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July Advocacy Update

Highlights include Cancer Votes in action, a major milestone for Major Milestone for MCED, and the documentary In Due Season.

Thanks to all who submitted feedback on this monthly communication last month. We continue to need your thoughts on how we can make the Monthly Advocacy Update as impactful as possible. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to fill out this quick 2-minute survey. Monthly Advocacy Update Feedback 

A message from ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse

Cancer Votes Action

While these past weeks have brought scorching temperatures to D.C. and around the country, ACS CAN's Cancer Votes program has continued to heat up this election cycle. As a direct result of our team’s advocacy, 34 candidates, including 14 U.S. Senate and 20 U.S. House candidates, have already signed the Cancer Promise. Ahead of the first presidential debate in June, we rallied our online advocates to urge the debate moderators to pose questions centered on health care, resulting in volunteers taking almost 900 online actions. Although our issues weren’t the focus of the debate, we will continue to elevate cancer and health care affordability issues in the 2024 election cycle.

Next week we are looking forward to a coffee chat with U.S. Senate Candidate Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin on July 16, moderated by Phil O'Brien, our Cancer Votes National Ambassador and Board member. We have held other successful coffee chats with candidates, including former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a U.S. Senate Candidate and cancer survivor. These chats are key opportunities for our volunteers to pose questions to candidates regarding our cancer priorities. See photo above.

We currently have 486 Cancer Votes volunteers activated across 46 states and territories. And we are gearing up for our Power to Impact: Essential Briefing for Cancer Votes Volunteers call on July 16 at 7:30 p.m. EST open to all volunteers. I encourage you to follow our Cancer Votes work and share your voice on your social accounts using #CancerVotes and tagging @ACSCAN. 

Major Milestone for MCED

June also brought critical progress for our work to advance access to exciting innovation in early detection for Medicare enrollees when the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means marked up and passed the Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection (MCED) Screening Coverage Act by a vote of 38-0. (See photo at right.) This strong model of bipartisan supported legislation, championed by Representatives Jodey Arrington (R-TX) and Terri Sewell (D-AL), has the backing of 292 members of the House of Representatives and 62 senators, two-thirds of the Congress. In addition to congressional support, more than 520 organizations from across the country, in every state, have signed on to one or more formal letters of support.

ACS CAN volunteers who flew in from key congressional districts joined the D.C. team for the markup hearing on June 27. ACS CAN was acknowledged as a strong supporter of the bill publicly and repeatedly by members of the Ways and Means Committee during the markup. We posted a video wrap up demonstrating our powerful presence that day. Take a look!

Join the In Due Season Movement 

This month I’m excited about special screenings for In Due Season, our new short documentary highlighting how systemic racism contributes to health care policy decisions for Black Americans in the Medicaid coverage gap. Join ACS CAN on Wednesday, July 31, at a special film screening and reception in Washington, D.C. at MLK Jr. Memorial Library. RSVP here. You can also join us August 7 at 7:30 pm for a virtual screening hosted by ACS CAN’s Black Volunteer Caucus in partnership with Black Voters Matter. Register here. Interested in hosting a screening? Please contact, Carter Steger, VP, State and Local Campaigns. 

Thank you, as always, for your continued commitment to ACS CAN, 

Judicial Updates

  • The U.S. Supreme Court announced on July 2 that it will hear the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) appeal of the e-cigarette case (FDA v. Wages and White Lion Investments dba Triton Distribution) in which the Fifth Circuit vacated marketing denial orders (MDOs) issued by the agency for flavored e-cigarette products. ACS CAN and other public health partners urged the high court to take the case in an amicus brief after the Fifth Circuit decision leaves products like Jimmy the Juice and Strawberry Astronaut on the market. Flavors like these are proven to attract youth and make it harder for adults to quit. Seven other circuit courts have let MDOs issued by FDA stand, so there is a circuit split. ACS CAN plans to continue to engage in the case. 
  • In June, the FDA dealt a blow to public health by authorizing the sale of four menthol e-cigarettes manufactured by NJOY LLC. Before then, the FDA had issued MDOs for every flavored e-cigarette product it has reviewed, previously finding the applicants failed to produce reliable evidence their product benefits public health and had not yet authorized any menthol flavored e-cigarettes. ACS CAN will continue strongly advocating to urge prohibition of all flavors in all tobacco products at all levels of government.  
  • ACS CAN criticized a U.S. Supreme Court decision in a joint statement on Loper Bright Enterprises, as the case undermines federal agencies’ authority to issue and defend regulations. The decision overturned a 40-year-old precedent that required courts to defer to executive agencies when a statute is ambiguous. This could lead to major challenges for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the FDA. 
  • ACS CAN and 24 other organizations, applauded the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al. v FDA et al, that allows the drug mifepristone a drug prescribed for the treatment of a variety of life-threatening conditions, including cancer, to remain on the market. The case was thrown out on the grounds that the plaintiffs don’t have standing in their challenge concerning the use and availability of the drug, but ACS CAN remains concerned that other challengers could continue the lawsuit and undercut FDA’s scientific expertise in issuing other drug approvals. 

