Proposal Aimed at Improving Health Outcomes for Mainers Secures Overwhelming Support from Voters

Ahead of tomorrow’s legislative work session, ACS CAN highlights importance of and support for biomarker testing bill

January 29, 2024

AUGUSTA, ME – JANUARY 29, 2024 – On Tuesday, January 30, Maine’s Joint Standing Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services will consider LD 1577. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges Committee members to support the bill, which aims to expand coverage for biomarker testing—when medically appropriate—to Mainers insured through state-regulated health plans, including Medicaid.  

Biomarker testing is a tool utilized by physicians across a variety of specialties to connect patients to the right treatment at the right time. It has become a game-changing part of cancer care by opening the door to targeted treatments that can lead to improved survivorship and quality of life.

Despite the proven benefits and potential savings to health insurance providers, some insurers are failing to keep pace with innovations and advancements in biomarker testing. This forces some patients to decide whether to pay out-of-pocket or go without the testing that may connect them with lifesaving treatment or help them avoid unnecessary or ineffective treatments. LD 1577 can help address gaps in access to biomarker testing, including among rural residents.

As lead sponsor of LD 1577, Representative Samuel Zager said, "Mainers who are facing a difficult health situation deserve to have the right treatment for their specific version of a disease. And collectively, we all should foster a fair and sustainable system of healthcare. Passing this Biomarker bill would help accomplish all of this." 

There is strong consensus among medical and public health leaders across Maine that biomarker testing is an increasingly critical asset in cancer care and the treatment of other diseases—and Mainers agree. In a recent survey of registered voters across Maine, 8 out of 10 support a law requiring insurance companies to cover biomarker testing for those with chronic health conditions. At least half of respondents said they strongly support such a law.   

“Committee members have the opportunity to enact the will of their constituents and create a pathway for improved health outcomes, better patient quality of life and—in some cases—reduced costs. LD 1577 represents a bipartisan proposal that has earned the support of patients, providers and proud Mainers. ACS CAN is optimistic the committee will vote ‘ought to pass’ on LD 1577,” said Julia MacDonald, the Maine Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).

In 2023, five states acted to expand access to biomarker testing. If LD 1577 is enacted, it will make Maine the 15th state to improve residents’ access to this potentially life-changing tool.

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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