Legislative Action Needed to Reduce the Burden of Cancer on New Jerseyans

Cancer advocates applaud Governor Murphy’s medical debt proposal & outline opportunities to aid in New Jersey’s fight against cancer

January 12, 2024

TRENTON, NJ – JANUARY 12, 2024 – As lawmakers dive into the 2024 legislative session, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges legislators to prioritize passing legislation to ease the burden of cancer on New Jerseyans, securing each resident equal opportunity to prevent, detect, treat and survive cancer. 

The following is a statement from ACS CAN’s Government Relations Director Quinton Law:

“With Governor Murphy’s commitment in his State of the State to provide relief and clarity to New Jerseyans facing hefty medical bills, ACS CAN is eager to help shepherd in an era when medical debt does not lock patients into a lifetime of financial toxicity. We look forward to working with the Governor’s office to support policies that prevent the occurrence of medical debt and reduce its impact on individuals and families. 

“Even patients with health insurance can find themselves with medical debt. The problem for these patients is that their insurance may not cover medically appropriate testing and treatments. This forces many New Jerseyans to choose between their physical and financial health. For example, some health insurance plans may not cover the biomarker testing that a patient needs. This testing is a game-changer in the fight against cancer and an essential step in accessing precision medicine treatments. ACS CAN is looking to change that and increase access to this revolutionary testing by requiring state-regulated health plans, including Medicaid, to cover biomarker testing for patients who can benefit.

“As we pursue the aforementioned opportunities to assist current patients, we must also consider the avenues by which we can help future patients and, in some cases, prevent disease altogether. Last year, New Jersey missed a critical opportunity to close the casino loophole in our Smoke-Free Air Act, disappointing casinos workers and patrons alike. We can’t let this debate reach its 18th year. In 2024, ACS CAN is proud to stand alongside countless public health advocates, labor organizations and medical leaders in calling on state leaders to take action to protect the health of New Jerseyans.

“Finally, as the state considers its budget, ACS CAN urges lawmakers to prioritize two programs that have facilitated immense progress in the fight against cancer in New Jersey. Funding for the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) Program should be kept at $5 million for 2024-2025 so that New Jersey can continue to provide comprehensive outreach, education and screening services for breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers to under- and uninsured New Jerseyans. Additionally, the budget should include $4 million toward the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research (NJCCR). Such an investment would reflect the invaluable contributions of the NJCCR in promoting significant and original research into causes, prevention, treatment and palliation of cancer and serving as a resource to providers and consumers of cancer services.

“In 2023, an estimated 56,150 New Jerseyans were diagnosed with cancer and around 15,230 died from the disease. The policies outlined above will ensure that fewer residents are touched by cancer in 2024.”

To learn more about ACS CAN’s 2024 legislative agenda, visit




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.

Media Contacts

Casey O'Neill
Sr. Regional Media Advocacy Manager