Missouri Legislative Session Ends with Mixed Record on Cancer Policy

Action Needed to Reduce the Burden of Cancer on Missourians

May 17, 2024

Statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Missouri Government Relations Director Emily Kalmer


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – “As lawmakers close the 2024 legislative session, their record on improving cancer policy is decidedly mixed for the estimated 39,120 Missourians who will be diagnosed with the disease this year.

“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) was pleased that the state legislature came together to make additional investments for tobacco cessation and prevention. Smoking is responsible for 11,000 deaths in our state each year, including 34.4% of cancer deaths. Smoking remains the number one cause of preventable death. We know what works to stop these needless deaths. Investing in programs to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help adults quit has a meaningful, measurable track record of success. We’re committed to continuing to advocate with Governor Parson and lawmakers for these valuable investments in the health of our family, friends, and neighbors.

“ACS CAN was also pleased to see the legislature passed legislation to remove barriers to Missourians qualifying for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program as they seek care. For over 22 years, this program has saved countless lives. This small change makes sure that Missourians are not locked out of treatment because of where they get screened.

“Cancer survivors were disappointed that the legislature missed an opportunity to help them with their out-of-pocket costs. They traveled from across the state to advocate for a bill that would require more health insurance plans to count all prescription drug copayments made by or on behalf of Missourians. This important health policy reform would prevent an increasingly common practice used by insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers called ‘copay accumulator adjuster programs’ that prevent prescription drug copay assistance from counting towards a patient’s deductible or out-of-pocket maximum.

“Legislators play a key role in reducing the cancer burden for people in their districts through budget and policy decisions. ACS CAN and our volunteers will continue to share our stories, engage in conversations and educate lawmakers on steps they can take to help Missourians with cancer.”



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