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Monthly Advocacy Update - June 2021

​A message from Lisa Lacasse, ACS CAN president. 

A tremendous amount of work occurred in May as ACS CAN volunteers and staff continue to advocate, across the country, day and in and day out, on behalf of cancer patients, survivors and those at risk of the disease. As policy discussions ramp up on Capitol Hill and  legislative sessions continue in many state, the last month brought meaningful progress in a variety of our priority issues, including increasing funding for state tobacco control and cancer prevention programs and ensuring patient affordability of cancer prevention and care. We also led fellow cancer advocates during the One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) coalition’s annual Lobby Day to urge lawmakers to increase research funding for the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, investment that we know is critical to advancing our fight against cancer.  

June is shaping up to be a very exciting month! The ACS CAN senior leadership team is thrilled to spend time with Dr. Karen Knudsen this week in D.C. as she launches her tenure as the first female CEO of the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN. It will be our first in-person work meeting since the early months of 2020. ACS CAN is also closely monitoring for the anticipated Supreme Court ruling in California v. Texas, the case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, and will issue a statement as soon as the ruling is announced.


President Biden’s Budget Focuses on Health Issues, Boosts Biomedical Research
Late last week the Biden administration released its budget for fiscal year 2022, which focuses on health issues like biomedical research and access to care. Overall, ACS CAN welcomes and is excited by the clear commitment to ‘end cancer as we know it,’ including: 

  • An additional $9 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including $6.5 billion to create a new agency called the Advanced Research Project Agency on Health (ARPA-H) dedicated to accelerating biomedical research for rare and difficult to treat diseases like cancer. 
  • Increased funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Social Determinants of Health program.
  • Making marketplace health plans more affordable through increased subsidies and lower deductibles is a positive step forward in increasing access to care for patients and survivors. 
  • First-time funding to create a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program that includes leave for serious illness and caregiving. 

We urge lawmakers to also prioritize funding for the National Cancer Institute and the CDC’s cancer prevention and early detection program or the Office on Smoking and Health, which are essential to our work to significantly reduce the cancer burden. Read more in our press statement. 

ACS CAN Survey Shows Cancer Patients and Survivors Continue to Face Pandemic-Related Health Care Delays

ACS CAN’s latest Survivor Views survey makes clear that there is more work to be done to ensure patients and survivors can get the health care they need. One in three (35%) of cancer patients and survivors report that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their ability to access care, with 1 in 6 (16%) reporting a delay or interruption in their cancer screening schedule during the last few months. These delays were driven mostly by staffing shortages or lack of available appointments and patients’ concerns about contracting coronavirus.

Our survey also asked patients about overall cancer care experience, and responses showed continued racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the health care system. Fifteen percent of Hispanic, American Indian or Asian patients did not feel like an active participant in their treatment decisions compared to 12% of white respondents. Additionally, 36% of respondents ranked the cost of health care as the most important challenge facing cancer patients and survivors. Read more in our press statement. 

Updated Colorectal Cancer Guidelines Lower Screening Age to 45, Aligning with ACS guidelines and Expanding Insurance Coverage of Screenings

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released updated guidelines for colorectal cancer screenings, lowering the age for recommended screening from age 50 to age 45 for average risk individuals and aligning with the most recent American Cancer Society guidelines released in 2018. This final recommendation means that colorectal cancer screenings for individuals starting at age 45 are required to be covered with no copay by ACA-compliant plans.  ACS CAN will work to notify policymakers, insurance commissioners and state Medicaid directors about this change. These changes reflect the rising incidence of colorectal cancer in younger adults. To date, ACS CAN has helped to pass laws mandating coverage for colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 45 in 9 states, and will continue to advocate at the state level because we know cost is a major barrier for patients getting screened and removing these barriers will help move our mission forward as we work to end suffering and death from cancer. Read our joint press statement with ACS here.

