2018 Ohio Legislative Priorities

Victory in the fight against cancer requires bold new public policies that promote cancer prevention, early detection of cancer, and expand access to quality, affordable health care. Lawmakers make many decisions that impact the lives of Ohioans touched by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2018, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the Ohio Legislature in support of the following priorities:

Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

  • Increase Tax on Other Tobacco Products: ACS CAN will advocate for evidence-based policies regarding tobacco state excise taxes. We will advocate for increasing the tax on other tobacco products, such as cigars and snus, to a level equal with the cigarette tax.
  • Increase Funding for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation: ACS CAN will advocate for a minimum annual allocation of $35 million to fund the best-practice tobacco prevention, cessation, and control program administered by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to keep kids from starting to use tobacco and help adults quit.
  • Raising the Minimum Age for Sale of Tobacco: ACS CAN supports raising the minimum age of sale for tobacco to 21 in Ohio.  Nationally, 95% of adult smokers start before they turn 21.  An Institute of Medicine report predicts that raising the national minimum age of sale of tobacco products will reduce smoking prevalence by about 12 percent and smoking-related deaths by nearly 10 percent for future generations.

Improving Quality of Life for Patients and Survivors

  • Palliative Care: ACS CAN will work to improve cancer patients’ quality of life by creating a Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council to identify barriers to the availability of coordinated, supportive care during treatment from the beginning of diagnosis for serious diseases such as cancer.

Healthy Eating and Active Living

  • ACS CAN will assess statewide opportunities to reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase physical activity consistent with ACS CAN recommendations.

Ensuring Access to Quality Care

  • Access to Health Care Coverage for Low-Income Ohioans: ACS CAN will work with state legislators and the Administration to ensure that the state continues providing low-income Ohioans access to comprehensive and affordable health care coverage, as provided under the federal health care law.  Preserving access to health coverage through our state Medicaid program will ensure that more residents have access to preventive and early detection services, diagnostic testing and cancer treatments that will help detect cancers early when they are easier to treat and less costly.
  • Access to Medications: ACS CAN will support legislation that reduces barriers to cancer patients accessing their medications. Anticipated legislative proposals regarding issues such as Step Therapy and Out of Pocket costs will be monitored.
  • Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment: ACS CAN will work with the Ohio Department of Health to maintain funding and preserve eligibility for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Project and related Medicaid treatment program in preparation for the 2019 Budget.   .

For more information, contact: Jeff Stephens, Ohio Government Relations Director ACS CAN [email protected] 888.227.6446 ext. 8603 

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network • www.fightcancer.org/ohio