2020 Indiana Legislative Session Wrap Up
With the 2020 Indiana General Assembly in the rearview mirror, we are excited to share some significant wins with you!
Below are the legilsative priorities we fought for this past session and the result of all your actions!
Tobacco addiction remains Indiana’s leading public health threat, killing more than 11,000 Hoosiers every year.
Tobacco 21: Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 1 which raises the legal tobacco sales age to 21 to match the new federal law. The legislation also increased penalties on retailers who sell to underage buyers and required new tobacco stores to be located at least 1,000 feet from a school.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in Indiana and risks are increasing for younger people.
Updated screening coverage: Lawmakers passed House Bill 1080 that requires most health plans regulated by the state to begin covering preventative colorectal cancer screenings at age 45, instead of age 50, in accordance with recently updated American Cancer Society Guidelines.
Indiana is home to three cancer research centers, two of which are designated by the National Cancer Institute.
Research funding: Lawmakers debated a proposal to create a cancer research account, funded by taxpayers who donate a portion of their state tax return. The fund would have been equally distributed to cancer research centers at Indiana University and the Purdue University. The bill, Senate Bill 66, passed the Senate unanimously, but failed to advance out of the House.
Access to Health Care
Ensuring Hoosiers have access to affordable care and medications is an important step in reducing the cancer burden.
Improved access to palliative care: Building on efforts led by ACS CAN in previous years, the legislature approved House Bill 1199 which defines palliative care in code and expands access to palliative care by allowing hospice providers to provide community-based palliative care services.
Unregulated health plans: ACS CAN unsuccessfully fought a proposal that authorizes non-profit agricultural organizations, like Farm Bureau, to create health plans for their members that are unregulated by state or federal agencies. These plans could discriminate based on pre-existing conditions, place lifetime or annual caps on coverage, or refuse coverage of essential services like prescription drugs.
Non-medical switches: ACS CAN supported a proposal that would prohibit health insurers from changing the coverage of a medication during the middle of a plan year—a practice that can leave patients with unaffordable and unplanned prescription costs. The bill did not pass.
Thank you for everything you did to move the ball forward in cancer prevention, research and patient quality of life!