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Wednesday, June 07, 2017
Lesser praises final passage of cancer legislation
Rep. Matt Lesser
CANCER VICTIMS AWAIT ENACTMENT OF
BILL TO PROVIDE FERTILITY INSURANCE
Like many other cancer patients, Melissa Thompson
had a tough choice to make: If she wanted to live and have children, she
would have to pay the medical bills for preserving her fertility while
undergoing cancer treatment. Insurance companies
for the most part do not provide coverage for preserving a person’s
In Thompson’s case that meant a $12,000 bill, which she had to charge on a credit card as she started chemotherapy.
Rep. Matthew Lesser (D-Middletown), also a cancer
survivor who faced the same choice when he was diagnosed five years ago,
has been fighting to pass legislation that would provide insurance
coverage for fertility preservation.
Finally, after five years of struggling to get a
bill signed into law, legislation that Lesser introduced this session is
on the cusp of being enacted. The House unanimously passed House Bill
7124 this week and on Friday the Senate approved
the measure, which now goes to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for his signature.
Lesser said it was Thompson, whose undying drive
and motivation in getting insurance coverage for others, that led to the
passage of this year’s legislation.
“This year I met an incredible citizen advocate,
Melissa, through my colleague Rep. Caroline Simmons, and she completely
changed the conversation, making a policy argument and telling an
incredible and engaging story. Through her tenacity
and smarts we were able to pass a good bill,” Lesser said.
“No one should be forced to make the agonizing
choice I faced after my cancer diagnosis – the choice to compromise
either my survival or the ability to have a family in the future,”
Thompson said. “Thanks to this bill, those diagnosed with
cancer can focus on saving their own lives, while not precluding future
is National Cancer Survivor’s Day and for Connecticut residents the
term cancer survivor has new meaning – one of hope, Thompson said.
Lesser also credited Rep. Sean Scanlon
(D-Guilford), Senators Tim Larson (D-East Hartford) and Kevin Kelly
(R-Stratford), Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade and the American
Cancer Society for their support of the legislation.
Editor's Note: The Middletown Insider will publish matters from both sides of the aisle. That does not mean we support it.