What Cancer Control Partners Need to Know about the 2024 Iowa Legislative Session

Updated February 19, 2024

The first legislative “funnel” at the Iowa Capitol happened last week. In order to remain viable past this date, a bill must be reported out (approved) by a sub-committee and a full committee in either the House or Senate (or both). Leadership bills and bills that are assigned to the Appropriations Committee or Ways and Means Committee are exempt from funnel deadlines and remain viable through the funnel date regardless of their progress.

What happens next? The next funnel deadline is March 15th. To remain viable past this date, proposed legislation must be approved by the entire House or Senate and by a full committee in the other chamber. Leadership bills and bills that are assigned to the Appropriations Committee or Ways and Means Committee remain viable regardless of their progress. 

Below is a list of bills by topic that various Consortium members and cancer control partners are watching. Each bill’s post-funnel status is included. This list is shared for informational purposes only and is likely not comprehensive. As always, the Iowa Cancer Consortium does not use state or federal funds to engage in lobbying, and therefore does not endorse or oppose any of the proposed bills or actions listed below. 


Biomarker Testing

SF 2159 (previously SSB 3001) and HF 2492 (previously HF 2157) would expand insurance coverage for biomarker testing. 

Breast Cancer 

HF 2489 (previously HF 71) and SF 2358 (previously SSB 3135) relate to insurance coverage for diagnostic breast cancer examinations.

Cancer Research

HF 2192 would annually appropriate $1 per person in Iowa for pediatric cancer research at the University of Iowa.  

  • Has not passed out of a sub-committee or full committee, but remains viable because it is assigned to the Appropriations Committee.  

SF 2250 would allocate $5.25 million to cancer research – $1.25 million to each of four research buckets: pediatric cancer, cancer prevention, clinical cancer research, and basic cancer research .

  • Was not reported out of sub-committee/committee. No longer viable. 

HF 2339 would appropriate $2 million for cancer epidemiology and data surveillance. From these funds one FTE must be employed within the state’s cancer control program. A report of findings must be provided to the general assembly by Sept. 25, 2025.

  • Has not passed out of a sub-committee or full committee but remains viable because it is assigned to the Appropriations Committee. 

See also HF 2341 under “Tobacco,” below. 

Continuity of Care/Non-Medical Switching

HF 626 is related to continuity of patient care and non-medical switching

Firefighters

HF 2482 (previously HF 2183) would expand the cancer-related disability and death benefits for firefighters.

  • Reported out of full committee. Remains viable.

Genetic Testing

HSB 539 and SF 2360 (previously SSB 3138) would expand the release of genetic information by an insurance in respect to health, life, disability, or long-term insurance. 

  • Reported out of full committee in the Senate and sub-committee in the House. Remains viable. 

LGBTQIA+ 

  • One Iowa Action state bill tracker: https://oneiowaaction.org/lgbtqbills2024/
  • LGBTQ individuals face disparities in tobacco use, cancer incidence, and cancer screening, as well as huge barriers to affirming care, all of which may be influenced by discrimination.
  • For more information contact Keenan Crow at One Iowa

Medicaid Post-Partum Coverage

HSB 500 would expand post-partum Medicaid coverage to 12 months for women. Coverage eligibility remains at 300% of the federal poverty level.  

  • Was not reported out of sub-committee or full committee and is therefore no longer viable. 
  • See HSB 643 and SF 2251, below, for the Governor’s version of this bill. 

HSB 643 and SF 2251 (previously SSB 3140) would expand post-partum Medicaid coverage to 12 months for women at 215% of the federal poverty level (a reduction from 300% of the federal poverty level).  

  • Governor’s bill.
  • Reported out of full committee in both chambers. Remains viable.

Obesity

HF 2283 would appropriate $900,000 to Iowa HHS in FY 2025 for development of a strategic plan to reduce obesity.

  • Has not passed out of a sub-committee or committee, but remains viable because it is assigned to the Appropriations Committee. 

Radon

HF 2282 would appropriate $300,000 in FY 2025 to DHHS for radon awareness programs. $200,000 would support the Iowa Radon Program and $20,000 would be used to purchase radon home kits.

  • Has not passed out of a sub-committee or full committee, but remains viable because it is assigned to the Appropriations Committee. 

HF 2491 (previously HF 2170would require that new single-family or two-family residential construction must include passive methods for radon mitigation.

  • Passed out of sub-committee and full committee in the House, and therefore remains viable. 

HF 2496 was just introduced on 2/14. It would have added “accredited nonpublic schools” to a long list of requirements that currently only apply to public schools, including radon testing and mitigation when necessary.

  • Did not pass out of sub-committee or full committee and therefore is no longer viable. 

Religious Exemption

SF 2286 (previously SSB 3006) would allow a health care institution, payor or provider to refuse to pay for or to perform a health care service that violates the conscience of the institution, payor or provider. Establishes immunity for the refusal. Does not eliminate the requirement to give emergency health care to all patients. Establishes whistleblower protections for providing information related to violations of the bill or for testifying or acting in other proceedings. Prohibits professional discipline. Authorizes civil actions against attempts to violate the bill.

