Legislation Aimed at Improving Health Outcomes for New Yorkers Heads to Governor Hochul’s Desk

Six months after its passage in the Legislature, the biomarker testing bill arrives on Governor Hochul’s desk, advocates await her action and remain eager for the bill to be signed as-is

December 13, 2023

ALBANY, NY – DECEMBER 13, 2023 – The New York State Legislature has sent Senate Bill 1196a / Assembly Bill 1673a to the Governor’s desk, giving her 10 days to take action on the legislation. Their proposal aims to ensure millions of New Yorkers can access precision care by requiring all state-regulated health plans to cover comprehensive biomarker testing. Biomarker testing opens the door to treatments that can lead to fewer side effects, improved survival, better quality of life and potentially lower costs for patients.  Advocates are hopeful that Governor Hochul will sign the legislation without any amendments to limit its benefits to patients.

There is strong consensus among medical and public health leaders across New York that biomarker testing is an increasingly critical asset in cancer care and the treatment of other diseases. The legislation has the support of more than 65 patient and provider groups, including every cancer center in New York State, and was passed in both houses of the State Legislature with near-unanimous support.

“Modern cancer medicine is absolutely dependent on biomarkers for many reasons. Oncologists use these markers to determine which anticancer medicines to use, which to avoid (because of lack of efficacy or the increased likelihood of toxicity), the probability of disease recurrence, the tendency to develop other malignancies, and family counseling as well,” said Dr. Larry Norton, MD, FASCO, FAACRMedical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering. 

Given that communities of color, individuals of a lower socioeconomic status and people in rural areas are less likely to benefit from biomarker testing, Senate Bill 1196a / Assembly Bill 1673a is incredibly important to improve health equity in New York. 

“While African Americans have a higher cancer burden and face greater obstacles to cancer prevention, detection, treatment and survival, improving access to biomarker testing can extend lives and help advance health equity in precision medicine,” said Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference.

Michael Davoli, Senior Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in New York, said, “We hope Governor Hohcul will help bring the promise of precision medicine to more New Yorkers regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, income or zip code by signing the biomarker bill today.” 

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



About ACS CAN 

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for evidence-based public policies to reduce the cancer burden for everyone.  As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state, and local levels. By engaging advocates across the country to make their voices heard, ACS CAN influences legislative and regulatory solutions that will end cancer as we know it. 

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