Oral parity legislation has been moving fast-and-furious in many states around the country in the last month! However, some have come to a screeching halt; such is the way in politics. Since last we met, new bills were introduced in Arizona, Kentucky and Maryland. This month’s episode features links to public hearings, testimony, action alerts and more! Read below for the details.
The Fair Access to Cancer Treatment Coalition had an exciting day at the Capitol on February 19. The bill, HB 2078, passed the House Health Committee with an 8-0 vote! It was standing room only and the hearing went for over an hour. You can watch the recording of the hearing here starting at minute 1:10. You will not want to miss the excellent testimony from patients and survivors, but the best line comes at minute 2:05 when a patient calls out the opposition and says, “I need fair access to treatment because my life is worth it!”
On Wednesday, February 19, the IMF hosted an amazing Lobby Day in Frankfort, Kentucky with the intent of educating and informing legislators on the need for an oral anticancer treatment access bill in Kentucky. By the end of the day, not only had we educated legislators, we had a bill introduced! In a meeting with his constituents, Senator Tom Buford committed to introducing the Cancer Treatment Modernization Act and he immediately followed through. SB 148 has been referred to the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee where we await a hearing in the coming weeks. Thank you to the patients, caregivers, nurses and pharmacists who shared their stories and experiences to help this legislation take a major step forward! Read Aimee’s Blog here
Introduced last year by State Senator Emily Cain, LD 627 passed by voice vote in the State Senate and the State House on February 13. The Governor received the bill the following day and has until Tuesday, February 25 to veto the bill or it becomes law. Click here to follow us on twitter to get the news as soon as it comes in next week.
On Wednesday, February 19, Director of US Advocacy, Meghan Buzby testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee in support of the Kathleen A. Mathias Oral Chemotherapy Improvement Act of 2014, SB 641. This bill will fix an exemption included in the legislation approved in 2012 that excluded plans subject to the essential health benefits as part of the Affordable Care Act. The IMF supports expanding access to even more Marylanders. Read Meghan’s Testimony here.
On Thursday, February 20, 2014, the Missouri Senate unanimously voted in favor of SB 668, The Cancer Treatment Fairness Act. Greater access to oral anticancer treatments is one-step closer in Missouri. The next step is the Missouri House of Representatives will consider the bill. We expect that vote to come in a matter of weeks, making your voice critical today. Click here to take Action!
On February 6, Wisconsin Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) added his name as a cosponsor of Senate Bill 300, the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act. That brings us to a total of 58 cosponsors – 16 Senators and 42 Assembly Representatives. The Senate and Assembly will only meet a couple more times in March to act on legislation. We hope to draw attention to the critical importance of this bill by increasing the number of cosponsors even more! ACT NOW
We have been working hard to pass a bill for oral anticancer treatment parity this year. Unfortunately, the bill has a $200 per prescription per month cap and passed the Georgia House of Representatives. The IMF along with LLS has come out against the bill as it would still keep critical treatments out of reach for patients. The Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, HB 943 has now been sent to the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee for review. We are working to stop bad policy from becoming law in Georgia. Stay tuned for what you can do to help!
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