2020 North Carolina 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 North Carolinians touched by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2020, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the North Carolina General Assembly in support of the following priorities:

Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

  • Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding:  ACS CAN will work to fund and sustain evidence-based, statewide tobacco use prevention and cessation programs at $20 million.  Increase by $3M recurring funding for tobacco cessation programs to help adults quit tobacco.
  • Tobacco Taxes: Support an increase in the cigarette tax by at least $1.00 per pack, along with an equivalent increase on other tobacco (non-cigarette) products, generating almost $450 million a year in state funds. Significant increases in tobacco excise tax significantly reduces the risk of children from starting tobacco and helps those who want to quit.

Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

  • Breast and Cervical Cancer: ACS CAN will advocate to preserve $1.5 million recurring state funding for the North Carolina Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, which provides preventive cancer screenings for women who are uninsured or underinsured, and advocate to eliminate barriers for medical treatment for uninsured and underinsured women diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer.

Ensuring Access to Quality Care

  • Medicaid Expansion: ACS CAN will advocate for low-income individuals and families to have access to health care coverage through state Medicaid programs. We will support policies that preserve access to Medicaid for low-income parents and adults and will advocate for Medicaid expansion in states that have not increased eligibility up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. 

Quality of Life

  • Protecting Access to Pain Medication for Cancer Patients: ACS CAN will monitor legislative proposals regarding the prescribing of opioid pain medications and advocate for a balanced approach that promotes safe prescribing and dispensing of pain management medication that does not interfere with access to these medicines for the cancer patients and survivors who need them.
  • Oral Chemotherapy parity: Advocate to ensure cancer patients have access to crucial lifesaving chemotherapy medications by ensuring that insurance companies do not charge higher out-of-pocket costs for oral chemotherapy than they do for chemotherapy administered through an IV.

For more information, contact: Christine Weason, Government Relations Director ACS CAN  

[email protected]/ 919-270-4428


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

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.