ACS CAN Applauds State Leaders for Commitment to Alleviate Medical Debt in North Carolina

New survey underscores need for North Carolina lawmakers to prioritize efforts to reduce medical debt

July 1, 2024

Earlier today, Governor Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced that the state plans to relieve as much as $4 billion in medical debt for an estimated two million North Carolinians. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) joins patient advocates and public health organizations across the state in applauding this investment in North Carolina, its people and their health.

In March 2024, ACS CAN asked people with cancer and survivors about their experiences with medical debt through a Survivor Views survey. The results indicated that, of the cancer patients and survivors who were surveyed, 47% have incurred debt in order to pay for their cancer care, and 13% expect to incur debt as they continue treatment. Additionally, 25% of patients with cancer-related medical debt have delayed or skipped medical care to avoid further debt. Nearly all those surveyed were covered by health insurance at the time they accumulated debt to pay for their cancer care.

“Cancer patients continue to suffer from a significant financial toll in North Carolina. The high cost of cancer care often continues for not only months but even years after a patient’s diagnosis, which can result in substantial medical debt. No one battling this disease should have to make the impossible decision between life-saving treatment and basic needs. However, this is a reality for far too many who have received a cancer diagnosis,” said John Broome, Government Relations Director for ACS CAN in North Carolina. “The proposed initiative will help alleviate the burden of medical debt felt by so many in North Carolina and chip away at the financial toxicity that pervades the cancer experience. ACS CAN is eager to stand alongside state leaders as we embark on a path to reduce the impact of medical debt on patients and their families.” 



The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for evidence-based public policies to reduce the cancer burden for everyone. We engage our volunteers across the country to make their voices heard by policymakers at every level of government. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We stand with our volunteers, working to make cancer a top priority for policymakers in cities, states and our nation’s capital. Join the fight by visiting


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