2020 Alabama Legislative Session Summary

May 26, 2020

The 2020 Alabama legislative session convened in February but was interrupted after a global pandemic swept through the state. Cancer doesn’t stop and neither does the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). Advocates worked with the Alabama Legislature to appropriate over $1 million for cancer initiatives and in support of the following priorities:

Ensuring Access to Quality Care

• Medicaid: ACS CAN worked to broaden access to health care coverage provided to thousands of lowincome state residents through the state’s Medicaid program. The health care coverage provided by Medicaid affords women screened and diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer access to comprehensive health care coverage through the end of their treatment and is has been critical in the fight against cancer for more than 2 million cancer patients and survivors.

• Transportation: ACS CAN successfully advocated for the creation of a study commission to identify barriers and opportunities to collaborate on patient transportation to health care visits.

Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

• Breast and Cervical Cancer: ACS CAN advocated for increased funding for the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program for low-income uninsured and underinsured women administered by the Alabama Department of Health. Due to the pandemic the program was level funded at $500,000.

• Colorectal/Prostate Cancer: ACS CAN advocated for increased funding for colorectal & prostate cancer screening, treatment, and patient navigation programs. No increases were given due to the pandemic so the programs will share $250,000. Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

• Smoke-free Air: An attempt to add e-cigarettes to the existing inadequate clean indoor air law failed. The sponsor was unwilling to substitute model language.

• Increased funding for Tobacco Prevention and Control: Efforts to find more funding for the state tobacco prevention and control (TPC) were interrupted and failed due to the pandemic. However, the Department of Health will receive funds from the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), and we will continue to advocate for an increase for TPC in those allocations.

Cancer Research Funding

• Research Appropriations: ACS CAN supported an allocation of $265,000 to support scientific research on cutting-edge cancer treatments.

For more information, contact: Ginny Campbell, Alabama Government Relations Director

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.