I missed posting yesterday morning because was busy! I joined dozens of volunteers at the Idaho State Capitol with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. We were present to talk to our State Representatives and Senators about making effective change on the lives affected by cancer. This all starts with volunteers on state levels, which is an important grassroots action.
To influence real change, you must take the time to speak, call, write your elected officials. We all know this, right? One of the action steps that I take annually is to participate with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN) on a lobby day in Boise. ACSCAN has a major impact on the state level and Washington D.C. with volunteers and staff that take the time to explain why certain bills are so important on each state level.
Here in Idaho, our main concerns were ACSCAN’s Millennium Fund Grant request for $194k to be set aside in the Governor’s budget. The funds would be used for evidence based interventions as well as best practices to increase breast and cervical cancer screening rates and decrease the rates of tobacco use. The funding would provide education and outreach for the Woman’s Health Check program. If awarded, the funds would also help low income women get breast and cervical cancer screenings, and treatment if needed. By detecting cancer earlier, we save lives.
Another issue we were supporting is a Medication Synchronization rule. Believe it or not, we have to ask for a rule that would allow multiple medications to be synced for one single pharmacy visit. This is a critical need for Idahoans living in rural areas. Next, we discussed Oral Chemotherapy Fairness. By tell our personal stories, we shared why cancer patients should have affordable access to effective prescribed chemotherapies regardless if the drug is intravenous or pill form. For many patients, this is a problem due to insurance companies denying the physician’s prescribed order. 42 other states have enacted this. It’s time that Idaho gets on board.
If you want changes in how we live as cancer patients and survivors or caregivers of relatives with a cancer diagnosis, we must speak out. Get involved!
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