Federal Updates

  • The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services considered and approved its draft FY25 appropriations bill that includes increases for federal cancer research funding at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The House spending bill includes: $48.581 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is the same as FY24 funding, which included $7.875 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), an increase of $651.1 million, and $500 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), which is a $1 billion cut from FY24 levels. See our statement. 
  • ACS CAN recently hosted a corporate partner briefing and a Congressional Briefing, Exploring Clinical Trials and Cancer Screenings, with the National Hispanic Medical Association to build support for the Clinical Trail Modernization Act. The recently introduced legislation will ensure that more patients—regardless of their economic means or their geographic location—have a chance to enroll in clinical trials. The briefing featured Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-CA) the lead sponsor of the bill. ACS CAN volunteer and cancer survivor Dulcely Tavarez of New York presented her survivor story along with ACS CAN volunteer Beatrice Cardenas-Duncan of California. The briefing was moderated by ACS CAN’s Director of Federal Relations James Williams and other speakers included Juan Santamaria, MD, FACS, University of Nebraska Medical Center and Estelamari Rodriguez, MD, MPH, University of Miami Health System.
  • ACS CAN was a pivotal sponsor for the National Indian Health Board’s 2024 National Tribal Health Conference and Public Health Summit in Rapid City, SD. Our sponsorship underscored the importance of cancer research, prevention, and treatment for Indian Health. ACS CAN contributed to the conference's content and educational and networking opportunities by hosting a cancer track. Our rich content included a fireside chat, during the opening plenary, and three workshops: Cancer ScreeningMedicaid Unwinding and Protecting Access to Coverage, and Effective Advocacy. We also engaged with the over 1,200 attendees through our exhibit table. ACS CAN and ACS colleagues and ACS CAN volunteers also attended and actively participated in the conference. 

Take Action

Urge Congress to increase funding for cancer researchFor the first time ever, there are expected to be more than 2 million cancer diagnoses in the U.S. this year alone. Certain types of cancers are on the rise in younger people. Cancer research is one of our best tools to combat these trends. Join us to advocate for more federal funding for cancer and biomedical research.

State Updates 

  • Governor Shapiro signed an access to biomarkers bill into law, securing a major win for patients across Pennsylvania. The new law will require all state-regulated health plans, including Medicaid, to cover comprehensive biomarker testing, which will enable more Pennsylvanians to access biomarker testing that can open the door to precision medicine. 
  • The California State legislature passed, and Governor Newsom signed the budget that includes funding to implement biomarker testing beginning this month. 
  • In Ohio lawmakers allocated $50,000 for the Cleveland Hope Lodge in the capital budget to provide structural updates to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge and the House-passed biomarkers legislation is now headed to the state senate. 

In Case You Missed It

  • ACS CAN celebrated Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the United States and commemorates the independence of all Black Americans. As part of the lead-up to this important holiday, ACS CAN staff and volunteers across the country participated in Juneteenth events in their local communities. See our recap post on social media. 
  • ACS CAN, along with our volunteer LGBTQIA+ and Allies and Engagement Group, proudly participated in 35 Pride events across 23 states in June with many more planned throughout the year. See our recap post. 
  • ACS CAN hosted the 17th Annual American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Research and Health Equity Breakfast on Tuesday, June 25 in Boston, highlighting the importance of biomarker testing to help end cancer as we know it, for everyone, as well as seizing the opportunity to network with leaders from life sciences, health care, business, policymaking, and American Cancer Society funded cancer researchers. Speakers included ACS and ACS CAN CEO Dr. Karen Knudsen, John F. Crowley, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Representative Meghan Kilcoyne, Dr. Naomi Ko, cancer survivor Jung A Han, and ACS CAN Board member and emcee Dana Bernson, MPH.

