Report: Texas Must Seize Opportunities to Improve Cancer-Fighting Public Policies

August 1, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Legislature has work to do when it comes to implementing policies and passing legislation to prevent and reduce suffering and death from cancer. According to the latest edition of “How Do You Measure Up?: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality,” Texas measured up to policy recommendations in just two of the eight evaluated issue areas. The report was released today by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).

The 17th edition of the report highlights the areas in which the state can improve polices to reduce suffering and death from cancer, and it highlights the work of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, also known as CPRIT.

“Texan voters this November can ensure a great legacy for the Lone Star State when it comes to fighting cancer,” said ACS CAN Texas Government Relations Director Marina Hench. “A vote for Proposition 6 will fully fund CPRIT, infusing $3 billion into cancer research and prevention services running in every county of the state.”

How Do You Measure Up? rates states in eight specific areas of public policy that can help fight cancer: increased access to care through Medicaid, access to palliative care, balanced pain control policies, cigarette tax levels, smoke-free laws, funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, cessation coverage under Medicaid and restricting indoor tanning devices for people under 18. 

Passing and implementing the policy recommendations in the report would not only save lives in Texas, but also save millions in long-term health care costs and in some cases would even generate additional, much-needed revenue.

A color-coded system classifies how well a state is doing in each issue. Green shows that a state has adopted evidence-based policies and best practices; yellow indicates moderate movement toward the benchmark and red shows where states are falling short.  

How Texas Measures Up:
Increased Access to Medicaid                    Red
Access to Palliative Care                        Green
Pain Policy                            Yellow
Cigarette Tax Rates                        Yellow
Smoke-free Laws                                                     Red
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program Funding        Red            
Medicaid Coverage of Tobacco Cessation Services            Yellow
Indoor Tanning                            Green

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Adrienne M. Lynch
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