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Power. Progress. Prevention. April 12, 2019

April 12, 2019

Power. Progress. Prevention. -- An Advocacy Newsletter | Prevent Cancer Foundation

April 12, 2019

Proposed bill could raise national age for tobacco sales to 21

While some states have raised the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21 (Illinois and Maryland were the most recent states to do so), a new bill may make this change nationwide.

Last week, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) introduced legislation to raise the national tobacco age of sale requirements from 18 to 21 in an attempt to keep e-cigarettes and other tobacco products from minors. He noted data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that showed adolescents most often get their tobacco products from friends who are above the purchasing age, and hopes this bill will help curb that trend.

The bill, called the Stopping Consumption of Tobacco by Teens Act (SCOTT Act), would also increase the age verification required to purchase e-cigarettes and related products online.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® supports legislation to raise the minimum age of tobacco sales to 21 in an effort to get these addictive and dangerous products out of the hands of adolescents. We will continue to monitor this bill and will provide further updates as they happen.

Alaska becomes first state to apply for Medicaid block grant

Alaska may become the first state to receive state Medicaid funding through a block grant instead of the current open-ended reimbursement system. Block grants allow states to be paid up front in one lump sum for their Medicaid-related costs, instead of being reimbursed afterward.

Medicaid funding through federal block grants is a newly formed concept that was introduced as part of the Section 1115 waiver process, which allows states to make changes to their Medicaid programs in an effort to increase innovation. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided states with guidance on how to apply for block grants, with the promise that this structure will allow states more flexibility and choice on how they spend their funds.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma encouraged Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy to consider becoming the first state to receive their Medicaid funding through a block grant so they have more flexibility in how they run their Medicaid program. Gov. Dunleavy asked President Trump to support their application.

More than a quarter of Alaska’s population is currently covered by Medicaid and switching to block grants raises some concerns regarding care delivery. Receiving one lump sum of funds could lead to cuts to importance resources for the Medicaid system, putting the health of Alaskans at risk.

To learn more, read this article.

New CT colonography bill will address racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal cancer care

United States Capitol BuildingThe Prevent Cancer Foundation® is proud to stand with our partners in support of the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act (H.R. 1969). This bill, introduced to the House by Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), would provide Medicare coverage for CT colonography screening (also known as virtual colonoscopy).

Latin Americans and African Americans face greater care disparities in colorectal cancer than other populations—but research shows that CT colonography use is growing among these populations, who may be more likely to choose a virtual colonoscopy than a traditional one. While colorectal cancer screening rates are still lower in these groups, providing Medicare coverage for virtual colonoscopies will encourage more screening and will save lives.

“Medicare-covered access to virtual colonoscopy can attract many people of recommended screening age who would otherwise not be tested, allowing doctors to remove polyps before they become cancer and preventing this deadly disease,” said Carolyn Aldigé, Founder and CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation®.

Read more about the bill here.

Less than a month until the 2019 Advocacy Workshop!

Advocacy WorkshopThe countdown is on! We’re officially less than two weeks away from the 2019 Prevent Cancer Advocacy Workshop, and we can’t wait to welcome you to beautiful Arlington, Virginia, for a jam-packed day of engaging panels and facilitated discussions.

Haven’t registered yet? Don’t worry—there’s still time!

Registration is FREE and includes lunch and networking opportunities with your peers in health policy and patient advocacy.

Register now!

 

 

 

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