RALEIGH, NC – June 1, 2022 – Today, the Senate is scheduled to hear NC Health Works, a bill that includes provisions to increase Medicaid eligibility. The below is a statement on behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) ahead of the bill moving to a full floor vote by the Senate.
Dr. Karen Knudsen, CEO of ACS and ACS CAN
“On behalf of all North Carolinians touched by cancer, we’re encouraged to see the Senate advance such a lifesaving policy and urge the House to follow suit with prompt action. Having health coverage is key to surviving cancer. Studies show that Medicaid expansion is linked to earlier cancer diagnoses and better cancer outcomes. The current lack of access to quality affordable health insurance is one of the leading contributors to the significant health disparities we see in communities of color. Medicaid expansion can be the difference between life and death for over 600,000 hardworking residents in the Tar Heel state.”
Derwin Montgomery, North Carolina Government Relations Director at ACS CAN
“The 2022 session can be historic for North Carolina. We’ve seen what expanding Medicaid has done in other states from increasing cancer screening rates and survival rates to reducing cancer disparities, and it finally seems like such a future is on the horizon for us as well. Medicaid expansion would not only alter our state’s course in the fight against cancer, but reinvigorate our rural towns, bring jobs to their neighborhoods, save taxpayer money and support families by improving health for generations to come.”
Cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in North Carolina and ACS research continues to show that cancer patients in non-expansion states see higher mortality rates than in states that have expanded. An estimated 65,320 residents will be diagnosed this year alone.