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Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills to Lower Health Care Costs for Cancer Treatment, Keep Michiganders Safe, Other Legislation


October 24, 2023



Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills to Lower Health Care Costs for Cancer Treatment, Keep Michiganders Safe, Other Legislation


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation aimed at lowering healthcare costs for Michiganders by requiring health insurance coverage for orally administered chemotherapy medications to be equal to the coverage of other forms of chemotherapy. The legislation also establishes limits for co-pays.


“I’m proud to sign legislation that lowers health care costs for Michiganders and ensures they get the care they need,” said Governor Whitmer. “Since I took office, I have signed bipartisan legislation to hold pharmacy benefit managers accountable, increase price transparency, and protect Michiganders from surprise medical billing. Today’s bills will ensure people who need certain chemotherapy medications are not charged more for it than other forms of this life-saving care. No one should have to worry about whether they can afford the treatment that works best for them. Let's keep working together to lower health care costs and make Michigan a safer, healthier place to live.” 


Governor Whitmer also signed legislation to keep Michiganders safe by signing bills to include county corrections officers and other public safety officials in guidelines on mandatory arbitration of labor disputes.


Additionally, Governor Whitmer signed legislation to modify the application process for small business property tax exemptions and create a fund to reimburse local governments.


Governor Whitmer signed House Bills 4071, 4438, 4439, 4553, 4554, and Senate Bills331 and 88.


House Bill 4071 aims to lower healthcare costs for Michiganders by requiring health insurance coverage for orally administered chemotherapy medications to be equal to coverage of other forms of chemotherapy. The legislation also establishes limits for co-pays.


“As a cancer survivor, I know firsthand the toll that treatment takes on your body and your life. For some patients, intravenous chemotherapy might be the right choice, but for others, orally administered chemo is an excellent option for treatment," said state Rep. Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills). “This legislation is simply about providing dignity for people fighting a terrible disease, and after more than 15 years of legislative sessions, I’m so excited to see this bipartisan bill finally signed into law.”


“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) was overjoyed to see the passage of oral chemotherapy fairness legislation after fifteen plus years. This legislation would give chronically ill patients more affordable access to the cancer treatment they need and ensure that the out-of-pocket costs to the patient for oral and intravenous (IV) chemotherapy are similar,” said Molly Medenblik, Government Relations Director, Michigan. “Currently, the out-of-pocket costs for some oral chemotherapy medications are higher than IV medications. This is an unnecessary barrier for some Michiganders.”


House Bills 4438 and 4439 aim to keep Michiganders safe by including county corrections officers and public safety officials in guidelines on mandatory arbitration of labor disputes.


“This is a change that’s long overdue. Police officers are among the first responders who have had access to binding arbitration to solve labor issues for decades. County correction officers are just as vital in keeping our communities safe, and they deserve access to this tool,” said state Representative Kelly Breen (D-Novi), chair of the House Judiciary Committee. “I was proud to work with a Republican for the companion bill and glad to see both receive broad bipartisan support before being signed into law.”


“This legislation signed into law by Governor Whitmer is a positive step in providing the support our frontline public safety personnel need and deserve. The public safety community is dealing with recruiting challenges, and this will help attract qualified individuals,” said Rob Figurski, president, Michigan Association of Police Organizations. “We are grateful to the Legislature and Governor Whitmer for their efforts.”


Senate Bill 331 aims to support local economies and lower costs for small businesses by modifying the General Property Tax Act to amend the application process for small business property tax exemptions.


“I'm proud to have sponsored this bill to expand tax exemptions for small business owners while maintaining local municipalities’ funding and ability to provide essential public services," said state Senator Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores). “This law will make it easier to succeed in small business and encourage local governments to partner with entrepreneurs to improve our communities together.”


House Bills 4553 and 4554 create the Local Government Reimbursement Fund to reimburse municipalities for changes to the small business personal property tax exemption.


“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to support our local, small businesses. This bill supports Michigan’s local communities by providing them with critical resources that help support and grow local economies,” said state Representative John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming). “We are serious about supporting small business in Michigan, and this is an important step in doing so.”


“Before I became a legislator, I served as a local elected official for many years. From this experience, I learned the important role local governments play in our constituents’ daily lives. Our municipal governments provide key public safety services, develop our downtowns and take care of our parks. We needed to set aside funds so that these important services can continue uninterrupted,” said state Representative Denise Mentzer (D-Mt. Clemens). “With the signing of these bills, we can now successfully promote the wellbeing of our local business and our local governments. I couldn’t be happier that these bills were signed into law.”      


Governor Whitmer also signed Senate Bill 88, which aims to protect children in Michigan by amending the childcare licensing act to require childcare centers to convert all faucets for drinking water to filtered faucets and develop drinking water management plans among other regulations.


“This legislation demonstrates a high level of commitment and care to Michigan families. More importantly, we are showcasing we care about one of our most vulnerable populations — our youth,” said state Senator Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit). “Impacts of child lead exposure are well known, as well as negative effects on the learning environment. With implementation of filter first, and monitoring water quality in all schools and daycare centers, our state is taking a preventative approach to ensure all children receive the head start in life they deserve.”