#CancerVoice: Advocates Urge Congress to Prioritize Research Funding 

Nineteen ACS CAN volunteers joined other cancer advocates for the One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) coalition's annual lobby day. ACS CAN is the founder and leader of OVAC, a group of leading nonprofits unified by the importance of cancer research and prevention funding. This year’s OVAC Lobby Day was the largest ever with 138 participants meeting virtually with lawmakers to ask them to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute as well as for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s cancer control programs. Advocates also participated in an online Day of Action with the hashtag #CancerVoice

Earlier in the month, OVAC members sent a letter to Congress urging for the inclusion of $10 billion in emergency funding in the forthcoming American Jobs Plan, to restart cancer research and clinical trials at the NIH stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full letter here.

Administration Takes Action to Preserve Anti-Discrimination Protections for LGBTQ Patients 

ACS CAN and other patient groups praised the Biden administration’s action to preserve protections in the Affordable Care Act for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) patients receiving health care services. The groups had previously filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit opposing the 2020 Rule that rescinded such protections for LGBTQ patients and individuals with limited English proficiency, making clear that discrimination of any kind would exacerbate existing health disparities and lead to poorer health outcomes. ACS CAN is strongly committed to protecting and expanding access to care for all cancer patients and survivors. Read the groups’ press statement here.

ACS CAN Supports Legislation to Increase Federal Tobacco Tax

ACS CAN sent a letter to members of Congress in support of recently introduced legislation that would double the federal cigarette tax rate, establish a federal tax on e-cigarettes and provide parity across all tobacco products. Significant tobacco tax increases are highly effective at reducing tobacco use, and produce a reliable and significant source of revenue for health care priorities that are so important to our cancer mission.

State & Local Advances

  • ACS CAN applauded the Colorado General Assembly's approval of a budget bill that increases funding for mission-critical programs, including $4.5 million in new revenue for the state tobacco education, prevention and cessation programs; a $2.3 million increase for the state Cancer, Cardiovascular, and Pulmonary Disease prevention and education grant programs; and a $200K increase for the state breast and cervical cancer screening program. These funding increases stem from new revenues resulting from the tobacco tax ballot measure passed in 2020.
  • Florida Gov. DeSantis signed into law a bill that raised the legal age of sale for tobacco products to 21 but created a preemption law that blocks the power of elected officials at the local level to further protect the next generation from being addicted to deadly tobacco products. ACS CAN was outspoken about our strong opposition to the bill and advocated continuously against it. Media coverage of our reaction to the law being signed included The Hill, the Tampa Bay Times and Spectrum News 9. Allowing local governments to introduce and pass public health policies that best fit their communities is critical to advancing best practices across the country. Passing public health policies at the local level creates an opportunity for community debate, education and engagement that is unparalleled at the state or federal level. Florida advocates will continue to fight at all levels of government for meaningful action that protects youth from the tobacco industry and its dangerous products. 
  • The Illinois Legislature passed legislation that ACS CAN strongly advocated for which will require health insurers to offer more plans with flat-dollar copayments for prescription drugs. This important legislation will make prescription drug out-of-pocket costs more predictable for patients facing serious illness, enabling patients to budget and financially plan for their required medications. Another piece of legislation that passed will expand coverage of biomarker testing, which is an essential step to increasing patient access to precision medicine treatments.  
  • ACS CAN and its partners successfully advocated for Kansas Gov. Kelly to veto a bill that would have exposed more individuals to inadequate, short-term limited-duration health plans that are not required to provide the patient protections required by federal law. ACS CAN applauded the move and encouraged state lawmakers to direct efforts to expanding access to affordable, comprehensive health care coverage through Medicaid for Kansans.   
  • ACS CAN expressed strong objection when Missouri Gov. Parson failed to uphold the will of voters – who approved Medicaid expansion via ballot measure last August – and withdrew the request to expand coverage as of July 1 after the legislature failed to include specific funding for expansion, denying an estimated 271K Missourians access to health insurance through the Medicaid program. Significant media coverage of our opposition was garnered including NPR and the Associated Press
  • The Texas legislature voted unanimously to pass a bill ensuring insurance coverage of colorectal screenings starting at age 45, and removing cost sharing for a follow-up colonoscopy following a positive stool-based screening test. ACS CAN volunteers and staff advocated throughout the legislative session in support of removing a major financial barrier that kept too many Texans from receiving their recommended screenings. ACS CAN also successfully advocated for legislation that passed in Illinois to remove cost sharing for a follow-up colonoscopy. Similar legislation passed in Arkansas and Rhode Island earlier this year. 