Tanning

HF2169 would regulate tanning facilities and prohibit people under 18 from using tanning devices.

  • Passed out of sub-committee, but not full committee. No longer viable. 

Tobacco 

HF 21 would tax e-cigarettes and vape products at the same rate as combustible cigarettes.

  • Carryover bill from 2023. 
  • Passed out of subcommittee in 2023, but has not passed a full committee. 
  • Remains viable because it is assigned to the Ways and Means Committee. 

HF 2341 would increase the cigarette tax to $2.00 (currently $1.36). Revenue from the tax increase would support tobacco control, cancer prevention, and basic cancer research. 

  • Has not been reported out of a sub-committee or a committee yet, but remains viable because it was assigned to the Ways and Means Committee. 

SSB 3172 (soon to be renamed): This bill from the Governor would reduce the number of state boards, commissions, committees, councils, and other entities of state government. It would eliminate Iowa’s Commission on Tobacco Use Prevention and Control.

  • Governor’s bill.
  • Reported out of Senate Committee and remains viable.
  • For more information contact Kristina Hamilton at the American Lung Association

Vaccination

HF 2044 and SF 2064 would remove the ability of minors to legally consent to receive medical care related to the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a sexually transmitted disease or infection from a hospital, clinic or physician. This would include HPV vaccination. 

HF 2280 (previously HF 464) would remove requirements that kids in private instruction provide vaccination records and blood lead test results to the school district of residence.

Federal Policy

The Beyond Pink TEAM and the National Breast Cancer Coalition are asking Iowans to send the following email to [email protected]Dear Nic, Please encourage Senator Grassley to cosponsor (S.663) the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act. This legislation would waive the 24-month waiting period for Medicare and the five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for eligible individuals with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Iowans under 65 with metastatic breast cancer are unable to access the healthcare they need in time to extend their lives. This is leaving Iowa children motherless and penniless. It is especially unfair because these women have worked at least 10 years paying into SSDI and are unable to access it when they need it. Sincerely, Your name Address
Who to contact for more information: Christine Carpenter at [email protected].

The National Society of Genetic Counselors is asking for support of Federal H.R.3876/S. 2323 Access to Genetic Counseling Services Act, which has 40 House cosponsors, 7 Senate cosponsors. None of the Iowa delegation has signed on yet. Contact Colleen Campbell for information at [email protected].

Legislative Proposals to Support Patients and Caregivers

Resources


Posted February 8, 2024

There is so much cancer-related activity happening at the state capitol this year that it is hard to keep up. But people who care about cancer and cancer control will want to.

The Iowa Cancer Consortium’s Policy Workgroup provides partners an opportunity to share their legislative priorities and asks. This information is always shared in workgroup minutes, but because of all the activity at the statehouse this year, we’ll be providing updates like this one to the broader network via email.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of bills our partners are watching, plus some related things to know and resources for understanding and engaging in the legislative process at the state level. The following is shared for informational purposes only, and is likely not a comprehensive list of proposed legislation. If we’ve missed something, please let us know.

Please note! The Iowa Cancer Consortium does not use state or federal funds to engage in lobbying, and therefore does not endorse or oppose any of the proposed bills or actions listed below. Information shared below and by participants during workgroup meetings does not necessarily represent the opinions or positions of the Iowa Cancer Consortium, its board of directors, staff, or membership.

Now, buckle up your policy seatbelts, or as ACS CAN’s Angie Sylling said earlier this week, “Put your action pants on,” and let’s get started.


Rep. Austin Baeth and Rep. Hans Wilz: Policy priorities based on the Iowa Cancer Plan

Concerned about Iowa’s rising cancer incidence rates and the fact that we are second in the country for cancer incidence, Rep. Austin Baeth from District 36 in Des Moines and Rep. Hans Wilz of District 25 in Ottumwa have introduced several bills based on priorities in the Iowa Cancer Plan:

  • HF2169: Would regulate tanning facilities and prohibit people under 18 from using tanning devices.
  • HF2170: Would require that new single-family or two-family residential construction must include passive methods for radon mitigation.
  • HF2183: Would expand the cancer-related disability and death benefits for firefighters.
  • HF2282: Would appropriate $300,000 in FY 2025 to DHHS for radon awareness programs. $200,000 would support the Iowa Radon Program and $20,000 would be used to purchase radon home kits.
  • HF2283: Would appropriate $900,000 to DHHS in FY 2025 for development of a strategic plan to reduce obesity.
  • HF2339: Would appropriate $2 million for cancer epidemiology and data surveillance to explore why Iowa’s cancer incidence rates are so high and to recommend strategies to reduce rates. A report of findings would be provided to the general assembly by Sept. 25, 2025.
  • HF2341: Would increase the cigarette tax to $2.00 (currently $1.36) with all revenue going to tobacco control, cancer prevention, and cancer research.

