There are currently more than 155,000 women and men living with metastatic breast cancer in the United States alone. Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other organs in the body (most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain). While metastatic breast cancer can be treated, there is no cure.
This is why metastatic breast cancer patients do not have time to wait for the treatments they need.
Under current regulations, metastatic breast cancer patients are subject to a 5-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance and a 24-month waiting period for eligible Medicare benefits. This is time that these women and men do not have. The longer they wait for their treatments, the more at risk of their disease progressing they are. If patients choose to pay for their treatments out-of-pocket, they are at risk of severe financial stress and potentially bankruptcy.
Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) have introduced the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act, H.R. 2178/S. 1374, a bipartisan bill to provide metastatic breast cancer patients access to the care they need by waiving the 5-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance and the 24-month waiting period for eligible Medicare benefits.