COLUMBUS, OHIO – As lawmakers dive into the new year, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) looks ahead to what public health initiatives our lawmakers can accomplish in the 2021 legislative session. Ohio has a long way to go regarding tobacco control policy and access to care for cancer patients. Long after this pandemic passes, people deserve to live full, healthy lives.
ACS CAN is advocating for:
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding: maintaining funding for Ohio's Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program. Maintaining funding is a vital first step to protect Ohio youth from tobacco and help those already using tobacco quit. This is especially important in 2021, given the skyrocketing youth tobacco use rates.
Breast and Cervical Cancer Project Funding: preserving state funding for the Ohio Department of Health's Breast and Cervical Cancer Project. This program helps fill the health care coverage gap by providing low-income, uninsured and underinsured women access to mammograms and cervical cancer screenings and the impacts of COVID-19 make this program more critical than ever. By increasing access to care, the state can reduce the number of Ohioans who will hear "you have cancer."
Copay Accumulator Legislation: the passage of copay accumulator legislation. Many cancer patients have difficulty affording the cost of their prescription drugs. In a copay accumulator program, copay assistance would not count toward the patients' out-of-pocket costs but would go towards the insurance companies' expenses. At a time when out-of-pocket health care costs are rising, this is another financial burden pushed back on the patient. Ohio lawmakers have a chance to protect patients by passing legislation that would ensure all copays count toward the patient's costs.
ACS CAN volunteers look forward to meeting with lawmakers during ACS CAN's annual Cancer Action Day. ACS CAN encourages individuals, businesses and organizations that are interested in these issues to reach out to ACS CAN to get involved in the fight against cancer at: fightcancer.org/OH.
About ACS CAN
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 www.fightcancer.org.