Advocacy in the News

NYTHere’s What the Court’s Chevron Ruling Could Mean in Everyday Terms

Washington PostWhat the Supreme Court Chevron decision means for environmental rules

CNNHow the Supreme Court’s blockbuster ‘Chevron’ ruling puts countless regulations in jeopardy

PBSHow banning medical debt from credit reports could help millions of Americans

SalonCancer risks are far higher for LGBTQ folks. Here's how health justice groups are fighting back

Pink SheetSCOTUS' Mifepristone Decision Sets High Bar For US FDA Suits

Law 3605th Circ. Knocks Out National Block On ACA Preventive Care

Penn LiveThe Pennsylvania Senate must ensure patients have access to biomarker testing - Opinion

CBS 6 AlbanyNew paid leave bill fails to pass N.Y. Assembly, advocacy group expresses disappointment

KTNV Las VegasTwo-time survivor urges screenings for prostate cancer

Daily MemphianIt’s time for Tennessee to expand Medicaid 

  • Decision threatens to disrupt public healthcare system, ACS CAN says

    Organizations disappointed by Supreme Court’s move to eliminate the long-standing rule of Chevron deference.

    On June 28, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision on the Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo case and its companion case, Relentless v. Dept. of Commerce. The majority’s opinion abolishes the rule of Chevron deference. ACS, ACS CAN, and our partners are extremely disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision.

    In response to the court’s decision, the following statement was issued by: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, ALS Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, American Thoracic Society, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Child Neurology Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Health Law Program, Physicians for Social Responsibility, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Truth Initiative.

    “As leaders who share a mission to protect and advance the public’s health, our organizations are disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision today to eliminate the long-standing rule of Chevron deference. As we described in our Amicus Brief, which Justice Kagan drew on in her dissent, this rule has long helped ensure that healthcare laws are interpreted and implemented appropriately. We anticipate that today’s ruling will cause significant disruption to publicly funded health insurance programs, to the stability of this country’s healthcare and food and drug review systems, and to the health and well-being of the patients and consumers we serve.

    “Before today, Chevron deference protected the legal stability of public health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. It ensured that laws passed by Congress were interpreted and implemented by expert federal agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. As our Amicus Brief noted, large health programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, as well as issues related to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, are extremely complex, so it is key that decisions about how to interpret and implement relevant laws are made by experts at government agencies. Yet today’s majority opinion explicitly ends the use of this sensible doctrine.

    “As leading organizations that work on behalf of people across the country who face serious, acute and chronic illnesses, as well as many people who lack access to quality and affordable healthcare, we will continue to work to ensure that healthcare laws are implemented in ways that benefit the public health.”

    The photo above is taken from CEO Dr. Karen Knudsen’s post on X. Like and share it now.

  • House Subcommittee considers bill with increase in cancer research funding

    On Thursday, June 27, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services considered and approved its draft FY25 appropriations bill that includes increases for federal cancer research funding at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

    The House spending bill includes: $48.581 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is the same as FY24 funding, including $7.875 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is an increase of $651.1 million, and $500 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), which is a $1 billion cut from FY24 levels.

    In response, CEO of the American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Dr. Karen E. Knudsen released the following statement:

    “We are grateful to see a substantial increase in funding for NCI. There is a clear relationship between meaningful investment in cancer research and reduced mortality rates in the United States, dropping year over year since 1991. This increase will help bring us closer to our goal of ending cancer as we know it, for everyone.

    “At the same time, we encourage the House Appropriations Committee to work in a bipartisan way to protect the nation’s foundational research investments at NIH, provide at least level funding for ARPA-H, and ensure increases for cancer prevention and screening programs at the Centers for Disease Control. With more than 2 million Americans expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2024, sustained increased investments are critical to advancing the cancer treatments and cures of the future.”

  • ACS CAN applauds House’s passage of cancer screening bill

    On Thursday, June 27, the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means passed the Nancy Gardner Sewell Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection (MCED) Screening Coverage Act by a vote of 38-0. This legislation will help to ensure Medicare enrollees have access to MCED tests once the tests have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and clinical benefit has been shown.

