2024 Arkansas Legislative Priorities

2024 Arkansas Legislative Priorities

Victory in the fight against cancer requires bold public policy solutions that promote cancer prevention, increase early detection of cancer, expand access to quality, affordable health care, reduce disparities and advance health equity. State and local lawmakers’ decisions impact the lives of those affected by cancer. In 2024, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with members of the Arkansas Legislature to prioritize state and local legislative and regulatory efforts that provide affordable, adequate access to health insurance including Medicaid; insurance coverage of needed services; evidence-based prevention policies including tobacco prevention policies; ensure adequate funding for lifesaving cancer screening and prevention programs; and enact prevention policies to protect kids from tobacco products and to help support those who are trying to quit. These fact-based priorities include:


Ensuring Access to Quality Care

  • Affordable, Adequate Health Insurance: ACS CAN will advocate for policies that ensure access to quality, affordable and comprehensive health insurance including Medicaid and will support efforts to curb the availability of inadequate health plans.
  • Prescription Drug Transparency: ACS CAN will continue to  support legislation that allows cancer patients and all health consumers to know which drugs are covered and what their out-of-pocket costs will be for those drugs before buying a health insurance plan.  We will also support policies that encourage more copay only plans, place limits on out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, and ensure that all cost-sharing payments are counted. 

Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

  • Breast and Cervical Cancer: ACS CAN will advocate to maintain funding of $4.75 million for BreastCare, the state breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment program for low-income uninsured and underinsured women administered by the Arkansas Department of Health.
  • Colorectal Cancer: ACS CAN will work to increase funding for colorectal cancer screening, treatment, and patient navigation programs. Additionally, ACS CAN will work to ensure patients are not charged for colonoscopies that follow a positive stool-based test.

Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

  • Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding:  ACS CAN will work to increase funding for fact-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs to $15 million.  Increasing funding to $15 million will allow the program to make continued progress in reducing rates of tobacco use in Arkansas, and develop programs to address the growing use of e-cigarette products among young people.
  • Access to Tobacco Cessation: ACS CAN will advocate for all insurance plans, including the state Medicaid program, to provide 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.
  • Smoke-free Air:  ACS CAN will work to implement a statewide comprehensive smoke-free law that covers all workplaces including restaurants, bars, and gaming facilities. ACS CAN will work to defend the statewide smoke-free law against any exemptions. ACS CAN will work to expand the statewide smoke-free law to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes and marijuana wherever smoking is prohibited.

Cancer Research Funding

  • Research Appropriations: ACS CAN will work to protect/increase appropriations to support scientific research on cutting-edge treatments.
  • Comprehensive Cancer Control Program Funding: ACS CAN will work to protect/increase appropriations for state comprehensive cancer control programs.

Local Control

  • Local governments are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the people in their communities. ACS CAN supports their ability to pass laws that are proven to promote good health, well-being, and equality. Preserving local control is needed to pass innovative and proactive public health policies. ACS CAN works at the local, state, and federal levels; thus, it supports each level of government’s ability to implement policies for cleaner, safer, healthier communities. The right of local governments to pass public health policies stronger than state laws must be preserved to continue future advocacy efforts to reduce suffering and death from cancer.


For more information, contact: Matt Glanville, Oklahoma and Arkansas Government Relations Director


[email protected] Phone: 405.301.6311

ACS CAN is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state, and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, please visit