A bill that would give insured cancer patients the same coverage for both intravenous and pill-based treatment has cleared a first-round vote in the Nebraska Legislature.
Lawmakers voted 30-4 Friday to advance the measure by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, who chose the measure as his top legislative
priority this year.
Nordquist said the idea for the bill came from his brother, an Omaha doctor, who reported encounters with roughly half a dozen patients who could not afford the preferred cancer treatment in pill form.
Insurance policies usually cover the cost of IV chemotherapy as a medical benefit, while oral medications are viewed as prescription drug benefits with much larger co-payments.
Fifteen states have adopted similar laws.