Category Archives: Health Care

Democrats stand together and vote NO on Controversial Health Care Compact

From the Salt Lake Tribune
by Lee Davidson

The Senate gave preliminary approval Friday to a controversial health care compact bill that both sides say is strong medicine — but disagree whether it will cure or kill Medicare and Medicaid in Utah.

Senators voted 20-7 to advance SB208 by Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, to a final Senate vote.

The bill would have Utah join an interstate compact seeking to opt out of federal health care reform to let states control programs such as Medicaid and Medicare with federal block grants.

“I think we can manage our affairs better than the federal government,” Adams said. “I think there’s lots of money to be gained” through local innovation that he says is hindered by federal red tape.

But Sen. Patricia Jones, D-Holladay, said many questions are unanswered about whether block grants would keep pace with inflation, and what administrative costs would be locally. The Utah Health Policy Project estimated in committee that Utah could lose $132 million in Medicaid by 2014 if the bill passes.

Click here to read the whole story

Click here to see how your Senator voted.

House passes tanning bill – now to the governor for signature

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The Utah House passes a bill on Wednesday that requires parent consent for minors who want to use tanning beds.

Parents will be asked to sign a consent form each time a minor uses a tanning device.  Facilities that provide tanning services also need to post warning signs on the risks of tanning.

To get the rest of the story, click here.

 

Know Your Breast Density!

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Know your breast density
by Senator Karen Mayne, D–West Valley City 

Every 3 minutes a woman in theUnited Statesis diagnosed with breast cancer.  Every 13 minutes a woman in the U.S.dies from  breast cancer.  38% of breast cancers in the U.S. are diagnosed at a later stage where the cancer has spread beyond the breast.  Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer in the early stages.

Dense breast tissue is comprised of less fat and more connective tissue which appears white on a mammogram.  Cancer also appears white on a mammogram, thus tumors are often hidden behind the dense tissue.  As a woman ages, her breasts usually become more fatty.  Forty percent of women have dense breast tissue, and women with extremely dense breast tissue have a 6 times greater risk of developing cancer than women with fatty breasts.  The good news is that a radiologist can determine from a mammogram if a woman has dense breast tissue.  The disturbing news is that as few as one in 10 women learn about breast density from their physician.

This year, I was pleased to sponsor and pass Senate Bill 31, which recommends that women who have received a mammogram be notified as to whether or not they have dense breast tissue.   The new policy encourages radiologists and physicians to give women more information about our health.  Knowledge is power, and women are smart.  Given the knowledge about our bodies, we will know what to do to take care of ourselves, by seeking out medical professionals who can properly advise us on the next steps to take regarding own health concerns.  However, it is critical that we receive this important information.

The good news is that there are additional cancer screening tools available for women who have been diagnosed with dense breast tissue.  Screening by ultrasound, for example increases detection of cancers at earlier stages in women with this condition.

Breast cancer is a scary diagnosis, but early detection almost always saves lives.  I encourageUtah’s medical community to take the recommendations of Senate Bill 31 and give women all of the necessary information regarding their health.  I also encourage all ofUtah’s women to become more aware of their breast density, to ask questions of your health care provider, and to receive regular mammograms.  If you’re diagnosed with breast density, visit your doctor to discuss more screening options.  It’s a matter of life!

 

 

 

Tanning Bed Regulation Advances Through the Senate

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A bill that would require minors using tanning beds to be accompanied by a parent moved a step closer to passage Tuesday despite threats from a Republican to change the measure when it has its final floor vote Wednesday.

Sen. Pat Jones, D-Holladay, proposed SB41 as a way to more tightly regulate tanning salons by requiring parents with minors to read about the health risks that come with a tanning session at a salon.

“If we do it for tattoos and we do it for body piercings, why shouldn’t we be doing this for tanning, which is much more dangerous than possible infections from body piercings and tattoos,” Jones said.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Breast Cancer Screening Bill Passes the Utah Senate & House

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SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah House of Representatives passed SB32 last week.  The bill, sponsored by Senator Karen Mayne, D–West Valley City, will encourage medical providers to inform patients of the presence of dense breast tissue and recommend extra screenings to detect possible cancer growth.

The bill previously passed the Utah Senate.   It now goes to the Governor for final signing.

“This will save thousands of lives,” Mayne said.

Utah lawmakers give preliminary approval to underage tanning ban

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From the Salt Lake Tribune
by Kristen Stewart

Swayed by evidence of the harms of indoor tanning and moving testimony from melanoma survivors, a Senate committee on Thursday endorsed a ban on underage tanning.

