McKee Takes Final Step to Ensure Affordable Colorectal Cancer Screenings for Rhode Islanders
Gov. McKee to sign into law lifesaving cancer screening legislation
PROVIDENCE, RI – April 29, 2021 – Today, Gov. Daniel McKee will sign into law The Maryellen Goodwin Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, which
ensures Rhode Islanders can access affordable preventative colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 45. It does this by eliminating
cost-sharing for all preventative colorectal cancer screening tests for people 45 and older, even if they are performed as a follow up to a
positive less invasive screening.
A broad coalition of public health groups, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and Fight Colorectal Cancer
(Fight CRC), have spent the last three years urging lawmakers to pass this bill. In 2021, it’s estimated that nearly 500 Rhode Islanders
will receive a diagnosis of colorectal cancer and 160 Rhode Islanders will lose their battle with the disease – but by increasing access to
screening, advocates hope to decrease these numbers.
“Although colorectal cancer is one of the few preventable cancers, it remains a leading cause of cancer death in Rhode Island. But this
doesn’t have to be the case. If Rhode Islanders received regular screenings for colorectal cancer, thousands of future deaths could
potentially be prevented. We are thrilled that our lawmakers have heard from their many constituents who have been touched by cancer and voted
to remove barriers to affordable screening for colorectal cancer,” said Cori Chandler, Rhode Island Director of Government Relations for
ACS CAN in Rhode Island.
“Expanding access to colorectal cancer screenings will save lives,” said Governor McKee. “I am proud to sign this bill into law, removing
barriers many Rhode Islanders face in accessing crucial screenings. I thank Senate Majority Whip Goodwin, House Deputy Majority Whip Ackerman
and all the inspiring advocates who championed this effort and worked tirelessly to ensure this bill becomes law.”
“Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented if caught early and it is more important now than ever that we remove
barriers and increase access to this life-saving screening. Fight Colorectal Cancer is grateful to all the incredible colorectal cancer
advocates in Rhode Island who worked tirelessly to see this critical legislation signed into law,” said Anjee Davis, President of Fight
CRC. “We applaud House Deputy Majority Whip Mia Ackerman, Senator Maryellen Goodwin and Gov. Daniel McKee for swiftly approving this
legislation and prioritizing increasing access to colorectal cancer screening.”
“This law removes a major financial barrier keeping some Rhode Islanders from receiving their recommended screenings, which comes with
the cost of poorer health outcomes and lives lost. On behalf of those Rhode Islanders impacted by cancer, ACS CAN thanks Gov. McKee for
signing this lifesaving bill into law,” continued Chandler.