ACS CAN 2024 New York State Legislative Priorities

2024 New York State Legislative Priorities

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In 2024 the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the New York State Legislature and other state leaders 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:  


Cancer Prevention and Early Detection 

  • Breast, Cervical and Colorectal Cancer: ACS CAN will advocate for a restoration of $2.5 million in funding 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 women and men administered by the New York State Department of Health. The increase would bring the total annualized appropriation to $22,325,000.  
  • Comprehensive Cancer Control Program: ACS CAN will advocate for the establishment of a new budget line in the State Operations Budget to support comprehensive cancer control programming by the New York Department of Health and an annual appropriation of $1,000,000 on that line. 
  • Lung Cancer: ACS CAN will advocate 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. ACS CAN will advocate for legislation to establish a lung cancer education, screening, and treatment program to ensure that New Yorkers who meet the American Cancer Society lung cancer screening guidelines are aware of and have access to lung cancer screening and treatment for those diagnosed with lung cancer via the NYS Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program.
  • Prostate Cancer: ACS CAN will advocate for all insurance plans, including traditional Medicaid, to provide a comprehensive benefit for evidence-based prostate cancer preventive care and screenings, without cost sharing. 
  • HPV: ACS CAN will advocate for legislation to increase the uptake of the HPV vaccine including legislation to strengthen school vaccination requirements, require adult vaccination reporting (A7154/S1531), and appropriate funding for HPV vaccine education and administration focused on the importance of vaccination for all New Yorkers and combatting disinformation efforts. 
  • Women’s Cancer Fund: ACS CAN will advocate for an increase the New York State Women's Cancer Education and Prevention Fund in the Aid to Localities Budget to $500,000 to ensure women’s cancers get equal attention as cancers impacting men only. 

Ensuring Access to Quality Care 

  • Health Coverage For All: ACS CAN believes that access to health care is a right that should be afforded to all, regardless of one’s immigration status. ACS CAN will advocate for legislation (A3020/S2237A) to extend health coverage to undocumented individuals. 
  • Paid Family and Medical Leave: ACS CAN will advocate for legislation (A4053/S2821) that ensures all working cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers have access to paid family and medical leave that allows them to take time off work to deal with their own or a loved one’s care without losing their job or income. 
  • Paid Time Off for Cancer Screening: ACS CAN will advocate for policies that ensures all public and private employees have paid, excused leave of absence from his or her duties for a sufficient period, not to exceed four hours, to undertake a screening for cancer of any kind in accordance with l U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines. 
  • Expand Patient Navigation Services: Patient navigators have been shown to help increase cancer screening rates among historically marginalized racial and ethnic populations by providing access to disease prevention education, conducting community outreach, and facilitating public education campaigns. ACS CAN will advocate for legislation that will reimburse patient navigation services through Medicaid, state plan amendments that would authorize targeted case management through a cancer diagnosis, state appropriations to provide patient navigation services to cancer patients, and the development, adoption, and promotion of patient navigation certification and training programs.  
  • Ending Medical Debt: ACS CAN recognizes the impact of medical debt on people with cancer, caregivers, and their families. In addition to supporting policies that ensure affordable access to comprehensive healthcare coverage, ACS CAN will advocate for policies that prevent the occurrence of medical debt and reduce the impact of incurred medical debt on individuals and families including the Ounce of Prevention Act (S1366A/A6027A) which would reform the State Hospital Financial Assistance Law and the Stop SUNY Suing Act (A8017/S7778), which would ban the 5 State-operated hospitals from suing patients. 

Reducing the Toll of Tobacco  

  • Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding: ACS CAN will advocate for a restoration of $7.5 million in funding for fact-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs bring the annualized total to $46.658 million.  Increasing the annualized funding to $46.658 million will allow the program to increase outreach to communities where tobacco use continues to have a troubling impact. 
  • Tobacco Tax Parity: ACS CAN will advocate for legislation to ensure that all other tobacco products are taxed at the same rate as cigarettes to encourage people who smoke to quit rather than switching to lower-priced alternatives.
  • Menthol Cigarettes and All Other Flavored Tobacco Products: ACS CAN will advocate for legislation (A3907/S2441) to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products including all tobacco products, all flavors, and all tobacco retailers. 

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.