Read a February 7th article from The Gazette about these and other bills.

For more information on these bills, contact:

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

ACS CAN is active on the following bills:

  • Supporting and promoting SF2159, which would ensure insurance coverage, including Medicaid, for biomarker testing when it is medically and scientifically recommended. Passed unanimously out of the Senate Commerce Committee. The House bill has been introduced – HF2157 – and has a subcommittee hearing Tuesday morning, Feb. 6.
  • Supportive of HSB539, relating to the use of genetic information provided to an insurer that offers health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, or long-term care insurance. Addresses a federal loophole that most states have addressed, but Iowa has not. Companion bill: SSB3138.
  • Monitoring the Governor’s postpartum extension bills: SF2251 passed out of subcommittee and committee in the Senate. Its counterpart in the House, HSB643, passed out of subcommittee 2-1. This bill would provide 12-months postpartum coverage to pregnant women at or below 215% of the federal poverty level (FPL). It lowers income eligibility for infants (0-12 months) from 380% FPL to 302% FPL. This group would be covered under Hawki, which has a more limited benefit package than Medicaid.

For more information, contact:

Advocacy for State-Supported Cancer Research

Dr. George Weiner, Dr. David Dickens, and Scott Kaas, with support from Jessica Beckstrand from the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO), are advocating for state funding for cancer research. Their discussions center on a concept of four “buckets” of cancer research in Iowa: pediatric research, prevention research, clinical research and basic science research, that would be supported by $1 per bucket per Iowan, or a total of $12 million. They also highlight their enthusiasm for state policies and investment in other aspects of cancer control in Iowa.

For more information, contact:

Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen is active on the following bills:

  • Supporting HF71, which relates to insurance coverage for diagnostic breast cancer examinations.
  • Supporting HF57, which addresses step therapy and would increase access to medically prescribed treatments for metastatic cancer. Komen is asking to eliminate the step therapy protocols for those living with advanced cancer because those individuals don’t have the time to wait for the treatment that they need.

Who to contact for more information:

Iowa Immunizes

Iowa Immunizes is watching several bills that could affect uptake of vaccines that prevent cancer, including:

  • SF2064, which would remove a minor’s ability to consent to a vaccine as part of sexual health care (referring to the HPV vaccine). Companion bill is HF2044.
  • SF2003, which would require communication that is disseminated about immunizations by Iowa HHS, school nurses, elementary and secondary schools and child care centers to include information on how to obtain a vaccine exemption.
  • HF464, which would remove requirements that kids in private instruction provide vaccination records and blood lead test results to the school district of residence.
  • HF2041, which would require informed consent for information to be shared on the statewide immunization network. Companion bill in the Senate: SF2058.
  • HF2071, which would remove any vaccine requirement or mandate until the FDA approves and licenses the drug (essentially no Emergency Use Authorization immunizations can be required).
  • HF2055, which would remove all vaccination requirements for licensed child care centers or elementary and secondary schools.

Who to contact for more information:

Iowa Army of Pink

  • Supporting HF71/SSB3135 (see above), which relates to insurance coverage for diagnostic breast cancer examinations.

American Lung Association (ALA)

ALA’s priorities include:

Who to contact for more information:

Other

  • State: HF2192 would annually appropriate $1 per person in the state of Iowa for pediatric cancer research at the University of Iowa.
  • Federal: The Beyond Pink TEAM and the National Breast Cancer Coalition are asking Iowans to send the following email to [email protected]: Dear Nic, Please encourage Senator Grassley to cosponsor (S.663) the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act. This legislation would waive the 24-month waiting period for Medicare and the five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for eligible individuals with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Iowans under 65 with metastatic breast cancer are unable to access the healthcare they need in time to extend their lives. This is leaving Iowa children motherless and penniless. It is especially unfair because these women have worked at least 10 years paying into SSDI and are unable to access it when they need it. Sincerely, Your name Address
    Who to contact for more information: Christine Carpenter at [email protected]
  • The National Society of Genetic Counselors is asking for support of Federal H.R.3876/S. 2323 Access to Genetic Counseling Services Act, which has 40 House cosponsors, 7 Senate cosponsors. None of the Iowa delegation has signed on yet. Contact Colleen Campbell for information at [email protected].
  • One Iowa Action state bill tracker: https://oneiowaaction.org/lgbtqbills2024/. LGBTQ individuals face disparities in tobacco use, cancer incidence, and cancer screening, as well as huge barriers to affirming care, all of which may be influenced by discrimination.

Resources


Policy Workgroup meetings are held on first Fridays at 10:00 a.m. during and around the Iowa State Legislative Session (view upcoming events). Click here to read the Policy Workgroup Charter.

Questions about the Policy Workgroup? Contact Kelly Sittig at [email protected].