Advocacy in the News 


  • Pandemic continues to negatively impact access to care

    A new survey shows that 35% of cancer patients and survivors reported their access to healthcare has been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Survivor Views survey from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) also finds that even during the last few months, as the overall spread of the virus has begun to decline due to vaccinations, roughly 1 in 6 (16%) patients report a delay or interruption in their cancer screening schedule, including 1 in 10 (11%) who experienced a screening delay for a cancer with which they’d previously been diagnosed. These delays were driven mostly by logistical issues such as staffing shortages or a lack of available appointments (26%), followed by patients’ concerns about the risks of contracting the virus (22%).

    The survey also asked patients about their overall cancer care experience. Responses showed continued racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in the health care system. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said their health care provider asked them what they wanted from their treatment and made them an active part of their cancer treatment decisions. But 22%, or 1 in 5 said they were not asked or unsure and 15% of Hispanics, American Indian, or Asian patients said they did not feel they were actively involved in their own treatment decisions, compared to 12% of white respondents. In addition, survey respondents identified the overall costs of health care as the most important challenge to address and the top priority for improving health care. This issue is critical because it impacts the ability of cancer patients and survivors to afford all of their necessary treatments and services. ACS CAN is urging lawmakers to ensure cancer patients can get timely, affordable health coverage that allows them to access the care they need.

    To learn more about Survivor Views, visit www.fightcancer.org/survivor-views.

  • USPSTF updates colorectal cancer screening guideline

    Taskforce now aligns with ACS recommendation to start at 45.

    Update USPSTF updates colorectal cancer screening guideline Taskforce now aligns with ACS recommendation to start at 45.

    The United States Preventive Services Taskforce (USPSTF), an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, today announced their final recommendation statement, evidence summary, and modeling study on screening for colorectal cancer.  

    Since 2018, the American Cancer Society has recommended adults begin screening at age 45. Now, the USPSTF will also recommend screening beginning at age 45, rather than at age 50 as previously recommended. The taskforce’s lowered screening age aims to address the rising incidence of colorectal cancer in younger adults and now aligns with ACS’s research findings and guidelines. 

    The USPSTF’s updated guidelines have positive implications for insurance coverage for colorectal cancer screening for many people. The final guideline now classifies screenings for adults ages 50 to 75 as an “A” recommendation and ages 45 to 49 as a “B” recommendation. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires non-grandfathered private health insurance plans and Medicaid expansion plans to cover all preventive services that receive an “A” or “B” grade from USPSTF, which means individuals with ACA-compliant plans ages 45-49 who previously were not eligible to get coverage for colorectal screenings will gain coverage at no cost. 

    ACS and ACS CAN shared this joint statement about the taskforce’s recommendation. It may be shared with local media as appropriate.


  • New report on cancer research and disparities

    Non-Whites more likely to report negative experience about their treatment.

    A new report from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) takes an in-depth look at disparities across all areas of cancer research and suggests immediate policy solutions that could help address such gaps in the years to come.

    The report, Cancer Research and Disparities: Understanding and Addressing the Issues, finds that different types of research can either exacerbate or minimize cancer disparities, as can the makeup of the cancer care and research workforce.

    For instance, while racial and ethnic minority groups and older patients are equally willing to participate in clinical trials as other groups, they are often underrepresented in clinical trials. Reasons for this disparity include everything from insurance status and trial location to the trial designs themselves, which often do not identify, understand, or address disparities in cancer outcomes.

