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 Nebraskans touched by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease.
In 2021, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the Nebraska Legislature on legislative and regulatory efforts that address disruption in cancer care and screenings; provide affordable, adequate access to healthcare insurance including Medicaid; as well appropriations funding for lifesaving cancer screening and prevention policies that help people that use tobacco products quit and deter kids from ever using tobacco products. We will be making the following evidence-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 and will support efforts to curb the availability of inadequate health plans.
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.
Medication Access: ACS CAN will advocate for legislation that ensures prior authorization and step therapy requirements for prescription drugs are clear, efficient and patient-friendly while also allowing for exceptions when appropriate. We will also support legislation to prohibit mid-year changes to prescription drug coverage or out-of-pocket costs during the plan year.
Reduce Barriers to Clinical Trials: ACS CAN supports legislation to ensure Medicaid covers routine care costs for eligible Medicaid enrollees to participate in cancer clinical trials. Ensuring state Medicaid programs cover routine care costs for eligible clinical trials will bring Medicaid in line with requirements for Medicare and most private insurance plans and can improve research by increasing diversity among clinical trial participants.
Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
Breast and Cervical Cancer: ACS CAN will advocate to maintain funding of $301,973 for Every Woman Matters, the state breast and cervical cancer screening program for low-income uninsured and underinsured women administered by the Nebraska Department of Health.
Colorectal Cancer: ACS CAN will work to protect 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 guidelines and 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 fund and sustain evidence-based, statewide tobacco use prevention and cessation programs at $2.57 million from the Health Care Cash Fund.
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 protect the statewide comprehensive smoke-free law that includes all restaurants, bars, gaming facilities, and non-hospitality workplaces.
For more information, contact:
David Benson, Government Relations Director ACS CAN
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 www.fightcancer.org.