Portantino’s Bills to Increase Early Detection of Breast Cancer and Disaster Planning bills Signed by Governor

Over the weekend, Governor Brown signed Assemblymember Anthony Portantino’s legislation to ensure that more women have access to mammograms (AB 137) and legislation requiring investor-owned electric utilities and water companies to develop an emergency and disaster preparedness plan every two years (AB 1650) and to hold comprehensive disaster preparedness meetings with the counties and cities they service.


AB 137 eliminates outdated guidelines that have prevented younger women from receiving mammograms when medically necessary.


“In the past 20 years, our understanding of breast cancer detection and prevention has improved dramatically. We now know that women have a multitude of risk factors that fall outside the current ‘one size fits all’ health care policy,” explained Portantino. “With so many women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, our laws on breast cancer health insurance coverage should reflect all the latest advances in science and technology.”


AB 137 will update guidelines to the Insurance Code and will allow younger women to have a mammogram when medically necessary. Instead of basing the need for mammograms only on a woman’s age, AB 137 allows doctors to order diagnostic tests based on a more complete list of risk factors.


“I want to thank Governor Brown for recognizing the importance of this legislation in ensuring that all women get the best possible screening for early detection of breast cancer.  I have introduced similar legislation four times since taking office in 2006 – and twice the bills were vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. I’m pleased to see that Governor Brown had the courage to stand up to the insurance lobby and sign this bill; it is good for the patient and in the long run, good for the insurance provider as early detection helps save lives and certainly saves health care dollars,” commented Portantino.