    Also, research to identify and address disparities in outcomes has to be deliberate and specifically designed. This research often requires significant over-representation of certain populations and the inclusion of information from a wide array of clinical and social science work. Without such an approach, research may miss why cancer outcomes are often worse for patients with limited access to care, lower socioeconomic status, and other factors.

    “Addressing disparities in all areas of cancer research is essential to tackling the disproportionate cancer burden communities of color and people living in under-resourced areas too often experience,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “No one should be disadvantaged in their fight against cancer because of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, their disability status, or where they live.”

    Yet preliminary results from a forthcoming ACS CAN Survivor Views survey, finds Hispanic and non-white respondents were more likely to report a negative experience when asked about different aspects of their treatment, including whether they were confident they had access to the best and most effective treatment, if they were an active participant in their care, and whether they were able to get the preventive care needed as a survivor. And more than 1 in 8 respondents whose annual household income is $35,000 or less reported that it is not easy to receive preventive care like check-ups and regular cancer screening.  

    Policy measures that would address research disparities were discussed during ACS CAN’s National Policy Forum on the Future of Health Care earlier this month and were included in the report:

    • Shield patients from out-of-pocket ancillary costs of trial participation: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General should clarify policies to ensure reimbursement of ancillary costs such as travel, parking, and housing by clinical trial sponsors is not seen as undue influence and ensure awareness of allowable reimbursements.
    • Maintain and expand access to Medicaid: State Medicaid programs provide essential coverage for people with limited incomes including various populations likely to be underrepresented in clinical trials.
    • Issue permanent guidance on the conduct of decentralized clinical trials: During the COVID-19 pandemic the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) significantly expanded opportunities for the use of decentralized trial practices like telemedicine, which could allow greater participation of underrepresented groups in clinical trials. These flexibilities are set to expire with the end of the public health emergency.
    • Address genetic variation leading to disparate responses to cancer therapeutics: Ancestry and genetic inheritance can have a direct effect on how a drug is metabolized, thus affecting the safety and efficacy of the treatment. FDA should collect evidence regarding differential safety and efficacy of therapies based on ancestry and ensure drug labeling accurately reflects these differences. Congress could also give FDA the authority to require sponsors to design clinical trials with appropriate demographic representation when prior evidence points to likely ancestral disparities in safety or efficacy.
    • Invest in a diverse cancer care and research workforce: The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) should expand existing opportunities and programs that support career development for scientists and researchers from underrepresented minority groups.

    “Cancer research needs to reflect the people and communities it is meant to serve,” said Lisa. “We cannot afford to ignore or neglect the critical role of diversity in advancing medical science. We need to take decisive action to eliminate cancer disparities in all areas of cancer care, including in cancer research.”

    The full report, including all of the detailed policy provisions, and a recording of the National Policy Forum, where the report and other cancer equity issues are discussed, are both available online.


  • Administration praised for preserving protections in ACA for LGBTQ patients

    Amicus brief also calls for restoration of translation notices for those with limited English proficiency.

    More than a dozen patient groups representing millions of Americans with serious and chronic health conditions are praising the Biden administration’s action to preserve protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) patients receiving health care services.

    The groups filed an amicus brief in a case against the 2020 Rule that rescinded protections for LGBTQ people and individuals with limited English proficiency. These communities already face significant health disparities and allowing discrimination would further exacerbate these gaps and lead to poorer health outcomes.

    Following is the groups’ joint statement:

    “As organizations that represent millions of people with serious and chronic health conditions, we are pleased to see the administration take action to preserve anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals.

    “This community already faces significant health disparities. People with chronic illness such as HIV and cancer are more likely to have hospitalizations, ER visits, ambulatory surgeries, and provider visits. They need to be able to access care quickly and without fear of discrimination. Forcing them to find different providers elsewhere was not, and never will be, a solution.

    “Additionally, we would encourage the administration to restore translation notices for those with limited English proficiency (LEP) who often have greater gaps in understanding their health coverage and consequently often forgo critical health services.

