Thursday, September 25, 2008

Two big wins!

I was going to post some NASCAR pictures from last weekend, but felt compelled to post this first. Today, and really all week, has been a banner week for the American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. In the past 24 hours, two important pieces of legislation moved one step closer to becoming law:

Late yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the National Pain Care Policy Act of 2008. The proposed Act would improve pain care research, education, training and access by addressing significant barriers such as lack of physician training, lack of patient awareness and treatment disparities based on gender, age and race. The vote represents real progress in our efforts to enhance cancer patients' quality of life.

Also, just a few minutes ago, the U.S. Senate passed Michelle's Law, which requires health insurance companies to cover college students who are on medical leave for up to 12 months. The House passed the bill on July 30, 2008, so the next step is the White House! President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law.

Michelle's Law is named for Michelle Morse, a New Hampshire college student diagnosed with colon cancer. Her family’s health insurance would not cover her if she was not a full-time student, so she was forced to take a full class schedule while undergoing chemotherapy. After Michelle passed away, her mother, Society volunteer Ann Marie Morse, decided that no other student should face the same challenge. She helped pass Michelle’s Law in her state and has been a leader in seeing a federal version enacted.

These two wins are inspiring and motivating to all of us here at ACS CAN. It really shows that you CAN make a difference and that, just sometimes, lobbying done by every day people really does make a difference!

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