As the 2018 Idaho Legislative Session ends, we wanted to update you about the successes of this sessions’ cancer priorities. This past January over 50 advocates attended the Day at the Capitol event to discuss these two topics with lawmakers:
- Raising the sale of all tobacco products to age 21
- Establishing Oral Chemo Parity in Idaho- which means ensuring equal insurance coverage of whatever form of chemotherapy a patient’s doctor recommends regardless of form (pill, liquid, or IV)
The Tobacco 21 bill was given a hearing in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, but tobacco lobbyists pressured committee members not to hold a vote on the measure. As a result the bill was held in committee, which gives ACS CAN an opportunity to return to the legislation next year.
While we were unable to advance the bill, ACS CAN was acknowledged for our efforts to bring additional attention to this life saving issue. It was amazing to see the groundswell of support this measure had this year especially with the youth in Idaho. With a new governor and legislature next year we could be positioned to push the bill further. We will work with our Tobacco 21 partners to determine the best strategy in moving forward.
ACS CAN also made strides with the Oral Chemo Parity bill gaining more co-sponsors and supporters. After being held in the House Health and Welfare Committee four year, this year we asked for it to be read in the Commerce and Human Resources Committee as it is an insurance issue. ACS CAN worked with many coalition partners to schedule an informational session where ACS CAN outlined how this issue impacts cancer patients in Idaho. As a result, ACS CAN will be meeting with Director of Insurance, Dean Cameron this summer to work on a potential solution to this major issue facing our state.
We have more to accomplish, but we need your help. If you haven’t please consider becoming an ACSCAN member. Already a member? Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay engaged in all that’s happening across the state.
Do you have a cancer story or a chemotherapy experience? Please share them with us!
Lastly, stay engaged both in your community and across our state. Make time to connect with your legislators, our state policymakers look forward to connecting with ACSCAN members. Remember, your voice has the ability to impact the lives of so many Gem Staters!
State Lead Ambassador
ACS CAN Idaho