As the Voice of Cancer Survivorship in the New England region, NECCS monitors proposed cancer-related legislative and public policy changes and initiatives, promoting and advocating for those that would benefit cancer survivors.Selected Advocacy Partnerships:
New! January, 3, 2013: Some great news for cancer survivors!
On the final day of this year's legislative session, the Massachusetts House and Senate passed a vitally important NECCS-supported bill to improve access to the next generation of cancer treatments. Governor Deval Patrick signed the bill into law. The new legislation will require that insurance plans cover chemotherapy that is administered orally to the same extent that they cover chemotherapy that is adminstered intraveneously.
Many of the newest and most promising forms of chemotherapy are available only in pill form, but our state laws have not kept up with these advances in medicine. Many patients are paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket, with insurers treating these new therapies as prescription drugs with expensive co-payments. This legislation will update the law to ensure equitable coverage of chemotherapy administered orally.
This legislative victory demonstrates the power that cancer survivors have to impact public policy when we band together, and work in coalition to get things accomplished. In this case we worked with a broad coalition of cancer-related organizations, all of whom played in critical role in gettting this done.
Massachusetts Senate Bill 406 & House Bill 1543: NECCS supports this legislation as it would ensure that individuals have access to proper screening for colorectal cancer which can be successfully treated particularly when detected early.
Massachusetts Senate Bill 2363 - Did not pass.: NECCS supported this legislation as it would ensure that insurance companies that provide benefits for cancer chemotherapy treatment must also provide coverage for prescribed, orally administered anticancer medications. NECCS was present and we spoke in support of this bill during the meeting of the Joint Committee on Public Health on June 21st, 2011. Click here to view NECCS testimony. For more information on this bill click here.
New! 8/1/2012:Thank you to our NECCS Community, including our organizational partners who dedicated so much time and energy toward getting the oral cancer treatment coverage parity bill passed in Massachusetts. Unfortunately the bill did not come up for a vote before the formal legislative session ended at midnight on July 31st, 2012. Your support, including contacting your local legislators, has really made a difference in giving the issues surrounding this bill the exposure they need to move this bill forward in the future.
Connecticut Public Act No. 10-63: NECCS supports this legislation as its fundamental purpose is that of Massachusetts Senate Bill 2271. Governor Rell of Connecticut signed this in May 2010. Click here to view NECCS' letter of support.
Massachusetts Senate Bill SB1177: NECCS supports this legislation as it would ensure that oncologists would develop treatment summaries and care plans for patients completing active cancer treatment. This bill is sponsored by Senator Steve Tolman. NECCS was present and spoke in support of this bill during the meeting of the Joint Committee on Public Health on May 10th, 2011. Senator Fargo granted NECCS a private, one-on-one meeting with us. She hadn't realized this issue existed, thanked NECCS for bringing it to her attention and agreed to speak with Senator Tolman. NECCS will be following up with Senator Fargo to ensure that we can count on her support. To read NECCS testimony click here. To view additional bill information click here.
Massachusetts House Bill 4320: NECCS supports this legislation as it would provide consumers with access to cost saving discount programs when purchasing perscription medications. On May 21, 2010 this bill was voted on and passed in the House of Representatives. This bill now awaits a review and vote in the Senate. For more information about this legislation visit MassRXHelp.org.
Massachusetts House Bill 944: NECCS supports this legislation as it would prohibit insurance companies from providing financial incentives to doctors to change patient medications. This happens often without regard for what treatment option is best for the patient.
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