BetterCaths Coalition Assists Rep. Josh Turek in Designing

BetterCaths Coalition Assists Rep. Josh Turek in Designing

DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In help of the incapacity neighborhood, Iowa State Consultant Josh Turek (D-Iowa) has launched the Higher Caths for Iowa Act (H.F. 387) to evaluate the use and reimbursement of sure catheters underneath the Medicaid program — particularly urinary catheters made with the dangerous chemical DEHP. 

Born with Spina Bifida, Consultant Turek is a four-time Paralympian who most just lately introduced house Gold from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. He’s the primary one that makes use of a wheelchair to be elected to the Iowa State Legislature.

“Bladder most cancers took the lifetime of Dale Ericksen, my wheelchair basketball coach at Southwestern Minnesota State College,” Rep. Turek shares. “I launched this invoice to enhance well being fairness for Iowans with disabilities. I encourage state and federal representatives, nationwide, to introduce comparable laws.”

The Higher Caths for Iowa Act is the primary piece of laws within the nation that goals to decrease the bladder most cancers mortality price for folks whose lives rely on utilizing urological catheters. It additionally protects Iowa Medicaid sufferers from day by day publicity to the poisonous chemical (DEHP) in some commonly-used urinary catheters.

The BetterCaths for Iowa Act locations a direct ban on Iowa Medicaid reimbursement of catheters which have identified carcinogen warning labels. It additionally requires Iowa Medicaid to evaluate the historic bladder most cancers price and correlating manufacturers of catheters utilized by their sufferers.

BetterCaths, a grassroots volunteer group of bladder most cancers survivors who use catheters, incapacity advocates, and urological trade specialists, assisted in drafting the invoice’s language and supplied supporting scientific proof.

Urinary catheters are sometimes produced from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), a chemical that’s made into plastic. 

The East Palestine chemical catastrophe was created by a chemical that makes PVC, when 38 vehicles of a Norfolk Southern freight practice carrying hazardous supplies derailed on February 2, 2023 in East Palestine, Ohio. 5 of the 38 derailed practice vehicles had been carrying greater than 115,000 gallons of vinyl chloride, based on the Nationwide Transportation Security Board.

Phthalate chemical compounds like DEHP (Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate) make plastic and PVC merchandise extra versatile. An unlimited physique of scientific proof proves that DEHP causes reproductive and endocrine well being points, and most cancers, in people.

“Individuals who rely on urological catheters to remain alive shouldn’t have to fret about cancer-causing chemical compounds in these invasive medical units,” says Consultant Turek. 

“I am significantly involved about DEHP’s affiliation with most cancers as a result of the bladder most cancers price for individuals who use urinary catheters is 4 occasions the nationwide common. Sufferers who’ve indwelling catheters are recognized with bladder most cancers at 16-28 occasions that of the overall inhabitants. Even worse, individuals who use catheters die eight occasions extra typically from bladder most cancers than those that don’t cath,” he provides.

Iowans who rely on urological catheters for bladder perform could have one of many following medical circumstances: prostate most cancers, Parkinson’s illness, spina bifida, spinal twine damage, traumatic mind damage, a number of sclerosis, stroke, dementia, transverse myelitis and cauda equina.

“I’m honored to construct upon the legacy of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, which originated in Iowa, by introducing the Higher Caths for Iowans Act,” Turek provides. “It is a widespread sense, non-partisan invoice.”

Bladder most cancers is the costliest type of most cancers to deal with. This invoice additionally goals to decrease Iowa Medicaid expenditures by lowering the probability of bladder most cancers amongst Medicaid sufferers who use catheters. 

Scientific analysis has proven that phthalates like DEHP intrude with the pure capabilities of the hormone system, which may trigger well being issues – significantly most cancers and injury to the reproductive system. In males, hormone injury attributable to DEHP can even result in reproductive sterility.

DEHP publicity has additionally been linked to studying and habits issues in kids and insulin resistance in adolescents and adults. DEHP publicity has additionally been linked to kids’s respiratory and immune system points, similar to bronchial asthma and allergy symptoms. 

This invoice is a part of Consultant Turek’s ongoing effort to enhance healthcare for each Iowan and well being fairness for folks with disabilities whereas selling fiscally and morally accountable healthcare reform insurance policies. 

In 2022, greater than 140 urinary catheter customers responded to a BetterCaths analysis survey that discovered:

  • 90% of respondents weren’t informed by their physician or catheter provider if the catheter they presently use has a identified carcinogen warning label.
  • 90% of survey respondents didn’t have the chance to decide on alternate options to catheters with carcinogen warning labels.

Most individuals additionally do not understand what the DEHP publicity stage is for somebody who makes use of urinary catheters made with this poisonous chemical.

  • For those who use an intermittent catheter 6 occasions per day, day-after-day (twelve months/yr), for 20 years, you’ll put that DEHP catheter inside your physique 43,800 occasions.
  • For those who use an indwelling catheter 24 hours per day, day-after-day (twelve months/yr), for 20 years, you should have that DEHP catheter inside your physique on a relentless foundation for 7,300 days.

Consultant Turek’s invoice has broad help from well being advocacy organizations, together with the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, the Iowa Chapter of the United Spinal Affiliation, Iowa Spina Bifida Affiliation, and Spinal Twine Peer Assist USA (the nation’s largest on-line help neighborhood for individuals who have SCI/D).

Representatives from these supporting organizations, and the BetterCaths well being schooling group, will give statements in help of the Higher Caths for Iowa Act when the invoice is reviewed by a Iowa Home well being subcommittee on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

Learn H.F. 387, the Higher Caths for Iowa Act, at: 

Be taught extra concerning the situation and supporting scientific proof at 


Contact Info:
Lisa Wells
BetterCaths Well being Educator

Gina Schuh, JD
BetterCaths Well being Educator

Associated Photographs

Picture 1: Iowa Consultant Josh Turek – (D)

Iowa legislative consultant Josh Turek seems in a go well with, sitting in his wheelchair on the Iowa Home ground.

This content material was issued by way of the press launch distribution service at

  • Iowa Consultant Josh Turek – (D)