State Policy Priorities
Ensure Statewide Access to the WWWP
For women with little or no access to insurance, the Wisconsin Well Woman Program is supposed to provide cervical and breast cancer screenings at no costs to women aged 45 to 64. When the Wisconsin Department of Health Services proposed restructuring the Wisconsin Well Woman Program in 2013, they were counting on other programs such as the Affordable Care Act to take care of the women who might find themselves needing care after the number of coordinators and providers dropped drastically.
The Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition’s main concern is that the current structure of the WWWP presents obstacles to women’s access to free screenings and treatment, such that many will fall out of any system of healthcare. One complaint we have heard from coordinators and healthcare providers is that certain areas of the state lack the same level of care they had before the program changes.
When asked for more information about the problems of adding new providers, gaps in coordination and problems with double counting the efficacy of programs such as the ACA, the Department of Health Services has only told us that they have increased their advertising services. While we do appreciate the continued outreach efforts to make sure women know what services are provided by the Well Woman Program, until the concerns regarding access to services are addressed, this is a secondary concern of advocacy organizations.
The Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition’s goal is for the WWWP to be a success. We will continue to ask for more information, and if necessary advocate for the reforms needed to ensure statewide access to the lifesaving screenings the Wisconsin Well Woman Program is supposed to provide to all women who qualify for the program.
Increase funding for the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System
Increased funding for the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System is a widely held goal of advocacy organizations throughout Wisconsin. The National Program of Cancer Registry sets the requirements for state cancer reporting agencies, and currently only 6 of the 10 baseline requirements have been met. The target for 2017 was to meet all 10 baseline requirements, which isn’t possible without investing in the WCRS.
The Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System has been and continues to be severely underfunded. Cancer statistics are vital for research and to provide insight into prevention and treatment options for public health interventions. State and national organizations have accessed the WCRS and found it to have the highest staff to case ratio in the nation. Wisconsin’s caseload is nearly double the national average.
Support healthy lifestyle choices which prevent Breast Cancer
Reducing the incidences of breast cancer means supporting policies that prevent cancer. Lifestyle choices — like how much you drink, what products you use, or how much daily physical activity you get — can impact your risk of breast cancer. Go wibreastcancer.org/education to learn more about our educational programming on these issues.
Priority Watch: Prevent Childhood Obesity
- Childhood obesity is a known risk factor for breast cancer in later life. The WBCC supports policies aimed at the prevention of childhood obesity.
Priority Watch: Reduce Binge Drinking
- Excessive alcohol consumption increases your risk of Breast Cancer. The WBCC supports policies which increase public awareness of the risks of excessive drinking as well as increased screening and treatment for high risk alcohol use.
Education on the Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer
- WBCC supports the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program, and wants policy makers to be aware of the outcomes of this nationwide, interdisciplinary research. WBCC will bring research findings to the public and will continue to support and advertise sound breast cancer science.
Local Policy Priorities
Expand Our Focus to Promote Change on the Local Level
The Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition has not engaged in advocacy work at the local level before. We want to expand our mission to include local policy change which includes local governments, school and workplace policy, and individual campaigns aimed at reducing and preventing Breast Cancer in Wisconsin.
Call your Wisconsin legislators and let them know you support our priorities!
Find their contact information HERE