Michigan patients should have access to the most effective chemotherapy treatments to successfully treat their cancer.
Yet high costs in the way some medications are administered can be a deciding factor in a patient’s treatment decision. If a patient in Michigan needs anticancer medication in pill form, it is often covered as a health insurance plan prescription benefit, requiring a patient to pay for part of the treatment. This out-of-pocket cost can run thousands of dollars a month. Intravenously administered or injected chemotherapy medications are commonly covered as a health insurance plan medical benefit and don’t require the patient to pay an additional fee for the medication.
I recently supported legislation that would require health insurance policies to cover oral cancer treatments in the same way that intravenously or injected anticancer treatments are covered. A patient should not have to worry about the cost of medicine when fighting cancer.
Senate Bill 492 has been sent to the House for consideration. If the legislation is adopted and signed into law, Michigan would join 43 other states with oral chemotherapy parity.
Sen. Brandenburg supports update to concussion law
Concussions are a very serious injury and can occur in any sport or recreational activity.
In 2012, Michigan enacted a law to help protect our children’s health by increasing awareness among coaches, parents, young athletes and others about the dangers associated with concussions.
I recently supported an update to the law. Public Act 137 of 2017 (Senate Bill 352) requires the Department of Health and Human Services to regularly review the state’s concussion awareness training program to ensure it is up-to-date on the standards and protocols for treating and preventing concussions. The new law also requires coaches and others involved in youth sports organizations to complete the training program once every three years.
Elk license plate available Dec. 1
Beginning Dec. 1, the specialty Michigan license plate featuring the common loon will be replaced with an elk plate to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the reintroduction of elk in Michigan.
Michigan’s native elk disappeared from the state around 1875. In 1918, seven elk were brought in from the western United States and the population grew steadily. A 2014 survey estimated the herd to number 668.
Funds from the sale of the elk license plate will continue to help wildlife management. For more information on specialty license plates, visit www.michigan.gov/sos. To learn more about Michigan’s elk population, go to www.michigan.gov/elk.