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Male Breast Cancer: Medicaid Denies SC Man

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 11, 2011 6:48 AM

Despite known cases of male breast cancer, Medicaid does not cover it. Men with breast cancer may have to suffer through high bills and hospital costs unless new rules are implemented - or existing rules are interpreted differently.

Raymond Johnson, 26, was diagnosed with breast cancer in South Carolina, where he works for around $9 an hour, reports MSNBC.

Johnson was surprised to learn of his diagnosis, because he wasn't even sure that men could be diagnosed with breast cancer. He was even more surprised when he was denied coverage for his illness, according to MSNBC.

Johnson had originally been advised by his treating physicians to apply for a supplemental Medicaid program created for those who are diagnosed with breast cancer and who have incomes that are 200% of the poverty line.

The program that distributes funds was created by federal law, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act. Unfortunately for Johnson, the Act only makes the funds available for women with breast cancer. Johnson was later notified that his application had been denied, according to ABC News.

Could this be a case where the government is discriminating against one sex? It certainly seems that if the current regulations are interpreted this way, the fund has been set up to exclude males who suffer from the same illness, which could run afoul of anti-discrimination provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

For men with breast cancer, however, help may be on its way in the form of legislative reform. Politicians have now taken on the case, with several South Carolina congressmen pushing to get male breast cancer Medicaid coverage, according to The Post and Courier.

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