Advocates warn Connecticut governor against vetoing 3D breast imaging bill

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A new bill requiring private insurance companies to cover breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, when prescribed by a cancer specialist has passed the Connecticut state legislature and now sits on Governor Dannel Malloy’s desk.

The only question is: Will he sign it?

Breast cancer advocates, including House Republican Leader Themis Klarides, expressed both concern and optimism regarding a possible gubernatorial veto at a press conference earlier this week.

“We can’t afford to tie ourselves to laws that prevent us from using any new technology that came along after 1988. 3D mammograms will help people live long and fruitful lives,” she told reporters. “I don’t think he (Malloy) will let us down.”

The bill, which passed the House 139-3 and the Senate 36-0, would cost up to $10 million annually over the next two years, according to a report from the state’s insurance department.

Supporters of the bill, however, believe the initial cost of new imaging equipment will be made up quickly due to the lower false-positive rate of tomosynthesis, which will prevent thousands of unnecessary follow up procedures.

“Breast cancer has affected all of us in one way or another. We all know someone or have a relative that has fought this disease,” said Klarides. “We have worked hard for years to arrive at this point and I hope we can see this to the end.”