Governor supports home chemo bill, Assembly votes Thursday
MILWAUKEE - Susan Voss is battling lymphoma. She says taking chemotherapy drugs at home would greatly improve her life.
"It would definitely change my life," Voss said. "Instead of missing three days of work, maybe only one day. It's huge."
The state Senate passed a bill this week that would require insurance providers to cover chemo pills that can be taken at home the same way they cover traditional IV chemo treatments at hospitals or clinics.
Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) came out in support Wednesday after previously staying quiet on the issue.
"I've got family members who, years ago, had traditional chemotherapy," Walker said in Pewaukee, in response to a question from TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray. "I've got a member of my wife's family who, more recently, used oral chemotherapy. It's a night and day difference. Most healthcare providers are going to it anyways, so it just makes sense that we make sure it's affordable for everybody."
But first, the Assembly will need to vote in favor of the bill. There has been resistance, though lawmakers will say little publicly about why they are reluctant to pass the legislation. It got heated in the Assembly on Tuesday.
"We can continue the debate, which is about theater and politics, or we can go ahead and continue with today's calendar, knowing that we'll get another opportunity to discuss this on Thursday," Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said on the Assembly floor Tuesday.
"When I buried my brother less than six months ago, it was not theater and, let me tell you, politics was the furthest thing from my family's mind," Rep. Amy Sue Vruwink (D-Milladore) said in response.
Supporters are worried the Assembly will use a procedural maneuver to effectively block the bill.
The Assembly session is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.