Senate Committee Approves Robinson Companion Bills to Enhance Cancer Treatment Access, Stabilize Insurance Market

HARRISBURG – The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved two bills today to enhance cancer treatment access and stabilize the insurance market, according to Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37).

House Bill 1754 – the companion bill to Robinson’s Senate Bill 954 – would provide Pennsylvanians better access to personalized treatments following a diagnosis of cancer and other specific diseases through biomarker testing and precision medicine.

Biomarker testing looks for biological changes at a molecular level, helping to detect cancer and other diseases, ensures patients get the right treatment option, and predicts the growth and spread of disease.

“I, like too many, have a family history of cancer. My father was diagnosed at a relatively young age which led me to discover that I have the BRCA-2 gene mutation and would have a harder time fighting cancer if I was diagnosed. Because I was screened, tested and received my baseline prostate-specific antigen levels in my thirties, I can stay on top of my health,” Robinson said. “If someday I do get the dreadful news of cancer, I will have targeted and precise treatment to fight it to the best of my body’s ability. I want this chance for every Pennsylvanian.”

With the fast-paced innovations and advancements in technology, Senate Bill 954 would streamline the process, remove financial barriers, standardize definitions and procedures, and acknowledge the disparities in treatment – especially among diverse populations.

The second bill approved by the committee – House Bill 2096 – mirrors Robinson’s Senate Bill 1148. The legislation would provide clarity and uniformity to the insurance market by codifying a surplus lines fee structure for personal transactions.

“This specialty insurance is vital for consumers needing coverage for high-risk items like boats or art collections,” Robinson said. “By prohibiting fees for non-commercial products, Pennsylvania is now the only state where surplus lines brokers cannot recoup their costs, threatening their ability to stay in business.”

The bills now head to the Senate for consideration.

Allison Dutrey

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