SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is encouraged to see the Illinois legislature pass and Gov. J.B. Pritzker sign legislation to allow Illinois Medicaid recipients access to possible life-saving clinical trials. ACS CAN is proud to have worked with the bill sponsors and thanks Sen. Andy Manar and Rep. Camille Lilly for their leadership.
“This clinical trials bill will require Medicaid to cover routine costs associated with clinical trials. Gov. Pritzker and the legislature have taken an important step to ensure the viability of new cancer research in our state and to allow an additional 20% of Illinois residents to have access to these new, potentially lifesaving treatments and therapies,” said Shana Crews, government relations director, ACS CAN.
Even in these uncertain times, people are still hearing the words “you have cancer” for the first time including the 71,990 Illinois residents who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Until this bill was signed, the Illinois Medicaid program was one of the insurance programs in the U.S. that were not required to cover routine care for patients in cancer clinical trials.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that this law will save lives. For too long, some people were granted access to the most advanced and potentially life-saving cancer treatment, and others weren’t, simply depending on which insurance plan they had. That injustice ended today,” said Sen. Manar. “I appreciate Gov. Pritzker’s demonstrated commitment to advancing equity in health care.”
“When our clinical research is not representative of those most impacted by life threatening health conditions, we simply exacerbate the prevalence of health inequities and miss potential cures to diseases,” said Rep. Lilly. “I was honored to work on this legislation with my colleagues in the General Assembly and Gov. Pritzker to ensure all Illinoisans have access to quality care and advance groundbreaking research in our state.”
“We thank the legislature and governor for taking this step and look forward to working with them to continue to reduce Illinois’ cancer burden in the near future,” said Crews.
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.