COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Ohioans will be able to donate a portion or all of any tax refund they get to help uninsured, low-income Ohio women get access to breast and cervical cancer screenings.
Gov. John Kasich also announced that the state will match every dollar donated with three from the state, up to a million dollars.
"If you don't get tested it gets worse," Kasich said.
The Breast and Cervical Cancer Project has in the past relied on just over $4 million in federal funding to operate. There are an estimated 270,000 Ohio women who need services, but the program can currently only serve about 12,000 to 13,000.
“This is something we need to do and do effectively,” said Kasich.
The million dollars Kasich pledged to use for matching donations comes from the federal government for enrolling children in Medicaid and keeping them in the program, according to Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Ted Wymsylo believes the bill will allow them to provide screenings to up to 3,000 more women.
"I'm confident that because of that new law and that ability, lives will be saved," said Rep. Kirk Schruing, the Canton Republican who co-sponsored the bill.
While he didn't take questions from reporters about Medicaid expansion, Kasich did say that the move would boost the effort.
"Medicaid expansion is going to help them. There's no question about it," he said.
One in eight Ohio women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. The state ranks 32nd in the number of incidents, but 4th in the number of deaths from the disease.
"So less women get breast cancer here, but more of them die. That's unacceptable," said Tammy Weis with Komen Columbus.