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Cancer-drug bill delayed in committee

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A bill to make Wisconsin health insurers cover expensive chemotherapy pills has hit another roadblock. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos transferred the bill from the Health Committee to the insurance panel. It now needs a two-thirds majority to pass, since the bill has not been in its present committee for 21 days.

The Assembly only has two more meetings in the current session -- today and Thursday. Vos's action -- coupled with a delay last week from Senate G-O-P leader Scott Fitzgerald -- appears to put another death knell into the chemo insurance bill. Majorities in both houses say they support the measure. It would help cancer patients get medication at home with pills, instead of going to hospitals to get I-V's. It's not known why the leaders are holding it up.

Assembly Finance chair John Nygren of Marinette says the bill is not needed, because Obama-care limits individual out-of-pocket costs to $6,350 this year -- and cancer patients would pay at least that much for their chemo medicines anyway. Governor Scott Walker told reporters yesterday he would not be surprised if lawmakers vote on the bill this week. The Republican Walker says he does not know enough about the issue to take a stand.