    “Every person regardless of their race, color, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability deserves to be given equal access to timely, quality, comprehensive health care without discrimination, and we welcome this positive step to ensure access is preserved without hinderance as intended by the health care law.”


  • Cancer research groups push for emergency funding to restart clinical trials be included in infrastructure package

    An estimated $10 billion is necessary to recoup pandemic-related costs and delays.

    A group of more than 50 cancer research-focused organizations, including ACS CAN, are urging Congress to include $10 billion in emergency funding to restart cancer research and clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) stalled by the coronavirus pandemic.  

    In a letter sent to lawmakers, members of the One Voice Against Cancer coalition say without the additional resources in the forthcoming American Jobs Plan, promising research will languish and potentially be lost entirely.

    A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN, follows:

    “The pandemic’s impact on cancer research has been severe. Early shutdowns forced research to come to an abrupt halt, and restarting trials has required implementing new protocols, procuring personal protective equipment and sometimes restarting work altogether that otherwise could not be resumed. The cost of these disruptions has been significant and threatens to jeopardize progress in the effort to reduce our country’s cancer burden for years to come.

    “Clinical trials are often the best and sometimes only course of treatment for patients in need of care. On behalf of all cancer patients, survivors and their families, we urge Congress to include this additional NIH funding in the American Jobs Plan and ensure medical research can keep moving forward without delay.”

    Read the full letter.

    About ACS CAN at 20 

    The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org


  • FDA moves to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars; ACS CAN applauds the action

    On April 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will prohibit menthol cigarettes and all flavors in cigars. Ending menthol flavoring in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars is a long overdue step forward in reducing youth tobacco initiation, helping adults quit and reducing tobacco-related cancer, as well as combating Big Tobacco’s targeting of Black communities, who consistently report the highest prevalence of menthol cigarette use.

    The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prohibited the use of flavors in cigarettes and cigarette smoke, but exempted menthol. However, Congress ordered FDA to consider the evidence regarding menthol cigarettes and gave FDA authority to prohibit menthol if “appropriate for public health.”

    In 2013, 19 public health groups, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) filed a Citizen’s Petition urging FDA to exercise its regulatory power to prohibit menthol in cigarettes. However, when FDA failed to respond to the Citizen’s Petition in a timely manner, public health groups, led by the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council and Action on Smoking and Health, filed a federal lawsuit to compel the FDA to take action on menthol. Today’s welcome action from FDA is in response to that lawsuit.

    The following is a statement from Lisa Lacasse, ACS CAN president:

    “ACS CAN applauds the administration for announcing action to eliminate menthol in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars. With tobacco use being the number one cause of preventable death and responsible for one-third of all cancer deaths, we congratulate the FDA on taking this next step to remove Big Tobacco’s ability to lure new customers into a lifetime of addiction with menthol in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars. This decision will save lives from cancer caused by tobacco use.

    “FDA’s long-awaited decision to take action to eliminate menthol flavoring in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars ends a decades-long deference to the tobacco industry, which has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to profit from products that result in death. Eliminating menthol in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars will also help combat the health disparities intentionally driven by Big Tobacco's predatory practices to addict Black, LGBTQ and low-income communities for decades.  

    “Menthol has had a particularly disproportionate impact on African Americans with 85.5% of Blacks who smoke using menthol cigarettes, as compared to 46% of Hispanics who smoke, 39% of Asians who smoke and 28.7% of whites who smoke. FDA’s actions today send a clear message that Big Tobacco’s strategy to profit off addicting Black communities will no longer be tolerated.

    “It is well documented that menthol makes it easier to start smoking and more difficult to quit. It is also the preferred flavor among youth, with roughly half of teens who smoke reporting menthol cigarette use. Furthermore, cigars are the second most popular tobacco product used by youth and currently the most popular tobacco product among Black youth. Eliminating menthol in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars will reduce youth initiation to help ensure kids never start smoking. We urge swift action to finalize this move. Any delay will result in more lives lost as a result of these products.