    Pictured above, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) team members and volunteers stand with MCED bill Sponsor Rep. Terri Sewell (center) after the bill was passed out of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means with their “V" to celebrate the day's victory.

    The bipartisan legislation has broad support of 284 members of the House of Representatives from across the political spectrum signed on as cosponsors. This includes more than 80% of members of the Ways and Means Committee and over 70% of members of the Energy and Commerce Committee. In addition to congressional support, more than 520 organizations from across the country, in every state, have signed on to one or more formal letters of support.

    “We thank Representatives Jodey Arrington (R-TX) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) for continuing to champion this important legislation, which has the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Medicare enrollees and their families,” said Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN.

    “In 2024, more than 2 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer and over 1 million of those cases are expected to be diagnosed in individuals over the age of 65,” she added. “The Act creates a pathway to ensure timely Medicare coverage of new, innovative multi-cancer screening tests and expand access to early detection once clinical benefit is shown.”

  • ACS CAN applauds Fifth Circuit Decision in Braidwood Management v. Becerra

    ​On June 21, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit partially reversed a district court decision that had invalidated key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the case of Braidwood v. Becerra, finding cost-free preventive services could remain in place for most individuals protected by the provisionsUnder the Fifth Circuit's decision, coverage of United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations was invalidated only for the plaintiffs, rather than for the entire population as had been decided by the district court. The public health implications of the case are enormous, with overwhelming research showing even relatively small levels of cost-sharing, from $1 to $5, are associated with reduced use of care.

    Concern over access to no-cost preventive services has grown in response to the case as a February 2024 survey by ACS CAN shows a majority (52%) of cancer patients and survivors selected protecting access to no-cost preventive services as their top policy priority, compared to a similar survey in 2020 where 37% of respondents prioritized the same issue.

    Following a series of joint amicus brief filings throughout the case, the groups, including ACS CAN, Arthritis Foundation, American Kidney Fund, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and The AIDS Institute, issued the following statement in reaction to the ruling:

    “We applaud the circuit court’s decision to uphold the critical patient protections in the ACA for the vast majority of individuals covered, protection continued, and broad access to cost-free preventive services for the more than 150 million eligible individuals. We are pleased the Fifth Circuit's decision specifically noted amicus briefs, such as the one filed by our groups, providing scientific data on the importance of preventive services, and expressing concern about the collateral effects if the district court's decision had been implemented across the country.

    Still, we’re disappointed to see the Fifth Circuit uphold some aspects of the district court’s decision that leave some individuals at risk. Coverage of recommended preventive services without cost-sharing has saved millions from cancer, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS and other leading diseases in our nation, with even relatively small levels of cost-sharing associated with reduced use of care, including for necessary services. As such, we remain concerned about some elements of the underlying decision. Everyone deserves to live a long, healthy life and should have access to these lifesaving services that have been proven to help ensure they do.”

    The full list of groups who joined the amicus is as follows:

    American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Kidney Fund, Arthritis Foundation, CancerCare, Cancer Support Community, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, National Minority Quality Forum, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Patient Advocate Foundation, The AIDS Institute and WomenHeart.

  • ACS CAN joins patient and provider groups applauding Supreme Court ruling

    Co-signed letter also expresses concern about other plaintiffs keeping FDA authority challenge alive.

    The following statement is led by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and on behalf of 25 organizations, including ACS and ACS CAN. 

    Our 25 organizations, representing patients with serious health conditions and disabilities and their providers, applaud the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling reversing the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al. v FDA et al, on the grounds that the plaintiffs don’t have standing in their challenge concerning the use and availability of Mifepristone, a drug prescribed for the treatment of a variety of life-threatening conditions, including cancer. We remain concerned that different plaintiffs will continue to pursue dangerous and unfounded arguments that undermine the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decisions about drug safety. Today’s ruling allows the possibility that others will continue pursuing the challenge to the FDA’s decisions regarding Mifepristone and that future litigants will seek to block or limit access to other FDA-approved drugs and treatments for reasons unrelated to safety and efficacy, as warned in our amicus brief.

    Generations of Americans have trusted the FDA’s expertise, which, over time, has yielded rigorous, science- and evidence-based approval of tens of thousands of lifesaving and life-changing medications and devices for people with serious health conditions. FDA experts are best equipped to determine the safety and efficacy of medications and their conditions of use, and it is dangerous to eviscerate or dilute their authority.

