed imaging. 

“This is needed for detecting and treating breast cancer in the early stages prior to a biopsy when it is more easily cured and less costly to patients and to the health care system,” said Moser. 

Her bill has bipartisan support. One of the co-sponsors, Rep. Lisa Willner, D-Louisville, dedicated her support of the bill to Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, who recently underwent a double mastectomy amid cancer concerns. 

“Breast cancer doesn’t care about political party,” Willner said. “It doesn’t care about ideology or beliefs.”  

A second bill, House Bill 274, would allow Kentucky pharmacies to continue administering vaccines to children ages 5-17 with parental or guardian consent. It passed 94-0 with no debate. 

“Kentucky is approaching a public health crisis and childhood vaccines,” said sponsor Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell. This bill would give pharmacies, which are more abundant and available in Kentucky than pediatric medical offices, the power to continue providing immunizations to their communities. 

“Pharmacists are prepared to use their knowledge to help fill the gap,” Bentley said on the floor. 

Both bills can now go to the senate for a full vote. 

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Sarah Ladd
Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd is a Louisville-based journalist from West Kentucky who's covered everything from crime to higher education. She spent nearly two years on the metro breaking news desk at The Courier Journal. In 2020, she started reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and has covered health ever since. As the Kentucky Lantern's health reporter, she focuses on mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, children's welfare, COVID-19 and more.

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