The California Cancer Care Equity Act is Now Law!

Thank You for Supporting Cancer Care Equity for Californians! Cancer Patients Shouldn’t Face Unfair Barriers to Care.

Thank You for Supporting Cancer Care Equity for Californians! Cancer Patients Shouldn’t Face Unfair Barriers to Care.

Step 1

Click this link to access Gov. Newsom’s contact form.

Step 2

Select the “Have a Comment” bubble and fill out your first name, last name, and email address.

Step 3

Click the drop-down window next to “Please choose your subject” and scroll down to “SB987\California Cancer Care Act.”

Step 4

Click “Continue.” On the next page, select the “Pro” bubble. Add your personalized message – it is completely up to you what you write! If you want some inspiration, here’s a suggestion:

‘All Californians deserve equitable access to specialist cancer care. That’s why I urge you to sign SB. 987 when it comes to your desk.’

Step 5

Click “Send Message” to tell Gov. Newsom to sign the California Cancer Care Equity Act. Your voice matters!

Fighting for Cancer Care Equity in California

For too long, too many patients—especially those historically underserved—have been denied the opportunity to equally benefit from the latest advancements in cancer care. Recognition of these disparities in access and the connection between access and survival is the first step on a path toward more equitable, more effective cancer care for all of Californians. 

  • Californians insured with Medi-Cal suffer much worse-than-average outcomes for several cancer diagnoses, including lung cancer, and breast cancer, compared to those with other forms of insurance.
  • 34% of cancer deaths among all U.S. adults ages 25 to 74 could be prevented if socioeconomic disparities were eliminated. 
  • Leukemia patients receiving care from designated specialists saw a 53% reduction in the odds of early mortality.

The California Cancer Care Equity Act (SB 987) will enable the most vulnerable populations of California who receive a complex cancer diagnosis to more easily seek optimal cancer care services, such as genomic testing, precision medicine-based care, subspecialty expertise and clinical trials.

SB 987 advances the rights affirmed by the California state legislature when it unanimously passed the California Cancer Patients Bill of Rights resolution in 2021. It recognizes that cancer care is different, and that the current one-size-fits-most system is preventing too many California cancer patients from accessing optimal care.

Less than half of California cancer patients received care aligned with national guidelines. With some 189,000 Californians expected to be diagnosed with cancer each year, increasing access to the optimal treatment for a patient’s diagnosis is critical – and can save lives.


The California Cancer Care Equity Act (SB 987) expands equitable access to optimal cancer care by:

  • Moving away from a system that too often incentivizes the wrong care and connects cancer patients to care too late, shortening lives and ultimately increasing costs. Instead, this proposal embraces a model that delivers speed to innovation and access for patients with cancer and their families, helping the state ultimately deliver better outcomes and reduce inefficient spending on lower-value care in its Medi-Cal program.
  • Requiring Medi-Cal managed care plans (MCMCP) to make a good faith effort to contract with cancer centers that provide the specialist care necessary to treat a patient with a complex cancer diagnosis. These cancer centers include National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers (NCI-CCC), National Community Oncology Research Program-affiliated (NCORP) sites and qualifying academic cancer centers. 
  • Requiring MCMCP to notify all enrollees, when diagnosed, of their right to request a referral to access care through an NCI-CCC, NCORP-affiliated site or qualifying academic medical center.
  • Enabling any eligible enrollee diagnosed with a complex cancer diagnosis to request a referral to receive medically necessary services through in-network NCI-CCC, NCORP-affiliated sites or qualifying academic medical centers.
  • Complex cancers as defined by the bill include a diagnosis for which there is no standard Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment including hematological malignancies, acute leukemia, advanced, relapsed, refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma, including BPDCN and T-cell leukemias and lymphomas, and advanced stage, relapsed solid tumors refractory to standard FDA-approved treatment options and advanced stage rare solid tumors for which there is no known effective standard treatment options.