American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Cancer Advocates Ask Candidates Running for Congress in California to Accept The Medi-Cal Promise

October 25, 2018

Cancer Votes





SACRAMENTO, CA – Candidates’ support for cancer-fighting policies such as access to adequate and affordable health care is critically important to many Californians. As part of its Cancer Votes program, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is contacting Congressional candidates across the country in a nationwide effort to educate voters and candidates on the importance of public policy in the fight against cancer.

“In California, a key public policy for candidates who become lawmakers is to ensure those in need have the health coverage they need. That’s why ACS CAN cancer patients, survivors and loved ones are launching The Medi-Cal Promise campaign that asks every candidate running in the state for the U.S. House of Representatives to promise to oppose any legislation that the Congressional Budget Office determines would reduce Medi-Cal coverage,” said ACS CAN California Senior Government Relations Director Tim Gibbs.

ACS CAN is strictly non-partisan and does not endorse, oppose or contribute to any candidate or political party.

The biggest determining factor whether someone lives or dies after a cancer diagnosis is whether they have health insurance.  If fact, studies have shown that after a cancer diagnosis, those without health insurance are 60 percent more likely to die than those with insurance.

It is estimated that in 2018 in California, more than 178,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer and about 60,000 people will die from the disease. Nationwide, in 2018, nearly 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 600,000 will die from the disease.

ACS CAN has launched a website that enables Californians to find out which candidates have accepted or rejected the ACS CAN The Medi-Cal Promise. If a candidate has not taken the pledge, ACS CAN encourages Californians to reach out and educate the candidate on the importance of Medi-Cal. Candidates who do not respond will be listed in the refused/rejected category.

Congressional candidates who have signed The Medi-Cal Promise include:

  • Gil Cisneros, running against Young Kim in congressional district 39
  • Katie Porter, running against incumbent Mimi Walters in congressional district 45
  • Harley Rouda, running against Dana Rohrabacher in congressional district 48
  • Mike Levin, running against Diane Harkey in congressional district 49
  • Ammar Campa-Najjar who is running against incumbent Duncan Hunter in congressional district 50.
  • Andrew Janz who is running against incumbent Devin Nunes in congressional district 22
  • TJ Cox who is running against incumbent David Valadao in congressional district 21
  • Josh Harder running against incumbent Jeff Denham in congressional district 10.
  • Jessica Morse who is running against incumbent Tom McClintock in congressional district 4.
  • Katie Hill who is running against Stephen Knight in congressional district 25.

“As a volunteer cancer advocate with the ACS CAN, I know first-hand how important the decisions of elected officials can be to people with cancer and their families,” said Los Angeles resident Charlie Smith. “That is why I am asking everyone to learn where the candidates stand on public policy issues that will help make cancer history. And no matter who wins, our volunteers pledge to work with lawmakers to support laws and policies that help people fight cancer.” 

More than 13 million Californians rely on Medi-Cal, a program that provides low-income Californians access to affordable and comprehensive health care coverage - including adults, families with children, pregnant women, seniors and people with disabilities. It also provides uninsured and underinsured women access to lifesaving cancer treatment care when they are diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer through the state’s Every Woman Counts program. 

The benefits and services provided through Medi-Cal are critical in preventing cancer and catching the disease early before it advances and rates of survivorship decrease.  Medi-Cal coverage spans the cancer continium - from prevention and early detection to diagnostic and treatment services through cancer survivorship or end-of-life care, all of which are important in the cancer fight.


The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (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, visit

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