AUSTIN, TX – March 9, 2021 – Late last week, Sen. Joan Huffman and Sen. Judith Zaffirini filed bill SB 1028 that would ensure insurance coverage of colorectal screenings for men and women across Texas starting at the age of 45 and would remove cost-sharing for a follow-up colonoscopy following a positive stool based screening test which would align with the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommended screening guidelines for colorectal cancer.
Although colorectal cancer is one of the few preventable cancers, it remains the second leading cause of cancer death in Texas. Early detection of cancer through screening can improve survival and reduce mortality by detecting cancer at an early stage when treatment is more effective..
“I’m proud to author SB 1028, which will ensure insurance coverage of ACS-recommended colorectal screening tests beginning at age 45,” shared Sen. Huffman. “Colorectal cancer is increasing among adults under age 50 and is now the third leading cause of cancer death in young adults. This legislation will give Texans a fighting chance by detecting colorectal cancer early, when treatment is more likely to be successful. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature to remove the obstacles that prevent Texans from getting tested for one of the most preventable cancers.”
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports the measure and is working with cancer survivors across Texas to urge for its passage.
“An estimated 58% of all colorectal cancer deaths nationwide in 2020 were due to non-screening, meaning thousands of deaths could be avoided if Texans were screened according to ACS recommendations,” shared James Gray, Senior Government Relations Director in Texas. “We look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure such commonsense policy and commend the bill sponsors for leading action that will have a major impact on reduce suffering, incidence and mortality caused by colorectal cancer.”
Due in part to a lack of affordable screening coverage, rates have been dangerously low across across the state even prior to the pandemic. Individuals, particularly in communities of color, are also being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at increasingly younger ages due to varying risk factors and limited access to health care which can result in a decrease in screening rates.
If passed, the bill would remove a major financial barrier keeping thousands of Texans from receiving their recommended screenings.
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 www.fightcancer.org.
About Fight Colorectal Cancer
Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) is a leading patient-empowerment and advocacy organization in the United States, providing balanced and objective information on colon and rectal cancer research, treatment, and policy. We are relentless champions of hope, focused on funding promising, high-impact research endeavors while equipping advocates to influence legislation and policy for the collective good. Learn more at FightCRC.org.