Money for breast cancer screening in state budget for now - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Money for breast cancer screening in state budget for now

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The Louisiana state legislature continues to work out a budget for the next fiscal year. The House of Representatives was supposed to discuss its version Thursday, but that was delayed until Friday.

One of the items included in the House's budget is money for a program that provides mammograms for women without insurance. Supporters say thousands of women will suffer if the money does not go through.

All the state has to do is dedicate $700,000 to the Louisiana Breast and Cervical Screening Program in the 2013-2014 budget. Then the federal government will give the program $2.1 million.

"It's kind of one of those that's a no-brainer," Kelley Matkins, mission coordinator at the Shreveport chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "It's a little bit of money for a lot of bang, if you will."

Matkins met with local representatives before the session began to stress the importance of the money.

"It's more than just the screening," Matkins explained. "It's the treatment that's provided through this program. that's going to save these women's lives."

The money is used locally by partners in wellness at the l-s-u health center. One of the 6,000 uninsured women that program has helped is Mary Snyder.

"I never even thought about me having breast cancer because it's not in my family," said Snyder. "And it's just, never even thought of it."

Snyder found out she had breast cancer before it became life-threatening. She went through five weeks of radiation and will be cancer free for two years at the end of the summer.

I probably never would have found it," she said. "I still don't have insurance. But I wouldn't get mammograms."

I know that everyone's clamoring for money at the legislature, but again, this is a healthcare program that is proven and is saving lives," said Matkins.

A handful of representatives from the northwestern part of the state say they are dedicated to keeping this money in the budget, but it still has a long way to go.

The full house will debate the budget Friday. Even if the money for these cancer screenings get cut, the Senate can still add it back in. Last year the funding was restored at the end of the budget deliberations

Governor Jindal did not include the money in his original $24.7 billion budget proposal.

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