RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina legislature passed the fiscal year 2023 biennium budget today that included $1 billion in additional funds for Medicaid expansion, allocated annually. The passage came after weeks of negotiations that have delayed implementation of Medicaid expansion. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges state leaders to begin enrolling eligible North Carolinians as soon as possible.
“We’re thrilled to see the legislature take the final step to provide lifesaving coverage and care for 600,000 North Carolinians by funding the program and ensuring it stands to benefit future generations,” said Lisa Lacasse, President of ACS CAN.
“We look forward to working with the Cooper administration to ensure over 600,000 hardworking people can enroll and are eager to see this legislation come to fruition for so many North Carolinians after years of waiting.”
ACS CAN also appreciates North Carolina lawmakers funding $43.5 million for cancer research and $1.6 million for the state’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program.
Unfortunately, the budget also includes concerning elements that endanger the health and lives of North Carolinians, including lowering taxes on some tobacco products and keeping prices low on others. Low tobacco prices are one major way for the tobacco industry to protect its bottom line, addict people with cheap products and keep them addicted.
“ACS CAN is disappointed in the low tobacco taxes included in the budget which make tobacco products appealing to price-sensitive consumers including youth. Failing to prevent and reduce tobacco use now will lead to increased Medicaid costs in the future and it’s imperative we do better to protect our children's futures. We will continue to monitor future appropriations to ensure all North Carolinians have the best chance to prevent and treat cancer,” Lacasse said.
The budget also contains provisions that restrict the freedom of local leaders to protect the health of their residents by prohibiting local laws that establish vaccine requirements and provide paid leave to employees, both of which help protect individuals with cancer. ACS CAN opposes efforts that undermine evidence-based, public health policies and threaten the health of those facing cancer.
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN engages volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to ensure that our cities, our states, and our nation adopt evidence-based public policies that improve the lives of people with cancer and their families. 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 change public policy to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org.