ALBANY (AP) -- The American Cancer Society said Wednesday that the across-the-board federal cuts that went into effect this month and proposed New York spending reductions could cost residents in the state their lives.
The group said the federal cuts alone will mean 1,670 fewer free screenings for breast and cervical cancer for New York women who have no health insurance. The federal cuts amount to a 5 percent drop in cancer screenings in New York, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget would add a 10 percent cut to the program, according to the American Cancer Society.
"The potential cuts will lead to more cancer misery for future patients and a bigger health care tab for New York taxpayers," Blair Horner of the American Cancer Society said at a news conference. "These programs have been proven to save lives and reduce the cancer burden. They deserve more -- not less -- funding."
Susan Farr of Saratoga County, who attended the news conference, said the free screenings she saw offered in her local newspaper saved her life. The former substitute teacher said she and her husband began struggling to pay for groceries, utilities and the mortgage after he was laid off from work. That's when she noticed a lump in her breast.
"And I was really scared," the 43-year-old Farr said. "I had two little kids, no health insurance and a husband working three jobs to make ends meet.