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McConnell Asks Medicare to Help Detect Lung Cancer in Smokers

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wants Medicare to do more for early detection of lung cancer, a particularly pronounced issue in Kentucky.  

Citing a U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommendation, the Kentucky Republican has sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner seeking review for possible coverage of low-dose CT scans to detect lung cancer among high-risk populations, such as pack-a-day smokers.  

"I hear regularly from constituents about the need to better prevent and treat lung cancer," McConnell wrote, also noting that the mortality rate for lung cancer in the commonwealth is the highest of any state in the country.  

Medicare was the subject of back-and-forth of campaign TV advertisements last week in McConnell's re-election race against Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic secretary of state.  

"In one way or another, cancer has touched the lives of almost every American, and ensuring Kentucky's seniors have access to innovative diagnostic tools and treatment options should be a priority. Therefore, I ask that CMS review all of the available information and make an informed, timely decision regarding the Medicare coverage of low-dose CT scans for high-risk individuals," McConnell wrote.  

The letter to Tavenner is posted here .  

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