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Rep. West gives sponsor testimony for legislation that will expand access to biomarker testing

June 2, 2022
Thomas West News

COLUMBUS - State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) Tuesday gave sponsor testimony in Health Committee for the first hearing on House Bill (HB) 608, a bipartisan bill with Rep. Andrea White (R-Kettering). HB 608 would require the Medicaid program and other health benefit plans to cover biomarker testing. Biomarker testing has a variety of different uses, from checking for certain diseases to determining the proper course to treat illnesses like cancer.

“I’ve always worked hard to increase access to high-quality healthcare for all Ohioans,” said Rep. West. “I joint-sponsored HB 608 because I believe it helps provide high-quality healthcare to all who need it. This bill is one step of many toward ensuring that wealth is no longer a determining factor for healthcare access in Ohio.”

Stories of personal, life-prolonging treatments were presented throughout the hearing as testimony was given by cancer patients and family members who have utilized the lifesaving science of biomarker testing.

“This bill serves a dual purpose in my eyes,” said Rep. West. “HB 608 not only expands access to biomarker testing, but it also educates Ohioans on the benefits of these tests. By educating more people about the lifesaving benefits of biomarker testing, we will help save lives and improve the health and wellness of every Ohioan.”