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Titus says bill would make vaccine more accessible

A bill that would require health plans in Nevada to cover a vaccine proven to prevent cervical cancer was passed by the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday. Senate Bill 409 now goes to the Senate Floor for a vote.

Backed by Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, the bill requires health insurance companies, including Nevada Check-Up and Medicaid, to make Gardasil available to females ages 9 to 26.

Titus said the bill does not mandate that all eligible for the vaccine get it but makes it more affordable and accessible.

Funding for the vaccine is included in the budgets for Medicaid and Nevada Check-up, health plans for the working poor and the uninsured.

Experts have called Gardasil cost-effective because the cost of providing the vaccine is far less than the cost of treating cervical cancer.

Gardasil protects against human papilloma virus, a known precursor to cervical cancer.

The vaccine costs between $130 and $150 and is given in three doses.

Opposing the bill were Nevadans for Affordable Health Care and the Nevada Association of Health Plans, who think small businesses will be hurt.

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