The American Cancer Society and Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer (VTAAC) recognized Rep. Steven Maier (D-Middlebury) for his leadership in improving access to colorectal cancer screenings. Maier is a colon-cancer survivor and chairman of the Vermont House Health Care Committee, as well as co-chair of the Vermont Commission on Health Care Reform.
The lead sponsor of H. 24, Rep. Maier pushed for legislation mandating that all insurance carriers offer the full range of colorectal cancer screenings, and limiting the out-of-pocket cost at $100 per patient. Governor Douglas signed the bill into law on May 23 with an implementation date of Oct. 1.
A study conducted by the American Cancer Society and the University of Vermont College of Medicine concluded that cost was one of the barriers to having a colonoscopy in the state. "With the passage of this legislation," said Kelly Stoddard Poor of the American Cancer Society, "Vermont joins a long list of states who understand that regular colorectal cancer screening can not only detect cancer at an early and preventable stage, but can also actually prevent cancer from developing by removing precancerous polyps."