Cancer treatment bill clears Fla. Legislature

Posted at 9:17 PM, May 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-03 21:17:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers have passed legislation that would require health insurers to provide the same level of coverage for cancer treatments given orally as those drugs administered intravenously.

The measure (HB 1159) cleared its final votes in the House and Senate shortly before the 60-day session Friday evening. The legislation now goes to Gov. Rick Scott for his consideration.

The cancer coverage proposal was championed by Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, a Fort Myers Republican whose mother died of cancer.

An emotional Benacquisto was hugged by several of her colleagues after the Senate passed the bill on a 37-2 vote.

The cancer treatment provisions were tucked into a larger bill dealing with several health-care issues.

Cancer medications in pill form are often much more expensive than those drugs given intravenously.