New Jersey 2022 State Legislative Priorities
There will be an estimated 53,000 new cancer cases and over 15,000 cancer deaths in New Jersey in 2022. 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. In 2022, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network will prioritize the following issues:
Improving Access to Prevention, Early Detection, Treatment and Care
- Regulating the Practice of Step Therapy: Step therapy policies are used by health insurers to force patients to try less expensive medications first, before being allowed access to the medicines originally prescribed by their doctor. This often wastes time, which is something patients with progressive diseases like cancer cannot afford. Almost 2-in-3 New Jersey voters support step therapy reform when informed about step therapy. ACS CAN will advocate for the passage of legislation that would establish common-sense protocols to govern step therapy in New Jersey and ensure that patients get the right medicine at the right time.
- Reducing Out of Pocket Costs for Colorectal Cancer Screening—Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in New Jersey. New Jerseyans are increasingly opting for less-invasive colorectal cancer screening tests that can be administered at home. While these tests are covered by insurance, patients can face large out-of-pocket costs if a follow-up colonoscopy is deemed necessary by their doctor. By a more than 2-1 margin New Jersey voters support reducing out of pocket costs for colorectal cancer screening. To ensure that cost is not a barrier to screening, ACS CAN will advocate for legislation that will eliminate patient cost-sharing for colonoscopies following a positive stool-based screening test for colorectal cancer.
- Increasing Access to Cancer Screening: The New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection Screening Program (NJCEED) offers a critically important service to men and women who lack health insurance – free cancer screening for breast, cervical, colorectal, and prostate cancer. Detected early, these cancers are more easily treated. Failing to have these cancers detected early can lead to deadly consequences. Since the pandemic began, state aid for NJCEED has been reduced to $3.1 million annually. With hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans having been forced to delay screening during the COVID-19 crisis, it is critical that we increase our investment in NJCEED. Nearly 9-in-10 New Jersey voters support increasing funding for NJCEED. To help New Jersey catch up on critical screenings, ACS CAN will advocate that New Jersey increase its annual state support for NJCEED to $5 million in Fiscal Year 2022-23.
Reducing the Toll of Tobacco
- End the Sale of Menthol Cigarettes and All Other Flavored Tobacco Products: ACS CAN will continue to advocate to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and ALL other flavored tobacco products in New Jersey. We have made progress by the restricting the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, however, menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars remain on the market creating a health disparity in the state that needs to be addressed. ACS CAN will advocate for the passage of legislation that will end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products.
- New Jersey Tobacco Control Programs: Well-funded tobacco control programs can keep kids from starting to use tobacco and help those already addicted quit. With nearly 12,000 New Jerseyans losing their lives to smoking each year New Jersey needs to continue investing in tobacco control if it is to further reduce tobacco use in the state. New Jersey Statute requires that 1 percent of revenue generated by the state’s cigarette tax must be dedicated to tobacco control programs. By a 2-to-1 margin New Jersey voters support increasing the percentage of cigarette taxes dedicated to tobacco control. ACS CAN will advocate that New Jersey increase the percentage of cigarette revenue dedicated to tobacco control programs to 5 percent beginning in Fiscal Year 2022-23.
- Permanently Close the Casino Loophole in the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act: New Jersey’s casinos remain the only places exempted from New Jersey’s Smoke-Free Air Act. This puts the health of the 22,000 employees at New Jersey’s casinos at risk in addition to the casino patrons. By a 2-to-1 margin New Jersey voters support prohibiting indoor smoking in NJ casinos and 7-in-10 New Jersey voters would prefer to visit a smoke-free casino. ACS CAN will advocate for the passage of legislation that will permanently close the loophole that allows smoking, including marijuana, in casinos.
- New Jersey State Commission on Cancer Research (NJCCR): For more than 30 years, NJCCR has funded promising cancer research in New Jersey. NJCCR promotes significant and original research in New Jersey into causes, prevention, treatment, and palliation of cancer and serves as a resource to providers and consumers of cancer services. ACS CAN will advocate that New Jersey maintain the $4 million in funding for the NJCCR in Fiscal Year 2022-23.
For more information, contact: Michael Davoli, New Jersey Government Relations Director, ACS CAN
[email protected] Office: 212.237.3853 Mobile: 518.209.0447 Twitter: ACSCAN_NJ
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network • www.fightcancer.org/NJ
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard.