SB 2697

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) joined forces at a press conference Thursday to discuss the state of cancer and advocate for measures to tackle the deadly disease.

“Increasing cancer awareness and sponsoring policy that positively impacts cancer statistics is a priority,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “Since 1990, cancer mortality rates have dropped by 25%. We must act to continue this positive progression and restore hope.”

Nearly 80,000 Illinoisans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and 23,000 will likely lose their lives to the disease.

Currently, cancer screenings for certain types of cancer are covered by insurance as long as the patient meets the age requirement. Senator Morrison is working with ACS CAN to pass Senate Bill 2697.

The measure would expand private insurance coverage to include prevention and susceptibility cancer screenings for all types of cancer for people who have a family member affected by the deadly disease. Additionally, insurance companies would be required to cover genetic testing for an inherited gene mutation for individuals with a family history of cancer.

Morrison is also leading House Bill 5405 in the Senate – which would increase the diversity of participants in clinical trials of drugs or medical devices by, among other avenues, implementing rules that trials must follow if they receive funding from the National Institutes of Health. Diversifying representation in clinical trials will result in more accurate, generalizable studies.

To bring further attention to awareness of the deadly effects of cancer and the need to pass reformative legislation, the ACS CAN is hosting Cancer Action Day at the Capitol on May 7.

People are encouraged to wear their “suits and sneakers” to ask lawmakers to hit the ground running to make cancer a policy priority.

“Next week, roughly 80 cancer patients, survivors, their families and caregivers will travel to the capitol wearing their ‘suits and sneakers’ to ask lawmakers to hit the ground running to make cancer a policy priority,” said Ally Lopshire, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network government relations director. “An estimated 78,200 Illinoisans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and 23,280 are expected to die from the devastating disease. Those who will gather at the Statehouse will call on Illinois lawmakers to change this by taking steps to prioritize the fight against cancer.”

Senate Bill 2697 has passed the Senate and the House Insurance Committee. It now moves to the full House for further consideration. House Bill 5405 passed the House and has been assigned to the Senate Public Health Committee.