Titus Works on Passing Cervical Cancer Vaccine Bill

Nevada's Senate minority leader says she'll try to amend her bill requiring most insurance providers to make a cervical cancer vaccine available to young women, in an effort to ensure the measure doesn't die in the Senate.

Sen. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, said she will try to remove a provision in SB409 requiring self-insured health plans, including those provided by many local government entities, to offer the vaccine.

While that would erase a concern about an unfunded mandate to local government created by the provision, Titus said she's not happy that some local governments were opposed to offering the vaccine.

"The local governments who oppose doing this do cover prostate cancer screenings, which are much more expensive than the cervical
cancer vaccinations," Titus said Tuesday. "I'm going to shame them. I hope they look real bad because they should."

It was the unfunded mandate to local governments that caused the Senate to reconsider the measure Monday and place it on the chief clerk's desk, where it will die by April 24 if not sent to the Assembly.

The bill passed the Senate 12-9 Friday, but Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, asked for it to be reconsidered because of the unfunded mandate. On a party line 11-10 vote Monday, the bill was put in legislative limbo.

Sabra Smith-Newby, a lobbyist for Clark County, said the county's opposition comes only because the members of the self-funded plan decide what should be covered.

"To mandate coverage goes against our self-governed plan," she said. "Our members would make that determination."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)