Improving Access to Health Care in Illinois Tops American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s List of 2020 Legislative Priorities

ACS CAN Eager to Work with the Legislature to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses

January 21, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – January 21, 2020 – As lawmakers dive into the new year, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is pursuing legislation that will ease the burden of cancer in Illinois. The latest edition of the ACS CAN’s How Do You Measure Up? report shows that Illinois can do better when it comes to implementing legislation to prevent and reduce suffering and death from cancer, especially when it comes to out-of-pocket expenses.

ACS CAN is advocating for: 

-    Medicaid Coverage for Routine Costs of Clinical Trials: Anyone with cancer should have the option to participate in a clinical trial, regardless of their type of insurance coverage, and everyone benefits when more people from all demographic groups participate in research. Unfortunately, many Medicaid programs refuse to cover any care, including routine care, if a patient opts to enroll in a clinical trial. The State of Illinois does not yet cover routine care within cancer clinical trials for their Medicaid enrollees, who account for over 20% of our citizenry. ACS CAN will advocate for Medicaid coverage of routine costs for all Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in cancer clinical trials to increase access to care to those that need it the most.

-    Patient Drug Cost Predictability and Consumer Protection: Cancer is a disease that can be very expensive to treat. For insured patients who currently face high cost-sharing amounts for some of their prescription drugs, the financial burden can be overwhelming. ACS CAN supports enabling consumers to have healthcare options that include co-pay only prescription drug benefits. This would allow patients to know the dollar amount cost of their prescription drugs and be able to plan for those costs. We also support allowing those patients with high-cost drugs to space out their prescription drug co-pays in installments throughout the year. This change could further alleviate some cancer patients’ economic stress. 

ACS CAN volunteers look forward to meeting with lawmakers during ACS CAN’s annual Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, May 5. 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:


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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