Quality Care for All

QualityCareForAll_IL_DIV

We’re pushing for real progress – and we need you to succeed

If you’re fighting cancer, what good is a cure you can’t find? Or can’t afford even if you do gain access to it?

These are the questions too many people with cancer must struggle with – which puts them on the list of issues cancer advocates will pursue with new energy this year, says Kristi DeLaurentiis, a 16-year cancer survivor and volunteer chair for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in Illinois.

Kristi leads more than 1,500 ACS CAN members who work with public officials at the local, state and federal level. “Together, our advocates have helped pass vital legislation – including Smoke-Free Illinois, the statewide ban on teen tanning, the new oral chemotherapy law and so much more,” Kristi says.

Strength in numbers

This year ACS CAN moves forward with a new campaign to engage supporters like you who are already involved with Relay For Life®, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® and other community events.

“By leveraging the passion of these volunteers, we can gain lawmakers’ attention like never before,” says Kristi. “There are more than 100,000 supporters across the state – just imagine the impact we can have together.”

Volunteers who join ACS CAN enjoy benefits such as action alerts that let them send instant messages to state and federal lawmakers. “This gives members the chance to voice their opinions when key measures are up for a vote,” Kristi explains.

Greater access to care

Since its founding , ACS CAN has worked to widen the circle of quality cancer care for all Americans. “Decades of research progress had given us new ways to prevent and treat cancer, but millions faced barriers that blocked them from benefiting fully,” says Kristi. “We’re working to knock those barriers down.” Just some of the legislative wins ACS CAN volunteers have helped create:

THE ILLINOIS BREAST AND CERVICAL CANCER PREVENTION ACT (IBCCP). ACS CAN not only pushed for its passage, but has defended the law against proposed funding cuts. As a result, Illinois women who can’t afford mammograms and other lifesaving tests can still get them free or at reduced cost.

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA). A win for survivors and patients alike, the act bars insurers from using pre-existing conditions such as cancer to deny coverage and strikes down lifetime limits that kept many survivors from receiving crucial follow-up care. Now ACS CAN is working for smooth implementation of the insurance exchanges that will help 46 million Americans who now lack benefits, including 1 million Illinois residents who will become eligible for coverage in 2014.

MICHELLE’S LAW. College students who leave school to undergo cancer treatment can’t be dropped from health insurance plans, thanks to AnnMarie Morse and ACS CAN. Michelle’s Law honors the daughter AnnMarie lost to colon cancer and guarantees others facing her plight won’t struggle without coverage.

RAISE YOUR VOICE!
A $10 donation gives you a full year of membership with ACS CAN – and with it, powerful ways to advocate for stronger research funding, community-based prevention and much more. Sign up now at acscan.org.

ACS CAN DEFINED

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is the non-profit, non-partisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supporting evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.

OUR AGENDA

This year, ACS CAN will:

DEFEND AND PROMOTE the Smoke-Free Illinois Act and other evidence-based policies to reduce tobacco use

DEFEND MEDICAID FUNDING and widen access to benefits for low-income residents, especially those fighting cancer

SUPPORT IMPLEMENTATION of the Affordable Care Act in our state

PROMOTE POLICIES that foster good health, with emphasis on nutrition, physical activity, and youth education for lifelong prevention

FIGHT FOR INDOOR tanning regulation to reduce skin cancer risks, especially among our youth

DEFEND CANCER SCREENING programs that serve low-income and uninsured residents