2024 West Virginia Legislative Priorities

2024 West Virginia Legislative Priorities

Victory in the fight against cancer requires bold new public policies that promote cancer prevention, early detection of cancer, and expanding access to quality, affordable health care. Lawmakers make many decisions that impact the lives of West Virginia residents impacted by cancer, and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2024, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the West Virginia legislature on legislative and regulatory efforts that provide affordable, adequate access to health insurance, including Medicaid, ensure adequate funding for lifesaving cancer screening and prevention programs, and enact prevention policies to protect kids from tobacco products and help support those who are trying to quit. We will be making the following fact-based policies a priority and ask for your support:

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 $16.5 million.  Increasing funding to this level will prevent 3,900 West Virginia teenagers from growing into adults addicted to deadly nicotine products, provide vital resources to help adults who want to quit smoking, and save hundreds of millions of dollars in averted healthcare and business costs associated with treating diseases caused by tobacco products.
  • Access to Tobacco Cessation: ACS CAN will advocate for all insurance plans, including Medicaid, to provide a comprehensive cessation benefit that covers individual, group, and telephone counseling and all FDA-approved cessation medications without cost-sharing or other barriers to access.
  • Tobacco Taxes: ACS CAN will advocate to increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack with a parallel tax on all other tobacco products including e-cigarettes. Increasing the price of cigarettes and all other tobacco products through regular and significant tobacco tax increases helps prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and helps support people who are trying to quit.  A portion of the revenue from a tobacco tax increase should be used to fund and sustain fact-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
  • Smoke-free Air: ACS CAN will work to implement additional local comprehensive smoke-free ordinances that cover all workplaces including restaurants, bars, and gaming facilities. ACS CAN will work to defend existing smoke-free ordinances against any exemptions. ACS CAN will work to expand local ordinances to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes.

 Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

  • Breast and Cervical Cancer: ACS CAN will advocate to maintain the $400,000 funding stream for the breast and cervical cancer screening program for low-income uninsured and underinsured women administered by the state.
  • 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 health plans cover colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 45 in accordance with updated American Cancer Society and United States Preventive Services Task Force guidelines and ensure patients are not charged for colonoscopies that follow a positive stool-based test.
  • Prostate Cancer: ACS CAN supports improving prostate screening rates and reducing disparities by advocating for appropriate screening measures. This includes policies that would give men at high-risk for prostate cancer improved access to prostate cancer screening without cost sharing.
  • Lung Cancer: ACS CAN advocates for all insurance plans, including traditional Medicaid, to provide a comprehensive benefit for lung cancer screening including all follow-up testing according to recommended guidelines, without enrollee cost sharing or other barriers.

Ensuring Access to Quality Care

  • Access to Biomarker Testing: ACS CAN will advocate for improved coverage of comprehensive biomarker testing. Progress in improving cancer outcomes increasingly involves the use of precision medicine, which uses information about a person’s own genes or proteins to better diagnose and treat diseases like cancer. Biomarker testing is an important step to accessing precision medicine which includes targeted therapies that can lead to improved survivorship and better quality of life for cancer patients, but insurance coverage for biomarker testing is failing to keep pace with innovations and advancements in treatment.

Local Control

  • ACS CAN supports the authority of local governments to pass local policies that go beyond state laws to help families be healthy, safe, and secure. Policymaking at the local level allows innovation and creative problem-solving that builds on local strengths and addresses local needs. ACS CAN works at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, fight and survive cancer. ACS CAN will oppose legislation that restricts the freedom of local leaders to best serve your shared constituents. 


For more information, contact: Doug Hogan, ACS CAN West Virginia Government Relations Director  

[email protected] Phone 502.545.6299  

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