State Senators are assessing a bill to help cancer patients afford chemotherapy pills, after Assembly Republicans scaled back the measure early Friday morning. The Assembly amended the bill, which the Senate approved last week, to cap co-pays for the drugs at $100 per month. A spokesman for the bill’s author, Senator Alberta Darling, said her office was reviewing the changes from the Assembly before the River Hills Republican issues any statement.
Assembly Majority Leader Pat Strachota said her amendment would ensure oral chemotherapy treatment was affordable. Two Republicans voted with Democrats to reject the amendment, which the Assembly then adopted on a voice vote before passing the bill 75-18.
Advocates for cancer patients said Thursday that the compromise was reasonable and in line with similar laws in other states. The bill requires insurers which cover conventional chemotherapy to also cover the chemo drugs. Governor Scott Walker said this week that he prefered the Assembly pass the Senate bill but would sign whichever version makes it to his desk. The Senate’s next and final session day is April 1st.