2022 ACS CAN Minnesota State Legislative Priorities

Victory in the fight against cancer requires bold new public policies that promote cancer prevention, early detection of cancer, and expand equitable access to quality, affordable health care. Lawmakers make many decisions that impact the lives of Minnesotans impacted cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is committed to making sure all Minnesotans have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. In 2022, ACS CAN will work with the Minnesota state legislature in support of the following priorities:


Ensuring Access to Quality Care

  • Prescription Drug Transparency: ACS CAN supports HF633 (Bierman)/SF365 (Nelson), which would require individual and small-market health insurers to ensure at least 25 percent of their plans offer copay-only coverage for prescription drugs, creating more health care coverage options and helping Minnesotans facing serious diseases, like cancer, better manage and plan for their prescription drug costs.
  • Access to Biomarker Testing: ACS CAN will advocate for improved coverage of comprehensive biomarker testing. Biomarker testing is an important step to accessing precision medicine that can lead to improved survivorship and better quality of life for cancer patients, but insurance coverage is failing to keep pace with innovations and advancements in treatment.


Improving Patient Quality of Life

  • Defining Palliative Care: Palliative care improves quality of life and addresses harmful effects of pain, symptoms and emotional distress among people with serious illnesses and is for any stage or prognosis of a serious condition. However, Minnesota state statute defines palliative care as end-of-life care. ACS CAN supports legislation that would create a more accurate definition of palliative care.
  • Minnesota Palliative Care Advisory Council: ACS CAN supports HF2517 (Reyer)/SF2400 (Housley) to fund the existing Minnesota Palliative Care Advisory Council, which works to identify barriers to coordinated, supportive care during treatment of serious illnesses such as cancer. 


Reducing the Toll of Commercial Tobacco

  • Access to Tobacco Treatment: ACS CAN will advocate for legislation to remove barriers to tobacco treatment for Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare enrollees, ensuring more Minnesotans have a comprehensive cessation benefit that covers individual, group, and telephone counseling and all FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications without cost-sharing or other barriers to accessing care.
  • Flavored Tobacco Products: The tobacco industry markets fruit and candy-flavored products, including menthol cigarettes, to youth, African Americans, American Indians, the LGBTQ+ community, and other specific populations. ACS CAN supports HF904 (Frazier)/SF1271 (Champion), which would end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, flavored cigars, hookah, and smokeless tobacco.


Cancer Reporting System

ACS CAN supports legislation that would allow Minnesota to share its cancer data with other state and national cancer registries, which will make sure our researchers have the data they need to find new cures and treatments and ensure federal funding continues to come into our state to support the fight against cancer. 

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Cancer treatment often causes major disruption to a patient’s life and work. It may require treatments with severe side effects, surgeries and other procedures that make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to work. ACS CAN supports policies to increase access to job-protected paid family and medical leave that can be used for cancer treatments, survivorship care, and caregiving as well as other illnesses.