Sponsoring Sen. Pat Jones, D-Holladay, initially proposed prohibiting all minors from using commercial tanning beds, but retailored the ban to apply to those age 13 and under. Youths between the ages of 14 and 18 could tan, but only when accompanied by a parent.

The measure passed the Senate Health and Human Services Comittee 4-1, despite the reservations of regulation-averse Republicans.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Senator Pat Jones bill to restrict tanning bed usage passes Senate Committee

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SALT LAKE CITY – A bill that would prohibit anyone under the age of 13 from using tanning bed passed out out of the Senate Health and Human Services committee today.  The bill would also require anyone from the age of 14-18 who uses a tanning bed  to have a  parent accompany to them to the tanning facility.

“This legislation is designed to reduce deaths from melanoma. Utah ranks #1 in deaths from melanoma… we have the highest in the nation for melanoma cases.  We know that 23% of Utah females, grades 10 through 12, our teenagers, are tanning at least once a year. About 5% of them are tanning more than 40 times a year,” said Senator Pat Jones–D, Holladay, the bill’s sponsor.

Senator Jones went on to explain that indoor tanning beds work by shining ultraviolet, UV radiation on to the skin.  UV radiation damages our DNA, and that is what causes skin to go darker.

“This is more dangerous than the midday sun.  It’s more intense and a larger scope and percentage of the skin is exposed to the radiation,” she said.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency Institute for Research on Cancer has classified tanning beds as human carcinogens. They have recommended that no one under the age of 18 years of age use a tanning bed.

The bill now goes to the Senate floor for debate.

Breast Cancer Screening Bill Passes the Utah Senate

From the Salt  Lake Tribune…
by David Montero

The Utah Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would encourage medical providers to inform patients of the presence of dense breast tissue and recommend extra screenings to detect possible cancer growth.

Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, introduced SB32 this week on the Senate floor and appeared to have total support as lawmaker after lawmaker delivered sometimes-emotional testimony about knowing people diagnosed with breast cancer.

“This will save thousands of lives,” Mayne said.

Click here to read the Salt Lake Tribune Story

 

Utah Democrats Standing Up For Women’s Health

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961
E:    emily.hollingshead@gmail.com

Dense Breast Tissue Awareness Bill Passes Senate Committee Unanimously

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah State Senators gave a nod to Senator Karen Mayne’s Breast Cancer Awareness bill today.   The bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Health and Human Services committee this afternoon.

SB31 would recommend that patients who have received a mammogram be notified as to whether or not they have dense breast tissue.  In some cases, dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to diagnose breast cancer through a mammogram .   “The bill simply gives women more information about our own health.  Knowledge is power.  This arms us with  knowledge about our bodies and gives us tools to properly deal with our personal medical issues,” Senator Mayne testified.

Committee members Senator Luz Robles-D, Salt Lake City,  and Senator Pat Jones-D, Salt Lake City, expressed concern that women are not already receiving this information, and encouraged the medical community to give as much education to women as possible regarding the issue.  ”Please take this to all of Utah’s doctors an make sure that women are aware, so that they can get proper information regarding their health,” said Senator Jones.

“Women are smart,” said Senator Mayne. “If you give us the knowledge, we will know what to do to take care of ourselves.  But first, we need the information.”

The bill now goes to the Senate floor for debate.

For more information or media requests, please contact Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats:  emily.hollingshead@gmail.comor 435-590-9961

Senator Karen Mayne’s Bill Would Save Lives

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961
E:    emily.hollingshead@gmail.com

Senator Karen Mayne working to save women’s lives

SALT LAKE CITY – Senator Karen Mayne-D, West Valley City, is sponsoring a bill that will aid in the fight against breast cancer.  Senate Bill 31 would require doctors to notify a woman if she has dense breast tissue if it has been discovered in a mammogram.   When a woman has dense breast tissue it may be difficult to detect if breast cancer is present.   The bill would simply require that the patient be notified that she has dense breast tissue, along with a recommendation  to consult with her doctor for more information.

“This bill will save lives,” she says. “It’s about arming women with knowledge. Knowledge is power.”

The bill will be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee today, January 25,  at 2:00pm  in Room 250 of the Utah State Capitol.

For more information or media requests, please contact Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats:  emily.hollingshead@gmail.com or 435-590-9961