Victory in the fight against cancer requires 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 Alaskans touched by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2019, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the Alaska Legislature in support of the following priorities:
Improving Access to Health Care
Progress in cancer research is only helpful if patients actually have access to these medical advances. ACS CAN worked with oncologists in the state to pass legislation allowing patients to maintain their insurance coverage for their routine health care while participating in cancer clinical trials. We also supported a new law that modernizes Alaska’s insurance statutes to treat insurance coverage for oral chemotherapy (pills) the same as infusion chemotherapy.
Keep Youth Tobacco Prevention Strong and Effective
ACS CAN has championed investment in Alaska’s tobacco prevention and cessation program since its inception 20 years ago. These efforts have resulted in a 70% decline in youth smoking during this time, and a significant decline in adult smoking as well. However, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in Alaska. There is more work to do, particularly given the alarming rise in youth e-cigarette use. Alaska’s investment in tobacco prevention remains a top legislative priority.
Protect Childhood Obesity Prevention Program Funding
ACS CAN is a leading proponent of Alaska’s investment in childhood obesity prevention. Initial success of this program has been strong and promising, but the legislature has drastically cut this program’s funding in recent years. ACS CAN supports addressing health eating and active living from an early age in order to prevent numerous chronic diseases, including cancer, thereby saving both lives and healthcare costs in our state.