ACS CAN 2023 New York State Legislative Priorities

2023 New York State 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 New York State residents impacted by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2023, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the New York State Legislature on legislative and regulatory efforts that provide affordable, adequate access to health insurance including Medicaid, ensure adequate appropriations funding for lifesaving cancer screening programs, and enact prevention policies that help people who use tobacco products quit and deter kids from ever using tobacco products. We will be making the following fact-based policies a priority and ask for your support:

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.
  • 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 prevent, diagnose or 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.
  • Network Adequacy: ACS CAN will support legislation regarding health insurance network adequacy to help ensure that cancer patients and cancer survivors have access to appropriate medical specialists they may need.

Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

  • Breast, Cervical and Colorectal Cancer: ACS CAN will advocate to increase funding of $25.6 Million for the New York State Cancer Services Program, the state breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening and treatment program for low-income uninsured and underinsured men and women administered by the New York State Department of Health. Additionally, New York State should establish a $1 Million operating budget line for the NYS Department of Health to ensure New Yorkers get their doctor recommended screening. These investments should be a down payment on a larger investment as part of New York State’s 2024-2029 Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan which is due to be released later this year.
  • Lung Cancer Screening: ACS CAN will work to improve access to lung cancer screening by advocating for the establishment of a statewide lung cancer screening program and supporting efforts to ensure that all health plans in New York State provide a comprehensive benefit for lung cancer screening according to recommended guidelines, without enrollee cost sharing or other barriers.

Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

  • Increase Tobacco Taxes: As the State of New York works to identify funding strategies to fund critical programs, ACS CAN will advocate to increase the cigarette tax by $1 per pack with an increase in the tax on other tobacco products to parallel the new cigarette tax rate. 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 people who already use tobacco products to quit.  It is also imperative that New York State invest a significant percentage of the new revenue generated by the new tobacco tax rate into sustaining fact-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
  • Increase Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding:  ACS CAN will work to increase funding for fact-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs.  Increasing funding to at least $52 million will allow the program to increase outreach to communities where tobacco use continues to have a troubling impact.
  • End the Sale of Menthol Cigarettes and All Other Flavored Tobacco Products: Tobacco companies have been hooking our kids for years with enticing flavors like grape, chocolate, “banana smash,” and “smooth menthol.” Black communities have paid the highest price for Big Tobacco’s immoral targeting of communities of color and low-income New Yorkers. ACS CAN will continue to advocate for statewide legislation and local ordinances that will end the sale of menthol cigarettes and ALL other flavored tobacco products.
  • Improve 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.

For more information, contact: Michael Davoli, Senior Government Relations Director – New York, ACS CAN [email protected] - (646) 502-9145

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