Cancer Advocates Release 2018 Legislative Scorecard

January 28, 2019

 SACRAMENTO, CA -  The voices of cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones are making a difference at the Capitol as evidenced by the vital cancer-fighting policies that passed the legislature in 2018.

The advocacy affiliate for the American Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), released its 2018 Legislative Scorecard  today and gave high marks to California legislators who voted in support of an array of legislation that will either help prevent cancer or benefit cancer patients, survivors and their families.

The ACS CAN 2018 Legislative Scorecard illustrates the role each California legislator played during the session’s achievements and failures on cancer policy.  The scorecard covers a wide-range of cancer-fighting legislation and holds lawmakers accountable for their voting record on cancer-related policy issues, from tobacco bills to access to health care and legislation that promotes healthy eating and active living.

With a mission to end suffering and death from cancer, ACS CAN California holds a Cancer Action Day at the Capitol every year. In 2018, more than 100 volunteer ACS CAN advocates met with their members in the Assembly and the Senate to ask them to support four key bills that would advance the cancer fight in the Golden State.  For the first time, every single bill advocated at Cancer Action Day was signed into law!  They included:

  • The Oral Chemotherapy Fairness Act (AB 1860) that limits the copayments for all oral chemotherapies to ensure that more cancer patients can afford medication to fight their cancer from the comfort of their own home, reducing the need to travel to infusion centers.
  • Passage of The Healthy Default Beverage for Kids’ Meals (SB 1192), a historic bill that makes California the first state in the nation where milk and water will be the default option for all kids’ meals at restaurants. This landmark legislation reduces the marketing of unhealthy beverages in children’s menus, which could help reduce the 13 cancers now linked to excess weight.
  • The Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program (AB 2335), which provides greater access to healthy food in urban areas known as food deserts by creating a pilot program to help small businesses and corner stores with the cost of installing refrigeration units.
  • The Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Cap Removal (SB 945) that eliminates treatment caps, allowing doctors and patients to decide for themselves how long treatment should continue for a low-income woman who is being treated through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment program. Previously, there was a cap of 18 to 24 months of treatment.

“As the scorecard shows, there was tremendous progress in 2018, but much more needs to be done,” said ACS CAN California Managing Director Jim Knox. “This scorecard serves as a tool for the public, and anyone who cares about ending cancer, enabling them to get to know their representatives and their voting record when it comes to cancer-fighting policies.”

In California, more than 178,00 people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year and, unfortunately, an estimated 60,000 will die from the devastating disease.

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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Media Contacts

Autumn J. Ogden-Smith
Director, California State Legislation