Advocating for changes to the health care system that make cancer treatment more affordable for patients and their families includes protecting patients from receiving surprise bills for unexpected out-of-network care that are prohibited by the No Surprises Act (NSA). ACS CAN strongly supported N
2023 Georgia Legislative Session Summary
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 Georgia residents impacted by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2023 the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) worked with the Georgia General Assembly and Administration in support of the following priorities:
Ensuring Access to Quality Care
- Medicaid Expansion: ACS CAN continues to advocate for low-income individuals and families to have access to health insurance coverage through state Medicaid programs. We support policies that preserve funding and access to Medicaid for low-income parents and adults and advocate for full Medicaid expansion that will increase eligibility up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Minority Party lawmakers introduced legislation in the 2023 legislative session, but no action was taken. Towards the end of the 2023 session there was some discussion to repeal Certificate of Need (CON). With North Carolina passing Medicaid Expansion and CON being part of the debate, we might have an opportunity in Georgia in 2024.
- Access to Biomarker Testing: ACS CAN successfully advocated for improved coverage of comprehensive biomarker testing. Progress in improving cancer outcomes increasingly involves the use of precision medicine, which uses information about a person’s own genes or proteins to prevent, diagnose or treat diseases like cancer. Biomarker testing is an important step to accessing precision medicine which includes targeted therapies that can lead to improved survivorship and better quality of life for cancer patients. The Georgia General Assembly passed ACS CAN’s legislation to expand access to biomarker testing. ACS CAN collaborated with Governor Kemp and secured his signature, enacting the bill into law.
Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
- Breast and Cervical Cancer: Funding of $3.3 million was maintained for the Georgia Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, the state breast and cervical cancer screening program for low-income uninsured and underinsured women administered by the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Reducing the Toll of Tobacco
- Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding: Funding of $2.1 million was maintained for the statewide tobacco prevention and cessation program.
- Local governments are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the people in their communities. ACS CAN supports their ability to pass laws that are proven to promote good health, well-being, and equality. Preserving local control is needed to pass innovative and proactive public health policies. ACS CAN successfully lobbied the Georgia Dept. of Public Health (DPH) to prevent inclusion of preemption in DPH’s sponsored e-cigarette legislation. This success will allow ACS CAN to continue lobbying for smoke-free ordinances with local governments where we have had much success.
For more information, contact: Julie Vojtech, ACS CAN Georgia Government Relations Director [email protected]
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.