National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: It's Time to Take Control of Your Health

To raise awareness for breast cancer, Tammy is encouraging women to empower themselves with the knowledge to make health care decisions that work for them and their families -  and take advantage of the free preventive health care and cancer screenings available to them. To see the blog she wrote for Women’s Health, click here.

Breast Cancer Awareness

This October, as we join together to raise awareness for breast cancer, it’s important that we take the time to celebrate the progress we have made on women’s health.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, American women are now empowered with more choices and stronger health coverage. And thanks to the health law’s new protections, women are realizing the benefits of health security for the first time, and they are no longer discriminated against by insurance companies simply because they are a woman.

Today, someone’s mother can get a lifesaving mammogram without the fear of high medical bills. And, someone’s sister can take advantage of a cervical cancer screening without worrying how to pay for it. This is important because we know early detection and prompt treatment of cancer is vital to saving lives and increasing survivorship rates.

Women who couldn’t afford to buy birth control now have a guaranteed benefit available with no out-of-pocket cost. This part of the law has already saved women an estimated $483.3 million in out-of-pocket costs in 2013 alone. Also, women now have guaranteed maternity coverage, a benefit that many individual health plans did not include before this historic law was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama.

While some politicians continue their calls for repeal of these critical reforms, it is important that we work together to protect these gains for women and their families.  We also need to do more to strengthen the health security of women.

That is why I am working to reauthorize the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This bipartisan program provides cancer screenings to low-income, uninsured, and under-insured women across America by making investments in states to partner with non-profit groups and local health clinics that coordinate and deliver life-saving screenings to women in need. These screenings include clinical breast exams, mammograms, pap tests, HPV tests, pelvic exams, and referrals for treatment. Since its inception in 1991, this program has provided nearly 11 million screening exams for breast and cervical cancer—including five million mammograms—to underserved women.

All women should have access to the most current breast and cervical cancer detection services. That’s why I’ll continue my work in the U.S. Senate to make sure women have access to the critical care they need to maintain their health.

But we all have a role to play to engage, educate, and empower our friends, family, and neighbors. We can all do or part to raise awareness about breast cancer and advance women’s health.

Not just this month, but every day.

Know the facts, and empower yourself with the knowledge to make the health-care decisions that work for you and your family. Early detection tests for breast and cervical cancer save thousands of lives each year—but many more lives could be saved if more women took full advantage of these tests. Share this information with your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, and the other women in your life. And take advantage of the free preventive cancer screenings that are so essential to your health.

Let us join together as one community and renew our commitment to healthy women—because healthy women lead to healthy families, and healthy families lead to healthy communities.

If you Lost BadgerCare Plus, Sign up for Special Enrollment Health Care Coverage by November 2

Did you or did someone you know lose BadgerCare Plus coverage? If so, you could be eligible to enroll in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace and receive the coverage you need.

If you were kicked out of the BadgerCare program by Governor Walker and don’t have health care coverage, you still have time to enroll in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace for coverage this year. The last day for special enrollment is November 2nd.

Call the federal Health Insurance Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 or TTY 1-855-889-4325 to enroll before November 2nd.

Governor Walker’s decision to kick approximately 63,000 Wisconsinites out of BadgerCare has resulted in a gap in coverage for many our friends and neighbors. But this special enrollment period will provide Wisconsinites the health insurance they need and deserve.

Help get the word out. Call the federal Health Insurance Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 or TTY 1-855-889-4325 to enroll for health insurance before the November 2nd deadline.

Tammy on Police Militarization in America

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Tammy joined Senators Robert Casey (D-PA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Christopher Murphy (D-CT) in calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to track all federal aid and equipment provided to state and local public safety organizations to better understand how the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security can best assist local law enforcement. Tammy passionately believes in the importance of effective policing and has noted how recent events have highlighted a growing trend of American local law enforcement using military equipment.

The Senators write, “Following meetings we have held in our respective states, we believe that there is a clear need for a more robust federal role in tracking and evaluating public safety equipment transfers nationwide… When Congress, the President, or the American people ask whether military aid to law enforcement is serving its stated purpose, DOJ should have what it needs to offer an informed response.”

Prior to the letter to Attorney General Holder, Tammy participated in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Oversight of Federal Programs for Equipping State and Local Law Enforcement. Tammy questioned the panelists about the process of equipping police officers with military equipment and discussed the best practices for supporting our state and local police departments. You can watch Tammy’s portion of the hearing here:

An online copy of the letter to Attorney General Holder is available here.

Lose BadgerCare Plus? Learn How to Enroll for Health Care Coverage

Approximately 63,000 Wisconsinites lost their BadgerCare Plus coverage on April 1, 2014 as a result of Governor Scott Walker’s plan and decision to reject a federal investment in the BadgerCare program. Of the 63,000 Wisconsinites who lost their BadgerCare, nearly 27,000 people are stuck in a coverage gap and likely still uninsured.

If you are one of the Wisconsinites who lost BadgerCare Plus coverage and have not yet purchased health insurance, you are eligible for 2014 coverage in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

Following action taken by Tammy to help those who lost their BadgerCare gain health care coverage, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services opened up a special enrollment period in the Affordable Care Act’s federal Health Insurance Marketplace for these people to enroll.

Call the federal Health Insurance Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 or TTY 1-855-889-4325 to enroll during the special enrollment period.

The special enrollment period for the individuals removed from BadgerCare Plus began September 4th and runs for 60 days until November 2nd, 2014.

Supporting Wisconsin Water Technology Businesses: The Water Council Receives Regional Innovative Cluster Award

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced this week that The Water Council has been selected for a Regional Innovation Cluster Award. The Water Council, based at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, will use the award to establish a Center of Excellence for Freshwater Innovation and Small Business Development.

In July, Tammy sent a letter of support for the proposed Center of Excellence.

“The Water Council has made great progress ensuring Milwaukee’s place as a world water leader, growing the regional economy and has become a global leader in supporting the development of Wisconsin’s small water technology businesses,” said Baldwin. “By working with the U.S. Small Business Administration, The Water Council can now extend its expertise to small businesses across the United States.”

Water Council Meeting

Tammy met with The Water Council in July to discuss the proposed Center of Excellence

The SBA cluster initiatives focus on the most effective approaches to linking small businesses to regional networks of leading research, commercialization tools and financing. The Water Council’s Center of Excellence will provide a myriad of small business services including technology transfer, counseling, acceleration and mentorship. Investments in clean waters can help generate business development, support research opportunities related to water and technology, and drive industry both now and in the long-term.

Tammy has been a strong champion for the Global Water Center. Along with providing a letter of support for the Center in their application for the Regional Innovation Cluster Awards, Tammy also participated in the opening of the Global Water Center and the launch of the Global Freshwater Seed Accelerator program.

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