ACS CAN 2024 Massachusetts State Legislative Priorities

2024 Massachusetts 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 2024, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the Massachusetts State Legislature on legislative 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

Access to Biomarker Testing: ACS CAN will advocate for improved coverage of comprehensive biomarker testing. Not all communities are benefiting from the latest advancements in biomarker testing and precision medicine. Communities that have been excluded, including communities of color, individuals with lower socioeconomic status, rural communities, and those receiving care in non-academic medical centers are less likely to receive biomarker testing. Improving coverage for and access to biomarker testing across insurance types is key to reducing health disparities.

Empowering Health Care Consumers: ACS CAN will advocate to provide consumers with complete and accurate information to choose the best health coverage plan for themselves and their families.

Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

Increase Tobacco Taxes: ACS CAN will advocate to increase the cigarette tax by $1 and the tax on cigars from 40 percent of wholesale to 80 percent. 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.

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. 

Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

Reduce Incidence and Death from Pancreatic Cancer: ACS CAN will advocate for a comprehensive pancreatic cancer initiative to provide coordinated pancreatic cancer prevention, screening, education and support programs in the commonwealth.