Biomarker Testing Bill Passes Senate Committee, Advances to Senate Floor

Medical and public health leaders urge Senate to follow House’s lead ensuring biomarker testing is covered by more insurance plans and can benefit more Pennsylvanians

June 11, 2024

Earlier this morning, House Bill 1754 was voted out of the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee. This legislation, which aims to ensure that biomarker testing is covered by Medicaid and all other state-regulated insurance plans when patients need it, now advances to the Senate floor for consideration.

Biomarker testing is a precision medicine tool that utilizes information from patients’ disease cells to determine the right treatment at the right time – by matching patients with targeted therapies, providing information about risk and prognosis both of which may help patients avoid treatments that will be ineffective or unnecessary.

Dr. Jennifer Johnson, the Co-Founder and Medical Co-Director of the Precision Medicine Initiative at Sydney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Jefferson, is a strong proponent of expanding health coverage of biomarker testing for more plans.

In a recent visit to Harrisburg to advocate for lawmakers’ support of House Bill 1754, Dr. Johnson said, “Over the last two decades, oncologists’ vision of ‘high quality care’ has increasingly involved the use of precision medicine. Unfortunately, patients are not benefitting equitably from precision medicine, in part due to barriers to accessing biomarker testing.” She continued, “Biomarker testing opens the door to precision medicine, a door we need wide open.”

The power of biomarker testing extends beyond cancer care to the treatment of diseases such as arthritis, other autoimmune conditions and rare diseases. For example, ongoing research into ALS-related biomarkers suggests that there may soon be tests to diagnose the disease—something that is currently unavailable and inhibits patients from accessing life-extending and life-improving therapies sooner.  

House Minority Leader Bryan Cutler lost both of his parents to ALS and Representative Kyle Mullins recently lost his father to the disease, which has motivated them to sponsor House Bill 1754 alongside Senators Devlin Robinson and Lisa Boscola.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) has spearheaded a coalition in support of House Bill 1754 with representation of over 30 organizations, including the ALS Association.

Donna Greco, Government Relations Director for ACS CAN in Pennsylvania, said, “The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is incredibly grateful to our legislative sponsors who are true champions for patients.” She continued, “We’re proud to stand alongside Representative Mullins, Minority Leader Cutler and Senators Robinson and Boscola in pursuing a policy that has drawn the support of providers, public health leaders and patients across the disease spectrum. We hope their colleagues in the Senate heed the call to expand the promise of precision medicine to more Pennsylvanians and vote to approve House Bill 1754 without delay.”

For more information on precision medicine, cancer biomarkers, current barriers to biomarker testing and ACS CAN’s policy recommendations, visit:



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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Casey O'Neill
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