Across the country, state legislatures are winding down while state legislators gear up for election season and upcoming primaries. Since our last update, another state has passed a law giving affordable access to cancer treatments, two states updated their existing laws, and a few more states are headed back to the drawing board to build more ground support for next year. Let us look:
We are happy to report that Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2078, the Fair Access to Cancer Treatment Act into law on April 30. This makes Arizona the 33rd state plus the District of Columbia to pass similar legislation to protect cancer patients. The law, which creates parity in patient out-of-pocket cost between IV and oral anticancer treatments, goes into effect January 1, 2016. View our Fact Sheet to learn more about the new law.
The coalition is currently regrouping to work on a new strategy to introduce a bill in the 2015 legislative session.
In 2012, Nebraska passed an oral anticancer treatment access bill, LB 882 that had an expiration date of January 1, 2015. This year Governor Heineman signed LB 254, which removes the expiration date, ensuring Nebraska cancer patients can continue to access oral anticancer treatments. We want to thank Senator Greg Adams for his commitment to making this happen.
The new legislative session started on May 8, but HB 609, the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, has not been put on the Health Care Committee agenda to date.
The Cancer Treatment Modernization Act, SB 99, passed the Health and Aging committee on Wednesday May 21 and is now awaiting a floor vote by the full House of Representatives. This means there is still time to contact your state representative and ask for his/her support. Take Action Today!
In South Carolina, we are carving a new path to win affordable access to cancer care. Instead of passing a bill, our legislator champion, State Senator Hayes, has scheduled a meeting between advocates and insurers, on June 10 in Columbia. This meeting will amend the states’ Voluntary Consensus Agreement on Cancer Care to include a $100 per month, out-of-pocket cap on oral anticancer prescription costs for patients.
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