    We unequivocally support the FDA’s role in safeguarding patients and urge the Department of Justice to continue rigorously defending that authority.

    The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

    The ALS Association

    American Cancer Society

    American Cancer Society Cancer Action


    Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy

    American Society of Clinical Oncology

    American Society of Hematology

    The Arc

    Arthritis Foundation

    Association for Clinical Oncology


    Council of Medical Specialty Societies

    Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

    Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

    Epilepsy Foundation

    Friends of Cancer Research


    Hemophilia Federation of America

    Lupus Foundation of America

    Muscular Dystrophy Association

    National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

    National Multiple Sclerosis Society

    National Organization for Rare Disorders

    National Patient Advocate Foundation

    RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association

  • June Advocacy Update

    Highlights include the 13th Annual National Forum on the Future of Health Care, Survivor Views data, and ACS Annual Meeting.

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    Monthly Advocacy Update Feedback

    A message from ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse

    Throughout these last weeks, we've worked to elevate critical solutions to address the nation's overwhelming medical debt problem. As advocates for cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones, we are committed to advancing these solutions to ease the undue financial burden caused by a cancer diagnosis. This includes providing equitable access to cancer care, including expanding access to Medicaid in the 10 states that have refused to do so. We will not give up this fight. 

    Our 13th Annual National Forum on the Future of Health Care focused specifically on the burden medical debt causes on patients and their families. The Forum featured keynotes as well as expert panels tackling this issue, including the causes, how to reduce the impact of existing debt, and innovative policy solutions to prevent and eliminate this debt. Panelists included physicians, policy experts, advocates, researchers and award-winning journalist Noam Levey, who emphasized the financial impact of medical debt on individuals and families nationwide coupled with existing wealth disparities. Volunteers and guest panelists shared their expertise and their personal stories. One panelist, storyteller Andy Janning, helped close the day saying, "Financial toxicity is nuanced, complicated, and chronic, and it needs everyone's voice." We agree, and ACS CAN is committed to raising these voices and continuing to seek innovative solutions as we work to address this critical issue. If you missed it, watch the replay.

    At the Forum, ACS CAN shared new Survivor Views data, which amplifies the perspectives of cancer patients and survivors. Our latest survey of 1,284 cancer patients and survivors showed that nearly half have had medical debt, despite 98% being insured when the debt was incurred. The survey also emphasized the disproportionate impact medical debt has on communities of color as well as the rise in debt among younger patients. Please read the latest findings and share these important data with your networks if you haven't already. Increasing visibility of this issue is so vital to our efforts to reduce the cancer burden nationwide.

    This week, I had the opportunity to meet with many of our partners at the ASCO Annual Meeting to talk about our ongoing work and how they can continue to support our mission. ACS CAN was proud to join Genentech and the National LGBT Cancer Network in sponsoring the first-ever Out at ASCO event to foster community and connections for LGBTQ+ people and allies. I also had the distinct pleasure of joining colleagues to present ACS CAN’s advocacy work and discuss the effectiveness of policy interventions to address financial toxicity with Natalie Dickson, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer at Tennessee Oncology and Osama Abdelghany, PharmD, Executive Director, Oncology Pharmacy Services at Yale New Haven Health (pictured above). We discussed the opportunities and shortcomings of current programs and interventions such as the 340B Drug Pricing Programsite neutral payments and step therapy. I shared specifically how ACS CAN works to ensure potential solutions are most beneficial to all patients.

    The second half of 2024 is a critical time period for our work. We ask you to join us in fully leaning into our efforts in Cancer Votes as we move into the peak of electoral activity across the country. We remain committed to elevating our cancer priorities to all elected officials to ensure we are creating a lasting impact to reduce the overall burden of cancer, as well as the disproportionate strain it places on communities of color and on rural areas across the country.

    Thank you for your continued commitment.

    June is Pride Month! 

    Honoring Pride is a year-round celebration and act of allyship. Still, June is a reminder at ACS CAN of the importance of creating a health care environment where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, feels seen, heard and supported. As we celebrate Pride Month, we are dedicated to recognizing the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly addressing health equity and access to care. Among these challenges are reduced access to health care and higher burdens of diseases such as cancer. Systemic discrimination, pervasive mistrust in the health care system, and low levels of cancer prevention, screening, and early detection contribute to these disparities, especially as LGBTQ+ individuals often face barriers to accessing high-quality care.

