ACS CAN Asks State Lawmakers to Make Cancer a Priority This Legislative Session

January 15, 2019

HARRISBURG, PA – Jan. 15, 2019 – As our state lawmakers return to work for the 2019 legislative session, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is asking for action to help fight cancer in Pennsylvania. 

“Maintaining funding for Pennsylvania’s tobacco prevention and cessation programs is one of the crucial steps that must be taken to save lives,” said ACS CAN Pennsylvania government relations director Emma Watson. “These crucial programs help those who are trying to quit smoking and work to prevent young people from ever starting the deadly addiction.”

“22,000 Pennsylvanians will lose their lives this year because of smoking,” said Watson. “These programs are vital to save lives. We hope the legislators understand the importance of supporting tobacco prevention and cessation. We will work with the governor and our state legislature to help assure that these lifesaving and health-protecting funds are maintained.”

There are several other issues ACS CAN will be working on with the governor and state legislature this year.  They include:

  • Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act by eliminating exemptions in the law so that 100 percent of Pennsylvania workers are protected from the health risks of exposure to secondhand smoke indoors;
  • Maintaining funding for HealthyWoman, the state breast and cervical cancer screening program for low-income, uninsured women administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health;
  • Advocating for a balanced approach that promotes safe prescribing and dispensing of pain management medication that does not interfere with access to these medicines for the cancer patients and survivors who need them;
  • Working to make it easier for people to consume a healthy diet and lead a more physically active lifestyle consistent with ACS CAN recommendations;
  • Advocating for prescription drug legislation that would streamline and improve the prescription drug prior authorization process for patients, increase transparency for the prescription drug formularies and lower health care costs by ensuring prescribers have access to more efficient electronic reporting systems;
  • Ensuring that the state continues providing low-income Pennsylvanians access to comprehensive and affordable health care coverage through the expanded Medicaid program.

“It is projected that 80,000 Pennsylvanians will be diagnosed with cancer this year,” said Watson. “These common-sense actions will help lower that number and save lives.”

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Marc Kaplan
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager
Albany, NY