Robert Schechner: Support chemo bill

May 5, 2013 

Support chemo bill

The N.C. House Health Committee just passed the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, H.B. 609. Current insurance plans cover injected/infused chemotherapies, a medical benefit, differently than oral chemotherapies, a pharmacy benefit. As a result, the out-of-pocket expenses for patients prescribed an oral cancer treatment regime are cost prohibitive.

This bill would update insurance laws to ensure that all chemotherapy, regardless of form, will be accessible and affordable to cancer patients.

If the insurance companies have their way, they will try to kill this bill by urging its referral to the Insurance Committee, where its future is uncertain. Don’t be fooled by insurance companies’ smoke and mirror tactics. This legislation is not a mandate. It simply establishes equity in patients’ out-of-pocket costs for chemotherapy no matter which type.

Representatives David Lewis and Tim Moore are fighting hard for cancer patients to ensure they have coverage when they need it the most. I urge all North Carolinians to contact their Representatives and urge them to support H.B. 609.

Robert Schechner, Raleigh

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