    ACS CAN, along with our volunteer LGBTQIA+ and Allies and Engagement Group, is proudly participating in 35 Pride events across 23 states this month, with many more planned throughout the year. This Pride Month, help us amplify our dedication to fighting for policies that ensure the LGBTQ+ community has equitable access to quality care. If you haven't already, read the ACS' latest Cancer Statistics on how cancer impacts the LGBTQ+ community.

    Cancer Votes Update 

    We've made incredible impact so far through our Cancer Votes program including: 

    • 452 volunteers trained across 46 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico
    • 18 meetings with congressional campaign staffers
    • 23 candidates signed the Cancer Promise
    • 3 candidate roundtables
    • 3.4K+ advocates sent messages to presidential candidates 

    These numbers just begin to tell the story of the impact ACS CAN volunteers have made through Cancer Votes in 2024. One highlight is the recent coffee chat our Cancer Votes volunteers had with Maryland U.S. Senate Candidate and Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Volunteers shared their cancer stories and ACS CAN's legislative priorities with Hogan, who is a cancer survivor. Both candidates in this race, Angela Alsobrooks and Larry Hogan, have signed our Cancer Promise. ACS CAN staff and volunteers are also working to schedule a coffee chat with Alsobrooks.

    In Case You Missed It

    The AAPI Volunteer Caucus, hosted a virtual event with the Oncology Nursing Society emphasizing cancer inequities among AANHPI people who face stereotypes, stigma, culture and language barriers. The presenters discussed how disaggregated data, representative and culturally component oncology care, and equitable and accessible patient navigation services can improve access to cancer care and cancer outcomes for AANHPI people. Watch the replay.

    ACS CAN's volunteer Young Leaders Caucus hosted its first virtual event, Stories of Young Adult Survivorship. The panelists shared their own cancer stories and discussed issues important to young cancer patients and survivors, such as financial debt, mental health, fertility and the importance of connection during a person's cancer journey.

    Insurance Coverage Eligibility Expanded to DACA Recipients

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has officially finalized a rule that expands insurance coverage eligibility to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Last year, ACS CAN passionately advocated for this proposed rule due to its potential to break down barriers preventing DACA recipients from accessing crucial health care services. Now, an estimated 100,000 previously uninsured DACA recipients are eligible for coverage through the marketplaces. This is a significant victory in our ongoing efforts to ensure that no one is left behind when it comes to accessing the care they need. However, we also recognize that the original proposal to make DACA recipients eligible for Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) did not come to fruition.

    ACS Launched VOICES, to Study Cancer Risk and Outcomes for Black Women

    ACS CAN is helping amplify the American Cancer Society's (ACS) VOICES of Black Women study, the largest population study of cancer risk and outcomes for Black women in the U.S. The study aims to better understand the lived experiences of Black women related to cancer incidence, mortality, and resilience. We look forward to data from the study informing evidence-based policies that could address disparities in cancer care faced by the community. Share about VOICES using this link.

    State Updates

    Colorado Governor Signs Biomarker Bill

    Governor Jared Polis signed SB24-124, a bill that will allow more patients covered by insurance to have access to biomarker testing. Though the bill does not improve access to Medicaid enrollees, it will affect coverage plans for over 1 million Coloradans.

    During ACS CAN's Board meeting in May, we were joined by Colorado Representative Anthony Hartsook (R) and Colorado Senator Dafna Michaelson Jenet (D), who shared about their bipartisan partnership to champion this biomarker legislation critical for families impacted by cancer. We were also joined by a long-time friend of ACS CAN, Colorado Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera who shared her cancer experience with us and her continued work advocating for cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones. 

    Iowa Governor Signs Biomarker Bill

    Governor Kim Reynolds signed legislation into law that will ensure Iowans covered by Medicaid and state-regulated insurance plans now have coverage for biomarker testing when medically appropriate. 

    Tennessee Governor Signs PSA Screening for HIM Bill

    Governor Bill Lee signed HB 2954, or the PSA Screening for HIM bill, making Tennessee the sixth state to enhance coverage of prostate cancer screenings for high-risk men. 

