What an amazing month it has been for oral anticancer treatment access legislation in the Mid-West! We have seen movement in three states where legislation has been stuck for over three years: Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin! Let us look back and look at what is happening now:
In the 2011-2012 legislative session, the Oral Chemotherapy Parity bill passed unanimously in the State Senate and then failed to get out of committee in the State House. As a result, going into the 2013 session, the coalition understood moving the bill would be a tough sell and decided to launch the campaign with introduction of legislation in the most difficult chamber, the House of Representatives. The group was thrilled this month when HB 4751 was scheduled for a hearing on November 12. Our National State Affairs consultant Zina Cary flew to Lansing to testify and was a fierce defender of the legislation, now called the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act. The second part of the two-part hearing will take place on December 3 where the chair of the committee is expected to call for a vote on HB 4751. Ask your Michigan Representative to support HB 4751 today!
After introducing the oral chemotherapy parity bill in 2011, it took until the conclusion of 2012 to get even one hearing for it. This Tuesday, November 19, SB 99 will have its second hearing in front of the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee. The first hearing was for sponsor testimony, allowing bill sponsors to give insight and background information on the legislation before other parties testified in favor or against the bill. This second hearing is an opportunity for the Ohio coalition to explain the importance of the legislation and make the case as to why it is critical that Ohio join the 27 other states to enact this type of legislation. Has your Ohio State Senator heard from you?
The last two months in Wisconsin have rendered not one, but two hearings in committees from both chambers, listening to testimony for and against the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, with the IMF’s state affairs consultant, Zina Cary, testifying in the Assembly in October. The IMF’s Grassroots Liaison, Aimee Martin, also joined forces with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to hold a lobby day in Madison on November 7, which attracted advocates from across the state to the Capitol to meet with their legislators. Here is a sampling of the stories that were shared in Wisconsin. Last week, the Wisconsin legislature adjourned until mid-January. During this waiting period, we must keep up the momentum and the constant contact with those legislators that are still undecided on the legislation. Share your support by emailing them today!
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