Rep. Chris Taylor statement on GOP block of potentially life-saving oral chemotherapy bill
Today, Assembly Republicans refused to take up Assembly Bill 392, a bill that requires health insurance plans which cover chemotherapy also cover oral chemotherapy.
MADISON –Today, Assembly Republicans refused to take up Assembly Bill 392, a bill that requires health insurance plans which cover chemotherapy also cover oral chemotherapy. Earlier today, the Senate overwhelming passed the bill 30-2. Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison), a member of the Assembly Health Committee who heard overwhelming support for the bill during a committee hearing, issued the following statement:
“Assembly Republicans today proved just how out of touch they are with Wisconsinites. When the oral chemotherapy bill came before the Assembly, there were two choices, stand with insurance companies, or side with cancer patients and their families. On average, 87 Wisconsinites each day receive the devastating news that they have cancer. For those who received the news today, they also learned Assembly Republicans would rather stand with special interest lobbyists than with the health and lives of patients.
“Medical advances in chemotherapy have great potential to help people fighting cancer while insurance coverage lags far behind. According to the Medical College of Wisconsin, a strong proponent of AB-392, 25-40 percent of chemotherapy is now being delivered orally, which can be more effective and less toxic to patients. Oral chemotherapy often allows patients to continue to work without the noxious side effects of other types of chemotherapy. However, a lack of coverage could cost patients thousands and thousands of dollars each month, as this medicine is not typically covered by insurance like intravenous and injectable chemotherapy. As a result, patients often have to choose between financial ruin and survival.
“The clock is running out for many of these patients, who cannot wait while politicians play games with their health. Their lives depend on us acting now. Unfortunately, the Republican majority refused to hear the cries of patients begging for this treatment and once again sided with the insurance industry. Delaying this bill is simply unconscionable.”