    Federal Updates

    On May 15, the Clinical Trial Modernization Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This federal legislation will remove financial and geographic barriers for clinical trials. By allowing trial sponsors to defray costs, this bipartisan bill will encourage clinical trial enrollment by underrepresented populations. Sponsored by Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN), this bipartisan bill would allow trial sponsors to cover costs associated with trial participation, including medical cost sharing like copays and non-medical expenses such as travel, parking, food, and lodging. Trial sponsors would also be able to provide patients with the necessary technology to facilitate remote participation in clinical trials. 

    At the Courthouse

    Advocates for graphic warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements celebrated in late May when the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declined to hear an en banc tobacco industry appeal of an earlier panel decision upholding the FDA's regulations. ACS and ACS CAN have supported graphic warnings at every phase since passage of the Tobacco Control Act mandated them in 2009. Although there is still a long road ahead, the Fifth Circuit declining to hear the appeal en banc is a major step towards seeing the warnings on every pack and ad.

    In the longstanding racketeering case of U.S. v. Philip Morris in which ACS is an intervenor and the tobacco industry was convicted of massive fraud, ACS and other tobacco control partners recently agreed to a settlement that will result in 5,000 additional corrective statement signs at tobacco retailers across the nation.

    Advocacy in the News 

  • ACS CAN seeks nominations for 2024 Advocacy Awards: Note important deadline on July 24

    ​The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is currently accepting nominations for its 2024 Advocacy Awards. Through the advocacy awards, ACS CAN recognizes and celebrates lawmakers, team members, volunteers, partners, and supporters for their exceptional work to make cancer a national priority. The awards are presented annually to individuals who are nominated by their peers. 

    An ACS CAN workgroup will select the award winner(s) from among the nominees in accordance with the nomination criteria. Award recipients will be announced on Sept. 15 during the kickoff of ACS CAN's, annual signature event, Leadership Summit and Lobby Day in Washington, D.C.

    The list of award categories is below. Visit and click the award heading to review the selection criteria and complete a nomination form for each award shown. Nominations for the National Distinguished Advocacy Award (NDAA) are being accepted now and are due on Wednesday, July 10. 

    National Distinguished Advocacy Award (NDAA) - Presented to national, international, or state-level leaders or organizations who have demonstrated outstanding support of the Enterprise and ACS CAN's shared mission and whose actions have significantly impacted cancer policy on a national or international scale. This award is ACS CAN’s highest national advocacy honor. 

    Nomination submissions for all volunteer and staff awards will open on June 17. Visit and click the award heading to submit once launched.  Nominations for the staff and volunteer awards must be submitted no later than Wednesday, July 24.

    Volunteer Awards - Presented to volunteers who most successfully advance the ACS CAN mission and the volunteer structure in their community.

    Staff Awards - Presented to staff (team members) who have excelled in activities to advance and promote advocacy and ACS CAN both internally and externally.

    Volunteer Award for Excellence in Advocacy - Presented to an exemplary individual volunteer or volunteers in recognition of outstanding leadership and continuous service in the area of advocacy and public policy.

    Dave Woodmansee Award - Presented to a staff person who has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in the areas of advocacy and public policy. The award is named in honor of longtime ACS CAN State and Local Campaigns Director, David Woodmansee, who passed away in 2019.

    For additional questions, please contact Tracy Sun, Senior Grassroots Advocacy Projects & Operations Manager at or visit the ACS CAN 2024 Award Nomination page at

  • WATCH: Beyond the Rainbow: Addressing Cancer Disparities in LGBTQIA+ Communities

    Virtual discussion focused on the unequal burden of cancer among LGBTQIA+ people.

    The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and ACS CAN's LGBTQIA+ & Allies Engagement Group hosted a virtual discussion on March 19 on the unequal burden of cancer among LGBTQIA+ people as they face unique risk factors, screening disparities, obstacles to prevention, detection, and treatment because of systemic barriers. Watch the replay now.

    Featured panelists included Don Dizon MD, FACP, FASCO, Director of Women's Cancers at Lifespan Cancer Institute, Director of Medical Oncology at Rhode Island Hospital, Editor of ACS Journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians; Gladys Arias, MPA, Principal for Health Equity Policy Analysis and Legislative Support at the ACS CAN; and Austin Morreale, Cancer Survivor and Community Engagement Coordinator, NJ Interfaith Center for Cancer Care 

    Learn more at

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