[StBernard] Landrieu, DeLauro Join Actress Marcia Cross and Lifetime to End "Drive Through" Mastectomies

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Fri Jan 25 01:37:08 EST 2008

Landrieu, DeLauro Join Actress Marcia Cross and Lifetime to End "Drive
Through" Mastectomies

WASHINGTON - Today, at a Capitol Hill press conference, actress Marcia Cross
joined Lifetime and Members of Congress from both parties to give voice to
the 20 million signatures collected on myLifetime.com urging Congress to end
the practice of "drive-through" mastectomies and pass the bipartisan Breast
Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007, (S.459/H.R. 758). Cross stars in
"Desperate Housewives" which airs on ABC and Lifetime Television.

The bill -- championed by Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), Mary Landrieu
(D-LA), Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) -- would
allow a woman and her doctor to decide if she is best off going home or
staying in the hospital for at least 48 hours following physically and
emotionally difficult breast cancer surgeries.

Also participating in the press conference were Dr. Kristen Zarfos, a
Connecticut oncologist, and Lynn Bradley, a Maryland breast cancer survivor
who signed Lifetime's petition because of her experience being sent home
from the hospital less than 24 hours after having a double mastectomy.

The more than 20 million signatures gathered on myLifetime.com in support of
ending "drive-through" mastectomies is part of Lifetime's nonpartisan Every
Woman Counts campaign to engage its viewers in the political process and
speak out on issues that matter most in their lives. According to a recent
Lifetime/Zogby poll both health care and breast cancer were issues of great
importance to women as they decide for whom to cast their votes.

As part of the year-long Every Woman Counts initiative, Marcia Cross is
joining several other celebrities appearing in television spots and
vignettes to raise awareness of critical issues like "drive-through"
mastectomies, and encourage women to register, vote and consider running for
elected office. The spots will air on Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network,
the #1 and #2 basic cable channels for women, and the newly re-launched
myLifetime.com, through November 4, Election Day. Cross also will urge more
women and men to sign Lifetime's online petition to build momentum for
passage of The Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act.

"I cannot understand why anyone would not support this common-sense
legislation. I have known many women affected by a breast cancer diagnosis,
and I am proud to use my voice on their behalf today. The last thing a
woman diagnosed with breast cancer should worry about is a hospital stay if
she needs one," Marcia Cross said.

The Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007 (S.459/H.R 758) has 204
co-sponsors in the House and 18 in the Senate. The bill is sponsored by
Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) in the Senate and Representative Rosa
DeLauro (D-CT) in the House. The legislation, modeled after a 1996 law that
banned "drive-through" baby deliveries, would:

Guarantee a minimum hospital stay of 48 hours for a woman having a
mastectomy or lumpectomy, and 24 hours for a woman undergoing a lymph node

Require health plans to include notice of these benefits in their monthly
mailing and yearly information packet sent to plan participants; and

Require plans to provide full coverage of second opinions should the patient
seek one.

The legislation is also supported by several prestigious organizations
including the American Cancer Society, breastcancer.org, Families USA, the
Oncology Nursing Society, Sisters Network Inc., and Y-Me National Breast
Cancer Organization.

"This legislation empowers women and their doctors to make treatment
decisions based on what is medically prudent, not simply what will achieve
short-term savings. Four of the most frightening words any woman can hear is
'you have breast cancer.' And what begins as fear rapidly resolves into an
enormous uncertainty - asking questions like, what will I have to endure?
What's the next step? To leave a woman with the knowledge that she must
face a disfiguring procedure due only to her financial position, or to agree
to surgery without proper hospitalization, is absolutely unconscionable.
Passage of the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act will help relieve some
of that anxiety," said Senator Snowe.

"Women who must undergo mastectomies deserve the appropriate hospital care
that such an invasive surgery warrants. This bill will make the unseemly
practice of kicking women out of the hospital against the law," said Senator

"After undergoing the physical and emotional trauma associated with having a
mastectomy or lumpectomy, the last thing a woman should have to do is hassle
with her insurance company over whether or not she can remain in the
hospital. The bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act will ensure
that the doctors and patients make health care decisions," said
Congresswoman DeLauro. "Over twenty million Americans agree - it is time to
pass this common-sense legislation."

"We all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer," Congressman
Moran said. "It is a traumatic experience for both the patient and the
family. The difficulty of the situation should not be made worse by the
uncertainties of insurance coverage. This bill will help ensure patients
have adequate recovery time before being released from a medical facility
following surgery."

"Though most of our viewers across the country have yet to cast a vote in
this election year, more than 20 million have already made their voices
heard on the critical issue of 'drive-through' mastectomies, " added
Meredith Wagner, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Lifetime
Networks. "We are grateful to Marcia Cross, Senators Landrieu and Snowe, and
Representatives DeLauro and Moran and all of their colleagues in both
parties who have already listened, and we hope that Congress will act this

Lifetime was made aware of the problem of "drive-through" mastectomies by
Representative DeLauro and by viewers in 1996 and responded by creating an
online petition. The petition at myLifetime.com has been signed more than 15
million times in the past four years and more than 20 million times since
its launch.


Marcia Cross is a passionate advocate for breast cancer awareness, as she
has several friends who are Survivors. Cross was upset to learn that women
have had to endure "drive-through" mastectomies, and was eager to travel to
Washington, D.C., to meet with Members of Congress to bring attention to
this issue. Cross can currently be seen starring on television's hottest
dramedy, "Desperate Housewives," on ABC. As 'Bree Van De Kamp,' the
ultimate perfectionist, Cross brings to life Wisteria Lane's most complex
character. Last year she was nominated for an Emmy Outstanding Lead Actress
in a Comedy Series. In the show's first eason, Cross received a Golden Globe
nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Comedy,
and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. The
critically acclaimed show won a Golden Globe for Best Television Series
Comedy, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble
in a Comedy Series and a People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama.
Aside from her successful career as an actress, Cross has also made time to
continue her education. She recently completed her clinical training to earn
a Masters Degree in Psychology. Cross makes her home in Los Angeles with her
husband and twin daughters. LIFETIME broadcasts "Desperate Housewives"
Saturdays at midnight and this Saturday, January 26, will air a special
marathon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


First launched in 1992 and now in its fifth presidential election cycle, the
2008 Every Woman Counts initiative includes the most extensive on-air
programming, digital content and grassroots efforts to date to encourage
women to speak out on critical issues, vote and run for office. To expand
the effort and reach women everywhere they live, work and play, Lifetime
launched the first-ever Every Woman Counts media and advocacy coalition in
partnership with REDBOOK, CosmoGIRL!, Marie Claire, celebrities, experts,
and hundreds of women's nonprofit organizations representing more than 15
million women from all sides of the political spectrum, including the
American Association of University Women, Business and Professional
Women/USA, Independent Women's Forum, League of Women Voters, National
Organization for Women, RightNOW!, and many others.


LIFETIME is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated basic
cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, LIFETIME is
committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information
programming, and advocating on a wide range of issues affecting women and
their families. LIFETIME Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real
Women and Lifetime Digital (including myLifetime.com) are part of LIFETIME
Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and
The Walt Disney Company.

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