NEW INFORMATION: Wisconsin Assembly will take up cancer drugs bill

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the Assembly will vote Thursday on a bill that would give cancer patients access to less expensive chemotherapy drugs in pill form.

However, Vos said Tuesday that the Assembly is considering making changes to the proposal from the way it passed the Senate on a 30-2 vote earlier in the day.

Democratic backers say that Vos was playing politics by altering the bill in way that may result in it not getting approval in the Senate before the session ends for the year.

The Assembly's last day in session is Thursday.

Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach says the bill doesn't need to be changed and if the Assembly does alter it "they're just playing games."
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) --The Wisconsin state Senate has passed a bill that would make more affordable chemotherapy drugs in pill form available to cancer patients.

The bill now heads to the Assembly, where it has been blocked by Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. Vos says his members will discuss the issue privately Thursday.

The bill had been blocked in the Senate until Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald allowed it to move forward Tuesday.

The bill passed on 30-2 vote. Republican Sens. Paul Farrow and Leah Vukmir voted no.

A broad array of cancer support and health advocacy groups support the measure as a means to make expensive chemotherapy in pill form available to more people. Opponents, including health insurers, fear it will drive up costs and amounts to a legislative mandate.
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) --The Wisconsin state Senate will vote on a bill to make more affordable chemotherapy drugs available to cancer patients after it had been blocked last week.

A spokesman for the bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Alberta Darling, says the bill will be voted on Tuesday.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald last week used a procedural move to block such a vote. The decision to go forward with the vote came after a private discussion among Republican senators Tuesday morning.

Democrats, cancer patients and other advocates have been trying to keep the pressure on the Legislature to act before lawmakers wrap up their work for the year.

Assembly Republicans are also meeting in private Tuesday to talk about the bill.
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) --Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says the full Senate may vote on a bill to make more affordable chemotherapy drugs available to cancer patients.

Fitzgerald told The Associated Press that Republican senators planned to discuss the issue privately before their session begins Tuesday morning. Fitzgerald says he doesn't know whether the bill will be voted on or not.

Fitzgerald last week used procedural moves to block a vote on the bill, even though it was introduced by a Republican and appeared to have a majority of support among senators. Since then pressure has increased on Fitzgerald to allow the vote.

Fitzgerald says Republican opponents to the bill will lay out their arguments privately, then senators will decide whether to take a vote on the measure.
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) --Wisconsin Democrats are trying to keep the pressure on Republican legislative leaders who are blocking a vote on a bill that would make cancer drugs more affordable.

Republican Senate and Assembly leaders are using procedural moves to block a vote on the bill, even though it is sponsored by Republicans and appears to have the support of a majority of lawmakers.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos have both cited concerns of some opponents that the measure is a mandate on insurance companies. The bill would require health plans to provide the same coverage for chemotherapy drugs taken in pill form as less expensive treatment through IVs.

Senate Democrats planned to submit a letter Tuesday urging a vote. Senate Republicans also planned to discuss it privately.


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