Man With Breast Cancer Will Get Treatment After All
A man with breast cancer who was denied Medicaid coverage to treat his condition because of his gender will receive treatment after all, South Carolina Health and Human Services Director Tony Keck announced Monday.
Raymond Johnson, 26, a South Carolina tile layer making $9 an hour, discovered he had Stage II breast cancer after visiting an emergency room. He cannot afford private insurance.
Johnson was told to apply for coverage under Medicaid’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, a program designed to help people, including the single and childless, who do not qualify for regular Medicaid. But Johnson found out the program is only for women.
But after speaking with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “. . . we believe it is in the best interest of Mr. Johnson to deem him eligible for the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Program,” Keck said in a statement.
After his plight drew national attention, both to men with breast cancer and to Medicaid recipients, Johnson is finally receiving chemotherapy to treat his baseball-sized tumor. The state health agency will apply for reimbursement for the treatment from the federal government.
“Not everyone is going to get the attention I did, and it’s crazy that people can fall between the cracks like this when they get sick," Johnson told MSNBC.