Legislative Inaction Leaves Kansans Without Access to Needed Care

Legislators have failed to act on policies that would expand access to health care for Kansans facing cancer, while putting new barriers to care in place

February 24, 2022

Topeka, Kansas – The Kansas legislature left Topeka Wednesday without adequately addressing several critical issues affecting access to health care for tens of thousands of Kansans, particularly those in need of cancer screening and treatment.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges legislators to recognize that saving lives shouldn't be suspended. Whether it is freezing changes to Medicaid and with it access to cutting-edge screening and treatments, increasing availability of health plans that often deny coverage of essential health benefits or charge higher premiums to individuals with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, or lack of action to fund the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) through the remainder of this fiscal year, legislators have not upheld their sworn duty to Kansans struggling to access comprehensive, quality and affordable health care.

The following is a statement from Megan Word, government relations director for ACS CAN in Kansas:

“Everyone deserves access to quality and affordable health care coverage. For the estimated 16,580 Kansans who will be diagnosed with cancer this year, having health insurance that covers the care they need will be a critical factor in their survival and quality of life.

“We are disappointed that legislators are prioritizing politics over the health of our family, friends and neighbors. They have passed up multiple opportunities to increase access to health coverage through KanCare expansion and they’ve neglected to deal with the current fiscal year funding loss for lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings. Additionally, they have advanced two bills (SB 199 and HB 2463) that threaten access to care and leave Kansans affected by cancer vulnerable to higher costs or barriers to needed screenings and treatments that could force them to delay, interrupt or forgo the care they need.

“We urge our state legislators to oppose these efforts to undercut health care access and encourage them to instead broaden KanCare eligibility and allow uninsured Kansans to gain access to the comprehensive, affordable coverage they need to prevent, detect, fight and survive diseases such as cancer.”

Media Contacts

Priscilla Cabral-Perez
Sr. Regional Media Advocacy Manager