    “ACS CAN has been urging FDA to prohibit menthol, including in cigarettes, and all flavors in cigars in our call for a total flavor prohibition in all tobacco products for years. ACS CAN is committed to continuing our work with Congress, state and local lawmakers to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products.”


    In an April 29 news release,, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD, said:  

    “Banning menthol—the last allowable flavor—in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly products. With these actions, the FDA will help significantly reduce youth initiation, increase the chances of smoking cessation among current smokers, and address health disparities experienced by communities of color, low-income populations, and LGBTQ+ individuals, all of whom are far more likely to use these tobacco products. Together, these actions represent powerful, science-based approaches that will have an extraordinary public health impact. Armed with strong scientific evidence, and with full support from the Administration, we believe these actions will launch us on a trajectory toward ending tobacco-related disease and death in the U.S.”  Read the FDA press release here.


  • President says it's within our power to "end cancer as we know it"

    ​ACS CAN reacts.

    During his address to a joint session of Congress on April 28, President Biden called on lawmakers to "end cancer as we know it."

    "I can think of no more worthy investment, nothing more bipartisan, so let's end cancer as we know it . . .It is within our power to do it," he said.

    The president noted that the Defense Department has an agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to develop breakthroughs that advance our national security. He said he believes the National Institutes of Health should create a similar advanced research projects agency for health. "And here's what it would do — it would have a singular purpose: To develop breakthroughs – to prevent, detect, and treat diseases like Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cancer," he said.

    Below is a statement from ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse:

    “We are thrilled President Biden has committed to a huge investment in the fight against cancer. We urge the administration to both prioritize innovation and sustain robust funding for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute that has saved countless lives over the last half century. Every major cancer research breakthrough of the last 50 years is due to federal funding. ACS CAN looks forward to working with the Biden Administration to accelerate cancer research and discovery.”

    The president's son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer on May 30, 2015, at age 46. 

  • ACS CAN to President & Congress: Make affordable health care a priority

    Before his address to a joint session of Congress, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urged President Biden and Congress to work together to prioritize access to affordable health care in any forthcoming infrastructure legislation. 

    ACS CAN sent a letter to the White House and Congressional leadership ahead of the president’s address to Congress detailing several policies that would help more Americans prevent, detect, and treat cancer successfully.

    The letter calls for:

    • Making permanent the expanded eligibility and generosity of subsidies to cover the costs of marketplace health plans—policies that have contributed to more than a half million people gaining health care coverage in just a few months—fixing the “family glitch” so that families are able to afford coverage through the marketplace if someone's employer only offers affordable coverage for the employee
    • Continuing to expand coverage to low-income populations
    • Prohibiting or significantly curtailing the sale of substandard insurance plans, including short-term limited-duration plans, association health plans and farm bureau plans, all of which are exempt from covering the kind of services those with cancer or a history of cancer need
    • Capping out-of-pocket drug costs for people in Medicare Part D

    A statement from ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse follows:

    “The president and Congress have a unique opportunity to make permanent changes that have made health care more affordable and accessible during this pandemic and extend the benefits of improved access to cancer prevention, detection and treatment services for millions of American for years to come. Combined, expanded eligibility and generosity of health care subsidies, including ending the family glitch, expanding coverage to more low-income individuals, and reigning in substandard insurance plans would vastly improve the country’s access to comprehensive health care. Research has repeatedly shown the connection between adequate health coverage and early cancer detection and survivability.

    “With no current limit on out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs in Medicare, cancer patients can face staggering costs to access recommended treatments. Capping out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare enrollees would alleviate the often-overwhelming financial burden cancer patients face that can create barriers to timely and lifesaving treatment.

    “The coronavirus pandemic has made clear the nation’s urgent need for more affordable, comprehensive health care coverage and provides an opportunity for lawmakers to meet that need now and in the future.  On behalf of cancer patients, survivors and their families we urge the president and Congress to make access to affordable health care a policy priority in their upcoming infrastructure bill.”

    Read the full ACS CAN letter.

    About ACS CAN at 20 

    ACS CAN makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org


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