Quarterly News from the WI Cancer Council Policy Committee | February 2019
Join us March 5:
WCC Legislative Drop
Tuesday, March, 5, the WI Cancer Council heads to the state Capitol for our 2019 Legislative Drop!

The Legislative Drop is our chance to visit each state senate and assembly office, introducing legislators to the WI Cancer Council and our work.

You can help. Contact Program Director Sarah Kerch to volunteer to help deliver materials at the state Capitol on March 5.

We will share materials regarding cancer control in each legislative district, including the new 2019 County Cancer Profiles, as well information about the Council and how we can be a resource to legislators.

The Legislative Drop is timed to quickly follow the release of Gov. Tony Evers' budget proposal. To learn more about the state budget, see below!

>> Bottom Line
Join us March 5 to educate state leaders about the burden of cancer in WI.  Volunteer today.


Gov's Budget to Tackle Cancer-Related Issues
Gov. Tony Evers is expected to deliver his state budget proposal on Thursday, Feb. 28.

Cancer control and prevention advocates can expect to see several items in the budget proposal that support healthy communities. Some of these anticipated items include:
  • Increase in funding for the WI Well Woman Program
  • Medicaid expansion
  • $43 million for expanding access to dental coverage throughout WI (representing a 23% increase in funding)
  • Legalization of medical marijuana use for patients with specific diagnoses, including cancer
  • Aligning state CBD standards with federal law
  • Fully funding state schools
  • Increasing state minimum wage
  • UW tuition freeze
  • Action around e-cigarettes
>> Learn more about the state budget process. And stay tuned for a state budget update in an upcoming issue of ENGAGE!
Step Therapy Legislation Poised to Move Forward
L egislation addressing step therapy in WI is expected to move to a vote as early as this April.

The legislation, co-sponsored by
Rep. John Nygren and Sen. Alberta Darlingwould simplify the appeals process for patients when insurance companies deny coverage for doctor-prescribed therapies until less expensive therapies are tried first.

This legislation would affect not only cancer patients, but many Wisconsinites being treated for a host of chronic diseases.

If passed, "the legislation would not ban step therapy," said Policy Committee Chairperson HJ Waukau. "Instead, it creates guidelines for the appeals process."

The legislation has been introduced in both the senate and the assembly as  SB 26 and AB 24 and has been referred to the health committees in each chamber. Currently there are 56 co-sponsors.

Patient advocate groups, c ollectively known as the  Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition, have been working closely with Nygren and Darling.  While the health insurance industry has had the opportunity to offer changes, advocates expect to see a final  bill that is patient-focused.

Legislators hope the bills will arrive in committee already negotiated and that no amendments would be introduced. The bills could be on the floor as early as April.

Public hearings have not yet been scheduled. You can track the step therapy legislation by  signing up for email alerts from the WI State Legislature. 

>> The WI Cancer Council's Policy Committee will continue to closely monitor step therapy legislation and will keep you informed.

>>  A state bill that would preserve insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions has passed the assembly but has not yet  moved  since arriving in the senate earlier this month.  AB 1 would ensure certain protections remain in place in the absence of the Affordable Care Act -- specifically, insurance companies would not be able to deny or revoke coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and would not be able to apply annual or lifetime caps to patients. The legislation does not address protections for essential health benefits.

>> Sen. Andre Jacque has introduced a bill to ban the sale of vaping products, regardless of whether they contain nicotine, to anyone under the age of 18. ACS CAN has offered suggestions to the bill's language, such as changing the term "vapor products" to "electronic smoking devises".

>>  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced for the first time they will begin approving CAR-T cell therapy for Medicare patients. Learn more.


Announcing three new tools to help individuals and families make smart choices about their health. 

Designed specifically for low-literacy audiences; created in partnership with Covering Wisconsin.

Download them today!
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